University of Massachusetts Medical School Company Information
- United States
A state-supported public medical school for Massachusetts was established by the commonwealth in July of 1962; the founding dean, Lamar Soutter, was appointed in December of 1963 and began the execution of a vision for an extraordinary medical school. â€œI think that if you're starting a medical school from scratch,â€ he said at the time, â€œyou can say alright, let's get this science of medicine very firmly rooted in the students' mindsâ€”but then let's take them back to the bedside and make them much better practitioners and much more interested in taking care of human beings even though they are making full use of laboratory procedures and scientific advances.â€ A period of expansion began in 1990 with the appointment of Aaron Lazare as dean and, subsequently, chancellor, who would go on to become one of the longest-serving leaders of a medical school in the US by the time he stepped down in 2007. With the acquisition of the former Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research and the Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories and the spinoff of hospital operations into a new clinical system, the campus entered a period of unprecedented growth. A new research building opened in 2001 and the original medical school and hospital buildings were extensively renovated and expanded to include new meeting, educational, emergency and surgical spaces. Research funding grew for a time at a rate faster than any other academic health sciences center in the country, fueled by recruitment of basic science faculty drawn to UMMS> prominence in several fields, including gene function and expression; gene development; biochemistry; and molecular medicine. In 2006, UMMS professor Craig C. Mello, PhD, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine, shared with Stanford researcher Andrew Fire, PhD, for their discovery of the mechanism of gene silencing by double-stranded RNA, which they termed â€˜RNA interference. The Nobel Prize drew attention and support to UMMS throughout the commonwealth; the University of Massachusetts created a Life Sciences Task Force that proposed a series of strategic investments in biomedical sciences education, research and infrastructure across the five campuses; many of these recommendations were mirrored in the Commonwealth>s own Life Sciences Initiative, a ten-year, billion-dollar plan for investment.