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|Boy with a Berlin heart|
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|Cocaine makes a comeback|
|Proton Center opens|
|Building the halls of health|
|Dr. J.S. Gravenstein's legacy|
|Gifts and grants|
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Table of Contents
Boy with a Berlin heart
Mobile health care
Decaf coffee not caffeine-free
Cocaine makes a comeback
Proton Center opens
Building the halls of health
Dr. J.S. Gravenstein's legacy
Gifts and grants
FOR A BUILD
On the Cover
On the Health Science Center campus, buildings
seem to be sprouting up everywhere. Some of
these are on the fringes, but the new Biomedical
Sciences Building is much closer to the core
campus. While these projects are a sign of
progress and will be welcome additions when
completed, they may create a headache or two
along the way.
Table of Contents
0 POST IT
0 Patient Care Boy with a Berlin heart
0 (Extra)ordinary people Mobile health care
0 Research Decaf coffee not caffeine-free
0 Research- Cocaine makes a come back
* Administration Proton Center opens
0 Cover Story Building the halls of health
Q Profile Dr. J.S. Gravenstein's legacy
HISCENTER FOR SIMLLATIIU f
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IN RCoCNITmN OFHi C% CEAM i I
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Gifts and Grants
It does not take long to figure out where Brian Dodge's loyalties lie once you step into his office in the HPNP Complex. Dodge, Ph.D., an assistant
professor in the department of behavioral science and community health in the College of Public Health and Health Professions, has begun accenting
his newly painted orange office with loads of Gator memorabilia.
But the Michigan native has not stopped there. His school spirit extends to his extensive orange and blue wardrobe, his Gator-decorated Vespa
motorcycle and his friends and family in the North, who consistently receive all manner of Gator paraphernalia as gifts. Although Dodge moved to
Gainesville only a little more than a year ago, he became a rabid fan the first time he attended a UF football game. "The Gators chomped me up the
first time I walked into the Swamp," he said. O
2 1 i li Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Camel receives successful surgery at UF to remove neck mass
A 2-year-old camel named Samuel is at home in
Palm Harbor following successful surgery Aug. 31
at the University of Florida's Veterinary Medical
Center to remove a mass from his neck.
The camel belongs to Crystal Cove Community
Church and lives on church grounds, along with
three donkeys, two sheep and two goats. Samuel is
part of a church program called "Animals Reaching
Kids," and also participates in live nativity scenes
sponsored by the church during the holidays as well
as an Easter program.
At Crystal Cove, Samuel is considered practically
a family member, said Susan Cox, his caretaker,
who arranged for Samuel's treatment at UF. Cox
said church members had prayed for a camel and
children in the congregation were even holding
fundraisers to raise money for that purpose.
Plans were made to transport Samuel to UF's
VMC, where large animal surgeon Jason Errico led
the procedure to remove the mass.
The biggest job and challenge was managing
Samuel during anesthesia -- a task handled
"exceptionally well" by Drs. Andre Shih and Luisito
Errico said he had spoken to Cox on Sept.
18 and that Samuel's incision continues to heal,
although complete healing will not occur for several
"We're so glad to have him back," Cox said.
"He's doing very well. He's gained back some
weight and he's just eating and playing and chasing
Activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of
the Health Science Center will culminate with the
planting of a time capsule at 3 p.m. Nov. 9 in the
courtyard of the Academic Research Building.
The capsule, slated to be unearthed again in
another 50 years, will contain the contents of
the original time capsule buried in 1956 as well
as items that represent what life is like today.
The capsule will be covered with a stone and an
During a short ceremony, Senior Vice President
for Health Affairs Doug Barrett will speak and an
HSC student singer will perform.
The original capsule was encased in the
foundation of the Stetson Medical Science
PHHP World AIDS
Rollins School of
Public Health and
for AIDS will
Diffusing Evidence-Based HIV
Interventions for Women: A Global
Perspective" from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Nov. 16 in the HPNP Complex, room
The event is sponsored by the
College of Public Health and
Health Professions and the college's
department of behavioral science
and community health.
Livingston Taylor to perform at UF
Renowned musician Livingston Taylor will take the University
Auditorium stage at 8 p.m. Nov. 4 to help raise money for the
College of Medicine's glycogen storage research program.
Taylor is the brother of music legend James Taylor of "Fire and
' Rain" fame and is perhaps most well-known for his 1970s hit, "I
Will Be in Love With You." Taylor's duet with Carly Simon, called
"Best of Friends," was on the charts earlier this year.
All proceeds from the event, dubbed Concert for a Cure, will
benefit the Matthew Ehrman Fund for Glycogen Storage Disease
SEach year, only about one in 100,000 children is born with
glycogen storage disease, a rare condition that keeps the body
-from being able to release glucose, the body's fuel, between meals.
| Without proper treatment, the disease can cause brain damage,
S seizures and even death.
UF boasts the largest program studying glycogen storage diseases in
il-. liver in the world, but because the disease is rare, obtaining funding
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Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. t I 1 0 3
obbietta Honor didn't notice it much when
Shamar was a baby. But as her son aged, she
could see it; one half of his torso was grow-
ing. The other half wasn't.
"He's lopsided," Honor said. "I can notice it more as he gets older."
Shamar, now 4, was born with a severe form of scoliosis that left him not only
with the telltale curvature in his spine but also with seven fused ribs, making
half of his rib cage an impenetrable wall that wouldn't grow even as the lungs
and organs inside it did. If left untreated, Shamar would die.
But on Sept. 25, in a crowded operating room, UF surgeons changed Shamar's
fate when they implanted a titanium rib device on his rib cage that will allow
his chest to expand over time.
The device spreads vertically to expand his chest cavity, creating more room
for his organs, at the same time correcting the curvature in the spine, said UF
pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Raymund Woo, M.D., who led the two-and-a-
half hour operation.
Only about one in 1,000 children in the United States are born with this
severe form ofscoliosis. Most people who have scoliosis develop it in adolescence,
and although the condition is still serious and often requires surgery, they do
not have ribs that are fused together.
Fusing rods into the spine, considered the standard surgery to treat scoliosis
in adolescents and adults, is also generally not an option for children with
congenital scoliosis. The surgery straightens the spine, correcting the scoliosis,
Shamar Honor, 4, waits in a hospital bed before undergoing surgery
Sept. 25. University of Florida surgeons, including Raymund Woo, top,
implanted two vertical titanium ribs in Shamar, who was born with
scoliosis and several fused ribs. The titanium ribs will allow his rib cage
to expand as he grows and will correct the curvature of his spine.
4 | 1 4 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
with his parents,
Shands at UF
but does not fix the problems caused by the child's fused ribs. Prior to the
development of the titanium rib, a thin bar that can be manually adjusted so the
rib cage can expand over time, many children with severe congenital scoliosis
died as their bodies outgrew their fused ribs,
"They don't have enough room in their rib cages for their organs to grow," he
said. "(Without that) these kids are doomed to die. This is really a major step
forward in the treatment of this disease."
George H. Thompson, a professor of orthopaedics and director of pediatric
orthopaedics at Case Western Reserve University, said the titanium rib's ability to
expand the chest cavity is particularly important
"The lung really gets most of its development in the first eight years of life,"
said Thompson, also president of the Scoliosis Research Society.
As a baby, Shamar suffered from respiratory infections and developed
pneumonia when he was 2 months old. His parents took him to the doctor, where
a chest X-ray revealed his scoliosis and fused ribs.
"We had never heard of fused ribs before," Honor said.
Woo, who took over Shamar's care when the boy was 6 months old, monitored
his growth as he aged. He had some respiratory problems, but for the most part,
he was a typical little boy. He played with his older brothers and sister and
attended preschool. But Honor knew as her son aged, his condition would
Then, last year, Woo suggested a new surgery to the Honor family. The vertical
titanium rib, produced by a company called Synthes, was new. It had been
approved recently by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for humanitarian
use, and it would give Shamar a chance to grow.
"I thought it was good news," Honor said, recalling the day when Woo told her
about the surgery. "Everyone (in the family) agreed with it."
Because the surgery is so unusual, Woo received special training to learn how
to perform it and use the device. He also brought in University of Pittsburgh
surgeon Vincent Deeney, who has performed the operation previously, to offer
guidance during the procedure.
Woo placed two of the titanium ribs on Shamar's rib cage. One stretched down
his spine to straighten the curvature and the other was placed on the left side of
his rib cage. Woo had to separate some of the fused ribs so they could be attached
to his rib cage. The only parts of the vertical ribs that actually touch the boy's
bones are the points where they are attached, Woo said.
The titanium ribs have additional length inside of them, which will allow Woo
to expand them by making small incisions over the spots where the device is
attached to Shamar's rib. He will have to come back every six months to have
Shamar went home five days after the surgery and is doing well, Woo said. But
it will take some time before he knows if the device is making a difference.
Aside from correcting scoliosis and allowing the rib cage to expand, the device
should also allow Shamar to maintain flexibility, something that older scoliosis
patients typically sacrifice when rods are fused into their spines.
"This allows you to have the best of both worlds," Woo said. O
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. I 1 0 5
From staff reports
A gravely ill 9-year-old Orange Park boy
awaiting a heart transplant recently be-
came Florida's first patient to receive the
Berlin Heart, a mechanical heart device sized
specifically for children.
Alexzander Wood received the biventricular assist device Sept. 29
during a nearly five-hour procedure led by UF surgeons at Shands at UF.
The Berlin Heart is designed to boost his failing heart's ability to pump
until a donor organ becomes available.
"He's made tremendous progress already and we're very pleased," said UF
College of Medicine cardiac surgeon Mark Bleiweis, M.D.
Alexzander was listed in serious condition at press time and will remain
in the Shands at UF Pediatric Intensive Care Unit until a donor heart
Numerous risks were associated with the procedure, including bleeding
and clotting problems and infection, but the medical team felt it was the
boy's only option.
"This patient has been in heart failure, on a ventilator, and his condition
was deteriorating at a rate that was affecting his other organs he was at
risk for organ failure," said Bleiweis, an associate professor and director of
the Congenital Heart Center. "Without a transplant or this kind of device,
he would die. We're not sure how long he'd have to wait for an organ.
Because of that uncertainty, we had to proceed."
Alexzander, a third-grader at Fleming Island Elementary School, had
the procedure would take place on her birthday.
"That was the best birthday present ever," she said. "God was
Alexzander is the 68th child in the United States and Canada, and one
of only 200 internationally, to receive the Berlin Heart. Other United
States and Canadian Berlin Heart recipients have relied on the device
anywhere from one day to 234 days.
"The issue is donor availability," said F. Jay Fricker, M.D., chief of the
division of pediatric cardiology at UF's College of Medicine. "If a donor
is not available and the patient is deteriorating, the options are some form
of circulatory support. We think the Berlin Heart is an excellent way to
transition patients until they can receive a transplant. It gives additional
support to the failing heart. The results in older children and adults with
similar devices have been very successful in bridging patients to
For patients and their families and care providers, this device could
offer hope during the uncertain wait for a donor organ, said nurse
practitioner Barbara Williams, pediatric heart and lung transplant
coordinator at Shands at UF.
"Everyone involved in the care of this patient and these precious
children is extremely hopeful that the Berlin Heart will provide the time
he needs to make it to transplant," Williams said. "As a member of the
Shands pediatric heart transplant team, this is a very exciting step for us.
There is no way to predict or plan for the arrival of a donor heart, and
unfortunately we have lost babies and children during the wait for an
Currently, 19 children in Florida and 236 nationally are on the heart
transplant waiting list. For more information about organ donation,
please visit www.donatelife.net. O
The Berlin Heart (above) is a computerized pump system the size of a small orange. Produced in Germany, it is available in various sizes
suitable for use in infants and small children.
6 | 1 4 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Florida boy is state's
first to get new
mechanical heart device
designed for children
been a healthy child until he began exhibiting breathlessness and
abdominal pain. In August, UF pediatric cardiologists diagnosed him
with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, a weakness of the heart muscle.
Although the cause is uncertain, physicians suspect a viral infection.
The Berlin Heart is a computerized pump system the size of a small
Orange. Produced in Germany, it is available in various sizes suitable for
use in infants and small children. Most of the device extends outside the
, l body and connects to the heart via tubes implanted in the patient's chest.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the
Berlin Heart, but the agency allowed UF and Shands officials to move
forward on a one-time compassionate use basis. The UF Institutional
Review Board and Shands officials also had to approve the procedure. A
team from Berlin Heart Inc. flew in from Germany Sept. 27 to assist.
Alexzander's mother, Elizabeth Wood, said the medical team confirmed
Top: Students at Kirby-Smith Middle School in Jackson\
from class for medical checkups in St. Vincent's Care MV
school's parking lot. Faculty members and residents fro
Medicine-Jacksonville pediatrics department help staff
which visits 21 middle and high schools in Duval Coun
during the school year.
Bottom: Third-year pediatrics resident Carol Mannings,
Schneider, D.O., chief of adolescent medicine in the pe
of UF's College of Medicine-Jacksonville, (right) chat w
Austin Kriznar, a sixth-grader at Kirby-Smith Middle Sch
shots here in the Care Van, and they really didn't hurt,"
UF docss on wheels' keep
Jacksonville teens healthy
1By Patricia Bates McGhee
hA ile most physicians avoid the term "doc in a box,"
S .Jon Schneider, D.O., chief of adolescent medicine
in the pediatrics department of UF's College of
Medicine-Jacksonville, likes to introduce himself by that moni-
ker or another favorite nickname "man in the van."
That's because Schneider really does work in a box a box on wheels provided by St.
SVincent's Care Mobile Program in Jacksonville. Schneider, colleague Jeri Dyson, M.D., a UF
assistant professor in adolescent medicine, and two pediatrics residents a month keep the
health-care van rolling.
.^:a The program is a joint effort between St. Vincent's Medical Center and the Florida Department
of Health through the Duval County Health Department, the Duval County Public Schools, the
University of Florida and Ronald McDonald House Charities and other community partners.
The goal is to provide comprehensive health-care services to Jacksonville's middle and high
school students, but in an unusual setting at their schools.
"The care mobile visits 21 middle and high schools in Duval County five days a week and
usually travels to each school at least once a month," Schneider said. "We're fully staffed with a
pediatrician, nurse and medical assistant and fully equipped with two patient exam rooms, a
reception area and a medical records area."
Although developed to bring high-quality medical care to underserved and uninsured
adolescents in Jacksonville's urban and rural areas, the program provides treatment for any
child, regardless of insurance and financial status. All services are free. Parents don't even have
.-, to be present for a child to be seen, as long as a consent form has been completed and signed in
advance a godsend for working parents.
Schneider says teenagers are often left out of the health-care system.
"The reasons why teens don't get proper health care vary," he said. "Sometimes parents don't
keep up with them or some teens rarely get sick, but when they do get sick, some teens and their
families rely on the emergency room as their primary physician."
The care mobile provides ongoing care for teens, and their parents don't need to take them to
the doctor because the doctor comes to them at school.
"Here the students get the same care they'd receive in a doctor's office, including comprehensive
Services like physical, routine checkups, vision screenings and even dental screenings,"
"Over the course of a year, we do about 3,000 to 4,000 sports exams, but because we do one-on-one
examinations, ours are much more personalized, which gives us the ability to pick up on many
biopsychosocial issues as well as medical issues," he said. "This makes our services pretty unique."
The program-on-wheels is a boon not only to Duval County adolescents and their parents but
also to UF resident doctors.
"All pediatrics residents spend time on the van as part of their required one-month adolescent
medicine rotation," said Frank Genuardi, M.D., assistant dean for educational affairs. "The van
provides an outstanding educational opportunity for them to deliver care to adolescents who
might not otherwise have access at a location convenient to them."
Third-year pediatrics resident Carol Mannings, M.D., said her experience with the care
mobile was refreshing.
ville take a break
"Residency can be particularly challenging, and somewhere along the road one can lose sight
Mobile, parked in the
Sr of the bigger picture and goal," she said. "However, working on the care mobile with Dr.
m the UF College of Schneider and Dr. Dyson reminded me of all the reasons I went into medicine and all the
the traveling van, reasons I chose to specialize in pediatrics. The experience renewed my spirit."
[y five days a week As the residents learn and work alongside their professors, Schneider says the lessons learned
are valuable: learning how to have meaningful interaction and service to the community,
M.D., (left) and Jon understanding bread-and-butter adolescent medicine and treating volumes of patients with
diatrics department staff supervision.
'ith 11 -yea r-old "It is our obligation to teach them well as we pass the torch to a new generation of pediatricians,"
ool. "I had two Schneider said. "It's a win-win-win situation for UF residents, UF physicians and the Jacksonville
he said. community." 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. 0I 1 7
Decaf coffee not caffeine-free
By Denise Trunk
Coffee addicts who switch
to decaf for health reasons
may not be as free from
caffeine's clutches as they think. A
new study by UF researchers docu-
ments that almost all decaffeinat-
ed coffee contains some measure
Caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the
world. And because coffee is a major source in the
supply line, people advised to avoid caffeine because of
certain medical conditions like hypertension should
be aware that even decaffeinated brew can come with a
kick, UF researchers reported in the Journal of
"If someone drinks five to 10 cups of decaffeinated
coffee, the dose of caffeine could easily reach the level
present in a cup or two of caffeinated coffee," said co-
author Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., a professor and
director of UF's William R. Maples Center for
Forensic Medicine. "This could be a concern for
people who are advised to cut their caffeine intake,
such as those with kidney disease or anxiety
Despite caffeine's widespread use, most medical
texts have no guidelines for intake, Goldberger said,
but even low doses might adversely affect some people.
So UF researchers set out to conduct a two-phase
study designed to gauge just how much caffeine is
likely to turn up in decaffeinated coffees.
First they purchased 10 16-ounce decaffeinated
drip-brewed coffee beverages from nine national
chains or local coffee houses and tested them for
caffeine content. Caffeine was isolated from the coffee
samples and measured by gas chromatography. Every
serving but one instant decaffeinated Folgers Coffee
Crystals contained caffeine, ranging from 8.6
milligrams to 13.9 milligrams.
In comparison, an 8-ounce cup of drip-brewed
coffee typically contains 85 milligrams of caffeine.
In the study's second phase, scientists analyzed 12
samples of Starbucks decaffeinated espresso and
brewed decaffeinated coffee taken from a single store.
The espresso drinks contained 3 milligrams to 15.8
milligrams of caffeine per shot, while the brewed
coffees had caffeine concentrations ranging from 12
milligrams to 13.4 milligrams per 16-ounce serving.
Even though the amount of caffeine in these coffees
is considered low, some people could conceivably
develop a physical dependence on the beverages, said
co-author Mark S. Gold, M.D., a distinguished
professor of psychiatry, neuroscience and community
health and family medicine at UF's College of
"One has to wonder if decaf coffee has enough, just
enough, caffeine to stimulate its own taking," Gold
said. "Certainly, large cups and frequent cups of decaf
Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D.
would be expected to promote dependence and should
be contraindicated in those whose doctors suggested
And even moderate caffeine levels can increase
agitation, anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure in
some susceptible individuals, Goldberger said.
"Carefully controlled studies show that caffeine
doses as low as about 10 milligrams can produce
reliable subjective and behavioral effects in sensitive
individuals," said Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor
of behavioral biology and neuroscience at the Johns
Hopkins School of Medicine. "The important point is
that decaffeinated is not the same as caffeine-free.
People who are trying to eliminate caffeine from their
diet should be aware that popular espresso drinks
such as lattes (which contain two shots of espresso)
can deliver as much caffeine as a can of Coca-Cola -
about 31 milligrams." O
, ,n .n .. ..... -n
By Denise Trunk
ike some drug deja vu, cocaine use is once
again on the rise among students and the rich
and famous, a trend University of Florida
researchers say likely signals a recurring epidemic of
Once known as the champagne of drugs, cocaine
killed "Saturday Night Live" comedian John Belushi
and basketball star Len Bias in the 1980s before use
declined in the 1990s.
Now new data from UF and the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement show that since
2000 cocaine has increasingly been cited as the cause
of death in coroner's reports, and that the number of
cocaine deaths per 100,000 people in the state has
nearly doubled in the past five years, from 150 in
2000 to nearly 300 in 2005. The steepest per capital
rise in death rates was in college towns and wealthy,
upper-class seaside communities, such as Melbourne,
West Palm Beach and the Florida Keys.
What's happening in Florida is likely occurring
coast to coast, says Mark Gold, M.D., a distinguished
professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, anesthesiology
and community health and family medicine at UF's
College of Medicine. Gold and colleagues analyzed
FDLE data gathered in Florida and presented their
findings Oct. 15 at the Society for Neuroscience's
annual meeting in Atlanta.
"Our data is closest to real time to any data
available in the United States," Gold said. "With
death reports, there is no fudge factor. The other
states will show the same thing: That we are in the
early stages of a new cocaine epidemic that is being
led by the rich and famous and students with large
amounts of disposable income and that is responsible
for more emergency room visits and more cocaine-
related deaths than we have seen at any time since
the last cocaine epidemic."
Prescription drugs, often abused for the
immediate rush of euphoria they trigger, can cause
sudden respiratory or cardiac arrest. In contrast,
flark Gold, M.D.
cocaine's cumulative effects including blood
vessel damage that increases the risk of heart attack
or stroke over time can unexpectedly kill years
after abuse begins, Gold said.
UF experts said the recent spike in deaths should
serve as a wake-up call, prompting more drug
education in schools and communities nationwide.
Gold said such interventions are necessary to avoid
another full-fledged cocaine epidemic. O
One-of-a-kind imaging probe reveals secrets
useful for drug discovery
Good things may indeed come in small packages for scientists eager to find natural
substances to help cure diseases. The challenge is to analyze material that is
smaller than the proverbial gnat's eyelash.
But using a refined version of nuclear magnetic resonance technology, or NMR,
scientists have unlocked secrets hidden in tiny amounts of venom taken from spindly
insects called common two-stripe walking sticks, which are relatively harmless, plant-
eating creatures common in the eastern United States.
The analytical technique, described in the ACS Chemical Biology by scientists at
the McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida and the Center for Medical,
Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology at the Gainesville U.S. Department of
Agriculture, could aid in the search for natural substances to make medicines. It also
shows that scientists can obtain volumes of information from very tiny samples, which
could be useful in efforts to understand Alzheimer's disease and other disorders.
"There are many potent, useful molecules made by plants and animals, but they
are usually produced in such small quantities it takes a huge amount of material to
characterize them," said Arthur Edison, Ph.D., an associate professor of biochemistry
and molecular biology. "In this case, it previously required hundreds of milkings to
get enough walking stick venom for analysis. We were able to get great data from
just one milking."
Researchers at the McKnight Brain Institute's Advanced Magnetic Resonance
Imaging and Spectroscopy equipped an NMR spectrometer with a special probe to
examine the venom, which the walking stick sprays to defend itself from predators.
by John Pastor
Tiny Tampa Bay fish key to evolution of
Armed at first with nothing more than boots, a screen and a bucket,
scientists studying a tiny primitive fish in Tampa Bay now say they have
found the "missing link" marking the point in evolution that led to the
development of the modern-day human immune system.
The inch-long spineless fish, called a lancelet, produces a key immune
system protein that is similar to but much hardier than the version found in
people. The baywaters are a microbial soup teeming with microorganisms,
yet the worm-like bottom-feeder that makes up 70 percent of the bay's
biomass is remarkably adept at standing up to the bacterial, viral and
chemical threats in its environment.
Understanding how it does so could lead to improved biodefense
and better immune-boosting drugs to fight cancer and disorders such
as rheumatoid arthritis, say scientists at the University of Florida and the
University of South Florida, who reported their findings recently in Nature
"At a basic level, this sea worm tells us about the evolution of the
immune response; specifically, it tells us that primitive organisms have
more sophisticated immune systems than we previously thought," said
X-ray crystallographer David Ostrov, Ph.D., an assistant professor of
pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine at UF's College of
Medicine who is affiliated with the UF Shands Cancer Center. "This is the
first organism below the level of jawed vertebrates that expresses the type
of proteins we use in our own complex adaptive immune system."
Melanie Fridl Ross
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. IU 0 9
Whooping cough rates higher in
states where vaccination
exemptions easily obtained
By Jacqueline Teusner
Whooping cough is re-emerging na-
tionwide and youngsters in states
that permit parents to easily opt out
of vaccinating their children are at increased
risk from the disease, researchers from Johns
Hopkins University and the University of
Florida reported Oct. 11 in the Journal of the
American Medical Association.
States that readily grant exemptions or offer personal belief
exemptions have about 50 percent higher rates of pertussis, more
commonly known as whooping cough, after adjusting for a large
number of demographic variables.
"By demonstrating an association between state policies and
pertussis, we highlight the very real consequences of relaxing school
immunization requirements," said Saad Omer, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., an
assistant scientist of international health at the Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public Health and the study's first author.
All states require documentation that children entering school have
met the requirements, which include vaccines to protect against
diseases such as diphtheria, measles, polio and pertussis.
But all states also permit medical exemptions to immunization
requirements, and most allow exemptions based on religious beliefs.
Many offer a broader exemption based on personal belief that may be
granted for religious, philosophical or other nonmedical reasons.
Recently, several states also have sought to expand nonmedical
"This really adds a new piece of information in our effort to control
pertussis," said Daniel Salmon, Ph.D., an associate professor of
epidemiology in the UF College of Medicine's department of
epidemiology and health policy research and the study's senior
Researchers at the two academic health centers and at the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention examined long-term data on
state-level exemption rates at school entry and the incidence of
pertussis for individuals 18 years or younger. They found that
nonmedical exemption rates were higher and increasing in states that
permitted exemptions based on personal belief and in states where
exemption processes were less arduous. Those states also were
strongly associated with higher incidence of pertussis.
"Our study shows an increase in the number of children exempted
in states that make exemptions widely available," Omer said.
Pertussis a highly contagious but preventable disease is endemic
in the United States. According to the CDC, the incidence of the
disease has increased nationwide in the last 20 years, with 25,827
cases reported in 2004, the most recent data available.
Pertussis is caused by a toxin produced by a bacterium that is
spread through person-to-person contact, coughing and sneezing. It
is more severe in infants and young children, who consequently have
a greater risk of pneumonia, seizures, encephalopathy (a brain
disorder) and other potentially deadly complications.
In a study published last year, the researchers found the No. 1
reason why parents refuse vaccines and claim exemptions are
concerns about vaccine safety, despite strong scientific evidence that
vaccines are extremely safe.
"There are also differences between parents of vaccinated and
unvaccinated children in perceived susceptibility to and severity of
(vaccine-preventable) diseases, perceived efficacy of vaccination and
trust in their government," Salmon said.
Children who are not vaccinated are at increased risk of contracting
disease and passing it on to others. Among those vulnerable are
children too young to be vaccinated, those with a valid medical
reason for not vaccinating or those who are vaccinated but have not
had a sufficient immunological response to fight off the disease.
Protection in people who are vaccinated decreases over time, in what
health experts call "waning immunity."
The researchers propose that a balance be struck between parental
autonomy and public health mandates. Health-care professionals and
public vaccine information campaigns need to do a better job at risk
communication for parents who have real concerns, and the
exemptions must be more difficult to obtain, the authors said. 0
101 1 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
for proton center
By Tom Fortner
T h e University of Florida Proton
Therapy Institute, perhaps the
most eagerly anticipated project in
the history of the College of Medicine,
made an auspicious debut Oct. 13 in
front of about 250 friends and support-
ers on the campus of the UF Health
Science Center in Jacksonville.
Although operational since August, the formal dedication
ceremony marked the emotional peak for a facility that was
both technically challenging and expensive to build. Yet
there seemed to be little doubt among those assembled that
the cost and hard work will be easily outweighed by lives
saved and suffering avoided in the fight against cancer.
C. Craig Tisher, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine
and the person widely acknowledged to be the driving force
behind the project, cited a quote by the writer Goethe that
best described his sense of the day's significance: "Dream
no small dreams, for they have no power to move the hearts
"I would submit to you," he continued, "that this was no
small dream, and that our dream has moved the hearts of
literally hundreds of individuals. Indeed, the dream is now a
The opening of the 98,000-square-foot, $125 million
facility comes eight years after the initial proposal but,
remarkably, only three years after construction began. It is
only the fifth facility of its kind in the United States and the
only one in the Southeast.
Proton therapy is a precise radiation treatment that
destroys cancer cells and minimizes damage to healthy
tissue. This results in higher cure rates, a low incidence of
side effects and fewer long-term effects. Proton therapy is
especially beneficial for treating cancer in children and in
adult cancers located in sensitive areas like the head, neck,
lung, breast and prostate.
The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional
radiation and proton therapy, and when it is at capacity will
deliver proton therapy to 150 to 200 patients a day.
"We are so thankful to see this day finally arrive," said
Stuart Klein, who was recruited 18 months ago to serve as
the institute's executive director. "It has taken a collaboration
of many public and private sector partners, along with a
dedicated team of radiation oncologists, physicists, engineers,
computer scientists and community leaders, to make this
Notable ceremony speakers included John Peyton, mayor
of Jacksonville; UF President Bernie Machen; Pierre Mottet,
CEO of IBA, the Belgian company that specializes in building
particle therapy facilities; Nancy Mendenhall, M.D., the
institute's medical director; and Russell B. Newton Jr., a
Jacksonville citizen who has been influential in raising
private support for the facility.
Also on hand was Ben Smith, a Cocoa Beach man who was
the first person treated in the facility.
But the day belonged primarily to Tisher, who announced
last summer that he will step down as dean next year.
Machen recognized Tisher for the "incredible effort to
make this day happen."
"This project is living testimony to the vision, the ingenuity
and the fortitude of one person," he said, "and that person is
For more information about institute, visit www.
At the dedication of
the UF Proton Therapy
Center Oct. 13 in
of Medicine Dean
Craig Tisher (top
photo, at lectern), who
Smith (bottom left
photo), from Cocoa
Beach, Fla., was
recognized as the first
person to receive
proton therapy at the
stream into the facility
after the ceremony.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. I I* 1 I 11
IN MIDST OF A BUILDING BOOM
- 00-_ 0M_ _
An artist's depiction of the
Building (above) shows the
extensive use of glass in
offices and a two-story,
glass-walled lobby that
fronts the HPNP plaza. A
patio at the rear of the
building (far right) reflects
the intent to make better
use of the outdoor spaces
adjacent to the existing
Communicore and Basic
Science Building. The new
facility will be constructed
on the site of the
dock, in photo at right.
n the memorable words of a prizefight
announcer, "Ladies and gentlemen, let's get
ready to rummmm-blllllle!!!"
In this case, the rumbling won't come from
a boxing ring surrounded by a throng of
spectators, but jackhammers, power saws and
pile drivers set to begin construction on a new
building close to the heart of the Health
When it's completed in early 2009, the six-story, $94
million Biomedical Sciences Building will be an
architecturally stunning anchor on the western end of
the plaza encircled by the McKnight Brain Institute, the
Academic Research Building, the recently face-lifted
Communicore and the HPNP Building. But until then,
it's likely to be an inconvenience, and occasionally a
disruptive force, in the life of the HSC.
The BMSB, as it's called, is just one of a spate of
buildings either under way or planned for the near future
that represent a building boom for the health sciences.
A quick rundown:
* Faculty and staff have just occupied the Cancer and
Genetics Research Complex.
* Work is under way on a nanoscience building which
has a significant health science presence just up the
hill on Center Drive.
* A building to house the newly created Emerging
Pathogens Institute should get started next summer.
* Shands is building a new patient tower focused on cancer
south of Archer Road and is partnering with the College
of Medicine to build an outpatient surgery center behind
the Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute.
* The College of Veterinary Medicine is completing
plans for a building that will include a small animal
* Before the decade is out, HSC leaders hope to get started
on a state-of-the-art facility that will replace the
Communicore as the center of educational activities and
the home of the HSC Libraries.
121 1 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Building boom? Miles Albertson, associate director of
facilities planning and construction at the Health
Science Center, agreed that the pace of building has
picked up over a three- to five-year period, particularly
for research buildings. That pace is consistent with a
strategic vision of the future prominence of UF's
research effort, according to Win Phillips, D.Sc., the
university's vice president for research.
"UF is building an unprecedented number of
interdisciplinary research buildings," he said. "From
cancer and genetics to nanoscience and from basic
biological sciences to emerging pathogens, UF will be at
the forefront and have forward-looking programs to
conduct cutting-edge research. This expansion of
research facilities will be a cornerstone of UF's future in
research, helping attract and facilitate the work of world-
Of all those projects, none is likely to be more daunting
than the BMSB. Construction crews have already begun
preparing the site for the new building the loading
dock abutted by the Communicore and the Basic Sciences
Building. Through the first of the year, they will be
fencing off the site, moving the northbound bus stop on
Center Drive and relocating existing underground
The first noisy activity will occur in March and
continue through June, when workers begin demolishing
the concrete loading dock, driving piles to shore up
adjacent walls and compacting soil.
"That's the activity that's going to be most disruptive
to the university because it's going to be noisy and it's
going to be messy," said Lorne Bazzle, a construction
superintendent with Whiting-Turner, the construction
manager, at a kind of town meeting on the project held
Frank Javaheri, the university's point person in
managing the BMSB effort, said "This is a very
challenging project. It's an infill project, between five
active occupied buildings."
The proximity of those buildings means that Javaheri
and others will be working diligently to mitigate the
effects of noise, vibration, utility interruptions and
detours. But he concedes there's a certain amount of
unpleasantness that can't entirely be avoided.
"Noise is noise," he said. "We can't stop that,
Those negative effects will diminish when the frame
of the building starts going up this summer. Moreover, a
separate project to replace chilled water pipes that has
disrupted the plaza for several months is slated to
conclude in March.
In the end, when the building is completed in early
2009, the result should be worth any temporary irritation.
The design features lots of glass on the north and west
facades, a handsome two-story glass-walled atrium on
the ground floor and exterior improvements to adjacent
no-man's-land areas like the walkways and loading dock
on the west side of the Communicore.
"It's a building in massing and content and materials
that really fits in, and we think it will be a good neighbor
to those around it," said Dominick P. Roveto, an architect
with Ellenzweig Associates, which helped design the
building with a second firm, Hunton Brady.
The nearly 90,000-square-feet of research space will
be divided among three major users. They include a
burgeoning Biomedical Engineering program, Animal
Care Services and strategically important medical
research programs in neuroscience, autoimmune
diseases and stem cell biology.
That extra laboratory area plus what will be provided
by nanoscience and emerging pathogens will make a
significant dent in the shortage of dedicated research
space that has been a primary focus of Senior Vice
President for Health Affairs Doug Barrett, who says his
focus has already shifted to meeting the educational and
clinical space needs of the health center colleges.
"Over the past five years, we have attacked the single
biggest limitation to research growth a serious shortage
of laboratory and research space within the Health
Science Center," Barrett said. With what's on the
drawing board, he said, "we will have the facilities to
catalyze real growth in our research capabilities."
The building will also house a large teaching
laboratory dedicated to exposing gifted undergraduates
to cutting-edge life sciences research through the
university's partnership with the prestigious Howard
Hughes Medical Institute.
That ground floor lab opens onto an attractive lobby
Continued on page 14
_ --- -------- -- -- .. . .
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. I 1 0 13
fronted with a soaring glass facade that marks the main entrance to the
building. At the rear of the BMSB, just below the elevated walk leading to
the Sun Terrace, a patio with plantings, tables and an overhead trellis will
provide a shady spot for people to meet and mingle.
Such "architectural amenities," said Albertson, have thankfully become
the norm for new buildings on campus. Recent projects think the Brain
Institute and the HPNP Complex are a far cry from the featureless, no-
frills structures built in the 1970s, when most UF construction was
managed by the Division of General Services in Tallahassee.
"We didn't have consistent campus standards that governed aesthetic
appearance," said Albertson of that era. "Today, through UF's Board of
Trustees and administration, we manage all that construction ourselves
and control the standards that we live by."
That aesthetic sensibility is inconsistent with the existing Communicore
loading dock, which will be gutted and reconfigured by the BMSB. Trucks
will still make deliveries to the new building, but the delivery area will be
"We're using every square inch of the footprint, maximizing the space
available for research," Roveto said.
The project also incorporates a long-sought capability of the HSC
administration: an emergency backup generator to power critical services
during power outages. And the entire project will be coupled with a badly
needed renovation of the basement of the Communicore, where about
half of the space will essentially be gutted and rebuilt. Existing biosafety
Level 3 labs will be expanded, but will be off-line for most of the 10-
All that progress comes with a price tag, and unfortunately it's been
going up over the last four or five years. Albertson said the construction
sector is experiencing a "cost explosion for labor, materials -
The reasons for the inflation are as exotic as competition from the
economic boom in China and as basic as the price of gas. But the effects
are dramatic. For example, Cancer-Genetics, at 250,000 gross-square feet,
Located just a hammer-throw away on Center Drive from the BMSB project, the site for the nanoscience facility is being prepared. When work
is completed in December 2007, a state-of-the-art facility will catalyze UF efforts in nanotechnology.
disguised and larger, 18-wheel trucks will be handled exclusively by the
loading dock at the dentistry building. Indeed, the BMSB is the first step
in a long-term effort to beautify the area along Center Drive.
Said Albertson, "We are cosmetically upgrading the west face of the
Health Science Center."
Despite its good looks, the new building still represents an efficient use
of resources. The wet lab areas have the open design now in vogue, prized
for their flexibility.
is nearly half again as large as the BMSB but will wind up costing about
$8 million less, even though the buildings are otherwise comparable.
Despite the high costs of construction, university officials are forging
ahead to meet their ambitious goals. And while hard hats and earplugs
may be standard academic regalia for a few months, it will all be over soon.
Until the next building.
For a schedule of construction activities and more details about various projects,
visit www.facilities.ufl.edu. 0
AT A GLANCE: OTHER CURRENT PROJECTS
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New simulation space dedicated to
Dr. J.S. Gravenstein arrives at the UF College of Medicine at 7 a.m. most days to teach medical students
and anesthesiology residents using the Human Patient Simulator, the technology that he and several UF
faculty members developed.
By April Frawley Birdwell
B eep... beep... beep...
The medical students crowded around J.S.
Gravenstein, M.D., as he prodded them for
answers about the patient before them. What did they
expect to see, Gravenstein asked his pupils, the heart
monitor's ringing cadence building speed. Beep, beep,
"Let's start over," Gravenstein said, signaling to the
technician in the back of the room. "Let's try this
A few keyboard clicks later, Stan the Human Patient
Simulator, was back to a normal heart rate. The residents
resumed solving his case of hypotension, just one of
hundreds of programs Stan runs to help students and
residents learn concepts difficult to safely teach with
Gravenstein, 81, a UF graduate research professor
emeritus of anesthesiology, arrives at 7 a.m. most days to
teach residents using the simulator, something he's been
doing since he and his UF colleagues developed the
technology-although his sessions have never been in
such cozy environs. Stan recently moved to his new
space, aptly titled the Center for Simulation and Learning
Technology, in a revamped room in the Communicore
It's the first space specifically designed for the Human
Patient Simulator at UF, said Gravenstein, detailing its
benefits, namely more room and an audio response
system. Using the technology in the new simulator space,
he also hopes to broadcast lessons to wider audiences.
What he doesn't mention is the plaque on the wall,
honoring his years of dedication to using simulation in
medical education. He isn't one to talk about his own
accomplishments. That would be immodest.
"He dedicated his life to improving patient safety and
physician education in anesthesiology," said Tammy
Euliano, M.D., a UF associate professor of anesthesiology
who also uses the simulator to teach students. "He's
indispensable to our department."
Gravenstein has never been one to stick to convention
in his teaching, said son Nik Gravenstein, M.D.,
chairman of the College of Medicine's anesthesiology
department. The idea for developing a simulator at UF
was born when then-resident Michael Good, M.D.,
suggested to Gravenstein that a simulator might help
residents understand what an anesthesiologist is doing
in the operation room.
"His curiosity and his enthusiasm rubs off on the
people around him," Nik said. "(The simulator), which is
something that nobody could imagine how it would turn
out in the '80s, has now become an industry with
His curiosity and creativity are perhaps part of the
reason Gravenstein emigrated to the United States from
Germany in 1952, his son said. Harry Beecher was the
biggest reason, though. The renowned anesthesiologist
invited Gravenstein, who had graduated from medical
school in Germany after World War II, to come to
Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston as a resident.
He took the position, but once in Boston, he quickly
sensed that his German medical education may have
been lacking. Listening to his American colleagues, he
thought, "What on Earth are they talking about?"
"German science, which was excellent pre-World War
I, and internationally recognized, went downhill (under
Hitler's leadership)," he said. "Many of the teachers left,
others had not returned from (World War II), they had
been killed. The education suffered."
While a resident, Gravenstein enrolled in Harvard
Medical School to catch up. When he was appointed
chief of anesthesiology at UF's fledgling College of
Medicine in 1958, months before he would actually start,
he was technically still in medical school.
Gravenstein was the first, and only, member of the
anesthesiology department when the teaching hospital,
now Shands at UF, opened in 1958. Aside from 10 years
at Case Western Reserve University, he's been at UF
In 1986, Gravenstein, along with Good, Sem
Lampotang, Ph.D., and other UF researchers, began
developing the Human Patient Simulator. The simulator
took 10 years to produce, Gravenstein said.
"About half of U.S. medical schools have them now,"
he said. "And they're evolving even further."
Gravenstein is also trying to find new ways to use the
simulator to teach not only medical students and
residents, but also high school students and teachers.
"I think most people really don't have any notion as to
the scope of his creativeness, whether it's writing
children's stories or playing a musical instrument," Nik
said. "It's this continued intellectual creativity, but it's
not just in medicine, it's in life."
He even found time recently to give his wife of 57 years
a lifetime achievement award, an honor similar to the
one the UF College of Medicine gave him in 2005. He
gathered all eight of their children and their families
together earlier this summer for a black-tie event to
"I thought if anybody deserves an achievement award
it's my wife, because after she is retired from being
mother and wife, her achievements will still be running
around," he said. "(Children are) a continuation, rather
than something that is quickly forgotten." 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. I I;*1 015
Constance Haan, M.D.
and graduate medi-
cal education, we
are working to sub-
stantiate that we are
graduating safe, com-
petent, effective and
Constance Haan, M.D.
associate dean for
By Patricia Bates McGhee
or Constance Haan, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon in
the College of Medicine-Jacksonville, accepting the
opportunity to take on the role of associate dean for
educational affairs was a no-brainer. Her new position is
consistent with the direction of her career path, she says,
only now she's moving from helping one patient at a time
to effecting change on a broader scale.
"My professional interests beyond cardiac surgery include improving quality and
decreasing disparities in health and health care delivery, as well as contributing to
educational techniques and objective measures of educational effectiveness," she said. "I
continue to value each patient I care for, just as I always have."
A graduate of the University of South Dakota medical school, Haan completed two
residencies-one in general surgery at University Hospital in Boston and another in
cardiothoracic surgery at Ohio State University Hospitals-followed by a fellowship in
cardiothoracic surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She is board-
certified in both cardiothoracic and general surgery
Haan says current trends in graduate medical education mirror trends both in
education and in health care-with the goal of seeking measures and measurable
outcomes for performance and effectiveness.
"In undergraduate and graduate medical education, we are working to substantiate
that we are graduating safe, competent, effective and compassionate professionals," she
said. "Traditionally, we have tracked test scores and board certification rates as our
educational outcomes. But now we, and our accrediting bodies, are working to
demonstrate that high-quality education is linked to high-quality patient care and
Already UF faculty members, in collaboration with Shands Jacksonville, have been
working on measurable improvements in quality of care processes and outcomes, says
Haan. "Now we are being asked to link this work to our educational programs, while at
the same time prepare our trainees for careers that contribute to monitoring and
improving quality of care."
With these goals in mind, Haan looks forward to maintaining and enhancing high-
quality undergraduate and graduate medical education programs on the Jacksonville
campus of UF's College of Medicine.
"My role will be to assist and guide programs and program leadership with the
transition to greater and more meaningful use of data and quality improvement
techniques," she said. She also hopes to "further enhance the infrastructure needed to
prepare physicians for lifelong learning and for roles as leaders and innovators in a
rapidly evolving, highly technical profession."
Haan also plans to prepare physicians to identify the communities they, individually,
can best serve. "I will help our young professionals develop the framework from which
to consider and address the health and health care needs of the community they serve-
however they may define that community, local or global," she said. 0
161 = U Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Dental profs get in the groove
By Adrianna C. Rodriguez
Dentistry's "Jawbreakers," rock 'n' rollin' professors
include (from left) Jack Jones, Ron Watson, Matthew
Dennis and Lawrence Brock (kneeling) at the college's
2005 holiday party.
At the College of Dentistry, rock 'n' roll is
here to stay, thanks to the Jawbreakers-
four professors-turned-rockers who
don't mind trading in their dental gear for
drumsticks and guitars.
As the Jawbreakers, dental faculty Matt
Dennis, D.D.S., Larry Brock, D.M.D., Ron
Watson, D.D.S., M.A.E., and Jack Jones, D.M.D.,
specialize in rock 'n' roll classics from the 1960s
"Students don't think you can do much else
than teach dentistry, so they're always amazed
we can do other things and have hobbies," said
Watson, an associate professor of operative
After playing together for 18 months and
meeting almost weekly for practice sessions, the
group has established a 50-song repertoire that
includes hits from the Eagles, The Beatles and
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
The band-which features Brock as the
drummer, Dennis as lead singer, Jones (an
assistant professor of prosthodontics) on the bass
guitar and Watson on the guitar-has been
featured at several dental school events, including
the end-of-the-year holiday party and senior
banquet in May.
Although band members enjoy practicing and
performing, they agree one of the top perks of
being a Jawbreaker is the reaction from students
when they find out their professors are in a rock
"Most students think it is cool when the
faculty shows an interest in their activities," said
Dennis, a clinical assistant professor of operative
dentistry. Dennis said he especially enjoys
performing "Free Fallin"' by Tom Petty, because
of the Gainesville connection and because "his
vocals aren't too hard to copy."
The doctors also said being in a band helps
bring out shared interests between them and
"It gives you another level of communication,"
said Brock, an assistant professor of
In the past, the Jawbreakers have invited
talented UFCD students to sing and perform
with the band.
"I only wish we could play more of the songs
that they like, but I'm still trying to figure out
how to work an iPod, so it may be a while,"
Dennis said. O
Simulated practice makes perfect
By Patricia Bates McGhee
raining today's surgical residents in the latest
laparoscopic and minimally invasive techniques
is essential to a comprehensive surgical residency.
And using state-of-the-art simulation equipment may
be one way to improve their training experience,
according to Ziad Awad, M.D., an assistant professor of
surgery and director of minimal invasive surgery in the
College of Medicine-Jacksonville.
"Laparoscopic training is evolving to include .
educational models that have been linked to
improvements in intraoperative skills," he said. "Our
aim is to develop a proficiency-based curriculum that
effectively develops laparoscopic intracorporeal skills
that translate to the operating room."
In Jacksonville surgical residents develop these skills ....
by working with low-cost, foam rubber "organs" in the
Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research,
or CSESaR, a collaborative effort supported by the
College of Medicine-Jacksonville and Shands I l11.'r
Jacksonville Medical Center. "The hands-on, repeatable ~ 1l ,
training improves operative efficiency and has a
significant impact on technical safety," Awad said. "It Fourth-year surgery resident Susanne Tracy, M.D., hones her intracorporeal suturing skills
also allows them to learn 'the feel' of laparoscopic on a foam-rubber stomach during a minimally invasive surgery lab under the direction of
instruments and give them azero-pressureenvironment Ziad Awad, M.D., an assistant professor of surgery and director of minimal invasive surgery
to learn how to cut and suture tissue with those in the College of Medicine-Jacksonville.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.utl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. IIIl I ;I1 17
UF veterinary students
honored in animal
Three students from the UF College of Veterinary
Medicine, including one who tied for first place, were
among the six winners of the 2006 Society for
Theriogenology's annual student case presentation
Theriogenology is the study of animal reproduction.
Winners are chosen based on abstracts submitted, and 17
abstracts were considered this year. Each of the six winners
gave a 10-minute presentation on specific cases at the society's
recent annual meeting, held in St. Paul, Minn.
Courtney Riley, a senior veterinary student, tied for first
place and received $650 for her abstract, titled "Medical
Treatment of a Kerry Blue Terrier with Prostatitis and Poor
Sperm Quality." Her classmate, Erin Sellers-Newkirk,
received $450 and third-place honors for her abstract, titled
"Sry-negative Sex Reversal in a Pug." Tonya Stephens, a
sophomore, received fourth place for her presentation, titled
"Bilateral Seminoma in a Stallion."
Tonya Stephens, '09, left, Dr. Bruce Christensen,
Courtney Riley, '07, and Erin Sellers-Newkirk, '07
competed successfully in the Society for
Theriogenology's annual student case presentation
Duo wraps up review of National
Board Dental Exam questions
By Lindy McCollum-Brounley
Arthur Nimmo, D.D.S., F.A.C.P., above left, a professor ofprosthodontics at the UF College
of Dentistry, and Margot L. Van Dis, D.D.S., M.S., a professor of oral and maxillofacial
radiology at the Indiana University School of Dentistry, have completed their six-year
terms of service on the American Dental Association Consultant Review Committee for the National
Board Dental Exam.
"It's been a tremendous learning experience because our skill sets complement each other,"
Nimmo said. "I'm more the 'hands-on' clinician and Dr. Van Dis is more the scientist-clinician, so
we really worked well as a team."
As consultants, the duo reviewed every question on Part II of the National Board Exam for
content, format, grammar and verification of radiographs and clinical photographs in the clinical
cases. All U.S. dental students take Part II of the National Board Dental Exam in their senior year
prior to completing state boards to become licensed to practice dentistry.
"Drs. Nimmo and Van Dis together have an exceptional blend of clinical experience and science
and have been very effective in analyzing the exam questions each year," said Debra L. Willis,
coordinator of test development for the ADA.
Nimmo is a diplomat of the American Board of Prosthodontics and Van Dis is a diplomat and
past president of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. They have previously
served five-year terms on their respective test construction committees prior to moving up to the
Consultant Review Committee. Q
C.U I I I [ 11I IU I I.
Nursing students excel at convention
UF nursing students brought home their own championship in late October. The UF chapter of the Florida
Nursing Students Association was named Chapter of the Year at the organization's state convention. The
award is the highest honor given at the convention and recognizes the chapter with the highest level of
accomplishments and community service.
The UF chapter has been active in community service projects like the March of Dimes walk, where
they raised the most money from any non-Greek organization and were named most spirited team, and
in donating time to the Suwannee River Area Health Education Center. They also helped to educate more
than 400 area high school students on the importance of the nursing profession at a local career fair.
In addition, two UF nursing students were elected to the FNSA State Board. Meghan Bullard, president
of the UF chapter of FNSA, was elected Region 2 Director and Community Health Chair, and Camille
Hanson was elected Region 1 Director and Nominations and Elections Chair.
Faculty adviser Joan Castleman, a clinical associate professor, was given the Community Health Faculty
Award at the convention. She was nominated by her students. -Tracy Brown Wright
The UF chapter of the Florida Nursing Students
Association was named Chapter of the Year at the
organization's state convention.
181 I* U *^^ Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Andresen named chair of department
of epidemiology and biostatistics
Elena Andresen, Ph.D.
E epidemiologists study the factors that affect the
health of individuals and populations in an effort
to influence preventive health-care policy. But what
happens after someone gets sick? What are the long-
term consequences of disability and chronic illness?
Those are questions that Elena Andresen, Ph.D., a profes-
sor and chair of the College of Public Health and Health
Profession's new department of epidemiology and bio-
statistics, hopes to answer.
"I care about why people get sick," Andresen said. "That's typical of epidemiologists,
but I also find myself drawn to the question of what happens next, what are the health
outcomes and quality of life, rather than the causes of illness."
Andresen is among a handful of epidemiologists who are studying disability and
rehabilitation, and her expertise landed her a spot on the Institute of Medicine's
prestigious Committee on Disability in America. The committee is examining the gaps
in disability science and recommending actions to reduce the impact of disability on
individuals and society.
Andresen, whose research is largely funded by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, is also a member of the International Society for Quality of Life Research.
"Our group develops measurements for use in clinical trials and population research
to predict quality of life outcomes in much more personal ways," she said. "So, for
example, instead of saying that therapy has improved function in a patient's left knee,
we look at it from the patient's perspective. Has the patient's quality of life improved? If
not, then perhaps we should look at other
I therapies for the patient instead of focusing
I care about why people get sick. That's typical n hdditin Andresen is workingon several
studies examining the challenges for people
of epidem biologists, who provide home care for family members
f epidem iologists, but also nd m yse f with disability. She also is a research health
scientist at the Rehabilitation Outcomes
Research Center of the North Florida/South
drawn to the question of what happens next, Georgia Veterans Health System.
"Through my research, I'd like to determine
what are the health outcomes and quality of how to intervene to make sure that quality of
life and access to care are equal for everyone,"
Andresen said. "We're not there yet, but we
It are working on it."
life, rather than the causes of illness." Anresen's vision for the department of
Andresen's vision for the department of
epidemiology and biostatistics is to meld the
Elena Andresen Ph.D two disciplines' strengths in public health
Ele a Andre e Ph. teaching and research with the work of the
college's clinical specialists in disability and
"The goal is to develop an increasing critical mass of faculty members who do what
their disciplines do and do it very well, but also expand into the areas the rest of the college
has to offer," Andresen said. "We can't limit ourselves to the classic teaching and research
in epidemiology and biostatistics. We have a community of disability and aging experts
here in the college to grow with. There isn't another public health program that has this
opportunity anywhere in the United States." 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. 01 I 19
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
MIHO BAUTISTA, M.D., a
clinical assistant professor
with the department of
aging and geriatrics, has
received a fellowship
from the Advanced
in Clinical Investigation
sponsored by the College Bautista
of Medicine. The fellowship
will provide partial tuition and fees as she
pursues a master's degree in science in the
next two years. In addition, Bautista received
an APPCI Faculty Award, also from the
College of Medicine. The $100,000 award will
support her efforts to obtain the knowledge
and skills needed to be an independent clinical
BARRY J. BYRNE, M.D.,
has been named to a
two-year term as chair of
the National Institutes of
Health's Skeletal Muscle
and Exercise Physiology
Study Section. Members
of NIH study sections '
review grant applications Byrne
for their scientific merit. Byrne, the Virginia
Root Sutherland professor of pediatrics and
director of the Powell Gene Therapy Center,
was selected on the basis of his scientific
achievements and leadership abilities.
C. PARKER GIBBS, M.D.,
an associate professor in the
department of orthopaedics
and rehabilitation, has been
awarded $306,185 from the
National Cancer Institute at
NIH to conduct a two-year
study to examine if stem-like
cells in bone cancer are
capable of causing tumors Gibbs
in living tissue.
SEAN MCGARRY, M.D., a
fellow in the department
of orthopaedics and
rehabilitation, was awarded
a Zimmer Orthopaedic
Fellowship. This fellowship
allows McGarry, an
orthopaedic surgeon, to
spend one year in the McGarry
laboratory as a basic science
researcher investigating issues related to
SIGURD NORMANN, M.D.,
Ph.D., a UF professor of
pathology and division chief
of cardiovascular pathology .
in the college, was one of
four UF faculty to receive the
2006 Distinguished Faculty
Normann was honored Normann
during UF's Homecoming
festivities. Faculty members are nominated for
the prestigious award each year by their peers.
Normann earned his medical degree and
doctorate at the University of Washington. He
joined the UF faculty in 1968 after spending
two years on active duty with the U.S. Army. He
has served as division chief of cardiovascular
pathology since 1975.
Normann also received the College of
Medicine's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004,
was chosen as the college's Teacher of the Year
in 1995 and received the Basic Science Teacher
Award from the 2006 graduating class.
CARL J. PEPINE, M.D., has
won an APEX Award of
Excellence for a column he
published recently in Today
His article, titled "From
Imaging Procedures In
House: Why It Makes Pep
Sense," was selected from
among hundreds of entries in the 18th Annual
Awards for Publication Excellence competition,
sponsored annually by Communications
Concepts Inc. to recognize professional
Pepine is chief of cardiovascular medicine
at UF's College of Medicine and chief medical
editor of Today in Cardiology, a monthly
publication designed to provide timely clinical
news to practicing cardiologists.
ALBERT L. RHOTON, JR., M.D., a professor
of neurosurgery, received the Congress of
Neurosurgeons Founders' Laurel award at the
group's annual meeting last month.
The award is given each year in recognition of
contributions to the field of neurosurgery.
Rhoton, who earned his medical degree from
the Washington University
School of Medicine, is
considered the father of
He began holding
for neurosurgeons at UF
COLLEGE OF NURSING
ANN HORGAS, Ph.D., R.N.,
an associate professor of
nursing, has received the
Rose and George Doval
Award for Excellence in
Horgas, the college's
associate dean for research,
was recognized by New Horgas
York University's College of
Nursing for her progressive efforts in nursing
education. Horgas will receive the award this
month at the 19th Annual 2006 Celebration for
Nursing Excellence in New York City.
Horgas, has been at UF since 2000, and is
one of the country's leading nurse researchers
on pain and aging. She is currently conducting
a National Institutes of Health-funded study
on methods to assess pain in nursing home
residents with dementia.
COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
MELISSA BOURGEOIS, a senior, recently
received third place in the annual J. Fred
Smithcors essay contest sponsored by the
American Veterinary Medical History Society.
VERONIKA BUTTERWECK, Ph.D., and
HARTMUT DERENDORF, Ph.D., co-directors
of the Center for Food and Drug Interaction
Research and Education, have received a $317,933
grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
to investigate grapefruit juice interactions with a
cholesterol-lowering drug. The one-year grant
supports the UF center's mission through a
systematic investigation of the interaction between
Butterweck grapefruit juice and simvastatin, or Zocor, in a time-
Butterweand dose-dependent manner. The investigation
will also assess the potential of clinically relevant
drug interactions when the drug is taken regularly
with grapefruit juice. Hartmut Derendorf, Ph.D., a
distinguished professor and chair of pharmaceutics,
will also serve for two years as the 2006-07
president of the American College of Clinical
Pharmacology, a national association that works to
advance the science of clinical pharmacology and
educational efforts in the public interest.
ACCP Past-President, Lawrence Lesko, left, director of the FDA Office of Clinical
Pharmacology and Biopharmaceutics, passes the gavel to incoming president,
201 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
One of the UF College of Medicine's founding
faculty members, who many alumni say taught them
everything they know about bedside diagnosis, has
been named an honorary alumnus of the university.
W. Jape Taylor, M.D., will receive the prestigious
honorary alumni award during a special reception
at 1 p.m. Nov. 19 in the J. Wayne Reitz Union
Taylor, a retired UF distinguished service professor
of cardiology, had a reputation of being tough on his
students. Students couldn't slip by if they presented a
case to him unprepared in the hospital.
"I could be pretty demanding, but I did something
they didn't recognize then," said Taylor, now 81.
"I made sure I helped them ask the questions that
would lead to the answers. They solved (the case)."
If World War II had not intervened when he was a
freshman at Yale University, Taylor may have become
a mathematician or zoologist. After Pearl Harbor was
attacked, Taylor was one of many college students
the U.S. Navy recruited to attend medical school.
He earned his medical degree in 1947 from Harvard
In addition to pursuing her
veterinary degree, Bourgeois
is a candidate for the Ph.D.
degree in the college's
department of large animal
clinical sciences. Her award-
winning essay was titled
"From 1946 to the Present Bourgeois
-NASA's Contributions to
the Veterinary Medical Sciences." Her award
consists of $250, a copy of the Merck Veterinary
Manual, a one-year subscription to the AVMHS
newsletter and publication of all or part of her
article in the newsletter.
Held to encourage interest in history
from students enrolled in veterinary medical
colleges in the United States, Canada and the
Caribbean, the contest is named in honor of
J. Fred Smithcors, D.V.M. Ph.D., founder of
the AVMHS and an author of several books on
JAN SHEARER, D.V.M., a professor and dairy
extension veterinarian at the University of
He joined the faculty of the fledgling College
of Medicine in 1958 as chief of the division of
The class of 1973 honored Taylor's teaching with the
Hippocratic Award, the highest distinction the senior
class bestows on one of its professors each year.
Aside from teaching and his practice, Taylor studied
the sickle cell phenomenon in deer for 20 years, and
his research with colleagues on pregnant mice that
ingested alcohol led to a greater understanding
about the link between alcohol and birth defects. He
also established Physicians for Social Responsibility,
accompanying a group of students to the then-Soviet
Union in 1990. Taylor retired in 1996.
"He was an admirable role model," said Robert
T. Watson, senior associate dean of educational
affairs and one of two College of Medicine alumni to
nominate Taylor for the award. "A lot of things I do to
this day are modeled after Dr. Taylor.
"He was a true legend in his own time."
By April Frawley Birdwell
Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine, received The Ohio
State University College
of Veterinary Medicine's
The award recognizes
alumni who have made Shearer
to society in the course of their professional
careers and who have brought positive
recognition to their college.
Shearer received the award last summer
during commencement exercises at OSU.
THEODORE BASS, M.D., a professor of
medicine and chief of the division of cardiology
at the College of Medicine-Jacksonville,
has been elected to a two-year term on
the American Board of Internal Medicine
Test Writing Committee on Interventional
Cardiology. ABIM is
the U.S. board that
sets the standards and
certifies the knowledge,
skills and attitudes of
physicians who practice in
internal medicine and its
ABIM is an independent, Bass
whose certificates are recognized throughout
the world as signifying a high level of physician
competence. The only recognized board in the
specialty of internal medicine, it is one of 24
certifying boards recognized by the American
Board of Medical Specialties.
Pharm.D., a UF clinical
professor of emergency
medicine and pharmacy
and director of the Florida
Poison Information Center
Jacksonville, has been
elected to the board of
directors of the American
Association of Poison Schauben
Control Centers. AAPCC
directors serve three-year terms and meet twice
annually. A nationwide organization of poison
centers and interested individuals, AAPCC
sets voluntary standards for poison center
operations and provides a forum to promote
the reduction of morbidity and mortality from
poisonings through public and professional
education and scientific research.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
LINDA R. SHAW,
Ph.D., associate chair
of the department of
behavioral science and
community health and
director of the division of
was elected president of the
Council on Rehabilitation
Education. The council Shaw
accredits 103 master's
programs in rehabilitation counseling
throughout the nation and in Puerto Rico, and
also maintains an undergraduate registry for
programs in rehabilitation services and disability
ORIT SHECHTMAN, Ph.D.,
an associate professor in the
department of occupational
therapy, received the
American Society of Hand
Therapists' Evelyn Mackin
Research Grant at the
society's annual meeting in
September in Atlanta. The
society awards only one
of the $5,000 grants each year. Shechtman
studies the validity of grip strength measurement
instruments and is currently developing new
measures to evaluate patient's maximal grip
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. I 1 0 21
works to ease the
burden of low
low back pain at some time or another,
it is little wonder that it is the leading
cause of missed work and one of the most common
neurological ailments, second only to headaches.
With two major studies under way, researcher
Steven George, P.T., Ph.D., an assistant professor
in the department of physical therapy at the College
of Public Health and Health Professions, is
working to make a dent in those numbers by
preventing and reducing the impact of low back
George was recently awarded a four-year $1
million grant to study low back pain prevention
programs for U.S. soldiers. The funding came from
the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical
Research Program of the Office of the
Congressionally Directed Medical Research
Programs Medical Research Program.
Low pack pain affects 150,000 active-duty
soldiers a year and is the second-most-common
reason for soldiers to seek health care, with injuries
typically sustained during physical training or
sports, said George, adding that soldiers with low
back pain have the highest risk of disability five
years after injury.
Researchers spearheading the Prevention of
Low Back in the Military, or POLM, trial plan to
start recruiting participants early in 2007. George
is collaborating with fellow UF investigators
Samuel Wu, Ph.D., and Michael Robinson, Ph.D.,
and with Maj. John Childs, P.T., Ph.D.; and Maj.
Deydre Teyhen P.T., Ph.D., of the Army Medical
Department Center and School at Baylor
University. The research team will test prevention
programs for 2,700 soldiers.
"This study could have a wider impact on health
outcomes, as the programs we are studying could
also be used by the general public," George said.
George is also the recipient of a $150,000 grant
from the National Institutes of Health to test
behavioral interventions for reducing chronic
disability from low back pain. During the three-
year study, he is examining whether women receive
more benefit from the interventions than men do.
"Chronic low back pain is one of the most
common forms of chronic pain and is a significant
source of disability and cost for society," George
said. "Not surprisingly, it is a common reason for
health-care utilization and an effective treatment
is a public health priority." 0
College meets fundraising goal
to build new hospital thanks to
$1 million estate gift
By Sarah Carey
A$1 million installment of a multimillion-dollar estate gift from a South Florida cattle ranch
owner to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine will help ensure the
construction of the Veterinary Education and Clinical Research Center, which includes a new
small animal hospital.
At the ceremony to present a gift of $1 million from Robin Weeks to the College of Veterinary
Medicine are Warren Wiltshire Jr., left, of the firm representing Robin Weeks' Estate; Dr. Jim
Thompson, Dr. Mike McNulty and UF President Bernie Machen.
College administrators said the gift puts the UF veterinary college just over its $4 million private
fundraising goal. The college's financial commitment is expected to be matched and supplemented with
additional state dollars to complete the project, which is estimated to cost approximately $50 million.
"Our hope is that groundbreaking for our new hospital will take place in 2008 and that the facility
will be completed by 2010," said Jim Thompson, associate dean for students and instruction, who was
interim dean at the time the first gift installment was received.
"The college and hospital faculty, staff and students know how fortunate they are to receive these
gifts and to have the opportunity to continue to expand the health care of animals," Thompson added.
Warren Wiltshire, a UF alumnus and business partner of the personal representative of the estate of
Robin Weeks, came to UF Sept. 23 to present the $1 million check to UF President Bernie Machen and
With him was Mike McNulty, D.V.M., a mixed-animal practitioner and a member of the college's
class of'83. McNulty was Weeks' veterinarian and friend for many years. Along with another "cowboy"
friend, McNulty worked with Weeks' four herds of Brangus cattle, moving them from one pasture to
another several times each year.
He also served as Weeks' pipeline for information when she decided to put the UF College of
Veterinary Medicine in her will.
"I'll never forget, a few years before she died, I was leaving her ranch late on a Saturday afternoon
and I told her, 'I'm going to stop and get a six-pack of beer and a lottery ticket.' She immediately replied,
'you've already won the lottery.'"
McNulty added, "I looked at her quizzically and she explained, 'with your education, you've already
won the lottery.' She knew education was a sure ticket, if not to wealth and riches, at least to a better life.
I've never forgotten that afternoon and appreciate it greatly every time I think about it." 0
221 = 1 Visit us online @ http://news.health.utl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.
Publix makes a $100,000 commitment
to pharmacy education at UF
Presenting a check to Kelly Markey (right), UF College of Pharmacy director of development and
public affairs, are Publix employees (from left) Betsy Guy, Publix pharmacy operations manager,
and COP alumni Emily Fourman (class of '71), pharmacy manager, and Heather Hardin (class
of '04), assistant pharmacy manager.
GANT 3N IT
By Linda Homewood
wing much of Publix pharmacists' education and
training to the University of Florida, Publix Super
Markets Charities has made a commitment to
pharmacy education at UF. Pledging a $100,000 gift over five
years, Publix joins the College of Pharmacy's efforts to meet the
growing demand for pharmacists while promoting excellence.
The Publix charities organization was established by the
founder of Publix Super Markets Inc., George Jenkins, to
improve community life, said Betsy Guy, pharmacy operations
The Publix gift will assist the college's distance education
outreach campuses in St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Orlando.
The three pharmacy distance education sites combined with
the Gainesville campus nearly doubles pharmacy student
enrollment at UF, and that will go a long way toward meeting
the growing demand for pharmacists in the state, said Dean
William Riffee, Ph.D.
The expansion of the college's academic sites across the state
coupled with greatly increasing enrollment has created a need
for increased faculty and student support, Riffee said. The five-
year gift helps by contributing to the college's Academy for
Excellence, which fosters student and faculty participation at
state and national conferences, in student leadership activities
and in research competitions.
"The gift from Publix will ensure the quality of our distance
programs across Florida by providing much-needed student
and faculty support for leadership activities and educational
initiatives," Riffee said. O
Alumnus gift grows in support of pharmacy education
By Linda Homewood
North Florida independent pharmacy owners Carl and Joan Allison
have reaffirmed their support of the College of Pharmacy by adding
more than $50,000 to their 2004 contribution, providing a generous
$225,000 total gift to the college.
The Allisons' support will help the college fund educational initiatives like
the Academy for Excellence, substance abuse education and student
scholarships through the Oscar Araujo Alumni Scholarship Endowment. The
college is honoring the gift by establishing the Carl and Joan Allison Skills
Laboratory at the Gainesville campus.
Carl Allison graduated from UF College of Pharmacy in 1976 and worked
for Revco Drugs for 10 years before the couple opened their first drug store,
Baya Pharmacy, in north Florida. Today they own three stores, two in Lake
City and one in Jasper.
A member of the Dean's National Advisory Board since 2000, his dedication
to the pharmacy profession is evident through his accomplishments. He
received the 2005 Suwannee Valley Area Entrepreneur of the Year award, and
in 1990 he was a founding member of the Impaired Pharmacist Committee -
an intervention program.
The Allisons also support the College of Pharmacy Institute for Pharmacy
Entrepreneurs workshop, which Carl participated in last August. The
workshop, providing business and finance continuing education for
pharmacists, is a UF program that he supported from its early development.
"The aging population and new drug development have resulted in an
increase in prescriptions that have made the past 10 years an excellent
opportunity for independent pharmacies," he said. 0
Dean William Riffee, right, presents the Allisons with a plaque commemorating the
Carl and Joan Allison Skills Laboratory at the UF College of Pharmacy
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events. 0 I 23
PHOTO BY SARAH KIEWEL
Debbie Myers, right, zoo medicine resident at UF, and UF veterinary student Tiffany Holcomb examine an anesthetized 13-year-old Bengal tiger Oct. 11 at UF's
Veterinary Medical Center. The privately owned tiger received a root canal six months ago and had come to UF for a dental re-check. The tiger's mouth was deemed
to be in good shape, UF veterinarians said.
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
Senior Vice President,
Douglas J. Barrett, M.D.
Director, News &
Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
April Frawley Birdwell, Tracy Brown,
Sarah Carey, Adrianna Rodriguez,
Linda Homewood, Lindy McCollum-
Brounley, Patricia McGhee, John
Pastor, Jill Pease, Jacqueline Teusner,
Melanie Fridl Ross, Denise Trunk
Cassandra Jackson, Beth Powers,
The POST is the monthly internal
newsletter for the University of
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most comprehensive academic
health center in the Southeast,
with campuses in Gainesville
and Jacksonville and affiliations
throughout Florida. Articles feature
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