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Research Firsts

UF Health Science Center 


UF’s most well-known invention has been quenching thirst and drenching coaches’ heads since 1965.

Adeno-associated virus

Apparently harmless to humans, this virus is used to transport genes that correct hereditary defects in people. UF researchers pioneered AAV, which is used worldwide and is considered one of the safest gene therapy vectors.

Personalized medicine

UF researchers are leaders in the use of genetic information to improve patient care.

Human Patient Simulator

This UF-invented artificial patient looks and responds just as a living patient would to trauma or treatment, and has revolutionized clinical training for the treatment of critical illnesses or injuries.

Restoring sight

In a gene therapy first, UF researchers were part of a team in 2001 that helped give sight to dogs born blind. In 2009, UF researchers were part of another team that helped three people born with an incurable form of blindness gain some vision.


Periodontal disease can lead to a loss of supporting tissue around teeth and even to bone loss in the jaw. This bioactive glass developed at UF helps restore bone and tissue loss due to gum disease.

Pompe disease

UF researchers have been instrumental in developing an enzyme replacement treatment for Pompe disease and in efforts to develop gene therapy treatments for it.

Smart House

This techno-home, which uses technology to help the elderly overcome their limitations and to evaluate their driving skills, was created by UF researchers and engineers.

Life study

UF researchers discovered that moderate exercise can help prevent mobility loss and disability in frail elderly adults.


This alarm system developed at UF in collaboration with Honeywell helps caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia safely monitor loved ones.

Feline AIDS vaccine

UF researchers developed a vaccine for the feline immunodeficiency virus.


This infusion needle is used to inject fluids or drugs directly into the bones of children when a regular intravenous infusion is too difficult.

Microbicidal bandage

While trying to build a better bandage, UF researchers developed a coating that kills dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Skin grafts

Lab-grown skin grafts for burn victims were first developed by a UF researcher.

Prevention therapy

A UF researcher developed a genetically engineered germ that could provide lifelong protection from cavities.

HIV saliva test

UF veterinary neurologist developed a saliva test for HIV that gives results in 15 minutes.

Diabetes test

College of Medicine researchers discovered a way to test for insulin-dependent diabetes years before symptoms appear.


Discovered at UF, this breakthrough drug safely treats the blinding eye disease glaucoma and is relatively free of the side effects associated with other standard glaucoma drugs.

Baby brain cooling

The work of UF researchers has been crucial in establishing brain-cooling protocol for newborns deprived of oxygen at birth. This protocol could potentially prevent brain damage in these babies.

Nasal flu vaccine

Two UF researchers were the first to introduce the idea of a nasally administered flu vaccine, leading the way to nasal flu vaccines on the market today.


A UF College of Dentistry researcher was the first to discover that some people are supertasters, meaning they have more taste buds and perceive some tastes differently.

Glycogen storage disease discoveries

UF researchers used gene therapy to successfully treat glycogen storage disease in dogs, paving the way from potential breakthroughs in human therapy.

LINAC Scalpel

Researchers at UF developed the UF Radiosurgery System, also known as the LINAC Scalpel, to produce a 10-fold improvement in the accuracy of radiation delivered to brain tumors.