Title: HHMI Distinguished Mentors for Science for Life : an Interdisciplinary Program in the Life Sciences with Support from the Howard Hughes Medical Instit
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00093539/00002
 Material Information
Title: HHMI Distinguished Mentors for Science for Life : an Interdisciplinary Program in the Life Sciences with Support from the Howard Hughes Medical Instit
Series Title: HHMI Distinguished Mentors for Science for Life : an Interdisciplinary Program in the Life Sciences with Support from the Howard Hughes Medical Instit
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Publication Date: 2007
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00093539
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Science Spring 2007 HHMI Distinguished Mentors

L ife HHMI Distinguished Mentor awards recognize excellence in
undergraduate mentoring. Six awardees from the University
of Florida and one from Morehouse College were selected in the spring 2007
competition. These came from a large pool. For example 38 nominees and
applicants from seven different colleges were considered at the University of
Florida representing ranks from junior faculty to distinguished professors.
Dr. Barbara-Anne Battelle is a professor of neuroscience in the College of
Medicine and at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, St Augustine,
studying circadian changes in visual function. Since her primary research animal
is a marine invertebrate, the horseshoe crab, she has the good fortune of having
her research lab across the street from the ocean. Supported by grants from the -
NSF, Dr. Battelle's research aims at understanding the mechanisms that regulate
photoreceptor sensitivity. She applies the techniques of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology to examine
changes in photoreceptor cell structure, gene expression and protein function. Dr. Battelle has been active in training
undergraduates since she arrived at the University of Florida in 1985. By 1987, she was co-PI on a Research
Experience for Undergraduates site award from the NSF the first year of the program. She served as PI on three
subsequent REU site awards. Dr. Battelle has mentored 34 undergraduates in her laboratory. Once on board,
undergraduates become integral members of her research team and 17 are co-authors on her publications. In addition to
mentoring undergraduates, Dr. Battelle traditionally trains high school interns, local secondary school teachers, and is
the founder of the Whitney Laboratory's popular K-12 educational outreach programs. Dr. Battelle participates in the
Science for Life program and believes strongly in the power of nurturing young scientists. battellei@whitnev.ufl.edu
Jennifer Ann Harrison Elder, PhD, RN, FAAN is Associate
Professor and Chair in the Department of Health Care Environments
and Systems at the University of Florida College of Nursing. Dr.
Elder teaches mental health nursing and research at the undergraduate
and graduate levels. Dr. Elder has spent the last 25 years studying
autism and related child neuropsychiatric disorders and serves as an
international research consultant. With an interdisciplinary team of
researchers and clinicians, she has developed and tested a variety of
interventions for children with autism. Her family-focused research
program has been funded by four grants from NIH's National
Institute of Nursing Research and examines methods of educating
families, enhancing family cohesion, and reducing caregiver stress.
Dr. Elder has employed and mentored 16 undergraduate students in
her research projects. She has also provided research experiences for five undergraduate research scholars and 44
honors students. Dr. Elder's students frequently co-author and present with her at major research conferences. Four
have presented internationally. Dr. Elder is a fellow in the American Acad.
of Nursing and serves as a frequent reviewer for several NIH study sections
and journals. elderjh@nursing.ufl.edu

Kevin M. Folta is an Assistant Professor in the Horticultural Sciences
Dept. (IFAS) and the Graduate Program for Plant Molecular and Cellular
Biology. His research program studies how light shapes plant development,
influencing such important processes as seedling establishment,
photoperiodic flowering and control of plant product output. He also heads
a leading program in strawberry genomics, describing the structure and
function of genes important to fruit production.

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Spring 2007 HHMI Distinguished Mentors
Dr. Folta's laboratory is recognized for its novel techniques and homemade tools that address questions in plant
physiology, such as custom LED light arrays, computer-interfaced electronics, and innovative imaging devices.
His work has been supported by grants from USDA, NSF, NASA, and grower organizations. He is currently the Chair
of the U.S. Rosaceae Genetics, Genomics and Breeding Executive Committee and Co-Editor of a forthcoming book on
Rosaceae genomics. In just over four years at the University of Florida Dr. Folta has hosted research appointments for
17 undergraduate students, most supported through the University Scholars Program, IFAS or PMCB internships, or
internships obtained through the National Science Foundation. Five undergraduate authors have contributed to peer-
reviewed publications, and undergraduate research findings have been presented on over 20 abstracts and/or posters at
national or international conferences. kfoltai@ufl.edu

Dr. Henry Hess is an assistant professor of Materials Science and
Engineering in the College of Engineering. He is an expert in
Nanobiotechnology, focusing on the engineering applications of molecular
motors. His research group integrates biomolecular motors, such as the
motor protein kinesin, into synthetic structures in order to create "smart
dust" biosensors, to facilitate self-assembly, or to fabricate adaptive
materials. The insights developed by engineering hybrid structures with
biological components in turn inform our understanding of biological
systems. His projects have been supported by the DOE Office of Basic
Energy Sciences, the DARPA Biomolecular Motors program, and the NSF
CAREER program. Dr. Hess has worked extensively with undergraduate
scientists during his appointment as research assistant professor in the
Department of Bioengineering of the University of Washington, and
continues his efforts since joining the University of Florida in 2005. The nine undergraduate students mentored in his
lab have received multiple awards. For example, Michelle Kinahan was recognized with a NSF graduate student
fellowship, and Robert Tucker received a Fulbright fellowship. As part of his NSF CAREER award and in coordination
with the HHMI Science for Life program, Dr. Hess will create opportunities for undergraduate researchers to
participate in the work of international research groups in Europe and Japan. hhessk@mse.ufl.edu

Lisa McElwee-White is currently Professor of Chemistry at the
University of Florida, having moved her research group from
Stanford University in 1993. Her research interests center around
applications of organometallic chemistry in synthesis, catalysis and
materials science. One current thrust of her work is adapting catalytic
reactions for synthesis of pharmaceutical candidates such as HIV
protease inhibitors under more environmentally sensitive "green
S4 chemistry" conditions. Other projects involve synthesis of precursors
for chemical vapor deposition of materials used in the semiconductor
industry and development of catalysts for the direct electrochemical
oxidation of liquid fuels such as methanol or ethanol in fuel cells.
These projects have involved 40 undergraduate research students,
who have been authors on 17 of the more than 80 peer reviewed papers from the McElwee-White group. Undergraduates
have also been contributors on 23 oral or poster presentations at major scientific meetings. Dr. McElwee-White has
served as mentor for undergraduate researchers through the Beckman Scholars Program, the NSF-REU site and the
University Scholars Program, as well as the Science for Life program. lmwhitekchem.ufl.edu

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Spring 2007 HHMI Distinguished Mentors
Dr. Willie Rockward of Morehouse College, Atlanta is the first faculty mentor selected under an innovative UF-
Morehouse partnership.
Dr. Rockward is an Assistant Professor in the Department of
Physics, and serves as the Director of the Micro/Nano Optics
Research & Engineering (MORE) Laboratory. His current
research interests include micro/nano optics fabrication,
extreme ultraviolet interferometry, nanostructure
characterization, terahertz imaging, crossed phase optics, and
termite behavior to diffracted light. He has multiple research
collaborations; most recently with Dr. Y. Tseng at the
University of Florida for the optical characterization of
nanoparticles suspended in hydrogels. Also, Dr. Rockward
encourages his male African-American students to pursue
graduate studies at major research universities: he is
responsible for ~50 students enrolling in Ph.D. programs. The
MORE laboratory has trained over 60 undergraduates and 10
High school students in optical techniques during its 7 year
He is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Council on Undergraduate Research, the
National Society of Black Physicists, the National Technical Association, and the Optical Society of America. His
current educational interests include hands-on experiments in mathematics and science for primary (K-8) education,
demonstrations with lasers and diffractive optics, and developmental initiatives in science, mathematics and
engineering pipeline programs.

Dr. Adrian E. Roitberg is an Associate Professor in the
Chemistry Department in the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences and is a member of the Quantum Theory Project
center. He also holds an affiliate appointment in the Physics
department at UF. Dr. Roitberg studies 'things that move',
focusing on how dynamics in biomolecules affects structure
and function. His group uses computational techniques to
model biological systems. Dr. Roitberg has studied with these
techniques problems ranging from protein folding of peptides,
enzymatic mechanisms and protein structure prediction. He
has published over fifty articles.
Dr. Roitberg serves in a number of NIH review panels, and in
the NSF panel for supercomputer allocations. His
undergraduate colleagues have all gone to graduate school,
coauthored papers with him, and were awarded a number of
prizes and fellowships. Adrian is working with the Science for Life program to expand undergraduate research
opportunities with HHMI international Research Scholars in South America. roitberg@qtp.ufl.edu

Morehouse College and the University of Florida will award at least 35 HHMI-DM awards in six institution-wide
competitions over the first four years of the Science for Life program. A rotating seven-member selection committee
reviews applications. Contact: P. Soltis psoltis@flmnh.ufl.edu, R. Duran duran@chem.ufl.edu, L. Guillette

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