VTPP always celebrates departmental birthdays, October 2020 birthday congratulations go to Mingquan Yan, Gracie Cooper (OMG 21!!), Rebecca Harlow, Rupesh Shrestha and Drs. Glen Laine, JeHoon Lee and Duane Kraemer. We are obviously missing another great VTPP cake celebration. Hopefully we will be able to celebrate soon. Happy birthday and congratulations everyone celebrating this month!

Thank you to all our fabulous VTPP staff. The faculty and students are appreciative of everything you do to ensure VTPP remains a great department. You make us better every day!


October was Down Syndrome Awareness Month, an opportunity to spread awareness and enhance understanding of Down syndrome, a congenital disorder in people who have an extra 21st chromosome. In recent decades, life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has more than doubled, from 25 years in 1983 to 60 years today, leading to new priorities for medical care, advocacy, and research.

October 20 marks world osteoporosis awareness day. The day identifies a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. Check out the details of the year long events at

There’s still time to get involved in many important ways. No matter how large or small, everyone can take part in the effort to spread awareness and support those living with this rare bone disease that is the focus of ongoing VTPP research efforts! October 30 is World HPP Day.

The Aggie Research Program (ARP) and the DeBakey Research Leadership Program engages 13 different colleges at Texas A&M University. Each college contributes to these Academic Development Programs focused on graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty members (team leaders) overseeing undergraduate research teams. Participants oversee one of the largest undergraduate research programs in the United States (approximately 1100 undergraduate researchers in the 13 participating colleges). 26% of the 572 undergraduate presentations during Student Research week (SRW), the largest student run research program in the country, at A&M stemmed from research overseen by “team leaders” in the ARP or DeBakey Research Leadership Programs. The student-led ARP and DeBakey Leadership teams collected 40% of all the research awards earned at Student Research Week.