(DALLAS, TX) — Dr. Kim Perry, clinical assistant professor in restorative sciences at Baylor College of Dentistry-Texas A&M Health Science Center, has been selected to participate in the first class of clinical scholars supported by a $9.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Perry is one of 14 recipients of the NIH Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Scholar Award. The program, designed to bolster the next generation of leaders in patient-oriented research, will pay three-fourths of her salary and provide travel to meetings while she learns how to conduct high-quality clinical research using the best available research tools.

“We are extremely pleased at the opportunity afforded Dr. Perry,” said Dr. James S. Cole, Baylor College of Dentistry dean. “We believe this trendsetting program will advance clinical research at our college and at schools around Texas.”

Part of Dr. Perry’s training will be to conduct a study at the dental school, for which she will receive up to $100,000 in research funds, depending on the nature of her project.

Beginning in July, the 2006 scholars will commit 75 percent of their time to an intense three-year educational and training program to prepare for a career as an independent clinical investigator. The program includes rigorous course work, an apprenticeship in an ongoing research project and completion of an independent research project, all leading to a master’s degree in clinical science.

The goals of the program go beyond enhancing the career development and training of postdoctoral and junior faculty health professionals in multidisciplinary, team research settings, said Dr. Milton Packer, chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences at UT Southwestern, which administers the program. The objective is to ignite a rebirth of clinical research throughout the region.

Dr. Perry is the only BCD participant. Other clinical scholars were chosen from UT Southwestern Medical School, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy, the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing and the University of Texas at Dallas’ School of Brain and Behavioral Sciences.

— LaDawn Brock