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Biomedical Sciences Research Cluster

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Primary objective: The School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (SNSM) at the University of South Florida (USF) is poised to exploit existing strengths within the science and mathematics departments together with strategic hires to establish an interdisciplinary “Biomedical-Science” cluster.

This interdisciplinary initiative synergizes strengths in molecular biosciences within SNSM together with the Moffitt Cancer Center, and the Colleges of Medicine, Public Health and Engineering to promote research efforts focused on advancing our understanding of the molecular basis of disease, develop novel therapeutics and produce new innovations in biotechnology. The Biomedical Science Cluster will also form the core scientific infrastructure for the development of extramurally funded research integrating USF Centers including USF-CMD5, USF FCoE BITT, USF-CIFM, Scripps Florida, the newly formed Max Planck Bio-Imaging Center and soon-to-be-established Draper Research Laboratories at USF. As with all of the interdisciplinary research clusters within SNSM the research efforts associated with the Biomedical Sciences Cluster will strive to produce patentable intellectual property as well as a broadly educated workforce in the area of biomedical sciences and advanced biotechnology.

Why is this cluster important now?: Research within the broad area of biomedical sciences has been, is, and will continue to be at the forefront of national/international efforts to reduce the devastating effects of human disease and to improve our every day quality of life through the development of innovative biotechnology and advanced pharmaceuticals. The information provided by the human genome sequencing project has created enormous opportunities to understand the causes of many diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases to name only a few. In addition, cutting edge molecular and cell biology research has allowed for new developments in our understanding of how genes are regulated, drug resistant bacteria, fungal and viral diseases, along with new and powerful means to either treat these disorders or even prevent them all together. These advances are providing a plethora of new targets for drug discovery. The importance of this field in general and to the State of Florida is exemplified by its recent investment in the Scripps Institute, which will focus upon the science and technology of drug discovery and the Max Planck Center for Bio-Imaging which will house cutting-edge light microscopy technology developed by the Max Planck Institute. The projected presence of Draper Research Laboratories with emphasis on MEMS and nanomedicine provides further impetus for the development of this cluster. In addition to the obvious critical need to understand the molecular origins of human disease and to develop new pharmaceutical treatments, biomolecular sciences are also essential for the development of new biotechnologies for sustainable agriculture (genetically engineered crops, with insect and herbicide resistance, aquacultural products including fish and shell fish, and livestock), renewable energy sources (including H2 producing bacteria, methanogenic bacteria for efficient methane to methanol conversion, bioethanol, artificial photosynthesis, etc.), biotechnology based drug development, advanced biosensors and biomedical diagnostics.

Why USF?: SNSM at USF already has:

  • A highly competitive core of interdisciplinary, nationally recognized scholars in biological sciences, as evident by volume of scholarly work and extramural funding in this area (described in the Appendix), as well as the existence of strong research centers including CMD5, CIFM and FCoE:BITT.
  • Integrated undergraduate (Biomedical Sciences degree, minor in Biomedical Physics) and graduate programs (interdisciplinary BA/MS in drug discovery through CMD5, major area of emphasis in biomedical research in the Ph.D. in Applied Physics, etc.).
  • State-of-the-art facilities for experimental and theoretical biophysics, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry and molecular synthesis.

The collective group of both experimental and theoretical interdisciplinary bio-science scholars within SNSM provides the critical core faculty that will be strategically enhanced by the proposed hires. Together with this core of scholars, USF bio-science centers including CMD5 and FCoE BITT, biomaterials research centers such as CIFM, and the shared facilities and infrastructure developed by this cluster will allow USF to achieve national/international recognition in key strategic biomedical/biotechnology areas including research into the molecular basis of human disease, drug discovery/development and biotechnology for sustainable communities. The Biomedical-Science cluster will address multiple strategic goals for USF that are essential elements for AAU recognition. These include significant increases in interdisciplinary external funding (particularly multi-investigator initiatives such as NIH-P01, etc.), and in scholarly productivity, graduate SCH and Ph.D. production and number of postdoctoral scientists.

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Antilla, JonChemistry One NIH Award NSF Award
Baker, BillChemistry NIH Award
Bisht, KirpalChemistry
Chen, WeiPhysics
Dao, My LienCMMB One
Daughdrill, GaryCMMB NSF Award
Garey, JamesCMMB One
Guida, WayneChemistry
Harmon, JulianneChemistry
Harwood, ValerieIB
Jonoska, NatašaMath/Stat
Kim, MyungPhysics
Kim, WonkukMath/Stat
Ladde, GangaramMath/Stat
Larsen, RandyChemistry
Li, Xiao (Sheryl)Chemistry
Lim, DanielCMMB One
Malik, AbdulChemistry
Manetsch, RomanChemistry
Martin, LynnIB NSF Award NSF Award
Matthews, GarrettPhysics
McColm, GregoryMath/Stat
McCoy, EarlIB
Merkler, DavidChemistry One
Ming, Li-JuneChemistry
Motta, PhilipIB NSF Award
Mukherjee, PritishPhysics
Muschol, MartinPhysics
Nanjundan, MeeraCMMB One Two
Pandit, SagarPhysics
Passaglia, ChristopherChemical and Biomedical Engineering One Two
Pollenz, RichardCMMB
Potter, RobertChemistry
Rabson, DavidPhysics
Ramachandran, KandethodyMath/Stat
Rohr, JasonIB
Schmidt, KristinaCMMB NIH Award
Schmidt, KristinaCMMB NIH Award
Shaw, LindseyCMMB One NIH Award NIH Award
Srikanth, HariharanPhysics
Stevens, StanleyCMMB
Tsokos, ChristosMath/Stat
Turos, EdwardChemistry
Vacher, H.L.Geology
You, YunchengMath/Stat
Zhang, PeterChemistry