DENISRY EDCIN NUSIG P ARMAY P I HEA AND HEALT
In this month's cover story, The POST
gives you a closer look at the HSC
experts who spend their days solving
mysteries, from uncovering why a
person died to finding a deadly illness.
Photo by Czerne M. Reid
Education: Match Day
Administration: New leaders
Photo Essay: A look at dystonia
Patient Care: Pediatric dialysis
Research: The secrets of papaya
Cover Story: HSC Confidential
5 Questions: Cancer survivorship
Research: College of Pharmacy call center
Jacksonville: Serving body and soul
(Extra)ordinary Person: Jon Anderson
hat does The Gator Nation mean to 20 students
and a teacher from the Roberto Clemente
... Intermediate School in Harlem, N.Y.? A lot.
Teacher Keith Robinson raised $20,000 to bring his students
to the UF campus for a four-day tour March 29. A UF
alumnus, Robinson used Tim Tebow's "Promise" speech to
S_ -. inspire students in his class and wanted to bring them to the
4' campus to encourage them to finish high school and go to
college. During their tour, the students got a sneak peek inside
an operating room at the Shands at UF South Campus. To see
more photos from the students' time on campus, visit
To view a video explaining the class's journey, visit
12 1 http: news.health.utl.edu
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Story by Karen Dooley Photos by Priscilla Santos
And the envelope, please
Medical students match to residencies
o ny Bryant's legs were shaking as he
walked up to the podium.
"When you tell yourself you're going to get your first choice,
all of sudden you realize anything else will be a disappointment,"
He wasn't disappointed.
The fourth-year UF medical student matched to his first choice. He
will begin a residency in orthopedic surgery at UF in July.
Bryant and 125 of his classmates from the College of Medicine class -
of 2010 learned where they will complete their residency training dur-
ing the college's annual Match Day ceremony, held at the Reitz Union
March 18. The National Resident Matching Program matches prospec-
tive residents to residencies using a mathematical algorithm that com-
piles students' and institutions' top choices. The decision is pivotal for
medical students and determines not only where they will complete
their residencies but also what specialties they will enter.
Bryant and his wife, Codie, who are expecting their first child in
about five months, couldn't help but celebrate after learning where
Tony will train and where the couple will begin their new family.
"It was such a relief to get the answer I was hoping for," said Bryant,
who chose to open his match envelope while on stage rather than look-
ing before he was called. "You have to open it up in front of the class.
There's no other way to do it."
One of the most popular programs among this year's class was emer-
gency medicine, with 13 or 10.3 percent of the class entering the field.
Emergency medicine has become a popular specialty because of its
better-defined lifestyle, explained Patrick Duff, M.D., the college's as-
sociate dean for student affairs.
Eleven students chose to enter the field of obstetrics/gynecology, or
8.7 percent of the class, which is higher than the national average of
about 6 percent.
"The number is encouraging because in the past some students have
stayed away from this specialty due to concerns about erratic lifestyle
and malpractice," said Duff, a practicing obstetrician.
Thirty-two UF medical students will remain in Florida for their
residencies, including 17 at UF in Gainesville and two in Jacksonville.
It was a very successful match for UF programs as well as students,
with 151 new residents starting their training in Gainesville and 71 at
the regional campus in Jacksonville beginning in July. 0
141 1 http: news.health.utl.edu
By Czerne M. Reid
jvid Nelson, M.D., has been named director of the UF Clinical and
I'ranslational Science Institute.
Nelson, a professor of medicine and a leader in liver transplantation
and hepatology at the College of Medicine, is engaged in multidisciplinary
approaches to improve translational research and patient care. He has forged
numerous collaborations with researchers across UF and the state, as well as with
leaders in industry.
He brings to the new position a commitment to further the institute's goals of
speeding new treatments to patients and producing a highly trained force of
researchers and physicians.
"The goal is to make the current clinical and translational researchers here
more productive and efficient in their efforts," Nelson said. "We want to become
the mechanism to integrate a very talented and diverse research community at
The institute's success will in large measure be determined by its ability to
attract additional research funding.
UF won a competitive Clinical and Translational Science Award last year from
the National Institutes of Health. The $26 million award over five years will help
lay a framework for accelerating the progress of translational research and
medical advances at the university. The institute, a partnership of several colleges
and entities within the university and in the community, also is supported by $23
million from the UF Office of Research and $70 million in commitments from
the College of Medicine.
Nelson, whose clinical expertise is in hepatology with an emphasis on the
management of viral hepatitis and liver cancer, will continue to see patients and
remain active in teaching and in mentoring and training gastrointestinal and
liver program fellows.
He also will continue his research on hepatobiliary diseases. He has led
development of initiatives such as a unique liver cancer clinic in which
hepatologists play a key role in cancer management, delicately balancing
treatment of cancer with that of underlying liver disease that can worsen as a
result of cancer treatment.
"Dr. Nelson has significant experience leading translational research within
his own field and has been a major contributor to the development of the
University of Florida's CTSI," said Win Phillips, UF's vice president for research.
"His leadership skills make him an excellent choice as director of the CTSI as it
moves forward." Q
PHHP names new leader for research, planning
By Jill Pease
I i J Vandenborne, Ph.D., P.T., has been named the College of Public Health and Health Professions' associate dean
tor research and planning.
Vandenborne has served as a professor and chair of the college's department of physical therapy since 2002. During
her tenure, the department has achieved a dramatic increase in research funding and received support for clinical fellowships
and National Institutes of Health-funded predoctoral and junior faculty training programs. The department has also
expanded research collaborations and developed a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program and successful research
"Dr. Vandenborne is an outstanding scholar, teacher and academic leader who has an extraordinary record of success in
attracting external support for research and training," said Michael G. Perri, Ph.D., dean of the college.
Vandenborne studies muscle degeneration and regeneration and leads multisite studies funded by the NIH. Vandenborne
investigates noninvasive techniques, such as MRI, to evaluate muscle tissue, and the use of gene transfer, exercise training and
hormonal supplements to enhance muscle function. She also examines the physiological processes involved in repair of
skeletal muscle and return of functional ability. Several of Vandenborne's studies have focused on Duchenne muscular
dystrophy, the most common form of muscular dystrophy in children. The disease only occurs in boys and many do not live
past their early 20s. The Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy organization recently recognized Vandenborne for her research
contributions and advocacy for boys with Duchenne.
"Dr. Vandenborne's energy, enthusiasm, creativity and wealth of experience as a researcher, teacher, clinician and
KRISTA VANDENBORNE, PH.D., P.T. administrator make her the ideal person to spearhead PHHP's research activities and to contribute to the planning for the
growth of our academic enterprise," Perri said ,
growth of our academic enterprise," Perri said. Q
I _t I
S Photos by Kim Libby
S Samantha Staab, 8, suffers from dystonia, a neurological movement
disorder that results in abnormal twisting and posturing of her limbs. As
o e her brother, Tyler, did before her, she underwent deep brain stimulation
surgery in February to help with her symptoms but was sad to have
to shave her head. Doctors from the UF Movement Disorders Center
(including Kelly Foote, M.D., shown above talking to the family) put
an implant in Samantha's brain to redirect an abnormal signal to her
muscles they think is causing her condition. Although no one knows
exactly why DBS surgery works, it has proved successful on a number
of patients, including Tyler. Samantha and Tyler's parents, Michelle and
Rick Staab, founded a nonprofit organization called Tyler's Hope to fund
neurology research and create awareness of the disease. 0
16 1 http: news.health.utl.edu
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for he latest news and HSC events 7
By Laura Mize
i j Williams began working as a clinical care assistant in pediatrics so
I.ng ago, she can't remember the year she started. She worked at least 20
\ji!, before retiring from her job in UF's Pediatric Primary Care Clinic in
"I've seen grandparents, the mothers, the fathers and the kids, now they're
bringing their babies," Williams said of the patients she served.
Her decades of service made her something of an institution at the clinic
and to many families in Gainesville. Williams, 62, said former patients or
their parents often stop her when she's out running errands.
Irma Williams (center) gets a hug during a retirement party her
co-workers held for her in January.
"There was one of my families that I (took care of) the father when he was a
little child," she said. "He came by and brought me a bottle of champagne
(when I retired.)"
Linda Carlson, a registered nurse who works in the College of Medicine's
department of pediatrics, said Williams had a special touch that earned her
the respect of patients and doctors alike.
"Even when a child is meeting her for the first time and they're
apprehensive and kind of resisting what needs to be done, she will be able to
talk them into it and get them relaxed," Carlson said. "She knew if a child
needed immediate attention. She had superior assessment skills."
Carlson said Williams was a model of empathy to pediatric residents.
Williams' co-workers celebrated her career with a retirement party in
She called the party "magnificent."
"Several of the faculty who did their residency here came to her party, just
to honor her," Carlson said. "Others sent messages or cards. It was very neat."
When asked about her plans for retirement, Williams said she wants to
"rest and spend time with my husband, Chester Williams."
The couple made plans to visit family in Georgia and a friend in Texas.
But Williams said she will miss the people who made her job so special:
"My co-workers, the doctors who I worked with, and especially the parents.
The parents and the children." 0
Dr. Laura Anderson (above) and Dr. Julie Levy nursed Holly the dog back to
health after animal control officers found her starving and in need of a blood
transfusion during the holidays.
Help for Holly
Dog rescued over holidays now thriving
By Sarah Carey
n late December, Julie Levy, D.V.M., director of the Maddie's Shelter Medicine
Program at UF, received a desperate call for help from Alachua County Animal
services A starving dog rescued by animal control officers was in critical condition,
suffering from abuse and in dire need of a blood transfusion the shelter was unable to
Although in many cases dogs in similar straits are not able to be saved, Levy and
others at UF agreed to take the animal, which they named Holly in light of her holiday
rescue. According to Levy and Laura Andersen, D.V.M., who has cared for Holly in her
home, a miracle happened: In less than three months, Holly appears to be thriving and
may soon have a permanent home.
"Holly is one of the lucky ones, since many dogs just like her die before they can be
rescued," Levy said. "It's also not possible for the vet school to provide lifesaving care for
all of the neglected dogs in our community. I think Holly appreciates the second chance
she's been given by our team."
Carsten Bandt, D.V.M., a critical care specialist at UF's Veterinary Medical Center,
supervised Holly's care after her arrival. She received an initial laboratory workup and
two blood transfusions as well as fluid therapy and treatment for both internal and
"Her rapid improvement allowed us to transfer her out of ICU and into the Shelter
Medicine wards within 24 hours after admission, where she remained for continued
rehabilitation to address her starvation until she was released from custody of Animal
Services and could be placed in a foster home," Andersen said.
Holly received vaccinations, heartworm prevention and treatment for two Mycoplasma
species discovered during tests, Andersen said, adding that she was also spayed and had a
microchip implanted to aid with identification in case she should ever be lost.
"Following her initial stabilization, Holly's physical condition quickly improved with
little more than deworming medication and food," Andersen said.
Following a story on WCJB-TV news, several calls were received from individuals
interested in adopting Holly, and Andersen is optimistic that a good match for her has
now been found.
Holly's medical expenses were covered by a grant from the Helping Alachua's Animals
Requiring Treatment and Surgery program, which is overseen by Natalie Isaza, D.V.M., a
clinical assistant professor with the shelter medicine program. 0
81 I http: news.health.utl.edu
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Pediatric dialysis unit celebrates 35th year in hospital
By April Frawley Birdwell
T humbing through the red, leather-bound scrapbook she
keeps at her desk, Diana Chapman, R.N., paused at almost
every news clipping and photo. Each one sparks a memory.
"That's Dr. (Robert) Fennell. And this is one
of our first little kids," she said, flipping past a
black and white photo taken when the Shands at
UF pediatric dialysis unit opened.
For Chapman, the scrapbook isn't just the
tale of the pediatric dialysis unit, which cele-
brated its 35-year anniversary on March 24; it's
the tale of a big part of her life, too. Chapman
has worked in the unit since it opened in 1975,
back when it was just one of two places in the
state where children could receive dialysis.
Founded by former UF faculty members
Fennell and George Richard, M.D., the Shands
at UF pediatric dialysis unit has helped about
1,400 children over the years, Chapman says.
"Originally, we had kids coming in from
many distances," she said.
Although dialysis looks much the same as it
did in 1975, a lot has changed over the years to
improve the treatment for children. Children
(and adults) must undergo dialysis when their
kidneys are failing and no longer able to prop-
erly filter waste from their blood. The process
keeps their bodies' functioning while they wait
for a kidney transplant.
"We used to have a lot of technical difficul-
ties," Chapman said. "The machines did not
have the software to tailor dialysis to kids. We
did a lot of jerry-rigging. There have been so
many improvements. Now, we are geared toward
children very well."
With more medical centers offering dialysis
to children around the state, the Shands at UF
pediatric dialysis unit doesn't see quite as many
patients as it used to, Chapman says. There were
10 nurses working in the unit at one point to
keep up with the patients. Now, she is the only
nurse who works with children full-time. But
the unit still serves an area that is much in need,
says Vikas Dharnidharka, M.D., division chief
of pediatric nephrology in the College of
"Only the big cities in Florida offer this.
Where we are located, in North Florida, we
serve a large geographic area," Dharnidharka
said. "Between here and Pensacola is the
Bermuda triangle of pediatric dialysis care."
Tucked in an obscure corner on the fifth floor
of the Shands at UF North Campus, the pediatric
dialysis unit has five beds for patients and small
rooms where Chapman teaches parents how to
do dialysis at home. Sometimes, she brings in a
few of her Italian greyhounds to cheer up the
"Diana has been the heart and soul of our
Shands hospital dialysis services to children for
the past 35 years," Dharnidharka said. "Being a
charge nurse of a dialysis unit is not an easy job,
especially where children are involved. Her un-
wavering devotion is an example to all of us."
But when she was in nursing school, Chapman
knew one thing: She didn't want to work with
kids. She changed her mind when she found out
about the job in the pediatric dialysis unit, but it
still took her a little time to get the hang of
working with the smaller set.
"My first day (in the dialysis unit), I was so
intimidated by this 6-year-old. I couldn't take
his blood pressure," she said, shaking her head.
Now, she can't imagine not working with
children. She loves seeing her "kids," all grown
up, healthy, with families of their own and jobs.
"It really makes you feel good when you see
kids that do well," she said. "You just want to
make it the best you can for them while they are
ii.. ii' t
I _t I
Researcher recommends changes
to blood pressure scale
By Linda Homewood
.r patients with diabetes and heart disease, less isn't always more at
Last when it comes to blood pressure.
New data show an increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death for
patients having blood pressure deemed too high or too low according to
Rhonda Cooper-DeHoff, Pharm.D., an associate professor of pharmacy and
medicine at UF. She reported her findings March 14 at the American College
of Cardiology's 59th annual scientific session in Atlanta.
She recommends raising the systolic bar above 120 for blood pressure in
patients with diabetes and coronary artery disease, saying that levels between
130 and 140 appear to be the most healthful.
Based on hypertension treatment guidelines, health-care practitioners have
assumed that with regard to blood pressure, "the lower, the better," Cooper-
DeHoff said. But, the International Verapamil SR-Trandolapril study, known
as INVEST, suggests that the range considered normal for healthy Americans
may actually be risky for those with a combined diagnosis of diabetes and
coronary artery disease.
"Our data suggest that in patients with both diabetes and coronary artery
disease, there is a blood pressure threshold below which cardiovascular risk
increases," Cooper-DeHoff said.
As many as two out of three adults with diabetes have high blood pressure.
ROLAND HERZOG, PH.D.
By Czerne M. Reid
m..phi ij, a disease linked with legends of European monarchs, frail
hi i, and one flamboyant charlatan called Rasputin, still afflicts
nmrn) people today.
And the very treatments that can help can also put patients' lives at risk.
The standard treatment is infusion with an expensively produced protein
that helps the blood to clot. But in some patients the immune system fights
the therapy, and in a subset of those, it sets off an allergic reaction that can
result in death.
RHONDA COOPER-DEHOFF, PHARM.D.
Normal blood pressure as defined by the American Heart Association is less
than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic. Blood pressure greater than 140 is
still associated with a nearly 50 percent increase in cardiovascular risk in
patients with diabetes. But efforts to reduce systolic blood pressure to below
130 did not appear to offer any additional benefit to diabetics with coronary
artery disease compared with reduction of systolic blood pressure to between
130 and less than 140.
Cooper-DeHoff's study reveals for the first time that this group of patients
also had a similar increase in risk when their blood pressure was controlled to
lower than 115 systolic the range recommended as normal by the
American Heart Association.
"Identifying thresholds of when to initiate treatment, and when to say
'good enough,' is extremely important not only to optimize patient outcomes,
but also to help reduce unnecessary costs of care," said Stephan Brietzke,
M.D., an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of
Missouri-Columbia who was not involved with the study. O
The power of plants
Plant-based system could improve
Now UF and University of Central Florida researchers have devised a way
that could help patients develop tolerance to the therapeutic protein before
they are in need of treatment.
They genetically modified plants to encapsulate the tolerance-inducing
protein within cell walls so that when ingested, it can travel unscathed
through the stomach and be released into the small intestines where the
immune system can act on it. The low-cost plant-based system, now being
tested in mice, eventually could help improve the lives of many people who
have hemophilia and dramatically reduce related health-care costs. The
approach also has the potential for use with other conditions such as food
allergies and autoimmune diseases.
"We're hoping that our research will, in the future, result in better and
more cost-effective therapies," said Roland Herzog, Ph.D., an associate
professor of pediatrics, molecular genetics and microbiology in the UF
College of Medicine and a member of the UF Genetics Institute, who was
one of the study's leaders.
The findings were published March 29 in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences. Q
10 I http: news.health.utl.edu
Tasty -AND- tumor-fighting
Papaya tea contains cancer-fighting properties
By Elizabeth Connor
The humble papaya is gaining credibility
in Western medicine for anticancer
powers that folk cultures have
recognized for generations.
UF researcher Nam Dang, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues in Japan have
documented papaya's dramatic anticancer effect against a broad range of
lab-grown tumors, including cancers of the cervix, breast, liver, lung and
pancreas. The researchers used an extract made from dried papaya
leaves, and the anticancer effects were stronger when cells received larger
doses of the tea.
In a paper published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of
Ethnopharmacology, Dang and his colleagues also documented for the first
time that papaya leaf extract boosts the production of key signaling
molecules called Thl-type cytokines. This regulation of the immune
system, in addition to papaya's direct antitumor effect on various
cancers, suggests possible therapeutic strategies that use the immune
system to fight cancers.
The papaya extract did not have any toxic effects on normal cells,
avoiding a common and devastating consequence of many cancer therapy
regimens. The success of the papaya extract in acting on cancer without
toxicity is consistent with reports from indigenous populations in
Australia and his native Vietnam, said Dang, a professor of medicine and
medical director of the UF Shands Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office.
"Based on what I have seen and heard in a clinical setting, nobody who
takes this extract experiences demonstrable toxicity; it seems like you
could take it for a long time as long as it is effective," he said.
Researchers exposed 10 different types of cancer cell cultures to four
strengths of papaya leaf extract and measured the effect after 24 hours.
Papaya slowed the growth of tumors in all the cultures.
To identify the mechanism by which papaya checked the growth of the
cultures, the team focused on a cell line for T lymphoma. Their results
suggested that at least one of the mechanisms employed by the papaya
extract is inducing cell death.
In a similar analysis, the team also looked at the effect of papaya
extract on the production of antitumor molecules known as cytokines.
Papaya was shown to promote the production of Thl-type cytokines,
important in the regulation of the immune system. For that reason, the
study findings raise the possibility of future use of papaya extract
components in immune-related conditions such as inflammation,
autoimmune disease and some cancers.
Bharat B. Aggarwal, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Texas
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, already is so convinced of
papaya's restorative powers that he has a serving of the fruit every day.
"We have always known that papaya has a lot of interesting things in
there," said Aggarwal, a professor in the center's department of
experimental therapeutics who was not involved in the UF research.
Dr. Nam Dang (right) of the College of Medicine has teamed with College of
Pharmacy researcher Hendrik Luesch to study the papaya leaf extract.
Foremost among papaya's health-promoting agents is papain, papaya's
signature enzyme, which is found in both the fruit and the leaves.
"This paper has not gone too much into identifying the components
responsible for the activity, which is just fine. I think that is a good
beginning," Aggarwal said.
Aggarwal also noted that papaya extract's success in reducing cancer
in laboratory cell cultures must next be replicated in animal and human
"I hope Dr. Dang takes it further, because I think we need enthusiastic
people like him to move it forward," Aggarwal said.
Dang and a colleague have applied to patent the process to distill the
papaya extract through the University of Tokyo. The next step in the
research is to identify the specific compounds in the papaya extract
active against the cancer cell lines. For this stage, Dang has partnered
with Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., a fellow UF Shands Cancer Center member
and a professor of medicinal chemistry in the College of Pharmacy.
Luesch is an expert in the identification and synthesis of natural
products for medicinal purposes, and recently discovered a coral reef
compound that inhibits cancer cell growth in cell lines. O
MYSTERY! INTRIGUE! PIGS! IN THIS MONTI'S
ISSUE OF THE POST, WE BRING YOU ALL
THREE IN A SERIES OF STORIES ABOUT THE
HSC EXPERIlTS WHO HELP SOLVE MYSTERIES,
FROM CRIMES TO I)EADLY ILLNESSES.
he couldn't figure out what killed the young man from Haiti.
His autopsy results had been negative. Same with the toxicology report. But prior to
the Haitian immigrant's death, he'd gone to the hospital where tests revealed an elevated
heart rate and abnormal EKG, remembers Martha Burt, M.D., a clinical assistant
professor of pathology in the UF College of Medicine.
Burt, then a medical examiner in Miami, went over the case with one of her
colleagues who thought it seemed like an overdose of cardiac glycoside. Cardiac
glycosides are used to treat patients with certain heart problems, but toxicologists had
not detected any in the man's blood.
"We went back out to where he lived and, as it turned out, right in front of his house
was a huge oleander plant. Oleander is poisonous because it has (non-medicinal) cardiac
glycosides in it," Burt says. "We tested his blood for that, and that's what it was.
"Being able to put all the pieces together, it doesn't happen when very often, but it is
very cool when it does."
Now a medical examiner for the District 8 Medical Examiner's Office, Burt is one of
many UF faculty and staff members who spend their days uncovering the secrets of
death. UF is home to the District 8 Medical Examiner's Office, the William R. Maples
Center for Forensic Medicine in the College of Medicine, the C.A. Pound Human
Identification Laboratory in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the world's
largest online forensic science program in the College of Pharmacy. Also, UF is fast
becoming the hub for the emerging field of veterinary forensics.
And most of these folks work together not only to teach students, but also to help
)DR. B., MEI)ICAL EXAMINER
ult ing cou1m daafn'L intllo pbacI l ul mul'e carta6 plan. In medical huul, t hI e wln in
love with the discipline of autopsy pathology. Unlike medical examiners, who aim to
uncover the cause of death as part of an investigation, autopsy pathologists look more
at the process of disease. Unfortunately, autopsy pathology is a dying trade, so Burt
.. .>^ As someone who spends her days dissecting the dead, she gets the question a lot:
"How can you stand to do this?"
"I think our society as a whole is very sheltered from death," she says. "When it is a
part of your daily life, it does become more comfortable, not personally, no one wants
to think of their own death. But (the concept of death) is easier to deal with."
After working in Miami-Dade County, Burt came to UF in 2005 when the District 8
Medical Examiner's Office became part of the UF College of Medicine department of
pathology. This relationship gives medical students, residents and students from other
health disciplines close access to the inner working of a medical examiner's office.
Burt is one of two medical examiners in the office, led by William F. Hamilton,
I M.D. Together, they performs about 600 autopsies a year. Burt performs even more in
her role as director of the autopsy service for Shands at UF.
Most take an hour or two to complete. But some autopsies are so complex they take
days. And yes, things can get a little grisly. Car crashes tend to cause the most damage
to the body.
"Separated, torn, crushed, munched, dismembered ... if you can think it, we have
seen it," Burt says.
But the examination of the body isn't the only way the office investigates a person's
death; they also investigate the scene and examine evidence. The District 8 Medical
Examiner's Office employs three death investigators to help detect these on-scene clues.
"We incorporate everything," Burt says.
Sn.~I he rj! tner the medical examiner's office works closely with at UF is the forensic
A I ,t !u,!, laboratory led by Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D.
14)u !,: his 25 years in forensic toxicology, Goldberger has testified in civil and criminal
-Lu!l J I-,I One-hundred-and-seventy-three times to be exact. He's probably done almost
J, mJn\ news interviews.
.\ pr. ,[,sor of pathology in the UF College of Medicine and director of UF's William R.
,\ japk.l ( enter for Forensic Medicine, Goldberger and his team are involved in about 3,000
J hJih !n. stigations a year for seven medical examiner offices around the state. Each case
i -,, n little mystery.
"N. rr~ people have equated the work we do in toxicology to assembling puzzle pieces.
, -rr I -ur cases are very complicated and take a significant amount of work in the
lah.. al .! \ to complete," Goldberger says. "It is gratifying when we complete a case. Every
- ,r ,I ,I iheL r is important because it is a deceased person whose death is being investigated
h\ i h, rnm ical examiner's office."
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t was October 2009 with the swine flu pandemic in full swing, when the USDA
announced the first case of the pandemic flu virus detected in U.S. pigs. Secretary
of Agriculture Tom Vilsack rushed to reassure the public that pork products were
safe to eat.
The researcher behind the discovery was Gregory Gray, M.D., M.P.H., chair of the
( college of Public Health and Health Professions' department of environmental and global
health. His research team and collaborators at the University of Minnesota identified the
pandemic H1N1 virus, the same strain that had sickened thousands of humans, in show
pigs at the Minnesota State Fair.
The work began in the summer of 2008 when colleagues from the Centers for Disease
( control and Prevention asked Gray's research team to investigate influenza in people who
participate in swine shows, common at county and state fairs. There was mounting
evidence that people who participate in or came in close contact with pigs in these shows
were at increased risk for contracting influenza.
Gray, then the director of the University of Iowa's Center for Emerging Infectious
Diseases, led a team that studied pigs and their handlers at the Minnesota State Fair. The
team went from stall to stall, interviewing participants, drawing blood samples from
volunteers and taking swab samples from pigs' nostrils.
"The first year there was nothing. No evidence of swine flu in pigs or humans. We
weren't too excited about going back the next year," Gray joked.
But 2009 was very different. Although all the show pigs seemed healthy, 19 percent of
the 57 pigs tested at the Minnesota State Fair and one pig among 45 tested at the North
Dakota State Fair had molecular evidence of influenza A virus in their noses. Six of seven
viruses the researchers isolated from these pigs were identical to the pandemic H1N1
virus. Initially, the investigators thought the pigs might have acquired the infection from
humans attending the fair, but the virus was present in some pigs at the start of two shows,
suggesting that the pig were already infected when thev arrived
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medical malpractice to drug-related homicides. He also has worked with the
U.S. Attorney's Office on the prosecution of physicians charged with
prescribing large quantities of controlled substances to their patients outside
of the usual standard of care. Some of these patients died from drug
When Goldberger entered forensic toxicology, the field wasn't as in demand as it is now in the post-
Because of the increase in popularity of forensic science, UF's Ian Tebbett, Ph.D., Pharm.D.,
established an online forensic science certification program 10 years ago. The program, which caters to
law enforcement, now has 600 students in 30 countries.
"It's growing at a rate of 40 percent a year," says Tebbett, who discovered his passion for the field while
working in Scotland Yard. "It's the largest forensic science program in the world."
Goldberger takes every opportunity he can to teach. He takes his students to depositions and trials to
help prepare them for a career in forensic science. And he views his time on the stand as a teachable
"That is why the jurisprudence system uses experts," he says. "They use them as teachers, as opiners.
Before I can express my opinion to the jury, I have to give them the basic information."
THE l EAL PET DI)ETECTIVEI
after Georgia passed a law making animal cruelty a felony offense in 2000, veterinarian Melinda Merck,
D.V.M., found herself delving into forensic medicine. Because investigators were used to dealing with
humans not dogs or cats, she began training them how to approach crimes against animals.
But the more she delved into it, the more she realized how little information existed about collecting
animal evidence. So, she became the expert.
"I was motivated because there was nothing out there, no research," says Merck, an adjunct professor
for the UF College of Veterinary Medicine and senior director of forensic sciences for the ASPCA. "There
was a void. I felt it was unacceptable that we didn't have this information on animals."
Since then, she's investigated and testified on countless cases of animal cruelty, from neglect to
dogfighting. She worked on the federal case against Michael Vick, who was convicting of running a
dogfighting ring in 2007, and most recently testified in the trial of a woman accused of piercing kittens
and marketing them as "gothic kittens."
"These crimes are tied to perpetrators that could be a current or future risk to society," Merck says.
"The first (animal cruelty) felony in Atlanta that was prosecuted was a man who burned a dog. A few years
later he was indicted for murder."
Now, Merck is bringing her expertise to UF students. She came to UF in August as part of a
partnership between the ASPCA and the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine to establish a
program in veterinary forensic medicine. This month, the College of Veterinary Medicine began offering
its first veterinary forensics class to junior students. A 15-credit online veterinary forensics certification
program will start in January 2011.
Since coming to UF, Merck has teamed with other UF forensics experts to get the program going ...
and to work on new cases. She and her team recently returned from excavating skeletons for a dogfighting
case, and she teamed with the UF Shelter Medicine program to respond to a Florida sanctuary where 600
cats were neglected.
"The greatest thing is to see human forensics experts like Dr. (Jason) Byrd, Dr. (Bruce) Goldberger and
Dr. (Michael) Warren embrace this," she said. "Without that, we wouldn't be where we are. That is going
to bring us light years ahead." O
SThe art ]e
UF helps patients thrive in new role as
By Elizabeth Connor
Patricia Shearer, M.D., M.S., is an expert in helping cancer survivors
adjust to life after cancer diagnosis and treatment. The pediatric
oncologist directs the Cancer Survivor Program at the UF Shands
Cancer Center, assisting survivors of all ages in anticipating the
physical and emotional challenges that may arise after cancer
treatment. For more information about the program, call 352-273-8021 or
visit the program's website at www.shands.org/cancersurvivor.
Why is there a need for a
program like this?
It is gratifying to see progress in curing both childhood and
adult cancer. Now, the cure rate for children diagnosed
with cancer is 80 percent and for adults it is 64 percent.
However, the end of treatment for a survivor of any age can
usher in a new set of challenges called "late effects." These
include medical problems like growth delay; heart, lung, or
kidney damage; low thyroid; infertility; hearing loss and even
second cancers. Late effects also encompass pain, fatigue,
anxiety, depression, lymphedema, mobility limitations and
trouble obtaining insurance. We help survivors anticipate
these problems based on their own individual chemotherapy,
radiation and surgery so that they can be prevented or
managed in the most effective way. Our goal is to enable all
cancer survivors to live healthy, productive lives.
Can you describe a common late
effect of cancer that might have been
overlooked or just tolerated before?
We know that the fatigue of cancer survivors, particularly
adults, is different from other types of fatigue. It may have
more of a biochemical basis. We also know that certain
young adult survivors have memory or learning problems
that may not have occurred or been recognized during active
treatment. We work with educators and psychologists to help
survivors achieve their academic potential.
Who is eligible for the Cancer
Cancer survivors of any age who are off therapy and free
of cancer for at least two years can come to the Cancer
Survivor Program. Women who are still taking hormones after
treatment for breast cancer are eligible.
Does insurance cover the services of
the Cancer Survivor Program?
In most cases, yes. Our staff can work with cancer survivors to
help complete the paperwork.
What makes the UF cancer survivor
First, it is unique because we see cancer survivors of all
ages. Second, we have a team of oncologists, a nurse and a
social worker to work out a personalized treatment summary
that deals with medical late effects and other late effects
like obtaining insurance for each survivor. Third, we offer
participation in research studies on survivorship. Lastly, we
are the hub of a network for young adult cancer survivors in
Florida to help them get access to survivorship care that may
not be available elsewhere. 0
1161 http: news.health.utl.edu
By Sarah Carey
When the presence of
in playgrounds drew
widespread controversy in 2001,
UF's Center for Environmental
and Human Toxicology was front
and center, investigating and
evaluating risk assessments at
the request of both state and
national regulatory agencies.
The lumber in question had been treated with
CCA, a pesticide that contains arsenic, which can
cause neurological problems, cardiovascular disease
and even cancer. The state asked the UF center to
study risk assessments that had been conducted on
exposure to arsenic from pressure-treated wood,
particularly exposure of children using wooden play
The center found that a critical weakness in the
assessments was the absence of data regarding how
much arsenic children actually receive from contact
with CCA-treated wood. Estimates of exposure risk
varied widely, making it difficult to discern the
extent to which the wood posed a health problem.
Then the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
decided to conduct its own assessment of risks to
children from pressure-treated wood, relying
heavily on technical advice provided by the UF
"We really were at the center of raising issues and
questions regarding pressure-treated lumber, which
ultimately resulted in the voluntary withdrawal of
chromate copper arsenate from residential usages,"
said Steve Roberts, Ph.D., a professor of
physiological sciences at UF's College of Veterinary
Medicine and center director.
Roberts can live without the publicity generated
by that issue, but he stresses that such visibility is
rare for the center because usually its work is behind
the scenes. Many people may not know the center
even exists at UF, although it plays a central role in
evaluating risks from contaminated sites throughout
"We evaluate from 30 to 40 sites a year, all within
Florida," Roberts said. "We create criteria to help
evaluate human health and the environment,
developing and improving the process of risk
assessment and helping to communicate
information about risk to a variety of audiences."
His main message: The center's job is not to serve
as advocate or activist but rather as a resource of
pooled expertise that regulators can draw from to
make sound policy decisions, whether having to do
with safe levels of chemical concentrations in soil,
benzene in drinking water or, yes, arsenic, which
continues to be present in certain materials.
"We want people to know that we are a resource to
public agencies, to help them ensure that the
technical and scientific approaches to evaluating
risk are undertaken using the best available
science," Roberts said. "It's important that we don't
make the decision about what is or isn't acceptable
risk. Those decisions are made by regulatory
agencies, but we get those agencies the science to
make their decisions."
An example of the center's work is the Koppers
Inc. wood treatment facility located in Gainesville.
Environmental concerns about the Koppers facility,
which is in the process of being closed and sold,
have made local headlines for years, but UF's role in
the due diligence performed to regulate
contaminants is not widely known.
"If you're going to evaluate the risk from that site,
you have to understand where the contamination is,
how much there is, who is being exposed, how
they're being exposed, who might be exposed in the
future and what the level of toxicity or potential
toxicity is of any chemicals that might be present
there," Roberts said.
All of this information is assembled to assist
regulatory agencies and the public in deciding
whether there is a risk to public health, he added.
"For example, if you read in the paper that dioxin
levels in neighborhoods are above state standards,
who develops the numbers for those standards? We
do," Roberts said. "If you're going to evaluate a site
for soil contamination, you have to follow certain
rules, specifically the Florida Administrative Code.
When the state writes those rules, we consult with
its representatives to make sure site assessments are
Doug Jones, chief of the Bureau of Waste Cleanup
with Florida's Department of Environmental
Protection, said the center has provided invaluable
service to the department for more than a decade.
"The center provides us a wide range of services
- everything from the specialized scientific support
we need to develop contamination cleanup policy to
review of individual risk assessments for
contaminated sites," he said.
Roberts and his colleague, Leah Stuchal, Ph.D.,
speak by phone several times a day with
representatives from the state's Department of
Environmental Protection and from Dade County,
which has its own environmental criteria developed
by the center. He doesn't remember a time when the
center's recommendations have not been followed.
"That is the extent to which we are relied upon,"
he said. "It's not like we sort of talk to the agencies'
toxicologists; we are their toxicologists." Q
I Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the latest news and HSC events 171
College of Pharmacy forms call center to help patients manage prescriptions
By Monica Vigo
doctors stopped making routine house calls 50
years ago, but UF pharmacists may be starting
them back up. Imagine sitting in your den,
chatting with your pharmacist over a cup of coffee
or tea. For one uninterrupted hour, it's just you, your
prescription medications and your pharmacist -
answering your questions.
In a partnership with national health-plan company WellCare Health Plans Inc.,
the UF College of Pharmacy is receiving $2.5 million to establish a medication
therapy management call center. The call center satisfies a government requirement
for health-plan providers of the Medicare prescription drug benefit to provide
once-a-year comprehensive medication review with quarterly followups, called
medication therapy management.
The importance of the MTM center is not only to see if patients are following their
medication plans, but also to identify any non-prescribed drugs the patient could be
taking that may react dangerously with other medications or cause them to be
ineffective, said David Angaran, M.S., a clinical professor at the college and director
of the center.
The faculty and student pharmacists use listening skills and empathetic
conversation to help create a bond of trust, Angaran said.
"One of our biggest challenges is we have no prior relationship with the plan
member. It's really perfect strangers talking to perfect strangers," Angaran said. "But
the great thing about this is we're giving these patients our time and attention."
A pharmacist would have a difficult time trying to have a 30-minute uninterrupted
conversation with even one patient during the workday, Angaran said. Using new
MTM patient management software developed by Gold Standard/Elsevier, the call
center can better reach thousands of patients to uncover and document details that the
patients' health-care providers may not know.
"When you go to a pharmacy you get this sense that everyone's rushing. You're
standing, and you have no privacy," Angaran said. "Our belief is that the patients open
up more because they are in the comfort of their homes."
Of WellCare's 800,000 members, the UF call center will contact identified patients
who have three or more chronic diseases and take eight or more medications that
exceed $3,000 in total costs annually. WellCare provides the center a record of all the
prescribed medications each patient takes, how they should be using them and their
disease states, Angaran said.
Qualified patients are sent a letter informing them that they are automatically
included for the service but may opt out. The center calls all other patients to confirm
participation and schedule a time when the patient can have their medications in front
Director David Angaran (front), trainer Michele Lawson (left) and clinical
assistant professors Teresa Roane (center) and Heather Hardin (right) supervise
student pharmacists and gather research data in the call center.
of them and speak with the center for up to an hour.
Before placing a second call the team reviews patients' pharmacy record to see what
prescriptions they are taking, potential drug interactions, compliance and cost issues.
After spending 30 to 60 minutes of time with each patient and developing a
medication action plan, the call center team sends a copy of the plan to the patients
and a list of potential drug-related issues with possible solutions and references to
The center, temporarily located in the UF Health Professions/Nursing/Pharmacy
Complex, consists of four UF faculty members, two pharmacy staff, four residents, one
fellow and 12 fourth-year student pharmacists working in eight-week internships. The
center will move to UF's new Eastside building in July when construction is expected
to be complete.
Besides patient care, the call center brings academic and research opportunities to
the college, too. Faculty members Teresa Roane, Pharm.D., and Heather Hardin,
Pharm.D., as well as incoming faculty member Anna Hall, Pharm.D., will supervise
the student pharmacists and will gather data to publish research findings about the
effectiveness of the center's patient outreach efforts.
"The students work really well with the technology," Hardin said. "Because the
center is so new, this is a learning process for all of us and they are instrumental in the
development of the MTM protocols."
Michele Lawson, an MTM trainer, teaches the students how to be empathetic
pharmacy-care consultants and encourages the call center student interns to put their
patient skills to work with this advice:
"You can hear a smile through the phone, so always smile," she said. "When you're
on the phone you should feel like you're holding their hand." Q
Fern Webb (shown here
with sons Kustarr and
Kowen) developed the
Winning Over Weight
which is being
Researcher, churches partner in Holistic Health Program
By Laura Mize
Several nights a week, two
Jacksonville churches are
opening their doors for a
program that helps people get
their bodies and their souls in
Peace Missionary Baptist Church and West
Jacksonville Church of God in Christ both play host
to the Winning Over Weight Wellness program,
developed by Fern Jureidini Webb, Ph.D., project
director and an assistant professor in UF's College of
Medicine-Jacksonville, in close collaboration with
expert interventionists in Jacksonville and South
The program, aimed specifically at African-
American women, offers participants nutrition
information and includes at least 45 minutes of
exercise, plus scripture reading or meditation. As if
that wasn't enough, the program also provides
something for the women's children: a healthy
dinner and Kids' Play Club, where the youngsters
can get plenty of physical activity of their own.
The whole program is geared toward making it
easier for women to establish healthy habits.
"I've always been passionate about getting
healthier and the challenges of becoming healthier
when you have so many different responsibilities,"
Webb said. "How can we marry some of the desires
that we have, in terms of going to church, going to
work, being good parents, and then getting
physically active and learning more about eating
Each church will host three 12-week sessions
twice a week, each serving a different group of
women. The first group began in January, and Webb
said feedback so far has been "significantly positive."
She anticipates the program will serve between 90
and 120 women before it ends in November.
"Given the initial success of this project, we are
submitting an application to the National Institutes
of Health to further develop the Winning Over
Weight Wellness program, as well as fully measure
its effectiveness," Webb said.
Gifts from The Aetna Foundation and The
Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation provide some of
the program's funding, and instructors from
Jacksonville Centre of the Arts lead the physical
fitness segments. The College of Medicine is
donating the time of Dr. Webb and other people
working on the project.
Webb said she chose to target African-American
women "because statistics and data support that
African-American women are significantly more
likely to be obese, overweight.
"African-American women also are ready to
The "spirituality" of this target group led Webb to
seek the cooperation of some local churches for the
program. Webb herself is a member of West
Jacksonville Church of God in Christ.
"A lot of our time is spent in faith-based places, so
we decided to partner with the churches," Webb
explained. "Another part of it is that we wanted to get
to individuals who may have some weight issues but
not necessarily present in clinical settings, to engage
individuals where they live and where they thrive."
Gary Hall Sr., Ph.D., senior pastor at West
Jacksonville Church of God in Christ, said the
Holistic Health Program allows the church to meet
some of the physical needs of those who participate.
"We believe that the spirit, soul and the body all
should be cared for and properly maintained," he
said. "The holistic program has allowed for us to
come together with other like-minded persons, and
we're able to just stretch it out, burn calories, be
educated as to nutrition and some of the lifestyle
"We believe that the spirit,
soul and the body all
should be cared for and
Gary Hall Sr., Ph.D.
choices that may not be in our best long-term
Webb and her fellow researchers will use
questionnaires completed before and after each
group to measure the program's effect on
participants' size, weight, nutritional practices,
physical activity habits and psychological well-
She said she anticipates positive results and hopes
to expand the program to offer it to more people, not
just African-American women.
"Once we start with this group, plans are to focus
on everybody. We all need the physical activity and
nutrition support." O
I Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the iciest news and HSC events 191
Goodbye to a pioneer
illic Joel Sanders, a legendary teacher in the UF College of
MIdicine, died March 27.
I le was 81.
After a career that spanned more than three decades, Sanders retired
from UF in 1989 as a tenured associate professor of anatomy and cell biol-
ogy. He was the first African-American faculty member in the College of
Medicine. Recently, more than 200 family members, friends, colleagues
and former students shared their memories with Sanders at a celebration
of his life at the Health Science Center.
"We were fortunate to have that moment to let him know how much he
really meant to us," wrote Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the College of
Medicine, in an announcement to faculty.
Sanders was one of the first six black students to be accepted into UF
as an undergraduate. He first began working for the Health Science
Center in 1957 as an anatomy lab technician, 13 years before the first two
African-American physicians graduated from the College of Medicine.
Because of his love for the study of anatomy, he advanced from the role
of preparing materials used to instruct medical students to faculty ranks,
becoming an associate professor of gross anatomy. He later became the
director of the Office of Minority Affairs.
He lived his life committed to helping other people. He played a huge
role in positively shaping many lives and careers. He is survived by his
wife of 48 years, Pauletta, and their five children, Paula Pringle, Willie
Joel Sanders Jr., Tonnya Sanders, Rhonda Sanders and Chada Sanders.
"His College of Medicine family will miss him, but his spirit and lega-
cy will never leave us," Good said. -John Pastor Q
Kendall Pierson, M.D., a longtime member
S1 the department of pathology in the College
,I Medicine, passed away March 24.
He was 79.
Born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Pierson was a first lieu-
tenant in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps from
1951 to 1953. He served in Hokaido, Japan during the
Korean War. After graduating from the University of
Utah with a bachelor's degree in theatre, TV and ra-
dio, Pierson earned his medical degree from New
York University, where he went on to become an as-
Pierson joined the UF faculty in 1968, became a
professor of pathology in 1970, and an emeritus pro-
fessor in 1998. He also served as chief of staff at the
Shands at UF medical center from 1976 to 1979.
Pierson is survived by his wife, Margery T.
Pierson; two daughters, Cynthia Austin, of
Lexington, Ky., and Pamela Portz, of Woodinville,
Wash.; and six grandchildren: Jasher, Jadon, Zion
and Gracyn Austin; and Elijah and Sammy Portz.
-John Pastor (
II I http: news.health.utl.edu
d dd &
He devoted decades to UF
illiam Woodson Dawson, M.S., Ph.D., a devoted faculty member
in the College of Medicine department of ophthalmology for 45
years whose innovative approach to eye disease research and ocu-
lar electrophysiology testing was highly regarded, passed away March 11, af-
ter an extended illness.
He was 76.
Dawson, a professor emeritus of ophthalmology, physiology and neurosci-
ence, joined the College of Medicine faculty in 1965, recruited by then-oph-
thalmology chair Herbert Kaufman, M.D., to establish an electrophysiology
testing service and conduct research into blinding eye disease. He adminis-
tered the clinical electrophysiology testing unit in the Ophthalmology Eye
Clinic for 35 years. In addition to his appointment in ophthalmology,
Dawson also held joint or courtesy appointments in the departments of
physiology, neuroscience, veterinary ophthalmology and psychology. He was
an honorary faculty member at the University of Puerto Rico.
"Bill was a credit to the University of Florida, the College of Medicine and
the department of ophthalmology," said William Driebe, M.D., chair of the
department of ophthalmology. "His decades of basic science research into
vision and eye disease led to creative approaches in defining their underly-
ing causes. He will be missed by his many friends, students, fellows and
Dawson received his bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and his
master's and doctorate in psychology and physiology from Florida State
University and was a research fellow at the Donner Laboratory of Biophysics
at the University of California at Berkeley. He joined the faculty at Auburn
University for several years and was a John F. Kennedy Fellow at Peabody
College in Nashville before joining the UF faculty.
Dawson devoted most of his 45 years at UF to basic research into vision
and eye disease. He investigated most of the major blinding eye diseases us-
ing novel approaches to define their underlying causes. Most recently he
spent much of his time developing the first naturally occurring primate ani-
mal models for several eye diseases, including glaucoma and age-related
Dawson is survived by his beloved wife of 20 years, Judyth Corey Dawson,
and his three daughters: Angela Vaziri, of Alameda, Calif.; Diana Bedell and
her husband, Brian, of Gainesville; and Jude Dawson, of Gainesville; a step-
daughter, Sandra Frankenberger; and a stepson, Mark Frankenberger and
his wife, Alison; and three grandchildren. -Karen Dooley Q
Her life was
"A Labor of Love"
ji\ I' izabeth "Betty" Hilliard, Ph.D., C.N.M., a UF
pl..k ssor emeritus who founded the College of Nursing's
nu l midwifery master's program in 1982 and was one of
the early pioneers of nurse midwifery in Florida, died March 27 after
an extended illness.
She was 85.
"Betty Hilliard was one of the
most dedicated and passionate
nursing leaders of her time," said
Kathleen Ann Long, Ph.D., R.N.,
dean of the College of Nursing.
"Although encountering resistance
to nurse midwifery in much of her
professional life, she persevered
and dedicated herself to nurse mid-
wifery education, and to improving
the health of women and children."
When Hilliard came to Florida
in 1960 to join the UF College of
Nursing's faculty, she was one of
only three nurse midwives in the
state. Fifty years later there are
more than 300 practicing nurse
midwives in Florida, and the ma-
jority are alumni of the UF nurse-
"Dr. Hilliard fought to establish the program, and we are so apprecia-
tive of her drive and determination," said Alice Poe, D.S.N., C.N.M.,
coordinator of the nurse-midwifery program since 1990. "She was such
a wonderful mentor to me and so many others so kind and giving and
willing to share her knowledge."
Hilliard received her nursing degree from Massachusetts General
Hospital and completed postgraduate work in maternity nursing in
Jersey City, N.J. She served in the U.S. Navy for five years and received
her bachelor's of nursing degree from Catholic University of America,
and her master's degree in nurse-midwifery from Yale University. She
later received a doctorate from the UF College of Education.
Hilliard was one of the earliest faculty members of the UF College of
Nursing, where she taught maternal and newborn nursing. Through
her work at the Reddick Clinic, the Maternal-Infant Care Project and
other ventures, she improved health care for a largely underserved pop-
ulation of women and infants and served as a role model for students.
In 2009, she saw a dream realized when her memoir, titled "A Labor
of Love," was printed by the College of Nursing.
- Tracy Brown Wright 0
UF swallowing disorders researchers won more awards recognizing outstanding posters, presentations and
dissertation research than any other institution at the international Dysphagia Research Society's annual research
meeting in March. Michelle Troche, Ph.D., a clinical lecturer in the College of Public Health and Health
Professions department of communicative disorders, Karen Wheeler-Hegland, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow
in physiological sciences, and Emily Plowman, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience, celebrate their
awards with a Gator chomp. Not pictured is M.P.H. student Chandylen Pendley who received a Yul Brynner
Head and Neck Cancer Foundation award for her presentation.
ERIC R. FRYKBERG, M.D., a
professor in the department
of surgery and chief of the
division of general surgery,
was recently selected as a
candidate for membership
in the prestigious Halsted
Society of leading American
surgeons. Frykberg joins two
other UFCOM-J department Eric R. Frykberg
of surgery professors, Michael
S. Nussbaum, M.D., and Joseph J. Tepas Ill,
M.D., in this elite national group limited to only
75 active members.
FRANK J. GENUARDI,
M.D., M.P.H., an associate
professor in the department
of pediatrics and associate
dean for student affairs,
has been elected into the
UF College of Medicine's ..
Society of Teaching Scholars.
Selection by the STS indicates ra n
excellence in teaching and Fr Genr
commitment to enhancing the educational
mission and the continuous quality improvement
process of the educational program.
JOHN LISSOWAY, M.D.,
a third-year resident in
the Emergency Medicine
Residency Program, has
been selected to participate
in a program to improve
emergency care in Ghana
using U.S.-trained emergency
physicians. The Systems John Lissoway
Improvement at District
Hospitals and Regional Training of Emergency
Care program is focused on clinical training,
bedside teaching, clinical service delivery and
process improvements at two district hospitals in
Ghana over a three-year period. The program
was launched last year in collaboration with the
Ghana Health Service by Columbia University
and the Mailman School of Public Health.
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
STEPHEN GROBMYER, M.D., an assistant
professor of surgery, will take part in the
American Society of Clinical Oncology's
leadership development program. Grobmyer,
one of only 10 physicians nationwide selected
for participation in this
prestigious program, is a
surgical oncologist whose
clinical practice currently
focuses on melanoma,
sarcoma, breast and other
solid tumors. He is an active
researcher investigating the
use of nanotechnology to
improve cancer diagnosis Stephen Grobmyer
M.D., a fellow specializing in
was one of five residents
and fellows to receive the
David C. Leach award from
the Accreditation Council
for Graduate Medical
Education in March. The new
award honors residents and Christopher Young
fellows who have improved learning, fostered
innovation, increased communication, made
processes more efficient or advanced humanism
in health care. Young, who also completed his
pediatrics residency at UF, began a project at
UF to help improve the neonatology fellowship.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
MICHAEL MARSISKE, Ph.D.,
an associate professor in
the department of clinical
and health psychology, is
the 2010 recipient of the
Mentor in Aging Award from
the Institute of Learning in
Retirement in partnership
with the UF Age Network. Michael Marsiske
The associate director for
research at UF's Institute on Aging, Marsiske
was recognized for his leadership of a National
Institute on Aging-funded predoctoral research
training program in aging and for individual
mentorship of graduate and undergraduate
LAURA ZAHODNE, a
doctoral student in the
department of clinical and
health psychology, received
a Young Investigator
award from the American
Her research focuses on
nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's disease,
particularly in domains of cognition and emotion
processing. She was honored at an awards
banquet during the association's annual meeting
in March in Tampa.
COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY
THE COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY'S Clinical
Education Model Transition Team members
Boyd Robinson, D.D.S., Richelle Janiec, Ronald
Watson, D.D.S., Charles Lesch, Justus Weber,
Lamar Brooks and Stephen Kostewicz won a
2010 Prudential Davis Productivity Award from
UF. The Prudential Davis Productivity Award
annually honors Florida state employees, and
recognizes teams and individuals and who have
adapted or implemented previous years' award-
winning achievements to add additional value to
Richard Neiberger, M.D., Ph.D., an
associate professor of pediatric nephrology
and Wayne McCormack, Ph.D., associate
dean for graduate education and director of
the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical
Sciences, each received the Silver Beaver
Award from the North Florida Council of
the Boy Scouts of America in March. The
award is one of the group's top volunteer
leader awards and is presented each year
to a select few of the group's 6,000 adult
volunteers. According to the Boy Scouts
of America, the award is "given to those
who implement the scouting program and
perform community service through hard
work, self-sacrifice, dedication and many
years of service."
SI I http: news.health.utl.edu
Runner to speak about Parkinson's disease
By Kim Libby
When the average
person sets out on
a 62-mile run, he is
bound to have a number of
concerns, the most important
being simply how to keep
going. But, as he discovered in
2005, that was the least of Jon
He began his running career during high school
in January 1962 and has never stopped. An
accomplished ultramarathoner, finishing races
well beyond the 26.2-mile marathon mark, he has
challenged himself and his physical limits beyond
what most people would consider. He has
continually motivated others throughout his life as
a former sixth-grade science teacher, West Point
graduate and Vietnam veteran.
But during a routine break for water while
training for a race in 2005, he noticed his right
hand was shaking uncontrollably. He also had
been tripping and falling, which was uncommon
for someone with his level of agility. He described
his symptoms to one of his friends, a nurse, and
she told him to see a doctor right away.
"After that, I got on the Internet and read things
over and it was eye-opening for me," he said. "So
when I heard my diagnosis, I had come to expect
it, and it was not that great of a surprise."
Anderson was diagnosed with Parkinson's
disease, a degenerative disorder of the central
nervous system that can impair motor skills and
speech functions. Although medicines can help
suppress some of the symptoms and help patients
live their daily lives more easily, there is no cure
for the disease.
The cause of the disorder is also unknown.
The unfortunate news hasn't stopped Anderson
from living a normal life. He works at the Florida
Museum of Natural History in the afternoons to
pursue his interest in amphibians. And although
his legs don't always "work as well as they used
to," he still boxes, swims, hikes and lifts weights in
addition to running. Doctors at the UF Movement
and Disorders Center and the McKnight Brain
Jon Anderson, who works for the Florida Museum of Natural History, is an ultramarathon
runner who happens to have Parkinson's disease. He will speak about the disease at an
Institute, where he receives treatment, have been
supportive of his endeavors, as long as he
continues to make adjustments to his regimen
when it's appropriate, he said.
"There's a little mantra that we all live by in the
world of ultramarathons: relentless forward
motion," Anderson said. "When you run that far,
you're hurting, you're tired, you're thirsty, but you
just keep going, and the same rules apply to life."
The theory has become the subject of his talk at
the eighth annual Parkinson's Disease
Symposium, which will be held April 24 at the
Abiding Savior Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.
"It's my hope that I can stress to people just
how important it is to stay active, especially for
those with PD," he said. "Even though there isn't
definitive research that it directly helps your
symptoms, it's pretty much something everyone
knows to be true and that everyone can benefit
Anderson said he hopes to get back to running
ultramarathons in the near future. For more
information about or to register for the
symposium, e-mail Rachelle Stephens at rachelle.
8:30 a.m to 2 p.m April 24
Abiding Savior Lutheran Church Fellowship
Hall, 9700 West Newberry Road in
Speakers include Michael Okun, M.D.,
Dennis Steindler, Ph.D., Irene Malaty, M.D.,
and Ramon Rodriguez, M.D.
The event is free and open to all patients,
caregivers, health providers and guests
but reservations must be made in advance.
I Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the iciest news cnd HSC events 231
Public Health Student
Jennifer Drucker and Bryan
Smallwood show fellow Master
of Public Health student
Chandy Pendley some of the
items on display at the table
they set up for Public Health
Week in April.
Dr. Mark Scarborough,
division chief of orthopaedic
oncology for the UF College
of Medicine, talks with
second-year medical students
at the recent Medical Speed
Senior UF veterinary student Sarah Burke blows the feathers of this pileated woodpecker
out of the way to examine the skin underneath for bruising. At right is Dr. James
Wellehan, a lecturer with the zoological medicine service.
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
Senior Vice President,
Health Affairs; President,
UF&Shands Health System
David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, News &
Melanie Fridl Ross
April Frawley Birdwell
Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
I -l- i:n 1,,, 11: : I :i ll: : i,:
ii'- 1 i ,.I H Ji-, j--
Kim Libby, Monica Vigo
Cassandra Mack, Beth Powers,
Ti.- I -- T H. Iri
[I I I-' I l II :
:i,, : II I :,, i I' ,i :,, :1 :,I 1 ,:I ,,, ,:
fl,,: I :11: .. ,- II : ,I :I II : ,i Ii :r
faculty, staff and students and Shands
HealthCare employees. 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 C3-025.