The University of Florida Academic Health Center – the most comprehensive academic health center in the Southeast – is dedicated to high-quality programs of education, research, patient care and public service.
The UF College of Dentistry is the only public-funded dental school in Florida and is recognized as one of the top U.S. dental schools for the quality of its educational programs, oral health research enterprise and commitment to patient care and service.
The College of Medicine, the largest of six colleges at the University of Florida Academic Health Center, opened in 1956 with a mission to increase Florida’s supply of highly qualified physicians, provide advanced health-care services to Florida residents and foster discovery in health research.
Founded in 1956, the University of Florida College of Nursing is the premier educational institution for nursing in the state of Florida and is ranked in the top 10 percent of all nursing graduate programs nationwide. The UF College of Nursing continually attracts and retains the highest caliber of nursing students and faculty with a passion for science and caring.
Established in 1923, the College of Pharmacy is the oldest college in the UF Academic Health Center. Ranked among the top schools of pharmacy nationally, the college supports research, service and educational programs enhanced with online technologies.
The College of Public Health & Health Professions (PHHP) is dedicated to providing excellent educational programs that prepare graduates to address the multifaceted health needs of populations, communities and individuals.
The UF College of Veterinary Medicine is Florida’s only veterinary college and provides many unique educational programs for students and services aimed at helping pets, wildlife and endangered species. We offer a a four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine programs as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Veterinary Medical Sciences.
Co-located with the Shands Jacksonville Hospital, the Jacksonville Health Science Center excels in education, research and patient care that expresses our abiding values of compassion, excellence, professionalism and innovation. Our state-of-the-art medical center serves an urban population of 1 million from north Florida to south Georgia.
The UFCOM-J offers accredited graduate medical education residency and fellowship programs, in addition to non-standard fellowship programs. Clinical rotations in all the major disciplines are provided for UFCOM undergraduate medical students and elective rotations to students from other accredited schools.
The UFHSC-J is a clinical teaching site for the Gainesville-based College of Nursing. Students rotate through the various clinical settings on the campus, and primary care centers and specialty care centers located throughout Jacksonville.
The UF College of Pharmacy-Jacksonville offers a four-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) Program completed entirely in Jacksonville. Also offered on campus is an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists-accredited pharmacy residency program at Shands Jacksonville.
University of Florida Health knows how important ongoing medical learning is to health care providers and the community. That is why we provide online Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses for you to complete for CME credits. These courses share the latest in medical knowledge, teach new patient-relationship skills and help providers deal with relevant current issues.
Learn about UF clinical research studies that are seeking volunteers.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world chew betel nut for its various effects. Some users find it invigorating. Others find it relaxing or use it because it is an essential part of their culture. Unfortunately, betel use can also lead to oral disease and cancer. Now, University of Florida researchers and their collaborators know more about why one of the world’s most popular stimulants is so dangerous and addictive.
The betel nut, a seed of the areca palm, is grown and used throughout India, parts of China and much of South Asia. Chewing the betel quid — a mixture of areca nut, spices and slaked lime wrapped in betel vine leaves — has been a cultural tradition in those regions for centuries. In small doses, it can create a sense of euphoria and alertness. It may also function as an antidepressant. Prolonged use creates addiction and the World Health Organization classifies the betel nut as a carcinogen.
Findings published recently by Roger L. Papke, Ph.D., a pharmacology professor in the UF College of Medicine, and his colleagues shed new light on the betel nut’s effects on the body. Their data suggest toxic elements of high molecular weight contribute to the oral health dangers of betel quid use. Two low molecular weight compounds may provide elements of reward and treat depression, which could help to explain the appeal of long-term betel nut use.
“Now, we and others have established that betel nut users are chronically self-administering an antidepressant. They start chewing areca nut and they get these antidepressive effects. It makes them feel better so they are encouraged to keep doing it,” Papke said.
Read the paper in the journal Addiction Biology. To see a video about Papke’s betel nut research, go to https://bit.ly/3clcCkt. To read previous stories about betel nut research at UF Health, visit https://bit.ly/3pGkfoR and https://bit.ly/3AN80gt, or go to Dr. Papke’s web page.
Science Writer, Editor
Doug Bennett joined the UF Health staff in January 2015 as a science writer and editor. His topic areas include anatomy; biochemistry and molecular biology; molecular genetics and microbiology; pathology,…Read More
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