CONTACT: C. LINDON LARSON
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9569; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Aug. 20, 1999
UI wins $10 million federal grant to establish new
oral health research center
IOWA CITY, Iowa The University of Iowa is one of
only six institutions nationwide to receive a $10 million grant aimed at fostering
interdisciplinary oral health research. The award from the National Institute
of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) will establish a Comprehensive
Oral Health Research Center of Discovery at the UI.
The new center will focus on causes, diagnosis, effects
and treatment of craniofacial anomalies like cleft lip and palate, targeting
projects that range from the genetics of these disorders to the ways in which
they affect childrens behavior and adjustment. It will promote collaborative
projects that seek new treatments and will establish a clinical resources
core to help investigators use innovative craniofacial imaging techniques.
Jeff Murray, M.D., UI professor of pediatrics and pediatric
dentistry, will direct the center. John Keller, Ph.D., professor of oral and
maxillofacial surgery, will co-direct.
The NIDCR one of the National Institutes of Health
based in Bethesda, Md. has a long history of supporting research at
the UI College of Dentistry, which is among the nations top dental schools
in total NIDCR funding.
"This most recent grant is a testament to the strength
of our research programs, many of which were developed through NIDCR support,"
said David Johnsen, D.D.S., dean of the college. "We are grateful for
this opportunity to build on our accomplishments and to continue our strong
interdisciplinary research activities with the UI College of Medicine and
other units of the university."
The new grant program recognizes the importance of interdisciplinary
research, as well as the frequent need to view disorders of the mouth in relation
to other types of diseases. Each of the funded centers will build dynamic
research and education programs that focus on particular concerns, including
problems like inflammation and oral cancer.
The UI center will support development of five research
cores, seven major research projects, two technology transfer projects and
four pilot studies. It will involve dozens of UI faculty and staff from three
colleges and 17 academic departments, as well as collaborating researchers
at Northwestern University, the University of Pittsburgh, Ohio State University
and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
The competitive grant process drew applications from 21
institutions. Each of the six centers funded will receive $1.5 million in
direct costs for the first year of the five-year grant. Additional awards
of approximately $1.5 million will follow each year of the grant period.
In addition to the UI, other schools funded are the University
of California at San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the
University of Washington in Seattle, the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill and the University of Pittsburgh.