UMASS MEDICAL SCHOOL DEAN ELECTED TO ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN PHYSICIANS

WORCESTER, Mass.--April 26, 2010--Terence R. Flotte, MD, dean of the School of Medicine and executive deputy chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and an internationally known pioneer in human gene therapy, has been elected into the Association of American Physicians (AAP), a prestigious organization founded in 1885 for the advancement of scientific and practical medicine.

“This honor recognizes the impact that Terry’s research has had in advancing healthcare internationally,” noted Robert W. Finberg, MD, chair of the department of medicine. “Most importantly, as the consummate clinician and scientist, Terry’s leadership has pushed UMass Medical School into the forefront of medical research, while he has worked tirelessly to advance healthcare in central Massachusetts. In doing so, he has provided all of us in the medical school with an ideal role model and energetic advocate for better healthcare.”

The goals of the AAP and its members include the pursuit of medical knowledge and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine. Comprised of 1,300 active members and approximately 550 emeritus and honorary members—including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academy of Science and the Institute of Medicine—from the United States, Canada and other countries, the AAP serves “as a repository of the best medical minds and as a forum to create and disseminate knowledge, and to provide role models for upcoming generations of physicians and medical scientists.” Approximately 55 to 60 new members are formally elected each year at the Association’s annual meeting, where members share their scientific discoveries and contributions.

Recognized as an innovative physician-scientist and a leader in his field, Flotte received his undergraduate degree in the biological sciences from the University of New Orleans in 1982, and his medical degree from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in 1986. After serving his residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, he completed a pediatric pulmonary fellowship and postdoctoral training in molecular virology there in 1992. In 1995, Flotte and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins became the first to use the apparently harmless adeno-associated virus, or AAV, as a vehicle to deliver corrective genes to targeted sites in the body, including the damaged airways of adults with cystic fibrosis. Flotte is currently investigating the use of gene therapy for a number of genetic diseases, including a phase 2 study in adults with a genetic form of emphysema, called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

In 1996, Flotte joined the faculty of the University of Florida and was appointed Associate Director of UF’s Powell Gene Therapy Center. In 2000, he was named Director of the Powell Center and founding Director of the newly established UF Genetics Institute, a cross-campus multidisciplinary unit encompassing gene therapy, human genetics, agricultural genetics and comparative genomics. In 2002, Flotte became Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at UF, a position he held until joining UMMS in 2007.

At UMMS, Flotte has continued his pediatric pulmonary practice while pursuing clinical trials and basic laboratory research to determine how to treat genetic disorders using vectors, or viruses modified to carry corrective genes. He is the author of more than 185 scholarly papers, and his work has been cited over 5,750 times according to the ISI. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1993, with additional funding from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Alpha-1 Foundation.

As dean and executive deputy chancellor, Flotte serves UMMS as chief academic and administrative officer of the School of Medicine, assisting in the development and implementation of a strategic vision for the school’s future. Accordingly, he oversees all academic activities of the basic and clinical science departments, including education and research for the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Flotte has received numerous honors and awards including the Society for Pediatric Research’s E. Mead Johnson Award for Outstanding Scientific Contributions. He has served on numerous editorial boards and NIH study sections and is a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Pediatric Society, American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy and the American Society of Microbiology, among many other professional associations.

About the University of Massachusetts Medical School
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $240 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The mission of the Medical School is to advance the health and well-being of the people of the commonwealth and the world through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery with its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care. For more information, visit www.umassmed.edu.

About the Association of American Physicians
The Association of American Physicians is a nonprofit, professional organization founded in 1885 by seven physicians, including Dr. William Osler, for "the advancement of scientific and practical medicine." Now the Association is composed of about 1300 active members and approximately 550 emeritus and honorary members from the United States, Canada and other countries. The goals of its members include the pursuit of medical knowledge, and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine. Each year, 55-60 individuals having attained excellence in achieving these goals, are recognized by nomination for membership by the Council of the Association. Their election gives them the opportunity to share their scientific discoveries and contributions with their colleagues at the annual meeting. Go to www.aap-online.org for more information.