TOP STORY Posted on: April 24, 2012
A science and technology team from the White House met at the UCF College of Medicine recently to discuss how partnerships at medical city are bolstering Orlando’s economy.
Dr. John Holdren, director of President Obama’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and his team met with officials from UCF, Lake Nona, the Orlando VA Medical Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and the University of Florida’s Center College of Pharmacology. Dr. Holdren called medical city “a terrific example of this whole notion of partnership, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I’d like to bottle some of this stuff and see if we can export it.”
Officials described medical city as a 7,000-acre green field – anchored by the medical school – that will focus on education, research, patient care and commerce. Thaddeus Seymour, Jr., Lake Nona’s vice president for health and life sciences, explained how the intersection of ideas at medical city is similar to Florence, a center of commerce, the arts and new ideas during the Renaissance. Much of the discussion with the White House team centered on scientific research and ways to bring research more quickly from laboratory bench to patient bedside.
Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the College of Medicine, described the role science played in UCF’s early years and in the development of the medical school. “Science and technology was wired into the DNA of our parent,” she explained, calling the opening of medical city “the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Public-private partnership was a major theme of the meeting as UCF Provost and Executive Vice President Tony Waldrop described the university’s focus on creating jobs and identifying economic needs in the region. “UCF does partnership extremely well,” he said. “We’re very proud of these partnerships and what they’ve been able to do for our community.”
Dr. Holdren asked participants for more information on joint research opportunities and how they have increased economic development. “You folks have certainly pulled together an amazing team here,” he said. “We certainly will be talking to the president about this visit.”
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