The Future of Research – Main Story
Newly Recruited Scientists Helping School Advance Translational Medicine
By Ginger Hall Carnes
The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine has developed the research infrastructure and resources to make South Texas a unique place to conduct science.
“We have a strong sense of where we are. We work on a global stage, yet we always keep our South Texas and San Antonio communities at the forefront—our priorities are the priorities of the community,” said Jennifer Sharpe Potter, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate dean for research and an associate professor of psychiatry.
This is reflected in the strategic priority areas for the Long School of Medicine: population health, infectious disease, cancer, aging, diabetes and metabolic disorders, and neuroscience.
The Long School of Medicine has a strong portfolio of basic scientists who are leading the way in the efforts for translational medicine. They are not only doing it on the campus but are pushing it out to a community or a population of people and changing policy, she said.
The school’s department chairs have been doing some extraordinary recruitment, as profiled in the following stories about six assistant professors who have chosen to be part of UT Health San Antonio’s research emphasis.
“Recruitment of junior faculty is a priority as we grow the next generation of UT Health researchers in San Antonio,” Dr. Potter said. “It’s particularly exciting to see so many new investigators on campus. We have been able to recruit them because of our faculty pushing their science, publishing in top-tier journals, and bringing in National Institutes of Health dollars to support and maintain their labs.”
These junior faculty have been extremely successful in obtaining NIH grants and other research funding and developing national prominence. The Long School of Medicine has wonderful industry partners and is ahead of the national average for research dollars with funds totaling $94 million in organized research awards from all sponsors for fiscal year 2016. The school also is starting to see revenue for clinical trials increase.
The school is diversifying its funding, including a growing portfolio of PTSD research in concert with U.S. Department of Defense funding.
“We are able to recruit these talented faculty because of the mentorship and research environment available to them at UT Health,” Dr. Potter said, citing the economy and opportunities available in the UT System and at UT Health San Antonio.
Dr. Potter, who joined UT Health in 2008, is passionate about recruiting top researchers: “We want to make the Long School of Medicine a place where scientists come to change the world.”