Pre-Professional Medical Society
October 4th, 2007 Volume 34, Issue 3

UCF's Biomedical Sciences Program to Become Part of College of Medicine
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 Al and 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 spring 2009. 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 fall 2009. The College of Medicine is currently housed in a 16,000-square-foot space 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 highquality 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.

In this issue:
UCF's Biomedical Sciences Program to Become Part of College of Medicine Research Explores Chiropractic's Effect on Diabetes Vetrinary NEWS




Before You Write Your Personal Statement


Research News







Research Explores Chiropractic's Effect on Diabetes
February 5th, 2007



Diabetes is the fifth deadliest disease in the United States and a growing epidemic worldwide. Now, researchers are finding evidence that chiropractic adjustments might be able to make a valuable contribution to an overall program of wellness care to help diabetes sufferers. A study published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR; http://, focused on the positive response to chiropractic when used as part of an integrative treatment in the care of a patient with adult onset diabetes. The disease was diagnosed by a medical doctor. Along with chiropractic care, the patient also received nutritional and exercise guidance. The chiropractic care was directed toward correcting misalignments in the spine, called vertebral subluxations, which affect the relationship between the nervous system and organs. After one month of being on the program, the patient's glucose blood and urine levels had normalized and remained stable. His medical doctor, who monitored his progress, said the patient would not need insulin if the condition remained stable. According to the author of the research paper, Charles Blum, DC, president of the Sacro Occipital Technique OrganizationUSA, "It is unclear how much impact chiropractic care might have on the primary or secondary care of patients with diabetes. Further study is necessary to determine if there is a subset of patients with diabetes that might respond to chiropractic care incorporated in a system of other integrated methods of care." The study was one of several recent research projects exploring the impact of vertebral subluxations on human health and well-being and the potential benefits of chiropractic. In the past, chiropractic

was thought to be of help mainly to adults suffering back pain or headaches but current research is showing it has far broader applications. "This type of study is popping up everywhere," stated JVSR Editor Matthew McCoy, DC. "For more than 100 years, chiropractors have maintained that what they do affects organ system function and general health. Case studies like this demonstrate the urgency for more research funding from the public and private sector on chiropractic and its effects beyond neck and back pain." The potential for chiropractic to help people with diabetes is a particularly important line of inquiry. Between 1990 and 1999, incidence of disease increased by more than 40 percent. By the year 2000, nearly seven percent of the population was affected. Unless something changes, the future looks bleak. Roughly one out of every three men and two out of every five women born in the year 2000 will suffer from diabetes in their lifetime. The life expectancy of men diagnosed with diabetes at age 40, is shorted, on average, by 11-13 years. For women, the figures are even more disturbing: their life expectancy is cut by 12 to 17 years of life. The disease also takes a huge financial toll, accounting for about $132 billion of the $865 billion spent in health care in 2002. "Given the devastating effects of diabetes on people's health and the economic implications it is well worth investigating other treatments like chiropractic for diabetes," Dr. Blum pointed out. "We need to examine if chiropractic can help with improving a patient's sugar handling difficulties or even just help a patient under medication improve their quality of life and only further research and investigations wi ll u nco v er t hes e a ns w er s. "




New Strategy To Create Genetically Modified Animals Reported By Penn Veterinary Medicine
Sept, 23rd, 2007

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have demonstrated the potential of a new strategy for genetic modification of large animals. The method employs a harmless gene therapy virus that transfers a genetic modification to male reproductive cells, which is then passed naturally on to offspring. Ina Dobrinski, associate professor and director of the Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research at Penn Vet, and her colleagues introduced adenoassociated virus, AAV, to male germline stem cells in both goats and mice. The study showed that AAV stably transduced male germ line stem cells and led to transgene transmission through the male germ line. The findings, available online in The FASEB Journal and in the February 2008 print edition, are the first report of transgenesis via germ cell transplantation in a non-rodent species, a promising approach to germ line genetic modification. It also demonstrates that germline transduction and germ cell transplantation in large animals provides an approach that is potentially less costly than microinjection and cloning, the traditional methods used to generate transgenic large animal models for biomedical research. Researchers used mouse germ cells harvested from experimentally induced cryptorchid donor testes that were then exposed in vitro to AAV vectors carrying a green fluorescent protein transgene and transplanted to germ cell-depleted recipient testes, resulting in colonization of the recipient testes by transgenic donor cells. When researchers mated these recipient males with wild-type females, 10 percent

of offspring carried the gene originally introduced into the transplanted germ cells, meaning the genetic modification had been passed on. To broaden the approach to non-rodent species, AAV-transduced germ cells from goats were transplanted to recipient males in which endogenous germ cells had been depleted by fractionated testicular irradiation. Transgenic germ cells colonized recipient PRE-PROFESSIONAL testes and produced transgenic sperm. When semen was used for in vitro fertilization, 10 MEDICAL SOCIETY percent of embryos were transgenic. HAS BEING "Initially, the team used the established germ AWARDED FOR 3 cell transplantation model in the mouse to YEARS CONSECUinvestigate whether AAV-mediated transducTIVE BY VUCF AS tion of germ cells was possible and could “THE LARGEST result in transgene transmission," Dobrinski said. "To broaden the applicability of the reORGANIZATION sults for different mammalian species, the THE YEAR” OF approach was then applied to a large animal FOR THE MOST species in which germ cell transplantationVOLUNTEER HOURS mediated transgenesis would provide an important alternate approach to the generation PERFOMED. of transgenic animal models for biomedical research." Currently, somatic cell nuclear transfer or pronuclear injection is used to generate transgenic animals. These inefficient and difficult methods also carry a risk of producing offspring with developmental abnormalities. The use of retroviral or lentiviral vectors has been reported in rodents, but it requires that animals be handled and maintained under higher biosafety precautions that render this approach less practical for transgenesis in large animal species. In contrast, animals exposed to AAV can be maintained under standard husbandry conditions. AAV is a dependent virus that carries no disease and causes only a very mild response from the immune system. Because AAV can infect both dividing and non-dividing cells and passes its genome, it is considered an excellent candidate for use in gene therapy.




Before You Write Your Personal Statement, Read This (Part I)
By Juliet Farmer
Posted on June 23, 2007

Essays & personal statements are an anxiety-inducing part of the application process for many postgraduate applicants. Luckily, with some advice from experts and–we’re not going to sugar-coat it–a lot of work, your essay statement can stand apart from the rest. Consider your audience Medical School Admissions committees range from a handful to two dozen members, and are generally a combination of full-time admissions staff, faculty, students and doctors from the community. There are often a variety of medical backgrounds represented, from clinical to general science, and from MDs, to PhDs, to students. Because decisions are made by voting, this variety helps ensure that every applicant receives proper consideration. Most likely your essay will be read in its entirety by at least one of the members of the committee (usually one of the faculty members or second-year medical students). They will then consider all aspects of your application, and if they like what they see, you will be invited to interview. Admissions officers usually spend from three to 10 minutes looking at each essay during this first read, so you have to make an impact quickly. Because admissions officers read 40 to 50 essays in a day during peak weeks, your personal statement must stand apart

The admissions committee will look at your essay to see that you’ve answered the obvious, but not so simple, question, “Why?” The ultimate goal of your essay is to convince the reader that you belong at their medical school. Another obvious function of the essay is to showcase your language abilities and writing skills. At this level, good writing skills are expected. Admissions officers are looking for specific soft skills such as sincerity, maturity, empathy, compassion and motivation in your essay. Because these qualities are not easily quantified, and therefore not easily demonstrated through grades and numbers, your essay is among your first and only opportunities to showcase them. Be truthful and personalize your essay as much as possible. Write about something that is genuinely meaningful to you, and include a story or anecdote taken from your life, using ample detail and colorful imagery to give it life. Personal does not necessarily mean heavy, or emotional, or awe inspiring—that’s not required in a good essay. Give the reader a sense of who you are based on examples, scenarios and ideas, rather than lists of what you’ve done. Remember that each and every point that you make needs to be Address your motivation Your application to medical backed up by specific instances school is a testimony to your taken from your experience. CONTINUE NEXT “SCOPE”... desire to ultimately be a doctor. from dozens of others read in the same day. Because your essay may only get a few minutes of face time, it needs to function as both an essay and an advertisement. The best essays grab the reader’s attention on the first read, and hold it even if it’s the last essay of the day for the reader. Panelists say they look for several things in the essay. During that first, quick look at your file (transcripts, science and nonscience GPAs, MCAT scores, application, recommendations and personal statement), they’re looking for a proven ability to succeed; clear intellectual ability, analytical and critical thinking skills; and evidence that you have the potential to make not only a good medical student, but also a good doctor.




Defense Peptide in Primates May Block Human HIV Transfer
ORLANDO -- As primates evolved 7 million years ago, the more advanced species stopped making a protein that University of Central Florida researchers believe can effectively block the HIV-1 virus from entering and infecting blood cells. HIV-1 often mutates quickly to overcome antiviral compounds designed to prevent infections. But a research team led by Associate Professor Alexander Cole of UCF’s Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences has demonstrated that over 100 days the virus develops only weak resistance to retrocyclin, a defense peptide still found in monkeys and lower primates. If additional laboratory tests demonstrate only weak resistance, Cole will study how retrocyclin could be developed into a drug designed to prevent the HIV virus from entering human cells. Cole is also working with Henry Daniell, a UCF professor of molecular biology and microbiology, to develop a way to grow retrocyclin through genetically engineered tobacco plants. The retrocyclin gene would be incorporated into the chloroplast genome of tobacco cells before the plants grow. Daniell has developed a similar approach to growing anthrax vaccine in tobacco plants. An inexpensive way to produce the drug with only a small amount of tobacco would help to make it accessible in areas such as Southeast Asia, Africa and the Caribbean where the disease spreads most quickly. “If we could develop retrocyclin in plants and produce enough of the drug cheaply, we could potentially save a lot of lives,” Cole said. Cole was recently awarded about $4 million of National Institutes of Health grants through 2011 for the HIV-1 research and similar studies. The grants were provided through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Cole started his research into theta-defensins at the University of California, Los Angeles, before he moved to UCF in 2003. Drs. Otto Yang and Robert Lehrer, infectious disease specialists at UCLA, and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Emory University are collaborating with Cole. There are three classes of defensin peptides, and most research around the world has focused on alpha and beta defensins, the two types that humans still make. Cole studies theta-defensins called retrocyclins, which are no longer made by humans or advanced primates such as chimpanzees. However, theta-defensins are more active against HIV-1 than the other two types of defensins and can be developed in laboratories, two features that suggest retrocyclins still could become an effective way to fight the virus. HIV-1 is the most common form of the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS. The disease is often transmitted sexually, and the drugs produced from Cole’s research would be applied to the vagina in the form of a gel or cream. Many of the laboratory tests have shown that retrocyclin can prevent HIV-1 infection of human vaginal tissue. Retrocyclin was still an effective inhibitor of HIV-1 even after 100 days of continuous exposure to human cells in a laboratory setting. Cole and his team are encouraged that only minimal resistance of the virus occurred during that time. Higher resistance levels make it more difficult to develop drugs to fight the virus because doses must be increased substantially over time. The exact reason why resistance does not develop quickly with retrocyclin is unclear, but it may be a result of retrocyclin interacting with more than one target on both the cell and virus. Viruses that have to defeat more than one antiviral mechanism often develop resistance at a much slower pace. The next phase of Cole’s research will delve more into the mutations that HIV-1 can take in an effort to minimize them as much as possible. Many series of laboratory tests would need to be completed before clinical trials could begin no earlier than 2009. Cole’s findings were published in the June 1 issue of The Journal of Immunology, a top journal in the fields of immunology, molecular biology and microbiology.





Karaoke Night – ICE SKATING
“I thought it was great, everyone fell and it was hilarous!!!” - Lissandra J.

Special Olympics




“It was a great day with perfect weather to keep the heart pumping. [...]the Orlando magic's mascot and the target dog gave everybody the perfect picture opportunity!” - Jennifer G.




Health Effects of Mercury Fillings
By Laura Blue Apr 19, 2006

Mercury by itself is toxic, but using the heavy metal 10, in Lisbon, Portugal.) Both found that kids in the in dental work does not seem to pose a health risk. amalgam group had higher levels of mercury in their That's the finding of two separate studies, both urine, but neither found any negative health affects as a published in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the result. Most importantly, there was no statistically sigAmerican Medical Association. In them, investigators nificant difference in memory, IQ, attention, or visual measured the neurological and kidney function of motor function between the kids with amalgam fillings children who had cavities filled with silver amalgam and those without. (which contains mercury) vs. kids with fillings made from mercury-free material. What It Means: The studies conclude that there's no reason to avoid amalgam fillings. In fact, silver fillThe new studies are the first randomized trials to ings look at the health impact of mercury vapor released some from fillings. It's long been known that people with tages long-term exposure to mercury vapors can suffer plastic psychiatric ills. But there has been some dispute typically over whether the small amount of mercury in fill- longer ings could cause problems. have advanover ones. lasts than

tremors, memory loss, lack of coordination, and The amalgam

resin compos-

ite materials— Both JAMA studies tracked several hundred children and it's usually over a few years to find out. (The first followed 534 a lot cheaper New England children, aged six to 10, with an aver- too. age of 15 tooth surfaces restored over five years. The second looked at 507 children, aged eight to

REFERENCE: july/072607.htm view/527120/?sc=rsmn news_releases/2006/aug/080906.htm articles/83237.php


WWW.PPMEDSOCIETY.COM PPMEDSOCIETY@YAHOO.COM PRE-PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL SOCIETY in Facebook before-you-write-your-personalstatement-read-this/#more-239


October 2007
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat




4 PPMS meeting!!

5 Careers in Biomedical Sciences (35pm) 12

6 Disney Cross Country (9am3pm) 13



9 Shepherd's Hope Orientation (57pm) 16




15 UF Pharmacy Trip


18 PPMS Meeting!!

19 HALLOWEEN PARTY (9pm-???)

20 Elec. Medical Records Conference, Habitat for Humanity 27 Boggy Creek


22 UF College of Pharmacy Open House (5-6:45pm) 29

23 FEED THE HOMELESS (68:30pm) 30



26 Boggy Creek

28 Boggy Creek


Office Hours
Monday: 10:00am-12:00am (Iris) Tuesday: 12:00pm-2:00pm (Lili) Wednesday: 4:00pm-6:00pm (DeWaynesia) Thursday: 8:30am-10:30am (Brittany) 10:30am-12:30pm (Gaby) Friday: 12:30pm-2:30pm (Gibran)

Susie’s Corner—Pre Health Professions Advisement
The Pre-Health Professiona Advisement Office will have blocks of time the office will be closed for the fall. Please be patient as the application packets are being completed. This is a long process, and the whole office is working hard. Pre-Health Professions Advisement The Pre-Health Professions Advisement Office (PHPAO) serves as an important link between you an the professional schools you seek to enter. While this office is not your first stop for academic faculty member, can further assist you with questions you may have about academic matters. The primary focus of this Office, however, is to provide advisement on all aspects of the application and admission process.
Suzie Yantz Pre-Health Professions Advisement Office 124 Health & Public Affairs Bldg I Orlando, FL 32816-2360 Phone: (407) 8236051 Fax: (407) 823-6051

Fall Speakers:
Oct 18th: Ben Hill, Director of
Volunteer at FL Hospitals

Nov 1st: Dr. Robert Metzger,

M.D., Chief Medical Director of
Transplantation Services

Nov 15th: Dr. Gideon Lewis,

Nov 29th: Dr. Manny Perez,
Vascular Surgeon