Texas Tech University

HOM students team up to secure 6 million dollars in cancer research

January 9, 2012

A group of MBA students concentrating in health organization management (HOM) has teamed up with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to help secure 6 million dollars in cancer research funding.

The unique partnership was made possible through a joint venture between the Rawls College of Business and the Texas Tech Department of Technology Transfer to provide MBA students with an exceptional opportunity to analyze commercialization possibilities based on products and projects developed by university faculty. These projects include innovative strategies for engineering, making commercial chemical processes more efficient, and the design and development of patentable products designed by Texas Tech faculty themselves. The role of the MBA student is to gather and analyze project proposals to determine whether specific projects would be commercially viable.

Working under the general direction of Dr. Timothy Huerta, Director of the Center for Healthcare Innovation, Education and Research in the Rawls College of Business, the students analyzed the commercial viability of software-defined radar to track the location of a tumor inside a person's chest, the brainchild of Texas Tech researcher Changzi Li. The analysis provided by the MBA students was later used in part to secure funding from grants for cancer research.

According to Dr. Huerta, the project shows just how versatile an MBA with an HOM concentration can be, although many people think majoring in Health Organization Management restricts career paths to opportunities of working in a hospital.

"The mission of the HOM MBA is to position our students to add value to the healthcare enterprise," said Huerta. "Projects like this one teach students to be entrepreneurial in their approaches to HOM while teaching them how to brand themselves and create value for different organizations. The result is that often find career opportunities in many different organizations, like Dell-Perot and private consulting firms."