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FIU researcher appointed to Florida Biomedical Research Advisory Council

FIU researcher appointed to Florida Biomedical Research Advisory Council

June 29, 2023 at 10:07am

FIU’s Stephen Black has been appointed to the Biomedical Research Advisory Council, a group that provides analysis and guidance to the Florida surgeon general on the direction and scope of the state’s biomedical and cancer research programs.

Black is the associate dean for research and chair of the Department of Cellular Biology and Pharmacology in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. He also serves as the inaugural director of the FIU Center for Translational Science in Port St. Lucie, which officially opened in 2022. There, Black has hired a growing team of noted researchers charged with turning scientific discoveries into viable therapies for human diseases as quickly as possible.

An expert in pulmonary vascular disease, Black has instituted a policy of collaboration – both among personnel at the center and with researchers back at FIU’s colleges of medicine and public health – that has seen grant awards swell from a single, initial $500,000 to $13 million, with millions more expected in the coming years.

Such eye-popping numbers come courtesy of a rapidly hired team of rockstar scientists. Fifteen principal investigators – working on neurodegenerative disorders, infectious illnesses and spinal cord injury, among others – now each have multiple projects and a full team under their purview. That number is expected to grow to 30 within the next few years. Black foresees would-be investors and startup companies moving into the area.

Black’s appointment to the state advisory council speaks to both his high-level background and FIU’s commitment to advanced research that can transform lives.

“This recognition is a testament to Dr. Black’s exceptional expertise and reputation in the scientific community,” said Dr. Juan C. Cendan, dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and vice president for Health Affairs. “His vast knowledge will undoubtedly play a vital role in shaping important decisions and policies that will impact biomedical research in our state.”

Added Black, “I look forward to doing my part in ensuring that the state continues supporting the best biomedical research in Florida.”