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|A group goodbye|
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|New medical students|
|The tumor fighters|
|Ear infections and obesity|
|One tough kid|
|Coming to America|
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A group goodbye
Lance lives strong
Dental clinic evolves
Baby Gator on board
Distance learning growing at HSC
New medical students
The tumor fighters
Ear infections and obesity
One tough kid
Coming to America
11OW UF UNTED 0
F1GIT BROAiN TUMORS
DENTISTR3MEDIINE N RSING PHARMAC 3 PUBLIC HEALTH AND 3 EALH PS V NARY M
On the Cover
UF leaders have been working for years to
establish a top-tier brain tumor center in
Gainesville. Now, it's become a reality. The
Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor
Therapy combines the latest advances in
treatment and technology with an approach
that focuses on the whole patient and not
just the tumor.
Table of Contents
* Patient care: Lance lives strong
9 Patient care: Dental clinic evolves
* Administration: Baby Gator on Board
0 Education: Summer science
* Education: Community nursing
1 Education: New medical students
C Cover Story: The Tumor Fighters
Q Research: Ear infections and obesity
SResearch: The wonder of worms
* Jacksonville: One tough kid
0 Profile: Coming to America
m......eeeee.....ses .........e eeeeeeeeeses e........e eeeeeeeeeseese....
or five years, Jane Schumaker has been taking
care of business for UF doctors. As chief
executive officer of the UF faculty group
practice, Schumaker managed the business side of the
College of Medicine's clinical operations, which
includes 640 physicians and more than 40 clinics
across the region. In August, college leaders gathered
to say goodbye to Schumaker, who has accepted a
position at the University of Chicago School of
Medicine. "The group practice has made enormous
strides under Jane's direction," said Michael Good,
M.D., the college's interim dean in a message to staff.
"Business operations have been centralized and
streamlined. Employee engagement and patient
satisfaction have markedly improved. And we've
recently enjoyed some of the organization's most
successful years financially." At press time, Marvin
Dewar, M.D., was serving as acting senior associate
dean for faculty group practice. 0
2 Vis us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The Ictest news and HSC events
SEEING IS BELIEVING
[Iev. th 1..e I ..ioe people bOt'l v..ih a 'te "U' eaiatble to'1m 01E ai 1.-. ll
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ieai a '..pe oi heledia' i bli1ndie-" Cailed Lete co1eial aoma had lll oed
ji i-on a o d ing to a pap' pbil '. hd onlccne Sepi. 8. Hun )i ,, bee Thr eraP The
,e e i 11'.- l-ni e' v1 '" tlei1 g e.' ed lo a3leli inI people in11 phal he I inllcal
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eeaitch i odted onnd 0dim l hcoNdiion1 and the ahot vhich inclu,, de
epi le. Wiledm Ha,'ic vd, Ph.D. Shale'h NKa'hal M.D. ph.D. and Ba''V
ne M.D. Ph.D. d mIanidl 1Halet I 3da depa' ieni cha, Tetence Floie M.D.
mea,'' ed inc eaed P al ,eli, S iJii ,Ii the ited ea ye: ac Co ding io a ajimellve
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BRICK BY BRICK
Ful dec:des [lle Spe.:l land nei A lie Rudai
la&', ui. [ul.:lled (\ el [al en i )' I i.id lu ald l eeit li..
Named W ilinu[ GawleCi s allre UF 10 ii ci [n:il.1i[.lal [r
Royal J. 'Ro,,, W ,inl[. It hadl onr:ce Iboa tred oi e (l
[hle lai uej [ i: ainella c:olle: [iuo S 11 [lie 1 :u n.,n[r ,,
)eloe i[ Vat l LIou[enull. aJu v, jiuiip ul UF lac i.i[l,
stall, stuitlei[t ad'il I uli.ii[eel Sis i h iiiliiii [lie late
ol [hle u rii:e-nigleCr:[d dgaiden one I)ii :i at [line.
Tlie g lup is using money collected trom
commemorative bricks to restore the garden to its
former beauty and create a peaceful place for
patients to visit. The bricks, which range in price
from $100 to $1,000, will be inscribed and placed
throughoutthe garden. For more information, visit
Iv'ivniv.medl uiil.edliiu wilinu ui all 52-273.-7936.
Plluou &;, Salall Kievel
MISSISSIPPI OR BUST
Tomn Fo ilne M,.B.A.. dlee to. ot tlri UF Health Soctnllc Cnrtel's l vws
and Co niIornm icationI Othc6 his I. epljtd the IposLion tl ,L c t pI0 i bllt:,
alli S .and Lm ln.it tI ni O(th l 1i llH itn6 IJIvi I 'i E 'i Siijiji
M edl': Cent i, I J li'j ,Is i.
Foinn, levc.IUF j16, l dn HSC comno n.Oitw onso, tun, .16 it
a peod ,n will.tch the t (6 t .P.~dc d It s p t I t l li o t i i ulitiiotil il
pitlI, t ,oii5 ind 'ied s.i.gned its W e, sitt ilth the idditl o l i a
s .' ,tl L: .6 t t' ,1 dt i d Lilli i.j illti IL tIp Itll lit HSC sLul y.
t un,: s .11 : 61 0 It IIi. t.' Ht IIhI S : InIII C IIatI i- 50th int 'V I 3iiy.
TomIr FoL t i s i Pt, suoln ol ..,tt, tiluo l I iltl i d t ..P ttneice," said
Doil.is J. Bi tII tfl.D. s tiLl vi:t pits idtni Io i h Ith li Ill is.
*' M E iov t lit Ht illi StitiS t Cn lt ta ill, tiii '. iti d i cLI.] s ilave
e.l,- h' bU61l611 d h ll' 5 n p i''i .'ppItltll i I tI I O ilI I It ai II -s b 6 t tw een
neoA s pl esbI: Ic61 IILIiI' In' i ti ii d irn ii lI, iIoiIns> V E i. 1 wn ish Tom
the best in his new ole.
Fortner also revamped the HSC's monthly newsletter The POST
increasing its physical dimensions and number of pages while printing it
on newsprint paper changes that allowed for the publication of more
and larger photos and stories at a much lower production cost.
"I will certainly miss the people I work with at all levels of the
organization," Fortner said. "UF contains such a diversity of people and
talent. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I've had to work here."
Photo By Sarah Kiewel
A JOB WELL DONE
ICon: iainla n i, t: I ii, li: I I t il F I 1 hI, .:i ni e outstanding acknowledgments. Shands at UF was named
i; i' i 11111", lii li l.il 31 Ini l iii gle il i|i il progress in improving hospital-wide performance over the
i'adl l ivr yr, u: r1 in ii 11117 TIr:,ii ,: Hi Rrl[r e1 : 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders. One
i- r ii1 1 le,1, nrtal ii Fi i n, :la : [Ii. i.il i e II I: i[, hands at UF was rated on factors such as patient mortality,
ree ,i : u_: an1uI : II: r:t ev,:len:i :e- Ia : 1,:l iii'i:lih ine. The medical center also earned top-50 rankings in 11
spucialties iii lthe UUS eludiion ul Aniiiieca Eest Hospitals by U.S. News & WorldReport Shands at UF
ranked in more specialties than any other hospital in Florida and had the highest rankings in the state for
endocrinology, geriatrics, heart, respiratory and urology.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the Ictest news 3
Rollin' with Lance '
Paralyzed dog inspires others by t
living active life on wheels
By Sarah Carey
Although he can no longer move his
two back legs, a charismatic dachshund
named Lance hasn't missed a beat.
Far from being an armchair participant in life,
Lance, who received treatment at UF's Veterinary
Medical Center earlier this year, is a wheelchair
participant actively bringing cheer to the sick
and disabled, young and old.
After an unsuccessful operation in South Florida, Lance's owner, Claudia
Machado, of Miami, came to UF to see whether UF could correct Lance's
problems through additional surgery.
"Unfortunately, the spinal cord at the affected segment was only a cavity
with no substance, so surgery was not going to help," said veterinarian Roger
Clemmons, a neurologist specializing in small animals who saw Lance in the
"The technology to re-grow spinal cords in dogs does not exist,"
Clemmons said. "Although advances are being made in using primitive 'stem
cells' to help repair the spinal cord in dogs, these cells have not been used in
dogs successfully for that purpose, so we did not have any options to offer for
Lance's treatment at that time."
However, Machado and her family were told how to adapt to life with
Lance as a paraplegic.
"We had to come to terms with the news that Lance would never be able to
use his back legs again," Machado said. "Dr. Clemmons was emphatic that
there was no solution, and his staff, especially Amy Reynolds, gave me and
my husband a lot of support to deal with this reality. Needless to say, we were
devastated, but we never gave up on our little guy for a second."
Clemmons and Reynolds, a veterinary neurology technician, suggested the
wheels and gave Machado tips on how to properly care for a paralyzed dog.
They also recommended a diet including natural-vitamin supplements to
help boost Lance's immune system and prevent additional damage.
Machado purchased a special custom-made "doggie wheelchair," or cart
made for dogs with hind-leg paralysis, to which Lance quickly adapted. The
cart supports his hind legs and is attached with a small harness, allowing
him to walk and run using his front legs.
"Even though we didn't come back to Miami with the news we hoped for,
we were very optimistic," Machado said. "Words cannot explain how much
comfort Amy offered, sharing her own stories with us and reassuring us that
Lance being on wheels would just make us love him even more. And today,
every time I have a question for Dr. Clemmons because Lance is acting
weird, I e-mail Amy with concerns and I hear back from her immediately."
While Lance's paralysis is still tough on Machado and her family
emotionally, they have gotten into a fun routine with him and take comfort
in the happiness he brings other people.
"Lance is the happiest dog on the wheelchair," Machado said. "He's full of
energy and loves to fetch his ball at the park, run after his Frisbee and swim.
After his owners consulted with UF veterinarians, Lance, a dachshund, was
fitted with a custom-made cart that supports his paralyzed hind legs, allowing
him to walk and run. Lance's owners say he still loves chasing his Frisbee and
ball at the park, where he is always a celebrity.
Everywhere we take him, people stop and stare at him because he truly is one
special little guy."
Lance is now a certified therapy dog and Machado takes him twice a
month to visit pediatric patients at Miami Children's Hospital and elderly
individuals in wheelchairs at West Gables Hospital.
"He gives them so much hope and joy," Machado said. "I don't think
there's anything more fulfilling than walking down the hospital corridor
with this little guy. He is a superhero."
Lance even has that "Hollywood effect" on people who see him.
"It's like going out with Britney Spears," Machado added. "Everyone runs
over to see him, pet him or play with him."
In fact, "Super Lance," starring as himself, will be the main character in a
book Machado is producing for distribution to hospital patients.
"All of the work for this book is pro bono," she said. "I had my friends
design the logo, write the story, design the animated characters for the book
and finally have it printed. It was a true effort of family and friends coming
together for a good cause." 0
4 Vis us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The Ictest news and HSC events
UF dentists launch new clinical model
By Emel Ozdora
his semester, the UF College of Dentistry has launched a new
clinical model that resembles the real-world operation of a
dentist's office, a move college leaders say will be better for
students and patients.
Until Aug. 25, the college's clinics were separated by different
specialties, meaning that patients who needed more than one type of
procedure had to move from clinic to clinic for their treatment. Now,
under the new model, specialists are the ones who come to the patient
just as they would in a typical dental office.
This is not a totally new model for the College of Dentistry. When the
college opened in 1972 the clinics were organized this way. However, the
clinical model changed over the years into the specialty-based model
that's been in place since then.
Ron Watson, D.M.D., an associate professor of dentistry, was the
architect of the new clinical model, which is made up of five clinics with
10 teams, with a faculty member leading each team. Two scheduling
coordinators schedule patients for students instead of students
scheduling patients themselves. This will allow for better use of
facilities and more efficient scheduling, which will enhance students'
patient care experience.
The new model will be beneficial for patients as well. Patients won't
have to move from clinic to clinic to get dental treatments, which means
wait time will be cut drastically. This will allow the college to attract a
different patient mix, especially those who want fast service.
To spread the word about the new clinical model, the college started a
The UF College of Dentistry held a luau-themed kickoff party
Aug. 15 to celebrate the launch of its new clinical model, which
is now structured more like a real-world dentist's office.
"Catch the Wave" campaign and held a luau-themed kick off party Aug.
15 to celebrate its implementation.
The college is also changing up its clinical decor, too, using
surfboards the 10 teams decorated as wall art in the clinics.
For more information, visit www.dental.ufl.edu/Offices/News/
Building better careers
Group geared toward helping faculty seeks participation in survey
By Diane Beck
Diane Beck, Pharm.D., is the director of educational
and faculty development and a professor in the College
he career of a faculty member can take
many paths. Whether faculty are on a tenure
track or non-tenure, their career focus may
vary from research-centered to teaching or
patient care. While "one size does not fit all" when
it comes to faculty development, there are common
needs shared among researchers and educators
from the six colleges that make up UF's Health
Science Center. DIANE BECK, PHARIV
Successful navigation down such career paths requires ongoing professional
development and growth. "Faculty development" refers to gaining new
knowledge, skills and abilities that are needed to take the next step down a
career path. Examples might include attending seminars and workshops,
completion of short courses and mentoring among faculty members.
Through a new collaboration, representatives from each of the HSC colleges
are sharing resources to develop new programs for all faculty within the HSC.
The Faculty Development Group believes it will be more cost-effective to
"build bridges among the many successful islands of UF," and programming is
now beginning to be shared among the colleges.
However, the Faculty Development Group recognizes that to better meet the
needs of faculty members, they need to know the needs of faculty. To identify
these needs, the Faculty Development Group is surveying all HSC faculty
during September and October. Each college's development representative will
contact faculty members by e-mail and invite them to complete a short,
The group's goal is to enhance faculty opportunities for personal growth and
accomplishment of career goals. Faculty Development Group members
include: Diane Beck, Pharm.D. (COP), Linda Behar-Horenstein, Ph.D. (COE),
Scott Blades, M.Ed. (COP), Joanne J. Foss, Ph.D., O.T.R. (PHHP), Randy
Graff, Ph.D. (Health Affairs), George Hack, Ph.D. (HSC Libraries), Wayne
McCormack, Ph.D. (COM), Karen Miles, Ed.D., R.N. (CON), Gail S. Mitchell,
R.D.H., M.P.H. (COD), and Elisa A. Zenni, M.D. (COM-Jacksonville). 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The Ictest news 5
Nursing dean named UF associate provost
KATHLEEN LONG, PH.D., R.N. By Tracy Brown Wright
AK athleen Long, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the UF College of Nursing, has
been named the university's associate provost. She will serve in the
role on a half-time basis and will remain dean.
Long will address policy and practice in areas such as sabbaticals,
professional accreditations, teaching requirements and clinical practice
relationships. In addition, she will help develop approaches for a three-year,
$2 million program to expand faculty educational enhancement
opportunities that UF President Bernie Machen announced last month.
Long also will help provide an interface between UF's academic affairs
office and the Health Science Center, and will serve as the provost's
representative in universitywide efforts to develop a new budget model.
Long has been nursing dean since 1995, holding the longest tenure among
current Health Science Center deans. In that time she has won national
recognition as a leading thinker about the future of the nursing profession in
a rapidly changing health-care landscape especially threatened by a shortage
of nurses. She has been an invited member of several national task forces
41 'focused on interdisciplinary education, health professions shortage issues
and patient safety.
Long has served several terms on the board of directors of the American
Association of Colleges of Nursing and was AACN's president from 2002 to
2004. She was a member of the AACN Task Force that authored "Nursing
Education's Agenda for the 21st Century."
Long received her bachelor of science in nursing degree from Catholic University of America and her master of science in nursing in child psychiatric/
nursing education at Wayne State University. She earned her doctorate in behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University. She served as dean of the
Montana State University College of Nursing prior to coming to UF. 0
Hello, 'Rocky Top'
Vet med leader named dean at
University of Tennessee College of
By Sarah Carey
J ames P. Thompson, D.V.M., Ph.D., an administrator at the UF
College of Veterinary Medicine, will soon leave the college he has
been a part of for more than 30 years to become dean at the
University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
"I have a long history here, and it will be difficult for me to leave my
many friends, supporters and colleagues at UF as well as our
phenomenal alumni," said Thompson, the college's executive associate i
dean and a professor of small animal clinical sciences. "However, being JAMES P. THOMPSON, D.V.M., PH.D.
selected to serve as dean at UT is an incredible opportunity. I have been
fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with many talented people at UF and know the experiences gained here will be extremely valuable as I make
Thompson received his D.V.M. and doctorate from UF and completed a residency in small animal medicine here prior to joining the faculty in 1986.
Board-certified in the specialties of internal medicine, immunology, virology, microbiology and oncology, Thompson has received numerous awards for his
teaching and research and has served as academic adviser for dozens of veterinary students, residents and interns over the years. He served as associate dean
for students and instruction between 1996 and 2006. He was also the college's interim dean in 2006.
In an e-mail to faculty, staff and students, Hoffsis acknowledged Thompson's many achievements and contributions to the college, along with those of
Thompson's wife, Joan, who serves as the UF Veterinary Medical Center head pharmacist.
"Dean Thompson has provided tremendous help to me and great leadership to the college for many years," Hoffsis said. "Although we have suffered a great
loss, we should all feel a sense of pride in his accomplishments. A college doesn't produce a dean every day, and Dr. Thompson developed his leadership
talent and skill right here at UF. We will miss Jim and Joan but wish them the very best as they embark on this new career journey at Tennessee."
Thompson will begin his new job Oct. 1. 0
6 Visi us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The lctest news cnd HSC events
By Lauren Edwards
alancing parenthood and a job is
never easy. But juggling a little one
or two, or three while working
the often-grueling hours that are par for
the course in the medical profession can
feel like the ultimate stress.
Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of a new child-care
center located at the HSC. Set to open in January, the new Baby
Gator Child Development and Research Center was developed in
partnership with the College of Medicine and will be open to
120 children of students and faculty in the colleges of Medicine
and Public Health and Health Professions.
"We're serving 120 more UF families, which is important to
us," said Pam Pallas, the director of Baby Gator.
The new center, which will be Baby Gator's second on-campus
site, will be located on the ground floor of the HSC's Human
Development Building and will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 6
p.m. on weekdays. The spots are reserved primarily for College
of Medicine faculty and students, with some limited spots open
for the children of PHHP faculty and students. Parents in other
colleges who are interested in Baby Gator can still apply to
enroll their children at Baby Gator's original center on Village
Drive, which is open to all UF faculty, students and staff.
"We're looking to establish partnerships with all the HSC
colleges," Pallas said.
Kayser Enneking, M.D., the chair of anesthesiology in the
College of Medicine, helped lead the charge to bring Baby Gator
to the HSC. Enneking, a mother of two, says she and husband
Mark Scarborough, M.D., the division chief of orthopedic
oncology at UF, struggled to find child care during their
simultaneous residencies in the 1990s.
"Trying to find child care was horrific," Enneking says. "I was
Enneking says she hopes the new Baby Gator will make life
for medical professionals with children a bit easier than it was
for her and Scarborough.
"Baby Gator has a very high standard," Enneking said. "I
think our kids will get excellent care close by."
Pallas says Enneking was "instrumental" in the yearlong
process of setting up the center, which included conducting
surveys so Baby Gator could determine the needs of HSC parents.
"(Dr. Enneking) approached the College of Medicine leaders
about partnering with Baby Gator," Pallas said. "It's been
something that has been a concern of hers for some time."
Enneking also credits former dean Bruce Kone, M.D., for his
support in establishing the new Baby Gator branch.
"Dr. Kone is the one who said, 'This is important,' and made
it happen," Enneking said.
"You can't put your life on hold just because you're in
medicine," she added. "Kids are what your life is about."
For more information on Baby Gator and how to enroll your
child, visit the center's Web site at www.babygator.ufl.edu. 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The latest news 0nd HSC events iLe ll 1 7
By Melissa M. Thompson
When most 12-year-olds were doing their
homework or playing pickup games
of basketball with their friends, Dennis
McLeod was in a lab surrounded by white coats
With a nudge from his mother, McLeod participated in research
opportunities annually and today boasts a rich resume with experience in labs
across the United States and Canada. Now 23, McLeod, who graduated in May
with degrees in biology and Spanish from Morehouse College in Atlanta, is
proof that early exposure to science can mold a child's career path. But he said
he knows there are kids who are not so lucky.
"I think we need more programs only geared toward students with zero
research experience," he said. "I can give you a list of 100 kids today who can't
get that experience."
R Researchers at the UF College of Medicine are trying to change that. This
summer, McLeod and more than a dozen premedical and graduate school-
subound students from universities across the country participated in UF's
National Institutes of Health Summer Research Program, a program aimed
primarily at undergraduate minority students who are interested in medical
"The short-term goal of the program is to introduce bright young students to
the world of medical research," said Charles E. Wood, Ph.D., a professor and
chair of the department of physiology and functional genomics in the College
of Medicine and principal investigator of the NIH training grant that funds
the program. "It is our hope that those students who are successful will become
future academicians and help to solve the most pressing problems for which we
now have no solution."
Students are assigned faculty mentors who take them to their labs and assign
research projects throughout the eight-week program. At the end of the
program, participants present their findings to professors and their peers.
For Naa Sika Williams, a UF exercise physiology senior, the experience
taught her the value of trial and error in the scientific process. She worked on
UF PROGRAM GIVES UNDERGRADS RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
a project involving antibodies and antigens and how they relate to cancer cells
Naa Sika Williams, a UF senior majoring in exercise physiology, was one of in mice.
several premed and graduate-school bound students from across the country to The project provided an early lesson in the ups and downs of discovery.
participate in UF National Institute of Health Summer Research Program this year. During her first attempt at culturing cells, the cells died.
She and other students in the program spent their summers in labs like these "They just told me not to worry just to learn from my mistakes and move
doing research. on," she said.
The main benefit of the research boot camp is to help students stay
competitive and on par with their peers in the medical and graduate school
"When you read (research) in biology books it's not the same as seeing it
done and how much work goes into it," Williams said. "If this program wasn't
here, I probably wouldn't have done research. There are still students out there
who will not have done research before they apply (to medical school)." 0
8 Vis us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The Ictest news and HSC events
The Gator Nation IS everywhere
Distance learning growing at HSC
By Lauren Edwards
I e UF Health Science Center is making it
easier than ever to take classes, even if you
live thousands of miles from the Swamp.
Students as far away as Bosnia, Italy, Japan, the Bahamas and Kazakhstan
- and even U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq have enrolled in online
programs offered by HSC colleges, and the online learning trend seems to
grow with each passing semester.
These Web-based curricula, which range from certification programs to
full master's degrees, are designed to work around the busy schedules of
students, who often juggle classes with full-time careers. Some programs,
for example, do not require students to set foot on UF's campus, while
others only ask them to visit Gainesville once to take a final exam.
"We surveyed the students, and the main thing (they like) is the
flexibility," said Ian Tebbett, Ph.D, director of the UF online Global
Forensic Science Program in the College of Pharmacy and an associate
dean for distance education at UF.
The College of Public Health and Health Professions' Public Health
Certificate Program is one example of the trend toward the Web. Launched
online in 2007, the program allows students to start during any semester
and go at their own pace taking as little as two semesters or as long as
two years to complete the necessary coursework. The program already has
more than 80 students.
The College of Nursing has joined in the online trend as well, offering
its part-time Doctor of Nursing Practice and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
programs completely online.
Tebbett, who was the driving force behind bringing forensic toxicology
courses online nearly 10 years ago, realizes the need for online education.
Tebbett was working as director of the state racing lab when he learned
that some lab workers wanted to take advanced courses but were unable to
relocate. Wanting to make it easier for them to access educational
opportunities, Tebbett put two forensic toxicology courses on the Web.
The Global Forensic Science Program was born.
From 20 students in the fall of 2000 to more than 400 students from 28
different countries each semester, the Global Forensic Science Program is
now the largest forensic program in the world and winner of the 2006
National Award for Excellence in Distance Education.
"This thing just took off and has become really big," Tebbett said. "It's
become my day job."
William Riffee, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy, was one of his
college's original proponents of online education. If all forms of distance
learning were to be stopped, Riffee says the college's more than 2,500
students would be reduced to just 500.
"Follow the numbers," Riffee said. "That tells you the story about the
importance of distance learning."
For Chucri Kardous, an engineer with the U.S. Public Health Service, the
PHHP's online Public Health Certificate Program was the perfect solution
when he wanted to expand his knowledge without abandoning his career.
"I've taken some online courses through other universities," he said. "In
the past, there were a lot of bugs (in these courses), but I found the UF
program to be set up well ... the infrastructure was well-done, and the
professors seem knowledgeable and competent."
And it's not just people with traditional careers who are flocking to
enroll online with UF. More than 20 U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq are
currently taking classes thanks to these flexible programs.
Just because they are on the front lines doesn't mean that their education
is being put on hold, White says.
"(The soldiers) can work on it in their own time and e-mail their
assignments to the instructor," Tebbett said.
"The whole concept of'The Gator Nation is everywhere,' I mean, this is
it," Tebbett added. "We can reach the world with this thing." 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The latest news (nd HSC events I ;L6) 1 9
, 13Or, ,nl .-'l i ~~ '" ""* .- i"i" -' -
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Several UF nursing students working with assistant professor Barbara Lutz spent their summer educating and mentoring young girls at the
Alachua County Girls Club. At the end of the summer, the girls created a thank-you book with letters such as the ones pictured here.
From CPra89O S to perfume ...
UF nursing students educate and mentor young girls in Alachua County
By Katie Phelan
Group of UF nursing students spent their
summer dancing, doing crafts and, most
importantly, teaching young girls the value of
self-esteem and taking charge of their own health.
The undergraduate students in assistant professor Barbara Lutz's community
health nursing class had a unique opportunity to experience community
nursing firsthand by educating and mentoring a group of fourth- and fifth-
grade girls at the Alachua County Girls Club.
For seven weeks, the students created lesson plans and implemented activities
that promoted healthy living and helped the girls understand their changing
bodies and other issues affecting them. Lutz believes working with the Girls
Club was a great opportunity to help the community by reaching out to young
girls at a crucial age.
"I chose this age group for my students to work with because once the girls
get into middle school they are harder to reach," Lutz said. "Self-esteem and
health issues in young girls are a growing concern. I wanted our nursing
students to educate and inspire these girls to embrace themselves and learn
about healthy attitudes and lifestyles."
The nursing students were excited about the idea of having a "Big Sister/
Nurse" relationship with the girls.
"The rotation was absolutely wonderful. The overall experience this summer
has really opened my eyes to the endless possibilities I am gaining by earning
my B.S.N," said Kristina Fornasier, a UF nursing student. "All of Dr. Lutz's
hard work, time and support have just touched all of us. Her dedication has
made me want to look further into community nursing."
Lutz taught her students the different facets of community health nursing
throughout the seven-week rotation. She guided her students in preparing
lesson plans in an effort to educate the young girls about their personal health,
well-being and emotions.
The Alachua County Girls Club community program is funded by the United
Way as part of an effort to help educate and mentor girls from low-income
families. The mission of the Girls Club is to provide girls with a place to grow.
Lutz and the nursing students worked with the girls on various issues and
topics, including respecting yourself and your boundaries, understanding
puberty, Internet safety and what it is like to be a nurse. The lesson plans were
created to teach the girls about the importance of health prevention and
promotion. Using various learning tools and techniques, such as crafts, dance
and journal activities, the students were able to teach the girls in a way that kept
them engaged and interested.
"This seven-week rotation was truly a growing experience for all," Lutz said.
"The group of young girls grew in their understanding and knowledge of
themselves and their self-esteem, and the nursing students gained an insight
into the importance of community health nursing."
When the rotation was over, the young girls created a thank-you book in
which each of them wrote notes to express their gratitude. The notes displayed
how the young girls believed that the knowledge, wisdom and care that the
nursing students provided them during the seven weeks helped them to better
understand their mind, bodies and emotions.
"Thank you for coming to teach us about nutrition and 'our' body. I really
enjoyed it and you guys rock! When you graduate you'll be great nurses, trust
me!" a girl named Mecca wrote in the thank-you book. 0
101 Visi us online http://news.health.ufl.edu for The Ictest news and HSC events
- ; ," u r ,
down, 192 to go
New UF medical students
adjust to life as future doctors
By April Frawley Birdwell
It was Aug. 18, the first real day of
medical school classes for the UF
College of Medicine's Class of 2012,
and students were already busy getting
to know their microscopes, fiddling with
slides and adjusting foci as tiny beams of
light glowed from underneath.
Sitting in the back of the room, Sarah Yong jotted down notes
as her professor, William Dunn, Ph.D., called out tidbits of
information while flitting from student to student. Like most of
her classmates, Yong has been waiting for this day for a while,
since she was a girl in Brunei who dreamed that one day, maybe,
she would be a doctor.
"Every night when I get home, I think, 'Wow, I actually did all
that? I'm actually here?" Yong said. "I have been looking forward
to this all summer. Sending in orientation materials, packing ...
it has been a buildup of emotions."
Now four weeks in, with just 192 weeks to go before he and his
classmates become doctors, Kamil Nowicki says he is "loving"
"It's an interesting and dedicated bunch of people, people from
different backgrounds," he said of his 134 classmates. "It's
After a weeklong orientation, which began Aug. 11, students
jumped right into their new lives as medical students. Gross
anatomy, a hallmark class of medical school in which students
learn about the human body through dissection, is one of the
first courses students take.
"I was really anxious the day before anatomy started, but since
then I have been fine," Nowicki said.
Like Yong, Nowicki has wanted to be a doctor since he was
"It was watching my dad work," said Nowicki, whose father is
an anesthesiologist at Shands AGH. "He used to be an emergency
physician, and I remember a young lady came to our apartment
with her son. He was feverish, and she was very upset ... it was
just great to see him be able to calm her down and do something
for that family in the middle of the night." 0
UF's newest crop of medical students arrived on campus Aug. 11 for their weeklong orientation, followed by the start of classes Aug. 18. For Sarah Yong,
the first few weeks of medical school were filled with excitement, including her first microscope lab (top) and the class' first gross anatomy lab (middle). The
College of Medicine Class of 2012 also wrote their own Code of Ethics, a set of principles each class creates at the beginning of its medical education.
Once it's complete, each member of the class signs it (bottom). Photos By Sarah Kiewel
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The Ictest news nd HSC events
Kevin Carroll and Dr. Erin Dunbar (left) go through a series of neurological assessments during a recent visit to the neurosurgical specialties
clinic at the UF Health Sciences Center in Gainesville.
The Preston A. Wells Jr. Center unites eclectic mix of
clinicians, researchers to help people with brain tumors
Story by John Pastor Photos by Sarah Kiewel
12 visi us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu es news d events
Kevin Carroll was leaning on his
bicycle this summer at a scenic
overlook along the Hawthorne
Trail, a 17-mile stretch that connects
Gainesville with Hawthorne through
Paynes Prairie State Preserve.
Thigh-burning hills and wildlife encounters come with the
scenery here, but the 50-year-old father of three's most
challenging journey actually began several months earlier on
April 5. It started with a crash to his bedroom floor in the
middle of the night.
"I was scared to death," remembers Genevieve Carroll,
Kevin's wife of 10 years. "I found Kevin on the floor. He was
disoriented, and his mouth was bleeding. He was having a
Five days later, Kevin was in a neurosurgical operating room
at Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee. Doctors
removed an extremely aggressive cancerous brain tumor known
as a stage 4 glioblastoma, or GBM, from his left parietal lobe.
It was the same kind of tumor that was diagnosed in the same
region of the brain in Sen. Edward Kennedy in May.
Traditionally, despite aggressive treatment with surgery,
radiation therapy and chemotherapy, the tumors are considered
fast-acting and incurable.
"Kevin is a vegetarian, a cyclist, a very laid-back person,"
Genevieve says. "He takes things as they come, and he likes to
make relaxed decisions. It's his disposition. Before the surgery,
he said, 'Let's go get that golf ball.'"
Shortly after surgery, the Carroll family went to work on the
Web to find out more about his type of cancer and what the
treatment options were. That investigation led to Erin Dunbar,
M.D., a UF neuro-oncologist who has spent much of her adult
life acquiring the skills to help people in situations similar to
what the Carroll family was facing.
"Everyone finds what they are good at, and for me, that is
caring for patients with brain and spine tumors," Dunbar says.
The walls in her McKnight Brain Institute office have some
space for pictures, but Dunbar's whirlwind pace since she joined
UF as an assistant professor of neurosurgery in 2007 hasn't
afforded much opportunity for her to hang anything. More
likely you will find graphics that explain brain and spinal cord
physiology to patients or students.
"I see my mission as always attempting to increase a patient's
length of life but knowing that when that's not achievable, I
can improve their quality of life along the way," she says. "It's
about helping patients live their best life and being there as an
advocate/adviser as they navigate that journey."
A SIMPLE PLAN
A scant four years ago, Dunbar was a resident in internal
medicine at the UF College of Medicine. Even then, she was
collaborating with William Friedman, M.D., chair of the
department of neurosurgery, and many others on a vision for a
An avid cyclist, Kevin has enjoyed exploring area trails and sampling the
Paynes Prairie wilderness between medical treatments.
comprehensive neuro-oncology center for all brain and spine
tumor patients. This quest led her to top-tier brain tumor
centers to observe their practices and then bring that knowledge
back to UF.
"The vision of Dr. Friedman was paramount in this," Dunbar
says. "As I traveled and interviewed, I shadowed brain tumor
centers to experience the best operational models. I interviewed
for dedicated neuro-oncology fellowships at a select number of
those centers, and I ultimately chose Johns Hopkins, partly
because I felt it was the best model that could be translated back
Today, she and Friedman co-direct the Preston A. Wells Jr.
Center for Brain Tumor Therapy. The center was formally
named in 2006 after the university received a $10 million gift
from the Lillian S. Wells Foundation Inc., a Fort Lauderdale-
based group that supports medical research.
In fact, the Preston Wells Center is considered necessary to
transform UF, which is already among the nation's leaders in
numbers of neurosurgeries, into a top 10 tumor center in terms
of referrals, clinical trial offerings and translational research.
"We've been working hard to establish one of the nation's
leading comprehensive brain tumor centers," Friedman says.
"Our strength has been surgery, and we are also known around
the world for radiosurgery. With the gift to establish the Preston
Wells Center and the recruitment of Dr. Dunbar, who already
has a number of investigational treatment protocols under way,
we have an extremely broad, courageous vision."
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
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...... .... ......
OVE SST .. .. ......
A PATIENT'C DAY
Delivering cutting edge brain
tumor treatment and
experimental clinical trials is the
order of business at the Preston A. Wells
Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy. On
this day, the schedule for patient Kevin
Carroll includes a morning MRI to look
for any signs of the reappearance of a
tumor, and assessments from Erin
Dunbar, M.D., and Christine Keeling,
R.N., O.C.N. Keeling's role is particularly
important, Dunbar says, because she
coordinates the lab tests and monitors the
safety of the patient "every step of the
way." In fact, it was Keeling who
originally caught up with Kevin by phone
at Paynes Prairie to tell him he had been
cleared to test a new tumor treatment. "It
was a really great phone call," says
Genevieve Carroll, shown watching
Kevin and their children in the waiting
area of the neurosurgical specialties clinic
and in the mirror of the examination
room with Dunbar and her husband.
14 S Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufledu o the test news nd SC events
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for Te latest news and HSC events 15
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13
With a vision of building a comprehensive center for all brain and spine
tumor patients, Dr. Erin Dunbar and Dr. William Friedman have marshaled
expertise from throughout UF to create the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for
Brain Tumor Therapy.
Tumor treatment has been a hallmark at UF since the 1980s, when
Friedman and physicist Frank Bova, Ph.D., were perfecting
radiosurgery systems that used linear accelerators to noninvasively
remove cancerous tumors.
As this new technology and expertise blossomed in the
neurosurgery department, the radiation oncology department strongly
focused on patient care in its efforts to become one of the best
academic programs of its kind in the country.
"Today what you have is this tremendous group of people talented
in neurosurgery and radiation/oncology, along with the collection of
basic and translational researchers here at the McKnight Brain
Institute," Dunbar says. "What we were missing was someone with
dedicated neuro-oncology training, and that's what my recruitment
As a neuro-oncologist, Dunbar discusses a patient's treatment
strategy with a health-care team that includes neurosurgeons,
radiation oncologists, neurologists, psychologists and therapists. After
a patient's surgery or radiation treatment, Dunbar pursues additional
multidisciplinary treatment efforts.
That could mean combining conventional therapy with one of the
center's many clinical trials, which are research studies to learn about
vaccines or new therapies, combinations of medicines for symptom
management, or combinations of rehabilitation, education and support
"Our goal is to optimize the patient's opportunities and well-being
at every stage of their journey," Dunbar says.
ON TIE UPBEAT
The green hills of Hawthorne stretched before Kevin Carroll when
his phone rang.
"We were on the Hawthorne trail at the overlook when I got the
phone call that I was in," Kevin says. "I was among the 25 percent of
people whose tumors were of the right composition for a certain kind
of clinical trial."
Kevin, a food service manager and a doting dad to three children
who range in age from 11 to 3, had been previously denied enrollment
in a different clinical trial. Even the latest news did not finally mean
he would be involved in an experimental therapy.
"We got the message that he was in; well, he was mostly in,"
Genevieve says. "The first hurdle in this case was the majority of the
tumor has to be removed, or at least as much as you can visibly see.
This was the second hurdle the tumor had to contain a protein that
only 25 percent of GBM patients have to be suitable for the treatment.
And in this case, even once you're in the trial, not everyone gets the
vaccine. Dr. Dunbar said it would be a real roller-coaster ride and she
described it perfectly."
As with Sen. Kennedy, who was placed on a regimen of
chemotherapy and radiation after his tumor was removed, Kevin
received this therapy and also became part of a clinical trial that was
testing a new treatment technique.
Some glioblastoma trials are looking at a vaccine injected into the
skin to attempt to activate the patient's own immune system to fight
microscopic tumor cells that remain in the brain even after optimal
surgery and radiation. Patients enrolled in such studies know there are
no promises the treatment has not proved effective yet.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,000 Americans a
year are diagnosed with brain tumors; about 10,000 are gliobastomas.
Brain tumors are the second most common cause of cancer-related
death in people 35 and under, and the most common among middle-
aged and older adults.
NOT 'GARDEN VARIETY'
Addressing the problems of tumors and other neurological ailments,
UF and Shands HealthCare opened a new, 30-bed Shands at UF
Neuro Intensive Care Unit this spring. The $9.6-million project
provides neurosurgery and neurology patients access to UF medical
experts and the latest technological resources consolidated at Shands
at UF, all in proximity to the basic science research taking place at the
McKnight Brain Institute.
"This is all about improved outcomes for patients," Friedman says.
"Another key part is bringing in basic scientists who can help us
develop novel approaches to the treatment of this devastating disease.
Recently Brent Reynolds, an internationally regarded scientist noted
for his groundbreaking work with stem cells and brain tumor stem
cells, joined the neurosurgery department and the McKnight Brain
Institute. We think some of his approaches to modify stem cells will
lead to completely new approaches to treat patients."
Reynolds heads the MBI Cancer Stem Cell Group, a broad coalition
of researchers that includes Dunbar, MBI Executive Director Dennis
Steindler, Ph.D.; Edward Scott, Ph.D., director of the program of
Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine; and other College of
Medicine and international researchers.
By studying cancer-initiating cells from tumors in the brain,
prostate, colon, bone and other regions, the scientists intend to learn
the fundamentals of how tumors form and cancer spreads.
"Our discoveries in collaboration with the Preston Wells Center
could transform treatment of brain cancer," Steindler says. "The
Preston Wells Center is the arm that will allow us to translate basic
and preclinical science to the clinic and develop new therapies."
In the meantime, leaders expect that patient numbers, as well as
patient-care options, will continue to grow, especially as more clinical
161 Visi us online http://news.health.ufl.edu for The Ictest news and HSC events
trials become available.
Part of the Wells endowment provides funds for a "patient
navigator," which gives patients, caregivers or referring physicians a
single contact point to learn about treatments, coordinate visits and
assist them with all of their needs.
"Bill (Friedman) and I have a personal philosophy that if a brain
tumor patient needs to see us, we will do everything we can to help
them immediately," Dunbar says. "Even if it's on a non-clinic day, we
will open the clinic."
In addition, services such as neurological rehabilitation,
psychological assessment and counseling are essential to brain tumor
patients receiving care at the center.
Deidre Pereira, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and assistant
professor in the department of clinical and health psychology at the
College of Public Health and Health Professions, is experienced at
treating distress in people affected by cancer. She has increasingly
worked with neuro-oncology patients through her association with
Dunbar and has assessed a number of Dunbar's patients and their
families. When needed, she makes recommendations for
"I didn't know as much about brain tumors before working with
Erin, and it has been a really impactful experience for me," she says.
"These patients can have extreme deficits in their quality of life and
the suddenness of the symptoms and diagnosis can be overwhelming.
They have quite a journey."
Pereira said her association with Dunbar highlights the importance
of caring for patients as whole persons, and that psychosocial services
are indeed available to these patients and their families.
"We have a very strong education and support group," Dunbar says.
"We meet monthly and have patients that come from the tri-state area
that may not even see me or the (UF) doctors. They say, 'I've never
set foot in Gainesville, but I'm here for the support group,' which is
In the neurosurgical clinic waiting area near the Atrium at Shands
at UF medical center, Genevieve displays a cell-phone picture of
Kevin on his bike talking on his cell phone.
"He was talking to his eldest brother who was flying in for his week
at Hope Lodge," she says. "It's kind of funny because before the tumor
Kevin didn't have a cell phone and rarely used anything electronic
unless it was for work."
Visits with his mother and other family members, many of whom
live in Buffalo, N.Y., increased dramatically after Kevin was
diagnosed, with plenty of time for catching up either at the Carroll
home in Tallahassee or at the Gainesville Hope Lodge, an inn for
patients and caregivers supported by the American Cancer Society, the
Winn-Dixie Foundation and the University of Florida.
"Kevin was very fortunate to have a family member or dear friend
with him each of the six weeks he was receiving daily radiation and
chemotherapy," Genevieve says.
Inside the clinic, Dunbar was speaking to Kevin about energy
"I've heard my patients say it's like they wake up with as much juice
as they've always had, but it runs out far more quickly," she says. "You
should experiment with rest and naps."
Not a problem for Kevin, who is known to actually doze off during
his radiation treatments. Told that the medical machinery that
delivers the radiation was actually developed by Friedman and other
UF colleagues, Genevieve says, "It goes to show you. More proof that
we are where we are supposed to be." 0
MAN BECT FRIEND
Veterinary, medical collaboration
helps animals (and people)
Veterinary oncology resident Karri Barabas (right) examines a canine cancer patient.
By April Frawley Birdwell
The decision was simple: William Lassiter didn't want his dog to die.
Corey, the brown mutt Lassiter rescued eight years ago, had been diagnosed with
prostate cancer. The treatment options were bleak, but Lassiter didn't want to give up.
So veterinary oncologists at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine proposed an idea -
stereotactic radiosurgery, a technique used at the UF McKnight Brain Institute to give
patients a more precise and higher dose of radiation. Although radiosurgery has been used to
combat many human cancers, it had never been used to treat canine prostate cancer before.
Corey's case is just one example of how UF's veterinary oncology program which has
only existed since 2005 and now sees 221 cases each month is using its connections with
the UF College of Medicine to offer groundbreaking treatments to animals. But the
collaboration doesn't just help dogs. It helps people, too.
Dogs make good models for human cancer because the diseases are similar, says Nick
Bacon, D.V.M., a veterinary surgeon who collaborated on Corey's case with Frank Bova,
Ph.D., a UF neuroscientist and radiosurgery pioneer.
"(Dr. Bova) is helping us do things in dogs that no one else in the world is doing, and he
hopefully is learning more about people because of it," Bacon says.
Veterinary researchers are also taking part in National Institutes of Health studies,
conducting clinical trials in dogs to test a lymph node biopsy tool and a drug for
osteosarcoma, a disease common in children.
"In our patients we get results in one to two years, in humans it can take 10 to 20 years to
get the same answers," Bacon says.
Two decades ago, the treatments now available to animals were "pie in the sky," Bacon
says. But even with these advances, veterinary oncologists still battle misperceptions.
"All the treatments you can do in people, you can do in animals," said Rowan Milner,
D.V.M., service chief for veterinary oncology and a founder of UF's veterinary oncology
program. "The difference is our outcome. For the majority of malignant tumors, cure is not
the end result. It's all about giving pets a decent survival time with a better quality of life.
That is our goal."
The program has the ability to offer chemotherapy which is less intense in dogs than
in humans as well as radiation and surgery, but it's the information and time spent
talking with clients that often matters most.
"We support them through whatever choice they make because no cancer is the same, no
two patients are the same, no two families are the same," Bacon says.
For Corey, the radiosurgery shrunk his prostate tumor, and he's now being treated with
chemotherapy. So far, so good, veterinarians say.
"He's alert, and he's happy," Lassiter said. O
Sarah Carey contributed to this article.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The Ictest news 0nd HSC events JI I 17
Researchers link chronic ear infections to weight gain
By Melissa M. Thompson
M ore than
with the agonizing ache
of ear infection annually,
but a new discovery
suggests damage to
taste nerves caused by
the common childhood
ailment might increase
the risk of obesity later
in life, say UF College of
Chronic ear infections appear to
trigger a preference for high-calorie
food, leading to increased
consumption and excessive weight
gain in adulthood, said Linda
Bartoshuk, Ph.D., a UF expert on the
sense of taste and genetic variations in
taste perception. She reported study
findings from health surveys
establishing the link at an Aug. 14
annual meeting of the American
Psychological Association in Boston.
Bartoshuk's preliminary study
findings suggested a link between the
infections and obesity. Researchers from other academic
institutions confirmed the discovery with data from
three independent studies.
"We have known for a long time that ear infections
can damage taste because the major taste nerve, the
chorda tympani nerve, passes through the middle ear on
its way to the brain," said Bartoshuk, a presidential
endowed professor of community dentistry and
behavioral science affiliated with the McKnight Brain
Institute's Center for Smell and Taste. "When we
learned that taste damage can intensify non-taste
LINDA BARTOSHUK, PH.D. sensations from foods, all of the pieces of the puzzle fell
When ear infection pathogens damage the main sensory taste nerve it can intensify
sensations produced by fatty foods. This heightens the preference for those foods and
can lead to weight gain, Bartoshuk said.
When compared to
adults who didn't have
chronic ear infections
as children, adults
who were prone to
earaches were 18
percent more likely to
enjoy fatty foods such
as mayonnaise and 14
percent more likely to
have a taste for cookies
and chocolate. They
were also more likely
to be overweight.
In 1993, Bartoshuk and her students began collecting general health information from written
questionnaires distributed during taste lectures she gave across the country. Since 1993, she has surveyed more
than 6,500 people ages 16 to 92. With age, those individuals who had moderate to severe histories of ear
infections gained weight at a faster rate than those who had never had an ear infection. Of respondents over 30,
39 percent of those with no history of chronic ear infections were overweight or obese, whereas 51 percent of
those with ear infections were overweight or obese.
In addition, UF researchers found that those with ear infections liked sweet foods such as cookies and milk
chocolate 14 percent more than those without ear infections. And they liked high-fat foods such as mayonnaise
and butter 18 percent more than those without ear infections.
In a supporting study examining the predictors of obesity in Puerto Rican children, obese children were
more likely to have experienced ear infections.
"One public health consequence of these observations may well be to alert parents and pediatricians to the
long-term consequences of childhood earaches," said Jim Weiffenbach, Ph.D., a retired researcher from the
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. "Knowledge of a sensory basis for this class of
over-nutrition might allow for the development of new obesity prevention strategies."
UF researchers and National Institutes of Health researchers are now examining whether tonsillectomies
also influence weight gain. They suspect the procedure can damage other taste nerves, which might affect
weight in a similar manner.
"Obesity is heavily inherited," Bartoshuk said. "But (ear infections) are not genetic. This is environmental
and this is something you can stop." 0
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Study targets childhood obesity
his fall, UF researchers will begin studying a
family based weight management intervention
program for children and families enrolled in
The Family Lifestyle Intervention Project for Kids,
or FLIP for Kids, is designed to help children and
parents modify their dietary and physical activity to
promote a healthy lifestyle, positive self-image and
effective weight management.
FLIP for Kids is led by David Janicke, Ph.D., Janet
Silverstein, M.D., and Marilyn Dumont-Driscoll, M.D.,
and is supported by a grant from the Florida Agency for DAVID JANICKE, PH.D.
Health Care Administration.
"The problem of childhood obesity is reaching epidemic levels and Florida is no
exception," said Janicke, an assistant professor of clinical and health psychology in
the College of Public Health and Health Professions. "We have received a number of
requests from families and physicians regarding lifestyle interventions for children
who are overweight or obese. This study can benefit families enrolled in Medicaid
by providing an additional option for the treatment of obesity and associated health
problems such as type 2 diabetes."
The results of the study, which will evaluate the program's impact on dietary
intake, physical activity, long-term weight status and use of health services, can also
be used to inform Medicaid policy, Janicke said. More than 1.5 million Florida
children are enrolled in Medicaid.
The FLIP for Kids program is delivered in a group format, with about six to 10
families participating in each group. The three-month program will have sessions
starting this fall, but new groups will begin throughout 2009.
FLIP for Kids is available to children between the ages of 6 and 12 who are
enrolled in Florida Medicaid and their parents. To participate, children must have a
parent or legal guardian who is also willing to attend the weekly group sessions. All
treatment sessions will be held at Shands at UF and families will be compensated $5
per session to help offset the cost of gas. Families interested in participating or who
have questions should call 352-273-5285 or toll-free at 866-673-9623. 0
So long, senior moments
Improved estrogen reception may sharpen fuzzy memory
E strogen treatments may sharpen mental performance in women with certain medical
conditions, but UF researchers suggest that recharging a naturally occurring estrogen
receptor in the brain may also clear cognitive cobwebs.
The discovery suggests that drugs can be developed to offset "senior moments" related to low
estrogen levels, as well as to protect against neurological diseases, all while avoiding the problems
associated with adding estrogen to the body.
Writing online in Molecular Therapy in July, scientists with UF's McKnight Brain Institute
described how they improved thought processes in female mice bred with the inability to produce
estrogen receptor-alpha, a protein apparently necessary for healthy learning and memory.
"We were able to restore function in these animals, not by dosing them with estrogen, but by
enabling them to use the estrogen that was naturally present in their bodies," said Tom Foster, TOM FOSTER, PH.D
Ph.D., the Evelyn F. McKnight chair for brain research in memory loss at the UF College of
Medicine. "We discovered that you can affect the estrogen receptor directly in the hippocampus, right where it's needed to address
memory and spatial learning."
Changes in the estrogen receptor have been associated with age-related memory deficits and an increased incidence of
Alzheimer's disease among women. In addition, previous studies have shown estrogen replacement may improve cognition in
postmenopausal women and younger women with low estrogen levels. Estrogen also appears to protect against Alzheimer's disease
The downside is that estrogen is a powerful hormone that has far-reaching effects throughout the body. It has been associated
with a slight increase in women's risk for breast cancer, heart disease in patients with existing cardiovascular problems, and stroke.
"Estrogen may act as a growth agent for cancer, but in the brain, it appears to maintain health and counteract stress," Foster
said. "We wanted to come back and enhance the signaling pathway that makes estrogen functional. We used a gene therapy
technique that enables us to target the brain, but ultimately there could be a pharmaceutical that enhances the signaling pathway
solely in the brain." 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The latest news 19
Mate or hibernate?
That's the question worm pheromones answer
UF scientists have discovered the first mating
pheromone in the tiny worm Caenorhabditis
elegans. The chemical signal also instruct the worm
to go into hibernation mode, says Arthur Edison
(right), a UF associate professor of biochemistry and
molecular biology, who worked with postdoctoral
associate Fatma Kaplan (left) and lab manager
By April Frawley Birdwell
If worms could talk, they might tell potential suitors, "I like the way you
wriggle," complete with that telltale come slither look. But worms send
their valentines via signals known as pheromones, a complex chemical code
researchers are now cracking, according to a study published in July in the
Scientists from UF, Cornell University, the California Institute of
Technology and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have discovered the first
mating pheromone in one of science's most well-studied research subjects, the
tiny worm Caenorhabditis elegans. But perhaps even more interesting is what
the newly discovered pheromone also directs worms to do hibernate.
At lower levels, the pheromone signals the male C. elegans to mate with its
partner. But when the worm population grows and the food supply dwindles,
the chemical signal increases and the cue changes from mate to hibernate.
This discovery could help researchers find ways to combat more harmful
worms that destroy crops and provide clues for scientists studying similar
parasite worms, said Arthur Edison, Ph.D., a UF associate professor of
biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Medicine and one of the
study's senior authors.
"Even though it's the same compound, it affects different behaviors," said
Fatma Kaplan, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in Edison's lab and one of the
study's lead authors. "It's two different life traits converging."
About four out of every five animals on the planet is the same type of organism as C. elegans a nematode, said Edison.
Although the C. elegans worm, which is about 1 millimeter in length, is harmless to humans, many nematodes destroy crops or
act as parasites in humans and animals, such as the large human intestinal parasite Ascaris lumbricoides. Because it is easy to
grow and manipulate in the laboratory, C. elegans is a model for understanding the basic biology of humans, animals and other
worms that threaten human health. 0
SThe coral reef cancer-fighter
Si UF researchers find cancer-inhibiting compound under the sea
By Linda Homewood
U F College of Pharmacy researchers have discovered a marine compound off the coast of Key Largo that inhibits cancer
cell growth in laboratory tests, a finding they hope will fuel the development of new drugs to better battle the disease.
The UF-patented compound, largazole, is derived from cyanobacteria that grow on coral reefs. Researchers, who
described results from early studies in August at an international natural products scientific meeting in Athens, Greece, say it
is one of the most promising they've found since the college's marine natural products laboratory was established three years
"It's exciting because we've found a compound in nature that may one day surpass a currently marketed drug or could
H become the structural template for rationally designed drugs with improved selectivity," said Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., an
Assistant professor in UF's department of medicinal chemistry and the study's principal investigator.
S. Largazole, discovered and named by Luesch for its Florida location and structural features, seeks out a family of enzymes
called histone deacetylase, or HDAC. Overactivity of certain HDACs has been associated with several cancers such as prostate
and colon tumors, and inhibiting HDACs can activate tumor-suppressor genes that have been silenced in these cancers.
Many common medications, from pain relievers to cholesterol-reducing stations, stem from natural products that grow on the earth, but there is literally an ocean of
compounds yet to be discovered in our seas. Only 14 marine natural products developed are in clinical trials today, Luesch said, and one drug recently approved in Europe
is the first-ever marine-derived anticancer agent.
HDACs are already targeted by a drug approved for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma manufactured by the global pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Inc. However, UF's
compound does not inhibit all HDACs equally, meaning a largazole-based drug might result in improved therapies and fewer side effects, Luesch said.
Luesch said that within the next few months he plans to study whether largazole reduces or prevents tumor growth in mice.
Luesch has several other antitumor natural products from Atlantic and Pacific cyanobacteria in the pipeline.
"We have only scratched the surface of the chemical diversity in the ocean," Luesch said. "The opportunities for marine drug discovery are spectacular." 0
201 Visi us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the Ictest news cnd HSC events
- *' ,o jj 4.."
recovery Georgia bo\ back on pitcher's
S. mound after\rT\ accident -
By Kandra Albury
n May 31, Buddy Wells,
12, threw the opening
pitch for the Jacksonville
Suns. Ten days earlier, he had
met his favorite Atlanta Braves
player Chipper Jones.
Last December, he was fighting for his life at
After eating dinner on Christmas Eve, Buddy and
some of his friends were riding their four-wheelers
when something terrible happened. Buddy had been
thrown from his four-wheeler and was airlifted from
Folkston, Ga., to Shands Jacksonville.
When Darrell and Pollie Wells arrived at the
trauma center, they learned their son had suffered
an injury to the left side of his brain and sustained
four chipped vertebrae in his neck, a broken
collarbone, broken ribs and a punctured lung.
"When he arrived in the ER, he was in a coma
from a severe head injury and required surgery to
monitor and treat the high pressure in his brain,"
said Darlene Lobel, M.D., a UF College of
Medicine-Jacksonville assistant professor of
neurosurgery who was on call that night.
"Normally, brain swelling subsides after a few days,
but for Buddy, this process took several weeks."
Buddy's mother spent countless hours at her son's
side in the pediatric intensive care unit.
"On Christmas morning, we stepped off the
elevators and Rachel O'Neill, the nurse manager for
the pediatric intensive care unit, was there to meet
us in the hallway," Pollie said. "She looked at us
with such compassion, put her arms around me and
led us to our son. The look in her eyes let me know
that Buddy was going to get the best care possible."
O'Neill said coming in on her day off to comfort
the Wells was the best gift she could give, and the
least she could do.
"I knew the minor inconvenience for me to come
in on a holiday was nothing compared to the
nightmare that had just struck this family," she said.
A state of uncertainty
Within two weeks, Buddy's brain injury began to
improve, but his injured lung started to fail as he
To remove the fluid, surgeons inserted a tube into
his chest to re-expand his lung. Buddy had to be
rotated to prevent fluid from collecting in his chest,
but the movement caused his brain pressure to rise.
Trauma surgeons informed the Wells that Buddy
needed to remain in a coma to control his brain
pressure. However, the longer he stayed in a coma,
the more problems he could face coming out, such
as infection and heart and lung failure resulting
from his organs depending on the ventilator to
Eventually, Buddy's brain pressure decreased, and
he was slowly brought out of the coma Jan. 4. The
next day, he opened his eyes but was not able to
communicate and had lost 20 pounds.
"When Buddy was taken off the ventilator on Jan.
9, he was like a newborn baby and had to learn to do
everything all over again," Pollie said.
The road to recovery
Joseph Tepas III, M.D., a UF College of
Medicine-Jacksonville professor of surgery and
division chief of pediatric surgery, said the
comprehensive care Buddy received ultimately saved
"The type of brain injury Buddy suffered requires
long-term therapeutic treatment and monitoring,"
Tepas said. "Brain injuries represent the most
serious and life-threatening trauma we see at
About three weeks after the accident, Buddy was
transferred from Shands Jacksonville to Brooks
Rehabilitation Hospital, where he spent six weeks
going through intensive physical therapy.
Eventually, his feeding tube was removed and he
was talking, sitting up and standing with assistance.
By the end of February two months after the
accident he went home.
"He still has some language and cognitive issues,
such as becoming confused when given too much
information or being around too much commotion,"
Pollie said. "Physically, he has improved and is
running three days a week and lifting weights with
Just a typical kid again
Lobel said when Buddy came to her office for his
first postoperative clinic visit in late February, he
seemed like a typical 12-year-old boy. He asked her
when he could return to the baseball field.
"Hearing that question, knowing all that he had
survived and how far he had come, it brought tears
to my eyes," Lobel said. "There is nothing more
rewarding as a doctor than to see a patient recover
so miraculously from such a devastating injury."
Life threw Buddy a curve last December that
threatened to take him out of the game. Thanks to
his physicians, nurses, parents and sheer
determination, he's back on deck, preparing to step
up to the plate. 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The latest news 0nd HSC events21
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
Pharmacy tech team
receives national award
Even pharmacists are prone to e-mail
withdrawals when they travel, but thanks to a UF
College of Pharmacy team of techies, many of
them don't have to suffer during the American
Association of Colleges of Pharmacy's annual
Five members of the college's Cyber Cafe
team received the association's Distinguished
Service Award July 22 at its annual meeting in
Chicago. The team has set up a virtual office
for visiting pharmacists to check their e-mail
and tweak presentations at nearly every AACP
meeting for more than a decade.
Honorees included William H. Riffee,
Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy; Mike
Brodeur, senior associate dean for finance
and administration; Randell Doty, Pharm. D.,
clinical associate professor and associate dean
for experiential education; Lane Blanchard,
coordinator of computer applications; and Peter
Mauro, a former IT technician for the college
who is now a senior engineer for UF Computing
and Network Services.
COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY
LEANDRA DOPAZO, D.D.S., M.S., a clinical
assistant professor of orthodontics, recently received
the Michael Matlof Memorial
Teaching Fellowship Award from
the American Association of
Orthodontics Foundation. This
is the third year that Dopazo I l
has received this fellowship from
the AAO Foundation. Dopazo,
who directs the predoctoral
curriculum, joined the faculty of
the college in December 2005 Leandra Dopazo
and is currently involved in
teaching, research and in the faculty practice clinic.
SAMUEL LOW, D.D.S., M.S., M.Ed., an associate
dean and professor of periodontology, recently
received the 2008 Florida
Dental Association's J. Leon
Schwartz Lifetime Achievement
Award. Given during the
annual Florida National Dental
Convention held in June in
Orlando, this is the highest
achievement award bestowed
by the association. Low, who
has been at UF since 1975, is amue
also a past president of the
WILLIAM DAWSON, Ph.D., a professor of
ophthalmology and physiology, and TIM
GARRETT, director of the General Clinical
Research Center Core Laboratory, recently
received $15,000 from the North Florida Lions Eye
Foundation for their studies on the development
of age-related diseases in the eyes of primates.
Pictured here are Dawson, ophthalmology Chair
William Driebe, foundation chairman Walt
McLanahan and Garrett.
JAMES M. SEEGER, M.D., a
professor and chief of vascular
surgery and endovascular
therapy, recently joined the
Society for Vascular Surgery's
board of directors. The
appointment, which marks
his second term on the board,
was announced this summer
during the society's annual
James M. Seegel
meeting. A leader in the field of
vascular surgery, Seeger's interests include lower
extremity disease, arterial occlusive disease and
endovascular stent grafts. He joined the college
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
APRIL BARBOUR, a graduate
student in the department of
pharmaceutics, was among
eight research students
nationally to be recognized
by the American College
of Clinical Pharmacology.
The ACCP Student/Trainee
Awards recognize outstanding
research abstracts submitted
for presentation at the annual meeting. A'
receive an engraved certificate, a $1,000
honorarium and complimentary registrati(
attend the September meeting in Philadel
Ph.D., an assistant professor
of pharmaceutics, has been
appointed to the editorial
advisory board of Phytomedicine.
During her three-year term, which
began in 2008, Butterweck will
review submitted manuscripts
and encourage others to submit
their research to the journal, Vero
which publishes research results from vari
phytomedicine-related subjects and helps
regulatory authorities in deciding whether
approve certain phytomedicines.
CHRISTIAN HAMPP, a graduate student
the department of pharmaceutical outcon
policy, was recognized for "Best Drug Util
Abstract Submitted by a
Student" in August at the 24th
International Conference on
Therapeutic Risk Management
in Denmark. The abstract
reports the effects of
on Respiratory Syncytial Virus
infection rates and the cost in Christian Hampp
various high-risk groups, such as children under the
age of 1 and those with congenital heart disease.
Pharm.D., a doctoral
candidate in the Clinical
Program, has received
a $20,000 Dissertation
Fellowship award from the
American Association of
University Women. Anzeela Schentrup
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
ANDREA BURNE, the associate director of
medical/health administration in the dean's
office, and SHANKAR MANAMALKAV,
an assistant in the department of clinical and
health psychology, received the 2008 Prudential
Financial Davis Productivity Awards Notable
Cash Award of $300. Burne and Manamalkav
were recognized for designing and implementing
NERVE, an innovative software system that
manages the psychology clinic's patient scheduling,
tracking and financial accounting. Shown here are
Manamalkav, left, and Burne with Russell Bauer,
Ph.D., who nominated them for the award.
April Barbour JEFFREY LOOMIS, the associate
director of the Center for
Nardees Telehealth and Healthcare
Communications, and director
on to for clinical informatics research
3hia. at the VA Rehabilitation
Outcomes Research Center,
was appointed to the state's
Alzheimer's Disease Advisory
Committee by Gov. Charlie Crist.
Loomis will serve a three-year
term on the committee.
MICHAEL G. PERRI, Ph.D.,
interim dean and professor,
received the Samuel M.
Turner Clinical Research
Award from the American
Psychological Association's D
division 12, Society of Clinical
Psychology, in recognition of
his distinguished contributions Michael G
in applied clinical research.
He was honored at the American Psychological
Association's annual convention in August in
22Visi us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the latest news and HSC events
UF occupational therapy professor
Sherrilene Classen became an American
citizen in May, 15 years after moving to
the U.S. from her native South Africa.
UF assistant professor earns her stars and stripes after 15 years
By Melissa M. Thompson
Driving on the wrong
side of the road -
or learning to drive
an American car, in five
days, period was hard
enough to get used to, but
then Sherrilene Classen,
Ph.D., M.P.H, O.T.R., learned
the truth about Smarties
candies. They weren't
Three months after arriving in the
United States, Classen, a native of South
Africa, confessed to a friend she was
craving the sweet treat. Expecting to find
the familiar M&M-like candy sold in her
home country, Classen almost gagged when
the pastel spheres of pure sugar assaulted
"My American friend got very excited,
telling me that she could find (Smarties) for
me right away," said Classen, an assistant
professor of occupational therapy in the UF
College of Public Health and Health
Professions who was recruited to practice
occupational therapy in the U.S. in 1993.
"She presented me with these nasty little
clumps of sugar. They were totally awful."
Fifteen years later, Classen has adjusted
to life in the country she now calls home
and was sworn in as a U.S. citizen during a
ceremony in May. But the road to American
life wasn't as sweet as it seems.
Classen was born in Bloemfontein, the
capital of South Africa's Free State
province, where she learned to care for
herself at a young age. Her father died when
she was 6, forcing her mother to work three
jobs and leaving Classen to raise her
brother and sister.
"I remember talking about (my siblings) as
'the children' even though my brother is
only a year younger than me and my sister
five years," she said. "That was my normal. I
never look back at it as a bad thing, instead I
have learned life lessons such as you never
get deterred, and you never give up."
At 14, she was hired as a hairdresser's
weekend receptionist. She hasn't stopped
working since, financing her way through
college at the University of the Orange Free
State, where she earned a bachelor's degree
in occupational therapy. While working as
an occupational therapist in South Africa,
she received shiny pamphlets adorned with
American flags and promising opportunity,
education and security. This was enough to
lure Classen away from her family and
friends in search of a better, more
"My American friend
got very excited, telling
me that she could find
(Smarties) for me right
away. Sherrilene Classe
Today, Classen is excited to participate in
activities many Americans take for granted
such as voting in the 2008 presidential
election. As she thinks about casting her
vote for the first time in November, she
can't help but remember her family in
South Africa, where violence and crime are
tearing communities apart.
"Few are excited about life in South
Africa or hopeful about the country's
future," she said. "But here, the stuff that
excites me is just normal stuff for
Americans. How powerful is it to read the
Declaration of Independence and really
understand those words? Life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. In many
developing countries, including South
Africa, those are just empty words or
wishful thinking." 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for The Ictest news and HSC events SS ;W bol 123
Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, who directs the brain
tumor surgery program at Johns Hopkins Bayview
Medical Center and was featured on the first episode
of the show "Hopkins," recently gave a lecture at the
UF McKnight Brain Institute. Afterward, he took time to
speak with UF undergrad Billy Conte.
Dr. E. Elamin (second from right), an
associate professor of anesthesiology, uses a
simulated face to teach critical care medicine
fellows Dr. Nicki Tarant (from right), Dr. Reza
Safaeian and Dr. Javier Coronado about the
anatomy of the airways and lungs.
Dr. Matthew Willey, a new UF College of Medicine
alumnus completing a preliminary year of residency
at UF, checked out the alligators on display at the
CAMPUS USA Credit Union table at the orientation
fair for new residents in June.
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
Senior Vice President,
Douglas J. Barrett, M.D.
Director, News &
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Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
Kandra Albury, April Frawley Birdwell,
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Homewood, John Pastor, Jill Pease,
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Lauren Edwards, Emel Ozdora,
Katie Phelan, Melissa M.
Cassandra Jackson, Beth Powers,
The POST is the monthly internal
newsletter for the University of
Florida Health Science Center, the
most comprehensive academic
health center in the Southeast,
with campuses in Gainesville
and Jacksonville and affiliations
throughout Florida. Articles feature
news of interest for and about HSC
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The deadline for submitting items
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