UNTHSC RESEARCH FUNDING POSTS 25 PERCENT INCREASE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003-2004, TOPPING $20 MILLION

November 8, 2004

Research funding received by the University of North Texas Health Science Center increased by 25 percent for fiscal year 2003-04, topping $20 million.

“The increase in research money is continued evidence of the quality of work and growing academic reputation of the health science center,” said Ronald Blanck, DO, president of the health science center.

With fiscal year 2003-04 funding totaling more than $22 million, Dr. Blanck predicted that it would top $30 million at the end of fiscal year 2004-05. The total was a 25 percent increase over last yearâ??s research funding.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences accounted for more than $15 million of the total.

“That’s a good increase,” said Thomas Yorio, PhD, dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. “I have been very, very pleased. About 40 investigators are bringing in $15 million. The new goal is for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences to hit $20 million in the next two or three years.”

The Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, whose primary focus is in Alzheimerâ??s disease research, was awarded $6.7 million, the single highest figure for any one department for the second year in a row. The figure was almost double last yearâ??s research funding awarded to the department, which has had a more than 500 percent increase in research funding since 1998, according to Glenn Dillon, PhD, associate vice president for research and biotechnology administration. On a per faculty member basis, this places the health science centerâ??s pharmacology and neuroscience department as one of the top pharmacology departments in the country.

The Department of Molecular Biology and Immunology almost doubled their research funding as well, bringing in $2.9 million for fiscal year 2003-04. The department focuses on researching asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine increased clinical research funding from last year to more than $5 million in total funding this year. The internal medicine, geriatrics and the osteopathic research center accounted for $3.9 million, or 75 percent, of the total.

“This year’s clinical research funding represents a more than 300 percent increase over the past three years,” said Marc Hahn, DO, TCOM dean.

The School of Public Health showed an increase of more than $800,000 in research funding, ending the year with $1.8 million. Continued emphasis on the expanding Hispanic population led research grant efforts, with particular emphasis on diabetes and obesity.

Health science center researchers will use the funds to investigate current health care problems such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, aging, public preparedness for bioterrorism, tuberculosis, alcohol abuse and glaucoma.

Overall, the health science centerâ??s growth in attracting research funding has been faster than any other health science center in Texas over the last several years, according to Dr. Dillon. Dr. Yorio said the health science center has seen unprecedented increases in research funding from federal and non-federal sources.

“We have world class people here,” Dr. Yorio said. “Many of our faculty are internationally known investigators.”

The Health Science Center’s 2003-04 fiscal year was from Sept. 1, 2003, to Aug. 31, 2004.

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Contact: Kay Colley at 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail kacolley@hsc.unt.edu.

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