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KNOXVILLE — Medical researchers at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and at the Health Science Center in Memphis plan joint research projects.

Dr. Dwayne McCay, vice president for research and information technology who chaired a meeting of researchers Monday, said the reorganization of UT offers the opportunity of improving the quality of medical research within the university.

Monday’s session followed a similar meeting in Memphis.

“These meetings allow faculty to talk about their research, and identify opportunities for cooperative efforts that will further the university-s research agenda,- McCay said.

Faculty members discussed their work in areas such as genetics, nutrition, immunology, and pharmacology.

McCay said the National Institutes of Health will double their research budget over the next five years, and UT is well-placed to participate in federally-funded health science research.

Increased NIH funding offers the Health Science Center a great opportunity that can be bolstered by the research capabilities at Knoxville, McCay said.

“The only way that-s going to happen is if you have an interchange between the faculty involved in those programs,” he said.

In February the UT Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of UT President J. Wade Gilley, merged UT-Knoxville, the Center for Health Science, the Institute of Agriculture, the UT Space Institute and the Institute for Public Service into one accredited university.