New UF Research and Academic Center opens at Lake Nona
A new UF research and education center brings to the Orlando area vital research on new therapies and cures, increased opportunities for participation in clinical research and enhanced access to professional and graduate pharmacy education.
The UF Research and Academic Center at Lake Nona officially opened Nov. 30. The $53 million roughly 106,000-square-foot LEED certified facility extends UF’s presence into the greater Orlando area through the following colleges, institutes and centers:
• College of Pharmacy
• College of Medicine
• Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology
• Institute for Therapeutic Innovation
• Institute on Aging
• Clinical and Translational Science Institute
“The new center harnesses the resources, expertise and research capabilities of multidisciplinary teams, bringing together renowned researchers, clinicians, teachers and students with the ultimate goal of providing effective therapies and improving health for patients,” said David S. Guzick, MD, PhD, UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System.
The center’s proximity to the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Nemours Children’s Hospital and other health care organizations within the Lake Nona medical city complex and the wider Orlando area will foster collaboration that stimulates innovative approaches to research and patient care.
The UF College of Pharmacy’s Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology, housed at the new facility, is among the first academic centers in the nation to adopt sophisticated mathematical modeling and computer simulations to mimic clinical trials of new drugs. Simulated trials allow researchers to avoid investing unnecessarily in drugs that are unlikely to be of benefit. The result is that resources and research efforts can be better targeted toward drugs that have the potential to help millions of people, and the drugs that emerge from the process will be more likely to receive quick approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.