Texas Tech University

Planned Innovation District Takes Two Steps in the Right Direction

Bri Lopez

February 18, 2022

The Texas Tech Research Park Inc. adds new board members to help further its goal of creating an innovative, entrepreneurial community in Lubbock.

Texas Tech Research Park Inc. (TTRP), the nonprofit behind the planned innovation district for Lubbock and West Texas, recently announced the selection of Lance McMahon and Brian Heinrich as its newest board members.  

The TTRP board is composed of distinguished community leaders with extensive experience in various fields of study. They all serve to enable both entrepreneurs as well as the investors who are interested in supporting startups in Lubbock and the greater West Texas area. The TTRP is committed to collaboration, innovation and impact.  

Lance McMahon

McMahon is the senior vice president in the Office of Research and Innovation at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). Additionally, he holds a faculty appointment as a professor in the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He previously served as professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacodynamics at the University of Florida's College of Pharmacy.

Lance McMahon
Lance McMahon

Throughout McMahon's time at the University of Florida, he made phenomenal progress both within and outside the department by tripling the number of faculty and quadrupling the funding for their external research. As a result, the success of his leadership speaks for itself, as all of the tenured/tenure-track pharmacodynamics faculty members served as principal investigators in at least one National Institutes for Health (NIH) R-type grant during that period.

Prior to that role, McMahon was a tenured associate professor of pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He obtained his doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from Texas A&M University and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. 

McMahon has served on division executive boards within the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, as programming committee chair for the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and as an editor for two peer-reviewed scientific journals. 

He has published 113 peer-reviewed papers and received a total of $21 million since 2003 from the NIH for six R01 grants, one R21 grant and two U-type grants. Since then, McMahon has continued to be a regular member of an NIH study section, dedicating his spare time to science.

“TTUHSC is committed to performing innovative biomedical research aimed at transforming health care both locally and worldwide,” McMahon said. “The TTRP is an invaluable resource for our great faculty to build the public-private partnerships that are essential to translating innovative discoveries into the marketplace.” 

Brian Heinrich 

Heinrich is a top-rated lawyer in Amarillo and a partner at Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russel, LLP. Heinrich started his journey at Texas Tech where he majored in agricultural economics, earning his bachelor's degree in 1988 and graduating summa cum laude. Heinrich also attended Texas Tech's School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1991. 

Brian Heinrich
Brian Heinrich

While holding various leadership positions, including presidencies in both the Amarillo Bar Association and Panhandle Trial Lawyers Association in the early 2010s, he also was a member of four other professional associations: the State Bar of Texas, the State Bar of New Mexico, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American Association for Justice, formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, of which he is still a member. Additionally, he is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the United States District Courts, Northern District of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

In recognition for his hard work, Heinrich was chosen as a fellow for the Texas Bar Foundation. This elite organization selects only 0.33% of Texas attorneys each year. It is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a member of the State Bar of Texas. On top of that, Texas Monthly named Heinrich a Rising Star in 2005 and Super Lawyer of the Year not once, but 15 times from 2006-2021.

Now, as a distinguished lawyer, Heinrich's area of focus includes general litigation, commercial litigation and personal injury litigation. He is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

“I could not be more excited and honored for the opportunity to serve the Texas Tech Research Park as a director,” Heinrich said. “As a proud graduate of Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech School of Law, and a lifelong resident of this area, I understand the innovation opportunities created by a healthy working relationship between Texas Tech and the private sector. I look forward to doing my part to advance those opportunities.” 

McMahon and Heinrich join the previous board members:

John D. Esparza – president and CEO of the Texas Trucking Association, executive director of the Southwest Movers Association, former member of the Texas Tech University System's Board of Regents
Sanjeev Saxena – founder, chairman and CEO of POC Medical Systems, graduate of Texas Tech's Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering
Curtis Griffith – chairman and CEO of South Plains Financial Inc., member of the First State Bank of Morton and the Legislative and PAC committees for IBAT board of directors, member of the University Medical Center (Lubbock) board of managers, graduate of Texas Tech's Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources and School of Law 
Arun Agarwal – CEO of Nextt 
Laura Street  – former executive director of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health at TTUHSC, founder and executive director of the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, member of the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation board of directors
Jim Messemer – CEO of NJTX LLC
Vince Pierce – CEO and managing director of Level 1
Bonnie Clipper – CCO of Wambi, member of the Society for Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs & Leaders board of directors 

Ex-officio members: 

Billy Breedlove  – vice chancellor of facilities planning & construction for the Texas Tech University System 
Kimberly Gramm – associate vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship at Texas Tech 
Dr. John Griswold – medical director of TTUHSC's Timothy J. Harnar Burn Center, executive director for the Clinical Research Institute, vice chair of quality assurance and performance improvement and education for the Department of Surgery 
Penny Harkey – vice president and chief financial officer for TTUHSC 
Phil Sizer – associate vice president for innovation at TTUHSC, co-founding partner and CEO of TKQuant, LLC, associate dean of research for the School of Health Professions, Innovation Hub at Research Park tenant, graduate of Texas Tech's College of Arts & Sciences 
Joseph A. Heppert – vice president for the Office of Research & Innovation at Texas Tech 
Dan Pope – mayor of Lubbock, founder of Benchmark Business Solutions
Noel Sloan – CFO and senior vice president of administration and finance for Texas Tech