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On the Cover
With faculty, staff and students from across the globe, the
UF Health Science Center is an international community. This
month, the POST takes a closer look at the lives of some of the
people in that community and how they help shape the HSC.
Cover art by Janet Hicks.
Table of Contents
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SJacksonville: New Breast Center director
Profile: Sheila Eyberg
n t -.ber, Shands HealthCare officials announced a plan to
i ..l ie all programs and services currently housed at
,hanrd AGH to Shands at UF and the new cancer hospital.
The move, which came on the heels of budget cuts and financial
losses at Shands AGH, will occur in about one year. Shands
AGH lost $12 million in government funding in 2007, and $50
million more was needed for renovations at the hospital, which
was built in 1928. Many of the hospital's 1,150 employees will
be moved to Shands at UF or will be able to apply for new jobs
created at the cancer hospital, Shands leaders said at a press
conference announcing the decision. "We've struggled over how
to offer the best care to our patients and community given our
health system's existing resources," said Timothy Goldfarb,
CEO of Shands HealthCare, who is shown here with Janet
Christie. "A poor financial outlook ahead and growing health-
care industry challenges have forced us to make this very
difficult decision." After the announcement, College of
Medicine Dean Michael Good, M.D., said UF is committed to
providing health care to all of the community's citizens and is
now involved in intensive planning to ensure patient care needs
are met. 0
,is S hands .
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A good idea goes global
Chinese doctors to study UF movement disorders center
Son's death spurs Gainesville couple
to help improve patient safety
By Karen Dooley
..! ,i nd Luisa Ferrero, whose 3-year-old son
",h.. 'i n tragically died last year due to a series of
mrnJ !Jl errors at a UF outpatient clinic, had an
important message for first-year medical students Oct. 29.
The Gainesville couple asked the students to learn from
the mistakes that resulted in their son's death and
encouraged them to become the first generation of doctors to
benefit from a four-year medical school curriculum focused
on preventing medical errors.
The Ferreros' appearance at the College of Medicine's
Patient Safety Grand Rounds was one of the first elements of
this new comprehensive quality and patient safety
curriculum, which the college implemented after Sebastian's
According to a 2000 Institute of Medicine report, nearly
100,000 deaths can be attributed to medical errors each year.
A 2005 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association
found that the death rate from preventable errors had not
One year after Sebastian accidentally received an overdose
of the amino acid arginine during a test at a UF clinic, the
Ferreros have partnered with UF to help the institution
become a leader in the field of patient safety.
"Every morning I look up into the sky and I tell Sebastian
'Today, I will do this for you,'" Luisa Ferrero told the medical
students. "But I can't stop wishing to hug him one more
Dr. Hubert Fernandez poses before a presentation at China's Zhengzhou University.
Along with Dr. Michael Okun and Samuel Wu, Ph.D., (not pictured), Fernandez went
to Zhengzhou in late August to meet and interview two movement disorders fellowship
candidates and conduct a seminar on Parkinson's disease
By Anne Myers
'.. research scholars from China's Zhengzhou University will be coming to UF for a
n ine-month fellowship to study at the Movement Disorders Center at the McKnight
Bi ain Institute, where they plan to learn medical techniques and acquire the
organizational knowledge necessary to start their own movement disorders center in China.
Doctors Yuming Xu, a neurologist, and Bo Yang, a neurosurgeon, will be trained to run a
clinical, educational, research and outreach program modeled after the one developed at UF's
Movement Disorder's Center, according to Hubert Fernandez, M.D., who co-directs the
center with Michael Okun, M.D., Kelly Foote, M.D. and Ramon Rodriguez, M.D.
Xu is the director of neurology and Yang is a professor of neurosurgery at the First
Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, which is located in the province of Henan,
outside of Beijing. The university has a student population about equal to UF's and is situated
in an area the size of Florida with a surrounding population of 100 million, Fernandez said.
"Our mission is to have a meaningful presence with one center in a developing country or
region in the world and to set up strong connections so they can set up a movement disorder
center that is as powerful as ours," Fernandez said. "We can teach clinical care and medical
and surgical treatments, but to learn how to operationalize a movement disorders center with
a four-part mission of clinical care, research, education and outreach there is no substitute
for them being here and working alongside of us."
UF's Movement Disorders Center was established at the McKnight Brain Institute in July
2002 to bring together UF doctors and researchers with special expertise in Parkinson's
disease and other movement disorders.
"As we build our foundation in Florida, we recognize that there are millions of people
outside of UF that need medical care," Fernandez said. "We established the fellowship that
will bring doctors Xu and Yang here to help address that need."
With the help of Sherman Bai, Ph.D., an associate professor of industrial and systems
engineering and director of the UF Center for International Studies in Beijing, Fernandez,
Okun and Samuel Wu, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of biostatistics, went to
Zhengzhou University in late August to meet and interview the two candidates, conduct a
seminar on Parkinson's disease and describe the elements needed to set up a comprehensive
movement disorders center. They arrived on the final day of the Olympics. O
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he iciest news nd HSC events
PHHP women leaders navigated challenges,
, ,helped build a tradition of excellence
By Melissa M. Thompson
ere were no department
founding fathers here -just
a trio of women each at the
helm of the College of Health
Related Services' first three
They designed the health services curricula and
fought to establish research programs and gain
adequate academic and professional space within
the Health Science Center. Fifty years later, the
strength and innovation of Alice Jantzen, Ph.D.,
chair of occupational therapy; Barbara White, M.A.,
chair of physical therapy; and Ruth Williams, Ph.D.,
chair of medical technology; continue to influence
Physical and occupational therapy as well as the
medical technology fields historically employed
more women than men. As thousands of men
returned wounded from World War I and II, the
demand for skilled health workers increased.
Although the college's women leaders enjoyed
positions of influence, through the decades they
learned to manage social challenges such as gaining
equal recognition and finding a balance between
dedicating time to their craft and their families.
Lela Llorens, Ph.D., former chair of the
department of occupational therapy, said she was
attracted to the profession because she wanted to
help people and was grateful the field offered
leadership roles where other health disciplines fell
When Llorens joined the UF faculty in 1971,
Jantzen mentored her and helped her adjust to the
administrative nuances of being a professor at a
"I knew she was going to retire at some point,"
Llorens said. "I made her agree to stay five years
longer because I wanted to learn from her. She was a
strong, no-nonsense woman who took a mentor role
with people who worked with her."
Llorens said she worked to make her voice heard
during interdepartmental committee meetings,
especially when she was the only woman.
"There tended to be lower expectations for
women, especially if you were the only one in the
room," Llorens said. "It was always amusing to me
to think I was going to surprise somebody with my
Eileen Fennell, Ph.D., a professor in the
department of clinical and health psychology, was a
wife and mother of two young children when she
entered the college's clinical psychology doctoral
program in the early 1970s.
While the women's movement made it more
acceptable to pursue higher education, a grueling
schedule didn't make it easier to juggle life as a
full-time student and Super Mom. Fennell says she
struggled with the same guilt, sacrifice and stress
many working mothers face today.
"I remember what it was like to feel like you were
stuck between a rock and a hard place," she said.
"As the years went by it got better, and it got a little
easier for new generations to manage those things."
Fennell remembers waking up before sunrise on
weekends to drive her children to their swim meets
by 7 a.m. and cheering them on to victory in
between studying for exams by the poolside.
"I can remember sweating at times thinking,
'What am I going to do?'" she said. "My sense of it
was that the faculty was still adjusting to having
women with families in graduate school."
Claudette Finley, M.S., an associate professor
emeritus in the department of physical therapy, says
she never felt the proverbial glass ceiling hanging
over her head. Opportunities existed for those who
worked hard and wanted to advance their careers.
The student applicant pool, however, was primarily
female, something that was illustrated within
classrooms. Finley remembers teaching a class of 25
students in the late 1960s only one or two of the
students were male. By the time she retired in 2002,
the male to female student ratio was even.
"I'm really proud of our college and what it has
accomplished," Finley said. "Back then, I got to step
into that department and see role models I could
relate to. It showed me it was possible to do this." O
Not your typical teen
Eighteen-year-old medical student receives
Air Force scholarship
By Priscilla Santos
while most students her age are adjusting to their first semester of college,
Maria Kravchenko is studying anatomy in her first year of medical
school at UF.
You might say 18-year-old Kravchenko, a Ukranian-born U.S. citizen, is a bit
advanced for her age. In fact, she recently was commissioned into the Air Force
Kravenchenko, who received her bachelor's degree from UF in May and began
medical school in August, was accepted into the U.S. Air Force Corps Health
Professions Scholarship program, which provides tuition, books and other various
expenses during her four years in medical school.
"I saw the Air Force scholarship as a great alternative to loans for paying for
medical school," Kravchenko said.
Kravchenko earned her high school equivalency diploma at 14 and began taking
college classes. She says her home-schooling discipline prepared her for the
challenges of attending college and medical school at such an early age.
"Medical school is challenging but very rewarding," Kravchenko said. "I think
becoming a doctor will give me an opportunity to give back to society."
On Aug. 7, Kravchenko was commissioned as an Air Force Reserve second
After the storm
UTMB doctor continues residency
at UF after Hurricane Ike
Retired Brig. Gen. James Albritton swears Maria Kravchenko into the Air Force
Reserve Aug. 7. The newly commissioned 18-year-old Air Force reservist
received the Air Force Medical Corps Health Professions Scholarship.
lieutenant by retired Brig. Gen. James Albritton, a friend of the Kravchenko family.
Kravchenko will serve on inactive-duty status during medical school.
After graduating from medical school, 2nd Lt. Kravchenko will be promoted to
captain and complete postgraduate training while serving on active-duty status in a
military medical facility or in a civilian residency program. She will then fulfill a
minimum of four years on active-duty service one year for every year of medical
school the Air Force sponsored. 0
By Anne Myers
n the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, which devastated much of the Texas coastline,
residents at the University of Texas Medical Branch were forced to relocate.
The UF College of Medicine department of otolaryngology has taken in
Camysha Wright, M.D., a fifth-year ear, nose and throat resident from UTMB in
Galveston, Texas, until she is able to return home.
"I'm really happy they agreed to let me come here because they didn't have to,"
Wright's classmates have gone to other hospitals in the country until UTMB is able
to take them back. The medical branch was flooded through the first floor during the
storm and is not estimated to reopen for another one to three months while repairs are
being made. Because of the extensive damage, the price tag for recovery is steep, about
$710 million when lost revenues and evacuation costs are added in to the price of
rebuilding, according to university estimates.
Patients at UTMB were evacuated before the storm, and the hospital is currently
only open for emergencies. The doctors at surrounding hospitals have taken on more
patients to help, Wright said.
Wright's transition to Shands at UF has been relatively smooth, but she has
encountered some difficulties. She has to learn a new computer system and find her
way around a new medical center.
"Everyone has been great here, though, so that makes it easier," Wright said.
Even though she is settling into her new surroundings, Wright is still dealing with
hurricane issues back home. Her house was flooded, and she and her husband lost
many of their belongings, including their car. Since he is still working in Texas, it is
hard for her to be away from him and have to watch the rebuilding process from afar.
While she is in Gainesville, Wright is staying with fellow resident, Sonia
Deshmukh, who has been a great help, she said.
Because she is able to continue her residency while UTMB is being restored, Wright
is still on track to complete her training on time in June 2009. She hopes to go into
general ENT private practice with a focus on allergies. 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he iciest news nd HSC events
More diversity in health care could improve patient outcomes
By April Frawley Birdwell
In the 1950s, when Louis
Sullivan, M.D., was applying
to medical schools, students
didn't worry about how to pay
for medical education. They
worried about being accepted.
"If you got in, there would be scholarship
money available," said Sullivan, the former U.S.
secretary of health and human services under
President George H.W. Bush and dean emeritus
of the Morehouse College of Medicine. "Now
scholarship dollars are in short supply. Students
depend on loans to finance their education."
The high cost of health education, particularly
medical school, is just one of the factors that
keeps some minority students from pursuing
careers in health care or from entering lower-
paying fields such as family medicine, said
Sullivan, who spoke at UF Oct. 23 as part of the
HSC's third Diversity Dialogue, a series intended
to raise awareness about diversity in the health
And with the changing demographics of the
United States by 2050 there will no longer be a
white majority population, according to the U.S.
Census Bureau the issue of bringing more
minority workers into health care is no longer
solely an issue of equality, it's a critical need.
"We are experiencing a period of increasing
diversity, racially and ethnically, more so than
any time in my lifetime," Sullivan said. "If we are
going to have a health system that serves them
well, we have to indeed see that we train
physicians, nurses and health professionals who
are able to relate to that population.
"Good health outcomes require not just a
scientific base but the ability to communicate with
one's patients so information is believed, complied
with and recommended actions are taken."
About 30 percent of the population is Hispanic,
African-American or Native-American, but only 9
percent of nurses, 5 percent of doctors and 6
percent of dentists belong to one of these minority
groups, said Sullivan, who led a 15-member
commission that examined the issue of diversity
in health care.
"Those data are an improvement over what
existed in the 1950s and 1960s, but they are far
Dr. Louis Sullivan, the former U.S. secretary ot health and human services under George H.W. Bush,
spoke at the HSC's third Diversity Dialogue Oct. 23.
from what they should be," Sullivan said.
The commission's report, released in 2004,
issued 37 recommendations on how to improve
diversity in health care. The report has since
spawned the formation of several groups across
the country committed to improving the number
of minorities entering health-care fields.
One such group is the Florida Alliance for
Health Professions Diversity, which formed in
2007 to boost the number of minorities in health
care so it mirrors state demographics. UF and
Shands HealthCare renewed their commitment to
the alliance's goals during a signing ceremony a
few hours before Sullivan's talk.
"This is a dynamic, growing alliance," Sullivan
said. "Already there are programs at Florida
Memorial University and Florida International
University to make nursing programs more
available. I certainly will be following work under
way in Florida because I am very much
encouraged by what has happened so far."
Programs at community colleges that make
earning a four-year degree more feasible could
help broaden the pipeline of students entering the
health professions, Sullivan said. The Sullivan
Commission found that while a large number of
Hispanic and African-American students attend
community college, only 18 percent of those
students go on to earn degrees from four-year
Ultimately, though, creating a more diverse
health workforce may require a change in how
Americans think of health education, said
Sullivan, who suggested thinking of health
education expenses as an investment in the
"We know we have national security needs,
there is no question about that, but we need to
make sure we don't ignore our domestic needs,"
Sullivan said. "We have citizens not getting the
health care they need and the education they need.
(Investing in health education) not only useful for
them but will make them more valuable members
of society." 0
Scientists close in on method to
fight deadly childhood cancer
multicenter team of researchers,
including scientists from UF, has
discovered a way to potentially block
the growth of neuroblastoma, a type of
cancer responsible for 15 percent of all cancer
deaths in children.
Working with human cell lines and tissue samples, researchers
described online in the journal Nature how they were able to short-
circuit genetic processes that apparently contribute to neuroblastomas
- tumors that arise from the developing nervous system in children
and often appear in the abdomen, chest or neck.
Concentrating on a gene known as ALK, the scientists used a
small-molecule inhibitor a technique common to many drugs to
block abnormalities that apparently cause neuroblastomas.
Neuroblastomas are extremely rare, appearing in about 600 patients
annually in the United States, according to the National Institutes of
Health. About half of the patients with neuroblastoma are diagnosed
before the age of 18 months. In 40 percent of cases, the cancer has
spread to other parts of the body by the time doctors discover it.
Treatment usually involves surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, and
transplantation for high-risk patients.
"We need to find a home run for these kids," said Wendy B. London,
Ph.D., a research associate professor of epidemiology, biostatistics and
health policy research at the UF College of Medicine and a member of
the UF Shands Cancer Center. "A targeted therapy to treat patients with
ALK mutations would be a real
Led by Dana-Farber Cancer
Institute researchers Rani E. George,
M.D., an assistant professor of
pediatrics at Harvard Medical
School, and A. Thomas Look, M.D.,
a professor of pediatrics at Harvard,
the scientists analyzed the ALK gene
in 94 tumors representative of
general neuroblastomas and 30
neuroblastoma cell lines.
WENDY B. LONDON, Ph.D.
WENDY B. LONDON, Scientists discovered that ALK
abnormalities in a subset of
neuroblastoma cells appear to interfere with the natural cell-death
processes. Furthermore, they found some of the ALK mutations
were sensitive to a tiny organic molecule known as TAE684, a
discovery that may be useful in efforts to create drugs to staunch
In addition, researchers used gene-transfer techniques to initiate
ALK-related cancer in rodent cells. These transduced
neuroblastomas also appear vulnerable to the small molecule,
known as an ALK inhibitor.
The tumor samples were obtained from the Children's Oncology
Group Neuroblastoma Tumor Bank. COG is an NIH/National
Cancer Institute cooperative research coalition that conducts
pediatric cancer clinical and biological trials, including specimen
collection and statistical analyses. UF is one of three sites of the
COG Statistics and Data Center, where the study design, data
collection and statistical analyses of the data take place.
The current findings dovetail with the recent discovery of the
role of ALK mutations in both inherited and non-inherited
versions of neuroblastoma published Aug. 24 in Nature by
researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
"This research group looked at neuroblastoma in a totally
different and complementary way to ours and came up with similar
results, validating the role of ALK mutations," said pediatric
oncologist Yael P. Mosse, M.D., of The Children's Hospital of
Philadelphia. "A unique aspect of their work is they proved in a
model system that these mutations can indeed be cancer-causing."
With samples they had collected from families for the past 15
years, as well as additional data from COG, Children's Hospital of
Philadelphia scientists traced the genetic roots of many
neuroblastomas to ALK mutations findings that open the door
to genetic screenings for the disease as well as possible therapies.
Ultimately, researchers hope drug treatments can be developed
to disrupt the cancer cell-signaling process. They are designing a
clinical trial that would test small molecules against the cancer-
causing mutations in the gene.
"This is the epitome of translational research," said London,
who is also the principal investigator of the COG Statistics and
Data Center at UF. "We will use what we have learned about the
sensitivity of ALK mutations to an ALK inhibitor and attempt to
translate this knowledge to the development of targeted therapy for
treatment of neuroblastoma patients in the clinic." 0
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Sk 8 I T6_ 1nB
The sugar trap
Fructose hampers hormone that
controls appetite, UF study finds
By April Frawley Birdwell
would all those years chewing candy and u .
slurping sugary sodas come back to haunt
you? Perhaps. A new UF study in rats
shows that a fructose-filled diet blocks the appetite-
controlling hormone leptin from doing its job,
setting the body up for future obesity.
Leptin is critical in controlling appetite and
energy expenditure, and scientists have long linked
leptin resistance to obesity. And several studies have
shown that overconsumption of fructose, a sugar
found in everything from apples to cookies, could be
playing a significant role in the obesity epidemic.
But the UF study, recently published in the
American Journal ofPhysiology Regulatory,
Integrative and Comparative Physiology, is the first to
link fructose and leptin resistance.
UF researchers found that rats became resistant ALEXANDRA SHAPIRO, Ph.D. (LEFT)
AND PHILIP J. SCARPACE, Ph.D.
to leptin after being fed a diet high in fructose for A P
six months. Although there were no visible signs
this change was occurring, the fructose-fed rats gained considerably more weight than rats
that never ate fructose when both groups were switched to a high-fat diet.
"Leptin resistance is a condition that leads to obesity in rats when coupled with a high-fat
diet. The surprising finding here was that increasing the amount of fructose in the diet
without increasing the amount of calories led to leptin resistance and later exacerbated
obesity when paired with a high-fat diet," said Philip J. Scarpace, Ph.D., a professor of
pharmacology and therapeutics in the UF College of Medicine and the senior author of the
According to this study's findings, fructose itself does not cause obesity, but alters the way
"It blocks leptin action most likely by blocking leptin entry into the brain," said
Alexandra Shapiro, Ph.D., an assistant scientist in the department of pharmacology and
therapeutics and the lead author of the study.
Typically, leptin resistance develops with obesity, but this study showed that high dietary
fructose causes a "silent" leptin resistance, Shapiro said. It develops undetected, but when
the high-fat diet is introduced it causes greater than expected obesity.
"Fructose sets you up," Scarpace said. "If these findings are applicable to humans, then
there could be consequences of eating a diet high in fructose, but only if you also consume
an excessive amount of calories." 0
UF researchers find biomarker
linked to kidney damage after
u j! i surgeons may soon be
b hl to identify within an
h.i u r of surgery which
patients are at high risk for kidney
injury, UF College of Medicine
researchers said Oct. 14 at the 2008
Clinical Congress of the American
College of Surgeons in San
Among medical concerns
associated with complex heart
surgery, kidney damage ranks only THOMS B ,
THOMAS BEAVER, M.D.
behind death, heart attack and
stroke. Current blood tests warn of potential kidney problems
within one or two days after heart surgery. UF surgeons believe
developing a test that identifies at-risk patients while they are still
in the operating room could lead to treatments that prevent kidney
In a study of patients who had complex heart surgery, UF
researchers found a correlation between postsurgery kidney
damage and the early presence of a protein called neutrophil-
gelatinase-associated-lipocalin, or NGAL, in the blood. NGAL
and other inflammatory biomarkers were detected as soon as one
hour after completion of surgery, compared with the current test
of serum creatinine, which does not show injury until one to two
"The problem with kidney injury is that the markers we
commonly use, like measuring the serum creatinine, often change
when it is already too late in the game," said presenter Tad Kim,
M.D., a UF surgical resident who is spending two years in the
laboratory as part of his training. "The damage is already done
and you can try to help rescue the kidneys, but you haven't really
caught it early enough. It would be nice if we could see something
via a simple blood or urine test that tells us earlier in the process
that the kidneys are undergoing injury so we can intervene instead
The study's principal investigator, Thomas Beaver, M.D., an
associate professor of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, said 10
percent to 40 percent of patients undergoing heart surgery are at
risk for some level of kidney injury.
"The kidneys are sensitive and highly dependent on their blood
supply, which can be impaired during and after surgery," Beaver
said. "They get 20 percent of the body's blood flow, so any debris
that is in the bloodstream at the time of surgery is at risk of
reaching the kidneys." 0
I M I rs
;;F-dW W '!!...
Social factors top race as
predictor of senior pain, disability
By Tracy Brown Wright
ace is less important in
predicting pain and
functional disability in
older adults than other factors,
such as socioeconomic status, a
recent UF study reports.
The study, published in the
journal Research in Nursing and
Health, sought to measure the
connection between pain and
functional disability in older
adults and focused on differences
between whites and blacks. The
researchers found that race is not
a significant predictor of pain
and functional disability, when other
"What we found is that race is less
pain and disability than less education
chronic conditions," said Ann Horgas
associate professor and associate dean
College of Nursing.
Previous studies have shown that bl
have more untreated pain and have les
medications than whites. However, m
examined pain sensitivities in blacks
an experimental laboratory setting rat
were performed on much younger sub
The UF study specifically looked at
community setting in downtown Detr
differences in pain and functional dis
been linked to limitations in physical
walking and carrying items like groce
Sixty percent of the respondents re
pain of some sort with 66 percent rep
limitations. Seventy-one percent said
activities as well.
There was a robust connection betv
More pain was associated with greater
limitations. This is an important find
practitioners because pain management
considered a top priority when treating
Black and white participants did no
intensity or duration of pain, although
reported more physical limitations. W
socioeconomic, demographic and heal
considered simultaneously, race no lox
association with disability.
"Pain needs to be treated in all seni
attention to the special circumstances
black Americans," Horgas said. 0
Areas with more Hispanic kids also have more
ANN HORGAS, Ph.D., R.N. By April Frawley Birdwell
children are exposed to nearly seven times more alcohol advertising if they attend a
factors were considered. school where at least one-fifth of the students are Hispanic, a new UF and University
of a factor in increased of Texas study shows.
n and income and more In a study of 63 schools in urban Chicago, researchers found there were 29 alcohol ads on
Ph.D., R.N., an average in the two-block radius surrounding schools with larger Hispanic populations
for research at the UF compared with an average of four ads around schools where less than one-fifth of students
were Hispanic. In all, the researchers counted 771 alcohol ads around the 27 schools with
acks report more pain, more Hispanic students and only 160 ads around the 36 schools with fewer Hispanic students,
ss access to pain the researchers reported online in the journal Ethnicity &Health.
ost of these studies that
and whites were done in "W e also know from previous research that
her than in a clinic and
jects. Hispanic children are at increased risk for
115 older adults in a
oi to determine alcohol use at young ages." Kelli Komro, Ph.D.
ability levels. Pamin has
functioning, such as
ries, which can affect
"This is a concern because we know from past research that exposure to ads is associated
ported experiencing with alcohol use and intentions to use alcohol," said Kelli Komro, Ph.D., an associate
sorting physical professor of epidemiology in the UF College of Medicine and Institute for Child Health
pain limited their social Policy and the study's principal investigator. "We also know from previous research that
Hispanic children are at increased risk for alcohol use at young ages."
een pain and disability. The ads around these schools, which housed kindergarten through eighth grades, were
ieen pain and disability.
physical and social also more likely to contain cartoon images and animals, Komro said. Some of the ads,
ing for health-care ranging from billboards to signs, also seemed to tie into Hispanic culture by featuring
nt often may not be Spanish words and the colors from the Mexican flag.
g older patients, There are more than 45 million Hispanic people living in the United States about 10
million more than there were in 2000 and the increase stems more from a baby boom than
t differ significantly in a population boom, according to a Pew Hispanic Center report released in October. About 20
black participants percent of public school students across the country are Hispanic, the report shows.
hen race, "Exposure to alcohol advertising has been shown to increase alcohol use and intention to
th variables were use alcohol, and marketers are aggressively capitalizing on the rapidly growing Hispanic
anger had a significant population, targeting their marketing efforts at this group," said Keryn Pasch, Ph.D., an
assistant professor of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas and the
ors with careful study's lead author. "Given these facts, I think it's critical to determine if alcohol advertising
that may affect older around schools is related to the ethnicity of the students and, if it is, to take steps to reduce
the exposure of high-risk groups to this negative influence." 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he latest news nd HSC events
Meet The Jawbreakers: (From left) Dr. Matt Dennis on vocals, guitar, and oral and
maxillofacial surgery; Dr. Larry Brock on drums and periodontics; Dr. Roger Wray on bass
and community dentistry; and Dr. Ron Watson on guitar and general dentistry.
By Anne Myers
With a list of about 50 classic
rock songs in its playlist, The
Jawbreakers are a hot band
in the UF College of Dentistry. The
band's name, the result of student
suggestions, is a humorous reminder
of its members' day jobs.
Matt Dennis, D.D.S., lead singer and guitar: Ron Watson,
D.M.D., guitar; Larry Brock, D.M.D., drums; and Roger
Wray, D.D.S., bass; are all professors in the college. They
have been playing together for a few years and have become
pretty popular with the dental students.
"Students like to see their professors doing something
other than dentistry," said Dennis, a clinical associate
professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
The Jawbreakers get together once a week to practice at
Dennis' house. After setting up their equipment and
sharing a few jokes, they jump right into a Tom Petty or Van
"We have fun, that's the main thing," said Wray, a clinical
associate professor who recently transferred to Shands
The band has played at several College of Dentistry
functions over the years, including the annual senior
banquet and holiday parties. They've even had a few outside
gigs, but haven't actively pursued those because, well, they
still have day jobs. If asked, though, they would love to play
for other colleges, said Watson, an associate professor in the
division of general dentistry.
Although they play mostly classic rock, one time they
performed the popular Outkast song, "Hey Ya," at a
dentistry event. The students went crazy and sang along,
which is what they all love about playing, the professors
While The Jawbreakers have found a fan base, in the end,
they really just do it for fun.
"I am grateful that I fell into such a great group of guys to
play with," said Brock, a clinical assistant professor in
Drills and forceps by day i. and U by night
Drills and forceps by day ... GUITARE and DRUME y ni
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,t-onraie- it- leirr iiinure ibt-on dieir e\per ieri~e i hid
1.1 Here ire 'e in~e reI
Sernard Okech, Ph.D., a Kenyan native, contracted malaria three times as a child, at ages 5, 8 and 12.
"I was lucky," Okech says. "My dad could afford to drive me to the hospital to get me treatment. But what about the guy who doesn't
4 have a car and has to walk 20 miles or more to a clinic that doesn't have the medication he needs? Malaria, as with many other tropical
diseases, is closely associated with poverty."
A mosquito-transmitted disease, malaria is highly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization estimates there were 247
million cases of malaria in 2006 and 881,000 deaths.
As a researcher at UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute and the Whitney Laboratory, Okech is looking for methods to kill mosquitoes when
they are in the larval stage, before they mature and become malaria carriers.
"By understanding the basic biology of the mosquitoes, it will be possible to develop insecticides that only kill mosquitoes without harming
the environment," said Okech, a research assistant scientist in the College of Public Health and Health Professions' environmental health
program. "With every new discovery we are getting closer and closer to the silver bullet."
Okech's work became deeply personal a few years ago when his teenage brother in Kenya died of malaria after a broken pipe outside his school
remained unfixed and created standing water, a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
"I feel that malaria is one of those diseases that we shouldn't even be talking about anymore," Okech says. "We have all the tools to control it,
and it has been done in developed countries for years. It is sad that people can die from a disease that we can control." --Jill Pease
ainesville was a familiar place to Emel Ozdora, who spent summers here
with her cousins when she was growing up. But moving from Turkey to
attend graduate school at UF still wasn't easy.
"It took some time to adapt," says Ozdora, a communications assistant in
the College of Dentistry and a UF doctoral student. "Adapt to being alone
away from home, adapt to being a student in the U.S. where people have a
really different approach to education."
First of all, relationships between professors and students in the U.S. and
in Turkey are very different, Ozdora says.
"Professors here are so much more friendlier and are much more helpful.
There is not such a high power difference, which took some time to adapt to,
but I really enjoy it now. I can just talk to my professors and discuss issues
much more comfortably."
In Turkey, college is similar to high school. Professors lecture, students
listen and there is little discussion, Ozdora says.
"Here, the first thing I needed to adapt to as a graduate student is that
professors don't go over the material chapter by chapter," she says. "You have
to come to class having done the reading and be ready for class discussion."
Ozdora seems to have adjusted well to the change. She recently won the UF
Outstanding Interntational Student Award.
And though she feels she has adapted to living in the U.S., she still reads
Turkish newspapers online and keeps a Turkish blog, where she talks about
her experiences living here. She is also an active member of the Turkish
student community in Gainesville, having served as vice president and
president of the Turkish Student Association. -Karen Rhodenizer
he summer she graduated from high school, Julie Henderson
walked the Green Line of Beirut, visited the West Bank and
toured a garbage dump in Cairo where the collectors lived,
worked and raised families. Basically, your typical summer vacation.
But even the months she spent traveling across the Middle East or the
trips to third-world countries she took with her father could not prepare
her for her first visit to China in 1990.
"It was so incredibly alien," says Henderson, an Australian native who
now develops online cultural training programs for the UF College of
Pharmacy's distance learning programs. "It was the year after
Tian'anmen. It was backward. There were two different types of currency,
one for the Chinese and one for foreigners. After two months, I figured I
could never live there. It was too hard."
Eighteen years later, China is booming. Henderson, who has been back
to China three times, has teamed with UF engineers to create a virtual
version of the country, which lets visitors practice interacting in real
situations before they go. The project, called Second China, is housed
within the Internet program Second Life.
"I'm really interested in the cultural and communications aspects of
these 3-D virtual worlds," Henderson says. "I believe there is a place for
them in health-care education."
Before joining the College of Pharmacy staff, Henderson taught English
to foreign students at her family's now-closed language school, the
English House. From teaching and living in other countries for so long,
only a wisp of her Australian accent remains, though it comes back when
she talks to other Aussies.
"I'll get halfway through a word and not know how to end it," she says,
laughing. "I'll get stuck in accent limbo." -April Frawley Birdwell
Sandy aspects of my own culture that I had never
JV J thought about as important not only became
SI apparent, but I also feltsaudade (this Portuguese
wordfor a feeling of melancholy cannot be translated to
English). Ifelt saudade for things such as having my first name
pronounced correctly, being hugged, socializing with colleagues,
being approached naturally instead of having to approach
everybody, expressing myself in my own language, talking with
people over the phone instead of with answering machines,
having time for lunch instead of eating during meetings, and
wearing my jeans to work."
For Brazilian-born Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, Ph.D.,
R.N., an assistant professor in the College of Nursing who
moved to the United States in 2000, adjusting to
American culture has been a bit of a challenge. While
serving a faculty member at the University of
Massachusetts-Amherst, Stacciarini wrote a paper on the
cultural differences she experienced, referenced above.
Although the paper took some fellow faculty members
aback, it helped to open up dialogue on ways to respect
and welcome those of different cultures into the working
Stacciarini has been at UF since 2006 and says its
multicultural environment gives people an opportunity [o
discover a variety of perspectives. She admits she misses
the stronger sense of community she felt in Brazil but ha'
been able to forge her own ties in UF and in Gainesville
This sense of community has driven Stacciarini's
research. She received a grant to conduct a community-
based participatory research study on depression in
Latina women. Her respect for the community is why she
was attracted to the CBPR approach, which enlists
community members in the research.
Tracy Brown Wright
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A h rit, v, hcn j coIlljeaue told hci abIou[ the cai quakee in China's Sichuan Province,
tjuliln \u, Ph [), didn' linkk ajn\ [hine %.is ', wrong.
**ThLe ai e ajic aj\ jla Lhciquiakes aj[ rth pj i ot1 Sichuan," says Xu, a researcher in the
i o-lilege Me1dicine Mc\Kniht BLain Iniiitut c' h[. hills from Chengdu, the capital of the
Nichuan pi'v since "He [tod me it vn a a ', and I ajid -It should be OK, nobody lives there.'
Then he 'aid j hilh :ch>il had colljpsed '. iah L111.1 kids inside."
Nhckcd. Xu 'cjalnnld [ih Inlci nl[ tli mnIoe inli nl.[ion. The number of reported deaths
kept c'-. im uapidl\, and Xu isaL lid calling hci icljlaes. The phone rang, but no one
`n_',eled in\ thle llnun ibe lhe called [h`[ dJ.\
I didn'[ e nl\ i[hin done thali da\, I v.j'a lu'[ ',nL iL ed and scared," says Xu, who studies
Mouse models n neuL-dceiiLjlnive dijmeass in [he laj of David Borchelt, Ph.D. "I don't
van [o cle [h`l[ \]\ `jea `ln "
He la mill\ and it i nds vci sL a hbu[ lnos l 11,126.96.36.199i people were killed, including many
childcn '. hoe 'ie ct iushd hen ch h hil building cl lapsed. Xu says shoddy construction at
[cs schools m: \ he mleoic [o bhil m [hn [hie eai quakee itself.
LM\ t lend [old me, hundllicds kids v' cie j.kine hor help when the building collapsed,"
Xu j\ a, shjkinc hci hled "Ih's [ciL bi "
\\ ih [hie ledci l the F iindship A.A'il[oun t hinese Students and Scholars, Xu helped
s'i up .i lund [o cillec mone teilici eit ati [s \\ ih [wo other universities, the group was
able [u send almost $.-U,UUU ut tuina [o jid in building efforts.
The money will help rebuild a school. April Frawley Birdwell
i l l ,
after graduating high school in 1999 and spending a year in Cuba's mandatory
military service, Leo Pena didn't do anything for two years. No work. No school.
It was too risky.
"With the Cuban government, you have to play it really safe," says Pena, a UF medical
student who was held in his native Cuba for three years after his family won U.S. visas
through the Department of State's visa lottery program. "I ended up wasting three years
Even worse, his mother, father and sister were already in the United States living in
Miami. Only Pena was held back. But in 2002, Pena boarded a plane bound for Miami.
Thirty-five minutes later he was in the United States.
"I was like, that's it? That's how far I have been? Thirty-five minutes?" Pena says.
As happy as he was to be with his family and in the U.S., pursuing an education in a
new country created its own set of challenges. Most schools wouldn't accept him without
a permanent resident card, and one of the institutions that did wanted him to take
English as a second language classes. But his English was fine. So he enrolled at a
Broward Community College and then at Florida Atlantic University, driving 100 miles
tech dj. \ [ el [I. cli: He V' nid l. be j d .c .i, buti I[ i.ui[ l hi pci lrin eln [ teide n[
iLd hie v. ldn'f d e b[ i ck -ic. Ici medical ch-Il N'. he nm i.Lied in n i[h
"0I hope," e'' I "'.-, 2.1ine hbe b. jn jcutji\ Bui [elen I cE[ n mi penllnem
1cidcn cjId "
Noi'v. j ccld-\cj i medical Cl udcln, Peni becCminc U N, c lu[ci in Oi )bci in j
Cciclnn\ V. 1[h 1,21.11 pe.rpic in Miami Hall 'I [hern v'cie k uthbn'
"I v1. ied [0. 01c., bhui I ml ed i [le d aid Iin i b\ ) i ccek and i hl l," Pena .a\' "I'll
vle ne\ [ime Ap ,1 Fia.,i; Bo,,., 11
A 1[i [ic\ hid bccn in [ile Uninld Nijic [1.,, \ciL,. Elenj Kuienvij, Ph [), jnd
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dilh rcul[ dcci'll.n Adilu'i-l [. Anileican l11i hlid bccn liad, bul in RUtJia.
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"The [Plc -iilik [line j d [h[e \e i' alek ,Aci le V lc \ hlid i1 'cineni[ in RuIt sI,"
. j\ [KuinAlel,., 'i[lin2 in lei ,lricc in r[ie U F (t ancl Ltcnleiic' ReK saich t oinplcx
"M Inl\ .L ,ui I lend- hjd [o ch nce [h1ei held: 1t Inicic[ c.'mplei[el. F.i u: 11 i %; i)
Il o[ cceplaIc h ._- rile i n [ 11llc i b'ii iOL L do c i'i I n [o llc huld The Oi[hli [lli 2
\' 1 s ho-l. c' 1. ill im.it ou I child
"\\c linkk \.e made [hie liclh[ deci-ion "
The couple and [hilii [ihl _n-\c i .ld dJutclh i rnieo'd [r No.lih t a. i.lini in 'L 3
al[tL Kuitnor.v 'm.',, Itciejird [o rile Nm1llonml I[[li[U[ir 't Hea.llih a d ever'[u ll\ [ -.
UF in 21. i?3 AlIh, .uth [ \ cach [ a\cd in [[Illl 1., n rield:- :he in science and he in
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Kuicni1' developed nlil[ii\ 'inlulili'L. and v,.iked ,i [hi ca,.mpin\ ier..hlin2 MiciLrl[ \\uid .Htri he Ru'imn
naike[ N -v., ihe i, [the t illegc l \Medicine dcepiLmi cn 't 'lUei i\ '10-[o exp [ Ii inmuljiion And alhueh
,he once '[udled iI[ t i l[ 1 [ I1 erleI ic Ill[il[I 'Ktc i' nI'O- Violkin '. i[h \\ IIIim i anc \M u), [L develop
cancd1i diut' uinle c2 lcl mdh'iin kinoe i i [ai2ed
The plil2h[ 1 .t cikniu[I in Ruili hij,,' impied iIn [c n[ll \ i, Kud nlerh .\ NOV' V., Ilih inal\ Rubian
cienlli'' inl [ik U N [cic ic 11101m i ci en[rlic ci ,lliabouiiLion bel[i.ccl i1e Coiu n[ ic
"The t old \\i '*.j imall\ bad [ime Ioi bohih cuu nllc k," Kuilnov jdd' "Bohil hv 11i >.>-c d 0\ch1nge 1 i[h
bhiiinl[oilin jnl d idem, n>h,. Ulldelmllndin2 i,[[li cUlbl e Ui i'uI [ h Olidin2 1 0u[ ,01 plobihlcn and
miiund i[mndinr2 Api l Fi i1u. v B,,uJ:, II
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Dog en route to recovery thanks to Humane Society and UF veterinarians
By Sarah Carey
badly injured young
stray dog that
happened to wander
into the bushes near the
Alachua County Humane
Society is alive today and at
home with his new owners,
thanks to caring Humane
Society workers and surgeons
at the UF Veterinary Medical
"He was discovered Monday morning, Oct.
6, by staff members, and he was obviously
dehydrated and in shock," said Kirk
Eppenstein, the Humane Society's executive
director, adding that while no one saw the
accident, it appeared the dog had been hit by
"The Humane Society made him
comfortable until he could be transported to
Alachua County Animal Services for
mandatory holding to see if an owner would
come forward," Eppenstein said.
No one did. After consulting with a few
local veterinarians who gave the dog -
nicknamed Auto a poor prognosis, members
of the Humane Society went to the media and
to the general public seeking donations to help
pay for the dog's medical care.
"Staff from the Humane Society refused to
give up on Auto and worked with him daily,"
Eppenstein said. "He had the presence of mind
or the luck to wander into the bushes near our
offices, and although our resources are always
spread thin, we just felt he deserved a chance."
Eight days later, Auto arrived at UF's VMC,
where he was evaluated by orthopedic surgeon
Antonio Pozzi, D.V.M., and resident Alastair
"Radiographs showed a fracture of his left
femur, a left hip luxation, right pelvic fracture
and small fractures of the left femoral head,"
said Christine Ross, the junior veterinary
student who served as part of the treatment
Surgery was performed Oct. 14 to repair the
"Five pins and two screws were used to
stabilize the multiple fractures," Ross said.
Two days later, Auto received a total hip
replacement, removing small bone chips and
replacing his left hip joint with a new titanium
"He is a young dog and has soft bones, so we
are taking multiple precautions during his
recovery," Ross said, adding that Auto would
be in a sling for the next few weeks to prevent
him from bearing any weight on the injured
Eppenstein said that the good Samaritan
who covered the lion's share of Auto's
veterinary expenses estimated to be more
than $6,000 had decided to give the dog a
"His recovery will likely be long and slow, but
his prognosis is very good," said Coomer. O
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he latest news nd HSC events
New rehabilitation and fitness
center launched at UF Small
By Sarah Carey
veterinarians at the UF Veterinary Medical
Center now have a new tool for helping
Fido get back on his feet: an underwater
A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the launch of this new rehabilitative treatment
modality, part of the UF Veterinary Rehabilitation and Fitness Center, was
held Sept. 15 and included a demonstration of the new treadmill, which is
housed in the VMC between the small and large animal hospitals and adjacent
to the equine treadmill room.
Several UF faculty and staff members, along with special guests Victoria
Ford and Janine Tash, D.V.M., owner of Aalatash Veterinary Hospital and
member of the UF CVM class of 1983, attended the event. The treadmill was
made possible through financial gifts from Ford, who is past treasurer of the
Pals & Paws dog agility group in Jacksonville and a dog agility friend of Tash's.
"After competing in agility for 12 years, I observed all the injured dogs going
to Aiken, S.C., for treatment and wondered why the UF veterinary school was
not their choice," Ford said. "I learned that UF had no such program and the
agility dogs needed special treatment."
Tash was meanwhile working on Ford's two competition dogs and mentioned
the need for an underwater treadmill.
"I saw a need and was able to assist the veterinary school in acquiring it with
a gift of $60,000," Ford said.
After a meeting with college administrators, Ford learned that not only did
agility dogs have rehabilitation needs, so did other canine athletes as well as
surgical and neurological patients.
She subsequently decided to support this goal by establishing the James
Edmundson Ingraham Endowed Fund in Veterinary Medicine with an
additional gift in memory of her great-grandfather, a businessman,
entrepreneur and railroad company executive whom Ford describes as "a
moving force in the development of the state of Florida from the 1880s through
the early 1900s."
"I am excited to be a part of the development of the small animal
rehabilitation area in the veterinary hospital and look forward to its growth,"
Ford said. She also made an additional donation toward creating a small animal
rehabilitation area in the soon-to-be-constructed new Veterinary Research and
Education Center, which includes a new small animal hospital.
Directing the new rehabilitation program will be staff surgeon Kristin
Kirkby, D.V.M., a 2003 graduate of the UF veterinary college who recently
Dr. Kristin Kirkby smiles at her dog, Bailey, while veterinary technician
Wendy Davies monitors operation of the new underwater treadmill.
Bailey gamely participated in the treadmill demonstration during a
recent ribbon-cutting event.
completed her residency in small animal surgery. Kirkby is now pursuing a
Under Kirkby's direction, limited hydrotherapy services are now being
offered to certain clients, primarily animals suffering from joint problems or
muscle loss, which often results from orthopedic or neurological disease.
"There is a huge benefit for dogs with spinal cord injury that are unable to or
have difficulty walking on land," Kirkby said.
Large animal patients are also benefiting from the new treadmill.
"The goal is to reduce pressure on the muscle groups and to allow for
weightless movements as part of physical therapy to improve muscle strength,"
said equine resident Johanna Elfenbein, adding that the major problem with
recumbence the inability to stand in large animals is that their large
muscle groups have decreased blood flow, causing muscles to die over time.
Kirkby would like to see the service expand and make use of other
rehabilitation modalities such as low-level laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound
and shock-wave therapy.
"One of the big things we plan to push for is weight loss," she said. "We
envision a wellness center that would provide exercise and nutrition therapy,
along with pain management and rehabilitation."
Kirkby said the buoyancy of the water decreases the impact of an animal's
weight on its joints, and the resistance provided by walking in water builds
"Depending on the height of the water, you can target different muscle areas
and joints," she said.
Other veterinary colleges and hospitals are using aquatic therapy for small
animals, but UF is the only one in South Georgia or North Florida.
"My vision is that we will become very much a leader in clinical services but
also in research to validate why we're doing this," Kirkby said. 0
By Sarah Carey
Two scientists with the UF colleges of Veterinary
Medicine and Public Health and Health
Professions will help monitor environmental
testing and exposure assessments for Florida's
component in an unprecedented national study
aimed at improving the health of America's children.
UF's component of the $54 million Florida contract amounts to approximately
$10 million, administrators said.
Nancy Szabo, Ph.D., director of the Analytical Toxicology Corps Laboratory and
a research assistant professor with the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Natalie
Freeman, Ph.D., associate professor and interim director of the College of Public
Health and Health Professions' environmental health program, will partner with
lead investigator Mark Hudak, M.D., a UF pediatrician at Shands Jacksonville, on
UF's piece of the project known as the National Children's Study.
One of the largest collaborative efforts in health-related research ever, the NCS
will involve a consortium of federal partners, including the National Institutes of
Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The NCS's goal is to ultimately enroll 100,000 children nationally. To that end,
the NIH has selected 105 counties in the country, including four in Florida, to
participate. Each urban county selected will ultimately assemble a group of 1,000
children. Rural counties will assemble a group of 600 children, all of whom will be
followed prenatally and through the first 21 years of life.
In Florida, the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine will be taking
the lead role as the Florida coordinating center. The University of South Florida
and the University of Central Florida also are involved. UF's efforts will focus
primarily on 600 children from Baker County, although Freeman and Szabo also
will participate in the Orange and Hillsborough county sites.
"Having Mark Hudak as principal investigator of the Baker location makes a lot
of sense during the first years of the study, since the primary focus will be on
recruiting women before and during pregnancy and following them through
delivery," said Freeman, whose background is in residential exposure assessment,
with a particular focus on children. She and Szabo also are excited about the
potential for additional intercollege collaborations that may ensue at UF from
Freeman said the NCS is essentially an observational exposure assessment study
as well as a longitudinal epidemiology study. Environmental assessments will
include household, air, water and soil around the household. More specific
decisions relating to which contaminants will be analyzed are expected to be
finalized in the next few months. Specific contaminants to be tested will vary
"We will gather information about lifestyle activities and collect environmental
samples for analysis of a wide range of agents," Freeman said. "Hopefully this data
will provide information about what children are exposed to and how it impacts
She added that the Florida contract should provide for many jobs in Dade,
Hillsborough, Orange and Baker counties and ought to be a welcome boon for the
entire state in lean economic times.
"It is expected that the folks manning the phone banks, and people trained for
home visits and the collection of various environmental/biological samples will
come largely from the area," said Szabo, whose primary role will be to provide
quality control and quality assurance for the Baker County piece of the study.
"This extends beyond the collection or manipulation of data; it involves
verification and evaluation of the personnel involved, biological and environmental
protocols, sampling and site activities and verification/evaluation of corrective
actions," Szabo said.
Although most of the time-consuming, routine efforts for Baker County such
as phone banks, surveys and site visits for collection of biological and/or
environmental samples have been subcontracted to a company that has its own
quality control system, its activities will still be monitored and confirmed by UF
The NCS coordinating center has not yet finalized decisions regarding which
analyses will be conducted or who will provide those analyses on collected
environmental and biological samples.
Freeman said that besides Szabo's role in monitoring quality assurance and
control which Freeman called "critical" for a study of this size it was possible
that other veterinary medical faculty who conduct research relevant to both
humans and animals might at some point be involved in other aspects of the NCS.
"One of the focuses of the NCS is trying to understand the development of
asthma," Freeman said. "In the veterinary college, there already is an established
group conducting asthma-related research."
Along with asthma, however, diabetes, obesity and autism are specifically stated
interests within the NCS. Szabo and Freeman both said all these areas could afford
the possibility of future intracollege collaborations at UF.
"As time goes by and the Florida branch of the NCS gets started, other
opportunities of this nature will surely appear," Szabo said. O
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he latest news nd HS events
Research center to
disparities in cancer
By Karen Rhodenizer
he National Institutes of Health announced a five-year, $5.3 million
ant to the UF College of Dentistry to fund a new research center
aimedd at reducing disparities in head
and neck cancer survival through
prevention and early detection in
low-income, minority men.
It is the first NIH-funded center
to focus on head and neck cancer in
the Southeast. Minority men suffer a
disproportionate burden of death and
impairment from head and neck
cancer. Each year, more than 11,000
people die because of head and neck l
cancers in the United States and 34,000
new cases are diagnosed.
It is the 10th leading cause of death
among African-American men, who
suffer twice the mortality of white men.
In Florida, African-Americans are
diagnosed at a younger age and more
advanced disease stage compared with
whites. Most African-American men will
survive about 21 months after diagnosis, while
white men will survive about 40 months.
For some people, oral cancer begins with
mouth sore or perhaps a suspicious spot found h\
a dentist during a regular checkup. Patients
generally need to see specialists for treatmeri.
which forces them to deal with new doctors jIn ir
emotionally vulnerable time. Surgery for oral ir ni
is often disfiguring and radiation may cause 1 .... .I I hK
ability to speak.
"As we talked with local residents, we learned about the negative
impact on people's lives," said Henrietta Logan, Ph.D., a professor at the
College of Dentistry and the center's director. "We found that many
community leaders, who were invited to meetings because of their
community involvement, had been touched by this disease within their own
families. They had stories of relatives who were diagnosed too late."
The new multidisciplinary center will be located at the College of
Dentistry in Gainesville, and programs will extend to satellite clinics and
rural locations throughout the state. The successful grant application was the
result of collaboration with many professional associations and collaborative
groups, including Florida A&M University, the Alachua County Organization
for Rural Needs and regional ministerial networks, officials said.
For more information about the center, please visit its Web site at
Grant could help
UF vascular surgeon has received a $1.1 million five-year
National Institutes of Health grant to evaluate a common
surgical procedure, called an arm fistula, used to create
access sites for patients needing hemodialysis.
Thomas S. Huber, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the
division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy at
UF's College of Medicine, will lead a
multidisciplinary team of UF faculty to define the
natural history of fistulas, a surgically created
connection between an artery and a vein.
Fistulas, which provide a single entry and exit
point for blood flow for hemodialysis, are a
common type of access for patients who need
hemodialysis, a method of removing waste
products from patients whose kidneys no
longer function effectively.
The study is designed to track the health
of patients who use this type of dialysis
access. The UF team will work with five other
centers across the country to outline practice
patterns and create surgical guidelines with the
aim of increasing the number of successful fistula
Huber said currently there is a higher than desired
failure rate when fistulas are first created. Through this
project, researchers hope to better understand why some
fistulas cannot be successfully formed initially and why
others do not mature, as they should, into the
necessary size for use. The answers to these
questions could provide cost savings and enhance
"The biggest single expense is maintaining
dialysis access," said Huber, adding that problems with
access sites can be quite frustrating for patients.
Although fistulas cannot be used for dialysis until three to four
months after they are created, they are the optimal access method
because they can be used for a long time and are resistant to infection,
UF vascular surgeons have about a 70 percent success rate in creating
fistulas, a statistic that is higher than the national average.
While hemodialysis patients have other options for hemodialysis
access, Huber said a functioning fistula is still a far better option than
About 400,000 people are currently on dialysis, Huber said. As the
population ages, this number is expected to grow. 0
UF physician to lead new
Breast Health Center
By Kandra Albury
hahla Masood, M.D., a UF
College of Medicine-Jacksonville
professor and chair of the
department of pathology and laboratory
medicine, has been appointed medical
director of the Shands Jacksonville
Breast Health Center.
Masood is an internationally
international awards, and is a renowned pathologist with a specific
interest in enhancing the quality of breast health care around the world.
Robert Nuss, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville
regional campus and associate vice president for health affairs, said
Masood's passion for breast care makes her the ideal candidate for the
"Her well-established national and international reputation as an
expert on breast cancer as well as her strong and dynamic leadership
promise an optimistic future for the Breast Health Center on our
campus," Nuss said.
As the director of the Breast Health Center, Masood plans to establish
a multidisciplinary team of physicians to provide comprehensive
services and programs for patients with breast disease. Pathologists,
radiologists, surgeons, oncologists and radiation therapists will work
together toward the goal of providing coordinated, optimal evaluation
and treatment of patients, and support for families and long-term
survivors. Other plans for the center include creating a breast health
advisory committee to monitor quality of care, making
recommendations for treatment and fostering clinical research. There
are also plans to create a high-risk breast clinic that will be used to
direct patients to early intervention services.
"I'm committed to the attainment of national accreditation for the
Breast Health Center," Masood said. "We want to distinguish ourselves
in this community as the place to go for breast health care."
Masood intends to build an infrastructure to allow members of the breast
team to conduct clinical trials and participate in translational research. She
will continue her research in breast cancer diagnosis and prevention by
using minimally invasive procedures and advanced molecular base
technologies to better identify high-risk breast cancer patients.
"Conducting studies at the bench and bringing the results to the
bedsides of our patients will result in the true translation of research,"
Masood said. "Research is the pulse of academic medicine." 0
A passion for healing,
educating and leading
UF doctor helps build successful
department in Jacksonville
By Kandra Albury
deciding to become a physician was easy for Arshag Mooradian, M.D., a
professor and chair of the department of medicine at the UF College of
Early in life he lost a childhood friend to diabetes. That loss taught him a valuable
lesson that human health is both precious and fragile and it set him on a
life-changing mission. He committed to studying medicine, honing his clinical skills
and engaging in lifelong learning all with the goal of helping patients improve and
preserve their health.
Deciding to become a medical educator also was easy for Mooradian. He discovered
that he learned best through teaching others. He credits residents and fellows with
motivating him to study even more just to keep up with their challenging questions.
But perhaps one of the easiest decisions Mooradian made in his professional career
was joining the faculty of the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville in 2006.
"I was flattered by the prospect of joining the ranks of this prestigious group of
clinicians and scholars on the Jacksonville campus," he said. "At a time when many
academic centers are facing serious threats to their mission, the UF College of
Medicine-Jacksonville is clearly on the upswing phase with unprecedented growth
and expansion of patient services."
The department of medicine has contributed much to that growth and expansion
because it serves as the hub of patient care. Its physicians treat the "whole person" and
link patients to the resources they need to improve and preserve their health.
"At the core of a successful and respected academic medical center is its department
of medicine," said Robert Nuss, M.D., dean of the regional campus in Jacksonville.
"Dr. Mooradian has brought his considerable talents, energy and commitment to our
campus and, in a very short time, has recruited exceptional new faculty physicians.
His leadership has enriched the campus his dedication to patient care, teaching and
research is a standard for all."
Medical care available through Jacksonville's department of medicine ranges from
standard therapy to sophisticated treatments such as transmyocardial injection of
genes to promote angiogenesis in patients with coronary artery disease.
And the number of innovative interventions will continue to grow, Mooradian said.
"These are truly exciting times for this department and for this campus, and I am
delighted to be part of it," he said. "It is an honor and a privilege to help our patients
improve and preserve one of the most precious and fragile gifts we have our
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he latest news nd HSC events
. [ii "*
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
M.D., a professor
of medicine and the medical
director of renal and pancreas
transplantation, has been
awarded the TTS-Novartis
Award for Outstanding
Contribution to the Evidence
Base for Transplantation for his Herwig-UlfMeier-Kriesche
work in transplantation. Meier-
Kriesche, also the Central Florida Kidney Center
endowed chair in medicine, is renowned for his
research in renal transplantation, particularly
on the use, metabolism and complications
of immunosuppressive drugs in elderly renal
a professor of cardiovascular
medicine, was recently named
the Suncoast Endowed
Professor in Cardiovascular
Medicine Research. A scholar
who served as a primary
investigator for the Women's
Health Initiative, Limacher
has been recognized by the Marian Limacher
National Institutes of Health and
the Association of Military Surgeons of the United
States, among others.
professor of obstetrics and
gynecology, was nominated
for the 2008 Association of
American Medical Colleges
Humanism in Medicine
Award. Stone was nominated
by members of the AAMC
Organization of Student
Representatives at UF. The I. Keith Stone
national recipient of the award
is determined by considering positive mentoring
skills, compassion and sensitivity, collaboration,
community service activity and observance of
COLLEGE OF NURSING
Ph.D., R.N., dean of the
college and a UF associate provost, was recently
selected as the 2008
recipient of the American
Association of Colleges of
Nursing's Sister Bernadette
Armiger Award. This award
recognizes a nursing leader
who has made significant
contributions to the AACN
and its goals, to nursing Kathleen Long
education and to the
advancement of the profession.
Nominated by a group of peer deans
from across the country, Long was recently
presented with the award at an AACN meeting
in Washington D.C. 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
Long has been nursing dean since 1995
and has won national recognition as a leading
thinker about the future of the nursing profession
in a rapidly changing health-care landscape
threatened by a shortage of nurses. She has been
a member of several national task forces focused
on interdisciplinary education, health professions
shortage issues and patient safety.
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
Ph.D., a professor
and department chair in
a $1.5 million, five-year grant
from the National Institutes
of Health to continue her
work on understanding
neuroendocrine and Maureen
physiological adaptations in pregnancy.
a professor of
received a $1.55 million,
five-year National Institutes
of Health renewal award
to continue her studies on
Joseph V. Simone, M.D., director of the UF
Shands Cancer Center and physician-in-chief
for cancer services at Shands at UF, received the
2008 Association of American Cancer Institutes
Distinguished Service Award.
The award recognizes Simone's contributions to
the nation's cancer community. Simone directed the
Institute of Medicine's effort to promote and improve
quality care for cancer patients. His leadership has
influenced public opinion and pushed Congress to
address issues of patient care. He has developed
and implemented effective research programs and
management systems that are essential to today's
comprehensive cancer center.
For the past eight years, Simone has been the
president of Simone Consulting Co., which advises
organizations on cancer program quality and
development. He also founded the American Society
of Clinical Oncology's Quality Oncology Practice
Initiative and is a columnist for Oncology Times.
Before coming to UF, Simone was physician-
in-chief of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center in New York City. He was also the director of
St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis,
where he spent most of his medical career.
Simone received the award in October at the
2008 AACI Annual Meeting in Chicago. Lance
Armstrong, shown here with Simone, was also
honored at the event, as was Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Former UF doctor dies unexpectedly
dward V. Staab, M.D., the former chair of the department of radiology in the College
of Medicine, died suddenly on Nov. 1 in an auto accident near Winston-Salem, NC.
He was 72. His wife, Mary Staab, was injured in the accident. Staab served as chair of
radiology from 1986 until 1998. He came to UF from the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, where he had been an associate chair and professor of radiology. In 1996 he was
named one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in Radiology by Diagnostic Imaging
Magazine. He is survived by his wife, five children and 11 grandchildren.
Edward V. Staab, M.D.
Edward V. Staab, M.D.
assistant professor of medicinal
chemistry, has received a $1.2
million, three-year National
Institutes of Health award
from the National Institutes
of General Medical Sciences
to continue his research in
marine natural products, Hendrik Luesch
including collaboration with the
Smithsonian Institution Marine Station.
an associate professor in
pharmaceutical outcomes and K
policy, received grants this fall
from the Florida Department of
Health Agency for Healthcare
Administration and the Center
for Medicare and Medicaid.
Each two-year award supports
graduate and research Almut Winterstein
programs in pharmacoepidemiology and health
year student in the joint UF
has been elected the first
student director to the Florida
Pharmacy Association House
of Delegates. She hopes to
increase student involvement in
FPA during her three-year post. Shannon Zandv
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
an associate professor of IT '
physical therapy, received
the first Alumni Excellence in
Clinical Practice Award from
Duke University. This award
is given to an alumna or
alumnus who has demonstrated
innovation or creativity in the
delivery of physical therapy Andrea Behrm
services. Behrman is the leader of the Locomotor
Training and Recovery Research Program, which
aims to maximize the recovery of locomotion in
individuals with central nervous system injury or
in the clinical and health
program, received a
scholarship from the National
Parkinson Study Group
to present her paper and
deliver an oral presentation
in September at the 2008 Laura Zahod
Parkinson Study Group and
Movement Disorders Society's annual symposium
in Salt Lake City. The symposium was on etiology,
pathogenesis and treatment of Parkinson's disease
and hyperkinetic movement disorders.
Baker named chair of
moleula gentic an
enry V. Baker, Ph.D.,
has been appointed
chair of the College of
Medicine department of
molecular genetics and
a national search.
Baker began as chair
on Nov. 1, when he
also assumed the Hazel Henry V. B
Kitzman Professorship in
A professor of molecular genetics and
microbiology with a joint appointment in the
department of surgery, Baker has served as
interim chair of MGM since 2003.
"Dr. Baker has done an exemplary job,
contributing to (MGM's) recognition as one
of the best departments of its kind in the
nation," said Michael Good, M.D., interim
dean of the College of Medicine. "In terms
of National Institutes of Health research
funding, MGM ranks eighth when compared
with medical school genetics departments
among public universities and 18th overall in
the United States."
Library traffic increases with
addition of new technology
By Anne Myers
ou might have noticed a few more people working together around
large monitors and white boards in the Health Science Center Library
in the Communicore Building recently. Since the opening of the
Collaboration Commons this summer, students have found a new place to do
The Collaboration Commons is an area on the first floor of the library
devoted to group study, informal learning and research collaboration. It
features several big-screen monitors, computers, rolling white boards and
innovative learning software such as the Invisible Human Dissector, which
allows students to view slices of a frozen human body.
"We wanted to create an environment that enhances people working
together rather than frustrates people working together," said Wallace
McLendon, director of the HSC Libraries.
And it certainly seems to be working. The HSC Library has seen a 20
percent jump in attendance from this time last year. Seats are full in the new
Collaboration Commons two to three times a day, McLendon said. The HSC
Library has even put a video feed of the area on its Web site, so students can
check to see how crowded it is (www.collaborationcommons.hscl.ufl.edu/view).
The new addition has met with enthusiasm from the students, with
comments ranging from "Very cool!" to suggestions for future improvements.
Next on the agenda for the HSC Library is to complete a Collaboration
Center. Set to open soon, it will be an inviting, technology-enhanced space
Students gather around a monitor at the HbC Library's new
for larger teams of faculty and researchers to come together and share their
data and discoveries. The Collaboration Center will feature
videoconferencing; an AccessGrid, which allows viewing of speakers around
the world; a 65-inch SmartBoard/projector combo, which digitally captures
what is written on it; and hopefully a Vizwall, which is a wall-sized screen
that allows for close-up inspection of high-definition images.
While some other libraries have a communications commons, usually it
only includes a group of computers, McLendon said. The HSC Library's
Collaboration Commons and Center are focused on technology that will
make learning easier, and the library aims to continue to add new technology
as it becomes available.
"We're not your father's library anymore," McLendon said. 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he iciest news nd HSC events
By Anne Myers
It was as a graduate student at the University
of Oregon in the late 1960s that Sheila Eyberg,
Ph.D., was first trained in the new behavioral
approach to treating children with conduct disorders
through parent training.
Later, as a psychology intern at the Oregon Health and Sciences University,
she was conversely taught the traditional approach to play therapy, helping
children express their feelings and develop trust.
However, Eyberg had several concerns about what was happening during the
play therapy sessions. The children were bonding to her instead of their parents,
and after many weeks, they were still being disobedient and defiant at home.
When she joined the faculty at Oregon Health and Sciences University, Eyberg
began to develop a treatment program for preschoolers with behavioral disorders
called Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT. She incorporated important
aspects from both her behavioral and traditional training into the program.
Today Eyberg, a distinguished professor in the department of clinical and
health psychology in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions,
has trained hundreds of therapists from all over the world in her program, which
is widely used for young children with disorders such as conduct disorder and
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
"Often, parents are angry because children who have these disorders are
difficult to live with," Eyberg said. PCIT focuses on warm parent-child
interactions, which calm the parent's anger and stress as well as the child's.
During PCIT sessions, parents are coached through a microphone in their ear
while they play with their child and are encouraged to dedicate five to 10 minutes
a day to playing at home. In the first phase of treatment, praise, reflection,
imitation, description and enthusiasm called the PRIDE skills are strongly
emphasized to strengthen the parent-child bond and make the child less angry
and more willing to obey.
With this foundation, families enter the second phase of treatment. During
the play sessions, parents are coached to give clear directions and consistent
consequences before returning again to the PRIDE skills.
"Children need both love and limits," Eyberg said.
Since coming to UF in 1985, Eyberg has trained hundreds of graduate students
in PCIT. In the last decade, she and her students have been holding training
workshops to educate therapists in PCIT, and she has worked closely with
representatives from Puerto Rico, Holland, Germany, Hong Kong and Australia
so they can conduct and teach PCIT in their countries.
"Through my work, I've developed some really close friends all over the world,
and my work allows me to travel and see them," Eyberg said.
She enjoys working with people who have the same interests in improving
mental health care for children and families.
Eyberg stresses that early intervention is important in changing children's
lives and sees her work as a chance to change society. Offering therapy when
children are young could help families avoid worse behavioral problems later or
even prevent children from becoming delinquents, she said, noting PCIT's
Over the past 30 years, Eyberg has received dozens of awards and honors for
her work. She finds it hard to choose just one to mention, but recently she was
presented the Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training Award
from the American Psychological Association.
"Dr. Eyberg is one of the most prominent clinical child psychologists in the
United States today," said Russell Bauer, Ph.D., chair of the department of
clinical and health psychology. "She is a researcher who is known for her
meticulous, carefully designed studies designed to establish the effectiveness of
her treatment approach to child conduct problems."
Eyberg has continued to do research with graduate students on expanding
PCIT to new populations and different cultures. Being at UF and working with
the graduate students on her research are perks of the job, she says.
"The best thing about being here is the graduate students, without question,"
she said. "They are bright, committed and eager to learn." 0
Nabih Asal, a professor in the department of epidemiology and
biostatistics in the College of Public Health and Health
Professions, lectures to public health students in his Principles of
Epidemiology course Oct. 21.
Robert Bell, CEO of Drug Development & Technology, met with the pharmaceutics
graduate students and faculty to discuss how biological drugs compare to generic drugs in
terms of costs, safety and effectiveness. Here, associate professor Sihong Song talks with
Bell as graduate student Stephan Schmidt and associate professor Cary Mobley (left) listen.
What can fish tell us about human diseases?
Kimberly Epley, a research scientist at the
Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience,
hopes the genes in zebrafish can tell us
about genetic mutations that present
problems in human pregnancies. Here she
displays some of her research models at her
lab in St. Augustine.
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