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President gives annual State of the University Address

Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 · Volume: XXXVIII · Issue: 48

Contact: Tina Luther
Phone: (210) 567-3077
E-mail: luthert@uthscsa.edu

President Cigarroa gave the State of the University address Dec. 5.
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President Cigarroa gave the State of the University address Dec. 5.clear graphic

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Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president of the Health Science Center, discussed the many accomplishments of the institution during 2005 and offered his perspectives on the future at the annual State of the University Address Monday, Dec. 5.

The Health Science Center has a $499 million budget, of which 29 percent comes from state appropriations. In 2005, the Health Science Center spent $131 million on research, up from $90 million in 2000. Current grants, contracts and awards total nearly $180 million.

The Medical School recorded a 21 percent increase in medical faculty. The School of Nursing ranks second in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among Texas nursing schools, and has the largest enrollment in The University of Texas System. The Dental School is ranked 10th in NIH funding among more than 50 dental schools, and was ranked fourth worldwide in dental science publications, according to an international report by the Center for Science and Technology Studies in Bern, Switzerland. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences expects to open a state-of-the-art Level 3 containment facility in spring 2006, and its cellular and structural biology department is ranked 10th in NIH funding. The Graduate School has received 66 applications for the M.D.-Ph.D. program in the program’s second year. The School of Allied Health Sciences received outstanding accreditation site visits and its physician assistant studies program has the highest applicant-to-position ratio in the United States.

Philanthropic and private-sector support totaled $33 million, up from $13.8 million in 1996, and $792,000 in scholarship was raised – a record. The $2 million Janey Briscoe Distinguished University Chair was established with Steven Bailey, M.D., cardiology, as the first holder. A $1 million gift from H-E-B is establishing a chair for Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) Director Sharon Murphy, M.D.

The Health Science Center is part of a new Borderplex Council of universities in San Antonio, Houston, Laredo, Edinburg, Harlingen and Brownsville. The Health Science Center will construct its second Laredo campus building starting in 2006. A second building has been approved for the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen. The Edinburg research campus of the Regional Academic Health Center is expected to open in 2006.

The Health Science Center, University Health System and SA Metro Health now share a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health designation. The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies opened in May 2005.

The CCRI established a small animal imaging facility and mouse models of cancer. The CCRI now has eight principal investigators and an external advisory board.

The Research Imaging Center obtained its second cyclotron for studies involving radioisotopes and received a $1.6 million gift from San Antonio philanthropist Ruth McLean Bowers.

The Health Science Center and The University of Texas at San Antonio have invested $2 million to enhance bioinformatics and computational biology at the institutions. Technology transfer has brought $26.4 million to the Health Science Center since 1994.

During the past (fiscal) year, the Health Science Center spent more than $83 million on research in seven key areas of particular importance to South Texas:
• $15 million on research of aging;
• $14 million on studies of cancer;
• $12 million on cardiovascular research;
• $10 million on mental health;
• $8.3 million on child health and human development;
• $7 million on the problem of substance abuse;
• and perhaps most significantly, the Health Science Center spent $15.5 million on diabetes, one of the most significant problems in South Texas.

Goals include developing a five-year strategic plan and strengthening the academic clinical partnership with teaching hospital University Hospital. Another goal is to strengthen oncology in San Antonio.
To view the State of the University Address, click on the link:

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