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/UF00093539/00003
 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: 2008
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00093539
Volume ID: VID00003
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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2008 HHMI Distinguished Mentors

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SHHMI Distinguished Mentor awards recognize excellence in
| | |undergraduate mentoring. Eight awardees were selected in the 2008
competition. These came from dozens of nominees and applicants from
numerous different colleges and units at Louisiana State University and
the University of Florida representing ranks from junior faculty to distinguished professors.

Mark A. Batzer is the Andrew C. Pereboom Alumni
Departmental Professor of Biological Sciences in the College of
Basic Sciences at Louisiana State University. Dr. Batzer has spent
20 years studying mobile elements and his research is funded by
multiple awards from the National Institutes of Health and
National Science Foundation as well as the Louisiana Board of
Regents. Mobile elements, also called "jumping genes", are
stretches of DNA sequence that duplicate themselves throughout
the genomes in which they reside. Research projects in Dr.
Batzer's laboratory have involved 26 undergraduate research
assistants who have been authors on 24 of the more than 200 peer
Reviewed publications from the Batzer group. The undergraduate
research assistants in the laboratory receive practical hands on training in a variety of molecular genetics
techniques and computational biology. Dr. Batzer has served as a mentor for undergraduate research through
the Chancellor's Future Leaders in Research (CFLR) program, a scholarship program through the LSU Office of
Research and Economic Development, the Chancellor's Aide scholarship program, the LSU Honor's College, the
Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN), NSF-REU program and HHMI undergraduate summer
research program. Thus far, all of Dr. Batzer's undergraduate research fellows have successfully completed their
undergraduate degree programs in 3-4 years and the majority of them have continued on to pursue advanced
degree programs in medicine, law, pharmacy or other related fields. Dr. Batzer is currently an Associate Editor
for Genomics, Executive Editor for Analytical Biochemistry, Editor for Gene, member of the editorial board for
the Repeated DNA Sequence Database and was recently named a Fellow of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS). mbatzer@lsu.edu

Miklos Bona is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the ..
University of Florida, specializing in Combinatorics. He is the
author of three successful textbooks, two of which are meant for
advanced undergraduates. He currently works on an NSF-NIH
sponsored project on Macromolecular Assembly with Meera
Sitharam of the Computer Science Department of UF, and Mavis
McKenna from the Brain Institute. His own research in
combinatorial enumeration has been supported by continuous
grants from the National Security Agency since 2003. Dr. Bona
graduated his first doctoral student at UF before getting tenured.
He has mentored four undergraduates in the UF Scholars
Program, two of whom went on to publish their results in academic
journals and to present them in international conferences.
IFunds from the current HHMI grant will enable Miklos Bona
and his team of students to research the role of permutations
in genome sorting, and use techniques of advanced
combinatorics to find the shortest evolutionary distance
between two genomes. Their work will also study genome
sorting algorithms with block transpositions and block
reversals. bona@ufl.edu
Hartmut Derendorf is Distinguished Professor and
Chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutics at the
University of Florida College of Pharmacy in Gainesville. He

has been teaching Biopharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics and Clinical Pharmacokinetics. In 1995, he received the
Teaching Improvement Award of the University of Florida. He was awarded the University of Florida Research
Foundation Professorship (2002), the CVS Pharmacy Endowed Professorship(2007-12)and the International
Educator of the Year Award (2004-7).

Prof. Derendorf has hosted over 80 undergraduate students over the last 20 years and more than half have
moved on to Graduate School afterwards. He also has coordinated undergraduate student experiences with
other Faculty in his Department (approximately to students/year). Prof. Derendorf has published over 300
scientific publications and among these are more than 30 papers with undergraduate co-authors have been
published. He has published six textbooks. He is one of the editors of the International Journal of Clinical
Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Die Pharmazie and Associate Editor for J. Clin. Pharmacol. His research
interests include the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of corticosteroids, analgesics, antibiotics as well
as drug interactions. Prof. Derendorf is currently President of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology
(ACCP). He won the Rottendorf-Award for Pharmaceutical Sciences (1983), the McKeen-Cattell Award for the
best publication in J. Clin. Pharmacology (1994) and the Faculty Award of the University of Utrecht (2005). In
2003, he was awarded the Nathaniel T. Kwit Distinguished Service Award of ACCP and the Research
Achievement Award in Clinical Science of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS). He is
past-President (2004/06) of the International Society of Antiinfective Pharmacology (ISAP). He is also a
member of the Nutrition and Therapeutics Committee of the NASA Space Medicine Program and a member of
the FDA Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee. hartmut(@cop.ufl.edu

Anne Grove is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of
Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University. Her research, which is supported
by NSF, focuses on protein-DNA interactions, with an emphasis on proteins
involved in organizing the bacterial nucleoid. In addition to roles in nucleoid
compaction or dynamics, these proteins also play roles in processes such as
regulation of gene expression and DNA repair. Over the years, Dr. Grove has
mentored 28 undergraduate students through several different programs, such as
NSF-REU, HHMI and IMSD. Several students have co-authored peer-reviewed
publications, three as first author. Undergraduate students have also contributed
to a number of presentations at scientific meetings, some as recipients of awards
such as undergraduate travel awards form the American Society for Biochemistry
and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). In 2007, Dr. Grove was named a National
Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences. agrove@lsu.edu-

S'q Karen E. Koch is a Professor in the Plant Molecular and Cellular
Biology Program, the Horticultural Sciences Dept. (IFAS), and UF
Genetics Institute. She and her research group study genes for
*sugar metabolism and effects of sugars on gene expression. To do
so, they use a combination of corn genetics, genomics, and genetic
Engineering. Goals range from applied ends (improving kernel
S composition and yield), to fundamental questions (how fates of
sugars are regulated). Central contributions continue to be made
tf by Undergraduate Interns, with the 21 most recent students each
SJ presenting their own, first-authored papers at national or regional
:i meetings. Participants have received national and UF awards, plus
top fellowships at graduate and professional schools. The Koch lab
1 'F'.- is currently funded by the USDA-NRI-Plant Biochemistry Program
(genes affecting kernel metabolism) and the NSF-Plant Genomics
Research Program (functional genomics of maize). Dr. Koch has
served on numerous grant review panels for national agencies, and
managed three of them. She is currently an elected member of the

Executive Committee for the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Dr. Robert McKenna is an associate professor of Biochemistry
and Molecular Biology in the College of Medicine with an
appointment through the McKnight Brain Institute. Using X-ray
and neutron crystallography and other biophysical techniques, his
main research focus is on structural studies of the zinc

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metalloenzyme Carbonic Anhydrase (CA). His studies on CA range from; understanding basic science questions
of how protons are transfer in the enzyme's active; to developing compounds that inhibit the enzyme and have
possible therapeutic applications in cancer therapy, to the engineering of thermally stable forms of the enzyme
for possible use in industrial-scale CO2 sequestration. Rob is also in involved with many other research
collaborations throughout the University of Florida, including structural studies of ssDNA viruses used for gene
delivery, and HIV protease a target enzyme for AIDs treatments. Rob enjoys strong research support from 2
simultaneous NIH and 1 NSF grant and he has published some 84 papers, with two notable recent reports in Ace
Chem. Res. and Biochemistry. Rob's research has involved over 30 undergraduates since 2000, each with their
own research project. Undergraduates in the lab have been awarded research fellowships, and awards at
national conferences, including travel and poster awards. rmckenna@ufl.edu

Museum of Natural History, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the
Department of Zoology, and a Graduate Faculty Member of UF's g .a
Genetics Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Louisiana State
University in Biology in 2000 and joined the faculty at UF in 2004.
Dr. Reed has broad research interests in evolutionary biology, re
although much of his lab's research focuses on parasites that
evolve in tandem with their mammalian hosts. For example,
students in the Reed lab have been studying human head lice in
order to better understand human evolutionary history and recent
human migrations. Research from the Reed Lab has shown that
human head lice show the same Out-of-Africa population
expansion that we see in modern humans 100,000 years ago, and
that human and chimpanzee lice diverged contemporaneously with their primate hosts approximately six
million years ago. Dr. Reed's research has been supported by three NSF grants, and has received wide media
attention in the New York Times, Science, Nature, and o the BBC World Service. He has mentored nine students
at UF through three NSF-REU supplements, the University Scholars Program, and HHMI's Science for Life
program. Students in the Reed Lab regularly give talks at national and international meetings, and are co-
authors on his publications. Dr. Reed encourages students to work on diverse projects in his lab ranging from
Florida Panther Conservation to the population genetics of human parasites. dreed@flmnh.ufl.edu.

Dr. Robin Lea West is professor of psychology at the University of Florida, and
currently the department Graduate Coordinator. Supported by grants from the
National Institute of Health, the Brookdale Foundation, and The Retirement
Research Foundation, Dr. West's research on everyday memory and memory self-
regulation has focused on ways to maximize the memory performance of older
her research laboratory, studying the impact of memory training on seniors, the
effects of goal setting on memory for all ages, and adults' hopes and fears ("possible
selves") concerning memory and health. She has worked closely on senior thesis
projects with 15 students; almost all of these have been awarded highest honors
from the university and three projects won the Leighton E. Cluff Award for Aging
111 Research. Dr. West is the author of over 60 academic papers, and two popular
memory books, including the "Everyday Memory Clinic Workbook" and "Memory
Fitness Over 40," which has been published in four countries. In addition to the
HHMI award, Dr. West has won a Fulbright Fellowship, a TIP Teaching Award, a
Mentor award from the American Psychological Association Division 20 (for
graduate and undergraduate mentoring), and a MindAlert award from the American Society on Aging for her
Everyday Memory Clinic training program for seniors. She has served on three national editorial boards for
aging research journals. Dr. West is eager to work closely with more students in the Science for Life program
that are interested in aging and memory. West51l@ufl.edu

The University of Florida, Morehouse College, and Louisiana State University will award at least 37 HHMI-DM
awards in six university-wide competitions over the first four years of the Science for Life program. A rotating
seven-member selection committee reviews applications. Contacts: P. Soltis psoltis@flmnh.ufl.edu, R. Duran
duran@chem.ufl.edu, K. Carman zocarm@lsu.edu, J.P. Brown jbrown@morehouse.edu

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