Dell Pediatric Research Institute Opens at Mueller, Brings New Focus To Children’s Health Research at The University of Texas at Austin

April 23, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — Dell Pediatric Research InstituteThe 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 & 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.

For more information, contact: Lee Clippard, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 512-232-0104; Nancy Neff, College of Pharmacy, 512-657-6602.

1 Comment to "Dell Pediatric Research Institute Opens at Mueller, Brings New Focus To Children’s Health Research at The University of Texas at Austin"

1.  Chris Bowlin said on Oct. 6, 2010

Hi. We are wondering if anyone is doing research on children who feel no pain? Their is a Jewish Research in N.Y.C. who is the top place to go to for this and was wondering if you had anything like that? We also hear the University of Florida is a good place to go. We moved to Bastrop from Austin. We need some help with our daughter who has no reaction to pain. The closest doctor is a UT doc in Houston, but horrible staff and scheduling is months out. Does the Dell/UT Children's have anyone who knows about children who do not react to pain? If her's is not genetic, I am wondering if it could be form her Asperger's. Any help or guidance would be wonderful.

Chris