ORLANDO, Fla. , June 15, 2009
Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham) is continuing its bi-coastal expansion with the appointment of the director of the Metabolic Signaling and Disease Program in the Diabetes and Obesity Research Center at its campus in Lake Nona, located in Orlando, Florida. Burnham conducts research at two campuses in California, in La Jolla and Santa Barbara, in addition to the growing campus in Orlando.
Timothy F. Osborne, Ph.D., will move his laboratory from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), to Burnham’s recently completed Lake Nona campus this summer. Burnham’s new East Coast site, which opened in April, is establishing a sophisticated research technology platform including a state-of-the-art ultra-high-throughput small-molecule screening center funded by a $98 million NIH grant. Approximately 300 researchers and support staff will be housed in the 175,000 square-foot facility.
“The appointment of Dr. Osborne is the latest milestone in a year of both significant institutional growth and scientific breakthroughs at Burnham,” said John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Burnham. “The addition of a scientist of this caliber to our Florida faculty is a testament to the unique research opportunity that Burnham has to offer. The collaborative and interdisciplinary nature at Burnham, as well as the excellent workplace environment, continues to attract some of the best and brightest researchers in the world.”
Dr. Osborne is currently chairman of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at UCI. His recent research is focused on understanding how the body uses taste perception to alter dietary absorption and metabolism, with a special emphasis on the molecular physiology of cell signaling relating to major health problems such as diabetes and obesity. Dr. Osborne received his doctorate in microbiology and molecular biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and conducted postdoctoral research in the lab of Nobel Prize winners, Brown and Goldstein at University of Texas at Southwestern Medical School. He has research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. Dr. Osborne was elected to Who’s Who in American University Professors, was recognized as an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association, was a Lucille P. Markey Scholar Award in Biomedical Science and is a recipient of UCI’s Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research.
“Burnham Institute for Medical Research is an enthusiastic and high-level organization with the people and the resources to make a difference,” said Dr. Osborne. “There is a pioneering spirit at Burnham’s Lake Nona campus, and I am honored to be joining and leading the scientists there.”
Burnham’s faculty at Lake Nona has almost doubled its size in one year. Daniel P. Kelly, M.D., scientific director of Burnham at Lake Nona, will continue an aggressive recruitment schedule in the coming years. The Institute was recently ranked one of the top-15 places to work in academia and ranked second in overall job satisfaction by The Scientist.
“We’re creating a novel research environment where scientists across a variety of disciplines co-mingle in a virtual institute that spans both coasts,” said Dr. Kelly, “This fosters collaboration and, ultimately, moves discovery science along at a faster pace. The unique nature of the Burnham environment has enabled us to recruit scientists such as Dr. Osborne from the most prestigious universities and research institutions in the world.”
Scientists at Burnham’s Lake Nona campus are investigating a broad range of diseases, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer. The investigators often lead disease-focused research programs, enabling them to participate in a truly collaborative approach to research where scientists across many disciplines address the intersections of diseases. This cooperative approach to understanding the molecular basis of complex diseases spans both coasts as scientists at the Lake Nona and La Jolla campuses are already engaged in a number of collaborative projects.
Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of Central Florida College of Medicine are founding partners in the master-planned life science cluster being developed at Lake Nona. The Lake Nona “medical city” will include Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando VA Medical Center, MD Anderson Orlando’s Cancer Research Institute, and a University of Florida research center. Lake Nona is expected to attract biotechnology companies to the area that are interested in leveraging the close proximity of these research and medical powerhouses.