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Health education campaign takes oral cancer prevention to the streets
Miss America, the patient
Toasting a man's legacy
Research Day awards
Service dog's fast recovery
Whitney Lab's expansion
Stem cell identity
Service Pin awards
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Table of Contents
Health education campaign takes oral cancer
prevention to the streets
mrhhi .. the "Oral Cancer: It Spreads Faster Than
YVu Ihink" campaign team, an innovative health
IJuLJI !,,n effort launched June 1 in Jacksonville,
know a bus wrap is worth a thousand words in the fight against
"Oral Cancer: It Spreads Faster Than You Think" aims to raise
public awareness of this deadly disease its signs, causes and
prevention and to encourage regular oral cancer exams to
increase early detection. The $1.5-million, National Institutes of
Health-funded campaign is sponsored by UF's College of Dentistry
and the Duval County Health Department.
Oral cancer is the fourth most common cancer in black men and
the seventh most common in white men. It strikes nearly 30,000
Americans each year and proves fatal for more than 7,000 people
annually. Yet nearly 90 percent of those whose oral cancer is
detected early will survive.
The campaign, which targets Jacksonville-area residents because
of Northeast Florida's disproportionate burden of new oral cancer
cases and deaths, will include public service announcements on
Jacksonville radio stations WSOL-FM and WJBT-FM. The early
diagnosis message is also advertised on billboards, buses and
informational materials, including posters and brochures,
i i l m i, i ig p s a b One of three Jacksonville Regional Transit buses bearing the Oral Cancer campaign's
disseminated to communities throughout the Jacksonville area.
LindyMcCollu-Brounley signature message is parked in the terminal.
Women in Medicine exhibit
travels to HSC library
"Changing The Face Of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians," a new
traveling exhibition focusing on American women's centuries long struggle to gain
access to medical education and to work in the medical specialty of their choice,
opens Aug. 30 at the UF HSC Library in Gainesville. Although the exhibit focuses
on women physicians, the HSC Libraries invite viewers to discover the many ways
that women have influenced and enhanced all areas of health science and health care.
The exhibition arrives Aug. 23 amid the 50th anniversary celebrations for the
HSC Libraries, the colleges of Medicine and Nursing, and the Office of the Senior
Vice President for Health Affairs. During the exhibition period, the library has
planned several events celebrating the increasing diversity of the health professions
and involving participants from all six HSC colleges. All events listed below are
free and open to the public.
Aug. 30: Opening celebration:
* Ribbon-cutting, welcoming remarks from Faith Meakin and Rebecca Pauly,
M.D., honored as a 'Local Legend' within the exhibition, 3 p.m. (Tours available
from 3 to 8 p.m.)
* Reception, food and drinks on library's first floor, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
* Deans' Roundtable, PHHP Auditorium, theme: The Changing Face of Health
Science Deans on Diversity in their Professions," 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 8: Keynote speech
Regina Morantz-Sanchez, Ph.D., a professor of history at the University of
Michigan, speaks on "Gynecological Surgery and Public Controversy: Dr. Mary
Dixon-Jones on Trial, 1892" at 3 p.m. at the MSB Auditorium, followed by a light
reception at the library.
Sept. 12: Gainesville Women's Health Center Panel Discussion
Mary Ann Burg, director of UF's Women's Health Research Center, will moderate
a panel discussion on "Whatever Happened to the Women's Health Movement?"
with speakers drawn from the original founders of the Gainesville Women's Health
Center, including Byllye Avery, Betsy Randall-David, Randi Cameon, Marilyn
Mesh and others.
* Avery and Randall-David will speak at noon, offering historical and sociopolitical
perspectives on women's influence on health care. Lunch will be provided.
* Panel discussion, Reitz Union, Room 361, and a reception, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The National Library of Medicine and the American Library Association
organized the exhibition with support from the NLM, the National Institutes of
Health Office of Research on Women's Health and the American Medical Women's
Association. The traveling exhibition is based on a larger exhibition that was
displayed at the NLM from 2003-05.
Additional fall events will be listed in the September POST. Visit the Libraries'
Web site at http://www.50years.health.ufl.edu/library/ for more information and to
preregister for lectures and events.
HSC Libraries' journal cancellations!
The HSC Libraries need your input by Aug. 1 on titles they must consider
canceling. In an effort to minimize the impact on your work, research and studies,
they ask you to go to their Web site, find a spreadsheet listing the titles for possible
cancellation, and complete a form by listing up to five titles from the spreadsheet
you think must be retained. The HSC Libraries considers this input to be a critical
component of their decisions. Visit http://www.library.health.ufl.edu/
College of Veterinary Medicine
Deriso Hall dedication
Cutting the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for Deriso Hall at the
College of Veterinary Medicine are, from right: UF Provost Dr. Janie Fouke,
left; professor emeritus Dr. Paul Nicoletti; FARMS Chief Dr. Owen Rae;
Senior Vice President for Food and Agricultural Sciences Dr. Jimmy Cheek,
and large animal clinical sciences department Chair Dr. Eleanor Green.
"Tea Party" celebrating World
All faculty and staff of Shands Children's Hospital and Shands at UF are invited to
attend the Second Annual Tea Party held in celebration of World Breastfeeding
Week. The party will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 25 in the neonatal intensive
care unit conference room. Traditional English tea fare and desserts will be served
and raffle prizes will be awarded.
The first tea party was held Aug. 19, 2005. More than 68 staff members came
together to enjoy the Red Rose tea, scrumptious finger sandwiches and delicious
desserts provided by neonatal developmental specialist Judy Angley. Activities
included a hat contest, raffles and a door prize. Participants, including physicians,
nurse practitioners, nurses, lactation consultants, occupational therapists,
respiratory therapists, clerks and ancillary staff, were invited to show off their
fanciest and most unique hats.
To make the Second Annual Tea Party an even bigger success than the first,
bring your appetite. A hat is optional.
If you are interested in sponsoring, donating prizes or helping wash all those
teacups, contact Sandra Sullivan, M.D., at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Genetics 2006 invites abstracts
Researcher are encouraged to submit poster abstracts covering any aspect of
genetics research for sessions of Florida Genetics 2006, a symposium scheduled for
Nov. 1-2 in the Reitz Union.
The event is sponsored by the University of Florida Genetics Institute, the
graduate program in Plant Cell and Molecular Biology, the McKnight Brain
Institute, the College of Engineering and the Health Science Center Libraries.
UF faculty members, postdoctoral associates and students can learn more about
registering for the symposium or can submit an abstract by visiting the "seminars
and events" section of the UFGI Web site at www.ufgi.ufl.edu beginning Aug. 1.
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Nursing students break new ground in Poland
By Tracy Brown
ach spring semester, College of Nursing
seniors in the bachelor's of nursing program
complete an intensive clinical practicum as
the culmination of their studies. This spring, for the
first time, a group of students had the chance to
complete their practicum in a completely different
Senior students Rani Ridenour, Laura Chime
Swetland, Sara Wilson and Lori Yontz traveled to
Gdansk, Poland as part of a formal exchange
between UF and the Medical University of Gdansk.
They completed a six-week practicum in March and
April. Two faculty members, Veronica Feeg, Ph.D., r '
Nursing students and faculty from UF and the Medical University of Gdansk took time out from their
clinical training in Poland for a photo. Members of the UF contingent are Lori Yontz (left), Sara Wilson
(third from left), Laura Chime Swetland (fourth from right), Rani Ridenour (third from right) and UF
College of Nursing faculty member Joan Castleman (second from right).
R.N., a professor and department chair, and Joan
Castleman, M.S., R.N., a clinical associate professor,
accompanied the students.
"It was an amazing experience for our students to
be able to connect with other nursing students and
learn both similarities and differences in nursing
and health care," Castleman said. "They met with
not only faculty and students, but patients and their
families, to gain a better understanding of the
Polish culture and health-care system."
The students underwent extensive preparation in
Gainesville before they traveled to Poland. At the
Alachua County Health Department, they observed
how services were provided locally and compared
them with services they would observe overseas.
"We were able to compare the similarities and
differences in nursing practice and education
between the two countries in areas like community
home health nursing, nursing student rotations and
the care that nurses provide in the hospital," said
student Lori Yontz. "I feel that my education has
expanded because I am able to have more of an open
mind to new and different ideas."
Once in Poland, the students collaborated with
health professionals in Gdansk on a variety of health
promotion, disease prevention and community
assessment activities and were able to experience
how culture and politics can influence the health
profession. A national physician's strike was actually
occurring while the group was in Poland.
"Our students had the opportunity to observe
and fully appreciate how the context of the health-
care system drives the services that are provided
and how nurses and physicians are challenged when
the political structure shifts," Feeg said.
The Polish health-care system has undergone
major changes in the past 50 years. The transition
from communist rule and a state-provided system to
a combination of public and private services in
health care has affected nursing education as well.
The students and faculty were able to share insights
with the Polish faculty and students in nursing
education at the baccalaureate and graduate levels.
While language barriers certainly existed, the
UF faculty and students found ways to communicate
with their counterparts. Feeg said observing clinical
situations also provided a common language for
both the Polish and UF students who found that the
language of nursing was universal.
For students like Sara Wilson, who plans to
pursue a Master of Public Health in global health,
an experience like this is professionally beneficial as
well as personally gratifying. She believes
international experiences make students more well-
rounded, understanding and compassionate and
allow them to understand the worldwide issue of
"I think having an international practicum is
extremely important to our college, especially in the
world community we live in today," Wilson said. "It
gives students an opportunity to branch out into a
new culture of living and of practicing nursing. It was
a great experience for my future career goals."
Full steam ahead
Boyd Robinson, former dentist to two U.S. presidents,
is dentistry's new associate dean for clinical affairs
By Lindy McCollum-Brounley
.yd Robinson, D.D.S., M.Ed., is
j man on a mission. Recently
appointed as dentistry's associate
dean for clinical affairs, Robinson now
captains the college's clinical enterprise
statewide, in Gainesville and at
community-based UF dental programs
located in Hialeah, Apopka, Seminole
His first assignment is working with
dental administration and faculty to
streamline the student dental
program's clinical processes to improve
patient care and student learning a
goal with no easy answers and many
Robinson, a retired Navy captain,
has extensive clinical and
administrative expertise gained from a
26-year military career that provided a
rich and varied professional experience
at the highest levels of executive
leadership in Naval dentistry. In the
Navy, he served as director of clinics,
centers and programs; managed
annual budgets in excess of $4 million;
was responsible for dental services for
nearly 30,000 active-duty Navy
personnel; advised the Surgeon
General of the Navy on dental affairs
and was dentist to U.S. presidents
Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr.
Robinson is no Pogy Bait (Navy
slang for an inexperienced sailor) when
it comes to clinical administration.
During the college's nationwide
search for clinical dean, his vision of
what dentistry's comprehensive
patient-care goal should be resulted in
college faculty selecting him, a dark
horse internal candidate, as the
"Screening and treatment planning
are important areas because they're the
first contact patients have with our
school," Robinson said. "We're going
to standardize treatment planning so
that all the faculty are calibrated, and
1.- ...* /
Boyd Robinson is poised to take on an
specialty faculty will also rotate in the
clinic so that treatment planning is
more thorough and uniform. This will
be good for the patient, but it will also
be good for our students, who rely on
treatment planning to provide them
with the patients they need to navigate
Fully embracing the
recommendations of the college's
Multidisciplinary Treatment Planning
Clinic Workgroup, Robinson will be a
catalyst for change in every aspect of
the college's student clinic operations.
He not only will oversee reorganization
of the treatment planning and
screening clinics for the D.M.D.
program but also will develop a new
interim care clinic to treat
comprehensive care patients suffering
from immediate dental problems. He's
considering installation of innovative
self-screening measures which
an incoming call screening sy
pre-screening kiosk placed ir
Entrance dental lobby for onl
in patient pre-screening, and
screening "Web wizard" to p
online access and submission
computerized screening form
He has his own ideas about
improving student learning
"The big plan I have, and t
take some time, is to drive th
experience for students down
freshmen dental students beg
clinical experience by the sec
semester of dental school,"
Early introduction of clini
experience in dental education
nationwide trend dentistry D
Teresa Dolan, D.D.S., M.P.H
like to see at UF.
"Many leading dental schools are
modifying their curriculums to
introduce clinical experiences in the
first two semesters of dental school,"
...., Dolan said. "I strongly endorse Dr.
Robinson's efforts to lead the faculty to
create a contemporary, clinically
relevant dental curriculum, with one of
the goals being earlier introduction of
"' ,,Robinson is convinced early clinical
experience will dramatically improve
student learning and retention.
"Much of the didactic pre-teaching
we give students during the first and
second year of dental school is so far
removed from the actual clinical
experience that they just don't
remember it by the time they get into
the clinics," Robinson said. "I would
like to see first-year students in the
screening clinic taking patient
histories. They may not understand all
of the history; for instance, they may
not understand all of the pharmacology
h include because they haven't been taught that
system, a yet. But it will at least plant questions
the West in their minds so that they can make
line walk- those connections when they are
a patient taught it."
provide Robinson's hands-on style will help
of with these necessary transitions, but
s. he's quick to acknowledge the
t importance of staff and faculty
"I don't do anything in a vacuum;
his will this is nothing I can do by myself," said
e clinical Robinson. "I'm not autocratic, I'm more
so that of a democratic coach. I have to
in their empower people, set up teams that work
ond and say to people, 'I want you to teach
me your business, and I want you to
define what your role is in the school.'
cal "Through that definition, I think
In is a we're going to find a lot of good stuff,
)ean because people are trying to do a good
., would job."
Former Miss America highlights
importance of patient communication
By April Frawley Birdwell
something just didn't feel right.
The doctor at her university's health services
office told Nicole Johnson Baker she was
probably iron deficient. It happens to a lot of girls in
college. The next time, it was the Beijing flu. Then,
after she fell on stage during a performance, doctors
thought her appendix was about to burst. She was
being prepped for surgery when it happened:
Someone checked her blood sugar.
Baker, 32, who was crowned Miss America in 1999,
didn't have the flu, a bursting appendix or an iron
problem. She has type 1 diabetes.
"We had no idea what lay before us," Baker told a
roomful of College of Medicine faculty during a
pediatrics Grand Rounds presentation in June.
Now an advocate for diabetes research and care,
Baker came to UF to share the story of her own 13-
year struggle with the disease and spread the message
about the importance of fostering better
communication with patients, something she said
proved to be a key factor in her own treatment.
Doctors at the hospital had told her that she may
never have children, graduate from college or pursue
her dream of becoming Miss America. It wasn't until
five years into her treatment for the disease that her
perspective began to change. Her doctor at the time
sat down with her and told her he had diabetes, too.
That moment helped her see that the disease didn't
have to stop her from pursuing her own passions. Her
doctor had achieved his goals. She could too.
"I suddenly realized, 'Maybe (the other doctors
were) not right.' Because there was this health-care
professional who was so accomplished who was being
real with me," she said. "I really think it all comes
back to that one moment."
Baker went on to win the Miss America Pageant
and earlier this year gave birth to her first child, a
girl named Ava.
"She's a real hero for so many people with
diabetes," said Desmond Schatz, M.D., a UF
professor of pediatric endocrinology. "She's
passionate about her cause and a great inspiration."
While doctors may not be able to share diseases
with all their patients, taking the time to listen,
believing them and not treating patients like
numbers can make a big difference, Baker said.
Nicole Johnson Baker came to UF to share the story of her battle with type 1 diabetes "The thing that is missing from my standpoint is a
and to encourage doctors to foster better patient communication, psychological, emotional level of care," she said.
"That kind of care can come from you."
Toast honors memory of
physical therapy professor
By Jill Pease
Members of the physical therapy department at the College of Public Health and
Health Professions remembered a well-loved colleague on June 1 with a special
toast to him and a piece of his research equipment.
The Kin-Corn dynamometer was used by Mark Trimble, Ph.D., an assistant
professor of physical therapy who died in 2001 at the age of 42 from a ruptured
The Kin-Corn, which tests muscle strength and spasticity, is being moved from
its location to make room for another machine with newer technology.
Friends, family and colleagues gather around the Kin-Com and toast the
memory of Mark Trimble with cans of his favorite beverage, Mountain
Dew. The group included, from left, Trimble's daughter, Jessica; his
parents, William and Barbara Trimble, of Middletown, Ohio; and faculty,
students and staff from the physical therapy and neuroscience
departments. Trimble is also survived by his wife, Shelley, and son, Lucas.
In honor of Trimble, the Mark H. Trimble Memorial scholarship is awarded
annually to a physical therapy student who demonstrates excellence in
orthopedics. For more information on the scholarship fund call Carlee
Thomas at 273-6542 or e-mail email@example.com.
"Mark Trimble and I acquired that Kin-Corn with funds from the PHHP Dean's
Fund many moons ago and got a great deal on it when we bought it," said Andrea
Behrman, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of physical therapy. "It
was a wonderful team effort and partnership to acquire it. The Kin-Corn has
sentimental value, and with its departure, we thought it would be appropriate to
gather round and remember Mark for a few minutes."
The group shared memories of Trimble against the backdrop of a CD from his
"Many of us can still see Mark standing by this unit in the old PT building,
collecting data, posting data on the wall and listening to rock music," Behrman
said. "Whether you knew him personally or not, his memory lives on as a friend
and colleague and his contributions to the program persist today. For instance, it
was Mark's idea to have video cameras in the teaching labs recording and
simultaneously projecting images to the monitors for students to have a better view
of technique demonstrations."
UF to begin master's program
in public health nursing
By Tracy Brown Wright
The University of Florida College of Nursing has been awarded a
three-year grant from the Health Resources and Services
Administration to offer a master of science in public health
The program will be one of two public health nursing master's
programs in Florida, and the college will admit students for the
upcoming fall semester.
"We are excited to be able to offer this program in Florida,
where public health nursing is an integral part of the health of our
communities and our citizens," said Nancy Tigar, Dr.P.H., R.N., a
clinical assistant professor who will serve as coordinator of the
The HRSA will provide $270,000 in the first year, with similar
funding levels expected for the second and third year, bringing the
expected total to more than $800,000.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to work in a variety
of public and private settings. They will be well-versed in the core
"We are excited to be able to
offer this program in Florida,
where public health nursing
is an integral part of the
health of our communities
and our citizens."
-Nancy Tigar, Dr.P.H., R.N.
functions of public health and able to participate in assessment,
policy development and assurance as needed. The program will
focus primarily on the health of populations and on community-
oriented nursing practice.
"Public health nurses often work at the grassroots level, helping
to plan and implement programs, and also work toward policy
change," Tigar said. "Their careers are exciting and very
gratifying. They are able to be involved at so many levels in our
Students may enroll in part- or full-time study. Approximately
80 percent of the classes will be taught online and clinical rotations
will be arranged with practice partners in the students' local areas.
Program graduates will be qualified to take the Community Health
Nursing certification examination.
It is anticipated that in the second year, the College of Nursing
will offer a joint M.S.N. and master of public health degree in
conjunction with the UF College of Public Health and Health
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College of Dentistry
Linda Bartoshuk, Ph.D., visiting professor, department of
clinical and health psychology, College of Public Health and
Health Professions: "Are You a Supertaster? How Do We
Know? What Does it Mean for Your Health?"
Kenneth I. Berns, M.D., Ph.D., professor, department of
pediatrics; director, UF Genetics Institute: "Gene Therapy."
Keynote Speaker, Mary MacDougall, Ph.D., professor,
department of oral maxillofacial surgery, University of
Alabama at Birmingham: "Discovering your Future with a
Smile: Dental Research Opportunities."
Dentistry Research Day keynote speaker Mary
MacDougall spoke on research opportunities
available to dental faculty and students.
MacDougall is a professor of oral and
maxillofacial surgery, the James R. Rosen chair
of dental research and associate dean for
research at the University of Alabama at
Birmingham School of Dentistry.
D.M.D. Division Poster Presentation Awards
Anna Pyatigorskayam, department of oral biology
"Mapping of Antibody Specificity Using an Overlapping
Peptide Epitope Array"
Vincent Yeung, department of oral biology
"A Role for LuxS Signaling in Porphyromonas gingivalis"
Third place (Tie):
Amy Luce, department of dental biomaterials
"The Effects of Polyethylene Glycol on Surface Contact Angle
Robert Weaver, department of oral biology
"LuxS-Mediated Signaling by Streptococcus mutans in Dual
M.S./Resident Division Poster
Rita Hurst, department of orthodontics
"Cytoskeletal Dynamics and the Ruffled Plasma Membranes
Anzir M. Moopen, department of orthodontics
"The Role of Pax7 and Pax3 in the Repair and Regeneration
of Mouse Jaw and Somatic Muscle"
Valerie Minor, department of orthodontics
"Effects of Preoperative Ibuprofen, Anxiety and Gender on
Post-separator Placement Pain"
Ph.D./Postdoc Division Poster
Lin Zeng, department of oral biology
"Identification of a Fructose/Mannose-specific Sugar:
Phosphotransferase System in Streptococcus mutans"
Marcelle Matos Nascimento, department of oral biology
"The Effect of the Alarmone (p)ppGpp on the Transcriptome
of Streptococcus mutans"
Song Mao, department of oral biology
"Apoptotic Pathways of Gingival Epithelial Cells Modulated
by Porphyromonas gingivalis"
College of Medicine
Twenty awards were handed out during the college's annual
Research Day, held April 11. Among the honors, six students
Medical Guild Award winners are, from left, Valerie
Crusselle Davis, Christina Pacak, Michael Godney,
Amar Singh, Nicole Tester and Bei Wang.
were recognized by the UF Medical Guild for their research,
and a special Lifetime Achievement Award was given
posthumously to Hugh M. Hill, M.D., a retired UF professor
of obstetrics and gynecology and former dean of student
affairs who passed away in 2005. Also receiving a special
award was C. Craig Tisher, M.D., who, in recognition of the
college's 50th anniversary, was honored for his vision and
leadership as dean of the College of Medicine.
Medical Guild Awards
Gold Medal Finalist
Valerie Crusselle Davis, biochemistry and molecular
"Antagonistic Regulation of b Globin Gene Expression by
Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins TFII-I and USF"
Silver Medal Finalists
Christina Pacak, genetics,
"Muscle-Specific Delivery of the Alpha Sarcoglycan Gene
Provides Functional and Morphological Correction of Limb
Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2D"
Bei Wang, immunology and microbiology advanced
"An Effective Cancer Vaccine Modality: Lentiviral
Modification of Dendritic Cells Expressing Multiple Cancer-
Bronze Medal Finalists
Nicole Tester, neuroscience,
"Use of Chondroitinase to Enhance Motor Recovery
Following Spinal Cord Injury"
Michael Godney, physiology and pharmacology,
"ERK 1/2 Dually Influnce c-fos Transcription and Cell
Proliferation through Cytoplasmic Phosphorylation of RSK2
and Nuclear Phosphorylation of elk 1 in Response to
Amar Singh, molecular cell biology,
"The Wnt/b-catenin Antagonist, Chibby, Facilitates
Cardiomyocyte Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cell"
Basic Science Award
Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D.
Department of Radiation Oncology
Clinical Science Award
John Wingard, M.D.
Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and
Lifetime Achievement Award
William F. Enneking, M.D.
Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Hugh M. Hill, M.D. (special award)
department of obstetrics and gynecology
Outstanding Basic Poster
Presentation Award Winners
Tamara D. Warner, Ph.D.
Wendy B. London, Ph.D.
Outstanding Clinical Poster
Presentation Award Winners
Bruce Vogel, Ph.D.
Medical Guild Research Incentive Awards
College of Medicine -
The three recipients of College of Medicine-
Jacksonville Research Day awards, (from left)
poster winners Erik Lowman, Linda Di Teodoro
and platform presentation winner Samvel
COLLEGE OF NURSING
The College of Nursing's Annual Research Day, held March
31 in conjunction with its Distinguished Malasanos
Lectureship, honored the college's 50th anniversary by
celebrating a heritage of nursing science at UF. The Malasanos
Lectureship featured Anna Schwartz, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.,
noted researcher in exercise and cancer treatment and faculty
member at the Arizona State University School of Nursing.
Schwartz spoke to faculty, students, consumers and other health
professionals about her scientifically based program for
physical activity and symptom management in cancer patients
and its implications on nursing research and practice.
Top Graduate Honors
Melissa Dodd Inglese, M.S.N., A.R.N.P.
"The Pain Experience in Children with Autism Spectrum
Disorder: New Caregiver Insights." Faculty mentor:
Department Chair and Associate Professor Jennifer Elder,
Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Senior nursing student Jessica Casselberry (left)
with her faculty mentor Dr. Ann Horgas in front of
her winning poster presentation.
Top Undergraduate Honors
Meghan Bullard, "A Secondary Analysis of Parent-Child Play
Behaviors in Children with Autism." Faculty mentor:
Department Chair and Associate Professor Jennifer Elder,
Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Jessica Casselberry, "Facial Expressions of Pain."
Faculty mentor: Associate Dean for Research Ann Horgas,
Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
College of Pharmacy
The College of Pharmacy 19th Annual Research Showcase,
held in February, had four poster and three oral competition
winners. Three finalists were selected for each division. In
each division, the first prize award was $600, and the other
two finalists received $300. All finalists received a
Poster Competition Winners
Postdoctoral: Yasmeen Khan,
"Relative Amount of Fluticasone Delivered by HFA-MDI to
Children of Different Ages"
Graduate student: Whocely Victor de Castro,
pharmaceutics, "Evaluation of the Effect of Grapefruit Juice
and its Components on P-glycoprotein Activity"
Pharmacy student: Cristin Hogan, pharmacy health care
administration, "Weight-based Heparin Protocols are
Efficacious... But Are They Effective?"
Pharmacy student: Jillian Stewart, pharmacodynamics,
"Cardiac Myocyte and Fibroblast ACE2 Activity and
Modulation by Estrogens"
Oral Competition Winners
The Dr. Robert A. and Phyllis Levitt Research Award is granted
to a graduate student who has performed meritorious
research in the areas of health outcomes research or related
translational research in the clinical sciences.
Levitt Award Winner:
Tobias Gerhard, department of pharmacy/
health care administration, "Association between
Cardiovascular Outcomes, Diuretic Therapy and the a -adducin
Polymorphism: Results from the International VErapamil SR-
Trandolapril Study GENEtic Substudy (INVEST GENES)"
Wouter Driessen, department of pharmaceutics,
"Peptide Targeted Lipid Based Gene Delivery"
Justin Grobe, department of pharmacodynamics,
"Prevention of Hypertension-induced Cardiac Remodeling by
The College of Public Health
and Health Professions
The College of Public Health and Health Professions held its
19th Annual Research Fair for graduate students and
postdoctoral fellows March 20. Ten winning research posters
were chosen from 41 entries. The winners each received
$500 to use toward travel expenses to a scientific or
Yasmeen Khan, Ph.D., winner of the
postdoctoral competition, stands by her
Behavioral Science Category
"Length of Treatment and Successful Outcome in the
Management of Obesity"
"Sex Differences in the Pain-Mood-Disability Nexus"
"Coping Predicts Surgical Recovery Among Women with
"Psychological adjustment to congenital heart disease: Do
sex differences still exist?"
"Depression symptoms in Parkinson's disease, dystonia and
"What is successful weight loss outcome? The impact of 5
percent and 10 percent body weight reductions on metabolic
risk factors for disease"
Brokaw brings dose of reality to Shechtman claims top
medical school graduation PHHP teaching awards
By April rawley Birdw l By Jill Pease
By April Frawley Birdwell
I, not the big names Tom Brokaw remembers most, the Nelson
Mandelas, Mikhail Gorbachevs or Lance Armstrongs.
It's the protesters and students who fought for civil rights, the
soldiers who served their country in Vietnam and the young surgeon
who worked through the night in a tent in Somalia to save victims of a
Tom Brokaw, one of the country's most well-known television
journalists and former anchor of "NBC Nightly News," spoke in
May at the UF College of Medicine graduation.
After 40 years as one of the country's most recognized and lauded
television journalists and former anchor of "NBC Nightly News," Brokaw
remembers them, the people who gave of themselves tirelessly for no fame
and glory, the most.
Speaking to graduating students at the UF College of Medicine's
commencement ceremony May 20, Brokaw highlighted the need for more
people like them, who act as agents for change in a world that desperately
"You won't halt an epidemic by hitting the backspace button," he said.
"We live at the apogee of Western civilization and in despair that ancient
sectarian rivalries are now lethal alternatives to reason and modernity."
Brokaw, who hails from the same South Dakota town as College of
Medicine Dean C. Craig Tisher, also told of his own familial ties to medicine
- there are seven doctors in his family. In his 40-year career he has also
covered medical breakthroughs and reported and produced documentaries
on renal transplant, health-care costs and medical training.
"I've scrubbed for surgery," Brokaw said. "I've made rounds in rural
clinics and in world-class teaching hospitals. I've seen in the third, fourth
and fifth worlds the miracles of medicine take place, so I arrive today as
your speaker in awe of what you know and what you do. And I am
impressed by your commitment to a demanding and often thankless
111 shoihtman, Ph.D., an associate
pn..i .. in the department of
'L..upialonal therapy, has been named
the College of Public Health and Health
Professions' Teacher of the Year.
Shechtman also received the Outstanding
Faculty Member Award from seniors in the
college's Bachelor of Health Science program, and
the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in
Occupational Therapy Education from the UF
Student Occupational Therapy Association. The
awards are particularly notable achievements
considering the fact that Shechtman teaches some
of the programs' toughest courses anatomy,
pathophysiology and neuroscience.
"She takes an extremely complex subject or concept and explains it in such a simple
and understanding way," said Amanda Summer Mosrie, a student in the Master of
Occupational Therapy program. "Her students look forward to going to her classes
because they know they will leave with the highest level of knowledge and expertise
in that discipline."
It is important for students to truly understand the material, not just memorize it
for a test, Shechtman said.
"Therapists and physicians need a solid understanding of the human body in
health and disease to be able to base clinical reasoning of therapeutic interventions on
scientific facts," said Shechtman, who was named UF's Teacher of the Year in 1998.
Occupational Therapy Master's Student Jeremy Eminhizer said, "Dr. Shechtman
is at the top of the food chain for university professors and is going to need much
more wall space for all the awards that she will claim over her career. She is truly a
valuable asset to the University of Florida."
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE-JACKSONVILLE
he College of Medicine-Jacksonville celebrated the graduation of 102 medical,
dental and pharmacy students at its annual Resident Graduation Ceremony,
held June 14 in the Learning Resource Center Auditorium. Also recognized
fellows and faculty members.
Excellence in Student Education
The resident winner receives a plaque and $500, and the faculty winner receives a
professional expense account for $500.
Bianci Jasani, M.D., pediatrics
Andrew Kerwin, M.D., surgery
Edward Jelks Outstanding Resident Clinician
The winner receives $500 as well as his or her name engraved on a plaque
permanently displayed in the Learning Resource Center.
Chris Goll, M.D., orthopaedic surgery
Rosilie Saffos Outstanding Resident Teacher
Presented annually to the resident considered the most outstanding resident
teacher on the Jacksonville campus, the award includes $1,000, a plaque and the
inclusion of the awardee's name on a permanent plaque displayed in the Learning
Bianca Jasani, M.D., pediatrics
Louis S. Russo Award for Outstanding
Professionalism in Medicine
The resident award includes $1,000, a plaque and the inclusion of the awardee's
name on a permanent plaque displayed in the Learning Resource Center. The
faculty award includes a professional expense account for $3,000, a plaque and
inclusion of the awardee's name on a permanent plaque displayed in the Learning
Darren Peterson, M.D., surgery
David Caro, M.D., emergency medicine
College of Dentistry
Commencement for the College of Dentistry was held in the Phillips Center May 26, when degrees
and certificates were conferred on 78 D.M.D. students, 47 advanced and graduate education students
and 12 internationally educated dentists. After Senior Vice President for Health Affairs Douglas Barrett
conferred their degrees, dental D.M.D. graduates read the Dentists' Pledge, promising to uphold the
professional ethics of dentistry and to deliver excellence in patient care.
College of Pharmacy
College of Nursing honors the Class of 2006
h i year's College of Nursing commencement
c remony, which took place May 5, was particularly
speciall because it celebrated the 50th anniversary
of the college.
The College of Nursing presented an honorary
doctorate degree to Linda Aiken, Ph.D., R.N., one of the
college's most renowned alumna. Aiken received both her
bachelor of science in nursing and master's of nursing
from UF, and is now director of the Center for Health
Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of
Aiken is known worldwide for advancing quality
T patient care through research and health policy work. She
has been an influential leader in the field of nursing
outcomes research for the past two decades. She has been
awarded more than $12 million in extramural funding for
her research programs, and results of her groundbreaking
studies have been reported nationally and internationally.
The Alumnus of the Year award was given to Audrey
Nelson (Ph.D. 1990) a nationally recognized leader in
clinical practice and research who has magnified the
scope of practice for patient safety and is a tireless
Honorary doctorate recipient Linda Aiken, advocate for those with disabilities. Nelson is the director
(left), receives her diploma from UF Provost Dr. of Patient Safety Center of Inquiry and associate director
Janie Fouke. of Nursing Service for Research at James A. Haley VA
Hospital in Tampa.
2006 College of Nursing Spring Commencement (Includes Fall 2005, Spring and Summer 2006)
244 total graduates / 161 bachelor of science graduates (includes accelerated degree students) / 75 master of science
graduates / 8 doctorate of nursing science graduates
Announcing "Dr. Alberta," a.k.a. Kourtney
Long, Pharm.D. A four-year member of
UF's Spirit Mascot program, Long
graduated this spring at the College of
Pharmacy commencement. May 2006
marked a milestone for the UF Pharm.D.
program. The Pharmacy class of 2006
graduated a record 203 Pharm.D.
students from four campuses across
Florida: Gainesville, St. Petersburg,
Jacksonville and Orlando.
Service dog speeds toward recovery after
surgery at UF's Veterinary Medical Center
By Sarah Carey
,!,ice dog named Eagle, whose unusual
..!hopedic problem threatened his ability to
hIp his disabled owner, is speeding toward
recovery after successful surgery in June partly funded
by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.
The Tony Stewart Foundation supplemented efforts
already under way by the Orange City-based animal
assistance group H.E.L.P. Animals Inc. to fund the
cost of Eagle's operation, which was performed at the
UF Veterinary Medical Center, and the travel expenses
of a visiting veterinary surgeon from Missouri.
The 3-year-old golden retriever is owned by Michael
Ray, of Deltona, who was paralyzed in a road-rage
incident when he was 27 years old. Ray said the dog
was a godsend, moving in with him more than three
years ago, a few years after his wife died of cancer.
"I am in a wheelchair and I'd never had a service
dog," said Ray. "I knew my shoulders were going bad,
as I'd been pushing a chair since 1978. I decided a
service dog might be right up my alley."
Now it was Eagle who needed Ray's help.
The dog began showing signs of weight-bearing
lameness of the front left leg last year. Although hind
leg lameness is commonly seen and treated by
veterinary orthopedic specialists, front leg lameness
is rarer and frequently difficult to definitively diagnose
The problem persisted despite a regimen of exercise
and rest, so UF veterinarians recommended surgery.
Daniel Lewis, D.V.M., a professor of small animal
surgery at UF, and Jennifer Fick, D.V.M., a veterinary
surgery instructor who was part of Eagle's care team,
noted that they could move Eagle's left shoulder to a
markedly greater degree than his right shoulder.
"This was a finding that suggested possible medial
shoulder instability, which can cause front leg
lameness," Fick said.
UF veterinarians discussed their assessment with
Ray and mentioned that James "Jimi" Cook, D.V.M.,
Ph.D., had recently published an article on medial
shoulder instability. Cook, the William C. Allen
endowed scholar for orthopaedic research and director
of the Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory at the
University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine,
pioneered the procedure to treat this problem. He flew
to Gainesville to perform the surgery and train UF
veterinarians in the technique.
"I'm very happy with the end result," said Cook,
Michael Ray, top, greets Eagle, his 3-year-old
service dog, after the golden retriever
underwent surgery at the UF Veterinary
Medical Center for an unusual problem in his
left front leg. The Tony Stewart Foundation and
the animal assistance group H.E.L.P. Animals
Inc., joined forces to provide funding for the
surgery. Vet Tech Stephanie Holloway, below,
assists with Eagle's post-surgery therapy.
who repaired two small tears in Eagle's shoulder and
removed a small chip of bone from the dog's elbow.
"The shoulder was the primary problem but I'm glad
we got the elbow taken care of before it grew worse. We
have now addressed all of the problems that would be
making Eagle's limb lame."
Cook said Eagle's prognosis is very good.
"Time will tell, but he's a motivated patient," Cook
The surgery was made possible thanks to the generosity
of many. Ray, whose sole income is from Medicare, had
been concerned about finances. Surgery alone was
estimated to cost approximately $2,500. Then there
would be the additional costs associated with traveling to
Gainesville and Eagle's postoperative care. Ray shared
his dilemma with several friends including an assistant
manager at a supermarket where Eagle had become very
One day when Ray and Eagle were at the store, the
S assistant manager approached them and told Ray her
mother volunteered for an organization called H.E.L.P.
"Next thing I knew, the H.E.L.P. Animals group
contacted me and said they would try to fund Eagle's
surgery," Ray said.
The group posted Ray's story and a plea for financial
assistance on its Web site, www.helpanimalsinc.org.
Soon an anonymous donor gave $1,800 to Eagle's
cause. Other funds were raised through a motorcycle
run. Then a call came from the Tony Stewart
"Someone had sent something to us soliciting our
help," said Pam Boas, Stewart's mother, who helps
manage the organization. "Knowing Tony's heart, I
called them. He loves animals and that's why our
foundation was formed, so we could actually do a better
job of donating money to the things that really touched
Tony and also touched kids and animals."
At that point, Ray contacted Cook and asked if there
were any way he could assist in Eagle's case. Cook e-
mailed right away and a plan was hatched to bring him
to Gainesville. He agreed to donate his services and
H.E.L.P. Animals covered the surgeon's additional
"This was the best possible scenario for everyone,"
Fick said. "Eagle got the best treatment and we benefited
from learning the procedure from Dr. Cook. Everybody
Research team to measure outcomes of
muscular dystrophy treatments
By Jill Pease ,
.c archers at the University of Florida College of Public
I HIalth and Health Professions and the McKnight Brain
Institute will use a powerful new magnet to assess the
effectiveness of muscular dystrophy therapies.
UF is a research site for the new Sen. Paul D. Wellstone
Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center, one of six in
the United States. Research partners include the University of
Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University and the National
Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Magnetic resonance imaging provides precise, noninvasive
assessments of muscle tissue quality that allow researchers to The image on the
determine the natural progression of the disease throughout the macrophage infiltr
body, which muscles should be targeted for therapy and the immunofluorescen
efficacy of therapeutic interventions. The team will use a lower leg of a boy
powerful new magnet for outcome measurements the 3 Tesla
MR whole body scanner, scheduled for installation in the
McKnight Brain Institute this summer.
The UF research is led by Krista Vandenborne, Ph.D.,
principal investigator and chair of the department of physical therapy, and Glenn
Walter, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the College of Medicine.
Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited diseases that affect 50,000 Americans.
The disease causes the muscles that control movement to progressively weaken and
lose the ability to regenerate after an injury, eventually turning the muscle tissue
The most common form of muscular dystrophy in children Duchenne muscular
dystrophy only affects boys and by age 12, many need a wheelchair, said
Vandenborne. As the disease advances, the heart and respiratory system are affected
and patients often die in their late teens or 20s of cardiorespiratory failure.
"Muscular dystrophy is a devastating disease and it's about time it gets cured,"
left shows a histological section of dystrophic muscle, showing extensive
action. In the middle image, damaged muscle cells are visualized under
ce using a histological dye. The figure on the right shows an MRI of the
with muscular dystrophy.
Typically, patients' muscles are tested by removing a small amount of tissue for a
biopsy. But this method does not give a complete picture of all the muscles and is
impractical, especially because the children have progressive muscle loss,
"Our work is setting the stage for the evaluation of clinical studies of drug
interventions and gene transfer currently in development for muscular dystrophy,"
said Vandenborne, whose research team will fly in children with muscular dystrophy
from all over the United States for assessments.
"Magnetic resonance imaging has many advantages for the study of muscular
dystrophy," Vandenborne said. "We can provide insight into the condition of
affected muscles and provide immediate feedback during clinical trials. MR
technology really has the potential to make a major contribution to muscular
Elders with anemia face increased health risks
Elderly patients who develop anemia risk serious health problems that increase the odds they will be hospitalized and
nearly double the chance they will die, according to findings from a long-term study by a multi-institute research team.
Anemia, a reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood that can cause fatigue, weakness and dizziness, is
more common in old age. Because its signs are often subtle, doctors should carefully consider it as they evaluate older
patients, say study authors, writing recently in The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical
"Considering anemia should be part of an overall patient's risk assessment even if the person is without symptoms
or apparent clinical disease," said Marco Pahor, director of the University of Florida's Institute on Aging and the study's
The study revealed that even a mild case of anemia increases an elderly person's risk, indicating that treatment
recommendations may need to be adjusted for older patients, Pahor said. Researchers found an association between
late-life anemia and heart conditions, cancer, infectious diseases and diabetes.
The World Health Organization defines anemia as a concentration of the oxygen-ferrying molecule hemoglobin that
is below 12 grams per deciliter in women, and below 13 grams per deciliter in men.
"Those older patients having mild anemia have not been considered at higher risk, but our data show that even those
patients with low or even close to normal range do have higher risk for death and hospitalization and they should be
considered for more in-depth screening for other conditions," Pahor said. -Denise Trunk
J'utmJ J i uJ'iJJliA
UF's Whitney Laboratory for
By Denise Trunk
harismatic megafauna they are not, but a few strange and
bizarre looking creatures that inhabit the ocean, like sea
slugs, horseshoe crabs and spiny lobsters, hold an
attraction for scientists they can supply a wealth of insight into
In fact, for researchers at the UF Whitney Laboratory for
Marine Bioscience, which is situated on a spit of land between the
Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway about 12 miles
south of St. Augustine, crustaceans and other marine animals
offer "model" behavior for smell, sight and other human systems.
The research animals thrive on the natural light and clean
seawater the Whitney Lab has in spades. Now, at long last, the
lab's 32-year-old facilities and the researchers who rely on them
are soon to benefit from a material upgrade that will augment the
surrounding natural abundance.
This August, a completed 17,000-square-foot building, the
Center for Marine Studies, will anchor the west end of Whitney
Lab's campus, giving researchers who use simple marine animals
in basic biological research a new facility to further their
explorations and to educate future scientists.
Peter Anderson, Ph.D., is the lab's director and a professor of
physiology and functional genomics, neuroscience, and zoology.
He said the new building, outfitted with wet labs, classrooms and a
272-seat auditorium, allows the Whitney to expand its upper level
educational offerings, and to recruit talented undergraduate,
graduate and postdoctoral students. And, he said, it offers a taste
of things to come for the growth of the Whitney.
"This is phase one of a coordinated expansion," Anderson said.
"While upgraded research labs may be the most important thing
for our facilities, by offering courses and expanding our
educational options, this will help raise our profile and raise
awareness of our work."
In addition to being able to hold undergraduate and graduate
courses, the new building will allow the Whitney Lab to hold two-
and three-week research-intensive resident courses in the Center
for Marine Studies that will draw students from across the
country and be taught by both UF researchers and invited
scientists, Anderson said.
The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience's growth spurt
has resulted, in part, from the shrinking of its next-door neighbor,
the old Florida attraction Marineland. When bankruptcy forced
the aging facility to restructure about eight years ago, it offered
land for sale that bordered the Whitney campus. The
UF institute bought up the precious elbowroom and
has been plotting a new future ever since.
The next stages of construction include new 72-
bed dorms to house the soon-to-be-increasing
number of students, new research lab space and a
new Center for Marine Animal Health, a sort of vet
school for marine mammals all part of
Anderson's five-year plan for the coastal campus,
which is modeled, in part, on an existing facility.
Founded in 1888 in Massachusetts, Woods Hole
marine biological lab is a national center for
marine-based biological research, where researchers
also use marine animals as models and its graduate
education programs have trained scientists from all
over the world.
Surrounded by 30,000 acres of protected lands
Peter Anderson, the Whitney Lab's director, sits in front of the architectural plans
for the new Center for Marine Studies, which is in final stages of construction.
The Whitney's holding pond, above, provides a temporary home for marine
animals under study.
and home to world-renowned researchers, the UF's
Whitney Lab is perfectly situated to become just
what Peter Anderson envisions a Woods Hole
Marine Biological Laboratory of the South.
As the finishing touches are added to the Center for
Marine Studies building, the Whitney Lab is
preparing to add to its current educational
In addition to its pre-collegiate, science teacher
education courses and a Latin American exchange
program, the Whitney Lab offers docent-led
courses for children in fourth through eighth grade
called "A Day at the Whitney," where the grade-
school students get hands-on lessons about some of
the animals, equipment and scientific approaches
used to study marine animals.
The labs also host a regular lecture series,
"Evenings at the Whitney Lab," which covers a
range of marine topics and is open to the public.
Barbara-Ann Battelle, Ph.D., a professor of
neuroscience and zoology who conducts research
on circadian rhythm and visual function in
horseshoe crabs, was the founder of the educational
"I think it is important to have an easy
connection between scientists and the community,
not build fences around the laboratory," Battelle
said. "The programs get people excited about
science and the scientific enterprise, and it helps
kids appreciate how cool the animals are!"
Battelle should know. She has a complete
appreciation for the horseshoe crab its eyes in
particular. The horseshoe crab can see a million
times better at night than in the daytime. The
animals make perfect models of what night vision
"We are particularly interested in understanding
the mechanisms that permit these cells to change
their sensitivity to light in response to changes in
background illumination and to signals from an
internal 24-hour circadian clock," she said. "These
changes in sensitivity are critical for normal vision,
allowing animals to see in both bright and dim light."
She and the two postdoctoral research associates
(or postdocs) who work with her in her lab want to
learn how the crab's eyes adjust, and how that
ability could relate to the more subtle changes that
ON PAGE 21
The eyes of horseshoe crabs, top right, become a million times more sensitive at night and, because of this trait, they offer neuroscientist Barbara-Ann Battelle
an excellent model for human vision.
Medium is the message for stem
cells in search of identities
By John Pastor
mbryonic stem cells, prized for their
astonishing ability to apparently transform
into any kind of cell in the body, acquire their
identities in part by interacting with their
surroundings even when they are outside of the
body in a laboratory dish, University of Florida
Using an animal model of embryonic stem cell
development, researchers with UF's McKnight
Brain Institute have begun to answer one of the
most fundamental questions in science how does
a batch of immature cells give rise to an organ as
extraordinarily complex as the human brain?
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, may one day help
scientists create laboratory environments to grow
specialized cells that can be transplanted into
patients to treat epilepsy, Parkinson's, Huntington's
and Alzheimer's diseases or other brain disorders.
Scientists observed that when embryonic stem
cells from mice were plated on four different
surfaces in cell culture dishes, specific types of .-
cells would arise.
"The medium and the molecular environment
influence the fate of the cell," said Dennis Steindler,
Ph.D., executive director of the McKnight Brain
Institute. "We simulated some events that occur
while the brain is developing and challenged them
with different environments, and the effects are I L
profound. Ultimately both nature and nurture
influence the final identity of a stem cell, but in
early stages it seems nurture is very important."
In experiments, scientists confirmed a cell | /
culture surface molecule called laminin activates a
common developmental pathway that is crucial for
the generation and survival of particular types of | V>
The laminin-influenced stem cells are a kind
that goes on to generate a brain structure called
the medial ganglionic eminence, which in turn is
believed to give rise to a population of early
neurons in the developing cerebral cortex, a
structure that helps coordinate sensory, motor and
"This is significant because this molecule is
frequently used to secure cells onto culture dishes
in stem cell labs all over the world," said Bjorn
Scheffler, M.D., a neuroscientist with UF's College
of Medicine. "Everyone believes this molecule is
purely growth supportive, but now we've shown it
changes the fate of cells it is working with. When
you grow the cells in a culture dish you are actually
educating them to become something very
In that respect, the discovery sheds light on how
embryonic stem cells diversify to form various
neural structures, one of the fundamental mysteries
of brain development, the researchers say.
Since the 1980s, Steindler has studied the effect
of certain molecules in the extracellular matrix, a
mixture that surrounds developing brain cells.
Transiently appearing and disappearing, these
molecules apparently cordon the brain into
If molecules from the matrix activate genes in
stem cells responsible for generating neural
components, potentially any of the molecules can
be tested to find its specific role during development
of the brain, according to UF neuroscientist Katrin
Goetz, M.D., first author of the paper.
In addition, the discovery reinforces a notion
that rodent embryonic stem cell biology can be
used to understand basic brain mechanisms,
potentially leading to treatments where adult stem
cells are taken from patients, cultured and
transplanted into damaged brain environments to
restore functions lost to disease or injury.
Founding chair of UF's
department of urology is appointed
By Melanie Fridl Ross
ohannes W. Vieweg, M.D., has been named the
founding chair of the College of Medicine's new
department of urology.
Vieweg, a professor of urology, arrived July 1 from Duke
University, where he served as associate professor of
urology and immunology and vice chief of research in the
division of urology. He is affiliated with the UF Shands
Much of Vieweg's research has focused on the development
and early clinical testing of new immunotherapies and
other novel treatments for cancers of the genitourinary
tract, including prostate cancer.
Recently he led the first study of a new vaccine that uses
the patients' own dendritic cells, a type of white blood cell,
to slow prostate cancer growth by priming the immune
system to recognize malignant cells and then target them
for destruction, without toxic side effects. The vaccine,
currently undergoing additional testing, is intended for
patients who have not responded to standard treatments.
Vieweg is eager to infuse renewed energy into urologic
research and work toward developing novel clinical services
that will provide a comprehensive approach to the treatment
of urologic disease.
"UF urology has a long history of providing quality
clinical care," he said. "My goal is to broaden and strengthen
the existing effort, providing high-quality clinical care in
all areas of adult and pediatric urology. In addition, our
research program will help to move new therapies into the
clinic as quickly as possible."
Robert C. Newman, M.D., the Rudolph Acosta-Rua Jr.
professor of urology, led the division since 2001 and oversaw
its transition from within the department of surgery to a
freestanding department within the College of Medicine in
2004. Newman retired in June after 31 years on the faculty.
The College of Medicine Executive Committee's decision
to establish a separate department of urology was in line
with the approach top programs in urology take elsewhere.
The move also was designed to supplement efforts to
strengthen the cancer program, as urology is a key player
in translational research and clinical oncology, of prime
importance in Florida with its substantial number of
Vieweg said the field of urology is currently undergoing
a major transformation of its own.
"New basic scientific discoveries and the emergence of
new technologies are providing unprecedented
opportunities to improve the diagnosis and treatment of
patients with urologic disease," Vieweg said. "Those who
are able to master and quickly implement these new
discoveries into clinical practice will offer the very best in
patient care and, thereby, will become the new leaders in
urologic health care. The UF department of urology will
strive to become a national leader in urology patient care,
education and scientific discovery."
He cited several unique opportunities for clinical
research, including projects involving the development and
testing of "targeted therapeutics" as well as improved
prediction models for therapeutic success, an effort to better
identify which patients will respond to treatment and which
A cadre of 10 scientists and administrative staff made the
move to UF with Vieweg, joining five other existing faculty
members. He said he plans to recruit additional faculty,
with the goal of achieving "a critical mass of experts in all
key areas of urology."
"Developing synergies with other UF programs or
institutes is critical to our future success," he added. "'Silos'
are inefficient; I like to build programmatic matrices that
ultimately will strengthen and benefit the entire medical
Vieweg received his medical degree from the University
of Munich in Germany and began his residency training in
the department of urology at the University of Ulm in
Germany. After coming to the United States, he completed
three years of postdoctoral training at Memorial Sloan-
Kettering Cancer Center in New York before finishing his
urology training at Duke.
Years of service
Service Pin Awards
n unr -i. I 1'C employees were recognized for their long-term
-r.mmrmrI mr nI and dedication to the University of Florida. The
i5-. I,- anJ I 5-year recipients received a service pin, as did the
20- and 25-year recipients, who were also given a Gator hat and
paperweight. The 30-year recipients received the same mementos and a
$100 check, and the 35-year employees were awarded the same awards
and a $150 check.
Douglas Barrett, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs, noted
that the honorees reached their service milestones during a milesone
year for the HSC, its 50th anniversary. "It's your contributions and
those of the people who preceded you," said Barrett, "that have built
Animal Care Services
College of Dentistry
Back row, from left: Debra Johnson, Gregory Valcante, Sharon Pelfrey, June Masters, Marta Miller, Delores Foreman, Jeanie Payne, James Van Gilder, Mark
Beveridge, Barbara O'steen, Janice Ogwada, Tammie Esheverria, Joan Thompson, Kimberly Seitz, Jacob Burks, Ricky Horton and Gary Goff. Front row, left:
Robin Smith, Melanie Davis, Linda Kilgore, Virginia Leap, Doretha Barry, Sylvia Hoover, Annette Zaytour, Fran Johnson, Audrey Duke and Kathy Pipkins.
~ IC~e~rr I
College of Medicine
Michele Scavone Stone
Back row, from left: Robert Godwin, Dan Crenshaw, Avery Jones, Rufus Hutchinson, Mark
Hoffenberg, Paula Edge, Elaine Allen, James Thomas, Regina Corns and Ann Groves. Front
row from left: Mary Ann Bass, Shirley Henry, Cindy Weinbrecht, Maxine Rushin, Cindy
Jackson, Juliann Berger and Diana Little.
Kenneth Van Doren
From left: Sherry Williams, Lillian Mitchell, Debbie Phelps, Lora Taylor, Karen Smith, Dina
Willis, Shirley Lauritzen and Deanna Knight.
Nyla Norris Fowler
CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19
Mary Ann Bass
Thelma Elaine Harden
College of Nursing
College of Pharmacy
Omayra Cruz Mercado
College of Public
Health and Health
Louise Stewart, left, and Elaine Hayden were awarded June 7 with a $150 check and
other prizes in recognition of their dedicated service.
College of Veterinary
Maxine Lampert Sacher
James Van Gilder
Physical Plant Division
Senior Vice President,
Ann Van Doren
FROM PAGE 15
The Center for Marine Studies rises on the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway south of St. Augustine. The new state-of-the-art building, the first construction
at the Whitney Lab campus in 32 years, has classrooms, labs and a large auditorium and will be the site of expanded educational offerings. Dirk Bucher,
right, studies a central mechanism of lobsters and crabs that controls the functions of walking, swimming and breathing. Because the lobster has a simpler
neural system, Bucher can more easily trace its neural network.
take place in the human eye.
With its new educational potential, Battelle can see
more possibilities for the Whitney Lab's scientists to
interact with the public and students.
"It is very exciting," she said.
In the past decade, six or seven students have
completed doctoral programs at the Whitney Lab,
The graduate offerings will be based on the current
model, which is coordinated primarily for students
through the HSC College of Medicine's
Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences.
"In the future, we'll recruit students through the
IDP program and elsewhere, and teach courses
ourselves," Anderson said.
Whitney Lab faculty members based in the College
of Medicine's departments of anatomy and cell
biology, neuroscience, pharmacology and
therapeutics, and physiology and functional genomics,
as well as from the College of Agriculture's fisheries
and aquatic sciences, and Liberal Arts and Sciences'
zoology department, would teach the courses.
The way it works now, students first take up
residence at the main campus in Gainesville where,
for one or two years, they complete their course
requirements and qualify for dissertation research.
During this period, students maintain contact with
the lab and their major professors through a program
of periodic meetings, progress reports, seminars and
summer research. After qualifying, students move to
the Whitney Lab and carry out research. Having the
new facilities will enable more students to participate
in the program, and more students to live and take
classes at the lab.
One of those students currently based at the
Whitney is Thomas Ha, a Ph.D. student working with
Leonid Moroz, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and
zoology, on cellular communication in the sea slug,
The species of sea slug provides an excellent model
of what happens in the human brain when neurons
communicate. The large gastropod has unusually
large brain cells, making it easier for Moroz and his
team to identify specific neurons and track their roles
in neural networks and behavior.
With Moroz, Ha aims to learn why individual
neurons are so different from each other, how they
maintain such precise connections between each
other, how their fixed wiring results in such enormous
neuronal plasticity and how this contributes to
learning and memory mechanisms.
His faculty adviser, Moroz, and committee, made
up of faculty both from the Whitney Laboratory and
from the UF department with which the faculty
advisor is affiliated, have guided and directed his
course work and dissertation research.
Ha, working with Moroz's gene sequencing project,
is conducting transcriptional profiling of some of the
slug's 20,000 neurons. Because of the cells' large size,
he said, he is able to get enough mRNA from one cell
to sequence and analyze its transcriptome and
compare it with other single cells.
Ha, who is originally from South Korea, has lived at
Whitney's graduate student housing for three years
and he is four months from finishing his degree. He
said he enjoys the beautiful, if somewhat isolated,
"A big advantage of the new setup is that it will allow
graduate students to teach courses," Ha said. "Teaching
skills are important for an academic career and this
will provide that opportunity, which is missing now."
In fact, the new center will allow Whitney faculty,
postdocs and graduate students to participate in
teaching undergraduate and graduate course offerings,
many of which are now taught on UF's campus.
Staff will begin to occupy the building in January
2007, as long as necessary water piping, held up by the
approval of a residential development project in the
area, can be put in place. In the meantime, Anderson
is busy raising funds for the new dorms and the
Center for Marine Animal Health.
With the addition of the planned Center for Marine
Animal Health, the Whitney Laboratory for Marine
Bioscience will become one of the first facilities
dedicated to the treatment of marine animal diseases
affecting aquaculture stocks, sea turtles and other
animals. Combined with its research and educational
activities, the marine labs will be on the forefront of
marine biomedical science.
Perhaps in the process, as Anderson envisions, the
campus will become known to the world as something
of a Woods Hole of the South.
:i:: I:xl:~i :;~:%::l --li1
COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY
D.D.S., an associate
professor of orthodontics
and director of the Parker
E. Mahan Facial Pain
Center, received the Florida
Annual Dental Educator
Award. Gremillion was Gremillion
presented with the award
during the association's Florida National Dental
Congress held in June in Orlando. Gremillion
was nominated for the award by dental
students in recognition of the excellence of his
academic contributions, and his support of and
commitment to his students.
Ph.D., both professors
of oral biology, were
honored with Distinguished
Scientist awards by the
for Dental Research during
the association's 84th Lamont
General Session & Exhibition,
held in July in Brisbane,
Australia. The prestigious
awards are bestowed on
basic science researchers for
their significant contributions
to specific IADR research
areas. Lamont received P
the Distinguished Scientist Progulske-Fox
for Basic Research in
Oral Biology Award, and Progulske-Fox was
honored with the Distinguished Scientist for Basic
Research in Periodontal Disease Award.
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
the Edward R. Woodward
professor in the division
of surgical oncology and
endocrine surgery of the
department of surgery, was
awarded the 2006 Raymond
H. Alexander, M.D. Award
for outstanding dedication
and service to the medical
profession in the field of Copeland
surgery by the Florida chapter of the American
College of Surgeons at its 2006 Annual meeting,
in May in Boca Grande, Fla.
J. M.D., Ph.D., a professor
of pediatrics and of molecular genetics and
microbiology and the John T. and Winifred
M. Hayward professor of genetics research,
was recently inducted into the Johns Hopkins
University Society of
The Society of Scholars
was created at Johns
Hopkins to honor former
postdoctoral fellows, junior
faculty and visiting faculty
who have achieved success
in their fields. A committee D ll
selects the honorees from
Driscoll completed his pediatric residency
training and a medical genetics postdoctoral
fellowship at Johns Hopkins. He has been at
UF since 1989 and is considered a leading
researcher of Prader-Willi and Angelman
M.D., an assistant professor
in the division of surgical
oncology and endocrine
surgery in the department
of surgery, was recently
awarded the James and
Esther King Biomedical
Research grant. The Grobmyer
$427,500 three-year award
will support research into methods of targeting
cancer cells using nanotechnology.
fellow in the department of
neurology at the College of
Medicine, was selected to
receive a clinical research
training fellowship from
the American Academy of
Neurology Foundation. He
was honored this spring
during the AAN's 58th
annual meeting in San Kluger
He will receive a grant of $55,000 per year for
two years for research exploring the components
of fatigue in healthy subjects and stroke patients.
"Fatigue is a significant problem for many
patients but our understanding of this symptom is
very limited," he said. "The goal of my research
is to classify different types of fatigue and to see
if these different types of fatigue have different
M.D., an associate
professor of pediatrics in
the division of pediatric
nephrology, is the 2006
recipient of the American
Society of Transplantation
Achievement Award for Dharnidharka
Assistant Professors in
Clinical Science. The AST achievement awards
are peer-nominated and are the highest honors
that the American Society of Transplantation
gives to members of the transplantation
community. The awards are to be presented
July 24 at the first World Transplant Congress in
Boston, a joint meeting of the American Society
of Transplantation, the American Society of
Transplant Surgeons and The Transplantation
Society. Dharnidharka is considered to be
one of the world's experts in post-transplant
lymphoproliferative disease. This rare condition
is an unusual malignancy in transplant recipients
that in most cases is caused by a virus infection.
an assistant professor of
emergency medicine in
the College of Medicine-
the American Medical
2006 Leadership Award.
The honor, extended to Booth
55 individuals from across
the nation, recognizes outstanding nonclinical
leadership skills in advocacy, community service
and/or education and provides medical students,
residents and fellows, young physicians and
international medical graduate physicians special
training to develop their skills as future leaders in
M.B.A., associate chair of
the pediatrics department
at the College of Medicine-
Jacksonville, was appointed
by the American Academy
of Pediatrics to its
Committee on Child Health
Financing. Chiu will serve a
an associate professor of
emergency medicine and
pediatrics at UF College
was featured in "A Long
Journey," a one-hour
documentary that aired
June 21-22 on WJCT
Channel 7 in Jacksonville. Hendry
Filmed on the First Coast, the documentary
explores emerging services and aggressive life-
prolonging, curative and palliative treatments
in Northeast Florida for children with cancer or
other life-limiting illnesses.
Hendry, a consultant to Community PedsCare
a pediatric palliative and hospice program
of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida in
collaboration with UF, Nemours Children's Clinic
and Wolfson Children's Hospital -was among
the Community PedsCare staff interviewed in
has been appointed to
the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention's
Control Practices Advisory
A federal advisory
committee comprisingl4 McCarter
infection control experts,
HICPAC advises the CDC and the Secretary
of the Department of Health and Human
Services on infection control, surveillance,
and prevention and control of health-care-
associated infections in health-care facilities.
McCarter, director of the clinical microbiology
laboratory in UF's pathology department in
Jacksonville, will serve a four-year term on the
a professor and chief of
the division of pediatric
infectious diseases and
immunology, and assistant
chairman for research and
academic affairs in the
department of pediatrics,
received this year's Healing
Hearts/Helping Hands Rathore
Award at the fifth annual
Florida HIV/AIDS Red Ribbon Excellence
Awards ceremony. Presented by the Florida
Department of Health Bureau of HIV/AIDS in
conjunction with The AIDS Institute, the awards
recognize the best-of-the-best in the HIV/AIDS
field in Florida.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
graduate student in the
department of clinical and
health psychology, has
been named an Atlantic
Coast Social, Behavioral
and Economic Sciences
Alliance scholar. She will
receive travel awards, a Butler
$3,000 research stipend and
an opportunity to participate
in summer programs.
Tisher to step down as
medical dean next year
By Tom Fortner
he dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine, Dr. C. Craig
I fisher, has announced that he plans to step down from his position during
i he next academic year.
A search committee charged with identifying Tisher's successor should be in
place in July, according to Dr. Douglas J. Barrett, UF senior vice president for
health affairs. Tisher will continue to serve until a new dean comes on board, most
likely next summer.
Plans call for Tisher to lead the college through an exhaustive review and
reaccreditation of its educational programs, an activity that occurs once every
seven years and concludes next February.
"Dr. Tisher has been a superb dean, and we're fortunate we will continue to
benefit from his steady leadership
for the accreditation process and low_ _
other ongoing critical activities,"
Barrett said. "The timing of his
transition also gives us the
opportunity to conduct an
orderly, thoughtful and extensive
search to find the next dean."
Tisher, an internationally
recognized authority on renal
physiology and pathology, has
been on the UF faculty for 26
years. He was appointed senior
associate dean in 1998 and
became dean in 2002. As dean,
he oversees an expansive
organization that encompasses
1,200 faculty and 2,600 staff on
medical campuses in Gainesville DR. C. CRAIG TISHER
and Jacksonville and an operating budget that exceeds $630 million.
Tisher's list of achievements as dean includes the establishment of the UF
Proton Therapy Institute, which is slated to begin treating cancer patients next
month on the UF Health Science Center campus in Jacksonville. One of only five
facilities in the country offering this type of radiation therapy, "Florida Proton"
has been a complex, multimillion-dollar undertaking that Tisher has pursued
with steely determination.
Within the Health Science Center, said Barrett, Tisher is recognized for his
exceptional leadership and solid management skills. He has proved adept at
recruiting top talent from other institutions and retaining faculty considered vital to
the strategic plans of the college. Those plans include enhancing the research profile
of UF in areas like cancer, aging, diabetes, child health, neuroscience and genetics.
Barrett also credited Tisher with substantially improving the college's financial
health amid a turbulent economic environment for academic medical centers
Raised in South Dakota, Tisher graduated from Washington University School
of Medicine in St. Louis. After residencies in St. Louis and Seattle, he completed
a fellowship in nephrology at the University of Washington. For the 10 years prior
to joining UF, he was on the faculty of Duke University School of Medicine.
At UF, he served as chief of the division of nephrology, hypertension and
transplantation from 1980 to 1997. In 1999, he was named the Folke H. Peterson
Dean's Distinguished Professor of Medicine.
li~:::rllr l9 3
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9
Health Services Category
"Assessment of Driving-related Skills: Pilot Study of
"Health Insurance Coverage of Young Adults Aged 22 to
29 in Florida"
Rehabilitation Science Category
"Training Effects on Soleus Muscle Function and Gene
Expression Following Spinal Cord Injury"
"A Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity "Recovery Map" to Inform
the Treatment Planning Process"
In addition, the college awarded four $1,000 research
grants to graduate students who submitted winning grant
proposals. They include: Neha Dixit, Chetan Phadke,
Christina Posse and Bonnie Sachs.
College of Veterinary
Several faculty members and graduate students from the
University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine were
honored for their scientific achievements during Phi Zeta
Research Emphasis Day on June 9. Jacobson Estrada,
Farese and Nollens all Womble, DeRuisseau, Kirkby and
McNally. Bonilla and Jacks each received plaques and a
check for $1,000.
The award winners were as follows:
Pfizer Animal Health Award
for Research Excellence:
Each received a plaque and $1,000.
Cynda Crawford, D.VM., Ph.D.
Dr. Elliott Jacobson, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Florida Association of Kennel Clubs
Each received a plaque and $500.
Amara Estrada, D.V.M.
C.E. Cornelius Young Investigator Award
James Farese, D.V.M.
Charles F. Simpson
Hendrik Nollens, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Excellence in Master's Studies:
Each received a plaque and $100.
Excellence in Doctoral Studies
Lara DeRuisseau, M.S.
Excellence in Clinical Science Research
Kristin Kirkby, D.VM.
Excellence in Basic Science Research
Alex McNally, M.S.
Veterinary Auxiliary Achievement Award in Graduate
Studies: Each received plaques and a check for $1,000.
Alfredo Bonilla, Ph.D. and Stephanie Jacks, D.V.M.
$5 million gift creates brain tumor therapy center
By Chris Brazda
he University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute is a step
loser to being one of the world's best centers for brain tumor
Si eatment and research after receiving a $5 million gift from the
Fort Lauderdale-based Lillian S. Wells Foundation Inc.
The gift, which is eligible to be matched from the state of Florida's
Major Gifts Trust Fund, will enable the university to recruit world-class
doctors and scientists and conduct research that could lead to a cure for
brain and spinal cord tumors.
"The University of Florida is absolutely the
best-positioned research university for this
new Brain Tumor Therapy Center. I have
no doubt that it will yield amazing results
in the years to come."
- Barbara Wells
"We want to be one of the top five brain tumor centers in the world,
and we're not that far from being there," said Dr. William Friedman,
chairman of the department of neurosurgery in the College of Medicine.
"This gift will bring us much closer to our goal, which is to find a cure
for brain tumors."
In recognition of the gift, the McKnight Brain Institute's brain tumor
therapy center will be named the Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for Brain
Tumor Therapy at the University of Florida in honor of the Wells'
"This is a fantastic opportunity to apply the expertise of the
researchers at the McKnight Brain Institute to tackle brain cancer," said
Dennis Steindler, Ph.D., the Brain Institute's executive director. "This
new center will aid scientists and clinicians with neurosurgery and other
departments to make discoveries and create new therapeutics."
"My family's relationship with Dr. Friedman and the University of
Florida goes back 20 years," said Barbara Wells, president of the Wells
Foundation. "The University of Florida is absolutely the best-positioned
research university for this new Brain Tumor Therapy Center. I have no
doubt that it will yield amazing results in the years to come."
One of the first orders of business from the new endowment created by
the Lillian S. Wells Foundation's contribution is to enhance the center's
adult neuro-oncology support. Plans are under way to recruit leading
medical neuro-oncology experts to make it possible for the university to
provide comprehensive care of brain tumor patients and their families.
According to Friedman, a more comprehensive brain tumor therapy
center will allow the university to conduct research leading to a cure of
brain and spinal cord tumors and establish and implement educational
opportunities for medical professionals, scientists, patients and their
Students globe trot during international trips
College of Dentistry
he College of Dentistry sponsored four
student humanitarian trips involving more
than 100 dental students, faculty members,
assistants and private dentists who delivered free
dental care to impoverished populations in Latin
America during the 2005-06 academic year.
Dentistry's International Education Program
sponsored student trips to the Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, Honduras and Yucatan, Mexico during
holiday and spring breaks.
_.NC ..... .-,
Third-year dental student, Josh Belof,
performs an extraction on a Honduran
woman with assistance from his wife, Elizabeth
Belof, a registered nurse. Patients were treated
in remote villages using makeshift operatories
in churches, schools and an orphanage.
Honduras is the newest addition to the college's
lineup of sponsored international aid trips. More
than 700 patients were treated, 565 teeth were
extracted and about 250 were filled. The Dominican
Republic expedition, the oldest of the college's four
student trips, provided extractions and basic
preventive treatments in remote mountain villages
lacking running water and electricity. One
mountain village the UF dental students traveled
four hours to reach had not had access to dental
care for more than five years.
Project HEAL in Quito, Ecuador was a
multidisciplinary effort between dentistry,
pharmacy, medicine, nursing and veterinary
medicine. During the first week of Project HEAL,
18 dental students partnered with dental students
from sister institution Universidad San Francisco
de Quito to provide free dental care to more than
250 pediatric and adult patients. Medical, nursing,
pharmacy and veterinary medicine students joined
three of the dental students and a dental faculty
member during the second week to provide much-
needed care to people living in remote Amazonian
villages. Many of these people, because they live so
close to their livestock, suffered from severe
parasitic infections, but also had outbreaks of
The UF dental trip to Yucatan, Mexico is based
on a partnership with the sister dental school at
Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan. UF and UADY
dental students worked together to provide free
dental care to about 400 low-income school children
in several villages.
College of Medicine
iu ing Spring Break, students and faculty
I I.m the College of Medicine trekked to
k\ico, Ecuador and several locations in
the Dominican Republic to help patients in areas
where people lack access to quality health care.
Students and faculty taking part in Project Haiti,
Project Yucatan, Project Heal, Dr. Help and Dr.
Salud helped thousands of patients in just one week,
also bringing needed supplies to the regions.
This year Project Haiti went to Jimani, a city in
the Dominican Republic near the Haitian border
because of unrest in Haiti. Students are shown
here on the grounds of a prison, where they
treated soldiers and prisoners.
College of Pharmacy
Mala D. Desai, a UF Pharm.D. candidate,
traveled to rural communities in Ecuador for 10
days during spring break. Desai, with College
of Pharmacy students Sonia Sosa and Leidi
Paez, joined College of Medicine students and
Project HEAL to assist in providing desperately
needed basic health services in Ecuador. Desai
said Project HEAL was the only source of health
care each year to many of the communities
they visited and that she hopes to return again
next spring. Other pharmacy classmates
traveled to Haiti and the Dominican Republic,
and to the Yucatan.
Public Health and Health
julI\ and students from the Doctor of
.\uJ !.logy (Au.D.) program at the College of
P'uh!ic Health and Health Professions made
their fourth annual trip to Yucatan, Mexico. As
members of Project Yucatan, the students
performed screening tests that assessed the function
of the middle ear system, measured levels of hearing
sensitivity and assisted UF medical students in the
cleaning and health care of the outer ear. The UF
Au.D. program also donated hearing aids, hearing
aid batteries, cleaning supplies and portable
equipment that can be used by local, trained health-
care professionals to continue long-term audiologic
care in rural clinics. More than 500 children and 100
department of large animal clinical sciences.
The first level offered by the OIP includes
Seminars in International Veterinary Medicine, an
elective course taught on campus that was
implemented in 2002. Students in all years of their
veterinary curriculum can enroll for credit and
many have. During 2002-06, some 204 students
signed up for credit, including a record of 56
students in the spring 2006 semester.
The second level consists of study abroad
programs in Bosnia, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico
Offered during spring break and/or summer
semester, the study abroad program's main objective
is to "develop an awareness of the impact that
veterinary medicine has on the health and well-
Audiology student Andrea Pierce (right), tests a local child at a hearing screening site in Yucatan, Mexico.
adults received care from members of the UF
audiology group, who collaborated with Asociacion
Yucateca Pro-Deficiente Auditivo, a local
organization established by parents of children who
are deaf to provide hearing services and
Nicaragua Project members included (back
row, left to right) Dr. Mark Bishop, Dr. Jen
Stevens, Charlotte Bargar, Alison Ligmanowski
and Emily Friedman. Front row Aaron Homan,
Ashley Mayer, Doug Buethe, Ivo Solis and
Members of the College of Public Health and Health
Professions' physical therapy department presented
information on the management of patients with low
back pain to faculty and local clinicians at the
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua in
Managua, the nation's capital, and to staff at a
rehabilitation hospital in Leon. This is the UF group's
fourth visit to Nicaragua to provide information on
current physical therapy techniques and treatments.
Limited access to continuing education and Spanish
language textbooks has put the Nicaraguan physical
therapy curriculum 10 to 15 years out of date.
he College of Veterinary Medicine offers
i. mprehensive international learning
opportunities s through course electives,
externships and hands-on activities made possible
through its Office of International Studies and
"Today, students can be exposed to global health
issues of veterinary importance at three different
levels," said Jorge Hernandez, D.V.M., Ph.D., an
associate professor of clinical epidemiology in the
Blanca is a working dog who received a spay
surgery from the UF group. Because of a
complication Blanca experienced during the
procedure, the group continued to monitor the
dog during home visits. Now the UF team has
received word that Blanca has recovered
thoroughly and is back at work guarding family
crops against vermin. Shown with Blanca
during a home visit are Dr. Sheilah Robertson,
(left), student Wendy Davies, Blanca's owner,
Dr. Natalie Isaza (kneeling) and Nelson Avila,
a Mexican veterinary student.
being of people and animals in foreign countries,"
Lastly, the third level of international exposure is
designed for the most demanding student in global
veterinary education. The OIP offers the
International Veterinary Medicine Certificate, a 15-
credit program that can be completed parallel to the
DVM curriculum over a four-year period.
Currently 25 students are enrolled in the certificate
program with ongoing international education or
research projects in Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and
Uganda under the supervision of faculty from the UF
veterinary college, the UF zoology department and
scholars from participating institutions abroad.
Kevin Ferguson: Emergency Medicine's resident educator
By April Frawley Birdwell
he woman could barely breathe. Her heart was
i Jcing. And she was in pain.
There were no X-ray machines or labs to run
bloodwork in the jungle village deep in Northern
Thailand where the Akha tribes live. Kevin Ferguson,
M.D., a UF assistant professor of emergency medicine
in the College of Medicine, could rely only on his
It was pure medicine.
"We treated her based on our clinical impression
and she got better," said Ferguson, who organized a
trip for UF doctors and nurses to vaccinate Akha
children for Japanese encephalitis in April. "For
doctors who are so used to having to order a bunch of
tests and scans to confirm what we already know, that
kind of pure practice of medicine was what most
doctors would call clinical heaven, even though we
were in a bamboo hut with a thatched roof.
"There was nothing between me and my patient."
But perhaps even more satisfying for Ferguson is
UF's new emergency medicine residency program, the
goal he's been working toward since he came to
Gainesville five years ago. With eight new emergency
medicine residents now at Shands at UF, the program
finally came to fruition, officially, July 1.
"It's the only primary specialty the University of
Florida (in Gainesville) did not teach," Ferguson said.
"My goal is in five years it is going to be one of the
flagship emergency medicine residency programs, at
least in the Southeast."
The new program is a huge step forward for emergency
medicine in the area, said David Seaberg, M.D., a UF
professor of emergency medicine and acting chair of
the department of emergency medicine.
"This will help increase the pool of board-certified
emergency medicine physicians in North Central
Florida," he said. "Kevin has done an incredible
amount of work, and now we're starting to see the
fruits of our labor."
Raised in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he also attended
college and medical school at the University of
Michigan, Ferguson was one of those kids who always
knew he wanted to be a doctor. But his passion for
emergency medicine didn't emerge until medical
school. Because UM didn't have an emergency
medicine residency at the time, he had to go to Los
Angeles to complete his training.
He came to UF five years ago when Seaberg called
him and told him about his plan to start an emergency
medicine residency in Gainesville. There is an existing
emergency medicine residency on the Jacksonville
Dr. Kevin Ferguson (right) discusses the residency program with new emergency medicine residents Dr.
Patrick Agdamag, Dr. Arada Rongkavilit and Dr. Kelly Singh-Biles during their orientation in June.
Ferguson has incorporated new technology into the residency, including requiring residents to
demonstrate new skills on human patient simulators, like those in the background.
"Kevin's very creative and has designed a very
innovative program for our new residents," Seaberg
said. "He's a real hard worker. He really cares about
the people he's working with."
One of the goals of the emergency medicine faculty
is to give back to the community, a quality Seaberg
said Ferguson exemplifies through his trips to help
people in Thailand.
Ferguson first went to Thailand with Terence Flotte,
M.D., chair of the pediatrics department, and nurses
Loraine and Judy Oetter after the tsunami in 2004.
"(The destruction) was everywhere you looked as
far as you could see," Ferguson said. "I've never been
around anything like that."
While they were there helping in the disaster zone,
they learned of the plight of Akha children at an
orphanage in northern Thailand, which had not been
affected by the tsunami. There were more than 300
children who hadn't seen a doctor in a year, so Flotte
went to the area to help the children while Ferguson
stayed at the disaster zone.
Ferguson's second trip to Thailand in April was
specifically to vaccinate the Akha children for Japanese
encephalitis. Although there had been massive
campaigns in Thailand and neighboring countries to
vaccinate children for the disease, the Akha tribes live
on the borders of several countries and slipped through
After seeing the children, the team would also see
adults. That's how they found the woman who couldn't
breathe. She had double pneumonia, Ferguson said.
They took her by truck to the Children of the Golden
Triangle Training Center. She was given IV fluids,
antibodies and breathing treatments.
"She would have died on the side of mountain if we
hadn't brought her back," he said.
But now, Ferguson's focus is squarely on his new
"We have a lot of work to do, but we're real excited
about it," he said.
Beloved former staff member dies
By April Frawley Birdwell
h n the bathroom door wouldn't budge, Hazel Donegan unlocked it.
\\hen a graduating student lost his place in line, Donegan nudged
him back in the right order like a mama duck.
For more than two decades, Donegan was the person UF medical students went
to if they had a question. As director of the student affairs office, Donegan guided
medical students from application to graduation until she retired in 1984.
Donegan passed away June 15 at the E.T. York Hospice Care Center. She was 87.
"She was 'mother' to all the medical students," said Robert T. Watson, M.D.,
senior associate dean of educational affairs and a member of the 1969 class. "She
was the epitome of the Southern lady."
A Waldo native, Donegan initially wanted to be an interpreter. She studied
languages in college and earned a master's degree in Spanish at the University of
North Carolina. But a few career turns led her back to Florida.
Donegan took a job working for T.Z. Cason, M.D., a Jacksonville doctor who
ran a state continuing medical education program and was a key supporter of the
medical school being built at UF. In 1957, one year after the UF College of
Medicine opened, Donegan came to Gainesville to work on a continuing medical
education program for UF doctors.
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
Senior Vice President, Health Affairs
Douglas J. Barrett, M.D.
Director, News & Communications
Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
Chris Brazda, April Frawley Birdwell, Tracy Brown,
Sarah Carey, Linda Homewood, Lindy McCollum-
Brounley, Patricia McGhee, John Pastor, Jill
Pease, Melanie Fridl Ross, Denise Trunk
In 1962, she switched gears and began working in the student affairs office,
spending most of her 22 years there working for Dr. Hugh M. "Smiley" Hill.
There, she won over students and faculty.
Students gave her Waterford crystal, a cruise and even a scholarship named in
her honor to thank her. Two classes also dedicated the yearbook to her.
"The [students] were wonderful to me and they were just as lovely as they could
be," Donegan said in a 2001 interview for the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.
"I couldn't have chosen a nicer group of people."
Beth Powers, Kim Smith
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