On the Cover
W. Thomas Smith, a clinical assistant professor of
pharmaceutical outcomes and policy in the College of
Pharmacy, lost portions of his arms and legs during
a bout with bacterial meningitis in 2000. Nearly one-
fifth of Americans live with some form of disability, but
misperceptions about these folks and their lives still abound.
This month, the POST explores how Smith and other HSC
leaders are working to change this. Photo by Sarah Kiewel.
Table of Contents
O Education: The humanists
O Education: Paws that heal
0 Research: Promising scientist
0 Research: Racing lab on the go
Q5 Questions: Diabetes and Alzheimer's disease
SCover Story: Dealing with disabilities
Q Extraordinary Person: Scott Blades
) Research: OCD breakthrough
Jacksonville: Global warming and health
) Profile: A parasitologist's mind
S* ** ** ** **** ** SS SS ** ** ** ** SS SS SS S S ** ** ** ** ******** SS * ** ** ** ** ** ** SS SSS****
A center gets its
Sn March, UF celebrated the grand opening of the UF Center for
Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine in Vero Beach with a butterfly
release and a public open house. The center, a collaborative effort
between the UF College of Medicine and the Robert F. and Eleonora W.
McCabe Foundation and its partners, is a community-based treatment
center and teaching facility staffed by UF clinicians and fellows. "There is
an overwhelming need for psychiatric services in the state of Florida,
where recent reports rank us 49th out of 50 states," said Mark S. Gold,
M.D., the Dizney distinguished professor and chair of the department of
psychiatry at the UF College of Medicine. "This lack of access to care was
brought to our attention by Ellie and Bob McCabe, and through their
initiative, the University of Florida has begun to attract and will continue
to recruit nationally recognized psychiatry and addiction leaders to benefit
the people of the Treasure Coast." The center includes faculty specializing
'" in adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology,
psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. It also will serve as a primary
.site for the training of addiction medicine physicians, child and adolescent
psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. The McCabes (left)
have focused their foundation's philanthropic efforts on mental health
care in Indian River County since 2001. Area philanthropists joined the
effort by contributing an additional $2.3 million over the next four years
to support the Vero Beach-based center. Karen Dooley 0
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he iciest news end HSC events
RECRUITING THE CLASS OF 2027
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Center [ [event begins at 9a.m. and will feature 1 r t5K, 10K and 15K runs and other activities, including a climbing wall
n from the Gainesville Rock Gym. For more information and to register, prwwwccruncom On May 8.9, the
Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville is holding its annu Aal Pro Am Golf Tournament and Auction. Hosted byl
Amanda Butler, coach of the UFwomens basketball team, th I e tournament begins at ll a.m. 11n May8 and at a.m. on
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SMay at the Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club. Teams will include four amateur golfers and11 o:ne professional. A
reception and auction will be held atthe UFTouchdown Terrace Club. Ticketsforthis event are $35for one or$50 for
two Proceeds will benefit Gainesville's Ronald McDonald House, which houses and supports families wh osi
Children are being treated in Gainesville, as well as the RMH Family, I i ocated Inext t the Pediatric Intensive
,i Carenterhe Unit at Shands at UF For more information, call 3523744404 orvisit www.rmhgainesville.org. li
. ..... from the Gainesville Rock Gym. For more information and to register, visit www.cfcrun.com.... On May 8-9, the
Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville is holding its annual Pro-Am Golf Tournament and Auction. Hosted by
Amanda Butler, coach of the UF women's basketball team, the tournament begins at 11 a.m. on May 8 and at 9 a.m. on
. May 9 at the Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club. Teams will include four amateur golfers and one professional. A
"" "reception and auction will be held atthe UF Touchdown Terrace Club. Tickets forthis event are $35for one or$50 for
., children are being treated in Gainesville, as well as the RMH Family Room located nextto the Pediatric Intensive
Care Unit at Shands at UF. For more information, call 352-374-4404 or visit www.rmhgainesville.org.
Medical students discover where
they will complete residencies
By April Frawley Birdwell
he letter, sealed in an envelope, contained the only words Asma Eisa wanted to
see: UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville, pediatrics.
"My husband is an intern there," Eisa said. "That is the only place I wanted to
go. I am happy. Three years, guaranteed."
On March 19, Eisa and 118 of her classmates in the College of Medicine Class of 2009
learned where they will complete their residency training during the college's annual
Match Day ceremony. The National Resident Matching Program matches prospective
residents to residencies using a mathematical algorithm that compiles students' and
institutions' top choices. The decision is pivotal for medical students and determines
not only where they will complete their residencies but what specialties they will enter.
Among UF's current crop of fourth-year medical students, pediatrics was the top
choice for residencies, with 17 students entering this field.
"I just really like the kids and I thought it would be something I would be
comfortable doing," Eisa said. "You try to eliminate everything else."
Other top choices for UF medical students included internal medicine and
emergency medicine, among others. One UF medical student matched into vascular
surgery, a specialty that students rarely enter straight from medical school, said Patrick
Duff, M.D., the college's dean of student affairs and registration and a professor of
obstetrics and gynecology.
On Match Day, medical student Jessica Liao, shown with Dr. Patrick Duff,
learned she was headed to the University of California-Los Angeles Medical
Center for her internal medicine residency.
Thirty-three medical students will remain in Florida for their residencies, including
20 at UF. Overall, UF will receive 130 new residents in Gainesville beginning in July
and 72 new residents at the regional campus in Jacksonville.
"We bring a great number of physicians to the state," said Michael L. Good, M.D.,
interim dean of the College of Medicine. "Although a lot of our students leave Florida,
many more are coming into the state to do their residencies."
Stacy Baker is one of the UF students leaving Florida for her residency. But she's also
entering family medicine, a field where more doctors are needed. Thirteen UF medical
students are entering family medicine this year.
"It's the only thing I felt truly happy in," said Baker, who matched at the
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System in South Carolina. "Everything else felt like
a job. When I went in family medicine, I felt like I was in my element and I felt excited
about it every day. It just completed me, basically." Q
The human touch
Students, faculty recognized for
humanistic approach to medicine
Richard Beegle and Erica Acosta Bartlett (from left) were two of the medical students inducted into
the Chapman Society this year. Other inductees include faculty members Maureen Novak and
Michelle Rossi; residents Erin Cannington, Michael Connor, Sean Kiley, Siva Suryadevara, Miguel
Tepedino, and Klark Turpen; and medical students Casey Beal, Michael Dell Black, W. Kevin
Conley, Katherine Corbyons, Lindsey Evans, Brie Folkner, Sherita Lynn Holmes, Chanley Howell
Dudley, Grace Hsu, Christyn Magill, Lindsay Malloch, Ryan Nail, Mark Wilson Newman, Deirdre
Pachman, Kavita Rajasekhar, Jeff Sellman, Ilicia Shugarman and Irving Zamora.
Each year the UF College of Medicine recognizes that medicine is about more
than science by singling out individuals who exemplify humanism in the
practice of medicine. The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award,
sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, was presented to one graduating medical
student and one faculty member at the seventh annual Chapman Chapter of the Gold
Humanism Honor Society banquet on March 3.
Kavita Rajasekhar, this year's student recipient, said she was honored to be
nominated and selected by her peers. She said her time here has given her a new
appreciation for the term humanism.
Rajasekhar hopes to specialize in preventive medicine, focusing on environmental
health and ecologically sustainable medicine. She believes in not only treating
patients, but also looking at the community they live in and how they relate to it.
"I don't think we can isolate just the individual," she said. "In some ways, when
you're talking to a patient, you're just dealing with that one person. But you have to
take into account that they have family and so much else that connects to their
In addition to her medical studies, Rajasekhar said she is proud of her involvement
in the Animal Activists of Alachua, helping spread awareness about things like
vegetarianism and the use of animals in the entertainment industry.
"That's what humanism means to me," she said, "realizing that humans are really
just a part of the larger environment."
Maureen Novak M.D., a pediatrician and this year's faculty award recipient, said in
her field especially, it is important to always consider a patient's family environment.
And that is something she hopes to inspire in students.
"I think were trying to teach not only the science of medicine, but patient care, and that
includes treating the patients and family members with the utmost respect," she said. 0
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iiIim m .l i I A i ia I Im, i
How a class in the spotlight helps pharmacy students learn
By Monica Vigo
Students in white coats palms sweating,
hearts racing sit in class knowing they
may be called on to defend their researched
prescription-care plan. It is a test of everything they
have learned in the first two years of pharmacy
school, and they can't continue without passing
this course on patient care.
"You can imagine sitting there in the class hoping and praying that your
name doesn't get called on," said Paul Doering, M.S., a distinguished service
professor in the UF College of Pharmacy. "But the minute it does, it's your
turn to have 125 sets of eyes on you."
The class is Pharmacotherapy V and verbal defense or "verbal assault,"
as students jokingly call it is just a portion of what is expected in the class.
And the video camera, recording everything, adds even more pressure.
The class started out as an idea sketched out on a cafeteria napkin back in
the early 1990s, said Doering. His colleague, Tom Munyer, M.S., a clinical
associate professor in the college, wanted to change the way pharmacy
courses were taught by placing the responsibility on the students. They
would have to come to class prepared and ready to use the information they
had been given, Doering said. The video camera would be used as a learning
tool for students to later review their progress.
Skeptical at first, Doering agreed to take on the new teaching style but
soon found himself in the "worst semester of his teaching career" because of
heavy student resistance. It was a huge change from what previous students
had endured, and the concept of critiquing their own and others' video
recordings did not sit well with the class.
The two professors, however, persevered and ultimately created a class
they believe yields highly competent and more successful pharmacists.
"Though the 90s, students were uncomfortable at first," Munyer said. "It
appears to be just the right teaching style for today's millennial students
because of the active engagement and student-centered learning in a high-
tech classroom setting."
This two-semester long course gives students an immersion in patient
care through six unique scenarios each lasting four days called Main
Cases. Other topics covered in the course include self-care, geriatrics and
Medicare education. The professors also emphasize pharmacokinetics, the
field of pharmacy that applies mathematical principles to describe a drug's
journey through the body.
Through role-playing simulations, students participate in pharmacist-
physician and pharmacist-patient situations that are designed to imitate
what they will experience during their clinical rotations and beyond.
From the information they receive prior to class, during the class
interactions and from what they have researched themselves, the students
develop their care plan. Preparing in small groups, students are mindful
that anyone in the group can be called on to present.
Clinicians who accept students for rotational training internships have
seemed very impressed with UF pharmacy students and want them in their
pharmacies, Munyer said. He attributes this to the real-life scenarios they
research and practice in the pharmacotherapy course.
"They tell us there is no comparison between our students and students
from other universities because ours are much more capable and prepared,"
Munyer and Doering enjoy hearing from past students, especially after
they've had time to realize the course's intentions and apply their new skills.
Kathryn Samai, a graduating senior, is finishing her internship rotations
at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., and in an e-mail
expressed her appreciation to the professors after realizing just how well-
prepared she was because of their class.
"UF students just seem to rise above the standard. I have noticed this
throughout my rotations and am so proud to be a Gator," Samai wrote. O
httpllne s~h althufl~du1 04 *09 POS
Ashley Hoover, Jessica Reinhold and
Charlotte Simmons (shown from left) took
Reinhold's dog, Chelsea, a trained
therapy dog, to Shands AGH as part of
their honors nursing project.
in e e e e
ursina students conduct pet therapy at Shands AGH for honors project
By Jessica Metzger
See Chelsea run. See Chelsea
play. See Chelsea visit
Chelsea, a 7-year-old corgi-sheltie mix, is a therapy
dog senior nursing students Jessica Reinhold,
Charlotte Simmons and Ashley Hoover used in their
nursing honors project, Healing Paws.
During the fall 2008 semester, they brought
Chelsea to Shands AGH to visit patients and their
families on the oncology and cardiac floors, in the
lobby and in family rooms.
The purpose of the project was to gather
observational data of how patients reacted to the
presence of a dog in the hospital and how the animal
visibly affected their anxiety levels.
"We wanted something hands-on that would
benefit patients," said Reinhold, 23, Chelsea's owner.
They spent two hours at the hospital each week,
visiting between 20 and 30 patients, family members
and hospital staff, Reinhold said. For some patients,
Chelsea would perform tricks, like waving good-bye,
sneezing on command or rolling over. With others,
she would sit patiently and be petted, sometimes hop
- upon invitation into a patient's hospital bed.
"A dog is a good icebreaker," Reinhold said. "It's
something that really takes a patient's mind off
illness and gives them something warm and
Reinhold recalled one particular visit with an
elderly gentleman on the oncology floor who was
missing a leg. He was alone in the hospital room and
However, he lit up when Chelsea came into the room, immediately inviting her up into the bed so he
could pet her.
"He told us his life story," Reinhold said. "And he looked less stressed."
Hoover, 22, said that for a lot of people, having an animal in the room is relaxing.
"It helps with homesickness and relieves anxiety in a hospital," Hoover said. "It took away the cold
Hoover said one of her best experiences came from visiting a young African-American family.
The father was ill, and he and his wife were visibly stressed. Once Chelsea was brought into the room, the
children, ages 2 and 4, immediately began to play with the dog.
"The parents got a little time to themselves," Hoover said. "And the father was very thankful. He was
stressed about keeping the kids occupied (while he was sick in the hospital)."
Simmons, 21, said an animal's presence also can help relieve the "white coat syndrome," where many
patients associate doctors in white coats with painful procedures or unpleasant treatments.
"They know we're volunteers, here to talk and chat," Simmons said. "These patients need distractions
while in a hospital ... and a dog reminds them of home."
Simmons remembered one woman, who sat worriedly at her sick husband's bedside. Chelsea served as a
comfortable talking point, and the woman opened up to them about her own animals. Simmons said the
woman relaxed and seemed happy and appreciative for the visit.
Hoover, Reinhold and Simmons designed Healing Paws because they wanted to be able to interact with
patients as part of their honors project. Because Reinhold had a trained dog, they decided to try dog therapy.
"It was something we just jumped into," Simmons said. "It was very rewarding. You could see the relief on
patients' faces instant gratification."
Simmons said they were not allowed to collect any numerical data for their project, such as reading blood
pressure or monitoring heart rates. But, in the end, they felt the project was successful.
"It helped patients' anxiety and relief, things which can often be overlooked in a hospital," Simmons said.
"Therapeutic things should be used more, especially by volunteers."
Chelsea was certified as a therapy dog by Therapy Dogs Inc., Reinhold said. Chelsea had to pass basic
obedience tests and be observed four separate times interacting with people. She also had to be very calm and
well-behaved at all times. Therapy dogs also have to be bathed 24 hours before going into a hospital and have
clean teeth and short nails.
Although Chelsea will be leaving with Reinhold when she graduates, Hoover, Reinhold and Simmons hope
their project is continued by other nursing students.
"I think it's a great program, really good for patients," Hoover said. "It's rewarding to see. It relieves the
scary, cold-needles setting." 0
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F _\ .
The road to discovery
Howard Hughes Medical Institute invests in UF scientist to pursue 'best ideas'
Studies of evolution and development are
the perfect complement in the lab of
Martin Cohn, Ph.D., an associate professor
of biology and a member of the UF Genetics
Through his career, he has followed a path from anthropology to
developmental biology to understand the evolution of limbs. Along the
way, he studied jawless fish, legless snakes, five-limbed chickens and, most
recently, the relationship between limb and genital development
Now, he has become the only scientist in Florida to be named a Howard
Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist, a distinction shared by
only 50 researchers in the United States, and one that places UF in the
company of research institutions such as Stanford University, Harvard
University and The Johns Hopkins University.
The HHMI Early Career Scientist program is intended to provide
support to the nation's best early career faculty who have reached a critical
point in establishing vibrant research programs.
Researchers from U.S. universities and medical schools chosen for the
Early Career Scientist Program become HHMI employees, but remain at
their home institutions, receiving their salary plus $1.5 million in
laboratory support over six years to pay the costs associated with a high-
level research program.
"We saw a tremendous opportunity for HHMI to impact the research
community by freeing promising scientists to pursue their best ideas during
this early stage of their careers," said HHMI President Thomas R. Cech.
Cohn became interested in the evolution of limbs while an undergraduate
at the University of Texas. He received his master's degree in biological
anthropology at Kent State University and his doctoral degree in
developmental biology at University College London. Cohn is currently
an associate professor of biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
and of anatomy and cell biology in the College of Medicine.
His findings have led to new levels of understanding of evolutionary
processes and shed light on human problems such as birth defects.
"I realized that if I wanted to understand how animal form changes
during evolution, such as how the skeleton evolved or how snakes lost their
legs, I had to understand development, because that's when the genetic
blueprint for the body is being executed," Cohn said.
He began by studying chick embryos, a classic scientific model of limb
development. At University College London, he discovered that the
embryonic master switch for limb formation was a multifunctional protein
called fibroblast growth factor. The finding, published in the journal Cell,
was later proven true for other animals, including people.
After finding the trigger, Cohn set out to find what determines the
precise positioning of limbs, such as hands on the ends of arms at the
shoulders, and feet on the ends of legs protruding from the trunk.
Martin Cohn, the first scientist in Florida and one of 50 nationally to be named a
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist, receives congratulations
from UF Genetics Institute Director Kenneth Berns (right) recently at the UF Cancer
and Genetics Research Complex.
His research led him to the Hox family of genes, which direct the
formation of body structures in organisms ranging from worms to people.
His work showing that Hox9 genes determine where limbs develop along
the trunk was published in the journal Nature in 1997. He went on to
discover the molecular basis for loss of limbs during snake evolution and
the role of Hox genes in the origin of jaws.
Since arriving at UF in 2003, Cohn's group has discovered the
evolutionary origin of the genetic program for fin development, shown
how this program was modified to form fingers and toes, and identified the
molecular basis for the loss of legs during whale evolution. The group also
has published widely on the origin of skeletal development.
Along the way, Cohn's lab noticed striking similarities between the
processes that control limb development and those that regulate
development of the genitalia. They decided to ask whether the same genes
could be involved in development of these distinct appendages.
Understanding how genes respond to the environment is important for
identifying the basis of these malformations, Cohn said.
"Dr. Cohn can work with the tools of molecular biology to find out
what's happening at that level and he looks to see if what he is predicting
is actually happening in the animal the only place that has any real
meaning," said Dr. Kenneth Berns, director of the UF Genetics Institute.
"His work has been novel and fresh, and I can see why it captured the
interest of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute." 0
httpllne s~h althufl~du1 04 *09 POS
Led by Richard A. Sams (left), UF's
Florida Racing Laboratory recently
won a contract with the Kentucky
Horse Racing Commission to test
Shores for the presence of
i performance-enhancing drugs.
UF racing lab snags big contract
By Laura Mize
before the horses line
up at the gates at
Churchill Downs on May
2 to run the Kentucky Derby,
veterinarians will take samples
of their blood and urine.
Those samples, along with ones taken from the
winner and a few other horses after the race is
complete, will make their way to the Florida
Racing Laboratory at the UF College of
Veterinary Medicine. Here, lab employees will
test and analyze them, looking for drugs that may
have enhanced the horses' performances and
unfairly altered the outcome of the race.
Within three working days of receiving the
samples, the lab must submit preliminary results
to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the
state agency that monitors the approximately 350
horse races that take place in Kentucky each year.
Full results must be turned in "within 10
working days of receipt of the samples," said
Richard Sams, Ph.D., the lab's director and a
professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine's
department of physiological sciences. Officials
will not award prize money to the winner of the
race until these results are submitted.
The UF racing lab was one of six labs that bid
for the job of analyzing the samples taken before
and after Kentucky's horse races. It is one of five
labs in the nation accredited by ISO 17025
standards the primary international standard
for this kind of testing facility.
The selection process required facilities to
conduct proficiency tests to identify drugs
present in samples, submit written proposals,
participate in interviews and give presentations.
"We had a small group that is affiliated with
the racing commission who reviewed all the
candidates and University of Florida stood out as
the best of the applicants we reviewed," said Lisa
Underwood, executive director of the KHRC.
The contract is for one year but could be
extended without repeating the bidding process.
Sams said the job will require the lab to expand
its staff and buy additional instruments.
In a tough economy, this increased revenue
also helps the lab to stay open and continue
providing services to Floridians, said Glen
Hoffsis, D.V.M., M.S., dean of the College of
"It is quite an accomplishment to successfully
obtain the contract from the state of Kentucky,"
Hoffsis said. "And it's a tribute to the people that
operate and lead this laboratory. This has become
one of the premier, truly high-quality leading
laboratories that does this kind of work in the
United States and in the world."
The lab already has tested samples from some
races. Underwood said the KHRC was pleased
with this work.
The lab also does some sampling work for
private individuals and tests samples from horses
and greyhounds for Florida's Division of
Pari-Mutuel Wagering, a state agency that
oversees racing in Florida.
Standards against drug use in racing horses are
higher than those for Olympic athletes, according
"Only two substances are permitted for
administration within a 24-hour period before
race time in Florida," Sams said.
Why such stringent regulations? He cited three
reasons for the strict rules.
Safety is one. An injured horse receiving drugs
before a race to mask pain could be hurt more
than helped by the medicine.
"It may injure itself even more," Sams said,
"possibly to the extent that there could be a
catastrophic injury that not only could have
consequences to the horse, but other horses,
Another concern is the betting that surrounds
horse and greyhound racing.
People placing bets need to believe the races
are fair. Racehorse owners also are concerned
about fairness for another reason.
"For those horses in the most prestigious races,
those horses will become breeding animals,"
Sams explained. "The owners make very
substantial investments in those horses, and a
horse owner wants their horse to compete with
other horses without any of those horses being
treated with drugs."
Sams said there's a saying that "the horses
should compete on hay, oats and water."
"Even a drug that you and I might take for
relief of a minor ache or pain is prohibited in
racing for those three reasons." 0
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ri 04-09 1
at its roots
To truly kill colon cancer and eliminate the risk of recurrence, it is
important to kill the "root" of the disease, according to a UF College of
"It's like a dandelion, if you don't kill the root it just keeps coming back,"
said Emina Huang, M.D., a UF colorectal surgeon, who added that colon and
rectal cancers have high recurrence and spread rates, especially if the disease is
not found until advanced stages.
Her findings, available online now and to be featured on the cover of the
MINA HUANU, M.U.
April 15 print version of Cancer Research, identify a biomarker for colon cancer
stem cells that she believes will help researchers further evaluate the cancers'
origins and progression. The discovery sheds light on the cancer stem cell
theory, an idea that has arisen because cancer cells and stem cells share many
qualities, including the ability of cancer stem cells to demonstrate self-renewal.
The research determined a protein called aldehyde dehydrogenase 1, or
ALDH1, can be used to identify, isolate and track these ultra-resilient cells
throughout the development of malignant colon or rectum disease. Previously
used markers cannot as precisely track colon cancer stem cells.
"Without a better handle on what cells might be contributing to cancer
metastases and recurrence, we won't have any targets to go after," said Huang,
an associate professor in the UF department of surgery and a member of the
Program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the UF College of
Medicine. "This gives us a potential target."
According to the American Cancer Society, about 150,000 Americans are
diagnosed each year with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 die from the
disease. In addition to the potential advances in therapeutic strategies, Huang
said having a more direct target to explore will benefit progress in the areas of
diagnostics and prevention. O
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report trom a UF Ic 'c! Lh group in the Journal of Studies on
Alcohol and Di,
Although people 50 or older in the study metabolized alcohol
similar to how younger people did, they performed worse on special
tests after having moderate amounts of alcohol and did not always
realize when they were impaired. Soon after having alcohol, older
adults also took on average five seconds longer to complete a test
than their counterparts who did not have a drink.
"That doesn't sound like much, but five seconds is a big difference if
you're in a car and need to apply the brakes," said lead author Sara Jo
Nixon, Ph.D., a psychiatry professor at UF's McKnight Brain Institute.
"It can mean the difference between a wreck, and not-a-wreck."
More than half of adults older than 55 drink socially, according to
a 2008 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration. But few studies have focused on the short-term
effects of social drinking among older adults. Nixon's group aimed
to expand understanding of the effects over time of moderate levels
of alcohol consumption in healthy, active older adults.
The study involved 68 nonsmokers one group aged 50 to 74 and
a comparison group aged 25 to 35 who had at least one drink a
month. Within each group, some individuals were given alcohol
while others were given a placebo beverage. The groups were
matched by gender, body mass index, history of alcohol consumption
and other demographic characteristics.
The participants were given tests that give clues about a person's
mental processing related to movement, and about the ability to
mentally shift from one problem-solving strategy to another. The
researchers also asked participants to rate how intoxicated they felt,
and how much they thought the alcohol impaired their performance.
Older adults who had alcohol took longer to complete the tasks
than younger adults who had alcohol. The researchers found that
even though blood alcohol levels for participants in both groups rose
at a similar rate right after drinking and reached the same peak, the
older adults did worse on tests. That suggested the performance gap
seen after moderate amounts of alcohol was not because of age-
related differences in how the body processes the substance, but
because of other factors influencing how alcohol affected the
A ShandsCair flight made an emergency
landing March 5 after a duck slammed into the
helicopter's windshield while the flight crew was
transporting a patient to Shands at UF. The crew
landed safely, and the patient was not harmed.
The ShandsCair Flight Program team is used to
responding to emergencies, but on March 5 they
found themselves in the middle of one when a duck
struck and shattered the windshield of their helicopter
while they were in the air with a trauma patient.
Don Irving, a ShandsCair pilot; Marc Kazmierski,
R.N., a flight nurse; and Ryan Fulford, a flight
paramedic, were 700 feet in the air traveling 160 mph
toward Shands at UF at the time of impact.
"I remember contacting base and telling them we were
three minutes from landing," said Irving, who has been
flying helicopters for 35 years and has worked with
ShandsCair for one year. "Shortly after that, I heard a
loud explosion and the windshield was gone. It wasn't
like a hole in the windshield; it was gone."
The collision with the duck destroyed the front
windshield and knocked several switches off Irving's
overhead instrumentation panel. The momentum carried
the bird into the aircraft's cargo bay.
"After I got over being startled, I told myself to just fly
the aircraft," Irving said.
The duck grazed Irving's head, injuring his face and
ShandsCair pilot lands helicopter
safely after duck strike
eye and making a dangerous situation worse. Irving had
to land the aircraft with no windscreen, at night and with
just one good eye.
Irving and his crew landed safely at the ShandsCair
helipad on Southwest 16th Street. The patient was not
affected. Ground transport rushed the patient to Shands
at UF as soon as the helicopter landed.
"Everybody on board is part of the flight team and they
all have a part in flying the aircraft," said Irving. "The guys
in the back did everything right. Everyone kept their head
on straight and we managed to get through it. I've had a
few emergencies in flight before, but nothing like this."
The helicopter, like most other aircraft, has hit birds
before, but they have always been glancing blows.
"Don would never say so, but he's a hero, just like Capt.
Sully Sullenberger," said David Meurer, UF College of
Medicine emergency physician and ShandsCair medical
director, referring to the pilot who recently made news
for landing in the Hudson River without fatalities.
"This crew did exactly what they were supposed to do,"
Meurer said. "They had it all together. The human factor
saved lives in this case." Q
New focus for an old disease
By April Frawley Birdwell
E everyone is at risk.
Although tuberculosis is often perceived as a
disease of the past, particularly in the United
States, it is still one of the world's top killers. Nearly 2
million people die from the disease across the globe
each year, and many HIV deaths are attributable to
TB, according to the World Health Organization.
This is one of the reasons for World TB Day, held
each year on March 24 to commemorate the discovery
of the organism that causes the disease and raise
awareness about the risks it still poses.
"The important thing to remember is until TB is
eliminated everywhere, it's not eliminated anywhere,"
said Michael Lauzardo, M.D., a UF assistant professor
of medicine and medical director of the Southeastern
National Tuberculosis Center. "It just takes a few bad
cases to cause a problem."
The number of people infected with the disease
dropped slightly in the United States from 2008 to
2009, but experts say the rate of improvement has
slowed in recent years, according to a Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention report Is
released in March. The report also
states that Florida is one of only four
states with more than 500 cases of TB
Drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis
are also an emerging threat, said
Lauzardo, who also gave a keynote address as part of a
World TB Day presentation at the Broward County
"As it becomes a major emergency we will start
seeing more of those cases in the U.S.," he said.
Housed in the UF College of Medicine, the
Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center is funded
by the CDC and provides training and medical
support to TB programs in Florida, the Southeast and
across the country, Lauzardo says. Aside from this, in
July the center became its own division within the
department of medicine and has begun branching out
For example, the center is collaborating with the
UF Emerging Pathogens Institute and Morocco's
national institute of hygiene to look at the reasons
why people still die from TB there, even though it's
relatively rare and people have access to medical care.
To study the pharmacology of TB drugs, the center
also will team with Charles Peloquin, Pharm.D., an
expert who was recently recruited to the Emerging
Pathogens Institute and the College of Pharmacy.
"A lot of neat stuff is happening," Lauzardo said.
"We're really trying to integrate a lot of these pieces.
Beyond operational research, we're getting into more
basic science and drug development, hopefully trials
related to vaccine development, all in partnership
with the CDC, the Florida Department of Health
and UF." Q
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he iciest news end HSC events
What does it mean when Alzheimer's disease is
referred to as "type 3 diabetes" or "brain diabetes"?
We know there is a relationship between Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. People with poorly
controlled diabetes are at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. People who have well-
controlled diabetes are at only a moderately increased risk, compared to the general population. The
only people who use insulin are those with diabetes, and in fact it would be rather dangerous to be
giving people high doses of insulin when they don't have diabetes. What this tells us even more so
than we had previously known, is that there is a relationship.
Understanding the Are people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 more
connection etweI VVte I
diabetes and Alzheimer's
By Jessica Metzger
A study recently released by the National
Academy of Sciences reports that drugs
used to keep diabetes under control, such
as insulin, may also shield memory-forming
nerve connections from harmful
Alzheimer's-related proteins. Glen Finney,
M.D., a behavioral neurologist in UF's
department of neurology and co-director of
the Memory and Cognitive Disorders
Program, elaborated on the connection
between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease
and the hopes for treating and one day
susceptible to Alzheimer's? If not, who is?
I'm not certain the type of diabetes makes a difference. Type 1 is considered a risk factor for
Alzheimer's just like type 2. The interesting thing is that both insulin and rosiglitazone, a drug that
helps the body better respond to insulin, helped protect neurons in vitro from something called
amyloid-beta-derived diffusible ligands. Basically, for a long time, there have been theories that the
amyloid protein is the bad actor in Alzheimer's disease. While the vast majority of Alzheimer's is
age-related, for some families it is an inherited disease because of a mutation in amyloid processing.
In addition, Down syndrome patients almost always get Alzheimer's disease. It turns out that the
chromosome they have an extra copy of is the same chromosome on which the amyloid precursor
gene is coded. To sum it up: Diabetes puts you at risk for Alzheimer's if it's not controlled. Amyloid
brains are even worse off in terms of insulin than regular brains. And there is mounting evidence that
treatments for diabetes may in certain Alzheimer's patients help.
What could this link mean for research and treatments?
I think it means we need to focus on the metabolic pathway for glucose, the hormones and enzymes
that the body uses to store and use glucose as energy, and also how cells regulate glucose as
possible treatment targets for Alzheimer's disease. There's already studies underway looking at
rosiglitazone ... The one downside is there was a meta-analysis out that suggested for rosiglitazone
and the other drugs in that same class, which have shown the most promise for Alzheimer's disease,
they also have slightly increased risk of cardiac events, like heart attacks. So it's going to be a risk-
benefit trade-off, and the question is going to be are the benefits enough to justify the risks?
How long has it been suspected there was a correlation
between insulin deficiencies and Alzheimer's?
We started to suspect things in the early 2000s between diabetes and Alzheimer's. Part of that
may be that we've gotten better at keeping patients with diabetes alive longer to see that there are
connections. We're closer to, I think, breakthroughs in Alzheimer's disease than any other dementia
right now. There are two classes of FDA-approved treatments for Alzheimer's. We still need to do a
lot more, but there are things we can do for people.
Are there any steps a person can take to decrease
chances of getting Alzheimer's from an insulin deficiency?
There's a couple things we know. Physical exercise is the closest thing you're going to get to a
panacea in medicine. Physical exercise will improve your ability to regulate insulin and glucose.
Having more lean mass than fat is better for insulin. Whether that will translate to Alzheimer's
disease we don't know, but we have a reasonable suspicion. Two is make sure you have regular
doctor visits and that they're keeping track that you're not developing diabetes. Also, keep
mentally active. Seek new mental challenges, learn new things. We suspect, although we can't
prove, the biggest bang for your buck may be to learn something completely new, and outside
your comfort level. These are really the best recommendations we have at present for prevention.
However, if you think you or someone you know are beginning to have memory problems, have
your doctor check it out and if appropriate, be seen by a memory specialist because sometimes
it's not Alzheimer's and there are things we can do, especially if it's caught early. Q
STORY BY APRIL FRAWLEY BIRDWELL
PHOTOS BY SARAH KIEWEL m
NEARLY ONE-FIFTH OF AMERICANS ARE LIVING
WITH DISABILITIES, BUT MISPERCEPTIONS STILL
ABOUND. THIS MONTH, THE POST EXPLORES
HOW HSC CLINICIANS AND RESEARCHERS ARE
WORKING TO CHANGE THIS.
he pharmacist ran six miles that day, about as much as he usually
did. Later that night, he went to a party. It was New Year's Eve
1999. The millennium.
As televised revelers donned eyeglasses fashioned from the numbers 2-0-0-0 and partied like, well, 1999, W.
Thomas Smith, Pharm.D., J.D., started to feel like he was coming down with the flu. He didn't wait for the ball
to drop or for the world's computers to crash because of Y2K. He was home by 9 that night. The next day,
feeling worse, he went to the hospital.
Diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis, the deadly, bacterial form of the disease, Smith was immediately
quarantined and lost consciousness. For several days, his condition wavered, improving and worsening. He
developed a secondary infection and, because of this, lost portions of all four of his limbs.
"All of this happened while I was unconscious," says Smith, now a UF assistant professor in the College of
Pharmacy. "I woke up sometime about mid-March of 2000. After 10 weeks in a coma, I was in a different world."
Smith was still the same person: a graduate of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, a pharmacist at a long-term
care facility. But he had entered a world where he would have to find new ways to move from room to room,
open doors and even eat. It was a place where he would have to fight with insurance companies about his
benefits, where buildings don't always accommodate wheelchairs and where people often see the disability
before they see him.
For millions of Americans, this is life. Currently, 62 million have some form of disability that limits their
physical or mental function, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Laws such as the Americans
with Disabilities Act have improved life for people with disabilities, yet physical and social barriers still limit
their access to health care and education. Basically, the fight for equality rages on.
"We want to make sure we are a society that values the full participation of everyone," said Elena Andresen,
Ph.D., a UF professor and chair of epidemiology and biostatistics in the College of Public Health and Health
Professions and director of the Florida Office on Disability and Health. "It is not an issue of having sympathy
but understanding differences. You are getting to know a person not a disability."
CONTINUED ON page 14
SECOND-YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS WATCH A SLIDESHOW CALLED A
PHOTOMAP THAT SHOWS WHAT IT'S LIKE FOR A PATIENT WITH A
DISABILITY TO GET TO AN APPOINTMENT. PHOTOMAPS ARE ONE
PART OF A TRAINING MODULE DESIGNED TO TEACH MEDICAL
STUDENTS ABOUT PATIENTS WITH DISABILITIES.
A LESSON IN empathy
Huddled around a table, a group of second-year medical
students watches a woman's frustration at a radiology
clinic play out on the screen in front of them. She went in
for a mammogram, her first in 25 years. But the visit
didn't go as planned.
The clinic staff wouldn't let her control her own
wheelchair during the exam, even though the motorized
chair rises and tilts. Aggravated, she vents about
The story is part of an audio slideshow called a
Photomap, a new research methodology that UF College
of Public Health and Health Professions researchers
developed, in part, to educate health-care providers
(and future ones) about the barriers patients with
Researchers Ellen Lopez, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Eva
Egensteiner, M.A., C.P.H., worked with four women living
with disabilities to create photomaps detailing their
experiences obtaining a mammogram or visiting the
doctor. The photos, which the women and researchers
took, were paired with each woman's recorded thoughts
about her experience.
The women face barriers that seem painfully obvious
when looking at their encounters from their perspective
but might go unnoticed by someone without a physical
limitation such as doors that don't open automatically.
One woman described her technique for opening doors
while seated in her wheelchair; she wedges her foot in to
keep it from closing. She's broken her foot this way but
says it's the only way she can get in without help.
After Melanie Hagen, M.D., a UF physician who
co-directs the College of Medicine course, Essentials of
Patient Care, viewed the Photomaps, she and course
co-director Rebecca Pauly, M.D., teamed with Lopez and
Egensteiner to develop a training module for medical
students about patients with disabilities. The researchers
received a College of Medicine grant for the project. First-
and second-year medical students viewed the Photomaps
and attended a lecture and panel discussion in March.
First-years also began "seeing" patients with disabilities
during role-playing sessions at the college's Harrell
Professional Development and Assessment Center
"Being able to empathize with a patient is, to me, the
most important thing in medicine," Hagen says. "That is
something I try to improve in my own practice."
For Lopez, the goal of the session was less an overview
of disabilities and more a lesson in empathy.
"The goal is not only that they be aware of disability
issues, but also that they use their knowledge and power to
be advocates. I want these students to realize that they can
be the catalysts for positive change," says Lopez, now a
research associate at the Center for Alaska Native Health
Research. "If they can understand, just a little bit, what it
is like to have a disability, it will change their practice."
When Lopez was at UF, she sent her students on an
assignment: traverse downtown Gainesville in
wheelchairs. Easier said then done.
Wheels caught on cobblestone streets, buildings were
too narrow to roll through and few handicap-accessible
bathrooms were found, Lopez says.
"The library was pretty accessible, but not all the
buildings and restaurants," she says. "Everyone should
have to spend an hour in a wheelchair."
UF nursing students made similar observations while
collecting data on accessibility in Gainesville, Jacksonville
and Northwest Florida, said Barbara Lutz, Ph.D., a UF
College of Nursing assistant professor who studies
The ADA, a civil rights act for people with disabilities
that was passed in 1990, requires accessibility in public
buildings, parking lots and other venues. Although
considerable progress has been made, these regulations
often are not enforced.
But there are other barriers that could be even more
limiting, specifically the attitudes of other people.
"I call them 'attitudinal' barriers," says Lisa Hannold,
Ph.D., a researcher at the North Florida/South Georgia
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he latest news and HSC events
Veterans Health System, who was born with a type of
muscular dystrophy called spinal muscular atrophy.
"Attitudinal barriers can be much more difficult to break
down than physical barriers. You can try to educate. Some
people are willing to change. Some are not."
Breaking this barrier is particularly crucial in health
care, where the relationship between provider and patient
can sometimes mean the difference between life and
death. Often, because of misperceptions about life with a
disability, health-care providers overlook needs, such as
preventive care. For example, Hannold says she had to
press her doctor for her first gynecological exam.
"In health care, when someone with an obvious
disability comes in for care, our attention goes right to the
disability," Lutz says. "We forget this is a person who has a
life, we forget they have the same prevention needs
Hannold, one of the women who made a Photomap, has
always advocated for herself and carefully chooses
physicians who treat her like a partner. Smith says his
background in health helped him when he was fighting
with insurance companies after his illness. But not
everyone speaks up.
THE NEED FOR change
One of the photos in Hannold's Photomap shows her
cruising up a ramp into her own van. Her van cost nearly
$40,000. As a working researcher, she can afford it. But
this is a luxury for many with disabilities.
In short: having a disability costs money, and because
of insurance issues, some people encounter limited
employment possibilities, despite their capabilities. Often,
people must work for larger companies to get insurance.
Medicaid helps people get care, but it has income
restrictions that prevent people from seeking certain jobs
for fear of losing coverage.
For people with limited incomes or those who cannot
work, transportation is a key issue. Most counties have
paratransit services, but even these are limited. Because of
demand, they often only take people to work or health
appointments and don't cross county lines, says Erin
DeFries Bouldin, M.P.H., a project manager for the
Florida Office on Disability and Health, which is housed
at UF. To get to the airport in Orlando, for example, a
person would have to contact each county on the way and
be approved for transportation eligibility there.
"Even then, vans cannot cross county lines," Bouldin
says. "You have to go to the county line and hope the other
van is waiting or you have to wait by the side of the road."
The office is teaming with a governor's commission to
create a statewide eligibility policy and is gathering data
about transportation issues to help state agencies make
policy decisions, Andresen says.
"It's sort of a nightmare," Andresen says. "Some rural
counties don't have accessible mammography (or other
types of) clinics. If they want to go somewhere larger it's a
real challenge unless they have someone to take them or
their own vehicle."
There also is an issue of educational accessibility for
students with disabilities entering health professions.
PHYSICAL DISABILITY HAS NEVER STOPPED VA RESEARCHER LISA
HANNOLD FROM LIVING LIFE AS SHE WANTS. HERE, SHE DINES
WITH FRIENDS AT 010 TAPAS & TINIS IN GAINESVILLE.
Because of the physical nature of many health fields,
students with disabilities either do not choose them or are
sometimes turned away, Smith says. While it's clear a
person with a physical disability may not be able to be a
surgeon, there are other fields he or she could enter.
"There seems to be discrimination, too, in holding
some type of job in the health-care arena," Smith says. "A
lot of folks' perceptions of people with disabilities are that
they aren't educated or capable and that couldn't be
farther from the truth. They are just differently capable."
In some ways, it all comes back to changing perceptions
and those "attitudinal barriers."
Smith says he feels, in some ways, like he changes
attitudes every time he teaches a class. Not by anything he
says, but just by who he is: an intelligent, capable
academic who, yes, happens to have a physical disability.
"Just by getting in front of these individuals and doing
the job I do, it starts to break down those barriers, those
walls and perhaps shift their perceptions of people with
disabilities," Smith says. "That's why it is so important for
people with disabilities to be out there and live their lives
the best they can, and people will learn from that." 0
What do you assign a classroom of 300
students that will really make them
This is one of many daily challenges for Scott Blades, instructional
designer for the College of Pharmacy. It is his job to help professors answer
questions like this and to bridge the gap between time-honored teaching
methods and new technologies in the classroom.
For three years, Blades was a typical chalk and chalkboard high school
English teacher. He knew almost nothing about computers and didn't even
have access to PowerPoint in his classroom.
"When I came here to get my master's, I could e-mail and surf the Internet,"
Now he's the one helping professors to demystify new learning technologies,
such as podcasts and interactive online classrooms, and use them to their
He describes his job as giving direction to the educational experience and
helping professors capitalize on their strengths. He consults with individual
professors on lesson plans and ways to design learning experiences to engage
students. He also develops Web sites and instructional videos and evaluates
existing educational technology for the college.
"If education is a journey, then instructional design is the road-mapping
that goes into making the trip as good as possible," he said in his blog.
Sven Normann, the College of Pharmacy's associate dean for distance,
continuing and executive education, says Blades' creativity and meticulous
attention to detail have made him an invaluable member of the college's
media support team. He said Blades was also essential in developing
Elluminate, one of the college's online distance learning programs.
"We kind of pride ourselves that we are at the edge of using technology
where it is appropriate and seeing if we can use technology to improve and
enhance learning," Normann said. "Having someone with Scott's expertise
allows us to have the tools to reach students at a distance as well as the
students that are here in Gainesville."
keeps COP professors share
Blades left high school teaching to pursue a master's degree in hopes of
becoming a better, more efficient teacher. It was a big transition, he said, because
he cared about his students, and teaching had always been in his blood.
"I come from a teaching family," he said. "I was at a family reunion one
time, and I realized we could pretty much open up our own school."
Earning his master's degree in curriculum and instruction from UF and
learning new technological skills inspired Blades to pursue challenges
outside of traditional classroom instruction. Prior to joining the college's
media support team in 2005, he was an employee of Mastery Learning
Network, where he worked with professors from around the country to design,
develop and teach online courses. He has also worked as an instructional
designer for the medical company Regeneration Technologies Inc.
Part of his current job is giving professors alternatives to traditional
graded tests and papers, which can be impractical in large lecture classes. He
helps them design creative, ungraded activities that students will respond to
and learn from. He always finds an innovative way to engage the learner in
his tutorials, Normann said.
"I think having that experience, especially with older kids at the high
school level, helps him relate to the needs of a lot of our students," he said.
One of his current projects is a Web site called "24 Active Learning Ideas"
for the College of Pharmacy. Each article will include an idea for an
interactive game or practice activity to give students in lieu of graded
assignments. They will also include real examples and scenarios from
professors in the college. As the site's name suggests, there will be 24 articles
in all a running department joke and a tribute to the TV show.
"I'm a huge fan of'24,'" he said. "So is the dean."
Despite all his success, Blades continues take every opportunity to learn
new skills. Last semester he completed UF's Information Technology
Certification training, one of many certificate and training opportunities
offered to all UF faculty and staff. He said he will continue to take advantage
of the resources UF provides and help to improve learning outcomes
throughout the College of Pharmacy.
"Pharmacy is at the forefront of educational technology and video-based
learning," he said. "It's an exciting place to work." Q
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he latest news and HSC events
jI :i ."'" : .; ":"
... .. .--. ...... ... .... .... . ...
Partner's behavior better predicts STD risk
By April Frawley Birdwell
Sisky behaviors such as not using
condoms or having sex with multiple
people put young adults at risk for
contracting sexually transmitted diseases, but
perhaps not as much as the characteristics of
their sexual partners, UF researchers say.
The findings, reported in the April issue of
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, could help
health-care providers better screen patients for
STD risks, said Stephanie A.S. Staras, Ph.D., a
UF assistant professor of epidemiology and
health policy research in the UF College of STEPHANIE A.S. STARAS,PH.D.
"If you are choosing high-risk partners, you
are much more likely to have an STD, even when we account for your condom-
use patterns," said Staras, the lead author of the study.
The study examined the sexual activities, partner characteristics and STD
diagnoses of 412 subjects between the ages of 15 and 24. Among the subjects
whose partners were categorized as high-risk, half were diagnosed with an STD.
About 40 percent of the young adults whose own behaviors were labeled as
high-risk were diagnosed with an STD.
Health-care providers often ask patients about their sexual behaviors, but
inquiring only about a person's own behaviors may cause some patients to slip
through the cracks, Staras said. Some subjects in the study reported low-risk
behaviors but were having sex with very high-risk partners.
Adding a few simple questions about partner characteristics to STD
screenings could help providers catch more patients who need to be tested and
educated about condom use and protective measures, Staras said.
UF researchers measured several characteristics to gauge how risky partners
were, including whether the partner has a problem with marijuana or alcohol,
was at least five years older or younger, had been in jail, had sex with other
people in the past year or had an STD in the past year.
The researchers then created a composite, totaling the number of negative
partner characteristics for each individual's risky behaviors. Considering all of
the partner characteristics together was the strongest predictor for STDs. Young
adults whose partners had five risk characteristics were three times more likely
to have an STD than those whose partners had no more than two characteristics.
Also, subjects whose partners were five years older or younger than them were
more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with an STD than those whose
partners were around the same age, the researchers found. O
Program could help expand
palliative care for children
By April Frawley Birdwell
Less than 11 percent of children with life-threatening
illnesses receive hospice care in the last year of life, in part
because insurance requirements make it difficult for
families to obtain care, according to a new UF study. But a pilot
program in Florida that has redefined when
children can receive palliative care could help
change this, UF researchers say.
"One barrier has been the way the
reimbursement system works," said Caprice
Knapp, Ph.D., an assistant research professor
of epidemiology and health policy research
in the College of Medicine and the lead
author of three studies recently published on
pediatric palliative care in Florida.
"Traditionally, for hospice reimbursement, if
CAPRICE KNAPP, PH.D.
your child has a terminal illness, you can
access hospice care but a physician must
certify that the child is within the last six
months of life.
"Even though hospice services are beneficial and families who
end up using them are happy with them, parents might perceive
this as giving up hope due to the six-month rule."
Florida was one of four states selected to receive $3.2 million to
develop a new model for pediatric palliative care and was the first
to implement its program in 2005. Called "Partners in Care:
Together for Kids," this program allows children on Medicaid or
the State Children's Health Insurance Program to receive
palliative care from the time they are diagnosed with a life-
threatening condition, regardless of prognosis.
"Care for children at the end of life costs a lot of money,"
Knapp said. "But if we move them into this new model of care,
we might be able to save money and improve their quality of life."
Prior to the program, between 7 percent and 11 percent of
children who died in Florida received hospice services at the end
of life, according to a study the researchers published in March
in the Journal ofPalliative Medicine. In contrast, about 30 percent
of adults with cancer receive hospice care at the end of life,
Between 2005 and 2008, enrollment in the program, which is
available in six cities across Florida, increased from 80 patients
Although the word "hospice" tends to trigger thoughts of older
patients in their last days of life, palliative care actually ranges
from managing a patient's symptoms to offering psychological
services to patients and their families. O
Experimental Parkinson's treatment may
trigger unwanted weight loss
A growth factor used in clinical experiments
to rescue dying brain cells in Parkinson's
patients may cause unwanted weight loss if
delivered to specific areas of the brain, according to
UF researchers in the March online edition of
The discovery is a cautionary warning for
experimental treatments to treat Parkinson's
disease that use GDNF, short for glial line-derived
neurotrophic growth factor.
In addition, the finding broadens understanding
of the brain's role in the regulation of metabolism
and body weight, suggesting that gene therapy RON MANDEL, PH.D.
techniques in the brain potentially could
"People shouldn't interpret our result to mean this is a terrible side effect that
precludes ability to do GDNF gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, but it does
show that it is extremely important to place the therapy in the correct brain
region," said Ron Mandel, a professor of neuroscience at UF's McKnight Brain
Institute and the Powell Gene Therapy Center. "The good news for Parkinson's
patients is that the finding doesn't discredit the current target."
Parkinson's disease affects between 500,000 and 1.5 million Americans, causing
patients to gradually develop movement problems, including tremors and stiffness.
Current treatments only address symptoms and do not slow the disease's
progression, which is caused by degeneration and death of nerve cells that produce
dopamine, a substance necessary for communication between cells that coordinate
GDNF rescues the dopamine-producing cells in cell cultures and animal models
of Parkinson's disease.
In the current study, UF scientists compared weight loss in obese rats when two
distinct brain targets received therapy using an adeno-associated virus to deliver
the GDNF gene.
When GDNF flooded a bundle of nerves known as the nigrostriatal tract, a
potential target for Parkinson therapy, the obese rats lost a great deal of weight
- about 80 grams. But when the GDNF protein was overexpressed in a different
therapeutic target, the hypothalamus, weight loss was only about half as much. In
both locations, there was a steady decrease in body weight throughout the
experiment that could only partially be explained by food intake.
"For people who study metabolism in the brain, this sheds some new light on the
playing field," Mandel said. "But it shows the playing field is more complicated that
anyone dreamed." 0
Study to examine Parkinson's patients'
risk of cognitive problems after surgery
By Jill Pease
AUF neuropsychologist has received
a grant from the National
Parkinson's Foundation to
determine if patients with Parkinson's
disease are at increased risk of developing
cognitive problems after surgery.
Additional support was provided by the I.
Heerman Foundation Inc., an organization
founded by the late Joachim S. "Nik"
Gravenstein, M.D., a UF professor emeritus
a 5 ,
in the department of anesthesiology.
Previous research has shown that 40 IP
percent of all older adults experience the CATHERINE PRICE, PH.D.
memory and thinking problems associated
with postoperative cognitive dysfunction immediately after surgery, and 14
percent of patients continue to have cognitive problems three months later.
Researchers aren't sure what causes postoperative cognitive dysfunction, but
some experts believe the risk increases with age, and people with less
education or intellectual stimulation may be more vulnerable.
"All of the prior studies have examined the presence of postoperative
cognitive change in healthy adults, but at-risk populations, such as
individuals with Parkinson's disease, have not been included in these
investigations despite the fact that they also often seek surgeries, such as
knee replacement, to reduce pain and improve quality of life," said
Catherine Price, Ph.D., lead investigator and an assistant professor in the
College of Public Health and Health Professions' department of clinical and
Although Parkinson's disease is predominantly a movement disorder, it
can also cause cognitive impairment. The disease can disrupt neural
pathways that influence motor function, as well as cognition and behavior,
and it can damage white matter, the tissue through which messages travel
across the brain.
In the study, researchers will compare the cognitive changes in patients
with Parkinson's having hip or knee replacement surgery at UF's
Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute to patients with Parkinson's
disease who do not have this surgery. The participants will receive
psychological testing for memory, language, processing speed and visual-
spatial perception abilities, along with MRI scans to track anatomical
changes in the brain.
"We have observed over the years that Parkinson's disease patients who
undergo surgery seem to be vulnerable to cognitive and mood worsening,"
said Michael Okun, M.D., co-director of the UF Movement Disorders
Center and the study's co-principal investigator along with Hubert
Fernandez, M.D. "Once we understand this problem, we aim to develop
better techniques to decrease morbidity for the Parkinson's disease patient
who must undergo anesthesia and/or surgery." Q
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he latest news and HSC events
JNeurosurgeons implant a deep brain
t "stimulation device in a patient to treat
a movement disorder. The stimulation
alters brain activity without damaging
tissue, combating symptoms of
disorders such as Parkinson's disease.
BREAKT ROUGH FOR OCD
Doctors gearing to use deep brain stimulation to treat disabling OCD
After nearly a decade
of research, UF clinical
scientists will soon be able
to help patients with disabling
obsessive-compulsive disorder by
using a therapy known as deep
brain stimulation, or DBS.
Researchers at UF and three other medical
research centers have closely studied the
experimental therapy in a combined total of 26
patients for more than eight years. As a result, the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently
granted a "humanitarian use device" exemption to
Minneapolis-based medical technology developer
Medtronic Inc. for the first psychiatric use for DBS.
"It's a select therapy for a very select group of
patients with medically resistant OCD symptoms,"
said Michael Okun, M.D., an associate professor of
neurology and a co-director of the Movement
Disorders Center at UF's McKnight Brain Institute.
Doctors use a surgically implanted medical device,
similar to a pacemaker, to deliver electrical pulses to
targeted areas of the brain. The electrical
stimulation modulates nerve signals to relieve
psychiatric symptoms. DBS has been a therapy for
movement-related problems associated with
Parkinson's and other diseases since 2002.
"This treatment needs to be done with strict
research and ethical oversight at centers that have
Institutional Review Boards and an interdisciplinary
medical team for pre- and postoperative care," said
Okun, who also serves as the national medical
director of the National Parkinson Foundation.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder occurs when
patients' obsessive thoughts compel them to repeat
behaviors, such as handwashing. About one in 50
adults in the United States is affected by OCD, but
DBS treatment is appropriate for only a small
number of them.
In extreme cases OCD can prevent people from
having healthy relationships or keeping jobs.
"This is an alternative for patients for whom
medications have not been adequate to control the
disorder," said Herbert Ward, M.D., a psychiatrist
with the DBS program at the UF College of
"People with this problem have intrusive,
out-of-character thoughts and they engage in rituals
or compulsions to lower their anxiety," Ward said.
"Medications are effective for a significant number
of them to have a reasonable quality of life, but the
patients who receive no benefits from medication can
be consumed by obsessional thinking and rituals."
The FDA's humanitarian-use exemption is
intended to treat or diagnose no more than 4,000
people in the United States every year.
"The surgery needs to be done under rigorous,
controlled conditions, after a person has had a
thorough psychiatric evaluation and their history
shows they are refractory to medications and
therapy," Ward said. "The team approach is the
correct way to make a decision, because it requires
the understanding of neurologists, neurosurgeons,
psychiatrists, and neuropsychologists."
During the research, clinical scientists with
New targets for DBS
Doctors may be able to tailor a specialized form
of brain surgery to more closely match the needs of
Parkinson patients, according to results from the
first large-scale effort to compare the two current
target areas of deep brain stimulation surgery.
Called the COMPARE Trial, the NIH-funded
study evaluated 45 patients for mood and cognitive
Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, Butler
Hospital of Brown University in Providence,
Cleveland Clinic and UF studied DBS therapy in 26
patients with severe, treatment-resistant OCD.
About two-thirds of the patients had symptom
reductions and functional improvement.
"That over half of patients showed improvement is
really significant, considering these patients have
unsuccessfully tried so many other treatments," said
Nikki Ricciuti, R.N., a specialist with the UF
department of psychiatry who worked with the
research patients at UF. "That's what makes this so
important it will save the quality of people's
It will be important to track results of the therapy
once it enters more widespread use, according to
Wayne Goodman, M.D., the director of the division
of adult translational research and treatment
development of the National Institute of Mental
Health. Goodman, a former chair of UF's
department of psychiatry, wrote the original
research grant and contributed to the DBS-OCD
research before he joined the NIMH in 2007.
"This is not an endpoint, but it is progress,"
Goodman said. "I'm glad to see another treatment is
available for these severely ill patients, but I'm also
hoping that the process will reveal a lot more about
the brain circuitry of OCD that may lead to other,
less invasive treatments." 0
changes related to DBS. Investigators with the
Movement Disorders Center at UF's McKnight
Brain Institute found that DBS in either brain
target effectively treated motor symptoms such as
tremors, stiffness and slowness. However, DBS
produced unique effects on mood and mental
sharpness depending on the target, a finding that
may affect selection of patients with pre-existing
memory, cognitive or mood disabilities.
UF faculty dev
eiop e-iearning moauie
wo UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville faculty, Guy I. Benrubi, M.D., senior associate
dean for clinical affairs and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, and
Andrew M. Kaunitz, M.D., a professor and associate chair of obstetrics and gynecology,
were part of a collaborative team that developed an interactive online e-learning module for
the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics. The in-depth online module,
Contraception: Patient Counseling and Management, contains a monograph, case studies,
PowerPoint slides and audio podcasts, and is available to APGO members at http://www.apgo.
org/elearn/modules. The Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics is a
professional association of 1,500 individual members and 190 institutional member
departments in the U.S. and Canada. Its mission is to promote excellence in women's health
care by providing resources and support to women's health-care educators. Betty Poole Q
ANDREW M. KAUNITZ, M.D. GUY I. BENRUBI, M.D.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he latest news and HSC events
By Kandra Albury
Continued climate change will disproportionately impact the health of children around the world,
says a UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville pediatrician.
Jeffrey Goldhagen, M.D., a UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville associate professor of pediatrics
and division chief of community pediatrics, said children's health may be jeopardized if the trend of climate
change continues on its current path.
"Compared to adults, children are more susceptible to the adverse effects of environmental degradation
because they are still developing," Goldhagen said. "They are disproportionately affected, and this can lead
to a prolonged impact throughout their entire lives."
To help increase awareness and address solutions, Goldhagen is helping bring together leaders and
activists from around the globe to talk about climate change and its impact on children's health. An
international teleconference was held on the subject April 1 at Shands Jacksonville.
Participants included representatives from the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Argentina,
Turkey and several other European and Middle Eastern countries. UF hosted the teleconference with
participation from members of the Royal College of Pediatrics in England.
Climate change could affect children's health in several ways, Goldhagen said prior to the conference.
Some of the foreseeable effects could include:
An increased incidence of skin cancer because of ozone depletion, and development of this cancer at
earlier ages because children are particularly susceptible to damaging UV rays.
More areas and people affected by tropical-region viral illnesses such as malaria and dengue fever.
More malnutrition as desertification of farmland forces migration to cities, leaving low-income
countries with reduced availability to food and resources.
Goldhagen said his primary goal for the conference was to educate pediatricians, child advocates and key
stakeholders on climate change and how it affects children.
"We also want to give children a lead role in the process of creating public policy to curtail global
warming," he said. Q
filJ I IWE I
Two lives, forever linked
By Kandra Albury
aturday, Jan. 24 meant a lot to
Phillip "P.J." Caruso II, 20,
and Cynthia Robbins, 45, as
they stepped out on the red carpet
during the 2009 Night for Heroes.
The annual fundraising event
provided them an opportunity to
honor the nurses, physicians and
flight crew at Shands Jacksonville's
Level I Trauma Center.
A little over a year ago, Caruso and
Robbins were in separate, near-fatal
car accidents that left them both
fighting for their lives. Their
accidents occurred one day apart.
Carlos Arce, M.D., a UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville associate
professor of neurological surgery, and Eric Frykberg, M.D., a UF professor
of surgery and division chief of general surgery, treated both patients when
they arrived at Shands Jacksonville.
"Cynthia Robbins had evidence of brain-stem herniation on her head CT
scan, which normally leads to death; it was truly a miracle not only that she
survived but did so with brain function fully intact," Frykberg said. "The
level of severity of P.J. Caruso's brain injury was also suggestive of a poor
outcome, so it was equally surprising that he survived and did so with
basically normal function."
Arce said patients with severe head injuries are prone to problems related
to their initial trauma, including paralysis, seizures, diminished cognitive
function, vegetative states and brain death.
Both patients required prompt and constant care to have the best
"They are examples of how important it is to have a trauma center
Robbins was driving home in a late-night rainstorm Feb. 23, 2008 when
she lost control of her van. She was ejected from her vehicle when it crashed
into a median and overturned. When St. Johns County Fire Rescue arrived
on the scene, the inclement weather prevented Robbins from being airlifted,
so she was taken via ambulance to Shands Jacksonville's Trauma Center.
Once there, UF physicians determined Robbins needed immediate care for
a severe brain injury, a fractured spine, multiple facial fractures and serious
injuries to her left foot. Robbins was rushed to the operating room, where she
was stabilized by a team of UF surgeons and Shands nurses.
Robbins spent the next two-and-a-half weeks in an induced coma to
prevent brain swelling. She opened her eyes for the first time 18 days later
and gave her nurses and family a thumbs up. She was discharged two weeks
later, but continued her recovery through physical therapy sessions at home.
On Feb. 24, Caruso was driving alone when he fainted. His vehicle crossed
into the opposite lane and drove off the road. The vehicle hit a utility pole,
passed through a fence and crashed into two trees before stopping.
St. Johns County Fire Rescue found his SUV overturned and wrapped
around a palm tree. Caruso was trapped inside and unresponsive.
After being flown to Shands Jacksonville, he was treated for a traumatic
brain injury, a broken nose and a deep cut on his head.
During his two weeks in the surgical intensive care unit, he struggled with
a high fever and suffered a collapsed lung. It was 13 days before he opened his
eyes. He spoke for the first time three days before being discharged to Brooks
Rehabilitation Hospital March 29. Miraculously, he remembered all of his
friends and family. Caruso was able to walk out of Brooks on his own
three-and-a-half weeks later.
dedicated to the care of patients with these types of injuries," Arce said.
Robbins returned to her job as an administrative assistant three months
after her accident but recently took time off to spend with her twin
daughters and son. Bouncing back hasn't been easy, she said.
"There are things that I can remember prior to the accident, but the
accident itself I can't remember," she said. "However, I can recall how
wonderful everyone was at Shands, along with my therapist."
Caruso is on his way to a full recovery. He's back in school at Florida
Community College at Jacksonville. Since his accident, he has decided to
become an occupational therapist to support other patients and families on
their journey to recovery.
Amy Barrow, Caruso's mother, said she and the Robbins family kept in
close contact throughout the treatment and recovery process.
"We would talk and provide each other with updates on our loved ones,"
Barrow said. "I'm not certain what kind of contact we will maintain going
forward, but we will be forever linked through our experiences." Q
ROBERT BURNE, Ph.D., a
professor and chair of oral
biology, is the recipient of
the 2009 Research in Dental
Caries Award from the
International Association for
Dental Research. The award
was presented during the IADR
General Session & Exhibition Robert Burne
April 1 in Miami. Burne received
the honor in recognition for his work in oral
microbiology, applying molecular biology and
molecular genetic techniques to the study of oral
pathogens, particularly regarding the physiology
and pathogenesis of Streptococcus mutans.
ANDREW KAUNITZ, M.D., a
professor and associate chair
of obstetrics and gynecology,
has been appointed as editor-
in-chief of Journal Watch
Women's Health. Kaunitz has
served as deputy editor of the
journal since 2000 and has
been a contributing author Andrew Kaunitz
JOSEPH J. TEPAS III, M.D.,
a professor and chief of the
division of pediatric surgery,
received the 2009 Philip O.
Lichtblau Award in March. This
award is given annually to a
children's surgeon who has
contributed significantly either
regionally or statewide to the
Children's Medical Services Joseph J. Tepas III
program. The award was created in honor of the late
Dr. Philip O. Lichtblau, an orthopedic surgeon, who
served as a CMS medical director for many years.
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
M.D., chief of the Breast,
Melanoma, Sarcoma and
Endocrine Surgical Service,
chaired an international cancer
at the Society for Surgical
Oncology's annual meeting,
held this March in Phoenix. Participants in the
symposium included the director of the National
Cancer Institute, John Niederhuber, M.D. An
assistant professor of surgery, Grobmyer also was
one of 26 surgeons elected into the Southern
Surgical Association during the organization's
annual meeting held in December.
STEVEN HOCHWALD, M.D.,
chief of surgical oncology
and an associate professor of
surgery, is now the Florida state
chair of the American College
of Surgeons' Commission
on Cancer, a consortium of
dedicated to improving survival Steven Hochwal
and quality of life for cancer
patients. In this role Hochwald will work as part
of a network of 64 state chairs who guide liaison
physicians from cancer programs throughout the
country to work together to assess patterns of care,
outcomes, quality of care and community-based
cancer control projects.
GARY P. WANG, M.D., Ph.D.,
a newly appointed assistant
professor of infectious diseases,
won a four-year, $526,608,
new investigator grant from
the National Institutes of
Health to study how the
hepatitis C virus mutates
and becomes drug-resistant Gary P. Wang
during antiviral treatment.
Wang, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of
Pennsylvania School of Medicine before coming to
UF, will also study HIV mutation.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
ANDREA BEHRMAN, Ph.D.,
an associate professor in the
department of physical therapy,
has been elected a Catherine
Worthingham Fellow by the
American Physical Therapy
Association. The fellowship
honors people whose work has
resulted in significant advances Andrea Behrman
in the science, education and
practice of the physical therapy profession. She
will be recognized at the association's annual
conference in June in Baltimore.
The Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research
Network recognized the UF College of
Medicine-Jacksonville's department of
ophthalmology as being the top site in its
network for 2008. The Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical
Research Network Quality Award was presented at
a network meeting Feb. 8 in Tampa. The network
is funded by the National Eye Institute and is
dedicated to facilitating multicenter clinical research
of diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema
and associated conditions. ... The UF Shands
Eastside Community Practice, a full-service
medical practice that serves east Gainesville,
received the Eastside Business of the Year award
from the East Gainesville Development Corp.
The award was presented to Desiree Hayes,
executive director of the practice at the EGDC's
annual meeting and business awards March 12.
Shown here are Kendall Campbell, M.D.,
medical director of the practice and an assistant
dean in the Office of Minority Affairs, with fourth-
year medical student Mark Newman at the clinic.
COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
DAVID FREEMAN, M.V.B.,
Ph.D., an equine surgeon and
professor, has been named
interim chair of the college's
department of large animal
clinical sciences. Freeman
has been a member of UF's
veterinary faculty since February
2004. His research interests David Freeman
include the pathophysiology and
treatment of diseases that cause colic in horses,
with a special focus on diseases that reduce blood
flow to the small and large intestines.
Commitment to a cure
The American Diabetes Association added a little African flavor to its sixth annual Cure Ball. Themed
"Moroccan Nights," the event was held March 14 at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel in Jacksonville. Aside
from the dining and dancing, the new Cure, Care and Commitment Awards were presented at the ball.
UF Diabetes Center for Excellence researchers Desmond Schatz, M.D., Mark Atkinson, Ph.D.
and Michael Haller, M.D., received the 2009 Cure Award for their commitment to research in the
field of type 1 diabetes. Proceeds from the event went to support the more than 100,000 children and
adults in North Florida who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as Camp JDA, a camp for children
ages 6 to 12 with type 1 diabetes, and Diabetes Exposed, a community diabetes program.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for Me latest news and HSC events I
ri 04-09 1
_fil l.. I ^1 *
Inside the mind of Ellis Greiner
By Sarah Carey
t's not a fluke that Ellis Greiner, Ph.D., decided to pursue his career in
veterinary parasitology, 29 years of which have been spent at the UF
College of Veterinary Medicine.
After his very first undergraduate class in the
subject at Montana State University, Greiner, a
professor of parasitology, became fascinated with
malaria, parasitic worms and insects as disease
carriers in animals and in humans. Subsequently,
Greiner became a zoology major and was exposed to
what he calls "the wildlife side of things." His first
research on parasites involved removing worms from
the lungs of pronghorns.
He never looked back.
"I said, 'I'm going to be a parasitologist,'" Greiner
recalled. "I tell people, parasites are the most highly
evolved form of life on earth. To back that up, you
can look at all the endangered and threatened
species and you won't find any parasites on them.
Parasites will still be in charge when I give it up,
simply because they are able to evolve and change to
get around medications and the immune system."
He has worked with reptiles, birds, livestock and
aquatic animals, but most recently Greiner's focus
has turned to the parasites of sea turtles and marine
mammals. Earlier in his career at UF, he worked
extensively with bluetongue, a viral disease affecting
sheep and cattle, and with a devastating neurological
disease that affects horses, known as equine
protozoal myeloencephalitis, or EPM, caused by a
parasite known as Sarcocystis neurona.
Greiner's work on bluetongue, which is transmitted
by biting midges, spans 15 years and was conducted
in collaboration with Paul Gibbs, Ph.D., a professor of
infectious diseases at the college.
"We had a program which covered Central
America south of Mexico and throughout the
Caribbean, so we were able to look at the whole
region," Greiner recalls. "We were able to find that
the entire region had bluetongue.
"We found different serotypes; as one virus would
make the loop, another one or two (viruses) would
circulate in the next year. It was very eye-opening."
He worked closely on EPM with researchers Tim
Cutler, John Dame, Siobhan Ellison and Rob
MacKay in the 1990s.
Sometimes, tracking down the origin of a
particular parasite involves examining photographs
of specimens sent from zoological collections all
over the world. Occasionally Greiner has traveled to
zoos or other facilities where an infected animal is
known to have lived.
When he's not puzzling through parasitic life
cycles, Greiner has his finger on the pulse of college
and university activities. He's passionate about his
work on the UF Faculty Senate's steering committee
and has just completed the first of a three-year term.
He also just finished his second consecutive term as
a UF senator for the CVM.
"You get to see and interact with people on the
UF campus who are really in charge," he said. "I'm
one of the outspoken ones."
Although Greiner is closing in on retirement -
he plans to work a few more years he makes no
bones about his beliefs. Those who know him know
he never has.
"I'm a firm believer in shared governance, and
doing my damnedest to make it be a part of our
college," Greiner said. "I tell people, if you want to
be a part of things and give directions, you need to
volunteer on committees and put some time into
making this institution what you want it to be."
In addition to his Faculty Senate work, Greiner
chairs the CVM's academic advancement committee
and has recently served on the UF student conduct
code committee as well as the Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences' review council for faculty
development leave requests.
Greiner is a regular at alumni functions, seldom
misses a faculty assembly and participated actively
with CVM students and others as an avid cyclist and
a member of TeamVetMed.
Despite not being a veterinarian, Greiner said he
has always felt accepted at the college, partly because
he was on board from the start.
"The only class I did not teach was the charter
class," he said.
He is adamant about wanting the CVM and UF to
survive the current economic stresses these institutions
are currently experiencing. Greiner remains positive
that "good things are happening" and urges people to
remember this and "not give up the ship."
"We have lived through other economic crises and
we will overcome this one," he said, adding that a
positive attitude and mutual respect for others'
contributions is essential to keep the ship sailing.
"If you are not willing to contribute to making
UF and the college a great place and to respect the
contributions of others, you will be part of the
problem and not the solution." Q
;t niews andcS HSC eve23ts
Dr. C. Craig Tisher (left) and College of Medicine alumnus Dr. Jason
Rosenberg unveil the historical marker at Wilmot Gardens on March 20.
To learn more about Wilmot Gardens visit www.med.ufl.edu/wilmot.
In April, 65 second-year
medical students chatted
with 50 different UF
physicians about specialties
available to them during
the third-annual "specialty
speed dating" event.
Fourth-year medical student
David Smith, here with
College of Medicine Interim
Dean Michael Good, recently
displayed photographs he
took during an international
health trip to Nicaragua in
the HSC Founders' Gallery.
To view his photos, visit www.
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
Senior Vice President,
Douglas J. Barrett, M.D.
News & Communications
Melanie Fridl Ross
April Frawley Birdwell
Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
Kandra Albury, April Frawley Birdwell,
Jennifer Brindise, Tracy Brown Wright,
Sarah Carey, Karen Dooley, Linda
Homewood, John Pastor, Jill Pease,
Czerne M. Reid, Karen Rhodenizer,
Melanie Fridl Ross, Priscilla Santos,
Jessica Brandi, Jeff Kelly, Jessica
Metzger, Laura Mize, Monica Vigo
Cassandra Mack, 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 faculty, staff and students.
Content may be reprinted with
appropriate credit. Ideas for stories
are welcome. The deadline for
submitting items to be considered
for each month's issue is the 15th
of the previous month. Submit
to the editor at afrawley@ufl.
edu or deliver to the Office of
News & Communications in the
Communicore Building, Room
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