University of Massachusetts Medical School

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University of Massachusetts
Medical School
Established 1962
Type Public
Chancellor Michael Collins
President Robert L. Caret
Students Medicine: 487
Biomedical Sciences: 637
Nursing: 166
Location Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
42°16′37″N 71°45′45″W / 42.276815°N 71.762445°W / 42.276815; -71.762445Coordinates: 42°16′37″N 71°45′45″W / 42.276815°N 71.762445°W / 42.276815; -71.762445
Campus Urban
Colors Blue, white and black             

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) is one of five campuses of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) system. It is home to three schools: the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Graduate School of Nursing; a biomedical research enterprise; and a range of public-service initiatives throughout the state. One of the fastest-growing academic health centers in the country, UMMS is located in Worcester, Massachusetts; other UMass sites are located in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell. UMMS is also known as UMass Worcester.

UMMS is ranked 7th in primary-care education and 48th in research among the United States' 125 medical schools in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report annual guide, "America’s Best Graduate Schools”. UMMS is also a research center. During the past four decades UMMS researchers have made advances in a broad range of disease families, from HIV and infectious diseases to cancer, genetic disorders, diabetes and immune disease. UMMS faculty discovered the link between the immune system and type-1 diabetes, found the genetic cause underlying the third-most-common form of the muscular dystrophies, established the fundamental difference between HIV and other retroviruses and co-discovered RNA interference (RNAi) (a naturally occurring gene-silencing process which has become a tool in research focused on such areas as diabetes, HIV/AIDS and cancer). UMMS scientists are making strides in collaborative efforts to develop vaccines for avian flu, HIV, West Nile virus and rabies.


History [edit]

UMMS was established by an act of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1962 to provide residents of the commonwealth an opportunity to study medicine at an affordable cost and to increase the number of primary-care physicians practicing in the commonwealth’s under-served areas. The School of Medicine accepted its first class of 16 students in 1970. Six years later a 371-bed hospital opened on campus; the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences opened in 1979, and the Graduate School of Nursing opened in 1986.

In 1998 the UMMS system of hospitals and clinics merged with Memorial Health Care to form UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest health-care provider in Central Massachusetts and clinical partner of UMMS.

Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research [edit]

The research mission at UMMS was augmented in 1997 with the acquisition of the financially ailing Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research, the Shrewsbury, Massachusetts institution where researchers developed the combined oral contraceptive pill during the early 1960s.

Academics [edit]

School of Medicine [edit]

Accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the School of Medicine grants the MD degree to its graduates. With the exception of MD/PhD students, degree candidates are required to be Massachusetts residents. Approximately 125 students enroll annually, and more than 2,700 students have received medical degrees from UMMS. The School of Medicine has gained a national reputation for its primary-care program and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of schools in the annual U.S.News & World Report guide, "America’s Best Graduate Schools". Over half of each graduating class enters primary-care residencies, a trend underscoring the school’s founding mission. In addition, a high number of graduates practice throughout the state.

Through educational planning, development, innovation and resources students learn the core knowledge, skills, attitudes and values which serve as the foundation for physician training at UMMS, according to the School of Medicine website.[1] The institution attributes its success in training primary-care physicians, in part, to a curriculum which emphasizes early exposure to community practice (beginning in the first year of medical school). Third-year students are required to complete a clerkship-rotation program, in which they spend six weeks at a time with community-based physicians. The curriculum's learning objectives are targeted at developing the foundational competencies required of all physicians including competency in communication, scientific, and patient- and community-advocacy skills.

Reflective of the success of these learning objectives are the results of the annual Match Day at UMMS, when students discover where they will begin their careers as doctors. In 2010, National Resident Matching Program results showed that members of the UMMS class were accepted into some of the most competitive residency programs in the country; 71 percent of graduates entered primary care (including obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine and pediatrics).

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences [edit]

A faculty-initiated PhD program, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) trains scientists in a specialty area with a broad background in the basic medical sciences in preparation for conducting research with direct relevance to human disease. According to the GSBS website, the school offers students a multidisciplinary program of study, in which they have freedom of choice in curriculum and in the selection of mentors for their graduate-thesis research.[2] Since the first class of seven students enrolled in 1979, more than 300 students have earned PhDs from the GSBS. The program (which continues to grow as new frontiers in science are explored), is gaining a national and international recognition for excellence.

Graduate School of Nursing [edit]

Since the opening of the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) in 1986, more than 600 students have obtained a nursing master’s, post-master’s or doctoral degree from the school. The GSN prepares professional and advanced practice nurses, nurse scientists and educators as leaders in nursing and health-care delivery to diverse populations through education, research, practice and service (according to the GSN website).[3] The theoretical foundations of nursing, research process and design, societal influences on nursing, advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, health assessment and specialty content are the basis of study at the GSN. Advanced-practice nurses receive professional education and training to become adult acute- or critical-care nurse practitioners, adult ambulatory- or community-care nurse practitioners and advanced-practice nurse educators. The GSN also offers sub-specialty professional education and training in selected areas.

Research [edit]

UMMS has emerged on the national scene as a research center. In 1998, UMMS researcher Craig Mello (an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) and his colleague Andrew Fire (of Stanford University, then of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C.) discovered RNA interference (RNAi). Mello and Fire demonstrated that small pieces of double-stranded RNA had interfered with the expression of a gene whose coding sequence of DNA was similar to that of the RNA they tested. Since the discovery of RNAi, researchers at UMMS and around the world have taken advantage of its technology to speed investigation into a variety of diseases. Mello and Fire received the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries related to RNA interference.

UMMS scientists also pioneered the fundamental elements of DNA-based flu vaccines during the 1990s. UMMS Professor of Medicine Shan Lu, leader of the UMMS DNA vaccine efforts, and his colleagues have partnered with PowerMed (a British immunotherapeutics company) to advance the development of a potential avian-flu vaccine. Lu’s team has also been recognized for its work in the creation of an HIV vaccine, which in Phase I testing was found to generate antibody and T-cell responses in otherwise-healthy people not infected with HIV.

The institution’s strong commitment to its research mission is reflected in its ranking second of ten public medical schools in the northeastern U.S. in funds awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Federal and private research grants and contracts at UMMS rose from about $2 million in 1977 to more than $307.6 million in 2011, putting UMMS in the top third of all research-based medical schools. UMMS currently supports more than 260 investigators working on advancements in the treatment of disease and injury.

The UMMS portfolio of commercial ventures and intellectual property continues to reap dividends for the institution and the University of Massachusetts system. Catapulted by the success of UMMS licenses and patents (including intellectual property related to RNAi gene-silencing technology and drug and vaccine development), UMass ranked eighth in the nation in generating income from the licensing of faculty-derived discoveries and products and generated $70,553,428 in technology-transfer income in FY 2009, executing 50 technology licenses and options and creating one start-up company (according to the fiscal year 2009 report released by the Association of University Technology Managers).

Grants [edit]

The UMass Medical School is affiliated with a number of healthcare organizations and research programs. Its largest publicly funded affiliate in the field of cancer research is the Quality Assurance Review Center (QARC). Located in Lincoln, Rhode Island, thousands of radiotherapy (RT) reviews per year are conducted in accordance with governmental and pharmaceutical protocols at QARC.[4] Supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), QARC receives radiotherapy data from around 1,000 hospitals in the United States and abroad.[4] Over 40,000 cases have been reviewed at QARC since its official inception in 1980.[4]

MassBiologics [edit]

MassBiologics is the only publicly owned, non-profit FDA-licensed[5] manufacturer of vaccine[6] and other biologic products in the United States. Established in 1894 by the state Board of Health to produce diphtheria antitoxin, the operations of the The Biologic Laboratories (sometimes referred to as MBL, Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories, and historically as Massachusetts Public Health Biologic Laboratories and the State Vaccine and Antitoxin Laboratories) were conducted under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health until 1997. The University of Massachusetts Biologic Laboratory was re-established by the Massachusetts legislature[7] to operate with an executive director and an advisory board consisting of leaders of the Department of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts medical programs, as well as additional members appointed by the President of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. Although operating independently on its Jamaica Plain and Mattapan campuses in south Boston, MassBiologics is administered under the umbrella of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and its current chief executive, Dr Mark Klempner, is the Executive Vice Chancellor for MassBiologics. MassBiologics remains committed to its mission of discovery, development, investigational and commercial production of vaccine and biologic medicines (primarily monoclonal antibodies), and the clinical research underpinning their use.

MassBiologics has introduced into general use vaccines to prevent typhus, smallpox, pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria and other diseases. The lab’s scientists pioneered plasma products to protect infants and toddlers from serious infectious diseases. In recent years, MassBiologics has been called upon to respond to the threat of SARS, avian flu and rabies. MassBiologics has also participated in the national effort to develop and produce “orphan products”—drugs intended for limited populations (less than 200,000 patients per year)—many of which are life-saving products for patients affected by a rare disease. Despite their importance, commercial manufacturers are often reluctant to invest the resources required to bring these products to market. MassBiologics however, has developed or collaborated on five such products over the past twenty years. Its FDA approved aseptic filling suite allows MassBiologics to fill its own products and offer this limited resource for private and public needs.[8] MassBiologics continues to market its FDA-licensed Td (tetanus and diphtheria) vaccine, providing a substantial proportion of the U.S. requirement for this vaccine. MassBiologics participates in the discovery, production and clinical testing of monoclonal antibodies (including antibodies to Clostridium difficile).,[9] antibodies now known as actoxumab and bezlotoxumab In 2005, MassBiologics opened an $80-million facility for monoclonal-antibody production.

Public service [edit]

UMMS is extending its mission of public service through its Commonwealth Medicine initiative.[10] Commonwealth Medicine provides partnership opportunities for state and local agencies to increase the value and quality of publicly funded health expenditures and to improve access and delivery of care to at-risk and uninsured patients. With Commonwealth Medicine public agencies can leverage the academic, research, management and clinical resources of UMMS for maximum effectiveness.

Faculty [edit]

UMMS faculty members are internationally recognized authorities on subjects including AIDS, cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, pain control, arteriosclerosis, thyroid function, hypertension, joint replacement, organ transplantation, minimally invasive surgery, arthritis, senility and depression. Faculty members include:

  • Craig C. Mello: Nobel Prize winner, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and Blais University Chair in molecular medicine; co-discoverer of RNA Interference, recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research, the Wiley Prize in biomedical sciences, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, the Warren Triennial Prize and the Massry Prize
  • Michael Czech, PhD: Chair of the Program in Molecular Medicine; American Diabetes Association Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement (2000)
  • Victor Ambros, PhD: 2008 Lasker prize winner; pioneer of microRNAs (miRNA)
  • Phillip Zamore, PhD: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, leader in the field of RNA Interference mechanism, W. M. Keck Foundation's Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research Program, co-founder of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of small RNA molecules as therapies for human disease), 2009 recipient of Schering-Plough Institute Award
  • Melissa Moore, PhD: Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, co-director of the UMMS RNA Therapeutics Institute
  • Roger Davis, PhD: Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; fellow of the Royal Society; H. Arthur Smith Chair in cancer research; featured in Biochemistry and Biology and Molecular Biology and Genetics on ISI Highly Cited
  • Michael Green, MD, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; Searle Scholar Award; Presidential Young Investigators Award; McKnight Neuroscience Award; Harvey Lecture in 1993; Fox Chase Distinguished Lecture in Cancer Research in 2010; featured on Biochemistry and Biology and Genetics and Cell Biology on ISI Highly Cited
  • Robert Brown, Jr., MD, DPhil: Chair of Neurology; identified genetic mutations related to familial ALS; expert in neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases
  • Judith Ockene, PhD: Barbara Helen Smith Chair in preventive and behavioral medicine; specialist in women’s health issues (menopause, hormone replacement therapy), health behaviors (alcohol abuse, smoking) and quality-of-life issues
  • Catarina Kiefe, MD, PhD: Chair, Quantitative Health Sciences; senior scientist in health-care quality measurement and outcomes research

Teaching affiliates and clinical partners [edit]

In addition to its education, research and public-service missions, the hospital and clinical components of UMMS are part of UMass Memorial Health Care (UMMHC). UMass Memorial is a multi billion dollar health-care system consisting of acute-care hospitals, ambulatory clinics and a network of primary care physicians and specialists throughout central Massachusetts.[11] With approximately 13,000 employees (including 1,500 physicians), UMMHC is the largest health-care provider in central and western Massachusetts.[11] Its flagship hospital (UMass Memorial Medical Center) straddles two campuses along Route 9 in Worcester, Massachusetts and is designated by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Trauma Center.[11]

UMMHC also maintains four community hospitals:[11]

Campus [edit]

Angular, gray-and-white multi-story building
University of Massachusetts Medical School main building, south side

Lamar Soutter Library [edit]

Named in honor of Lamar Soutter (founding dean of the School of Medicine), the Lamar Soutter Library at UMMS contains more than 288,000 volumes and is the state's leading source of biomedical information for inter‑library loan. The only public medical library in the state, it is the regional medical library for New England and one of eight regional libraries comprising the National Library of Medicine.

Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building [edit]

Blue glass multi-story building
Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building

To support the more than 260 investigators working on advancements in the treatment of disease and injury, the Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building (a 360,000-square-foot (33,000 m2) research facility) opened in October 2001. The 10-story structure, named for the chancellor emeritus, expanded upon the medical school’s existing 600,000 square feet (60,000 m2) of campus buildings and 83,000 square feet (7,700 m2) in the adjacent Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park.

Extended campus [edit]

The UMMS extended campus includes the Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, labs and offices in the Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park in Worcester; sites in Shrewsbury and Auburn; the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center in Waltham and the New England Newborn Screening Program and Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories in Jamaica Plain and Mattapan.

Administration [edit]

Campus Chancellors [edit]

  • Roger J. Bulger: January 29, 1976–November 30, 1978
  • H. Maurice Goodman (acting chancellor): November 15, 1978–June 30, 1979
  • Robert E. Tranquada: July 1, 1979–August 31, 1986
  • James E. Dalen (acting chancellor: August 15, 1986–August 31, 1987
  • James B. Hanshaw (acting chancellor: September 1, 1987–October 31, 1987
  • Leonard Laster: November 1, 1987–August 31, 1990
  • Aaron Lazare: chancellor ad interim September 4, 1990; chancellor May 15, 1991–March 15, 2007
  • Michael F. Collins: interim chancellor July 1, 2007–September 26, 2008; chancellor September 26, 2008–present

Deans of the School of Medicine [edit]

  • Lamar Soutter: Dean, February 24, 1964–April 5, 1975
  • R. W. Butcher: Acting Dean, February 21, 1975–January 28, 1976
  • Roger J. Bulger: Dean, January 29, 1976–November 30, 1978
  • H. Maurice Goodman: Acting Dean, November 15, 1978–June 30, 1979
  • Robert E. Tranquada: Dean, July 1, 1979–June 4, 1986
  • James B. Hanshaw: Dean and Provost, June 4, 1986–September 30, 1989
  • Aaron Lazare: Dean ad interim October 1, 1989; Dean July 25, 1990–March 15, 2007
  • Terence R. Flotte: Dean May 15, 2007–present; Executive Deputy Chancellor of UMass Medical School, May 15, 2007–present

Deans of the Program in Biomedical Sciences [edit]

  • George E. Wright: Acting Dean, fall 1979–June 1980; Dean, June 1981–June 1984
  • Trudy G. Morrison: Acting Dean, June 1980–June 1981

Deans of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences [edit]

  • Thomas B. Miller, Jr.: June 1984–June 2002
  • Anthony Carruthers: December 2002–present

Deans of the Graduate School of Nursing [edit]

  • Kathleen M. Dirschel: June 1985
  • Lillian R. Goodman: September 1991–November 1999
  • Doreen Harper: July 1, 2000–November 1, 2005
  • Paulette Seymour: Interim Dean November 1, 2005–September 5, 2006; Dean September 5, 2006–present

See also [edit]

References [edit]

  1. ^ School of Medicine website Archived from the original 2012-05-23.
  2. ^ Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences website Archived from the original 2012-05-23.
  3. ^ Graduate School of Nursing website Archived from the original 2012-05-23.
  4. ^ a b c "Center for Clinical and Translational Science" - UMass Medical School
  5. ^ U.S. Food and Drug Administration Alphabetical List of Establishments Licensed to produce Biologics including Product Approval Dates
  6. ^ U.S Food and Drug Administration Approved Products, Tetanus & Diphtheria Toxoids, Adsorbed, Manufacturer: MassBiologics, License #1779
  7. ^ Massachusetts General Law: Chapter75, Section 43
  8. ^
  9. ^ N Engl J Med. 2010 Jan 21;362(3):197-205. Treatment with monoclonal antibodies against Clostridium difficile toxins.
  10. ^ Commonwealth Medicine Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  11. ^ a b c d

External links [edit]