BRIT partnership creates opportunities for research

March 11, 2019

By Jan Jarvis

Brit Web

Ed Schneider, PhD, President and Executive Director of BRIT, and Robert McClain, PhD, Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation, UNTHSC

They have been neighbors for nearly a decade.

Now the Botanical Research Institute of Texas and UNT Health Science Center will share more than a zip code. The two institutions will be collaborating on educational activities, community programs, research and more.  

The agreement is a great opportunity that benefits both institutions, said Edward Schneider, PhD, President and Executive Director of BRIT. 

HSC Insider

Learn more about UNTHSC’s people and programs by signing up for the weekly HSC Insider email.

With more than 1.5 million species of plants, endless volumes of books and a large collection of illustrations, BRIT provides a rare opportunity that most medical and pharmaceutical students don’t have access to, Dr. Schneider said.    

We don’t know what secrets lie in the DNA of plants, he said. “But there may be a cure for cancer.” 

Many medicines come from plants, including a large percentage of cancer drugs, said Michael Allen, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics at UNTHSC. 

“Having someone who is knowledgeable in plant studies helps us in research,” Dr. Allen said. “By understanding how bacteria works in plants, for example, we can better understand how it works in humans. 

Brit Web2
 
Both institutions are expected to benefit from sharing research as well as access to lab space, facilities and scientific equipment, said Robert McClain, PhD., Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation.  

“We have equipment on our campus that their scientists will have access to and they have tools we don’t have,” he said. “They are opening a new lab and they have some very expensive equipment that we need to use occasionally.” 

For example, BRIT has a new state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope with a lens that has a 100,000 times magnification, compared to college labs that are about 1,000. 

The agreement also is expected to strengthen both institutions’ research funding opportunities, Dr. McClain said. 

“It’s an opportunity to put their scientists with our scientists in pursuing research funding,” he said. “Together we can create grant proposals that will be very strong and more competitive.”  

Brit Web3
 
Plans are for representatives from BRIT and UNTHSC to meet throughout the year to formulate opportunities to collaborate on various projects. 

One project involves an annual lecture that will be given by a noted scientist and focus on plants that are important to pharmaceutics. 

“We can bring post docs, faculty, retired faculty, or anyone from UNTHSC with an interest in research here to work on projects they are interest in,” Dr. Schneider said. “We can help researchers from both institutions be as successful as possible.” 

Dr Arthur Eisenberg Fc
50 Heroes: Dr. Arthur Eisenberg

So many families with missing loved ones received closure thanks to Arthur “Art” Eisenberg. A pioneer in bringing DNA typing into both paternity testing and the field of forensic genetics, Dr. Eisenberg helped establish the UNT Center for Human Identification as well as The University of Nort...Read more

Jul 6, 2020

July 4th Covid 19 Fc
Navigating through July 4th and the summer of COVID-19

By Sally Crocker In light of new state guidelines issued last week, HSC public health expert Diana Cervantes offers some tips on how to conduct July 4th gatherings and other summertime activities with friends and family. The advice comes after the Texas Governor’s Office closed bars and ...Read more

Jun 30, 2020

Food Insecurity Donations Fc
Food insecurity concerns heighten for many as COVID-19 again surges

By Sally Crocker New HSC faculty member Charlotte Noble, PhD, MPH, and her family moved from Florida to Fort Worth in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when little was yet known about the reach of the virus, its outcomes and how long it would last. Months later, as states like Texas...Read more

Jun 29, 2020

Mayor Price Fc
50 Heroes: Mayor Betsy Price

Mayor Betsy Price and HSC share a mission to create solutions for a healthier community. Price, first elected Mayor in 2011, has consistently promoted strategies and activities that improve the fitness, health and well-being of Fort Worth residents. Her devotion to elevating the city’s over...Read more

Jun 29, 2020