Excellence and aspiration
As UF's College of Medicine builds on 50 years of excellence and achievements, we face extraordinary opportunities and equally
extraordinary challenges in order to compete successfully and keep pace with the rapidly changing field of medicine.
Students: We are attracting and developing the students with the greatest potential to become the scientific and clinical leaders of
their generation. Cultivation of this talent requires a significant investment, one that far outstrips the financial support provided by the
Florida Legislature. Because competition for the nation's best students is fierce, scholarships are desperately needed in order to attract
the best and the brightest and to offset the financial burdens that many years of medical training imposes. The College of Medicine
must continue to find other sources of support for our students, so they can focus on developing prevention, treatments and cures for
Faculty: Our faculty members are well on their way to developing novel treatments and cures for such common and menacing dis-
eases as cancer, diabetes, blindness and high blood pressure. Funding from private sources to support exceptional clinical and research
faculty is greatly needed to accelerate the pace of new discoveries and treatments. Financial support is particularly needed for young
physicians and scientists to help realize their tremendous potential. Additional endowed professorships are also needed as they are
the key to attracting and retaining the best medical faculty leaders. Endowments provide them with the resources needed to fuel their
research and support their mentorship of tomorrow's physicians. An appointment to an endowed professorship is one of the highest
honors in academic medicine as well as an important career achievement.
Facilities: The College of Medicine is 50 years old and so are its facilities. There is no question that we need to construct an educa-
tion building that will provide the latest teaching facilities and technologies to transform the way clinical and research professionals are
trained. The building will be designed to foster collaboration and will include wireless communication, classrooms with multimedia
capabilities, patient simulation areas that employ virtual reality and computerized mannequins programmed to simulate illness, areas
for clinical teaching of students videotaped with standardized patients, and conference areas where students can learn of groundbreak-
ing advances in science and medicine.
We are building tomorrow's research and health-care teams, using new approaches and technologies to provide the most advanced
and accessible care, delivered with compassion and skill. With greater levels of private funding, we will be successful in building a
stronger College of Medicine, one that is known as a national champion in the battle against disease.
Slorida S omSrSoS
The Promise of Tomorrow
The University of Florida holds the promise of the future:
Florida Tomorrow a place, a belief, a time. Florida Tomorrow is
filled with possibilities. Florida Tomorrow is for dreamers and
doers, for optimists and pragmatists, for scholars and entrepre-
neurs, all of whom are nurtured at Florida's flagship university:
the University of Florida, the foundation of the Gator Nation.
What is Florida Tomorrow? Here at the College of Medicine,
we believe it's an opportunity, one filled with promise and hope.
It's that belief that feeds the university's capital campaign to raise
more than $1 billion.
The Florida Tomorrow campaign will shape the university,
certainly. But its ripple effect will also touch the state of Florida,
the nation and the entire world. Florida Tomorrow is pioneering
research and spirited academic programs. It's a fertile envi-
ronment for inquiry, teaching and learning. It's being at the
forefront to address the challenges facing all of us, both today
College of Medicine
Florida Tomorrow Campaign Goals
Faculty S o $110 mili ao
Medical School Scholarships ($5 million)
Fellowships 'f1 'Ill.,ii
HSC Education Building ($40 million)
UF Proton Therapy Institute '41 niIllt ho.
Aging and Geriatrics Research and Development ($20 million)
Cancer Research '11 ,uluit. II
Diabetes Research J11 nil.tli
Genetics Research '1 iilh./liItI
Medical Research Discovery and Development iS 1,111lii,.ii'
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Florida Tomorrow is a place
where thousands of physicians, scientists and scholars work
together to discover, perfect and deliver the world's most
advanced health care.
Potential of Gene Therapy
When patients talk with Dr. Barry Byrne, director of the
Powell Gene Therapy Center, they ask one question over and over:
"When can I try gene therapy?" After all, for those facing chronic
illnesses anything from cardiovascular and pulmonary disease
to Parkinson's gene therapy offers a promising new horizon.
"Patients are following the developments. They're clamoring
for this type of treatment," Byrne says. "I can't wait to tell them,
'Yes, we're ready to start.'"
Gene therapy's potential was becoming clear at the University
of Florida in the early 1980s. That's when College of Medicine
professors Drs. Ken Berns and Nicholas Muzyczka modified and
patented a groundbreaking gene-therapy delivery system using
AAV short for adeno-associated virus. Their vector serves as a
vehicle to deliver healthful genes to patients.
Now before widespread gene-therapy treatment can proceed
- scientists are making sure the treatment is safe and effective. In
that effort, UF is again leading the way. The university's National
Gene Vector Laboratory Toxicology Core Center, for instance, is
one of just two such facilities nationwide that administer tests for
many gene-therapy studies. And UF is also conducting clinical
trials for inherited eye disease and Pompe disease, a hereditary
heart condition that is usually fatal within the first year. In the
Pompe disease trial, the corrective gene is packaged in a type of
AAV that collects in heart tissue, allowing the treatment to be
delivered by a single injection into a vein, rather than directly
into the heart. Byrne hopes that a single treatment will provide
patients with lasting benefits.
"One of the key findings from the work done here is that these
are long-lasting therapies," Byrne says. "That's the neat thing
about molecular medicine that's different from conventional
Byrne is looking forward to the day that he can offer gene
therapy to those with conditions that can't be cured by tradi-
"It's an exciting time, there's no doubt about it," he says.
"When you can take a problem that seems unbeatable and offer a
novel therapy to combat it, that's exciting."
Florida Tomorrow is a day
when standards are set and excellence is achieved in
Stopping the Diabetes Tide
Diabetes is a growing epidemic. Affecting 18 million people
in the United States a number projected to grow to more than
30 million by 2012 the disease causes up to $142 billion a year
in health-care costs. The outlook is particularly dire for children,
whose record obesity rates have led to an upswing in Type 2 dia-
betes, once considered an adults-only problem. A report by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted that if obe-
sity rates grow as projected, a third of American children born in
2003 will go on to develop diabetes.
The University of Florida is on the front lines of the fight to
stop the disease's upward spiral. Dr. Desmond Schatz who has
overseen pioneering studies in early detection, prevention and
treatment of diabetes is medical director of UF's Diabetes Center.
"We're at the forefront of the action," he says, citing the
widespread recognition of UF's accomplishments in the field
of diabetes research from organizations such as The Juvenile
Diabetes Research Foundation, the National Institutes of Health
and the American Diabetes Association. "We've contributed a lot
to the understanding of the mechanisms leading to diabetes and
the genetics of the disease, as well as prevention and treatment."
It's not easy for the kids with diabetes, who often go through
their daily lives feeling different, set apart by their disease. Not at
Florida Diabetes Camp, however, where they're just like every-
Dr. Janet Silverstein, chief of pediatric endocrinology at the
University of Florida's College of Medicine, has volunteered at
the camps since 1979, first as a camp physician, and then as the
Gainesville-based organization's medical director in 1989. Each
summer, Silverstein packs up and heads to Camp Winona, near
DeLeon Springs, Fla., where campers gather.
"Camp for me," she says, "is the most rewarding thing I do."
UF campus researchers continue to take the fight against dia-
betes to the next level. In fact, within 15 years, UF's doctors and
researchers could close in on biological markers to track the dis-
ease's progression. Schaltz hopes to include more researchers,
health-care professionals and patients in UF's efforts, and he's
optimistic that new treatment and prevention strategies includ-
ing gene and stem-cell therapy will help turn the tide.
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Florida Tomorrow is a belief
that through creative and collaborative science we will alleviate
pain and suffering caused by today's most devastating diseases.
Advancing Cancer Research
University of Florida cancer specialists have been at the fore-
front of the fight against cancer for decades. A team of more than
330 clinicians and scientists and hundreds of research assistants,
nurses, technicians and staff are each committed to advancing the
science and treatment of cancer. UF's leadership has resulted in
an investment of more than $600 million in cancer programs over
the past decade. Since 1999, the university has recruited 71 new
faculty members specializing in cancer.
In 1998, a $10 million endowment created through a $5 million
milestone donation by cancer survivors Jerry and Judith Davis of
Jacksonville and a $5 million state match advanced UF's effort.
Endowments provide the essential seed money for innovative
research in cancer therapies. UF's multi-disciplinary approach
encourages the surgeon, the radiation oncologist, the medical
oncologist and the basic scientist, and their colleagues to work
together as a team focusing on the well-being of the patient.
The University of Florida Shands Cancer Center is the ideal
setting for the caliber of translational research that will gener-
ate life-saving advances in cancer care. The center is located at
the most comprehensive academic health center in the Southeast.
The quality and breadth of cancer specialists, scientists and
health-care workers on both campuses Gainesville and
Jacksonville is unprecedented. It is no longer a question of
whether doctors will conquer cancer, but when and how rapidly.
Our Vision of Tomorrow
The University of Florida's College of Medicine is a place
where research flourishes, new generations of physicians master
the art and science of medicine, and patients benefit from the most
advanced technology and compassionate care available today.
A tradition of excellence in medicine was established during
our first 50 years (1956-2006). It is our privilege to build on that
foundation of excellence as we strive to realize our full capabil-
ity as one of the nation's leading academic medical centers. Now,
more than at any moment in our history, we have the opportunity
to accelerate the translation of discoveries made in our laborato-
ries into better treatments for our patients and possible cures for
tomorrow's menacing diseases.
Our researchers are exploring the secrets of cancer, diabetes,
blindness and heart disease, developing better diagnostics and
treatments at an extraordinary pace. Our professors are men-
toring and preparing our medical students some of the most
talented and brightest in the nation to serve as leaders in their
profession and to serve their communities as highly skilled phy-
sicians. Our patients come from every county in Florida, as well
as from other states, regions and countries, in order to receive
the most advanced medical care available from UF physicians in
Gainesville and Jacksonville.
With your help, the possibilities of successfully preventing,
treating and in some cases curing diseases are limitless. Please join
us by becoming a partner during this important time of discovery
as we face the challenges and opportunities tomorrow will bring.
Traditional sources of support for academic medicine from clini-
cal activity, research grants and state funding continue to shrink at
an alarming rate. Private support has become an essential ingredi-
ent to achieving excellence in academic medicine. In fact, there is a
direct correlation between an institution's level of private support
and what can be accomplished.
Private support advances the quality of research, the excellence of teaching and
the finest patient care. Increasing levels of support will enable our medical school to
continue to attract the best medical faculty and to equip them with the most sophis-
ticated technology, thereby setting the standard for medical schools in the nation.
The Campaign for Medicine provides an opportunity to generously invest in the
future of medicine at the University of Florida. Your philanthropic investment will
make all the difference in our ability to continue to serve, care and lead. Join us in
creating a legacy that will stretch far beyond our lifetimes through the work of gen-
erations of doctors, scientists and physician assistants trained here every year. Your
support for scholarships, research funds, professorships and a new education build-
ing will impact thousands of patients and families for decades to come.
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