BRIT and UNTHSC create new possibilities for research and education

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.” 

Pharm Fc
Pharmacy students travel to Austin for lesson in advocacy

By Jan Jarvis    Nearly a quarter of UNT System College of Pharmacy students took a day off from their classes to get a lesson in advocacy.  The students joined nearly 600 pharmacy professionals from throughout the state for Pharmacist Day at the Capitol in Austin. The Texas Pharma...Read more

Mar 21, 2019

Art Fc
Young artists exhibit their work in Atrium Gallery this spring

By Rebecca Najera High school juniors and seniors have the chance to show off their artistic skills at the UNT Health Science Center when the annual High School Art Show opens in the Atrium Gallery April 5. Brock ISD art teacher Sue Brunner has been submitting her students’ work to the art s...Read more

Mar 20, 2019

Team Fc
UNTHSC helps United Way of Tarrant County outline future direction

By Sally Crocker   A team of UNTHSC researchers has recently completed a comprehensive community assessment for United Way of Tarrant County that will help set the organization’s strategic direction for years to come. Findings from this extensive study, which uncovered some of the m...Read more

Mar 19, 2019

Md Fc
Match Day: A time of hoots, hollers and high fives

By Jan Jarvis   Under soft green lights, Isadora Cabral jumped into the arms of a classmate as soon as she opened her Match Day envelope. “It’s amazing, emotional, so great and exciting,” Cabral said. “I applied to way too many programs, but I got my No. 1.” Cabral will soon...Read more

Mar 18, 2019