Global Health Nexus, Spring 1999

Clinical Research Center to Rise at NYU Dentistry

As the first step in renovating and reconfiguring the College's physical facilities for the new millennium, NYU Dentistry will create a state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center (CRC) for extensive clinical research, data management, and resource development through grants and sponsored research collaborations. This center will leverage the largest single site-based pool of dental patients in the country, and the studies conducted therein will enrich the dental education environment, provide a service to patients and industry, and foster national visibility and clinical research competitiveness for the College.

Speaking to a group of faculty members at the College recently, Dean Alfano said, "When you think of New York University College of Dentistry, one of the first things that comes to mind is the extraordinary diversity of our patient population. But we have not had the proper facility that would allow us to tap the tremendous power of this resource for clinical research. That is about to change. Moreover, we will have in place the software systems which allow us to track our patients and the experienced clinical researchers necessary to mentor our faculty."

Dean Alfano explained further, "We need research nurses who understand how to implement an FDA protocol. We need anterooms where patients can be observed for a period of time without necessarily being in a dental operatory, so that we can do the kinds of studies that the pharmaceutical industry must conduct -- for example, analgesic studies using third molar extraction models. There are immense benefits involved in conducting such studies, and now we will be able to do them properly. The initial focus of the CRC will be on codifying patients into broad classes (for example, xerostomia, aphthous ulcers, denture wearers, etc.). This type of classification will allow the College to tap into pharmaceutical and dental products industries very quickly and to take a giant step forward in our ability to expand the research environment at NYU."

Construction on the new facility is scheduled to begin this summer. Future capital projects include renovating all the existing third-year clinics on five floors of the K. B. Weissman Clinical Science Building and all the clinics in the Arnold and Marie Schwartz Hall of Dental Sciences.