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Media Advisory

For immediate use 

Dec. 2, 2005 -- No. 606

Briefing, ribbon cutting to launch
new $19 million UNC study of pain

Monday (Dec. 5) 10 a.m.
School of Dentistry, Brauer Hall, first floor lobby
Intersection of South Columbia Street and Manning Drive
UNC campus

Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak, director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, will be the guest of honor as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry announces a new $19 million cooperative agreement with the institute. The new grant, one of the largest in UNC history, will allow top UNC scientists and U.S. colleagues to launch the largest study ever done on the second most common and debilitating sources of face and head pain after headache.

The condition, temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJD, and related pain syndromes cost many billions of dollars annually in the United States alone and affect millions of Americans at some point in their lives. NIH selected UNC to lead the nationís first large multi-center prospective study of pain because UNC researchers made a key discovery about pain last year. That was that genetic variations in a particular enzyme cause a tremendous range in pain sensitivity, and that by analyzing those variations, scientists could predict who would suffer from TMJD.

Media representatives are invited to cover Mondayís announcement and can park in the Dogwood parking deck across Manning Drive from UNC Hospitals. An elevated crosswalk crosses Manning Drive from the Cardinal parking deck, which is connected to the Dogwood deck..

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News Services contacts: David Williamson, (919) 962-8596; Karen Moon, 962-8595 (broadcast)