University of Massachusetts Medical School Information

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University of Massachusetts
Medical School
Endowment$196.4 million (2015) [1]
ChancellorMichael Collins
President Marty Meehan
StudentsMedicine: 518
Biomedical Sciences: 431
Nursing: 212

42°16′37″N 71°45′45″W / 42.276815°N 71.762445°W / 42.276815; -71.762445

42°16′37″N 71°45′45″W / 42.276815°N 71.762445°W / 42.276815; -71.762445
ColorsBlue, white and black             

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) is one of five campuses of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) system. It is home to three schools: the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Graduate School of Nursing, as well as a biomedical research enterprise and a range of public-service initiatives throughout the state. One of the fastest-growing academic health centers in the country,[ citation needed] UMMS is located in Worcester, Massachusetts; other UMass sites are located in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell. UMMS is also known as UMass Worcester.

The school is ranked 5th in primary-care education and 49th in research among the United States 128 medical schools in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report annual guide, "America’s Best Graduate Schools”. During the past four decades UMMS researchers have made advances in a broad range of disease families, from HIV and infectious diseases to cancer, genetic disorders, diabetes and immune disease. UMMS faculty discovered the link between the immune system and type-1 diabetes, found the genetic cause underlying the third-most-common form of the muscular dystrophies, established the fundamental difference between HIV and other retroviruses and co-discovered RNA interference (RNAi) (a naturally occurring gene-silencing process which has become a tool in research focused on such areas as diabetes, HIV/AIDS and cancer).


UMMS was established by an act of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1962 to provide residents of the commonwealth an opportunity to study medicine at an affordable cost and to increase the number of primary-care physicians practicing in the commonwealth's under-served areas. The School of Medicine accepted its first class of 16 students in 1970. Six years later a 371-bed hospital opened on campus; the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences opened in 1979, and the Graduate School of Nursing opened in 1986.

In 1998 the UMMS system of hospitals and clinics merged with Memorial Health Care to form UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest health-care provider in Central Massachusetts and clinical partner of UMMS.

Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research

The research mission at UMMS was augmented in 1997 with the acquisition of the financially ailing Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research, the Shrewsbury, Massachusetts institution where researchers developed the combined oral contraceptive pill during the early 1960s.


School of Medicine

Accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the School of Medicine grants the MD degree to its graduates. With the exception of MD/PhD students, degree candidates were formerly required to be Massachusetts residents, a policy which has changed beginning with the entering class of 2017. Approximately 125 students enroll annually, and more than 2,700 students have received medical degrees from UMMS. The School of Medicine has gained a national reputation for its primary-care program and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of schools in the annual U.S.News & World Report guide, "America’s Best Graduate Schools". SCImago Journal Rank listed the university as No. 74 in the US and No. 248 globally. [2] Over half of each graduating class enters primary-care residencies, a trend underscoring the school's founding mission. In addition, a high number of graduates practice throughout the state.

University rankings
ARWU [4] 62-71 [3]
ARWU [7] 151-200 [5]
U.S. News & World Report [8] 251 [6]

The institution attributes its success in training primary-care physicians, in part, to a curriculum which emphasizes early exposure to community practice (beginning in the first year of medical school). Third-year students are required to complete a clerkship-rotation program, in which they spend six weeks at a time with community-based physicians. The curriculum's learning objectives are targeted at developing the foundational competencies required of all physicians including competency in communication, scientific, and patient- and community-advocacy skills. In 2010, National Resident Matching Program results showed that members of the UMMS class were accepted into some of the most competitive residency programs in the country; 71 percent of graduates entered primary care (including obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine and pediatrics).

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS)is a Ph.D-granting program that trains scientists in a specialty area with a broad background in the basic medical sciences in preparation for conducting research with direct relevance to human disease. According to the GSBS website, the school offers students a multidisciplinary program of study, in which they have freedom of choice in curriculum and in the selection of mentors for their graduate-thesis research. [9] Since the first class of seven students enrolled in 1979, more than 300 students have earned PhDs from the GSBS. The program (which continues to grow as new frontiers in science are explored), is gaining national and international recognition for excellence.

Graduate School of Nursing

Since the opening of the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) in 1986, more than 600 students have obtained a nursing master's, post-master's or doctoral degree from the school. The GSN prepares professional and advanced practice nurses, nurse scientists and educators as leaders in nursing and health-care delivery to diverse populations through education, research, practice and service (according to the GSN website). [10]


UMMS has emerged on the national scene as a research center. In 1998, UMMS researcher Craig Mello (an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) and his colleague Andrew Fire (of Stanford University, then of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C.) discovered RNA interference (RNAi). Mello and Fire demonstrated that small pieces of double-stranded RNA had interfered with the expression of a gene whose coding sequence of DNA was similar to that of the RNA they tested. Since the discovery of RNAi, researchers at UMMS and around the world have taken advantage of its technology to speed investigation into a variety of diseases. Mello and Fire received the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries related to RNA interference.

UMMS scientists[ who?] also pioneered the fundamental elements of DNA-based flu vaccines during the 1990s. UMMS Professor of Medicine Shan Lu, leader of the UMMS DNA vaccine efforts, and his colleagues have partnered with PowerMed (a British immunotherapeutics company) to advance the development of a potential avian-flu vaccine. Lu's team has also been recognized for its work in the creation of an HIV vaccine, which in Phase I testing was found to generate antibody and T-cell responses in otherwise-healthy people not infected with HIV.

Federal and private research grants and contracts at UMMS rose from about $2 million in 1977 to more than $307.6 million in 2011, putting UMMS in the top third of all research-based medical schools. UMMS currently supports more than 260 investigators working on advancements in the treatment of disease and injury.

The school's portfolio of commercial ventures and intellectual property was catapulted by the success of UMMS licenses and patents (including intellectual property related to RNAi gene-silencing technology and drug and vaccine development), UMass ranked eighth in the nation in generating income from the licensing of faculty-derived discoveries and products and generated $70,553,428 in technology-transfer income in FY 2009, executing 50 technology licenses and options and creating one start-up company (according to the fiscal year 2009 report released by the Association of University Technology Managers).


The UMass Medical School is affiliated with a number of healthcare organizations and research programs. Its largest publicly funded affiliate in the field of cancer research is the Quality Assurance Review Center (QARC). Located in Lincoln, Rhode Island, thousands of radiotherapy (RT) reviews per year are conducted in accordance with governmental and pharmaceutical protocols at QARC. [11] Supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), QARC receives radiotherapy data from around 1,000 hospitals in the United States and abroad. [11] Over 40,000 cases have been reviewed at QARC since its official inception in 1980. [11]


MassBiologics is the only publicly owned, non-profit FDA-licensed [12] manufacturer of vaccine [13] and other biologic products in the United States. Established in 1894 by the state Board of Health to produce diphtheria antitoxin, the operations of the Biologic Laboratories (sometimes called MBL, Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories, and historically as Massachusetts Public Health Biologic Laboratories and the State Vaccine and Antitoxin Laboratories) were conducted under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health until 1997. The University of Massachusetts Biologic Laboratory was re-established by the Massachusetts legislature [14] to operate with an executive director and an advisory board consisting of leaders of the Department of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts medical programs, as well as additional members appointed by the President of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. Although operating independently on its Jamaica Plain and Mattapan campuses in south Boston, MassBiologics is administered under the umbrella of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and its current chief executive, Dr Mark Klempner, is the Executive Vice Chancellor for MassBiologics. The mission of the organization is the discovery, development, investigational and commercial production of vaccine and biologic medicines (primarily monoclonal antibodies), and the clinical research underpinning their use.

It has introduced into general use vaccines[ which?] to prevent typhus, smallpox, pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria and other diseases. The lab's scientists pioneered plasma products to protect young children from serious infectious diseases. In recent years, MassBiologics has been called upon to respond to the threat of SARS, avian flu and rabies. MassBiologics has developed or collaborated on five “orphan products” ()over the past twenty years. Its FDA approved aseptic filling suite allows MassBiologics to fill its own products and offer this limited resource for private and public needs. [15] MassBiologics continues to market its FDA-licensed Td (tetanus and diphtheria) vaccine, providing a substantial proportion of the U.S. requirement for this vaccine. MassBiologics participates in the discovery, production and clinical testing of monoclonal antibodies (including antibodies to Clostridium difficile), [16] antibodies now known as actoxumab and bezlotoxumab In 2005, the firm opened an $80-million facility for monoclonal-antibody production. Co-developed with India-based - Serum Institute of India, it invented a fast acting anti-Rabies drug called Rabies Human Monoclonal Antibody (RMAb). [17]

Public service

UMMS is extending its mission of public service through its Commonwealth Medicine initiative. [18] Commonwealth Medicine provides partnership opportunities for state and local agencies to increase the value and quality of publicly funded health expenditures and to improve access and delivery of care to at-risk and uninsured patients.[ how?]


Notable faculty members include:

Teaching affiliates and clinical partners

The hospital and clinical components of UMMS are part of UMass Memorial Health Care (UMMHC). UMass Memorial is a multibillion-dollar health-care system consisting of acute-care hospitals, ambulatory clinics and a network of primary care physicians and specialists throughout central Massachusetts. [21] With approximately 13,000 employees (including 1,500 physicians), UMMHC is the largest health-care provider in central and western Massachusetts. [21] Its flagship hospital (UMass Memorial Medical Center) straddles two campuses along Route 9 in Worcester, Massachusetts and is designated by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Trauma Center. [21]

UMMHC also maintains four community hospitals: [21]


Angular, gray-and-white multi-story building
Albert Sherman Center

Albert Sherman Center

The University of Massachusetts Medical School enters a new era of biomedical research, medical education and campus collaboration with the opening of the $400 million Albert Sherman Center. Home to Nobel Prize-winning research and the cornerstone of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, the Sherman Center was unveiled to the public on January 30, 2013 a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gov. Deval Patrick.

Lamar Soutter Library

Named in honor of Lamar Soutter (founding dean of the School of Medicine), the Lamar Soutter Library at UMMS contains more than 288,000 volumes and is the state's leading source of biomedical information for inter‑library loan. The only public medical library in the state, it is the regional medical library for New England and one of eight regional libraries comprising the National Library of Medicine.

Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building

Blue glass multi-story building
Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building

To support the more than 260 investigators working on advancements in the treatment of disease and injury, the Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building (a 360,000-square-foot (33,000 m2) research facility) opened in October 2001. The 10-story structure, named for the chancellor emeritus, expanded upon the medical school's existing 600,000 square feet (60,000 m2) of campus buildings and 83,000 square feet (7,700 m2) in the adjacent Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park.

Extended campus

The UMMS extended campus includes the Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, labs and offices in the Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park in Worcester; sites in Shrewsbury and Auburn; the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center in Waltham and the New England Newborn Screening Program and Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories in Jamaica Plain and Mattapan.


Campus Chancellors

  • Lamar Soutter: February 6, 1974 – April 5, 1975
  • Roger J. Bulger: January 29, 1976 – November 30, 1978
  • H. Maurice Goodman (acting chancellor): November 15, 1978 – June 30, 1979
  • Robert E. Tranquada: July 1, 1979 – August 31, 1986
  • James E. Dalen (acting chancellor: August 15, 1986 – August 31, 1987
  • James B. Hanshaw (acting chancellor: September 1, 1987 – October 31, 1987
  • Leonard Laster: November 1, 1987 – August 31, 1990
  • Aaron Lazare: chancellor ad interim September 4, 1990; chancellor May 15, 1991 – March 15, 2007
  • Michael F. Collins: interim chancellor July 1, 2007 – September 26, 2008; chancellor September 26, 2008–present

Deans of the School of Medicine

  • Lamar Soutter: Dean, February 24, 1964 – April 5, 1975
  • R. W. Butcher: Acting Dean, February 21, 1975 – January 28, 1976
  • Roger J. Bulger: Dean, January 29, 1976 – November 30, 1978
  • H. Maurice Goodman: Acting Dean, November 15, 1978 – June 30, 1979
  • Robert E. Tranquada: Dean, July 1, 1979 – June 4, 1986
  • James B. Hanshaw: Dean and Provost, June 4, 1986 – September 30, 1989
  • Aaron Lazare: Dean "ad interim" October 1, 1989; Dean July 25, 1990 – March 15, 2007
  • Terence R. Flotte: Dean May 15, 2007–present; Executive Deputy Chancellor of UMass Medical School, May 15, 2007–present

Deans of the Program in Biomedical Sciences

  • George E. Wright: Acting Dean, fall 1979–June 1980; Dean, June 1981–June 1984
  • Trudy G. Morrison: Acting Dean, June 1980–June 1981

Deans of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

  • Thomas B. Miller, Jr.: June 1984 – June 2002
  • Anthony Carruthers: December 2002 – April 2018
  • Mary Ellen Lane: April 2018 - present

Deans of the Graduate School of Nursing

  • Kathleen M. Dirschel: June 1985
  • Lillian R. Goodman: September 1991–November 1999
  • Doreen Harper: July 1, 2000 – November 1, 2005
  • Paulette Seymour: Interim Dean November 1, 2005 – September 5, 2006; Dean September 5, 2006–present

See also


  1. ^ "2015 REPORT ON ANNUAL INDICATORS University Performance Measurement System July 2015" (PDF). University of Massachusetts.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018: USA". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "Best Global Universities Rankings: 2019". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  9. ^ Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences website Archived from the original 2012-05-23.
  10. ^ Graduate School of Nursing website Archived from the original 2012-05-23.
  11. ^ a b c "Center for Clinical and Translational Science" - UMass Medical School
  12. ^ U.S. Food and Drug Administration Alphabetical List of Establishments Licensed to produce Biologics including Product Approval Dates
  13. ^ U.S Food and Drug Administration Approved Products, Tetanus & Diphtheria Toxoids, Adsorbed, Manufacturer: MassBiologics, License #1779
  14. ^ Massachusetts General Law: Chapter75, Section 43
  15. ^
  16. ^ N Engl J Med. 2010 Jan 21;362(3):197-205. Treatment with monoclonal antibodies against Clostridium difficile toxins.
  17. ^ "Fast-acting anti-rabies drug set for India launch - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  18. ^ Commonwealth Medicine Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-18. Retrieved 2014-08-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title ( link)
  21. ^ a b c d

External links