Health Science Center researchers attract record $189 million


San Antonio (March 16, 2004) – The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio pulled in by far the largest amount of research funding of any South Texas university or institution in fiscal 2003, garnering a record $189 million in competitive awards for research and related activities. That’s a healthy increase of 20 percent over fiscal 2002.

The banner research year included a $37 million grant to study small subcortical strokes, the most common strokes in South Texas. The five-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the largest single research grant in the Health Science Center’s history.

Grants, contracts and awards, both federal and non-federal, soared above the fiscal 2002 total of $157 million. The stroke study alone will bring more grant funding to South Texas than the current annual sponsored research of any other university in San Antonio or the region.

“For every research dollar that comes to South Texas, five dollars are generated for the economy in the form of new jobs, products and services,” Health Science Center President Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said. “Using this multiplier, the Health Science Center’s research enterprise has nearly a billion-dollar impact on the South Texas economy.”

Since fiscal 1999, the amount of NIH grants and contracts to the Health Science Center has risen from $45.9 million to $82.7 million, an outstanding increase of 80 percent.

The largest Health Science Center competitive awards in recent months are to Oscar Benavente, M.D., department of medicine, $37 million to study stroke; Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., medicine, $7.4 million to study diabetes; Tom Patterson, M.D., medicine, $7.1 million to study a life-threatening infection called invasive aspergillosis; H. Ralph Rawls, D.D.S., restorative dentistry, $5.9 million to develop advanced dental restorative systems; Hanna Abboud, M.D., medicine, $4.3 million to study mechanisms of kidney injury; and Kenneth Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D., endodontics, $3.6 million to study mechanisms of opioid analgesia (pain relief).

Since 1972, the Health Science Center has expended nearly $6 billion with an estimated impact on the South Texas economy of nearly $30 billion.

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