Research Infrastructure Enhancement Grant Awarded to A&M System Health Science Center
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center’s Baylor College of Dentistry has received a very prestigious $2.8 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The two-year research infrastructure enhancement grant is one of only seven awarded to dental schools throughout the country. Baylor College of Dentistry is the only recipient in Texas. The award comes in response to an application by David Carlson, Ph.D., vice president for research and graduate studies for the health science center, and will fund additional faculty for Baylor College of Dentistry (BCD) and collaborative research efforts with faculty at the A&M System Health Science Center’s Institute of Biosciences and Technology (IBT) in Houston. IBT Director Richard Finnell, Ph.D., is a senior research consultant for the research infrastructure grant.
Dr. Carlson says: “This is a unique opportunity for Baylor College of Dentistry and for the A&M System Health Science Center. The NIDCR is providing significant funds for outstanding dental schools, like Baylor College of Dentistry, that are in an excellent position to get to the top level of dental and craniofacial research by enhancing their research infrastructure.” A significant portion of the grant is earmarked for recruitment of an outstanding research-oriented faculty member to serve as professor and chair of the department of biomedical sciences at BCD. The chair will be expected to bring with him or her or to recruit several junior faculty members as part of their research team.
The research infrastructure grant will take full advantage of the strengths of both BCD and IBT and will help advance the mission of both components of the Health Science Center through recruitment of outstanding researchers in craniofacial development, training of current faculty, and development of laboratory space and equipment at both components.
An external advisory board will assist in implementation of the goals established for the research infrastructure grant. The membership of the board includes the president of the Baylor Oral Health Foundation as well as scientists and clinicians from Baylor University Medical Center, Medical City Hospital of Dallas, Scott and White Memorial Hospital, and the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston.
The ultimate goal of the NIDCR research infrastructure grant is to establish a research center of excellence at BCD  to complement and collaborate with the A&M System Health Science Center’s other such centers of excellence at IBT in Houston and the College of Medicine in College Station.
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.

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