Sanford-Burnham Partnerships

Forming meaningful and productive partnerships is an important objective for Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona. Collaboration is the key to our success. It aligns all of us in the pursuit of our research mission.

Since the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona opened in 2009, we have established a variety of partnerships with organizations with which we share similar research interests. These institutions are located within Medical City, throughout the state of Florida as well as across the nation. Our partners are academic and medical research institutions, hospital systems and commercial health care companies.

Other local partners assisted the Institute in establishing a Florida site. We are committed to helping these individuals, organizations and the region-at-large to further develop the emerging biomedical cluster at Lake Nona.


Medical City Partners


Lake Nona Medical City

The cornerstone of Lake Nona’s innovative, mixed-use community is a 650-acre health and life sciences park known as Lake Nona Medical City. A premier location for medical care, research and education, Lake Nona Medical City is based on the proven theory that a cluster of healthcare and biotech facilities within proximity to one another would breed innovation. This intellectual hub opened in a coordinated fashion with a collaborative mission. The Medical City’s pioneering institutions are already forming synergies that will make Orlando a global destination for health care, research and medical education while creating an economic development and job creation engine for the region. Lake Nona Medical City is anchored by the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Orlando VA Medical Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Institute, Nemours Children’s Hospital, and the University of Florida Academic and Research Center.

University of Central Florida (UCF) - College of Medicine

The University of Central Florida's College of Medicine (CoM) opened in July 2010. Frequent interactions resulting from our co-location at Medical City have promoted collaborations with scientists in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences and other colleges located on the UCF main campus. We have developed a number of collaborative scientific interactions with various schools and departments across the expansive UCF main campus, including Bioinformatics, Nanotechnology and Imaging, Optics, and Chemistry. Several of Sanford-Burnham's faculty members hold adjunct faculty positions at the CoM and UCF. More than 20 research collaborations have begun and many have resulted in research publications.

Nemours Children's Hospital

Nemours is one of the nation's leading pediatric health systems, dedicated to advancing higher standards in children's health. Nemours Children's Hospital at Lake Nona will open in the fall of 2012. Designed with the help of patient-families and health care professionals, the new 600,000 sq. ft., 95-bed hospital will be part of a 6-acre, fully integrated health campus. The hospital will feature a specialty clinic, ambulatory surgery center, and educational and research centers. This will lead to exciting interactions between Nemours and Sanford-Burnham researchers, whose complementary skills will enhance research focused on pediatric diseases.

Orlando VA Medical Center

The new Orlando VA Medical Center is under construction at Lake Nona and will be completed in 2013, providing the highest quality healthcare for approximately 400,000 of Central Florida's veterans. On 65 acres of land, the 1.2 million square foot VA Medical Center will have 134 inpatient beds, in addition to a 120-bed Community Living Center, and 60-bed Residential Rehabilitation program. The Orlando VA Medical Center has been selected as the national site for medical simulation training and will bring physicians and other medical professionals from throughout the country to train in the latest medical simulation technology such as surgical robotics and simulated patients. Discussions between Sanford-Burnham and VA Medical Center leadership focus on potential research collaborations addressing diseases that affect an adult population.

University of Florida (UF)

The University of Florida (UF) has established a Research and Academic Center at Lake Nona adjacent to Sanford-Burnham. The $44 million, 100,000 sq. ft. facility will be completed in summer 2012. It will house educational and research components of the School of Pharmacy, along with additional research endeavors, including an Aging Unit (Department of Medicine). This building will also house the Institute for Therapeutic Innovation (ITI), which will comprise an inter-departmental group of scientists focused on the broad area of drug discovery. We anticipate that there will be extraordinary opportunities for research collaborations between Sanford-Burnham and University of Florida researchers. The Institute continues to develop scientific interactions with various colleges and departments at UF and a number of our faculty members have joint faculty appointments at UF.

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Orlando

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center occupies the fifth floor of the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences building on the UCF CoM campus. The facility specializes in treating more than ten types of cancer and brings together expertise in areas that include harvesting and processing tissue, evaluating therapeutic efficacy of targeted agents, and advanced imaging.

Lake Nona

Lake Nona is a 7,000-acre master planned community within the city limits of Orlando that features world-class education, medical facilities, diverse workspaces, a mix of residential options, retail centers, entertainment choices and environmental amenities. Lake Nona has invested the best in planning principles, design practices and smart growth features through the thoughtful integration of homes, neighborhoods, schools, trails, parks, modern infrastructure and commercial development in one good-natured environment. Lake Nona is being developed by Lake Nona Property Holdings, owned by Tavistock Group, a private investment company.

Tavistock Group

Tavistock Group is an international private investment company founded by Joe Lewis. The company provides creative capital structured for each investment opportunity and looks to deploy between $25 million to $1 billion in established businesses which benefit from its capital, flexibility, management expertise and global network of resources. With investments in 175 companies across 15 countries, Tavistock Group’s investment portfolio includes: life sciences, sports teams and sporting events, manufacturing and distribution, oil, gas and energy, financial services, restaurants, commercial properties, private luxury residential properties, resort properties and master-planned real estate developments.

Florida Partners


Florida Hospital - Sanford-Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI)

The goal of the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI), a collaboration between Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham, is to translate basic scientific discoveries in the laboratory to usable information and products that improve that diagnosis and treatment of human diseases - especially obesity and diabetes. As Sanford-Burnham basic researchers in Lake Nona continue to unravel the molecular underpinnings of these diseases, the TRI conducts proof-of-concept experiments to validate the relevance of the discoveries towards development of new therapies aimed at metabolic diseases such as diabetes and its complications. When it opens in March 2012, the TRI's new three-story, 54,000 sq. ft. facility in Orlando, Florida, will house a research clinic, advanced imaging equipment, a biorepository for sample collection and storage, and other resources for human metabolic studies. The facility's stand-out feature will be the calorimeter rooms. These whole-room calorimeters will allow the TRI staff to measure fat and carbohydrate oxidation and total body energy expenditure as a person goes about his or her daily routine of sleeping, eating, walking and resting.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Scientists at Sanford-Burnham in Lake Nona, in collaboration with researchers at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, are creating synthetic anti-cancer compounds that are based on biologically active, naturally occurring compounds found in sponges that may be beneficial in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In addition, an agreement has been established to develop a library of natural products from marine organisms.

Scripps Research Institute Florida

Several collaborative activities have emerged between the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona and Scripps Florida scientists in Jupiter. Some of the interactions revolve around the use of our metabolomics and animal cores. Others involve scientific collaborative activities related to complementary expertise. Interactions have evolved, in part, through networking at our Annual Symposium and by inviting Scripps scientists to participate in Sanford-Burnham's research seminars.

Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Moffitt Cancer Center is the only Florida-based National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt has 14 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia, one in Pennsylvania and two in Puerto Rico. Moffitt is also a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer.

Commercial Partnerships

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

A multi-disciplinary team of basic scientists and clinical researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona and the TRI established a formal research collaboration with Takeda, Japan's largest pharmaceutical company. This exciting project involves a bold research endeavor that spans the continuum from laboratory bench to clinical application, aimed at obesity. Advanced technologies, including genomic and metabolite profiling, will be used to identify biomarkers (diagnostic gene and metabolite markers) and novel drug targets aimed at obesity and its metabolic complications.


Orlando Partners

City of Orlando

Florida's Blood Centers

Florida Hospital

Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission

Orange County

Orlando Health

Orlando Magic

State of Florida

Walt Disney World

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