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UF | College of Medicine - University of Florida
Engage, Innovate, Excel | 2026
New mentorship program, boot camp help researchers with grant proposal process
Three researchers talk in a lab.

With a record $121 million in National Institutes of Health research funding in 2021, the UF College of Medicine is home to dozens of top-funded researchers across several specialties who annually contribute groundbreaking research to their fields. Now, the college is turning to these experts to serve as guides for the next generation of medical researchers.

As part of a new research training and workforce development program spearheaded by the UF College of Medicine’s Office of Research Affairs, a new project under the research pillar of the college’s strategic plan initiative aims to make what can be an intimidating process — completing a grant proposal for R01 funding from the NIH — easier, and even fun.

The NIH awards R01 grants to support specific health-related research and development projects in line with its mission. The college’s new R01 Boot Camp teams up early career investigators with senior researchers at the college, as well as other UF and external subject matter experts, to assist researchers who are applying for grants through all steps of the process and provide them with feedback. Teams also meet monthly to have informal chats and discuss big-picture ideas, such as giving an elevator pitch on research topics.

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Department spotlight: Ophthalmology residents practice patient advocacy
Five members of the department of ophthalmology pose for a group photo.

Residents in the College of Medicine department of ophthalmology graduate after having performed nearly 2,000 procedures, and they also leave with an ability to advocate for the best patient care possible.

The residency program ranks No.1 in the country in the number of cataract surgeries that residents perform and maintains a 100% pass rate on board exams. Cataract surgeries are the most common procedure practicing ophthalmologists encounter, said Casey Beal, M.D., FAAP, director of the department’s residency program, and at UF, residents graduate with about 300 of these surgeries under their belts.

High surgical volumes, the ability to operate earlier in their residency and advocacy opportunities are compelling draws for soon-to-be residents considering where to complete their training. This focus on patient-centric advocacy led the American Academy of Ophthalmology to choose UF’s program as the recipient of the Commitment to Advocacy Award earlier this year. 

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College welcomes 135 medical students to the class of 2026
135 students pose for a group photo outside on the U-F campus.

Some are military veterans, while others are jazz musicians. Some became interested in the medical field due to family illnesses or by getting first-hand experience working inside intensive care units.

Although their backgrounds vary, all 135 members of the UF College of Medicine’s M.D. class of 2026 are united by a calling to care for others. The students began their medical school journeys last week with orientation, coming together in person for the first time. They also met some of the faculty members who will be by their side through the lessons and challenges of medical school.

Meet the class of 2026 »
Rolling out “badge tap” single sign-on access
UF Health IT offers secure single sign-on workstation access for clinical teams using Epic and more. After a daily manual login, users tap in/out with a key fob. Badge tap is coming to all Gainesville hospitals and medical practices. Visit Bridge for feedback from clinicians.
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Research spotlight: Drs. Nikhil Urs and Nicole Horenstein
A recent study led by UF neuroscientists provides insight into how drug molecules may bind to dopamine D1 receptors. These interactions could be key to developing improved therapies with fewer side effects for dopamine dysfunction, implicated in several psychiatric and neurological disorders.
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Reminder: State of the College coming Sept. 23
Orange and blue save the date reading 9-23-22.
Learn about advancements under the strategic plan's seven pillars; successes from community and university engagement efforts; student, faculty and trainee updates and more at the annual State of the College address, taking place next month.
Save the date »
View strategic plan initiatives dashboard
Track progress of initiatives under the strategic plan’s seven pillars.
View the dashboard »
» Back to school for students of all ages brings new routines, which can be hectic. GatorCare provides a list of easy, nutritious recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner to keep you energized while saving time.
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Exterior photo of the Heart & Vascular and Neuromedicine hospitals accented by a water fountain feature.
UF Health Shands hospitals nationally ranked in 10 adult, pediatric medical specialties

UF Health Shands Hospital once again has the most nationally recognized adult and pediatric specialties among Florida hospitals ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The 2022-23 Best Hospitals report solidifies UF Health’s position as the state’s premier destination for nationally ranked health care specialties.

The analysis of more than 4,500 adult hospitals again puts UF Health in elite company with health systems nationwide that are ranked in medical specialties. These rankings come six weeks after UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital tied for the No. 1 pediatric hospital in Florida and earned national rankings in five pediatric specialties from U.S. News & World Report. Overall, UF Health Shands Hospital is ranked in 10 adult and pediatric medical specialties.

View rankings »
Five people pose for a photo wearing face coverings.
Winners chosen from Orange and Brew raffle

A chance to win an Opus Coffee gift basket prompted College of Medicine students, residents, fellows and postdocs to enter a raffle as they enjoyed complimentary beverages at the second annual Orange and Brew event in July. Three lucky learners and trainees have received their prize.

Medical students Grace Desena and Vincent Archibald were selected as winners from the 115 in-person entries pulled from the pool of tickets. Cardiothoracic surgery resident Fabian Jimenez, M.D., took the prize from the college’s social media challenges that rolled out during the weeks leading up to Orange and Brew.

Thank you to everyone who attended the event and participated in the social media challenges from the College of Medicine channels.

See winners »
Cody Hawley stands outside posing for a photo with his arms crossed.
Dr. Cody Hawley appointed director of communications for college

Growing up in a military family, Cody R. Hawley, Ph.D., honed the art of communicating with people from all walks of life. Before graduating college, he had moved eight times, from Michigan to Florida, Virginia to Connecticut. Each time, he immersed himself in the culture and values of his new surroundings, soaking up knowledge from those around him. 

Hawley turned his passion for persuasion and public speaking into an academic and professional priority, obtaining a doctoral degree in rhetoric and organizational communication. After serving as the director of executive communication at USF Health, Hawley now brings his breadth and depth of experience in strategic communication, academic medicine, communications research and executive leadership to the UF College of Medicine as its new director of communications. 

Meet Dr. Hawley »
UF | College of Medicine - University of Florida
Location Dean's Office | Medical Science Building
Phone (352) 273-7500
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