Schools of Medicine, Biological Sciences exploring new partnership

The UMKC  School of Medicine and the School of Biological Sciences are exploring a partnership joining the basic life sciences and medicine.

Throughout the next three to six months, faculty, staff and administrators from these schools will work jointly to explore the partnership that is anticipated to grow enrollments, enhance life sciences research and create new academic degree opportunities.

The field of life sciences continues to evolve at an accelerated pace as do changes in medical delivery systems. This provides an opportunity for individuals whose academic training prepares them to serve as the healthcare providers of the future – critical thinkers, problem solvers and collaborators, utilizing core skills developed in studying the basic life sciences.

School of Medicine Dean Betty Drees, M.D., said the School has a strong existing relationship with the School of Biological Sciences through its baccalaureate/MD program. This partnership opportunity will further enhance education, research and service in the life and health sciences.

“We have greatly benefited over the years from a solid working relationship with the School of Medicine,” said Lawrence Dreyfus, Dean of the School of Biological Sciences. “However, I see this new partnership as a transformative opportunity not only for our Schools, but UMKC as a whole. This partnership represents a genuine opportunity for UMKC to lead the region in the life and health sciences by developing unique educational programs and robust research collaborations.”

The hallmark of the School of Biological Sciences is its focus on the basic life sciences and excellence in research, which serves as the foundation for students’ professional careers in science and for continued education in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and graduate school. The SBS faculty secure approximately $4 million in annual research funding and publish their research findings in leading scientific journals. Founded in 1983, SBS was chartered to develop a world-class basic life sciences research program, and it was the first to offer a life sciences Ph.D. program at UMKC. It also is credited for being one of the fastest growing academic units on UMKC’s campus, increasing undergraduate biology majors from 195 in 2000 to approximately 600 a decade later.

Advancing the health of our community is the ultimate goal of the School of Medicine. Through innovative medical education programs, the School has graduated more than 3,000 physicians in its 40-year history. The School has set itself apart from other medical schools in its team approach to education, strong clinical programs and early student-patient involvement. Graduates of the School of Medicine enjoy top residency placements and receive high marks from their residency program directors for their outstanding clinical and patient skills. In addition to providing outstanding medical care for Kansas City, Mo., and the nation, many of the School’s alumni have gone on to serve as faculty members, department chairs and other top administrative positions at prestigious hospitals and medical schools across the country. Throughout this 40 year history, the school has been a trendsetter in medical research and education.

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