Fall 2004 Table of Contents
Research in Focus
A Stunning Rise in Federal Funding
Government Awards More Than Quadruple in Four Years

From September 1, 2000, to August 31, 2004, federal research dollars awarded to NYUCD rose from $2.1 million to $8.6 million per year, and continue to climb. This stunning rise in federal funding coincides with the arrival at NYUCD of Dr. Louis Terracio, Associate Dean for Research, who has dramatically revamped NYUCD’s research philosophy and operations. A former Associate Dean for Basic Sciences and Carolina Distinguished Professor of Developmental Biology and Anatomy at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Dr. Terracio has made research a priority at NYUCD and has sharpened its focus. He has advanced the research enterprise by encouraging NYUCD faculty to work on multidisciplinary teams with other institutions’ researchers and by recruiting new faculty with proven NIH funding abilities to work at NYUCD and to mentor their fellow faculty here.

As the chart at right illustrates, in the past year alone, the vast majority of NYUCD’s federal funding has come from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), whose peer-reviewed studies are considered the gold standard. Moreover, all seven new federal grants were awarded to multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research teams – clear proof that Dr. Terracio’s philosophy is delivering the desired results.

“In the old days, it was hard to involve another college in a research endeavor, but today, with email and the Internet, researchers are expected to make use of the best resources available, regardless of whether they are down the street or in another city,” Dr. Terracio said. “Moreover, our researchers often need to work with colleagues at medical schools in order to fully explore the link between oral and systemic health.” (See Dental-Obstetrical Team Searches for Clues to Premature Birth.)

To encourage teamwork and mentoring within NYUCD, Dr. Terracio instituted a weekly meeting for faculty to provide feedback on their peers’ grant proposals. “Nothing is more helpful than having a researcher with a good track record of NIH funding to critique your proposal before you send it to Washington,” Dr. Terracio said.

When he started rebuilding NYUCD’s research infrastructure in 2000, Dr. Terracio said that he expected federal research funding to double over the next five years. It’s been a little less than four years, and research funding has more than quadrupled. “The arrival of several world-renowned researchers helped boost our research engine beyond expectations, not just because of their own outstanding ability to win funding, but also because they encouraged others to get involved in research and devoted time to mentoring junior faculty,” Dr. Terracio said, pointing to the contributions of Dr. Page Caufield, Dr. Ralph Katz, Dr. Kathleen Kinnally, Dr. Dianne Rekow, Dr. Peter Sacks, Dr. Jonathan Ship, and Dr. Van Thompson. “Our longer-serving faculty – particularly Dr. John Evans, Dr. Joseph Guttenplan, and Dr. Racquel LeGeros – also continue to be very successful in winning funding.”

“As we look to the future, I expect that we can at least double our funding in the next five years by continuing to recruit researchers specializing in our most potent growth fields – cancer, biomaterials and biomimetics, tissue engineering, and infectious diseases. We will also launch a strategic planning process in the next few years to identify new research fields with growth potential.”

New Federally Funded Grants Awarded to NYUCD, 2003-04
NYUCD Principal Investigator Grant Name Sponsor Award Amount* Collaborating Institutions
Ananda Dasanayake Periodontal Disease and Prematurity NIH/NIDCR $955,000 NYU School of Medicine
Forsyth Institute
Yale University
University of Maryland
John Evans Acquisition of a High-Resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer U.S. Department of Defense/Army Research Office $535,000 University of California
University of Washington
Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)
Japan Foundation for Cancer Research
Neijo University (Japan)
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Joseph Guttenplan Estrogen-Induced Depurination of DNA U.S. Department of Defense $670,600 Fox-Chase Cancer Center Mayo Clinic
University of Virginia
University of Memphis
Ralph Katz NIDCR National Research Service Award Institutional Training Grant NIH/NIDCR $3,306,000 Columbia University
Yale University
Johns Hopkins University
Yihong Li Molecular Epidemiological Approach to Determine S. mutans Infection NIH/NIDCR $147,500 NYU School of Medicine
Forsyth Institute
University of Maryland
Walter Psoter Oral Health Outcomes of Early Childhood Malnutrition NIH/NIDCR $1,675,500 University of California
University of Maryland
University of Haiti
Haitian Health Foundation
Yale University
University of Connecticut
Louis Terracio Tissue Engineering of Skeletal Muscle NIH/NIDCR $1,298,000 Columbia University
Virginia Commonwealth University
University of South Carolina

*Total award amount represents funding for entire length of multiyear grants.