Research Advisory Committee
Minutes of the Meeting of March 10, 2005, 12 p.m.-1 p.m.
Members In Attendance:
Dr. Ulrich Bickel
Dr. C.A. Bond
Dr. Jayarama Gunaje
Dr. Majid Moridani
Dr. Trey Putnam (Healthnet)
Dr. Thomas Thekkumkara (Associate Dean, Research)
Dr. Jim Tsikouris (Chair, Healthnet)
Melissa Lockman (Research Office)
Dr. Tsikouris called the meeting to order.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes were approved as submitted.
Office of Research Announcements
1. Dr. Thekkumkara reminded everyone that the Marsh lecturer will be here March 15-17.
2. The next Office newsletter will be coming out the first week of April. Dr. Thekkumkara
encouraged Committee members to give items for the newsletter to Melissa.
Consider Speakers for Research Days
Dr. Thekkumkara indicated that both he and Marty have been working to track down reps at the
drug companies. He asked if the Committee members had any other ideas to pursue, if contact
with those Astra Zeneca reps did not result in a speaker.
Dr. Putnam offered two possibilities from UT Southwestern: Dr. George McCracken (pediatrics,
infectious diseases) and Milton Packer (cardiologist, biostatistician). The Committee members
suggested approaching Dr. Packer as a possible speaker. Dr. Bond pointed out that with NIH’s
shift in funding more translational (and not just basic science) work, somebody with Dr. Packer’s
focus would be ideal. He might also come with corporate sponsorships, since he routinely
Consider Funding Sources for Research Days
Melissa reported that Joel Epps had not thought it likely that pharmaceutical companies would be
providing support to Research Days. He said that the companies are tightening their budgets,
giving less, and that it’s becoming harder and harder to get outside funding for events. He did say
that he’d keep thinking about it and let Melissa know if he came up with any other ideas.
Dr. Tsikouris spoke to Kyle Gray (Fisher representative), but it did not seem promising, since
Fisher already provides so much support to the SOM’s research days event. The medical science
liaison with Astra Zeneca (Dr. Danesh) seemed a better possibility. Dr. Thekkumkara would
likely be receiving a call from that liaison in the next few days.
Dr. Putnam indicated he had approached a couple of mass spec companies (Waters Corporation
and Applied Biosystems). He had only reached the salespeople with whom he’s worked, who
seemed excited but needed to forward his request to the appropriate people within their
companies. He had not yet heard back from anyone.
Dr. Bond suggested asking the Dean about approaching community resources (banks, Chamber
businesses, etc.) Dr. Thekkumkara explained that these types of requests must go through Kathy
Dodson’s office but said he would talk to Kathy and the Dean to evaluate this possibility.
Dr. Moridani summarized the results of the equipment survey, in which 22 faculty had responded
(13 from Pharmaceutical Sciences and 9 from Pharmacy Practice).
The recently-submitted NIH C06 grant included an equipment budget. Whether or not the School
is awarded that grant will greatly affect the level of available funding for equipment purchases.
We will hear sometime in May whether or not this grant will be funded.
Because the available funding is still so unclear, the Committee decided to hold on to the surveys
until that funding level becomes clearer. Then, the responses could be used as part of the
discussion to rank and prioritize equipment requests. At that time, the Committee will evaluate
the numerous factors involved in ranking equipment: what funds to use to purchase the
equipment and who will own it, whether or not faculty will be willing to invest some of their own
funds to purchase certain pieces of equipment, how high-dollar maintenance contracts will be
covered, whether it’s better to purchase add-ons for already-owned equipment or better to
purchase novel pieces of equipment, whether or not desired instruments overlap with each other
and if alternatives could be found that would meet more needs, whether or not resources at other
collaborating institutions could be borrowed for infrequently-used pieces of equipment, whether
or not the high-end pieces of equipment are necessary, etc. Ideally, the Committee will be able to
generate a list of desired equipment, from high priority purchases down to less essential items.
Dr. Tsikouris announced that this would be his last meeting. He expressed his thanks and
appreciation of his fellow Committee members. The Committee and School will miss him.
Dr. Moridani pointed out that we’d promised to share the results of the equipment survey with the
faculty. After taking out individual faculty names, Melissa will email these results to all faculty
No further business was raised, and the meeting was adjourned.