ORLANDO, Fla., March 21, 2006 -- University of Central Florida (UCF) officials signed an agreement Monday to foster collaborative photonics and biomedical research with the Scripps Research Institute, according to a statement today on the college's Web site.
The joint cooperation agreement outlines many of the general terms applicable to future research involving UCF and Scripps Florida scientists, allowing researchers to approve short contracts outlining the particulars of their projects before they can collaborate, the college said. Partnerships could involve several UCF researchers at the College of Optics & Photonics and the Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences.
UCF and Scripps officials concluded the agreement Monday, just three days before the state Board of Governors is scheduled to vote on proposals for medical colleges at UCF and Florida International University, according to the statement. The college could be established in the fall, if approved by the Board of Governors and funded by the Legislature.
"A UCF medical college and its medical degree program would capitalize on the university’s strengths in biomedical sciences, modeling and simulation, and optics and photonics while fulfilling the state’s need for more physicians," the college said. "The partnership with Scripps builds on many of those same strengths. UCF and Scripps share many common research interests, including working toward better therapies for cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s."
UCF Vice President for Research M.J. Soileau said in the statement, "Scripps and UCF share in the state of Florida’s mission to develop life-science research and business that will diversify and boost the state’s economy. This agreement will allow Scripps and UCF to more effectively compete as partners for the grants that support this mission."
The college said researchers can also provide technology in areas such as body imaging that can help Scripps’ drug discovery efforts.
"Aristide Dogariu, an associate professor of optics who visited Scripps on Friday, has developed advanced body imaging technology that can help researchers determine the effects of drugs in mice," UFC said. "While conventional imaging relies on standard microscopes and detection schemes to monitor light indicators or 'optical tags' that help researchers track the progress of medication, Dogariu’s technology allows researchers to do complex analyses of light interaction with tissue to quantify the effects of experimental drugs on cellular structures."
Scripps Florida, which is temporarily located in a building on Florida Atlantic University’s campus in Jupiter, already has approved agreements with the University of Florida and FAU similar to the contract signed with UCF, according to the statement.
For more information, visit: www.ucf.edu