Dr. Dana Zimmel

Dr. Dana Zimmel

Greetings all,

It has been a busy summer and we do have plenty of good news to share on several fronts.

As we pull together information from the recently completed fiscal year, several things stand out.  One is that we had an unprecedented year for admissions, with 1,779 applicants for 130 seats in the class. Members of our admissions committee conducted 275 Zoom interviews! We will welcome 130 students from the Class of 2025 to campus this month as they complete in-person orientation and begin didactic classes. The Class of 2023 is currently engaged in clinical rotations throughout our hospitals until January 2022.

Meanwhile, the college has completed a review of the curriculum and is gathering feedback from faculty, staff, students and alumni on proposed changes for the curriculum in the future. I’d like to thank all of the faculty members who have been a part of this important process and to acknowledge the hard work that has gone into making sure that our curriculum offerings meet the rigorous national criteria for teaching and learning as well as leveraging the remarkable expertise of our faculty.

On the research front, UF recently reported that the university as a whole earned $861 million in research funding in FY 2021, the second highest amount ever, despite the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic. Our college did exceptionally well in this effort, pulling in $23.5 million in research dollars—eighth highest among 17 UF colleges and units.

One of the projects noted in UF’s news release was the $6 million award received by Dr. Rhoel Dinglasan, a professor of diseases in our college, from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund to test a new malaria vaccine in humans. Dr. Dinglasan has worked most of his career to end malaria, which disproportionately affects people living in poverty in developing countries, and the vaccine he has developed works in a unique way: It immunizes mosquitoes via people. This work is truly innovative and I am excited to see where it will lead.

This summer has been an interesting one in that it simultaneously brought us a taste of return to normalcy, and a short time later, a return to pandemic precautions. Just when we thought we might be rounding the curve with COVID-19, the emergence of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus in our community has meant that we at the college, along with the rest of campus, are once again having to implement updated safety protocols.

For anyone who missed UF Health Vice President David Nelson’s latest communication on this issue, you can read it here on UF Health’s intranet site, The Bridge.

Overall university updates on COVID-19, including campus guidelines, UF testing and vaccine information, can be found here.  The science is clear; vaccination saves lives. If you have not yet received your vaccination to protect against COVID-19, please do so. It’s the responsible thing to do to help protect the health and safety of your family, friends, co-workers and your community.

I also want to congratulate our 25 newest Ph.D. and M.S. degree recipients, who received their degrees at commencement exercises held at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on August 6.  We’re so proud of all they have accomplished in the area of biomedical research and look forward to their continued impact on animal, human and environmental health.

In addition, 39 residents and interns completed their programs in July. We wish them all continued success in their career endeavors.

I know how difficult the past year has been — for so many reasons — but please know that regardless of the role you play, you all contribute to the college’s success.  I am always humbled by the work that takes place here, and the compassion you show one another as well as the patients in your care.

With gratitude,


Dana N. Zimmel, D.V.M.
Professor and Dean

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June-July 2021

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