The University of Texas at Austin's Dell Pediatric Research Institute (DPRI), a new medical research facility that promises to advance understanding of childhood diseases and disorders, opened today (April 23) on the former site of the Robert Mueller Airport.
"The DPRI will help take pediatric care in Central Texas to a new level," said Steven Leslie, provost of the university. "Our faculty and students will be collaborating with practitioners at the Dell Children's Medical Center to enable advances in critical areas such as childhood obesity and cancer."
DPRI is next door to the Dell Children's Medical Center on the former airport site.
The 150,000-square-foot building will house faculty, graduate students, research scientists, staff and administrators from diverse fields. The institute's emphasis will be on translating scientific research into products, programs and treatments to improve children's health.
Faculty from the colleges of Natural Sciences and Pharmacy will conduct research in areas that will include cancer, genetics, nutritional science, drug development and neuroscience. The research will enable advances in childhood obesity, cancer, birth defects, brain injury, epilepsy and autism.
Faculty and staff have begun moving in to DPRI. The roster at the institute includes:
- Henry Ciolino, assistant professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
- Zhengrong (Rong) Cui, associate professor, Division of Pharmaceutics
- Linda Degraffenreid, associate professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
- John DiGiovanni, professor, Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Department of Nutritional Sciences
- Stephen Hursting, chair, Department of Nutritional Sciences
- Chris Jolly, associate professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
- Nomelí Nuñez, assistant professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
- Carla Van Den Berg, associate professor, Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology
- Janet Walkow, director, Drug Dynamics Institute
DPRI is being created as a result of a $38 million challenge grant from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. The foundation's commitment inspired gifts from other private donors, including the RGK Foundation, the Bank of America Foundation, and the Topfer family and a significant investment from the University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Austin. Funding partners are still needed to invest in the institute's programs, laboratories and research initiatives.
More information is available online at dpri.utexas.edu.