Sep 19, 2019  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Health Institutes of Texas Overview


The UNT Health Science Center (UNTHSC) established Centers and Health Institutes to speed research discoveries from the bench to the bedside, and create a healthier and more productive Texas. The Health Institutes leverage our growing expertise in public health, interdisciplinary scientific research, medical education and health care delivery. The goal of the Health Institutes is to improve the health of Texans and beyond by reducing disparities, developing new treatments and therapies, and improving access to care in rural and underserved communities in Texas.

Institute for Healthy Aging

Age influences the frequency and progression of nearly all diseases and profoundly impacts our resistance to injury and ability to recover. The Institute for Healthy Aging integrates state-of-the-art clinical care, cutting-edge research, innovative education and training, and community engagement, to create solutions for a new era of enduring quality of life.


North Texas Eye Research Institute 

Since 1992, our researchers and clinicians in the field of visual science and ophthalmology have been driven to increase awareness about disease development and the need for novel therapies, especially among ethnic and minority populations who have or will develop debilitating vision disorders and related health disparities.

Our mission

  • Initiate and facilitate collaborative projects in vision research
  • Develop innovative multidisciplinary graduate training programs
  • Engage and inform the community on the importance of eye diseases and vision research
  • Attain research outcomes that will lead to the development of new and effective treatments for ocular diseases, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, optic neuritis, and dry eye disease


Institute for Patient Safety 

The institute for Patient Safety is dedicated to improving the quality and safety of health care in our region and throughout the nation by supporting collaborative patient-centered, interprofessional initiatives that include comprehensive professional and community education and applied research. This Institute focuses on providing seed grant funding and project grant programs designed to lay the foundation for testing innovative new concepts, technologies and theories related to patient safety.


Center for Human Identification 

The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI) is an accredited forensic laboratory which is globally recognized as a leader in forensic identification.  Located on the growing campus of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas, UNTCHI services include forensic genetic and anthropological examinations for criminal casework and missing persons identification, local CODIS operations, and development and management of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) for the US Department of Justice. UNTCHI also is committed to the training of students and professionals in various aspects of forensic genetics and maintaining an active, innovative research program to improve forensic identification capabilities. Interdisciplinary expertise in forensics, genetics, genomics, microbiology, molecular biology, anthropology, bioinformatics and other related disciplines are available within UNTCHI to support its mission.

With funding support from the State of Texas and various Federal Government agencies, UNTCHI continues to support forensic DNA testing. To date, UNTCHI has processed the majority of missing person samples for the United States that reside within CODIS. UNTCHI also has been instrumental in decreasing sexual assault and criminal casework backlogs within Texas.  In addition to forensic and missing person DNA services, UNTCHI provides anthropological examinations of skeletal remains to determine gender, ancestry, age, stature, possible signs of trauma and if the remains are of forensic significance.  Since 2011, UNTCHI has managed the NamUs program which consists of a central on-line repository of information related to missing and unidentified decedent cases that serves law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, and the general public. Regional Service Administrators located throughout the US work closely with agencies and families with missing loved ones in an effort to exchange information and potentially resolve missing persons cases. 

The scientists at UNTCHI are recognized subject matter experts that often are called upon to assist in various investigative needs such as reduction of laboratory backlogs for the State of Texas, casework interpretation, testimony support, and development of software and databases to assist investigators nationwide as well as internationally. Active research efforts support the service work at UNTCHI and are collaborative with scientists from around the world. In the past several years, UNTCHI has published more than 120 peer-reviewed publications related to forensic genetics in the areas of human identification, microbial forensics, and molecular autopsy. Most of the mentored Masters and Doctoral students involved in the research continue on to active, successful careers.


Texas Center for Health Disparities (TCHD)

In comparison to the general population of Texas, racial and ethnic minorities suffer from heightened risk factors and poorer overall health and access to health care. Our mission is to prevent, reduce and eliminate health disparities in our communities through:

Research. Historically, academic institutions have conducted research in communities but not necessarily with communities at risk for disease. By working with key community members, prevention research can be translated into actions that will drive improvement in areas such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, stroke and HIV.

Education and Training. We are committed to increasing the underrepresented minority student and faculty population, and offer an innovative fellowship program that fosters collaborative research among junior research faculty and community leaders and stakeholders.

Outreach. By leveraging UNTHSC's community partnerships, we work to improve prevention and outreach efforts affecting women in underserved and low-income communities in North Texas. Current efforts are focused on obesity and cancer. Established in 2005, the Texas Center for Health Disparities is designated as a Center of Excellence by the National Institutes of Health.


Center for Anatomical Science (CAS)

The CAS maintains a state-of-the-art human anatomy laboratory as well as a bio-skills research facility for education and training of local residents and clinicians in new ultrasound, orthopedic, and surgical techniques. The CAS graduate programs (M.S. and Ph.D.) provide opportunities for our graduate students to pursue research in structural anatomy and biomechanics as applied to biological anthropology, rehabilitation sciences, orthopedics, and/or the scholarship of anatomy education while providing quality outreach programs in the Fort Worth ISD and surrounding Tarrant County area.