Name: Jim Sylvester
Role with JCCI: Volunteer
1. What do you do from 9-5?
I joined the Biomedical Research Department at Nemours Children’s Clinic in 1996 as a molecular geneticist. Over the years in the Laboratory, I have worked on various human genes involved in protein synthesis and also with some genes that influence the patient’s response to drugs used in asthma therapy. Now I am away from the bench working as the Director of Faculty Resources where I am involved in teaching and fostering new research projects with our physician-scientists at Nemours.
2. What do you do outside of work?
I am known for and love being Scott’s dad, Karissa’s dad and Linda’s husband. I am also known as that guy, a Professor, who works with DNA and RNA. Now, Linda and I are learning to be empty nesters. I really enjoy a long bike ride, cooking a nice meal, kayaking in the river, looking out my telescope, being walked in the park by the dogs and, of course, travelling somewhere in the world. Oh, and Go Jags!!
3. How & when did you get involved with JCCI or JCCI Forward?
Part of our responsibility as scientists is to inform and, actually partner, with the community. Our research mission statement at Nemours reads “Bench to Bedside, Clinic to Community”. I think it was in 2007, that Dana Ferrell told me to join JCCI, introducing me to a whole new world and to many, many fantastic people. I got on the membership committee, regularly attended “Issues and Answers” a JCCI lunch program, now I am participating on the Healthcare & Bioscience implementation committee and attended all Jax2025 meetings.
4. What is your favorite hidden gem in Jacksonville?
Not technically in Jacksonville but Alpine Groves Park, a few miles past Julington Creek Bridge down San Jose Blvd into St. Johns County is where the dogs walk me after work and on weekends. It has some paths that meander down to the river. Therefore it reminds me that everyone should find a similar Jacksonville Park (GEM) to enjoy and protect. They are necessary for healthy minds and bodies, become a regular for 30 - 45 minutes a day.
5. What community issue is on your radar that doesn’t get enough attention right now?
The Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Program has an agenda item called Joint Use that I have been working on for a while now. Joint Use is an initiative that strives to have community assets such as school facilities used after hours for community needs. Meeting rooms, playgrounds, tracks, pools, etc. could be used if all safeguards are met and agreed upon between the two participating entities. There are policy agreements and a number of examples already in existence. The task now is to make all potential parties aware of the opportunities and to communicate the process.
6. Why is JAX2025 important to you and what Target will you be working towards?
Our JCCI implementation committee, devoted to the JCCI Recession Recovery Study recommendations on Healthcare, Bioscience & Academics, is proposing the formation of an Institute of Preventive Medicine and Urban Health to be housed in a downtown area. The Institute would be an academic (University based) and business Alliance that integrates academicians; educators; healthcare delivery institutions; health department and city government officials; non-governmental health and wellness agencies; and community, military, and business members. It would be chartered to research, test, and then help install best practices to make Jacksonville a national leader and a model for healthy living. Secondly, there would be a Life Science research component that would move new innovative ideas into the marketplace and be an economic driver for the city. It should be promoted as a city vision. We believe that it nicely links 3 or 4 JAX2025 vision statements and goals. Along with other committee members, I will be working hard to make this proposal a reality and a success.