This article is intended to provide a relatively complete picture of how a pilot studyconceived and initiated within an NIDCR-funded RRCMOHmatured into a solid line of investigation within that center and "with legs"into a fully funded study within the next generation of NIDCR centers on this topic of health disparities, the Centers for Research to Reduce Oral Health Disparities. It highlights the natural opportunity that these centers provide for multicenter, cross-disciplinary research and for research career pipelining for college and dental school students; with a focus, in this case, on minority students. Furthermore, this series of events demonstrates the rich potential that these types of research centers have to contribute in ways that far exceed the scientific outcomes that form their core. In this instance, the NMOHRC played a centraland critical, if unanticipatedrole in contributing to two events of national significance, namely the presidential apology to the African American community for the research abuses of the USPHSTuskegee syphilis study and the establishment of the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University. Research Centers supported by the NIH are fully intended to create a vortex of scientific activity that goes well beyond the direct scientific aims of the studies initially funded within those centers. The maxim is that the whole should be greater than the sum of its initial constituent studies or parts. We believe that NMOHRC did indeed achieve that maximeven extending "the whole" to include broad societal impact, well beyond the scope of important, but mere, scientific outcomesall within the concept and appropriate functions of a scientific NIH-funded research center.
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