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Table of Contents
Robotic system helps surgeons operate
Nursing dean emeritus dies
UF and Chinese educators join forces
Gators don orange and maroon for day
Jail time doesn't curb DUIs
Why are salamanders special?
Six graduates who inspire
New research building has history
Pharmacy researcher tackles deadly bacteria
Sharleen Simpson on life in the Peace Corps
On the Cover
Table of Contents
Dean Chapman, 56, will graduate this month
from the UF C I -- of Medicine. A former
pastor who traded in a 20-year career for a
white coat and scrubs, Chapman is one of many
HSC students who inspired his classmates and
professors during his time on campus. Photo by
Patient care: Robotic system helps surgeons operate
Memoriam: Nursing dean emeritus dies
Education: UF and Chinese educators join forces
Hope: Gators don orange and maroon for day
Research: Jail time doesn't curb DUIs
Research: Why are salamanders special? Read this
Research: UF veterinarians study doggie cancer vaccine
Cover story: Six graduates who inspire
Jacksonville: New research building has history
Research: Pharmacy researcher tackles deadly bacteria
Profile: Sharleen Simpson on life in the Peace Corps
b********* ***** SSS OOOOOOOOOOO******SSS SOOOOOOOOOO ***** SSS OOOOOOOOOOO***** ********
Tuning in to the
HSC's 'big picture'
By Tom Fortner
In biology, there's the anterior view, the posterior view and the lateral view. And
then there's the view from the top.
Doug Barrett wants to make sure his view of the Health Science Center's
strategic priorities are communicated to faculty and staff. So he's started a periodic
column that's being published on the web. It's called "The View From Here," and the
first installment can be seen at www.health.ufl.edu/BarrettsView/.
"The Health Science Center is both vast and diverse," said Barrett, senior vice
president for health affairs. "I hope to use this column to focus on the things we have
in common the most important of which is our progress toward strategic goals."
The inaugural issue of the column was posted April 12. It covered the leadership
transition at the College of Public Health and Health Professions, the progress of the
HSC toward having a diverse and equitable campus, and the need to diversify and
strengthen HSC funding sources.
Barrett said he is aiming to write the column once a month, but may do the
occasional special issue if circumstances warrant. He intends for it to complement
other communication vehicles, including housewide e-mail announcements,
management memos and (of course!) the POST.
He doesn't expect it to be strictly a one-way communication tool. A feature on the
Web site allows readers to suggest a topic or just discuss whatever is on their minds.
"The feedback I get may turn out to be the most important part of it," Barrett said.
2 1 a Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Is there a pharmacist in the House?
Would \'ou believe 60 \ere? On April 4, a committee hearing room in
the Florida House of Representatives \%as transformed into a sea ot
white pharmacy coats hen students from the College of Pharmacy s
tour campuses traveled there to support a bill authorizing
pharmacists to administer flu shots. Currently, 44 states allo\
pharmacists to immunize patients.
liF graduating pharmacy students Todd Rosen and Suz\I Ra\
testified to the House Healthcare Council along \ ith a Nova
Southeastern Lniversity\ student.
"In 10 \ears of advocacy, I have never seen such cohesion ot he
profession and interest b\' our young future practitioners" said
Michael Jackson. R.Ph., executive vice president for the Florida
Pharmacy Association. "Their skills at parrying ver1 tough questions
demonstrated their complete kno\ ledge of the issue.
The bill calls for pharmacists to follow\ \% written protocols under a
physician's supervision. The Florida Legislature is expected to vote
on the issue this month.
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Dr. Philipp Dahm, a UF associate professor of urology (center), observes a prostatectomy on a monitor as Dr. Shown West, a surgical resident (far right),
guides the robot's suction arm. Dr.Sijo Parekattil (not shown) performed the surgery from a nearby console using the da Vinci robotic system.
Paging Dr. Roboto?
New robotic system helps UF surgeons perform less invasive operations
By Kimberly Jamerson
If you walk into an operating
room at Shands at UF you'll
typically find a team of
surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses
and technicians. Now urology
patients are the first to benefit from
a new, high-tech set of hands the
robotic da Vinci surgical system.
Yep, it's a robot, although this $1.4 million surgical
system doesn't have much in common with R2D2 or
C3PO from Star Wars.
Designed to enable complex, minimally invasive
surgeries, the da Vinci system consists of three main
components: a patient table with four interactive robotic
arms, an endoscopic camera and video system that
transmits 3-D images from inside the body, and a
Sitting at this console, the surgeon views the
procedure through binocular-style lenses and
manipulates the robotic arms using stirrup-like controls
that respond to finger and wrist movements. The
robotic arms are equipped with miniature surgical tools
and cameras and are inserted into the patient through
four small abdominal incisions. The surgeon's hands
never enter the patient.
Laparoscopy, a standard form of minimally invasive
surgery, uses similar small-scale tools the surgeon
guides using long handles while viewing the procedure
with a two-dimensional camera.
Sijo Parekattil, M.D., an assistant professor of
urology in the College of Medicine, has performed both
types of surgeries. The da Vinci provides several
advantages over traditional laparoscopy, he said.
"This system gives us a more natural depth of field
and higher magnification capabilities," said Parekattil,
also a co-director of the UF robotic surgery program.
"It also has jointed-wrist controls that mimic the
human range of motion and a computer system that
allows us to adjust the size of our hand movements.
These features allow us to perform more complex
procedures with increased precision."
Parekattil performed the first procedure using the da
Vinci system at UF in March. Johannes Vieweg, M.D.,
the chairman of the department of urology, said urologists
will use the robot to perform various prostate and kidney
surgeries until Shands approves it for other uses.
Parekattil is fellowship-trained in robotic and
minimally invasive surgical techniques. He said robots
have been used to perform thousands of minimally
invasive procedures around the world and the trend is
shifting toward robotic procedures. He has used the da
Vinci to treat men with prostate cancer.
"Until 2006, the majority of prostatectomies were
performed either through traditional or laparoscopic
surgery," Parekattil said. "Now, more than 50 percent of
all prostatectomies are being done robotically. This
results in quicker recovery times, less pain and scarring,
and virtually bloodless procedures for the patients."
At Shands at UF, surgeons are going a step further
and are using the robotic-assisted technology to
perform a nerve-sparing technique known as hydro-
dissection. During hydro-dissection, surgeons use a
tool that looks like a water pick to separate surrounding
muscle and tissue from the prostate and tumors. This
limits the number of incisions needed.
Parekattil said clinical studies suggest the da Vinci
may help surgeons provide better outcomes for patients
than conventional technologies allow, but none of them
address the use of hydro-dissection.
"By combining hydro-dissection with the increased
precision of the robot we think we will be more
successful at preventing damage to the nerves
surrounding the prostate and tumors," Parekattil said.
"We hope to see better cancer control and a lower
incidence of impotence and incontinence. We are excited
to be able to offer this option to our patients." Q
4 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
A life to
College of Nursing dean
emeritus passes away
By Tracy Brown and Stephanie Fraiman
ois J. Malasanos, Ph.D., R.N., always wanted her
nursing professors to feel special. As the third
dean of the UF College of Nursing, Malasanos
spent much of her time caring about and helping each
faculty member, remembered alumna Faye Medley,
"There are so many memories of Dr. Malasanos," said Medley, a UF clinical
assistant professor of nursing since 1987. "I particularly remember that each year she
would meet with every faculty member to tell us how much she appreciated all we
did. She would always say 'What can I do for you?' She truly was an inspirational
Malasanos, who served as dean of the college for 15 years, died April 22 after
complications from surgery. She was 79.
After serving as dean from 1980 through 1995, Malasanos stepped down to devote
herself to teaching and research and served on the college's faculty until 2003.
According to professors in the college, she was extremely devoted to her students and
"Another part of her legend was her tirelessness and driving to both the
Jacksonville campus and the Orlando campus in the same day to teach, returning to
Gainesville from Orlando about midnight," said Jodi Irving, M.S., A.R.N.P., an
alumna and assistant professor of nursing. "She did this for several semesters. She
loved to teach and students loved her."
Shortly after her retirement, Malasanos, who received her doctorate in physiology
from the University of Illinois, was named a dean emeritus at UF.
"Dean Emeritus Malasanos was an extraordinary leader for the UF College of
Nursing," said Kathleen Ann Long, current College of Nursing dean. "She initiated
the College's Ph.D. program, the first such program in Florida, and had a significant
role in advancing nursing research and science."
Malasanos was able to make many positive changes to the college from her first day.
When she was interviewing for the dean's position, the College of Nursing was
struggling financially. One part of the interview process was a brown bag lunch where
faculty would have an informal meeting with the candidate.
"I was assigned to make the sandwiches for the candidates and bring their brown
bags," Irving said. "After Dean Malasanos was hired, she assured me that we would
have money in the future to order lunch for all, and I could be relieved of my lunch
Malasanos was a leader in academic nursing with a rich background in education,
research and service. She was the author of more than 100 articles in nursing
literature, as well as a major textbook, Health Assessment. First published in 1977, it
became widely known internationally and was reissued in four editions.
During Malasanos' tenure as dean, she strengthened faculty research, expanded the
college's master's degree program from five to 13 specialties and implemented
Florida's first doctoral program in nursing in 1984. At the time, doctoral programs
were still very new, and only 24 programs existed in the country.
Malasanos led the college in establishing satellite campuses in Jacksonville and
Orlando, and in increasing the number of faculty from 42 to more than 70.
Malasanos was a strong leader for nursing at the state and national levels. She
chaired the National League for Nursing's Council of Baccalaureate and Higher
Degree Programs from 1987 to 1989, and she was a fellow and past board member of
the American Academy of Nursing and a board member of the Florida Nurses
Association. She was appointed to the State Board of Nursing by former Gov. Bob
Graham and chaired the board's education committee.
"Much will be said in the next days and weeks about Dean Malasanos and her many
accomplishments and her legacy to the College of Nursing and to the profession at
large. And all of that is very important, for she was indeed a leader and a visionary,"
said Sandra Fields Seymour, Ph.D., A.R.N.P., also an alumna and a UF associate
professor of nursing. "I think we would be remiss if we did not also remember that she
was a woman who had a great sense of humor and an uncanny ability to ferret out the
best restaurants and outlet malls in any given city. Her legacy is large, but we should
not forget the twinkle in her eye." Q
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. = I 1L*I3qi 1 5
Parents open door to
drinking for many teens
By April Frawley Birdwell
i ne gateway to drinking
often swings open at home.
Instead of keeping their
kids locked out of the liquor
cabinet, parents turn out to be
the primary suppliers of alcohol
to young adolescents, according KELLI KOMRO, Ph.D.
to a new study from UF and the
University of Minnesota.
Until now, many suspected older friends were the source of the booze the middle-
school set imbibes. Although some young teens do discover beer or whiskey with
friends or at parties, most kids get their first drink from mom and dad at home, the
study states. The findings appeared in a recent online issue of the journal Preventive
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drinking at a young age heightens the risk of being involved in car crashes, sexual
assault and violence, UF researchers say. According to a 2007 U.S. Surgeon General
report, adolescents who drink by the time they are 15 about half of all teens are
more likely to have trouble in school, suffer from alcohol dependence later in life and
smoke cigarettes and use other drugs than those who don't. Even worse, exposure to
alcohol at a young age may damage the developing brain, the report states.
In most states, parents can legally provide alcohol to their children inside the
home. Some parents may do this because of cultural or religious events, but Komro
said she thinks parents should be cautious about the message this sends to teens.
Although parents are the primary source of alcohol for 12-year-olds, other adults
over 21 are more likely to be a 14-year-old's main supplier. By the time adolescents
reach 14, 33 percent reported having a drink within the past year, and the largest
percentage of these teens said they got their last drink from another adult over 21.
Although prevention programs have significantly curbed smoking and drug use in
adolescents, alcohol use among adolescents has dipped only slightly, Komro said.
"It's one of the toughest behaviors to change in our culture because it's so
culturally accepted among adults," Komro said. "For prevention researchers such as
myself, it's one of our challenges to try to get those rates reduced."
Education programs need to be
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Two continents, one goal
UF and Chinese leaders partner to improve pharmacy education
.. .. .P ...
By Linda Homewood
This spring, East met West at UF as pharmacy
educators bridged distance and cultural barriers
to pursue a shared goal: advancing the pharmacy
profession on a global scale through education.
UF College of Pharmacy Dean William Riffee, Ph.D., welcomed pharmacy
educators from China in February and in turn, Fudan University School of
Pharmacy Dean Yizhun Zhu, Ph.D., M.D., hosted UF pharmacy educators at his new
campus facility in Shanghai the following month.
Continuing discussions that began last fall with the help of the UF Center for
International Studies in Beijing, the meeting at UF focused on how the two institutions
might partner to advance Chinese clinical pharmacy education while fostering
graduate research opportunities between the two schools.
Nine Shanghai educators from Fudan University and its hospital pharmacies met
with Riffee and College of Pharmacy faculty to learn more about UF pharmacy
education. The group learned about the Doctor of Pharmacy program offered at four
UF campuses. Graduate clinical research programs and master's degree programs
also are taught worldwide on the Web. The group also toured Shands at UF, including
its pharmacy operations and the Drug Information and Pharmacy Resource Center.
Pharmacists in China typically earn the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree in
pharmacy. However, educators there see a need for more clinical education and
training that would mirror U.S. programs in preparing pharmacists to provide
patient-centered care. Diane Beck, Pharm.D., director of educational initiatives at the
College of Pharmacy, said she believes an established UF pharmacy distance education
program could meet this need, serving as a basis for development of a master's degree
in clinical pharmacy at Fudan's School of Pharmacy.
The college already uses distance education and technology as a key tool in its
program for working pharmacists. For more than 10 years, this program has offered
the opportunity to earn a doctorate in pharmacy to U.S. pharmacists who already
have bachelor's degrees in the field. Through online technology and the recruitment
of area facilitators, pharmacists in any state can take the required courses and exams
without leaving the workforce or having to relocate their families.
Top administrators from China's Fudan University (left)
observe an advanced pharmacotherapy class at UF,
where students practice their patient interviewing skills
during a role-playing session. Shown from left are:
Zhiping Li, pharmacy division head at Children's
Hospital; Deyong Ye, vice dean, School of Pharmacy;
Yizhun Zhu, dean, School of Pharmacy; Shaode Qin,
chancellor; Yinzhang Chen, director of foreign affairs;
and Mingkang Zhong, pharmacy division head,
Below, from left, Ken Hall, a video technology
consultant to UF, joined College of Pharmacy
educators Diane Beck, Sven Normann and
Julie Henderson on a tour of Fudan University
to investigate distance education opportunities
Currently, Fudan does not have clinical-trained faculty who can serve as mentors for
pharmacy students in China, Beck said. Ideally, the first students in a joint UF-Fudan
program should be individuals with a commitment to assume these future roles.
"We would consider a 'train-the-trainer' model during program evolution so that
Fudan can grow their own faculty, who can serve as facilitators, preceptors and course
coordinators," Beck said.
It also would be necessary to identify several pharmacists in China who have
advanced clinical training and can serve as content experts and the first local
facilitators to Fudan's pharmacy students, Beck said.
Beck, also a professor in the College of Pharmacy, was one of four UF pharmacy
educators who traveled to Shanghai. While visiting the Fudan campus, group
members toured an outpatient pharmacy and IV preparation center at the Fudan
University Hospital, which provided insight about the culture and practice of
pharmacy in China, Beck said. They also toured the university's distance-learning
facilities, where they successfully tested the technology needed for access to UF
pharmacy courses and videos.
Riffee, Fudan leaders and UF International Center Dean Dennis Jett, Ph.D., signed
an agreement at the UF meeting to continue working together.
Let the collaboration between East and West begin. Q
Visit us online @ http://news.health.utl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.a I ()lJ 1 7
Virginia Tech alum inspires Gators
to go orange and maroon for day
By April Frawley Birdwell
Tucked in a tiny town between the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains, Virginia
Tech was probably known best for its football players think NFL star Michael Vick
- and engineering school.
When Kenneth Marx, M.B.A., thought of Virginia Tech, he remembered his on-a-
whim camping trips with friends to the woods on the outskirts of town, the classes he
took on religion and the Middle East crisis, and the studies he worked on with a
Until April 16, when a disgruntled student shot and killed 32 students and faculty at
"The numbers kept rising every time you refreshed the Web page," said Marx, an
administrator for the department of emergency medicine in the UF College of
Medicine. "That's when it was like, 'Oh, my God.' It was just shock."
Marx scanned the Internet, hoping to connect with other Virginia Tech alumni in
the area. That's when he discovered alumni had already designated April 20 as "Hokie
Hope Day," planning to wear their school colors to work and encouraging others to do
so as well to show support for the university.
Kenneth Marx, an administrator in the department of emergency medicine
and a Virginia Tech alumnus, dons his school colors on Hokie Hope Day.
Virginia Tech alumni across the country chose April 20 to wear orange and
maroon to show support for the school in the wake of the tragedy there.
"I just took it upon myself to start sending e-mails," said Marx, who e-mailed staff
members, faculty and students in the Health Science Center about the day.
That day, Marx donned his Virginia Tech jersey and hat to work and noticed many
Gators also wearing his school's colors, orange and maroon. Someone in his office
even made orange and maroon ribbons and hung a sign by the door.
"It's easy to relate, especially when you work on a (university) campus," said Marx,
sitting in his office, where he keeps a miniature Virginia Tech football perched on a
shelf. "As an alum, you always have a sense of what it means to be part of a school. It's
part of your story." 0
E-prayer? It helps some, study shows
he Internet is often perceived as a cauldron of evil, brimming with scandalous content and devious scams. But for cancer
patients and others suffering from terminal illness, the Web can be a source of hope.
Internet prayer groups have become increasingly popular in recent years, uniting strangers from around the world. The
groups typically consist of a moderator, who supervises the discussion, and any number of participants usually patients,
survivors, family, friends and caregivers. The group members pray for each other and provide support through shared
stories and words of wisdom.
A recent study by University of Wisconsin psychologists finds that participation in online support groups can
drastically improve the mental health of cancer patients.
Why does online prayer help? The psychologists say belief in an afterlife may reduce fear of death and help
patients cultivate a positive outlook on life. As a result, patients who place their fate in the hands of a higher
power are less stressed about their illness and tend to experience a higher quality of life.
While many groups focus on a specific illness, others exist simply for the sake of prayer. God has even
infiltrated MySpace, the social networking site popular with teens and young adults. MySpace junkies can
choose to join any of 50 groups that specialize in online prayer.
To find an Internet prayer group, simply go to a search engine homepage and type in the word "pray,"
followed by keywords related to your topic of interest.
This first appeared on the radio program Health in a Heartbeat.
Health in a Heartbeat is a daily radio series that features consumer health information and
the latest news on medical research, patient-care breakthroughs and health-care industry
trends. A production of our staff and WUFT-FM Classic 89 and WJUF-FM Nature Coast 90,
and supported by Shands HealthCare, Health in a Heartbeat airs on public radio stations
in more than 55 markets in 14 states. If you have a script idea, comments or would like to
subscribe to the Health in a Heartbeat weekly E-News, e-mail email@example.com.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Threat of jail time
doesn't keep drunken
drivers off roads
By April Frawley Birdwell
ctor Mel Gibson avoided jail time after he
was convicted of driving under the influence
in California last year. Most people who take
to the wheel after drinking don't think they'll wind
up behind bars either or even be caught, as the
"Braveheart" and "Lelhal \\eapt ,n' stah \as. F F
researchers say. A
minimum jail sentences for
driving under the influence
actually keep few drunken
drivers off the road and don't
significantly prevent fatal car
crashes related to drunken
driving, according to a new
study published in the online
edition of the journal
Accident Analysis and
Prevention in March.
Researchers looked at
ALEXANDER C. WAGENAAR, Ph.D.
changes in laws and policies
minimum fines and jail sentences for drunken driving between 1976 and 2002 and
studied rates of DUI arrests and alcohol-related fatal car crashes. They wanted to
find out if the stricter regulations deterred people from drunken driving and if the
number of accidents dropped in the population as a whole, said Alexander C.
Wagenaar, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology in UF's College of Medicine and the
study's lead author.
"We found out that's not the case," Wagenaar said. "The key thing for a
deterrence law like this to work is people have to believe if they engage in the
behavior that they're actually going to experience the penalty. There are many in
the general public who continue to drive after drinking because they don't really
believe that they're going to be detected, pulled over, caught and go through the
process to be convicted before a jail term would come into play."
More than 16,000 people died as a result of alcohol-related accidents in 2005,
according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Department
of Justice records show that more than 1.4 million people were arrested for driving
under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the same year.
The UF study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,
shows that tougher fines had a slight effect on drunken driving rates in some states,
but there wasn't a consistent pattern. For example, states with tougher fines didn't
always have a greater decrease in DUI arrests, Wagenaar said.
Of the 48 states researchers studied, 18 established mandatory minimum jail
terms and 26 instituted mandatory minimum fines. Of the states that established
minimum jail sentences for first-time offenders, five actually showed a significant
decrease in fatal car accidents after the changes were made, the study shows. But
two of those states established other DUI policies at the time, so it's not known
show that a person
drives under tlhe
influence 50 to 20(
times before they get
caught or crash."
James C. Fell
whether jail time was actually a factor, Wagenaar said.
"People agree that drinking and driving is unacceptable," said James C. Fell,
director of traffic safety and enforcement programs for the Pacific Institute for
Research and Evaluation in Maryland. "But they do it because they don't get
caught. On average, statistics show that a person drives under the influence 50 to
200 times before they get caught or crash."
Aside from the fact that most people don't think they'll get caught, Wagenaar
said post-conviction penalties like fines and jail time don't happen fast enough for
the consequence to be associated with the behavior in most people's minds.
Generally, it takes six months to one year before a person convicted of DUI goes
through the courts and has to pay a fine or go to jail, Wagenaar said.
"We know from psychological research and research in other areas that for a
consequence to influence behavior, that consequence needs to happen close to the
behavior," he said. "It's the same thing we do when we're disciplining our children."
Although mandatory jail sentences don't deter drunken drivers, Wagenaar said
these findings shouldn't be misconstrued that jail time isn't useful as a punishment.
"It's clearly appropriate for someone who has been convicted two or three times
who is not changing their behavior," Wagenaar said. "We get ultimately to a point
where we have to take measures because they're such a threat to society." Q
Visit us online @ http://news.health.utl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. 0= (I ;LI) 1 9
UF scientists want to find ways to treat human diseases by
plundering the secrets of regeneration from creatures with
remarkable powers of self-renewal, such as salamanders,
newts, starfish and flatworms.
Called "The Regeneration Project," the endeavor
will connect scientists who work with adult human
stem cells the building blocks of self-renewal that
exist within our brain, bone marrow and blood -
with scientists who study how tissues and limbs
develop in a variety of organisms.
"A salamander can be injured to the point that it
loses its limbs or part of its spinal column, yet a few
weeks later you'll see it scurrying across your lanai,"
said project leader Dennis A. Steindler, Ph.D.,
executive director of UF's Evelyn F. and William L.
McKnight Brain Institute. "The Regeneration
Project will focus on unlocking the mysteries in
living, simple organisms that sustain successful
tissue and organ regeneration following injury and
disease, and applying this knowledge toward
encouraging repair in the more complex human,
where regeneration is not so simple."
The interdisciplinary effort is supported by about
$6 million in private donations, university support
and state matching funds.
Funding from two private gifts from Jon and
Beverly Thompson of Sanibel, Fla., and from the
Thomas H. Maren Foundation, based in Gainesville
- and from the UF Office of Research initially will
help establish fellowships for young researchers to
bridge the gaps between the different labs and
investigators involved in regeneration research.
"The fellows will be the glue that holds this broad
group of scientists together," said Steindler, a
professor of neuroscience at the UF College of
Medicine. "We will begin a process of sharing ideas
and designing experiments to answer questions about
growth in simple systems that can then be applied to
more complex tissue reconstruction needed in human
Although in some instances a human liver is
capable of regenerating after losing half of its mass,
the brain has only a small quantity of adult stem cells
to fight foes such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis and traumatic
injury. Similarly, the body has limited capacity to
repair injured limbs or spinal cords.
"We are bringing together the best of the
developmental biology world with the best of the
stem cell world and starting the conversation, with
the focus on how to get regeneration to work in a
mammal," said Edward Scott, Ph.D., a professor of
molecular genetics and director of the Program in
Stem Cell Biology at the College of Medicine.
"Essentially, our body can heal itself, and that's why
many of us live to be 80. But we can't do things like
grow an arm or finger as we did in the early stages of
our development. We want to learn how to turn those
systems back on in people."
The UF project is "bold" because it takes a
comprehensive view of regenerative medicine, said
Arlene Y. Chiu, Ph.D., director for scientific activities
at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
"We are all excited by the great potential of stem
cells to repair damage and return function," Chiu
said. "It remains a great mystery, however, why some
organisms are able to renew tissues, organs and even
restore whole limbs while other related animals are
not. Even within a single organism, we find that some
tissues have a far more robust ability to replenish and
replace cells than others. Yet we do not understand
the bases for these differences."
The Regeneration Project will establish its think
tank of international scientists soon, Steindler said.
The gift from the Maren Foundation, named for
the late UF researcher Thomas H. Maren, will
provide immediate funding. Maren spent most of his
career at UF's College of Medicine and his research
led to the development of Trusopt, an important drug
for the treatment of glaucoma.
The Thompsons' gift creates the Jon L. and
Beverly A. Thompson Research Endowment, which
will provide ongoing income to support The
Regeneration Project and other research at UF's
McKnight Brain Institute. Jon Thompson is a retired
executive with Exxon Mobil Corp. He earned a
bachelor's and a master's degree in geology from UF.
Beverly Thompson earned a master's degree in
education from UF. Q
101 1 I Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Study shows behavioral therapy best for OCD
1 By April Frawley Birdwell
Exposure to bathroom germs isn't always a
bad thing. For OCD patients with irrational
germ fears, touching a bathroom doorknob
or toilet seat could actually be a part of
therapy, says Eric Storch, an assistant
professor of psychiatry and pediatrics.
Imagine scrubbing your hands for exactly three
minutes every time you touched a doorknob. And then
doing it again. And again.
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder often spend
hours each day performing rituals like this to cope with
irrational fears, often of germs or forgetting things. These
behaviors hand-washing, checking, counting and
repeating are the most common tend to take over their
lives. It can take years before they get help, UF
A UF study published online in the current issue of the
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychology shows that a treatment called cognitive
behavioral therapy actually reduced symptoms of OCD by
an average of 60 percent to 70 percent in 40 children. Yet
few patients actually receive this therapy, said Eric Storch,
Ph.D., a UF assistant professor of psychiatry and
This treatment involves exposing patients to their fears
at varying degrees without letting them indulge in the
rituals they use to allay their anxiety. It is considered the
best therapy for OCD, but not many psychologists offer it,
making it difficult for patients to receive, Storch said.
"As a result, what's happening is people with OCD are
really being treated incorrectly or they're not treated at
all," he said.
Because patients often have to travel to health science
centers such as UF for the treatment, researchers
examined the effectiveness of offering cognitive
behavioral therapy at a more intensive pace. Condensing
the therapy into a few weeks rather than a few months
should give out-of-town patients a better chance to receive
the treatment they need, Storch said.
The researchers studied two groups of children those
who received weekly therapy and those who received daily
doses over the course of a few weeks. Both options worked
well, and researchers even found a few immediate benefits
to the more intensive route, Storch said.
"We were better able to help parents not help children
do rituals, which perpetuates symptoms," he said.
After three months, children who received both forms
of therapy were doing equally well, Storch added.
Some psychologists might not offer the treatment
because it can be a little gross depending on the patient's
fears, Storch said. For example, an OCD patient who
worries he will catch diseases from a public bathroom may
have to touch a toilet seat without washing his hands or
stick his hands in a toilet as part of therapy.
"You're exposing people to what makes them nervous
but not letting them do the coping behaviors that screw up
their lives," Storch said. "What ends up happening is that
anxiety will eventually decrease." Q
Veterinarians studying skin cancer vaccine for dogs
By Sarah Carey
U F veterinarians are seeking dogs with melanoma to participate in an
ongoing study of a new vaccine designed to fight the spread of the
common skin cancer.
"We are currently looking at the effect of this vaccine in dogs that have the
disease in all stages, from the least severe to the most advanced," said Rowan
Milner, D.V.M., chief of the UF Veterinary Medical Center's oncology service.
"The vaccine we have developed stimulates the natural killer cells in the body
that act almost like Pac-men to destroy the tumors."
The UF-developed vaccine is one of three being studied in the United
States. Milner and his UF colleagues published information about their study
last year in Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology.
Melanomas are formed when the pigment-producing cells of the skin known
as melanocytes multiply in an uncontrolled fashion, eventually invading the
tissues that surround them and, in the case of malignant melanoma, spreading
to local lymph nodes and the lungs.
"Only between 5 percent and 7 percent of all skin tumors in dogs are
melanomas, but melanoma is the most common oral tumor in dogs, making
up 6 percent of all cancer cases," Milner said, adding that UF's melanoma
vaccine does not make use of gene therapy but consists of a more traditional
composition aimed at stimulating an immune reaction.
"The interesting thing about the reaction we get it is that it includes
antibodies, but also stimulates the natural killer cells," Milner said, adding
that no significant adverse reactions have been seen so far in any of the 35 dogs
participating in the study.
Veterinarians typically treat melanoma-afflicted dogs with surgery to
remove the tumor, followed by radiation of the primary site. The biggest threat
Rowan Milner, chief of the UF Veterinary Medical Center's oncology
service, inspects a cancerous lesion in the mouth of a golden retriever
participating in a melanoma vaccine trial.
to a dog's survival, however, comes if and when the tumor spreads to the lymph
nodes, then to the lungs.
Anyone seeking more information about the melanoma vaccine study should
contact UF's Veterinary Medical Center at 352-392-4700, ext. 4700. 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. B1=11| LIaI|1 U 11
Photos by Sarah Kiewel
Hundreds of students will graduate this year from the Health Science Center's six
colleges. Meet a few members of the Class of 2007 who have inspired us already ...
in~ a htecat
Aside from being an ordained minister and
former pastor, graduating medical student Dean
Chapman plays piano, too.
By April Frawley Birdwell
Dean Chapman looks like a doctor. Not just any doctor
either. With his starched white coat,
wispy silver hair, lined face and twinkling hazel
eyes, Chapman seems like the kind of doctor who's in charge.
Maybe one day he will be. But he has to finish medical
In 2003, Chapman, an ordained Presbyterian minister, gave
up the pulpit to enter medical school at UF. At 53, he was older
than some of his professors, and his classmates were his
children's ages. But Chapman felt compelled to pursue
medicine. His parents had died months apart in 2000, and as
they deteriorated he felt helpless, frustrated with his lack of
medical knowledge. He realized maybe he was supposed to
help people in a different way, especially seniors, who often
slip through the medical cracks, he said.
"I decided instead of sitting around I'd go charge at a
windmill," said Chapman, who will graduate this month, a few
weeks shy of his 57th birthday.
Adjusting to her husband's decision to trade his 20-year
career as a pastor for medical school wasn't easy at first for
Chapman's wife, Susan, mostly because she stayed in their
Orlando home while he moved to Gainesville. His children were
surprised too. But they all supported his goal, Chapman said.
So have other UF medical students. Although in their 20s,
his classmates accepted him as a peer, inviting him to play
basketball, study and even go out drinking, Chapman said. In
turn, he's performed a few of their wedding ceremonies.
It hasn't all been easy, though. He missed his first clinical
rotation after undergoing surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm,
and insomnia has affected his studies.
Despite the setbacks, Chapman will graduate with his class.
A few weeks later he and his wife will move to Burlington, Vt.,
where he will complete his residency in internal medicine.
He'll be 60 when he finishes, but Chapman is OK with that.
"I'm living the dream, honest to God," Chapman said. "I'm
going to graduate and get a medical degree in a month. I can't
believe it ... if the word gets out, they may have 50-year-olds
lining up down the street to get in."
121 L Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
nephew von, 4, and his new baby brother, AI lda, during a recent visit.:
nephew Von, 4, and his new baby brother, -xdan, during a recent visit.
By Lindy McCollum-Brounley
s dental senior Sasha Minor will tell you, family serves as an
emotional compass for students as they navigate the complicated
highways and byways of dental school. That compass always points
to the heart, but the ties that bind are a two-way street.
"My sister and I are only 11 months apart," Minor said. "I'm the big sister,
but we're basically like twins. We're tight."
Although they shared similar aspirations, after high school Minor and her
sister, Mackinzie, chose different paths. Mackinzie married and became a
mom, staying in Panama City. Minor went on to college, eventually
becoming one of UF's top dental freshmen entering as the Class of 2007.
By her sophomore year, Minor had established a routine that helped her
keep up the grades, participate in extracurricular activities with her class
and serve in the UF chapter of the American Student Dental Association.
She also mentored undergraduate students involved in UF's pre-dental ASDA
chapter, which she helped establish.
As Minor hit her groove in dental school, Mackinzie stalled at a marital
roadblock. Feeling the need to help her sister through a difficult time, Minor
invited Mackinzie and her 4-year-old son to stay with her in her one-bedroom
apartment in Gainesville.
"My little nephew, his name is Von, and he's the only man in my life,"
Minor said with a laugh. "He's the cutest thing ever!"
Coming home presented new challenges for Minor dinosaurs in the
bathtub, grocery shopping times three, cooking every night, finding time to
study ... and finding time for herself. Minor developed a new and profound
appreciation for her classmates with spouses and children.
"Our parents helped as much as they could, but money got tight," she said.
"I was taking my boards around that time, and it was hard to find time to
study. Because when I got home it was, 'Hey Aunt Sasha! Look at me! Let's
play Hungry Hippos! Let's play dinosaurs!' And I did."
Things got better, and Mackinzie and Von returned home to Panama City
after several months. Normalcy returned to Minor's life, but her perspective
was forever changed.
"We stuck together," said Minor, who hopes to pursue a general practice
residency after graduation. "It was fun, and it was tough, but we got through
it. It made me a stronger person, and I'm doing great. I passed all my boards,
got a license and graduation is right around the corner."
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. a I 13
E~L '' "*'' t
Graduating veterinary student Brooke Bloomberg stands near the tree dedicated
to her late father at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
By Sarah Carey
For Brooke Bloomberg, service to mankind and to animalkind is a
way of life she grew up with as the daughter of a board-certified
small animal orthopedic surgeon who helped form the backbone
of what the UF College Of Veterinary Medicine is today.
It's hard not to see the late Dr. Mark Bloomberg, D.V.M., former chief
of staff of UF's small animal hospital, in Brooke. There's the marked
physical resemblance and the commitment to human and animal health
she displays through outreach activities, just as he did.
But Brooke, 32, has always been her own person. She grew up in
Gainesville and holds an undergraduate degree in animal sciences and a
master's degree in public health, both from UF.
"I always wanted to be a vet growing up, and I loved going to work with
my dad," said Brooke, who will graduate from veterinary school this
month. "After looking at all his patients, we would go out to the barn to
take a look at the horses, which was my favorite part.
"Being a veterinarian seemed to define so much of my dad's life. I grew
to greatly respect the profession from him and his colleagues I met from
around the world."
A huge Gator fan, Mark Bloomberg died of a heart attack in January
1996 while watching UF play Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl. After his
death, Brooke questioned her motives for pursuing the profession.
"I wanted to make sure I was going to vet school for the right reasons,"
While serving in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps,
Brooke realized she was becoming a veterinarian for the right reasons.
She also realized she could combine veterinary medicine with her other
goal improving animal and human health.
As a UF veterinary student, Brooke has experienced veterinary
medicine on a global level. She has been to Chile to study the risk factors
of Mycobacterium bovis, Ecuador to perform veterinary medical outreach
and Honduras to participate in a zoo medicine class. In April, she headed
to Indonesia for an avian influenza training workshop.
"Seeing how veterinary medicine is practiced in other countries and
the resources that are available has been eye-opening," she said. "I have
such great respect for the veterinary profession and am honored to be a
part of it."
141 a Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Bonny Reinhardt and daughter, Bonny, relax at home. Reinhardt has not let her visual
disability prevent her from earning a pharmacy degree. She graduates this month.
By Linda Homewood
uthor Ayn Rand wrote, "Throughout the
centuries there were men who took first
steps, down new roads, armed with
nothing but their own vision."
Though legally blind, Bonny Reinhardt
envisioned herself as a pharmacist. Reinhardt was
studying science at the University of North
Florida when she discovered the UF College of
Pharmacy distance campus in Jacksonville. Not
having to relocate to Gainesville helped make it
possible for her to pursue a professional degree,
Although not completely blind she can see up
to 20 feet while most people with normal sight can
see to 100 feet Reinhardt's poor vision makes
driving impossible and it takes her longer to read.
Her vision cannot be corrected with glasses. Her
vision trouble stems from albinism, a condition
that affects the amount of melanin in a person's
skin, hair and eyes and often causes vision loss.
But her disability isn't her biggest challenge.
Misconceptions of it are, she said. Most people
think blindness is a total loss of sight and don't
understand that she can still see.
Her biggest academic challenge came during her
senior year when she changed clinical rotations.
Each time she had to explain that taking longer to
read a chart didn't mean she couldn't understand it.
"There is nothing that I can't do the same as any
other pharmacist," Reinhardt said.
Reinhardt's academic strength didn't surprise
her classmates, but she amazed them when she had
a baby during her second year of pharmacy school.
Her partner, David Bruzos, blinded during an
accident when he was 12, took care of their
daughter while Reinhardt continued her studies.
The couple is expecting their second child in May.
The biggest limitation for their family is not
being able to drive, Reinhardt said. During her
four years of pharmacy school, classmate Jill
McCoy helped a lot, as has Reinhardt's family.
Reinhardt discovered her career niche during
her community pharmacy rotations. After
graduation, she hopes to work at a local pharmacy,
where she feels she can make the biggest difference
in patients' lives.
"Counseling and explaining things to patients
to help them understand their health and
medications is where I feel like I have the most
direct impact," Reinhardt said. "And I really enjoy
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. = I aL I 1 15
0 0VE COTNE
universal health care is shaping up to be one of
the most important domestic issues for
American voters in next year's presidential
election and the timing couldn't be better, according to
future health-care executive Will Jackson.
"Political attention on health care comes and goes,"
said Jackson, who will graduate this spring with a
master's degree in health administration from the
College of Public Health and Health Professions. "I want
to jump in while it's vibrant and keep the energy alive. If
a candidate who supports universal health care wins the
election, it is up to those of us in health care to keep
them to their word."
Will Jackson plans to work in hurricane-ravaged Louisiana after receiving his master's
degree in health care administration this month.
Raised in a single-parent family that did not have
health insurance, Jackson is well aware of the need for
affordable, accessible health care. It was his desire to give
others an opportunity his family did not have that led
him to choose health-care management as a career.
An internship last summer with CHOICES, the
Alachua County health-care program for low-income
workers who are uninsured, cemented Jackson's belief
that such programs can be efficient and effective.
"For what works out to about $15 to $20 a year for
taxpayers, we can give so many people health care,"
Jackson said. "After talking with just a few people who
receive care through CHOICES, I could see how much it
had made a difference in their lives and what a
worthwhile program it is. It is satisfying to give back to
the level of community that I grew up in."
After graduation, Jackson will begin a position as
administrator-in-training at Our Lady of the Lake
Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, La., a 760-bed
nonprofit acute care hospital. A flagship facility for the
region, Our Lady of the Lake has played a crucial role
since Hurricane Katrina.
"My goal is to stay excited, motivated and focused,"
Jackson said. "Right now I'm a big sponge. I want to
absorb as much as I can."
161 1 I Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
By Katie Phelan
Life is not the destination, but the journey. For Salvacion Powell, better known as Bunny to her
nursing classmates, truer words have never been spoken.
Powell has spent the last year pursuing a dream she's now this close to achieving. She will graduate
this summer with a bachelor's degree in nursing from a College of Nursing accelerated program, which allows
students educated in other fields to earn nursing degrees in less time.
Like most people in this program, Powell is not the typical nursing student. A wife and mother of three
sons, she spent most of her career in the retail industry. Born and raised in the Philippines, Powell earned a
bachelor's degree in literature in 1982. A budding musician, she pursued a music career. But when her
grandmother passed away, she wanted to learn more about the health-care system in the Phillipines so she
volunteered as a candy striper in a hospital.
"Working as a volunteer opened my eyes to a new career in nursing," she said.
While most nurses receive their initial training in school, Powell's education began at her mother's bedside.
Her mother was diagnosed with emphysema, and a family friend and doctor came to their home to care for
her. It is customary in Filipino culture to use medical training to help friends and family.
This experience inspired Powell to pursue formal nursing education when she relocated to the United
States in 2003.
To focus on her studies, Powell had to leave her family in Miami and move to Gainesville. She quickly
became a mother away from home to many of her fellow nursing students. Study groups at her house usually
include a home-cooked-meal.
After graduation, Powell hopes to pursue a career in public health and psychiatric and mental health nursing.
She will continue her education at UF in the psychiatric and mental health master's nursing program.
"I believe nursing is my calling," she said.
Taking the scenic route
Salvacion "Bunny" Powell has spent the past year studying to be a nurse at UF.
Powell, whose family remained in Miami, will graduate this summer.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. I I 17
As the academic year comes to a close in the
Health Science Center, the focus for senior
students is graduation. The dates vary for each
college's ceremony, but most will feature special
speakers to inspire the new crop of graduates.
Here are the highlights:
Public Health and Health Professions:
Ronald Aldrich, M.H.A., PHHP Alumnus
of the Year
Nursing: Loretta C. Ford, Ph.D., University
of Rochester School of Nursing professor
emeritus and founder of the nurse
Medicine: Jordan Cohen, M.D., former
president of the American Association of
Veterinary Medicine: Cheryl Chrisman,
D.V.M, a board-certified veterinary
neurologist and professor in the college's
department of small animal clinical
Pharmacy: Peter Vlasses, Pharm.D.,
executive director of the Accreditation
Council for Pharmacy Education
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Research finds new home in Jacksonville
By Patricia Bates McGhee
The plain, stucco-like concrete block structure
doesn't have an official name. It's listed simply as
UF Building No. 3382 in UF's inventory system.
And it's never had one specific purpose. Tucked behind the bigger, flashier
buildings at Shands Jacksonville, over the past 20-some years it's housed a children's
crisis center, a medical technology school, and the library and offices of a nonprofit
In March the building's purpose changed. After a 10-month, $3.2 million interior
renovation, Building No. 3382 finally came into its own as the first consolidated,
dedicated research space for the UF Health Science Center-Jacksonville campus.
"For a long time it's been part of our campus growth plan to have dedicated
research space and to have it in a consolidated space," said Robert C. Nuss, M.D.,
associate vice president for health affairs and College of Medicine senior associate
dean. "There are other research laboratory spaces scattered throughout the campus,
but this is the first one that will be used specifically for that purpose."
Originally built by Shands to provide additional office space for the campus, the
building was informally dubbed "the Child Crisis Center" because for years the
center was the building's primary lessee. Even so, research is associated with the
"Over time other things were in there, but there was always a space in the building
that was dedicated for a research lab and that was on the second floor and
probably about 1,000 square feet," Nuss said. UF leased the property from Shands,
paid for the renovation and is paying the utilities.
Construction began in June 2006 and was completed in March. Pre-renovation, the
building had 11,000 square feet; now, with the addition of an elevator, it boasts
11,728 square feet.
Post-renovation it has eight individual investigator office spaces, several cubicles
for post doctoral associates and fellows, eight 40- by 30-foot research pods and the
usual hoods, centrifuges and freezers. It does not have animal facilities, and there are
no plans to place them there.
The building's renovation is part of the plan to develop an infrastructure on the
Jacksonville campus that supports UF's overall research goals, specifically the
National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award application
"It's essential for maintaining the accreditation of the residency program and
providing the facilities necessary to support individual research grants, including
NIH-funded research proposals," Nuss said. "And, of course, it's necessary to
continue to recruit basic researchers, clinical researchers and Ph.D.s."
Building No. 3382 provides a special niche for researchers. Clinical trials and
very basic research require research coordinators, statisticians, data personnel and
patients not lab equipment like a hood, centrifuge and freezer.
That's why Nuss envisions the new laboratory as a workplace for Jacksonville
researchers who work on cell cultures and other hands-on lab procedures such as
Steve Goodison, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of surgery, and K.V.
Chalam, M.D., Ph.D., a professor and interim chair in the department of
"Goodison is studying metastatic breast cancer cells, and Chalam is working on
one of the federally approved stem cell lines to see if he can convert them to retinal
stem cells," Nuss said.
Having dedicated lab space and equipment for this type of work is something
Jacksonville administrators and faculty have long sought.
"We've renovated and consolidated our 'new' research building to support our
researchers in their important work and to attract new researchers to our campus all
with the goal of enhancing research at the University of Florida," Nuss said. Q
6 .t *
181 1 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Test scores predict odds of
passing pediatrics boards
By Patricia Bates McGhee
Experts gather to help those
who help crime victims
By Patricia Bates McGhee
heir mission is to help crime victims. But sometimes the ones who help others
need a little support too. That's the goal of the 30th annual Florida Network of
Victim Witness Services training conference, set for June 13-15 in Jacksonville.
With a theme of "Victimization: Connecting the Dots: Awareness... Prevention...
Intervention," the conference will feature talks by national and state experts, educational
workshops, group sessions and networking opportunities for professionals in the
emerging field of victim assistance and witness management.
"Our goal is to deliver provocative and best-practices training for advocates, law
enforcement professionals, prosecutors, mental health counselors, and children and
family specialists," said Valerie Stanley, conference chairwoman and team coordinator
for the UF Child Protection Team in Jacksonville. "Our speakers are renowned leaders
in the field who offer 'the latest' on current ideas."
Some of these experts include R. Glen Mitchell, director of the Jeff Mitchell
Foundation, Inc.; Randell Alexander, M.D., Ph.D., statewide medical director for the
Child Protection Team and division chief of child protection and forensic pediatrics
with the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville; Joseph Chiaro, M.D., deputy secretary of
health with Children's Medical Services; and John Wright, medical director of the
Broward County Child Protection Team.
The conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Jacksonville Riverfront. For
registration and workshop information, contact Valerie Stanley at valerie.stanley@jax.
ufl.edu or 904-633-0300, or visit www.fnvws.org. Q
How high medical students score on Step 1 of the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam
could predict if they'll eventually pass pediatrics board certification tests, a
new UF study suggests.
The idea for the study came during a pediatrics residency recruitment meeting in
2005 when faculty members casually debated whether USMLE scores had any bearing
on a resident's eventual board performance.
"While we believed an 'anecdotal' positive relationship existed, we decided that a
more scientific look ... was warranted," said Quimby McCaskill, M.D., M.P.H., an
assistant professor of pediatrics and assistant division chief of community pediatrics at
the College of Medicine-Jacksonville.
McCaskill and other pediatrics faculty in Jacksonville decided to study how test
scores from the USMLE, which students typically begin taking after their second year
of medical school, related to in-training exams and pediatrics board certification tests.
The study team reviewed individual residents' records dating back to the late 1990s.
Older information was not available because test scores were not uniformly recorded
in the files before then. Plus, the research team wanted to focus on the USMLE test,
which wasn't available until the mid-1990s.
Their findings, published in the March issue of Ambulatory Pediatrics, showed an
USMLE score of 202 was associated with about an 80 percent chance of passing the
American Board of Pediatrics exam. Among residents who scored 220 or higher on the
USMLE, about 95 percent later passed the pediatrics exam.
Recognizing the correlation between high USMLE Step 1 scores and passing the
board exams allows residency programs and residents to roughly estimate the
chances of passing pediatrics boards. By identifying up front who may be at risk for
failing, educators can work toward developing individualized learning plans to assist
residents with perceived weaknesses in study skills or standardized test taking.
"By addressing these issues at the initiation of training, it will be interesting to
track over time whether use of more advanced learning plans eventually lead to better
overall board passage rates an outcome that would certainly have positive
implications upon subsequent resident recruitment," McCaskill said. Q
Helping crime victims cope isn't always easy. The Florida Network of Victims
Services will hold a training conference for advocates and others who work
with crime victims in June.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. 0=I !LI1i 1 19
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
JOHN H. ARMSTRONG, M.D.,
an assistant professor of surgery,
has been appointed by the
American Medical Association
to serve on the 14-member
executive committee of the
National Disaster Life Support
Educational Consortium. The
consortium develops and John H. Armstrong
distributes curricula for training
health professionals to respond effectively to
public health emergencies.
Armstrong has also been elected by the
Board of Governors of the American College of
Surgeons to the six-member ACS delegation to the
AMA and re-elected as chairman of the Surgical
Caucus of the AMA. The caucus represents 33
specialty surgery and anesthesiology societies
and presents professional issues relevant to the
care of surgical patients to the AMA House of
Jax physicians elected to medical society board
Nine UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville physicians have been
elected to the Duval County Medical Society 2007 board of directors.
B. Hudson Berrey, M.D., a professor of orthopaedics and
rehabilitation, and Deborah Lyon, M.D., an associate professor of
obstetrics and gynecology and division chief of gynecology, will both
serve as vice presidents.
Board representatives include Ashley Booth, M.D., an assistant
S professor of emergency medicine; Richard Crass, M.D., a professor
H n B of surgery and the department's interim chairman; Malcolm Foster,
M.D., the Karl B. Hanson professor of medicine; Mark Hudak, M.D.,
a professor of pediatrics and division chief of neonatology; George
Mayzell, M.D., senior medical director of patient management; and
John Kilkenny III, M.D., an associate professor of general surgery.
UF cardiology fellow Lyndon Box, M.D., serves as UF's resident
representative to the board.
DCMS is a voluntary, nonprofit, professional association of nearly
2,000 physicians dedicated to promoting the delivery of and access
to high-quality, ethical medical care for the community, and serving
.'h rnk I-on as an advocate for physician members and their patients.
AIDA VEGA, M.D., an associate
professor of internal medicine,
has been named interim chief
of the department of medicine's
division of internal medicine.
Vega was promoted from
her prior post as associate
chief of the division. Vega
replaced Rebecca Pauly, M.D., Aida
who assumed the position of
associate vice president for equity and diversity in
the Office of the Senior Vice President for Health
College of Public Health and
Doctor of physical therapy students Meryl
Alappattu and Stacy Gorski led the first-ever
Florida Physical Therapy Association Student
Conference Feb. 2-3 in Gainesville. Nearly 175
students, faculty members and clinicians attended
the conference, which featured presentations
on research and the transition from student to
Attendees included (first row, far right)
conference co-organizer Meryl Alappattu and
FPTA Northern Regional Director Margaret
Nonnemacher, as well as (second row, from
left) UF physical therapy students Zach Sutton
and Lindsay Perry, and FPTA Board of Directors
member Dr. Arie Van Duijn.
COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY
Jaana Autio-Gold, D.D.S.,
Ph.D., an assistant professor
of operative dentistry, has
been appointed the college's
coordinator for preventive
dentistry. In this role, Autio-
Vega Gold will work with faculty
to develop and implement 1
curriculum in preventive Jaana Autio-Gold
dentistry, and to assure vertical
integration of preventive dentistry through all four
years of the D.M.D. curriculum.
Robert A. Burne, Ph.D., a
professor and chairman of
oral biology, was one of 52
UF faculty honored with the
2007 Faculty Achievement
Recognition Award. Burne
received his award April 4
during an awards reception at
the Samuel L. Harn Museum
of Art. The UF associate RobertA. Burne
provost for faculty development sponsored
Marc W. Heft, D.M.D.,
Ph.D., a professor of oral and
maxillofacial surgery with joint
appointments as professor of
neuroscience and professor of
clinical and health psychology,
is president of the American
Association of Dental
Research. Heft will serve as MarcW. Heft
the 36th president of the
AADR during his 2007-08 term, which began at
the conclusion of the association's annual meeting
Lindsay Ringdahl, a junior
dental student, was one of
two UF dental students to
receive scholarships from the
Thomas P. Hinman Dental
Society. As a Hinman Scholar,
Ringdahl received a $3,000
cash award in March during the Hinman Dental
Society meeting in Atlanta.
David Yates, a junior
dental student, was one of
two UF dental students to
receive scholarships from
the Thomas P. Hinman
Dental Society. As a Hinman
Scholar, Yates received
a $3,000 cash award in
March during the Hinman
Dental Society meeting in David Yat
Sanjie Jackson, a senior
dental student, received a
Multicultural Award from the
UF Dean of Students Office
during an April awards
ceremony. Jackson was
recognized with the award
for her academic excellence
and student leadership Sanjie Jacks,
Maggie Novy, a senior
dental student, received
the 2007 American Dental
Listerine Preventive Dentistry
Scholarship. The $2,500
scholarship award was
presented during the March
ADEA annual meeting held
in New Orleans. Maggie No
Yue Wang, a freshman
dental student, received
a $3,000 American
Association of Dental
Research fellowship, which
is intended to encourage
the recipient to consider
a career in oral health
research. The AADR
awarded 19 research Yue
fellowships to dental students nationwide during
its March meeting in New Orleans.
201 8 1 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Pharmacy researcher helps hospitals
fight antibiotic-resistant infections
By Lisa Emmerich
Once considered wonder drugs that
could cure any infectious disease,
antibiotics are now ineffective against
certain strains of bacteria, leading scientists and
government experts to label antibiotic resistance
a public health crisis.
A big part of the problem lies in hospitals, where many infections are
formed and transmitted.
John G. Gums, Pharm.D., a UF professor of pharmacy and medicine, is
tackling that problem. In 1997, Gums started the Antimicrobial Resistance
Management program to help hospitals keep track of infectious diseases and
their resistance to antibiotic drugs.
Hospitals enrolled in the free program provide Gums' team with
laboratory data and receive periodic customized reports about drug
resistance within their institution and around the country.
"Ideally, we would like hospitals to use the information we give them as the
first step," Gums said. "We'd like them to realize they're not immune to this
problem. They need to take ownership so they can do something about it."
Nearly 400 hospitals currently participate in ARM, and Gums said up to
2,000 more could join soon if an agreement with VHA Inc., a national
network of not-for-profit hospitals, is finalized.
SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 2
million patients in the United States contract infections in hospitals each
year. More than 70 percent of the bacteria that cause these infections are
resistant to some antibiotics.
Across the country, an antibiotic-resistant strain ofstaph infection has
become a growing problem in hospitals, where patients are often already
weak and susceptible to infection. Named methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus and commonly known as MRSA, this bacterium can
cause severe skin infections that delve deeper or seep into the bloodstream,
causing serious conditions such as pneumonia and even death. Gums'
statistics show that 50 percent to 70 percent of the staph infections in many
hospitals no longer respond to treatment with methicillin.
To treat drug-resistant bacteria, doctors must use stronger or more toxic
drugs. But when those drugs stop working, what happens next?
According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, another facet of
the problem is the lack of new antibiotic drugs in development.
Pharmaceutical companies have very few new antibiotics in research and
Gums said that shortage makes hospital management programs essential.
"We have seen examples of reversals," he said. "We have seen hospitals
improve their resistance rates with effort. I don't see that there's an option
not to combat the problem."
ARM distributes graphs that show the relationship between antibiotic use
and disease resistance, allowing officials to see a direct relationship between
growing antibiotic use and increased drug resistance. It's a graph Gums
calls the "crystal ball," allowing ARM officials to predict future resistance
at particular hospitals.
Gums said he hopes hospitals use the information ARM provides to help
them make decisions in managing the problem.
"With antibiotics, hospitals have to think, 'Giving out these drugs will
benefit me here, but how will it hurt me somewhere else?'" he said. O
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. = I IUI 1 21
UF researchers to
treatment for ADHD
T his spring, UF
researchers will offer a
treatment for young children
with attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder and
"ADHD often leads to
serious problems for children
such as struggling to pay
attention in school, mastering SHEILA EYBERG, PH.D.
basic skills and getting along
with others," said Sheila
Eyberg, Ph.D., a distinguished
professor in the College of Public Health and Health Professions
department of clinical and health psychology. "Many children with
ADHD also develop other behavior problems that intensify as they
grow older. The good news is that behavior problems can be treated
successfully when children are still young."
ADHD affects an estimated 4.4 million children and families.
The UF treatment program will use Parent-Child Interaction
Therapy, a step-by-step, live-coached behavioral parent training
model developed by Eyberg and used in clinics across the country.
Along with co-investigators Stephen Boggs, Ph.D., an associate
professor in clinical and health psychology, and Regina Bussing,
M.D., a professor of pediatric psychiatry in the College of Medicine,
Eyberg and the UF team will offer PCIT to more than 120 families
with children with ADHD in the Gainesville area. Their work is
supported by a five-year $2.9 million grant from the National
Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child
Health and Human Development.
"Our past research shows that PCIT can improve ADHD
behaviors, delay the need for medication and prevent more serious
behavior problems from developing," Eyberg said.
While PCIT has traditionally been offered as an individual
treatment, the current treatment program will test the effectiveness
of conducting PCIT in small groups.
"Our goal is to discover which approach works best," Eyberg said.
"We know parents enjoy individual attention from their therapist,
but perhaps parents would like sharing the time with two or three
other families as well."
If PCIT group treatment is just as successful as individual
treatment, the therapy could be offered to more children and
families at a lower cost, Eyberg said.
Children who are eligible for the PCIT study should be between
the ages of 4 and 6 and qualify for a diagnosis of ADHD during
study assessment. For more information on the no-cost treatment
program, call 352-273-5236. Q
Grant to support children's
Families with children receiving treatment at the UF Pediatric Pulmonary Center
will have improved access to psychological care, thanks to a grant from The Blue
Foundation for a Healthy Florida.
The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida, the philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross
and Blue Shield of Florida, awarded the College of Public Health and Health Professions
department of clinical and health psychology a $99,797 grant to provide psychological
services for children with asthma and cystic fibrosis.
Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida representatives Gene Usner, Susan Towler
and Maylene Moneypenny (far right) present Christina Adams (second from right)
with a $99,797 gift to support psychological services for pediatric patients with
asthma and cystic fibrosis.
The UF Pediatric Pulmonary Center treats pediatric patients in Gainesville and at its
outreach clinics in Panama City, Tallahassee and Daytona Beach. The addition of a
psychologist will allow the center to provide individual and family therapy, with a
particular focus on families who have no insurance or who have Medicaid.
Children with asthma or cystic fibrosis have a higher incidence of psychosocial
concerns, such as anxiety, depression and lower self-esteem, than do healthy children,
said Christina Adams, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of clinical and
health psychology and a member of the Pediatric Pulmonary Center team.
"Many parents of children with cystic fibrosis also have psychological problems, which
may precede or result from the stress of caring for a chronically ill child," she added.
Limited training for health-care providers and problems with access lead to many
children with asthma and cystic fibrosis not receiving the psychological care they need,
"In some rural areas, there are no community mental health centers or patients must
travel extended distances to receive care," she said. "These disadvantages, coupled with
the fact that psychologists outside of community mental health centers are not
reimbursed by Florida Medicaid, prevent many of our patients from having access to
quality psychological care." Q
221 a Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
UF nursing researcher was one of first in Peace Corps
Sharleen Simpson talks with a mother and child during a routine visit at hospital clinic in Montero, Bolivia in 1963. Simpson spent
almost two years in Bolivia after joining the Peace Corps in 1962, its inaugural year. (Right) Simpson, now a UF associate professor of
nursing, pages through her scrapbook of Peace Corps photos. Photo (right) taken by Sarah Kiewel.
By Stephanie Fraiman
In 1962, when Sharleen Simpson, Ph.D., was a
young nurse fresh out of college, she joined
the Peace Corps in its inaugural year.
She discovered fruit that didn't exist in the United States, met people who
changed her life and explored parts of Bolivia and Puerto Rico. Simpson,
now a women's health nurse practitioner and clinical researcher in the
College of Nursing, will return to those now 40-year-old memories this
summer when she reunites with other members of the Peace Corps at the
group's biennial reunion.
"Coming out of the 1950s, a time of the Cold War and bomb shelters, I
wanted to do something exciting," said Simpson, who has a doctorate in
anthropology from UF. "I went because I wanted to see the world, which was
also probably true for most of the Peace Corps volunteers at the time."
See the world she did. She began her training at an American Indian
reservation in Arizona where she battled the heat and learned how to make
tortillas. After Arizona, her group moved on to Puerto Rico, where it trained
further and learned to speak Spanish.
"The training was like Outward Bound," Simpson said. "There were hikes
from coast to coast of the island. I remember that to test our strength they
would tie our hands, put us in the water and we would have to float for 45
After the harsh training in Puerto Rico, Simpson and other members of
her group were finally ready to travel to their destination Bolivia. Upon
arriving in Bolivia, there was a big ceremony with the president of the
country and many ambassadors in attendance.
"Since I was the only one who spoke Spanish, I got to give a speech to give
thanks to the president of Bolivia," Simpson said.
In Bolivia, she worked first as a nurse in a sugarmill clinic for four months.
After that, she worked for various Ministry of Health hospitals until she left
the country in 1964.
That same year, just before her time in the Peace Corps ended, she was
asked to train local nurses at a very small, poorly managed clinic. She
developed programs to educate the local staff, which included a variety of
people, from those who could not read to some who were already trained as
She did not think her programs helped much, but when she went back to
visit in 1969, the employees told her they had been a huge success.
"I think that part of the reason they thought the programs were so
successful was that because during my time I requested that they get new
uniforms," Simpson said.
Simpson still thinks about the time she spent in the Peace Corps.
"You never forget what it's like not to have any resources," she said. "I find
myself telling doctors here that they are really spoiled because of all the
technology that they have at their disposal."
She has not lost her international focus, either. Simpson is trying to
organize a program between UF's College of Nursing and the nursing
program at the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, a university in Mexico's
During spring break she traveled with colleagues and students in the
nursing program to observe hospitals and clinics in the community.
"We want to establish a partnership where we can send students to study
there and their students can come study here," she said.
Ashley Raum, one of the students who traveled with Simpson to the
Yucatan, is trying to follow in her teacher's footsteps in another way too. She
recently applied to the Peace Corps and is waiting to hear back on when and
where she will go.
"It's something I was thinking about doing and she encouraged me
throughout the trip," said Raum, a senior majoring in nursing. "Hearing
about what she did definitely makes me want to go more."
Throughout their time in the Yucatan, Simpson and Raum grew close.
"She inspires me because she's done a lot of interesting things in her life
and she still looks for new adventures," Raum said. "She has a genuine
interest in other people and cultures and it's motivating to see that in another
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. = I LIUI |1 23
Marion Graham, an assistant professor in the
College of Nursing, listens to a Sim Man's
lungs at the Center for Simulation Education &
Safety Research in Jacksonville, during a
simulation test she created for a class.
A: Orange juice
0. POP CULTURE
2 A: Ray Charles
u_ A: 50 miles long
SA: Whitey Ford
r A: Epsom Salt
spends a moment with
newborn Kylee while the
baby's mother, Melissa
Hanna, watches from
her hospital bed at
Abigail Dee, a third-
year pharmacy student
participates in a role-
playing exercise during
a class. Playing the
part of the patient who
overdosed is pharmacy
professor Sven A.
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
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Director, News &
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Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
April Frawley Birdwell, Tracy Brown,
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Homewood, Lindy McCollum-
Brounley, Patricia Bates McGhee, John
Pastor, Jill Pease, Melanie Fridl Ross
Stephanie Fraiman, Lisa Emmerich
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The POST is the monthly internal
newsletter for the University of
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health center in the Southeast,
with campuses in Gainesville
and Jacksonville and affiliations
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