As one of the 16 colleges within Texas A&M University we have available to us the resources of the University. One of these resources is the Texas A&M Division of Research and its Office of the Vice President of Research. This division delivers strategic support to further the university's research mission.
An important part of the Vice President's office is its Research Development Services (URL) which helps investigators with their grant writing through a seriess of workships and one on one interactions. In addition, on their webpage are links to recent talks on how to write a fundalbe grant and what happens during Study Section Review.
At least once a year Research Development Services send a team to the College of Dentistry to help our investigators with their grant writing. Our office arranges one-on-one meetings with these grant writing experts and our faculty. They also present a seminar on timely topics. One was writing Specific Aims.
Another important University resource is the Texas A&M Institute for Genomic Medicine (URL) facilities breakthroughs in science and medicine by providing resouerces, training and services to the scientific community at Texas A&M.
College -Histology Core Facility
The Histology Core Facility provides oversight and technical support for a Histology Core Laboratory, a Confocal and Microscopy Image Analysis, a Scanning Electron Microscope, and Micro-Computed Tomography (μCT) Core.
This facility is staffed by two experienced, full-time technicians, one oversees the Histology and Confocal Cores housed in the main Texas A&M College of Dentistry building and the other is responsible for the μCT and SEM Cores, housed in the Sciences Building. Each component of the core facility is equipped as follows:
The Histology Core Laboratory is a 400 square foot facility equipped with regular laboratory hardware, including:
- Leitz 1512 microtome
- VIP Tissue Tek processing station
- PELCO Biowave Microwave (2)
- Tissue Tek TEC Paraffin embedding station
- Slide warmer (3)
- Water bath (2)
- Light microscopes
- Knife sharpener (2)
- Dual headed microscope (2)
- Slide dryers (2)
- Paraffin oven
- Vibratomes (2)
- Tricontinent Multiwash 3 plate washer
- Equipment for bone histomorphology includes:
- Buehler Isomet low speed saws (4)
- Buehler grinding and polishing devices
- Techcut low speed saws
The Microscopy-Image Analysis Laboratory, is supervised by senior research faculty in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. The core contains:
- Confocal Microscope System set up for live cell imaging: Leica SP5 (2010 model) confocal system with four lasers and five detectors used with an upright microscope: Laser lines 405, 458, 488, 514, 543, 561, 633.
- Nikon epifluorescent microscope equipped for digital monochrome and color image analysis, an X-Y-Z encoded motorized stage, Pentium computer and Elements software, as well as a second Nikon microscope with a Sony DXC-390 camera and Bioquant NOVA software for bone histomorphometry.
- Zeiss Axioplan microscope with a color digital camera for digital capture.
- Leica DMRXE microscope with color digital camera for digital capture.
Other Histology Laboratory Imaging Equipment
The Scanning Electron Microscope area has a JEOL JSM-6010LA SEM and uses a field emission gun with cold cathode. The resolution is 1.5 nm in secondary electron imaging (SE) and 3.0 nm in backscattered electron imaging (BEI) at 30 kV. The airlock specimen chamber allows up to a 32 mm diameter sample, and the size can also be up to 150 mm without airlock. It has a motorized X-Y stage, automatic SEM condition setup based on sample type, simultaneous multiple live image and movie capture, easy sample navigation at 5x - 300,000x magnifications, quantitative and qualitative elements analysis, low and high vacuum operation and wireless capacity.
The Laser Capture Microdissection Microscope area contains a Leica CTR 6500 UV-laser based microdissection system purchased in 2013 which combines automated upright microscope architecture, three-dimensional optical control of the dissecting laser bean and the dissected area, non-contact tissue sampling and motorized post-dissection handling.
The Slice Scanning Olympus VS 120-S5 area contains an compound light microscope with an epi-florescence capability that allows standard slides (five 1x3, or two 2x3) to be manually loaded and scanned. All system components are designed to interact seamlessly, producing a fully-automated, high-speed scanning system with excellent flexibility and simple operation. The microscope is equipped with Fluorescence components and can produce fully-automated, high-speed, multi-channel fluorescence virtual slide system with flexibility and simple operation.
The Micro-Computed Tomography area contains a ScanCo MicroCT 35 Scanner with two terminals. It has a Windows-based microcomputer for image analysis; the associated Windows-based software includes Mimics, Geomagic Studio, Strand 7 Finite Element software, Analyze, and Imaris; and a Windows-based microcomputer set-up to use with Bioquant Osteo.
General Shared Core Equipment
Research Equipment Policy of the College
All research equipment at the College is considered shared and, with proper training, may be used by any researcher.
The Core Equipment rooms are supervised by the faculty and are located in a central hallway on the fourth floor of the College of Dentistry within the Department of Biomedical Sciences. These rooms are equipped with the following:
- Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer
- BioRad CFX96 real-time PCR instruments (2)
- Nucleovisino image station
- Beckman L-60 ultracentrifuge
- Beckman J2-21 centrifuges (2)
- Beckman GS-6R tabletop centrifuge
- Eppendorph refrigerated microcentrifuge
- Universal 320 centrifuge
- Thermo Scientific Savant 3PD1010 Speed-Vac concentrator
- Millrock lyophilizer
- New Brunswick shaking incubator
- Packard Cobra auto-gamma counter
- Packard 1900 TR liquid scintillation counter
- Perkin Elmer 1450 Luminescence Counter
- VWR UV 6300 PC Double Beam Spectro Photometer
- LI - COR Odssey Infrared Imaging Sysytem
- Molecular Devices 96 well plate reader
- Cell culture facilities with a tissue dissection hood, laminar flow biosafety hood, and associated CO2 incubators and microscopes
- 4ºC coldroom
- Microm HM 500 M cryostat
- Complete darkroom with sinks and automated film developer
- -80ºC freezers
- Glassware dishwasher
- UV Crosslinker
- Tissue homogenizers and sonicator
Bioengineering-Sciences Building Facilities occupy approximately 2000 square feet of laboratory space. This includes laboratories containing equipment for:
- Shimadzu DSC-50 Differential Scanning Calorimeter; Thermal Analysis
- ATR-FTIR. The Nicolet iS10 ATR-FTIR system offers an unprecedented level of integration between the spectrometer, software, and the accessory with standard features like SPV, QCheck, and Advanced ATR correction.
- Nanodrop 2000. The NanoDrop 2000 is a microvolume spectrophotometer for measuring DNA, RNA, and protein. Using the patented sample retention system the NanoDrop 2000 accurately measures samples as small as 0.5 μL, and reports samples concentration, purity ratios, and full spectral data.
- Labconco Freezone 2.5 L Freeze Dry System
- MTS load cycle tester for dental material mechanical characterization
- Instron Models 1125 (20,000 lbs. maximum) universal test machine; Struers FM-7 digital microhardness tester (load range 50-1000 g).
- 2 Buehler Isomet low-speed saws; Vector-Beta, Simplimet3, Ecomet3, and Vibromet2 polishing stations; JEOL smart coater gold, carbon, and nickel coating systems
- Shimadzu TGA-50 Thermogravimetric Analyzer; Shimadzu TMA-50H Thermomechanical Analyzer
- 3D printer: Robocast Assisted Deposition System EBD-2011-05 system is equipped with a multi-dimension stage controller for the generation of scaffolds for tissue engineering. The system consists of an extrusion based delivery system that has a syringe pump controlling on the inlet and robotic assisted extrusion of scaffold parts on the outlet.
- Vacuum and atmospheric pressure furnaces for applications in sintering or debinding of materials
- THINKYTM Centrifugal mixer for de-aeration and mixing of liquid slurries used for 3D printing applications
- Fluorometer: The QuantiFluorTM-P fluorometer is a lightweight, handheld instrument configured for many of the fluorescent probes commonly used in nucleic acid and protein quantitation.
- Electrospinning system: This electrospinning system with the Spraydrum rotating drum collector (CAT000003) has a unique linear motion emitter, which could fabricate the electrospun membrane with uniform thickness and controlled orientation
- In addition, the new bioengineerng faculty will be acquiring in the next year additional specialized equipment; for example: jetlab®4 xl-B Print Station with Ultra Micro-Balance.
Centers at the College of Dentistry
The Center for Craniofacial Research and Diagnosis (CCRD) is a distinct multidisciplinary center of research excellence that resides within the College of Dentistry. The mission of the CCRD is to increase our understanding of normal and pathological craniofacial biology leading to better patient treatment of the craniofacial region. Organizationally, the CCRD represents a consortium of both internal and external related, but independent research programs that share a common interest in basic craniofacial biology with the translational goal of new treatments of the craniofacial region. The CCRD is organized specifically to facilitate integration between basic and clinical sciences that cuts across all departments and research /clinical programs within Texas A&M College of Dentistry. An important aspect of the CCRD is synergistic interactions with other Texas A&M Health Science Center Colleges, Texas A&M Colleges, and local institutions studying the basic and clinical biology of the craniofacial region leading to improved patient treatment. The CCRD also supports advanced postgraduate training in the area of craniofacial biology. The primary goal of the CCRD is to provide a forum to increase funded research and related programmatic activities leading to greater understanding of the etiology, natural history, diagnosis, and treatment of developmental abnormalities and functional disorders in the craniofacial region. Such knowledge will lead to new and improved treatments of developmental, disease, and functional disorders of the craniofacial region.
The specific goals of the CCRD are to provide the environment, resources, and a multidisciplinary-based organization that will facilitate:
- expansion of interdisciplinary approaches to research related to basic and clinical sciences
- hiring of funded clinical translational researchers and increasing the funding of current researchers
- improving techniques for diagnosis of craniofacial disorders associated with growth, function, and aging
- enhancing treatment of diseases and disorders of the craniofacial complex
- training of the next generation of physicians and scientists fully engaged in translational research
The College of Dentistry clinic, which contain 308 chairs, provide the College's primary source for instruction in clinical dentistry. In addition to large clinics devoted to general restorative dentistry and undergraduate dental student instruction, there are graduate clinics in Advanced Education in General Dentistry, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, as well as graduate programs in Dental Public Health and Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. The College has over 120,000 patients visits in its main clinic and community clinics, and many of the patients are voluntarily involved in a wide variety of research projects. These projects include dental implants, orthodontic studies, epidemiologic studies of oral health disparities and health care delivery, and studies on alternate approaches to prevention of early childhood caries. The College is a member of the Consortium for Oral Health Related Research, which promotes research interactions among the nation's dental schools. The College is also involved in the national Practice Based Dental Research Network, which promotes the interactions of researchers and dental practitioners.
Advanced Technology Clinic
The clinic is housed in separate rooms in the third-floor clinic. It contains ITERO and D4D 3D imaging equipment for milling inlay and onlay prosthetics from intraoral images.
Center for Maxillofacial Prosthodontics Clinic
The clinic is the only such center in North Texas, providing interdisciplinary treatment for patients with both oral and facial disfigurements. A certified clinical Anaplastologist concentrates on advanced prosthetics solutions and digital technologies in the treatment of patients with acquired or inherited facial defects. This clinic specializes in restoring normal appearance and function to patients with acquired or congenital defects of the dental, oral and facial structures, as a result of disease, trauma, cancer treatment, or birth defects. This can be accomplished by placement of implant-supported devices (artificial noses, ears, eyes, teeth) or other like procedures. The clinic provides access to a unique population of patients for clinical research and an important retrospective patient database.
Functional Analysis Facility
This multi-disciplinary center of excellence whose mission is to address the causes, consequences, and treatment of craniofacial deformities through basic and clinical research. the facility maintains a fully equipped clinical facility dedicated to clinical research. This facility consists of a small waiting room, a reception area, a sterilization area, and three fully-functional dental operatories. The clinic is made available to other investigators conducting clinical craniofacial research. Next to the clinic are two laboratories to support and extend the research conducted in the clinical facility. These laboratories include a 300 square foot computer/imaging laboratory and a 500 square foot laboratory dedicated to the collection of data relating to functional parameters of human oral and craniofacial activity. Functional lab equipment includes:
- OptotrakOp® 3020 Position Sensor (Northern Digital) for measuring movements
- Bite force transducer with amplifier and oscilloscope
- Equipment for measuring electromyography - amplifiers, leads, etc.
- Equipment for measuring masticatory performance - templates for Cuttersil tablets, sieves, balance, oven, etc.
- 3D (Motionview®) laser scanner and software for scanning models
Oral and Maxillofacial Imaging Center
This clinic offers sophisticated diagnostic services to diagnose oral and maxillofacial pathoses, including but not limited to temporomandibular joint dysfunction, treatment planning for restoration via dental implants, orthodontics, craniofacial anomalies, impacted teeth, cysts and tumors, oral manifestations of systemic disease, trauma, and general pathoses. Imaging technology includes state-of-the-art computed and digital radiography, panoramic radiography, cone-beam computed tomography, and digital photography. The center also maintains a teleradiology consultation service for external offices that require interpretation of imaging studies.
Pediatric Craniofacial Clinics
The Pediatric Dentistry Department manages a 5-chair graduate clinic at Texas A&M University College of Dentistry. In addition to this clinic, the department has affiliations with other institutions that offer experiences outside the college. These include 5 community clinics and two hospital-based clinics. At the community clinics, graduate students treat predominantly high-risk children from low income or underserved families. The dental clinics at Children’s Medical Center (CMC) and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital serve patients with a variety of medially compromising and neurologic conditions. In addition, to the dental clinics, the graduate students and faculty serve on the multidisciplinary craniofacial team at CMC. Research by the faculty and graduate students is also conducted in these clinics.
The Stomatology clinic specializes in a team approach for the diagnosis and management of rare and often severe diseases and disorders of the oral tissues. Common diseases or conditions treated in the Center include mucocutaneous disorders, oral hypersensitivity reactions, candidiasis, AIDS-related diseases and disorders, dry mouth and burning mouth syndrome as well as oral conditions resulting from chemotherapy, radiation therapy or the abuse of illicit drugs or alcohol. Internationally recognized as a unique referral site for patients seeking medical help for rare oral conditions, doctors are able to utilize sophisticated diagnostics not ordinarily available in dental offices. The Stomatology Center enhances collaboration among medical and dental specialists in the care of patients with Sjögren's syndrome and offers a unified and organized way of referral to other specialties including ophthalmology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, pulmonary medicine, and dermatology.
An oral histopathology service for clinicians, and currently approximately 9,230 cases are processed annually. All specimens have been archived in paraffin blocks, a rich resource of tissue representing a variety of head and neck diseases, included neoplasms. These cases can be retrieved by a variety of parameters, including diagnosis, allowing retrospective analysis of a variety of diseases by immunohistochemistry, PCR, in-situ hybridization, gene rearrangement studies, etc. Cases are also studied by the College researchers.
Technology Development Office
The College of Dentistry has made it a priority to proactively advance technology development, translational research, and technology transfer and commercialization. Active participation by clinical and basic science faculty as well as student trainees is encouraged. The College of Dentistry's Technology Development Office (TDO) and the Director of Technology Development are dedicated to advanced technology transfer and commercialization opportunities and initiates, while maintaining the high standards inherent in the existing research program. The initiatives include approaches that preserve the responsible conduct of research by every investigator. The functions of the TDO are several-fold. The Director is actively involved in educating, motivating and providing incentives to the clinical and basic sciences faculty members and trainees. The Director facilitates the process of pursuing translational research and technology development, from the identification of promising technologies, funding initial research protecting intellectual property, and aiding in technology transfer and commercialization. A further role of the Director is to liaise with the College of Dentistry alumni and with the dental community at large, encouraging and fostering creativity and ideas regarding novel treatment modalities inherent in most dentists. To begin this process early in the career of future dentists, translational research and technology transfer principles and ideas are included in the undergraduate dental curriculum, and are continued in graduate specialties and continuing education courses. To create and expand the research and development scope of the dental school, the TDO actively interacts and cooperates with outside agencies and companies to develop sponsored research opportunities for translational research, clinical trials and products testing protocols. This enhanced relationship with industry in turn creates opportunities for technology transfer from the College of Dentistry to the agencies and companies. The TDO further serves to aid in grant writing and negotiations for researchers and trainees engaged as subcontractors on research proposals to conduct translational research, clinical trials, and product testing. With its active involvement in the Biomaterials Interest Group (BIG-DFW), and association with the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Texas Health Wildcatters, the TDO has access to local small businesses to help with prototyped/product development, manufacture, and testing using SBIR/STTR and related funding mechanisms. The TDO has had good success in obtaining SBIR/STTR funding and industry sponsorship.
The Baylor Health Sciences Library offers a full range of services and resources in support of the educational, research and clinical programs of the College.
The Library maintains a dental and medical collection of over 8,500 print volumes, over 14,000 electronic journal subscriptions, over 100,000 electronic books and over 100 databases, including Ovid MEDLINE; Dentistry and Oral Sciences Source; CINAHL; Anatomy TV-Dentistry; LexiComp Online for Dentistry; BoardVitals for NBDE I, NBDE II, and NBDHE question banks; Scopus; ClinicalKey; Cochrane Library; and others. The Library’s electronic resources are available for use anywhere on campus, with easy remote access provided via the Off Campus Access page. All dental school faculty and students have access to all library services, including book checkout, interlibrary loan, mediated database searching, and direct checkout privileges at libraries throughout Texas (including all libraries within the TAMUS) via the TexShare program. Further information regarding the Library’s collections and services may be found on the Library’s FAQs page.
The Library occupies 3,700 square feet. Study space for 127 people is available. The Library also houses an instructional computer laboratory (ICL) with 30 computers available for student use. The Library is open seven days per week (88 hours), from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday; 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The Library staff includes 5 professional librarians and 8 support staff. The Library offers a variety of classes throughout the year, as well as one-on-one and small group instruction sessions. The Library maintains a kiosk of tip sheets and electronic tutorials for those who prefer self-directed learning. Librarians regularly teach sections in a variety of dental college courses and are frequently enlisted by faculty to work with individuals or classes on research projects. The Library is committed to ensuring that all dental college students learn to effectively access information in a variety of formats; this is the core of the Library’s mission and goals.
Faculty, student, and staff at the College of Dentistry have access to the HSC Office of Information Technology resources including their on-site faculty at the College of Dentistry. The HSC infrastructure has the capacity to deliver quality information service to all faculty, staff, and students both on and off campus. The HSC maintains and operates an enterprise-class network throughout the state of Texas. High-speed links of 1 gigabyte per second are utilized to connect the various components of the HSC. These high-speed links allow each component to fully utilize system-wide services and email communication. Syncplicity provides a file-sharing solution for document collaboration and mobility. A robust wireless system using the latest standards provides instant Internet access throughout the campus. The HSC also operates an enterprise video conference network that utilizes high definition video-conference systems. these video-conference systems are also used across the state and to external universities for meetings, lectures, tele-health, and education courses. Several UNIX based servers are in use to provide DNS, DHCP and web services. The HSC utilizes an enterprise email and authentication system utilizing Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory. The HSC also uses several virtual server clusters using VMWare vSphere to allow for rapid server provisioning, enhanced redundancy, and business continuity; and reductions to power and cooling needs.
The College of Dentistry Instructional Computer Lab (ICL), adjacent to the Health Sciences Library (which is run jointly by the College of Dentistry and HCS), has 30 workstations. Each is equipped with a PC running the newest version of Windows and a large LED monitor. Microsoft Office is loaded on all the computers as well as other software. The ICL contains a high speed printer an scanner designed to run without interruption. Outside the ICL in the library there are 14 computers, two printers, and a scanner station on the HSC network available to faculty, staff, and students. Computers are replaced as they become five years old. The clinics utilize a virtual desktop infrastructure with zero clients at each operatory where the students can access their patients' electronic health records via the axiUm clinic management system and Mipacs digital imaging software. Computers for students' use are placed strategically throughout the college to facilitate easy access to update patient information, treatment plans, and appointments.