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According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, UNT Health Science Center and UNT invested a combined $75.9 million in research in 2017. UNTHSC has nearly doubled its investment in research since 2006 to $44.4 million and UNT was classified as a Tier One Research University by
Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education™ for the first time ever in 2016.

The mission the UNTHSC Division of Research and Innovation is to assist all components of the Health Science Center in identifying research opportunities, securing support, overseeing research and assuring research funding policies and research compliance.  This Division’s areas include: Research Compliance, Laboratory Animal Medicine, Sponsored Programs (formerly Grants and Contracts), Protection of Human Subjects, Technology Transfer and Commercialization, oversight for Institutional Animal Care and Use and Strategic and Translational Research Initiatives.  A separate unit, the Office of Clinical Trials, which manages all industry-sponsored patient-oriented clinical trials, is managed through UNT Health.

Overall, the Division of Research and Innovation supports and serves all UNTHSC faculty, staff and students.

UNTHSC’s research annual report Synergy summarizes notable annual activities of UNTHSC researchers.  Recent UNTHSC research accomplishments of note include:

  • UNTHSC's internationally-known researchers are taking the lead in exploring new approaches to the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's, vision-destroying eye diseases, applied genetics, cancer and heart disease.
  • UNTHSC serves as home to several National Institutes of Health-funded research programs and currently leads all Texas health science centers in research growth.
  • A blood test under investigation by UNTHSC researchers could one day make it possible to identify early Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Across campus, the North Texas Eye Research Institute is focused on discovering the cause of vision-robbing diseases and collaborates with local school districts to promote healthy eye care awareness.
  • In the quest to reduce side effects from chemotherapy, UNTHSC researchers are using the science of nanoparticle technology to uncover promising ways to deliver chemotherapy directly to a tumor.
  • UNTHSC's forensics program is one of the most advanced in the country, training students to identify missing persons and human remains using DNA technology.
  • UNTHSC is helping pharmaceutical start-ups reach the marketplace at lightning speed. This accelerator lab has launched such biotech superstars as ZS Pharma, which was recently acquired by AstraZeneca for $2.7 billion.

Now ranked among the nation's 131 top-tier research universities, UNT is has emerged as a regional leader in research designed to create solutions and further contribute to economic growth in North Texas. UNT's achievement  of being named a Tier One research institute is commonly considered the most significant step in the evolution of a research university and marks a key milestone in UNT's commitment toward national prominence. UNT officials have noted that the latest Carnegie Classification rankings give strong consideration to UNT's impact as a broad-based research institution that awards a large number of doctoral degrees each year. UNT consistently leads the region and ranks among the state's top universities for the number of doctoral degrees it awards annually.

UNT is transforming its research infrastructure by creating world-class facilities, renovating existing space, investing in the latest tools, and hiring top-level faculty from around the world to enhance its base of expertise, as well as business and industry partnerships.

Latest investments at UNT include:

A new, high performance supercomputer to support computational research projects
A nanofabrication facility and clean room for advanced materials synthesis and analysis
A LEED certified Life Sciences Complex — a “living lab” featuring cutting edge labs and greenhouses for biochemistry, developmental physiology and genetics, molecular biology and plant science
A design research center furthering projects at the nexus of art and design, communication and business.

Tom McCoy, UNT's vice president for research and economic development, said being ranked in Carnegie's top tier is a result of UNT's comprehensive focus on its level of research activity and helping doctoral students succeed.

"UNT's official Carnegie Classification as a Doctoral University: Highest Research Activity (R1) matters for many reasons," McCoy said. "Tier One universities attract top students and faculty, drive innovation and technology through high-level research and scholarship, and contribute significantly to the region and state through intellectual capital and economic development."