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/UF00093539/00004
 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: 2009
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00093539
Volume ID: VID00004
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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Life Spring 2009 HHMI Distinguished Mentors

HHMI Distinguished Mentor awards recognize excellence in undergraduate
mentoring. Ten awardees were selected in the 2009 competition. These came
from dozens of nominees and applicants from numerous different colleges and
units at Emory University, Harvey Mudd College, Louisiana State University,
and the University of Florida representing ranks from junior faculty to
distinguished professors.

Dr. Adrie Bruijnzeel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, at the
Dr. University of Florida and his laboratory is located in the McKnight Brain Institute. He is course director for
the junior honors course Introduction to Medical Science Seminar 1 / Translational Neuroscience. Dr.
Bruijnzeel's research focuses on the development of novel non-addictive treatments for tobacco and alco-
hol addiction. His laboratory has demonstrated that the neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor plays
an important role in the negative mood state associated with nicotine withdrawal and stress-induced rein-
statement of nicotine seeking behavior. Furthermore, his laboratory investigates the long-term effects of
second hand smoke exposure on the brain. His research is supported by grants from the National Institute
on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Flight Attendant Medical Research
Institute, and the McKnight Brain Institute. He considers mentoring undergraduate students a high priority
and has mentored more than 20 undergraduate students during the last 5 years. Students are involved in
all the research projects and experienced undergraduate students conduct their own research projects. The
majority of the students is co-author on at least one experimental publication by the time they graduate.
Students who are being mentored by Dr. Bruijnzeel have received research support from the Ronald E.
McNair Scholars Program, University Scholars Program, Florida-Georgia Alliance for Minority Participation,
HHMI Science for Life Program, and the National Institutes of Health. International exchange students
have received support from the Dutch Brain Foundation, Dutch Heart Foundation, Royal Dutch Association
for the Advancement of Pharmacy, and the Saal van Zwanenberg Stichting. Dr. Bruijnzeel helps students
to develop strong research skills and his students have been accepted by the top medical and graduate
schools in the country. Students from the Bruijnzeel lab have moved on to Harvard University Medical School, Drexel University Medical
School, Johns Hopkins University Neuroscience Graduate Program, and the University of Kentucky Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Pro-
gram. awbruiin@ufl.edu

Dr. Ben Dunn is a Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the College
of Medicine at the University of Florida. His work focuses on a family of enzymes, the aspartic. B
proteinases, which are found in all realms of life, from viruses to mammals. Using recombinant
DNA methods, his laboratory produces proteins through expression of genes encoding the de-
sired molecule or variants prepared by site-directed-mutagenesis. Following folding and purifi-
cation, the proteins are studied by their kinetic properties using assays designed to be specific
for each enzyme. In addition, the laboratory studies the binding of compounds that inhibit the
activity of the enzymes in an effort to discover potential new drugs for therapeutic use. Studies
of the structure of complexes between good inhibitors and the proteins are studied by X-ray
crystallography to reveal interactions at the atomic level. Professor Dunn's work is supported
by a MERIT award from the NIH. His laboratory studies HIV-1 protease and related enzymes
from the malaria parasite and from the HTLV-1 virus. He is one of the mentors and the co-
director of the University of Florida's Beckman Scholars Program. He is the Associate Director -
of the HHMI Science for Life Program and serves as the co-Director of the Undergraduate Re-
search component of that program. He also directs the Science for Life Seminar class that in-
troduces new UF students to potential faculty mentors through weekly meetings. His recent
students have received two EXROP program awards from HHMI and one has received a Gilliam
Fellowship for graduate school. Professor Dunn encourages his undergraduate students to attend national meetings and to present their re-
search in poster format and provides support for their travel. bdunn@ufl.edu




Lif# Spring 2009 HHMI Distinguished Mentors

Dr. Robert Drewell is currently an assistant professor of Biology at Harvey Mudd
College. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular & Developmental Biology from the Uni-
versity of Cambridge and pursued postdoctoral training at University of California,
Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology. Research in the Drewell labora-
tory is focused on understanding how the complex development of an organism is
regulated at the molecular level. A combination of molecular, genetic and computa-
tional approaches are employed to examine the interacting network of DNA regula-
tory sequences at critical developmental genes, including the Hox genes in Drosophila
melanogaster and the telomerase gene in mammals. Current research is supported
by grants from the NIH, NSF CAREER program, HHMI and Sierra Sciences. Dr.
Drewell has worked extensively with students since joining Harvey Mudd College in
2006. In this time he has mentored 23 undergraduate research students, who have
Seen authors on 7 peer-reviewed papers and contributed 11 different oral or poster
presentations at major scientific meetings. Recent graduates are now enrolled in
Ph.D. graduate programs at leading research Universities including; MIT, UCLA, Cal-
tech and UCSF. Students from the laboratory have also been selected for prestigious
awards at the national level, including two Beckman Scholars, an NIH Summer Fellowship and an NSF Academic Fellowship.
Robert Drewell@hmc.edu

Dr. Gail. E. Fanucci is an assistant professor of Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sci-
ences. She received her PhD from the University of Florida in 1999 and joined the faculty at UF in
August 2004. After finishing her PhD, she performed two post-doctoral research appointments that
utilized magnetic resonance techniques to study membrane associated and integral membrane
proteins. Current research objectives focus on the application of biophysical magnetic resonance
techniques, particularly site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) electron paramagnetic reso-nance (EPR)
spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to study protein flexibility and
conformational changes related to the proper function or disease states. Specifically, the lab is
funded by NIH, NSF and AHA to study membrane binding/lipid transfer proteins, develop site-
directed spin labeling methods to study natively unstructured proteins, and monitor conformational
changes in drug resistant constructs of HIV-1 protease. During the last 5 years, 16 graduate stu-
dents, one post-doc and 11 undergraduate students have worked in the laboratory. Both graduate
and undergraduate students have presented their research at regional and national conferences
and published their work in leading journals. fanucci@chem.ufl.edu

Dr. Jayne Garno is an assistant professor of chemis-
try at Louisiana State University and a member of the
Center for Biomodular Multi-Scale Systems at Louisi-
ana State University. Her interdisciplinary research program focuses on developing
new approaches for nanoscale measurements and imaging with scanning probe mi-
croscopy, emphasizing studies of chemical and biological surface reactions. Research
O .. with scanning probe instruments provide a compelling mechanism for student recruit-
ment and retention because of the appeal of molecular visualization. Such research
activities provide essential training for undergraduate students, to help them build
analytical skills, confidence and scientific expertise. Garno's mentoring has fostered
opportunities for underrepresented minorities and women in interdisciplinary research.
In her four years at LSU, she has sponsored 26 undergraduate researchers for intern-
ships, with financial support from the Chancellor's Research Scholars, LA-STEM, LSU-
LAMP, ACS-PRF, Chemistry NSF-REU and HHMI programs. Work by undergraduates
has contributed to 24 posters and 7 research publications. Undergraduates under her

direction have continued their careers with studies in medical schools, pharmacy stud-
ies, veterinary medicine, and graduate programs in chemistry and materials science.
Her research program is funded by awards from the National Science Foundation Career program, the Louisiana Board of Regents
and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. iqarno@lsu.edu

Dr. Timothy Hanks is a Professor of Chemistry at Furman University with research
interests in the design and synthesis of functional nanoscale systems. Students in
his laboratory work on a wide variety of projects ranging from fundamental investi-
gations into the nature of weak intermolecular halogen bonds to the preparation of
molecular sensors that detect strain in polymer composites. Recently, that Hanks
group has developed a photochemical reaction for covalently linking gold nanoparti-
cles into three-dimensional arrays and they are currently refining the system to
allow for directionality in the bonding, effectively transforming the nanoparticles
into giant "atoms". More than 80 undergraduates have participated in the group's
research efforts since 1990. The group is currently supported by funding from PRF,
the Research Corporation and NSF.

Dr. Hanks is the director of Furman's Research Experiences for Undergraduates
(REU) site and a Co-Director of the France International REU site with the Univer-
sity of Florida. He is Past Chair of the REU Leadership Group and has served on the
Board of Directors of the Southeast Region of the American Chemical Society for
the past 15 years. tim.hanks@furman.edu

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Lije Spring 2009 HHMI Distinguished Mentors

Dr. Bin Liu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacodynamics of the
r in College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida. Dr. Liu is also a member of the

approaches, Dr. Liu has been investigating the contribution of environmental toxi-
cants including pesticides and heavy metals to the pathogenesis of neurodegenera-
tive diseases. One of the major disease models under investigation is Parkinson's
disease, a debilitating movement disorder that affects one and half million people in
the United States alone. The ultimate goal of Dr. Liu's research is to discover pre-
symptomatic diagnostic biomarkers and cure for Parkinson's disease and other neu-
rological disorders. Over the years, Dr. Liu has mentored 21 undergraduate stu-
Sdents including 10 here at the University of Florida. Many of his students have been
co-authors of publications and recipients of awards including Best Poster, HHMI Sci-
ence for Life and HHMI International Scholars. Thus far, 11 of his undergraduate
students have gone on to pursue graduate and professional studies at U. Florida, U.
Michigan, Michigan State, Wayne State, NYU and Tulane. liu@cop.ufl.edu

Dr. Donna Maney is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology and a member of
the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Her re-
search focuses on how genes, hormones, and the environment interact to induce
changes in brain structure and function. Her specific interests include genetic and neu-
roendocrine mechanisms of social behavior, endocrine-mediated brain plasticity, and
environmental regulation of reproductive function. Her laboratory is accessible to un-
dergraduates, post-baccalaureate students and public high school students and teach-
ers participating in a variety of local education programs. Dr. Maney encourages under-
graduates to participate actively in research, and considers their education and lab
experience the most important and rewarding part of her job. She regularly mentors
participants in the Scholarly Inquiry and Research at Emory (SIRE) and HHMI-funded
Summer Undergraduate Research at Emory (SURE) programs. Many of her students
have been lead or co-authors on publications or presentations, and several have won
awards for their undergraduate research presentations. In 2005, she was awarded a
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) largely for her
involvement in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. dmanev@emory.edu .s

.Dr. Bonnie Moradi is an Associate Professor of Psychology and a member of
the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Florida. She joined the
UF Psychology Department in 2001 and has had the opportunity to work with
over 40 undergraduate students. Her research focuses on perceived discrimina-
tion experiences and mental health of women, racial/ethnic minority persons,
lesbian, gay, bisexual persons, and other minority groups. This research has
garnered funding from the NIMH and the American Psychological Foundation's
Wayne F. Placek Award, as well as an NIMH supplemental grant to mentor un-
derrepresented minority students. Dr. Moradi's publications with undergraduate
students have been recognized with national awards including the 2004 Re-
search on Psychotherapy with Women Award from the APA Society for the Psy-
chology of Women, the 2005 Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship on Race
and Ethnicity Award from the APA Society of Counseling Psychology Section for
Ethnic and Racial Diversity, the 2008 Distinguished Publication Award from the
Association for Women in Psychology, and a series of articles to appear as a
Major Contribution in The Counseling Psychologists in 2009. Dr. Moradi is a
Consulting Editor for the Journal of Counseling Psychology and Associate Editor of Psychology of Women Quarterly. She received the
2007 Fritz and Linn Kuder Early Career Award from the APA Society of Counseling Psychology. moradib@ufl.edu

Dr. Victoria Turgeon earned her PhD in Neurobiology and Anatomy from Wake
Forest University in 1998 and has been at Furman University since that time,
where she is currently an associate professor of Biology, the current chair of the
Women and Genders Studies Concentration, and a member of the Neuroscience
Major Advisory Board. While her major focus is development of the spinal cord,
these studies are applicable to developing treatment for spinal cord injuries and
neurodegenerative disorders, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. During Dr.
Turgeon's 10 years at Furman University, she has been supported by the National
Institutes of Health, the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund amongst
other state-wide grants, and internal funding. This funding has allowed her to
mentor over 30 undergraduate researchers, not including high school students
from local public schools and the Governor's School for Science and Mathematics.
In addition to mentoring students to critically think through their research projects,
she empowers students to believe in their abilities despite their gender, economic
situations, or past academic pitfalls. Victoria.Turaeon@furman.edu


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