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THE SCOPE

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 198,000 square-foot building will prepared to lead the contin-
University of Central Florida's be completed by spring 2009. ued development of biomedi-
Burnett College of Biomedical That building will house the cal research and education at
Sciences and its faculty and staff Burnett College's graduate pro- UCF,” Hickey said. “His
will become part of the College gram, while undergraduates will knowledge and reputation in
of Medicine in a transition that continue to take classes on the the biomedical sciences, cou-
will occur later this summer. university's main campus. Re- pled with Dean German's ex-
The Burnett College of Bio- search opportunities for under- pertise and experience in
medical Sciences was estab- graduates will be available on medical education and clinical
lished in 2004 after Al and the main campus and at Lake care, make for a very power-
Nancy Burnett of Winter Park Nona. ful combination.”
donated $10 million to help Construction of the College of Kolattukudy said that when he
UCF expand its biomedical Medicine educational building, first arrived at UCF in 2002,
research and education pro- he publicly expressed a dream
grams. At the time of the cou- to have the biomedical sci-
ple’s donation, Al Burnett indi- ences program become part
cated it was a “necessary step of a medical school.
if we’re going to head in the “It is extremely satisfying to
direction of a full-fledged medi- see the beginning of the reali- In this issue:
cal school.” Two years later, in zation of that dream,” he said.
2006, the Florida Board of “Our faculty and I are thrilled
UCF's Biomedical 1
Governors approved UCF’s to be part of the College of
Sciences Program
request for a medical school. Medicine. Together, we will
to Become Part of
“The generous gift provided by build a research-intensive Col-
College of Medicine
Al and Nancy Burnett was in- with its resource learning cen- lege of Medicine with high-
strumental in our success in ter and medical library, is sched- quality undergraduate and Research Explores 2
establishing a medical college at uled to begin in October; the graduate education in medi- Chiropractic's
UCF,” Provost Terry Hickey building will be operational in cine and biomedical sciences.” Effect on Diabetes
said. time for the entering medical UCF's biomedical sciences
class in fall 2009. The College of faculty members are already Vetrinary NEWS 3
The new name of the biomedi-
cal sciences program, the Bur- Medicine is currently housed in helping to establish the Col-
nett School of Biomedical Sci- a 16,000-square-foot space in lege of Medicine through their
ences, reflects that change. the Central Florida Research volunteer service on the col-
Before You Write 4
“Our intent is that this will be a Park. lege's Curriculum Planning
Your Personal
seamless transition for students Pappachan Kolattukudy, the Committee, a committee that
Statement
and faculty,” said Dr. Deborah current dean of the Burnett also includes representatives
German, dean of the College of College of Biomedical Sciences, from the community. The
Research News 5
Medicine. “The joining of the will become the director of the College of Medicine hopes to
school and college will enhance Burnett School of Biomedical begin instruction leading to
and strengthen both programs Sciences and will continue to the M.D. degree in fall 2009
and help create well-rounded, play a pivotal role in building and eventually graduate 120 PPMS EVENT 6
research-based doctors for our UCF's research and educational medical students each year. PICTURES!!
community.” programs in the biomedical sci- Details on the application
At Lake Nona, construction of ences. process will be made available
the Burnett Biomedical Sciences “PK, an accomplished biomedi- following preliminary accredi-
Building began in May, and the cal researcher himself, is well tation.
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PAGE 2 THE SCOPE

Research Explores Chiropractic's Effect on Diabetes


February 5th, 2007

Diabetes is the fifth deadliest disease in was thought to be of help mainly to adults
the United States and a growing epidemic suffering back pain or headaches but cur-
worldwide. Now, researchers are finding rent research is showing it has far broader
evidence that chiropractic adjustments applications.
might be able to make a valuable contri- "This type of study is popping up every-
bution to an overall program of wellness where," stated JVSR Editor Matthew
care to help diabetes sufferers. McCoy, DC. "For more than 100 years,
A study published in the Journal of Verte- chiropractors have maintained that what
EARN HONOR bral Subluxation Research (JVSR; http:// they do affects organ system function and
www.jvsr.com), focused on the positive general health. Case studies like this dem-
PPMS POINTS
response to chiropractic when used as part onstrate the urgency for more research
TO DOCUMENT of an integrative treatment in the care of a funding from the public and private sector
AND patient with adult onset diabetes. The dis- on chiropractic and its effects beyond
DEMOSTRATE ease was diagnosed by a medical doctor. neck and back pain."
YOUR DEDICA- Along with chiropractic care, the patient The potential for chiropractic to help peo-
TION AND IN- also received nutritional and exercise ple with diabetes is a particularly impor-
VOLVEMENT IN guidance. tant line of inquiry. Between 1990 and
The chiropractic care was directed toward 1999, incidence of disease increased by
PPMS!!!!
correcting misalignments in the spine, more than 40 percent. By the year 2000,
called vertebral subluxa- nearly seven percent of the population
tions, which affect the re- was affected. Unless something
lationship between the changes, the future looks bleak.
nervous system and or- Roughly one out of every three
gans. men and two out of every five
women born in the year 2000
After one month of being will suffer from diabetes in
on the program, the patient's glucose their lifetime.
blood and urine levels had normalized and
remained stable. His medical doctor, who The life expectancy of men diagnosed
monitored his progress, said the patient with diabetes at age 40, is shorted, on av-
would not need insulin if the condition erage, by 11-13 years. For women, the
remained stable. figures are even more disturbing: their life
expectancy is cut by 12 to 17 years of life.
According to the author of the research The disease also takes a huge financial
paper, Charles Blum, DC, president of the toll, accounting for about $132 billion of
Sacro Occipital Technique Organization- the $865 billion spent in health care in
USA, "It is unclear how much impact chi- 2002.
ropractic care might have on the primary
or secondary care of patients with diabe- "Given the devastating effects of diabetes
tes. Further study is necessary to deter- on people's health and the economic im-
mine if there is a subset of patients with plications it is well worth investigating
diabetes that might respond to chiroprac- other treatments like chiropractic for dia-
BETTER SCORES tic care incorporated in a system of other betes," Dr. Blum pointed out. "We need to
integrated methods of care." examine if chiropractic can help with im-
BETTER SCHOOLS
proving a patient's sugar handling difficul-
www.princetonreview.co The study was one of several recent re- ties or even just help a patient under medi-
search projects exploring the impact of cation improve their quality of life and
vertebral subluxations on human health only further research and investigations
and well-being and the potential benefits wi ll u nco v er t hes e a ns w er s. "
of chiropractic. In the past, chiropractic
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THE SCOPE PAGE 3

THE SCOPE PAGE 3


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

Researchers at the Uni- of offspring carried the gene originally intro-


versity of Pennsylvania duced into the transplanted germ cells, mean-
School of Veterinary ing the genetic modification had been passed
Medicine have demon- on. To broaden the approach to non-rodent
strated the potential of species, AAV-transduced germ cells from
a new strategy for ge- goats were transplanted to recipient males in
netic modification of which endogenous germ cells had been de-
large animals. The pleted by fractionated testicular irradiation.
method employs a harmless gene therapy Transgenic germ cells colonized recipient
virus that transfers a genetic modification testes and produced transgenic sperm. When PRE-PROFESSIONAL
to male reproductive cells, which is then semen was used for in vitro fertilization, 10MEDICAL SOCIETY
passed naturally on to offspring. percent of embryos were transgenic. HAS BEING
Ina Dobrinski, associate professor and "Initially, the team used the established germ
AWARDED FOR 3
director of the Center for Animal Trans- cell transplantation model in the mouse to
genesis and Germ Cell Research at Penn investigate whether AAV-mediated transduc- YEARS CONSECU-
Vet, and her colleagues introduced adeno- tion of germ cells was possible and couldTIVE BY VUCF AS
associated virus, AAV, to male germline result in transgene transmission," Dobrinski“THE LARGEST
stem cells in both goats and mice. The said. "To broaden the applicability of the re-
ORGANIZATION
study showed that AAV stably transduced sults for different mammalian species, theOF THE YEAR”
male germ line stem cells and led to trans- approach was then applied to a large animal
FOR THE MOST
gene transmission through the male germ species in which germ cell transplantation-
line. mediated transgenesis would provide an im- VOLUNTEER HOURS
The findings, available online in The portant alternate approach to the generation PERFOMED.
FASEB Journal and in the February 2008 of transgenic animal models for biomedical
print edition, are the first report of trans- research."
genesis via germ cell transplantation in a Currently, somatic cell nuclear transfer or
non-rodent species, a promising approach pronuclear injection is used to generate trans-
to germ line genetic modification. It also genic animals. These inefficient and difficult
demonstrates that germline transduction methods also carry a risk of producing off-
and germ cell transplantation in large ani- spring with developmental abnormalities.
mals provides an approach that is poten- The use of retroviral or lentiviral vectors has
tially less costly than microinjection and been reported in rodents, but it requires that
cloning, the traditional methods used to animals be handled and maintained under
generate transgenic large animal models higher biosafety precautions that render this
for biomedical research. approach less practical for transgenesis in
Researchers used mouse germ cells har- large animal species. In contrast, animals
vested from experimentally induced cryp- exposed to AAV can be maintained under
torchid donor testes that were then ex- standard husbandry conditions.
posed in vitro to AAV vectors carrying a AAV is a dependent virus that carries no dis-
green fluorescent protein transgene and ease and causes only a very mild response
transplanted to germ cell-depleted recipi- from the immune system. Because AAV can
ent testes, resulting in colonization of the infect both dividing and non-dividing cells
recipient testes by transgenic donor cells. and passes its genome, it is considered an
When researchers mated these recipient excellent candidate for use in gene therapy.
males with wild-type females, 10 percent
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PAGE 4 THE SCOPE

Before You Write Your Personal Statement, Read This (Part I)


By Juliet Farmer Posted on June 23, 2007

Essays & personal statements from dozens of others read in The admissions committee will
are an anxiety-inducing part of the same day. look at your essay to see that
the application process for Because your essay may only you’ve answered the obvious,
many postgraduate applicants. get a few minutes of face time, but not so simple, question,
Luckily, with some advice from it needs to function as both an “Why?”
experts and–we’re not going to essay and an advertisement. The The ultimate goal of your essay
sugar-coat it–a lot of work, your best essays grab the reader’s is to convince the reader that you
essay statement can stand apart attention on the first read, and belong at their medical school.
from the rest. Another obvious function of the
hold it even if it’s the last essay
of the day for the reader. essay is to showcase your lan-
Consider your audience Panelists say they look for sev- guage abilities and writing skills.
Medical School Admissions eral things in the essay. During At this level, good writing skills
committees range from a hand- are expected.
that first, quick look at your file
ful to two dozen members, and (transcripts, science and non- Admissions officers are looking
are generally a combination of science GPAs, MCAT scores, for specific soft skills such as
full-time admissions staff, fac- application, recommendations sincerity, maturity, empathy,
ulty, students and doctors from and personal statement), they’re compassion and motivation in
the community. There are often looking for a proven ability to your essay. Because these quali-
a variety of medical back- succeed; clear intellectual abil- ties are not easily quantified, and
grounds represented, from clini- therefore not easily demonstrated
ity, analytical and critical think-
cal to general science, and from ing skills; and evidence that you through grades and numbers,
MDs, to PhDs, to students. Be- have the potential to make not your essay is among your first
cause decisions are made by only a good medical student, and only opportunities to show-
voting, this variety helps ensure but also a good doctor. case them.
that every applicant receives Be truthful and personalize your
proper consideration. essay as much as possible. Write
Most likely your essay will be about something that is genu-
read in its entirety by at least inely meaningful to you, and in-
one of the members of the com- clude a story or anecdote taken
mittee (usually one of the fac- from your life, using ample de-
ulty members or second-year tail and colorful imagery to give
medical students). They will it life.
then consider all aspects of your Personal does not necessarily
application, and if they like mean heavy, or emotional, or
what they see, you will be in- awe inspiring—that’s not re-
vited to interview. Admissions quired in a good essay.
officers usually spend from Give the reader a sense of who
three to 10 minutes looking at you are based on examples, sce-
each essay during this first read, narios and ideas, rather than lists
so you have to make an impact of what you’ve done.
quickly. Remember that each and every
Because admissions officers Address your motivation point that you make needs to be
read 40 to 50 essays in a day Your application to medical backed up by specific instances
during peak weeks, your per- school is a testimony to your taken from your experience.
sonal statement must stand apart desire to ultimately be a doctor. CONTINUE NEXT “SCOPE”...
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THE SCOPE PAGE 5

RESEARCH NEWS:

Defense Peptide in Primates May Block Human HIV Transfer


ORLANDO -- As primates evolved 7 million years ago, University of Pittsburgh and Emory University are col-
the more advanced species stopped making a protein that laborating with Cole.
University of Central Florida researchers believe can ef- There are three classes of defensin peptides, and most
fectively block the HIV-1 virus from entering and infecting research around the world has focused on alpha and
blood cells. beta defensins, the two types that humans still make.
HIV-1 often mutates quickly to overcome antiviral com- Cole studies theta-defensins called retrocyclins, which
pounds designed to prevent infections. But a research are no longer made by humans or advanced primates
team led by Associate Professor Alexander Cole of UCF’s such as chimpanzees. However, theta-defensins are
Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences has demonstrated more active against HIV-1 than the other two types of
that over 100 days the virus develops only weak resis- defensins and can be developed in laboratories, two
tance to retrocyclin, a defense peptide still found in mon- features that suggest retrocyclins still could become an
keys and lower primates. effective way to fight the virus.
If additional laboratory tests demonstrate only weak resis- HIV-1 is the most common form of the human immu-
tance, Cole will study how retrocyclin could be developed nodeficiency virus that causes AIDS. The disease is of-
into a drug designed to prevent the HIV virus from enter- ten transmitted sexually, and the drugs produced from
ing human Cole’s research would be applied to the vagina in the
cells. form of a gel or cream. Many of the laboratory tests
Cole is also have shown that retrocyclin can prevent HIV-1 infec-
working with tion of human vaginal tissue.
Henry Retrocyclin was still an effective inhibitor of HIV-1 even
Daniell, a after 100 days of continuous exposure to human cells in
UCF profes- a laboratory setting. Cole and his team are encouraged
sor of mo- that only minimal resistance of the virus occurred dur-
lecular biol- ing that time. Higher resistance levels make it more
ogy and mi- difficult to develop drugs to fight the virus because
crobiology, to doses must be increased substantially over time.
develop a The exact reason why resistance does not develop
way to grow quickly with retrocyclin is unclear, but it may be a result
retrocyclin of retrocyclin interacting with more than one target on
through genetically engineered tobacco plants. The retro- both the cell and virus. Viruses that have to defeat
cyclin gene would be incorporated into the chloroplast more than one antiviral mechanism often develop resis-
genome of tobacco cells before the plants grow. Daniell tance at a much slower pace.
has developed a similar approach to growing anthrax vac- The next phase of Cole’s research will delve more into
cine in tobacco plants. the mutations that HIV-1 can take in an effort to mini-
An inexpensive way to produce the drug with only a small mize them as much as possible. Many series of labora-
amount of tobacco would help to make it accessible in tory tests would need to be completed before clinical
areas such as Southeast Asia, Africa and the Caribbean trials could begin no earlier than 2009.
where the disease spreads most quickly. Cole’s findings were published in the June 1 issue of
“If we could develop retrocyclin in plants and produce The Journal of Immunology, a top journal in the fields of
enough of the drug cheaply, we could potentially save a immunology, molecular biology and microbiology.
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 Uni-
versity of California, Los Angeles, before he moved to
UCF in 2003. Drs. Otto Yang and Robert Lehrer, infec-
tious disease specialists at UCLA, and researchers at the
6

PAGE 6 THE SCOPE

LAST 2 WEEKS EVENTS

Karaoke Night –
ICE SKATING Special Olympics

“I thought it was great, everyone fell


and it was hilarous!!!”

- Lissandra J.

FEED THE HOMELESS

CONGRATULATIONS
TO DENNRICK A. FOR
3RD PLACE AND
NICHOLAS B. FOR
12TH PLACE IN THE
HEART WALK!!!!

PPMS IS THE BEST!!!


HEART WALK

“It was a great day with perfect weather to


keep the heart pumping. [...]the Orlando
GIVE KIDS
magic's mascot and the target dog gave
THE WORLD
everybody the perfect picture opportunity!”

- Jennifer G.
7

THE SCOPE PAGE 7

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 sig-
American 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 fill-
The new studies are the first randomized trials to ings have
look at the health impact of mercury vapor released some advan-
from fillings. It's long been known that people with tages over
long-term exposure to mercury vapors can suffer plastic ones.
tremors, memory loss, lack of coordination, and The amalgam
psychiatric ills. But there has been some dispute typically lasts
over whether the small amount of mercury in fill- longer than
ings could cause problems. 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:
“PPMS MEMBERS HAVE LOTS OF FUN AT
• http://www.med.ucf.edu/news_releases/2007/
THE VOLUNTEER EVENTS HELD THROUGH-
july/072607.htm
OUT THE SEMESTER”
• http://www.newswise.com/articles/
view/527120/?sc=rsmn

• http://www.med.mca.ucf.edu/ WWW.PPMEDSOCIETY.COM
news_releases/2006/aug/080906.htm

• http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/
PPMEDSOCIETY@YAHOO.COM
articles/83237.php
PRE-PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL SOCIETY in
• http://studentdoctor.net/blog/2007/06/23/ Facebook
before-you-write-your-personal-
statement-read-this/#more-239
8

October 2007
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

1 2 3 4 PPMS meeting!! 5 Careers in Bio- 6 Disney Cross


medical Sciences (3- Country (9am-
5pm) 3pm)

7 8 9 Shepherd's Hope 10 11 12 13
Orientation (5-
7pm)

14 15 UF Pharmacy 16 17 18 PPMS Meeting!! 19 HALLOWEEN 20 Elec. Medical


Trip PARTY (9pm-???) Records Confer-
ence, Habitat for
Humanity
21 22 UF College of 23 FEED THE 24 25 26 Boggy Creek 27 Boggy Creek
Pharmacy Open HOMELESS (6-
House (5-6:45pm) 8:30pm)

28 Boggy Creek 29 30 31

Office Hours
Monday: 10:00am-12:00am (Iris) Susie’s Corner—Pre Health Professions Advisement
Tuesday: 12:00pm-2:00pm (Lili)
Wednesday: 4:00pm-6:00pm
The Pre-Health Professiona Advise- can further assist you with
(DeWaynesia)
Thursday: 8:30am-10:30am
ment Office will have blocks of time questions you may have about
(Brittany) the office will be closed for the fall. academic matters. The pri-
10:30am-12:30pm Please be patient as the application mary focus of this Office,
(Gaby)
Friday: 12:30pm-2:30pm packets are being completed. This is however, is to provide advise-
(Gibran) a long process, and the whole office ment on all aspects of the ap-
is working hard. plication and admission proc-
Fall Speakers: ess.
Pre-Health Professions Advise-
Oct 18th: Ben Hill, Director of
Volunteer at FL Hospitals ment Suzie Yantz

Pre-Health Professions Advisement Office


Nov 1st: Dr. Robert Metzger, The Pre-Health Professions Advise-
124 Health & Public Affairs Bldg I
M.D., Chief Medical Director of ment Office (PHPAO) serves as an Orlando, FL 32816-2360
Transplantation Services
important link between you an the Phone: (407) 8236051

Nov 15th: Dr. Gideon Lewis, professional schools you seek to en- Fax: (407) 823-6051

Podiatrist. syantz@mail.ucf.edu
ter. While this office is not your first
http://www.biomed.ucf.edu
Nov 29th: Dr. Manny Perez, stop for academic faculty member,
Vascular Surgeon