During a noon Thursday press conference, Texas Spine & Joint Hospital is expected to announce a new partnership with NFL greats and Tyler natives Earl Campbell and Gary Baxter to start an institute in sports medicine, research and treatment.

According to a press release from the hospital, the Project Rose Research Institute will be located on the second floor of the hospital and is anticipated to open in 2017.

Hall of Fame and Heisman Trophy-winning running back Campbell and All-Pro defensive back Baxter will play pivotal roles in fundraising for Project Rose’s nonprofit foundation.

“My hometown means the world to me, and to be able to give back is what life is all about,” Campbell said in a prepared statement. “My goal for this nonprofit is to help as many people as possible, while we contribute to the study of sports science. I am so thankful for the opportunity".

The institute will seek philanthropic funding to help current and retired athletes, as well as aspiring young people, get the benefit of sports injury and prevention, rehabilitation and performance training.

Texas Spine & Joint Hospital CEO Tony Wahl said he thought the partnership could make sports safer.

“We are confident that this collaboration will result in advancements in sports medicine, health, nutrition and fitness for East Texans,” Wahl said in a prepared statement. “Further, we hope to make significant strides in the prevention of sports injuries and concussions, particularly in young athletes.”

The institute will have several objectives, including a focus on research that will benefit patients at Spine & Joint and beyond and research on sports and combat injuries and how to prevent them through better equipment.

Founders hope the research institute will provide valuable data used worldwide in the training and treatment of athletes and military veterans. Traumatic brain injury and concussion research, treatment and prevention will also be major focus areas, as well as preventing overuse injuries. Additionally, the institute’s leaders hope the research data will prove useful to the STOP Sports Injuries campaign, of which Texas Spine & Joint Hospital is a participating facility.

In addition to research, Project Rose will offer multiple sports medicine, fitness and wellness programs to both athletes and military veterans. This includes surgical and non-surgical treatment of injuries, primary care sports medicine, multi-disciplinary therapy and rehabilitation and female-specific sports health and wellness.