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School of Nursing Celebrates 'When Pigs Fly'
"If pigs could fly, the school of nursing would have wet labs. If pigs could fly, we would be a top ranked research-intensive school," Sandra K. Hanneman, Ph.D., used to say.
At a Sept. 28 celebration of completing the research infrastructure for The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston, Dean Patricia Starck, D.S.N., proved to Associate Dean for Research Hanneman that pigs can fly. Starck presented her with a framed picture showing just that.
Emphasizing her pride in faculty now conducting research in the school, Starck said, "A few years ago when we did our strategic planning, we decided that we wanted to make a quantum leap in research. We've been doing things to get the facilities ready, to get the people in place, and we are now poised to make that leap."
In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the UT School of Nursing at Houston improved its ranking from 46th out of 96 schools that received NIH funding in FY04 to 31st out of 102 schools of nursing that received NIH funding in FY05. The only Texas nursing school among the top 10 with NIH funding was UT Austin's school of nursing.
"This is an important benchmark because it affects our reputation and our access to grant funds," said Hanneman, who is the Jerold B. Katz Distinguished Professor for Nursing Research and director of the Center for Nursing Research at the school.
The Center for Nursing Research includes clinical laboratories, a wet lab, a controlled environment laboratory, and a biomedical engineering laboratory. A preclinical critical care laboratory is under construction.
Besides the positive benefits of the research itself, Hanneman said, "We also think that having this physical infrastructure will help us provide an even better quality of education to our students and will make us better partners with our colleagues across the health science center and across the local clinical agencies in the community."
As the attention at the School of Nursing turns from building facilities to building programs, the transition parallels that in other parts of the UT Health Science Center at Houston.
"In the last few years, I think we've really embarked on a new era in terms of our focus on research and our support for research," said Peter Davies, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for research.
Referring to completion of the School of Nursing and Student Community Center and of the Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building, Davies said, "I think the presence of these buildings, and the equipping of them, sets the stage. The buildings are remarkable, but what's really exciting are the people who are going into these facilities, into these laboratories, and the research programs that we're going to be able to launch and develop."
By Ina Fried, Institutional Advancement
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