Supporting team science
First round of awards given during Dec. 4 Biomaterials Interest Group meeting
Team science has come to the fore as researchers look to innovative methods to create novel therapies for some of our country’s most pressing health concerns. The Biomaterials Interest Group of Dallas-Fort Worth — BIG-DFW — is a North Texas consortium comprising several health care and educational institutions that serves as a conduit for such collaborations.
Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry is at the helm of efforts to boost this group’s momentum. BIG-DFW local organizer Dr. Lynne Opperman, Regents Professor in biomedical sciences at the dental school, recently received a $6,000 grant from the American Association of Anatomists to fund awards to consortium members as a way to encourage teams to present updates of their collaborations during meetings.
Starting with the Dec. 4 meeting, the first $500 awards were given to two members of the organization, which includes individuals from all ends of the academic spectrum, ranging from undergraduate researchers and postdoctoral fellows to dental and medical school faculty. The award will be used to send recipients to the Experimental Biology annual meeting to present their work.
Haley Barnes and Daniel Genthe, undergraduate materials science and engineering majors at the University of North Texas, were presented with the awards for their research, designed to develop a drug-releasing polymer mesh based on polybutylene adipate. Both students are mentored by Dr. Nandika D’Souza, professor of mechanical and energy engineering, and materials science and engineering, at UNT.
The BIG-DFW consortium has been in existence for several years, and consortium members include:
- Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry (TAMBCD);
- Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRH);
- University of North Texas (UNT);
- University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC);
- University of Texas at Arlington (UTA);
- University of Texas at Dallas (UTD);
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW); and
- Southern Methodist University (SMU).