Highlights - News and notes from the office of the President

The Cowtown
The Cowtown, Fort Worth's annual six-event running extravaganza held on Feb. 26-27, was once again a record-breaker. Not only did we found The Cowtown and serve as title sponsor, but we participated in the two-day Expo, ran a free health fair and provided the medical crew on race day. This year more than 21,000 runners participated! The event benefits Children's Activities for Life and Fitness (CALF), which provides fitness training and free running shoes to children in need.

Faculty spotlight
Jose Pagan, PhD, professor and chair, Department of Health Management and Policy, was named to the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health & Society Scholars.  Shrawan Kumar, PhD, co-director of the Physical Medicine Institute, was recently appointed to the Order of Canada.
John Licciardone, DO, MS, MBA, executive director of the Osteopathic Research Center, had research into the effects on manipulation of the back during pregnancy published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Richard Kurz, PhD, dean of the School of Public Health, was quoted in Journal of Healthcare Management.

DNA Lab update
DNA research and investigations continue to grow at the country's best DNA identification lab, right here on our campus. Its PROKIDS initiative to curtail international trafficking of children is expanding to the Philippines and Thailand.

Student spotlight
Gayla Ferguson, William Nutting and Victor Trejo were selected as Gates Millennium Scholars for academic achievement, community service and leadership potential. The Gates Millennium Scholars program is administered by the United Negro College Fund and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Did you know?
Our medical students score the highest in the nation on all levels of the osteopathic medical licensing exam.

New building opens soon!
That construction you've noticed at Montgomery and Camp Bowie is our new 112,000-square-foot Medical Education and Training building. It will house Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) classrooms, training facilities and offices, as well as our new Physical Therapy program. The building is scheduled for completion in late spring.  Look for more information in the coming months.

PT program brings cutting-edge teaching and research
Our new three-year Physical Therapy doctoral program, the 10th in Texas, will open this summer to meet the needs of the west side of the Metroplex for clinical services, research and teaching in leading-edge physical medicine and rehabilitation techniques. So far we have hired five faculty and have 200 applicants for the 20 student spots. The new faculty bring cutting-edge knowledge in such areas as fall prevention in the elderly and gait analysis. We will be the first--and the only academic institution in the U.S. outside the military--to employ virtual reality technology for sensory motor evaluation.

New grant will boost cancer prevention in North Texas
The UNT Health Science Center recently received almost $300,000 to fund a breast cancer education project in Dallas County. With its award, the Health Science Center will partner with the Dallas Cancer Disparities Community Coalition to implement a community-based breast cancer prevention education program aimed at reducing breast cancer disparities in the South Dallas/Fair Park area.  This award is part of a $6.8 million slate approved by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to fund 12 new cancer prevention programs through local clinics, health districts, community-based organizations and academic institutions across the state of Texas.

Potential MD program update
Last November, the UNT System Board of Regents directed us to achieve milestones in four key areas before approving that the MD program be submitted to the Legislature and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for final approval.  We are working toward an Aug. 19 deadline to:  obtain pledges of $21.5 million in private start-up funding; establish a business plan for the new school; ensure commitments to TCOM; and confirm relationships with area hospitals for student rotations and residencies.

UNTHSC's 'Healthcare Heroes'
Anuja Ghorpade, PhD, professor and chair of Cell Biology and Anatomy; Robert Richard, DO, assistant professor and chair of Community Medicine; and W. Paul Bowman, MD, professor and chair of Pediatrics, were recently named 2010 "Healthcare Heroes" by the Fort Worth Business Press. Ghorpade is a leading researcher in HIV-related dementia and is creating a "brain bank" on our campus for the study of neurodegenerative diseases. Richard was honored for providing Tarrant County residents greater access to care while improving physician coverage and satisfaction. Bowman was honored for his service in pediatric cancer care and teaching.

Follow us!
This is the first issue of Health & Science HIGHLIGHTS. We hope that you enjoy these brief monthly updates on our progress. You can also follow us on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, visit www.hsc.unt.edu or ask to be on the mailing list for our quarterly print magazine, North Texas Health & Science. If you do not want to receive this newsletter, send us an e-mail at news@unthsc.edu.

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UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth
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UNT Health Science Center