ORLANDO, July 26, 2007 — The University of Central Florida’s Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences and its faculty and staff will become part of the College of Medicine in a transition that will occur later this summer.
The Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences was established in 2004 after Al and Nancy Burnett of Winter Park donated $10 million to help UCF expand its biomedical research and education programs. At the time of the couple’s donation, Al Burnett indicated it was a “necessary step if we’re going to head in the direction of a full-fledged medical school.” Two years later, in 2006, the Florida Board of Governors approved UCF’s request for a medical school.
“The generous gift provided by Aland Nancy Burnett was instrumental in our success in establishing a medical college at UCF,” Provost Terry Hickey said.
The new name of the biomedical sciences program, the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, reflects that change.
“Our intent is that this will be a seamless transition for students and faculty,” said Dr. Deborah German, dean of the College of Medicine. “The joining of the school and college will enhance and strengthen both programs and help create well-rounded, research-based doctors for our community.”
At Lake Nona, construction of the Burnett Biomedical Sciences Building began in May, and the 198,000 square-foot building will be completed by spring2009. That building will house the Burnett College’s graduate program, while undergraduates will continue to take classes on the university’s main campus. Research opportunities for undergraduates will be available on the main campus and at Lake Nona.
Construction of the College of Medicine educational building, with its resource learning center and medical library, is scheduled to begin in October; the building will be operational in time for the entering medical class in fall2009. The College of Medicine is currently housed in a 16,000-square-footspace in the Central Florida Research Park.
Pappachan Kolattukudy, the current dean of the Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences, will become the director of the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences and will continue to play a pivotal role in building UCF’s research and educational programs in the biomedical sciences.
“PK, an accomplished biomedical researcher himself, is well prepared to lead the continued development of biomedical research and education at UCF,” Hickey said. “His knowledge and reputation in the biomedical sciences, coupled with Dean German’s expertise and experience in medical education and clinical care, make for a very powerful combination.”
Kolattukudy said that when he first arrived at UCF in 2002, he publicly expressed a dream to have the biomedical sciences program become part of a medical school.
“It is extremely satisfying to see the beginning of the realization of that dream,” he said. “Our faculty and I are thrilled to be part of the College of Medicine. Together, we will build a research-intensive College of Medicine with high-quality undergraduate and graduate education in medicine and biomedical sciences.”
UCF’s biomedical sciences faculty members are already helping to establish the College of Medicine through their volunteer service on the college’s Curriculum Planning Committee, a committee that also includes representatives from the community. The College of Medicine hopes to begin instruction leading to the M.D. degree in fall 2009 and eventually graduate 120 medical students each year. Details on the application process will be made available following preliminary accreditation.