Spotlight on research
Major gifts, major research
A $10 million gift from the Lillian S. Wells Foundation Inc. to the UF College of Medicine department of neurosurgery will help medical scientists better understand the causes of brain tumors and lead to effective treatments and improved quality of life for patients, UF officials announced in January. The Fort Lauderdale-based foundation’s gift will establish the Lillian S. Wells Fund for Brain Tumor Research. In February, UF leaders announced a $5 million gift from Earl and Christy Powell of Miami to the Powell Gene Therapy Center. The gift will establish the Earl and Christy Powell University Chair in Gene Therapy and Genetics Research. UF researchers with the Powell Center have been instrumental in the discovery of ways to replace defective genes with healthy ones to treat diseases such as congenital blindness, cystic fibrosis, Pompe disease and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Open and research-ready
The College of Dentistry recently opened a Dental Clinical Research Unit in collaboration with the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute to facilitate and encourage translational research. The DCRU provides a fully equipped dental clinical environment, which is immediately prepared to host single site and multicenter research projects for dental faculty members, residents and students, as well as collaborative research endeavors with investigators from other disciplines. The newly dedicated DCRU includes eight fully equipped dental operatories with computers and Internet access, OSHA supplies, storage space, a waiting area and a secure clinical environment, located on the third floor of the Dental Science Building. “We hope to build on the success of the college’s Periodontal Disease Research Center and also expand services to meet the clinical/translational research needs of the university and collaborative investigators,” said Katherine Karpinia, D.M.D., M.S., an associate professor of periodontology.