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Houston Hot Technology Panel

Please join us for the Annual WITI Houston Hot Technology Panel as we take a closer look at the technological innovation and change happening in the City of Houston! Three professional panelists will cover three different industries - alternative energy, biotech and IT. They will showcase their views on the top 3 IT trends or technologies in their field.

Featured Speaker(s)

Jacqueline R. Northcut
President and CEO


Jacqueline is the President and CEO of BioHouston, Inc. BioHouston is leading a broad effort to mobilize the region's civic, business, medical, academic and political communities to establish the region as a vigorous global competitor in life science and biotechnology commercialization.

Prior to joining BioHouston, Jacqueline was an audit partner with Arthur Andersen and was the lead partner for life science companies in Texas. For eighteen years she worked with emerging businesses from the initial start up phase through maturity in various industries including biotechnology, venture capital, medical device, and several service industries.

Jacqueline's passion for life sciences is exemplified by her affiliations, past and present, including the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers (ABFO), Texas Healthcare & Bioscience Institute, Houston Technology Center, Southwest Association of Biotechnology Companies, BioTexas, Texas Technology Transfer Association, and BioMedical Technology Club of Houston. She received her BBS from Harding University in 1984.

Tyra Rankin, Counsel
Tyra Rankin has over 20 years of experience as a technology attorney developing commercialization strategies for the semiconductor, digital, electric grid and energy industries. Ms. Rankin is a consultant to renewable energy and clean tech companies. She guides companies to commercialize emerging technology through exploitation of intellectual property and commercial agreements. With extensive experience in international manufacturing, Ms. Rankin assists companies with manufacturing, engineering, procurement, and construction and finance relationships. She provides guidance in decisions involving use of policy tools for deployment of renewable energy and efficiency technology.

Ms. Rankin is Chair of the Clean Economy Network of Houston and has produced educational programs for the World Affairs Council. She has a BA in Psychology, Minor in Biology from SMU, a JD from Texas Tech School of Law and an LLM in International Economic Law from University of Houston School of Law.

Debora Simmons PhD RN CCRN CCNS
Executive Operations Director for the National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare
UTHealth | School of Biomedical Informatics


Debora Simmons is a quality and safety expert with an extensive background in technology and complex patient care systems. Currently, Dr. Simmons serves as Executive Operations Director, The National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare, The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics. She manages the of $15 Million grant funded center established by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT under the Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) Program with over 100 researchers located across the United States. The program seeks to support improvements in health care through advanced information technology. She is also an investigator in the SHARP program in EHR usability. Recently, she served as a reviewer for the National Institute of Standards Technical Evaluation, Testing and Validation of the Usability of Electronic Health Records. Her current research relates to the safe use of electronic records and the impact of technology on quality and safety. In 2011, Dr. Simmons was awarded the Unites States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, management award.

Schedule of Events

6:00 PM Dinner & Networking
6:45 PM Program / Panel
8:00 PM Wrap-Up / Networking