The HSC is a world leader in interdisciplinary research, generating 52% of UF’s total research awards. Apart from the flurry of research activities in the HSC colleges, four major health-related research centers and institutes are designed to create synergies and collaborative research opportunities. Research activities at the HSC reflect a depth of purpose by focusing on the translational nature of biomedical research following the continuum from fundamental research to clinical research to patient care.
UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute
The UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute seeks to improve human health by transforming our ability to do science. The UF CTSI provides clinical, laboratory and consulting services to investigators, training opportunities throughout the academic health enterprise, and provides new opportunities to engage the citizens of the State of Florida in better health and healthcare. One of 55 such institutes at leading universities across the country, the UF CTSI creates new opportunities for translating basic research into clinically relevant knowledge and then further translating that knowledge into improved practice across the state and nation.
General Clinical Research Center
The UF Clinical Research Center (UF CRC) is an inpatient/outpatient research unit supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant from the National Institutes of Health. The unit occupies 9,400 sq. ft. on the third floor of Shands at University of Florida and is staffed by a highly trained research staff including registered nurses, medical technologists, research dietitian, bionutrition and administrative staff. A Research Patient Advocate assists participants in research protocols to access their full range of rights and responsibilities. The UF CRC provides resources for conducting research on all age groups from neonates to geriatrics.
Nursing services include clinical trial co-ordination, administration of investigational medications, specimen collection including pharmacokinetic sampling, monitoring of vital signs, administration of glucose tolerance tests, exercise testing, and 24 hour EEG monitoring. Nursing assistance is also available for studies that are conducted outside of the UF CRC through the “Scatterbed” program. “Scatterbed” RNs provide research services Monday through Friday from 0800 until 1600 for inpatients and outpatients throughout the Shands Healthcare system. Facilities on the unit include 7 inpatient rooms, outpatient exam spaces, an exercise physiology room, and a special procedure room equipped for complex exams such as bronchoscopy and gene therapy. Available equipment includes pulmonary function equipment, dental chair, Bod Pod, Body Box, Metabolic cart, EKG machine and blood pressure monitors. The GCRC also has a procedure room, an exercise physiology laboratory and a sleep-study room. Within the UF CRC, there is a CLIA certified Core Lab and Metabolic Kitchen. In addition, a patient lounge/activity room is available to research participants.
Bionutrition services include 24 hour diet recalls, food record analyses, food frequency questionnaires, anthropometric measurements and protocol specific nutrition counseling/assessment. Protocol specific controlled meals can also be developed and provided. Core Laboratory services include sample processing with short term storage of specimens and sample analysis (urine pregnancy, glucose and lactate analysis via YSI, DNA extraction and urinalysis via dipstick). Other analyses include hemoglobin A1C and complete blood count for research purposes. We can also help to determine which tests are most appropriate for your research/clinical purposes.
The Center averages approximately 130 approved protocols from over 100 faculty conducting research in diverse areas, including genetic diseases, gene therapy, pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics, diabetes, neurologic, neuromuscular, rheumatologic, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and rare disorders in children.
The McKnight Brain Institute (MBI) at the University of Florida is one of the nation’s most comprehensive and technologically advanced centers devoted to neuroscience. Combining the talents of over 300 faculty members from diverse departments and colleges at the University of Florida, nationally, and abroad, the MBI serves as a multidisciplinary but highly interactive research facility focusing on the nervous system and developing clinical treatments for its diseases.
The University of Florida Genetics Institute offers a cohesive and unified systems biology program for the entire campus, devoted to fostering inter-disciplinary collaborations in research, education, patient care, and public health in the field of genetics. Hundreds of faculty members are making significant contributions to new knowledge regarding the genetics of people, animals, insects and plants.
The University of Florida Shands Cancer Center (UFSCC) is the flagship cancer treatment facility for the state of Florida with branches located in both Gainesville and Jacksonville. One of the leading oncology referral centers in the Southeast, the UFSCC’s goal is to eradicate cancer through multidisciplinary research and state-of-the-art clinical therapies.
The Institute on Aging serves as the major catalyst for developing interdisciplinary models and synergisms in the areas of research, education and health care across all Colleges and Departments at the University of Florida and its affiliates to improve the health, independence and quality of life of older adults. The Department of Aging and Geriatric Research serves as support infrastructure for the Institute on Aging and academic home for faculty members from diverse disciplines who wish to pursue a career primarily focused on research and education on aging.
Emerging Pathogens Institute was created by fusing signature disciplines at the University of Florida and creating opportunities for novel scientific interaction. New and re-emerging diseases threaten Florida’s tourism, health and economy, which are particularly vulnerable due to the state’s mild climate and diverse agriculture. Weather patterns, commercial plant imports and annual global visitors, all have the potential to unsuspectingly carry pathogens from other countries into our state. The Emerging Pathogens Institute will fuse key disciplines to develop outreach, education, and research capabilities designed to preserve Florida’s health and economy, and to prevent or contain new and re-emerging diseases.
The Institute for Child Health Policy brings together a multidisciplinary faculty from the University of Florida to conduct innovative and rigorous science to promote the health of children, adolescents, and young adults.