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Delving deeper into research, membership

AADR

AADR's Dallas section kickoff reveals group’s goals, dean’s take on TAMHSC-BCD’s research program

Nearly three weeks before the Dallas Section of the American Association of Dental Research held its first meeting of the academic year, Dr. Loulou Moore already had significant feedback from alumni and faculty interested in joining or donating to the organization.

The interest preceded another positive event: The Nov. 2 meeting was attended by approximately 75 students, faculty and staff, which is more than triple the AADR Dallas Section’s typical turnout. Since then, several faculty members have become members for the first time or have renewed their memberships after extended absences.

“It is so exciting to see the enthusiastic responses from our faculty and students,” says Moore, associate professor in restorative sciences and the Dallas Section president.

Increasing awareness of AADR

“My goal was to find out what we could do to make it better,” Moore says of her previous term as the section vice president. During that time, she discovered few people at the college were aware of the research association’s local section, something the group’s officers are focused on changing.

Accordingly, one of the organization’s goals for the year is to increase awareness of the Dallas Section. Other initiatives include supporting student researchers through awards and scholarships, and hosting research seminars to explore the latest advances in basic, translational and clinical research.

Taking an innovative approach to research funding

As keynote speaker of the meeting, Dr. Lawrence E. Wolinsky, dean, offered his perspective of Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry’s research program.

Wolinsky stressed that as federal research funding sources decrease and grants become increasingly competitive, the faculty will need to ‘do a little digging’ when looking for research funding. Applying to smaller foundations for grants as opposed to umbrella organizations like the National Institutes of Health may become a more and more common way to address this challenge.

“We have to be a lot more innovative and entrepreneurial in where we seek research funding,” he said. Wolinsky encouraged faculty to continue applying for grants and to brainstorm with him on ways to develop potential funding ideas, even if that means matching funds may be needed from the dental school.