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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

UMass Medical School picks dean from Florida

Dr. Terence R. Flotte, a pediatrician and gene therapy researcher from the University of Florida, has been named the new dean and deputy executive chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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Dr. Terence R. Flotte

Currently the chair of pediatrics at the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainesville, Flotte, 45, will succeed Dr. Aaron Lazare, 71, on May 15. Last year Lazare stepped back from the dual role of dean and chancellor of UMass Medical School, remaining chancellor until last month, when for health reasons he began a one-year sabbatical. He will then return to teaching psychology.

Flotte focuses his research on genetic therapies and cystic fibrosis in particular. He plans to continue to conduct research, see patients and teach.

"It is a very special time right now for UMass Medical School," Flotte said in an interview. "The new dean will have the great privilege of helping to lead the process whereby scientific knowledge will be translated into benefits for patients, first through clinical trials and, we hope, to usable treatments for patients with diseases ranging from Huntington’s disease to cancer to you name it."

Flotte was one of four finalists to become the dean of the UF medical school, a position that last month went to Dr. Bruce C. Kone, chairman of the department of internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. Flotte said he applied for both positions because he wanted to do more than a department head can.

In a memo to members of the medical school, UMass President Jack M. Wilson said the search committee looked at department chairs because medical school departments can be incubators for leadership and vision.

"In this regard, Dr. Flotte has a superb record: Under his leadership the department of pediatrics has grown in size, funding, prestige and opportunities for clinical and education service initiatives," Wilson wrote.

Flotte is a graduate of the University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in pediatrics, a pediatric pulmonary fellowship and postdoctoral training in molecular virology at Johns Hopkins University.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 12:05 PM
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