Florida State College of Medicine new home to center for eradicating diseases

Michael Smith

Florida State University’s College of Medicine is the new home of a think tank created to coordinate Florida’s efforts at curing diseases.

The Florida Department of Health entered into an agreement with the College of Medicine to operate the Florida Center for Universal Research to Eradicate Disease (FL CURED) for the next three years. The center previously operated out of the Florida Department of Health. Its new home is in the college’s Division of Research and Graduate Programs.

"The Florida Department of Health is demonstrating its confidence in Florida State’s ability to champion collaboration among the public and private research enterprises of the state to prevent, treat and cure deadly and debilitating diseases," said Michael Smith, director of the college’s Clinical Research Network and now also "principal investigator" in charge of FL CURED.

When it created FL CURED in 2004, the Legislature and, in particular, then-Senate President Jim King envisioned a center that would help Florida:

  • Commit to finding cures for the deadliest and most widespread diseases.
  • Become the U.S. leader in biomedical research.
  • Coordinate efforts among the state’s universities and research institutes and the biomedical/biotechnology industry to discover cures.
  • Attract related researchers and businesses to the state.

The College of Medicine is a perfect fit for that mission, said Myra Hurt, senior associate dean for research and graduate programs. It has six regional campuses spread across the state; more than 60 teaching hospitals, clinics and community health-care centers as partners in educating medical students; and a network of more than 1,500 physicians who serve as faculty for third- and fourth-year students.

"Those 1,500 faculty-clinicians are treating upwards of 3 million Floridians," Smith said. "In our Clinical Research Network, we already are beginning to link them to the research enterprise of the university and College of Medicine to better translate basic research into medical care. Now, with FL CURED, we will continue to build on the innovative, community-based model of the college to encourage partnerships between researchers, treating physicians and community hospitals."

For more information about FL CURED, visit www.flcured.org.