Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Post it
 George T. Harrell
 Alumni lead with vision
 Cancer busting research
 Chapman Society awards
 Energy drinks' caffeine jolt
 TB epidemic and alcohol
 Building research
 Alzheimer's online support
 New neurology head
 Ancient DNA useful today
 New compliance assistance
 Pathogen finder
 Pilates passion
 Medical residencies set


The Post
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073869/00008
 Material Information
Title: The Post
Uniform Title: Post (Gainesville, Fla. 2001)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Health Science Center
University of Florida -- Health Science Center. -- Office of Public Information
Publisher: HSC Office of Public Information
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Creation Date: April 2006
Publication Date: 2001-
Frequency: biweekly
Subjects / Keywords: Health occupations schools -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Statement of Responsibility: The University of Florida Health Science Center.
Dates or Sequential Designation: July 27, 2001-
General Note: Title from caption.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 47826372
lccn - 2001229452
System ID: UF00073869:00008
 Related Items
Preceded by: Friday evening post (1989)


This item has the following downloads:

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Post it
        Page 3
    George T. Harrell
        Page 4
    Alumni lead with vision
        Page 5
    Cancer busting research
        Page 6
    Chapman Society awards
        Page 7
    Energy drinks' caffeine jolt
        Page 8
    TB epidemic and alcohol
        Page 9
    Building research
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Alzheimer's online support
        Page 12
    New neurology head
        Page 13
    Ancient DNA useful today
        Page 14
    New compliance assistance
        Page 15
    Pathogen finder
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Pilates passion
        Page 19
    Medical residencies set
        Page 20
Full Text

UF Health Science
Celebrating 50 Years


Table of Contents
S50TH ANNIVERSARY George T. Harrell
SEDUCATION Alumni lead with vision
SEDUCATION Cancer busting research
SEDUCATION Chapman Society aware

SRESEARCH Energy drinks' caffeine jolt
SRESEARCH TB epidemic and alcohol
SCOVER STORY Building research
@ PATIENT CARE Alzheimer's online support
JACKSONVILLE New neurology head

-A B m



RESEARCH Ancient DNA useful today
SRESEARCH New compliance assistance
SPROFILE Pathogen finder
SMATCH DAY Medical residencies set

ONTH COER Tak a g -e vie of th Unvrst of Flrd acradGntc esac opetenws n
lags reeac buldn on ca ps As im rssv as it lok from.. .. .. th outide i'whtsnid tatas

Medical Matches


By April Frawley Birdwell

It all came down to one thin, white envelope.
Aubrey Jolly Graham woke up at 6 a.m. thinking about
it. The letter inside the envelope she would open later
that day in front of her UF medical school class would set
the course of the next few years of her life, of her entire
career and of her husband's law career.
"I woke up and I rolled over to my husband and said, 'I
think I'm going to puke,"' Jolly Graham said. "This
decision affects everything."
On Match Day, which fell on March 16 this year,
medical school seniors across the country learned where
they would complete their residencies, training that can
last for three to seven years depending on the specialty
students choose. But the decision is about more than
where they will go. For some students it affects what their
specialty will be and whether they will be able to stay
with their families or spouses.
At the UF College of Medicine's own emotionally
charged Match Day ceremony, 115 medical students


Aubrey Jolly Graham celebrates after learning she is headed to Duke University for her internal
medicine residency at the College of Medicine's Match Day ceremony last month.


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1~ -~--1 r- --1



Pharmacy graduate students are hosting the South East Regional Interdisciplinary
Symposium, May 19 21, in the HPNP Building at the College of Pharmacy. The
meeting, to be held for the first time at UF, will promote research collaboration
among students in health science areas.
Organizers -founders of the UF student chapter of the American Association of
Pharmaceutical Scientists -describe the meeting as a regional event for students
and postdocs from the Southeastern United States. Students from colleges of
Pharmacy, Medicine, Chemistry, Statistics, Engineering and others are invited to
submit papers to the interdisciplinary meeting.
Papers are being accepted in the areas of pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics,
analytical chemistry, genomics, medicinal chemistry, biomedical engineering,
pharmacology, gene therapy, herbal medicine and drug delivery. The deadline for
poster presentations is April 17.
During the symposium there will be opportunities to network with representatives
from the pharmaceutical industry, the Federal Drug Administration and academia.
AAPS is the professional society for scientists in all the pharmaceutical sciences
and has more than 12,000 members worldwide. Information and registration is
available on www.doce-conferences.ufl.edu/seris. For details, contact seris2006@

In 2006, 40,000 Americans will develop oral, head and neck cancer. As many as
80 percent of people with oral or throat cancer detected and treated in the early
stages can be cured.
Health professionals want to spread the message: Early detection saves lives.
The College of Dentistry is offering free head and neck cancer screenings as
part of the 9th Annual International Oral and Head and Neck Cancer Awareness
Week, April 17 -23, which is sponsored by the Yul Brynner Head and Neck
Cancer Foundation. Screenings will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to noon April 21
in the Oral Medicine Clinic, Room D1-18 of the College of Dentistry. For more
information, visit www.yulbrynnerfoundation.org.

Four vice presidents of the UF Health Science Center used the
occasion of the College of Medicine's "Leaders and Legends" banquet
March 10 to pose for posterity with UF President Bernie Machen, center.
The veeps include David Challoner, Kenneth Berns, William Deal and
Douglas Barrett. The banquet honored COM deans, department chairs
and other important figures in the history of the college.

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu

Orange and blue were the official colors at the ribbon-cutting
ceremony for the new UF Child Protection Team facility on Beach
Boulevard in Jacksonville. Ribbon-cutters included Dr. Robert C. Nuss,
left, UF associate vice president for health affairs and senior associate
dean of UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville; Darien Cisero, middle, son
of longtime CPT intake coordinator Linda Cisero; and Dr. Joe Chiaro,
deputy secretary, Children's Medical Services.

The College of Dentistry's commencement for doctor of dental medicine degree
students will begin at 3:30 p.m. May 26 at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the
Performing Arts.

The Jacksonville campus colleges of Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy
commencements will take place at 3 p.m. June 14 in the LRC Auditorium. College of
Nursing-Jax ceremony will be held jointly with the CON in Gainesville on May 5.

College of Medicine's M.D. degrees will be awarded at 9 a.m. May 20.

The colleges of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine are holding their third
annual joint college graduate program commencement ceremonies for M.S. and
Ph.D. students in the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences and the
Veterinary Medical Sciences graduate program. The ceremonies will begin at 2
p.m. May 5 in the HPNP Auditorium.

College of Nursing commencement ceremonies will begin at 1 p.m. May 5 at the
Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

The College of Pharmacy ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. May 7 in the Stephen C.
O'Connell Center. This is the first graduating class that will include students from
three distance education campuses in Florida. There are 300 Ph.D., M.S., Pharm.
D. and W.P.P.D. graduates who will receive degrees.

The College of Public Health and Health Professions will hold commencement at
6:30 p.m. May 4 in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

College of Veterinary Medicine will award D.V.M. degrees at 2 p.m. May 27 at the
Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

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II -~I~-



a legend

By April Frawley Birdwell

Jean Bennett still remembers the list of
instructions Dean George T. Harrell gave
her when she was a new student in the
College of Medicine 50 years ago.
He didn't think the 19-year-old should marry,
but if she did, he warned her not to marry a doctor.
He told her where to live, too. The dean didn't
think Bennett, who grew up in West Virginia in a
coal-mining family, had enough life experiences
under her belt, so he instructed his new recruit to
move in with a more cosmopolitan lady in town.
The dean may have been strict with Bennett, but
she was there, one of three female medical students
admitted as part of the college's first class in 1956,
at a time when women in medicine were still rare.
"He championed the idea of student diversity
before it became an educational buzzword," said
Bennett, M.D., now a retired pediatrician, during
a lecture on the college's founding dean as part of
the COM History of Medicine lecture series last
But then again, Harrell was always a little bit
before his time. Former students, friends and
original faculty members recently remembered
Harrell, a key planner behind the college and the
Health Science Center, during a weekend of events
celebrating the College of Medicine's 50th
anniversary in March.
Heralded as a visionary, the late George T.
Harrell, M.D., was the only dean ever to found two
medical schools, first at UF and then at Penn State
University in Hershey, Pa.
A follower of Sir William Osler, another
visionary many consider to be the founder of
modern medicine, Harrell had specific ideas about
medical education. Recruited from the Bowman
Gray School of Medicine in North Carolina, where
he earned recognition for his research on Rocky
Mountain spotted fever, Harrell quickly got to
work on building an ideal medical school after
being named dean of the UF COM in 1954.
Not all of his ideas worked out though,
remembered Mark Barrow, M.D., also a graduate
of the college's first medical class. Harrell lobbied
so medical students would each have their own
cubicle, or "thinking office." There they could
study, read journals or even use their microscopes.
They were a hit with students, particularly the first
students, who spent a little more time in the
cubicles than Harrell had originally intended,

George T. Harrell was the first dean of the College
students remembered him during a special lecture

Barrow said.
"We spent every day and every evening there for
365 days," he said. "We had no upperclassmen. We
didn't know what was expected of us."
Although he had no architectural background,
Harrell also took interest in building details, like
ensuring the hospital and medical sciences
building were full of windows so students could see
outside. He also championed an ambulant wing in
the hospital where patients who didn't need to be
admitted could stay, particularly if they had to
travel to get to the hospital.
"He was always thinking of how to do things
different and better," Barrow said.
The cubicles didn't last and Harrell's idea for a
medical humanities program didn't take off, but
that's because most of his ideas were too far ahead
of their time. His idea for a medical humanities
program did take root at the medical school at
Hershey. Now, the concept of medical humanities
is growing in medical colleges, including UF.
Jape Taylor didn't think much about Harrell's
vision during the first few years he was at UF. He
noticed how pretty the hospital was, with real
windows. The hospital wasn't "one of these places
where you look out of what looks like gun turrets
on a castle," Taylor said. He also realized how big

of Medicine. Former faculty members and

of a coup it was for the college that Harrell had
been able to recruit certain faculty members.
"But soon I figured out that what he wanted to
do was establish an environment where everybody
enjoyed what they were doing and could be
successful at it," he said. "More than anything I
credit him with stimulating people to follow
interesting avenues.
"I often wonder what this institution would be
like if he had continued on as dean for a longer
period of time," Taylor said.
For years, Harrell was the health center's most
active pitchman, lugging glass slides and a wooden
block model across the state to promote it. But in
1964, he left to found the medical school at Hershey.
After retiring, he moved back to North Carolina,
where he spent his time researching Osler.
Bennett began corresponding with the former
dean after he retired, spending hours on the phone
to discuss journal articles. Toward the end of his
life he even sent her a letter explaining that he
wanted his ashes to be placed in the library.
After he died, Harrell donated his ashes to the
library, said Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig, the health
center's archivist. Stoyan-Rosenzweig is raising
money to create an archives reading room where
his ashes can be displayed.


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Alumni lead

vision symposium

By April Frawley Birdwell

Andras Komaromy left a little early for
Gainesville. Scheduled to speak at a UF vision
symposium, the University of Pennsylvania
assistant professor wanted time to roam
through the town where he spent seven years as
a student and a resident.
For Komaromy, D.V.M., Ph.D., and several
other guest speakers at the UF Center for Vision
Research's ninth annual vision research
symposium in March, the event was more than a
chance to discuss their research with other
leaders in the field; it was a chance to come back
to Gainesville and lecture to the same group of
vision experts who once lectured to them.
"This place has given me a lot," Komaromy
said, minutes after speaking to the crowd of
vision researchers. "I really liked it here."
All seven of the guest speakers at the
symposium had some link to UF, said William
W. Dawson, Ph.D., a longtime UF professor of
ophthalmology. Some, such as Komaromy,
were graduates, others spent years here doing
postdoctoral work and one researcher was a
student of one of Dawson's former UF students.
Also speaking at the event were UF faculty
members from the College of Medicine's
departments of ophthalmology, molecular
genetics and microbiology, and neuroscience,
as well as faculty from the College of
Veterinary Medicine's ophthalmology
"Time has verified that we have done our
jobs," Dawson said. "We have produced quality
scientist-educators who have become
internationally respected in their specialties
and who are now cherished colleagues, old (and
young) friends."

Andras Komaromy (left) and Ron Ofri, both University of Florida alumni, were among several
speakers with UF ties at the Center for Vision Research's annual symposium in March.

Komaromy, who earned his doctorate from
UF in 2002, said he initially came to UF
because it boasts one of the best veterinary
ophthalmology programs in the world.
Ron Ofri, D.V.M., Ph.D., a senior lecturer at
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Koret
School of Veterinary Medicine, said one of the
best choices he made in his career was coming
to UF, where he studied under Dawson and

Kirk Gelatt, D.V.M. Gelatt, he said, is one of
the founding fathers of veterinary
One of Ofri's own students, Dorit Raz, a
researcher from the National Institutes of
Health, also spoke at the symposium.
"This is the closure of a circle for me," Ofri
said. "I have many speaking engagements, but
this was a meaningful invitation for me."

PHHP to launch distance certificate program

Working professionals who want to expand their public health knowledge
will soon be able to earn a certificate in public health without ever having to
visit the UF campus.
The College of Public Health and Health Professions will offer the 15-
credit distance certificate beginning this fall. The program is designed for
people who already have a bachelor's degree and would like additional
training in public health, but do not have the time to complete the Master of

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu

Public Health degree.
Certificate course work includes classes in each of the five core areas
of public health: biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health
management and policy, and social and behavioral sciences.
Graduate and professional students on the UF campus may continue to
earn a certificate in public health through the college's on-campus program.
For more information on the certificate in public health, visit www.mph.ufl.
edu, e-mail ph@phhp.ufl.edu or call 1-866-62-UFMPH.
Jill Pease

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__ _____


In the lab, pharmacy student

battles a deadly brain cancer

Gene delivery is the weapon of choice

By Linda Homewood
Progress has been made in the treatment of
many types of cancers. Unfortunately,
despite years and years of research to
overcome it, glioblastoma remains one of the most
deadly brain cancers. Finding a treatment for the
disease is a challenge that pharmacy doctoral
candidate Nathalie Toussaint is ready to tackle.
Toussaint credits her family and community for
her direction as she completes her Ph.D. in
pharmaceutics. Her grandmother was a teacher;
her grandfather a pharmacist. It was an outstanding
high school chemistry teacher in her hometown of
Brooklyn, New York, Toussaint said, that piqued
her interested in science and its applications.
"My parents instilled in me the value of
education," Toussaint said. "I know personally that
educators have the potential to make lasting effects
on their students and the world around them."
Toussaint conducts her research under Sean
Sullivan, Ph.D., an associate professor in the

College of Pharmacy. Sullivan has for the past six
years focused his research efforts on the
development of nonviral gene delivery systems -
a way to target cancer cells that differs from
traditional drug-delivery methods.
About 45 percent of all brain cancers are gliomas
- primary brain tumors and about half of those
are glioblastomas, Toussaint said. The tumor cells
are so aggressive that a patient is, on average,
expected to survive less than a year after diagnosis.
The problem with standard drug delivery
treatment, Sullivan said, is that cancer cells in the
brain are resistant to drug therapy, making it
difficult to get the treatment to the tumor through
the blood-brain barrier. As a result, doctors often
increase a drug's dosage, which increases a
patient's risk factors.
Toussaint works with Sullivan to overcome this
problem with a technique called nonviral gene
delivery. Gene delivery is administered in the

Nathalie Toussaint (left) instructs Michelle Zayes, a third-year pharmacy student, in drug compounding
techniques in the pharmaceutical skills lab.

F6 *JI. i ii. Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news

same manner as a drug that is sent to a targeted
tumor site. With non-viral delivery, researchers
formulate a synthetic gene using chemicals and
polymers that bond with DNA. The voracious
tumor feeds on the gene, converting it to a protein.
This protein releases a cellular toxin that poisons
the cell effectively turning the tumor's food
source into a poison.
"The idea is to make the synthetic gene work in
a suicidal fashion, killing all the cancer cells it
comes in contact with, targeting only the cells you
want destroyed," said Toussaint.
Sullivan said he is impressed with Toussaint's

"My parents instilled in me

the value of education. I

know personally that

educators have the

potential to make lasting

effects on their students

and the world around

them." Nathalie Toussaint

intercollegiate involvement and leadership
contributions to the student body.
"Nathalie is an incredibly energetic, bright
student who is active in interdisciplinary research
areas and as a leader in the AAPS student
association that is organizing the South East
Regional Interdisciplinary Symposium here at UF
this May," Sullivan said.
In addition to her work in gene delivery
research, Toussaint works with Huabei Jiang,
Ph.D., a professor in biomedical engineering, to
assist in research to develop better imaging
technology needed for diagnosis of brain tumors.
"As a scientist, I hope that my research will
have lasting benefits on humanity," Toussaint
said. "As an African-American woman scientist, I
hope to be an inspiration and role model for the
next generation by creating inroads in under-
represented fields, and by forming lasting bridges
that others may cross."

and HSC events.




Society honors caring student, professor at banquet

By April Frawley Birdwell

Don Rehm had a list of people he was supposed
to thank; Dr. Watson, Nina, Angie and Dr.
Christensen were a few of them.
But standing before a room packed with UF College
of Medicine students and faculty at the Chapman
Society banquet last month, Rehm couldn't get the
words out. Tears came instead.
Rehm's daughter Jennifer was one of 20 senior
medical students inducted into the Chapman Society,
the UF chapter of the national Gold Humanism
Honor Society, at its annual banquet last month.
Jennifer was also named as the student recipient of
the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, an
honor given to a medical student and a faculty
member who each represents the ideals of compassion
and sensitivity in medicine.
But instead of being at the banquet with her friends
and father, Rehm's daughter lay in a hospital bed
recovering from brain surgery. Leaving Jennifer
there alone to go the banquet was hard, Rehm says,
but his daughter asked him to accept her award.
"I needed to go," Rehm said a few days after the
event, sitting in his daughter's hospital room. "It was
important to her, and it was important to me."
Jennifer had been in and out of the hospital since
having brain surgery in February to treat what's known
as a chiari malformation, a congenital condition that
caused her brain to protrude into the spinal canal.
Complications forced additional surgeries though,
frustrating Jennifer and worrying family and friends.
Receiving the Leonard Tow award was a bright
spot, says the 29-year-old, who has since left the
hospital and is recovering. Students and faculty
members select the Leonard Tow recipients, choosing
the person they think exemplifies humanism in
medicine. Dr. Richard Christensen, M.D., a UF
professor of psychiatry in Jacksonville, was named
the faculty honoree.
"I can't think of an award I'd rather win," Jennifer
said. "And to win it with Dr. Christensen, I just
admire him so much. He's everything I could ever
hope to be with all the work he has done. To be put in
a category with him has left me speechless."
"It left me speechless Friday night," her father joked.
Rehm said she learned a lot about what it means to
be a compassionate doctor from Christensen during
her psychiatry rotation with him in Jacksonville.
There, Christensen spends much of his time working
with homeless patients, bringing care to them,
wherever that is.
"He sees patients under the bridge," she said.
"They all know him. The relationships he has with

"I can't think of an award I'd rather win. And to

win it with Dr. Christensen, I just admire him so

much." Jennifer Rehm

Wayne McCormack, associate dean for graduate education and a faculty advisor for the Chapman
Society, congratulates faculty inductee Heather Harrell. UF's Chapman Society was one of the
national Gold Humanism Honor Society's first chapters and serves as a model for other chapters
across the country. Nina Stoyan-Rosenzsweig and Aubrey Jolly Graham are seen in the background.

his patients are life-changing. He's inspirational."
Christensen, who was inspired to become a doctor
so he could help the medically underserved, said he
was honored that UF faculty members and students
chose him for the award.
"The Chapman Society induction is personally
significant because it recognizes those aspects and
attributes of being a physician that are often
undervalued in contemporary health care:
compassion, other-directed service and patient-
centered decision-making and concern," he said.
The Chapman Society was founded in 2002 in
honor of the late Dr. Jules Chapman, a Floridian

doctor who valued and demonstrated compassion in
medicine. His widow, Annie Chapman, is the guest of
honor at the banquet each year.
At this year's ceremony last month, 20 medical
students, six residents and faculty members
Christensen and Heather Harrell, M.D., were honored
for their compassion, caring and integrity.
Jennifer, who worked for three years in a nonprofit
child protection agency before heading to medical
school, definitely belonged in the group too, her
father said.
"I think Jennifer has always been a very compassionate
young lady and it reflects in everything she does."

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N-I L--

BEH- jr 7



Sodas and energy drinks

can supply a surprising

caffeine jolt

By Denise Trunk

ome carbonated sodas and energy drinks are loaded with caffeine and
can give an unhealthypick-me-up to unsuspecting consumers, University
of Florida researchers warn.
Because caffeine can pose health risks for people with certain medical
conditions, beverages containing the additive should clearly list the amount
they contain, a UF toxicologist recommends in a report assessing caffeine
levels of cold beverages published in March in the Journal of Analytical
Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., director of UF's William R. Maples Center for
Forensic Medicine, said the surprisingly high caffeine content in some beverages
could present problems for pregnant women and children, and for adults with
hypertension, heart disease or mental health ailments such as anxiety.
"We weren't surprised that there was caffeine in the sodas and some of the
other beverages," said Goldberger, who is also director of toxicology and a
professor of pathology and psychiatry at UF's College of Medicine. The surprise,
he said, was the high concentration of caffeine in some of the energy drinks,
which exceeded the government's recommendations for cold beverages.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends a maximum caffeine
concentration of 65 milligrams per 12-ounce serving of cola beverages, though
it does not regulate caffeine content of these drinks. And although the agency

"There are many consequences that are

relatively unknown to the general public

because they consider the consumption

of sodas and other beverages to be

relatively safe."

- Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D.

requires the presence of caffeine be disclosed, it does not mandate that caffeine
quantity be specified on labeling for energy drinks and cold coffee beverages.
The UF team tested 10 energy drinks, 19 sodas and seven other beverages
and found some energy drinks have up to 141 milligrams in a single serving
more than twice the content of some espresso coffee drinks.
The sodas tested, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi products, ranged from 0 to
48 milligrams a serving, below the maximum recommended amount. A&W
Root Beer, Sprite, 7-Up and Seagram's Ginger Ale were among the caffeine-
free drinks. However, the caffeine content of most energy drinks exceeded the
maximum recommended limit.
These drinks are often marketed as enhancing performance and stimulating
metabolism and are sometimes described as being "highly vitalizing." Yet in
certain people, consumption of caffeine causes serious health effects, such as
anxiety, palpitations, irritability, difficulty sleeping and stomach complaints,
Goldberger said. Because the amount of caffeine is not labeled on the drinks'

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packaging, pregnant women, children, infants or people with certain
psychiatric diseases or anxiety conditions may unknowingly ingest too much,
he added.
The American Dietetic Association suggests women avoid caffeine while
pregnant or breastfeeding, citing findings from studies linking caffeine
consumption to miscarriage and low-birth-weight babies.
"There are many consequences that are relatively unknown to the general
public because they consider the consumption of sodas and other beverages to
be relatively safe," Goldberger said. "People with psychiatric diseases could
have manifestations of anxiety when they consume too much caffeine, people
with hypertension could increase their heart rate if they consume caffeine."
Roland Griffiths, a professor of behavioral biology in the Solomon H.
Snyder department of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine, said caffeine is the most widely used mood-altering drug in the
world. Although caffeine is not considered highly toxic, physicians often
recommend cutting back or eliminating caffeine consumption for patients
who are pregnant or who have anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia or some kinds
of stomach and heart conditions.
"Daily use of even relatively low doses of caffeine (about 100 milligrams a
day) results in physical dependence, with abstinence characterized by
withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fatigue, depressed mood and difficulty
concentrating," Griffiths said. "People should then make informed decisions
about their caffeine use. Obviously, knowing how much caffeine a given
product contains is critical to making an informed decision about use."
Goldberger said many people are aware of their food's nutritional content
but most know little about the ingredients of their beverage, just whether it is
sugar-free or regular. A few energy drinks have labels warning that the product
is not recommended for children and pregnant women, but they do not specify
the caffeine content.

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- '-'''


Researchers seek answers to combat TB epidemic

By April Frawley Birdwell

Most Americans think of tuberculosis as a disease of the past, but with
HIV and drug-resistant strains fueling epidemics in India and Africa,
TB kills someone every six seconds across the world.
Now UF and Indian scientists suspect they are on the path to solving a piece of
the puzzle.
The researchers are studying a protein they believe may boost immune-system
defenses, protecting against TB and giving infected patients an easier recovery.
Alcohol consumption likely reduces the amount of this protective protein,
weakening the body's defenses against TB, said Veena Antony, M.D., a professor of
pulmonary medicine and division chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine
for the College of Medicine.
The researchers hope to pinpoint the role of alcoholism in the global epidemic
by studying a population of HIV- and tuberculosis-infected patients in India. They
are collecting data for the National Institutes of Health-funded project and hope to
have answers within two to three years, Antony said.
The epidemic may be more prevalent in resource-poor countries like India
right now, but with immigrants unknowingly carrying bacteria that cause TB
into the United States, this crisis could spread to American soil if left untended,
Antony warns.
"We cannot build walls high enough to keep these organisms out," she said. "In
the U.S., we cannot afford to grow complacent about TB. This is a disease that
appears in many forms, many guises. We will never be able to eradicate it from the
U.S. unless we eradicate it from the world."
The increasing number of multidrug-resistant strains of TB makes the disease
even more troublesome, Antony says. The only currently approved treatment for
TB requires patients to go to a clinic every day for up to nine months. People often
do not complete the full course of therapy, breeding new bacteria that are immune
to the drugs.
There is currently no way to treat large populations infected with drug-resistant
strains of the disease, Antony said. The drug-resistant organism is one of several
the federal government lists as a potential bioterrorism threat.
But the combination of HIV and TB currently poses the biggest problem
globally. Patients with HIV are more apt to develop tuberculosis after they have
contracted bacteria that cause TB, said Amy Davidow, Ph.D., an associate professor
of preventive medicine and community health at the University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey.
"The rule of thumb is if you have been infected (with TB) and are otherwise
healthy, there is a 5 to 10 percent chance you will (ever) develop active disease,"
Davidow said. "The immune system keeps the infection in check so it never
develops. HIV depresses the immune system, so certain infections (such as TB)
can become active."
Tuberculosis can affect any organ in the body but causes more problems in the
lungs, resulting in painful coughing and respiratory problems. Coupled with HIV,
the two diseases form a deadly one-two punch that could be just as dangerous to the
public as it is to the HIV- and TB-infected patient. Because TB develops more
quickly in a person with HIV, the organism is more prevalent in the body and may
spread more easily to other people, other research has shown.
"In resource-poor societies there is a meeting of HIV and tuberculosis, so that
one disease is fueling the other disease," Antony said. "That is true in Africa. That
is true in India where the HIV epidemic is just beginning to explode. Because of

this concern, we believe we have to find novel ways of killing the organism. We
have shown that [the protective protein] heme oxygenase 1 is effective in boosting
the cell's ability to protect itself."
In India, outbreaks of HIV and TB have erupted along highways where truck
drivers often solicit prostitutes, Antony said. Doctors at the Post Graduate Institute
of Medical Education and Research in India treat many of these patients, which is
one of the reasons why UF researchers chose to collaborate with them for this
research project, Antony said.
UF researchers also hope to initiate an international training program with
PGIMER, allowing Indian researchers to come to Florida to learn sophisticated
techniques and giving UF trainees firsthand experience in dealing with the
epidemic there.


1 1

Dr. Veena Antony and other UF researchers have teamed with Indian scientists
to study a protein that could boost the immune system and help the body fend
off tuberculosis.

"One single patient with tuberculosis can infect hundreds of people," Antony
said. "One-third of the world's population is infected with the organism that causes
tuberculosis. We're going out into the field to meet the disease head-on and try to
find answers."

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---I OI~L 9





New cancer, genetics research

complex tears down barriers

By John Pastor

Leave it to an anatomist to describe a building as if it were flesh
and blood.
As it sits near the intersection of Mowry Road and Gale Lemerand Drive, the
280,000-square-foot Cancer and Genetics Research Complex easily lives up to its
billing as the largest research structure on the University of Florida campus.
The concrete and brick skin of the five-story research wing of the UF Shands
Cancer Center is plainly visible from Archer Road. Facing north toward Lake Alice,
a six-story wing topped by a greenhouse contains the Genetics Institute.
It looks like it uses every bit of the 77 million pounds of concrete that went into its
construction enough concrete to build a sidewalk from Gainesville to Daytona Beach.
But despite its substantial appearance, "syncytium" is the word that comes to mind
for Stephen Sugrue, Ph.D., associate director of basic science for the Cancer Center
and chairman of the medical school's department of anatomy and cell biology.
"Certain cells have no boundaries or membranes between them," he said,
explaining the term. "Inside this building are labs without barriers."
Unlike conventional research space, which often consists of long corridors punctuated
by doorways into rooms, the Cancer and Genetics Research Complex contains modules
rows of lab benches and common work areas, but relatively few walls. With no "next
door" to speak of, there are no scientists down the hall they're already there.
"The people who designed this building did so to maximize cross-fertilization of
different groups," Sugrue said. "The idea is to put people next to each other who
aren't identical in their approaches, but who have the same goals."
He is not moving into the new building, but Sugrue was an early practitioner of the
no-walls philosophy. In 1997 he was given the go-ahead to initiate an open lab
environment in his research space in the Basic Science Building by then-College of
Medicine Dean and Vice President for Health Affairs Kenneth Berns, M.D., Ph.D.,
who today directs the UF Genetics Institute.
"We're bringing together all kinds of scientists who work on plants and animals
and people," Berns said. "The notion is if the investigators working in these areas are
cheek by jowl, so to speak, they'll talk to each other. Between the two sides of the
building, we're going to have about 60 to 70 faculty. It will be an incredible
aggregation of intellectual firepower."
In a sense, with the research building about to be nucleatedd" with scientists in
May, an experiment in how to hasten new discoveries is about to begin. The
hypothesis is that a large, diverse group of investigators working within sight of one
another will produce data that will change the world.
If cures and innovations emerge in the time it took for the research building to

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With the finishing touches being added to of UF's new $84.5 million research building, scientists
should begin moving into their new home sometime in May.

progress from an idea to an actual physical address, it will be short work.

A Coasost Languag&
It was 1997 and Berns' idea for a genetics institute was gradually gathering
From mice to maize, UF scientists were immersed in genes, working in highly
specialized subsets of agriculture, medicine, botany and other disciplines. What was
lacking was a mechanism to align genetics scientists at the Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Health Science
Center colleges and beyond.
Fortunately, these investigators speak the same language.
"In the beginning, we pushed forward against a certain amount of skepticism
about this notion of a university-wide institute," Berns said. "But what we research
all has DNA. It all operates on the universal genetic code. It all has recombination. It
made sense. It is diverse subject matter, but there is a tremendous crossover in the
fundamentals. Eventually people from different parts of the university saw what we
were doing as a positive thing."
At the same time, the university was sharpening its efforts to become nationally
competitive in cancer research, Berns said. A research building was deemed
essential. And because cancer is a process that involves the interaction between genes
and their environment, it was becoming increasingly apparent that cancer and
genetics researchers were natural allies.
The idea synthesized to combine cancer and genetics research within a single
building. To further strengthen the arrangement, plans were made to take testing
and analyses operations of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research,
or ICBR, and consolidate many of them within the research complex.
In that event, the research complex's biotech infrastructure would be a force in its
own right. Scientists would have access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, training
and expertise. The thought was, with the industrial-scale genome-sequencing, genetic
analyses and other core services of the ICBR at arm's length, synergies would explode.
Hunton Brady Architects in Orlando was selected to design the building and
Ellenzweig Associates Architects in Boston was selected as lab planners. Turner/PPI
Joint Venture was named construction manager. Design work started in June 2002
and construction started in December 2003, with costs set at $84.5 million.
The challenge that remained was to create a building that would allow scientists to
look at cancer and genetics with razor-sharp focus.

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Ptqw C&wee' DePwuJ
The American Cancer Society projects that more than a half-million Americans
will die of cancer this year. An additional 1.4 million people will be diagnosed with
the disease.
Yet, despite these formidable numbers, measurable progress is being made in the
decades-long fight to eliminate cancer as a major health threat.
No one knows cancer is in retreat better than W. Stratford May Jr., M.D., Ph.D.,
director of the UF Shands Cancer Center, who wants UF in the thick of the pursuit
for a cure.
"Mortality continues to decrease for cancers like breast cancer and others," May
said. "As advances are made, we are motivated to work even harder to find a cure.
But we need to dig deeper to find the root causes of the disease. It takes a rational
understanding of cancer to develop new and novel treatments and drugs. For that to
happen, we need to take advantage of a critical mass of trained people who are
involved in an exchange of ideas."
May is counting on the UF Shands Cancer Center research wing to fuel the
momentum that has caused, for the first time since the 1930s, the death rate from
all cancers to decrease in proportion to the growth and aging of the population.
"We hope to bring together a subset of researchers who will expand collaborations
and funding opportunities," May said. "There is tremendous excitement about a
programmatically focused building for cancer and genetics."
May is particularly interested in translational research the kind that quickly
results in better patient care. The Judith S. and Jerry W. Davis Cancer Center,
which is literally across the street from the cancer research wing, is a continual
reminder that discoveries must be easily adaptable for clinical uses.
Work is already proceeding in that direction, Sugrue said. Researchers on the
second floor of the cancer wing, for example, are concentrating on experimental
therapeutics. For example, Arun Srivastava, Ph.D., chief of the division of cellular
and molecular therapy, works on ways to use the adeno-associated virus to correct cell
mutations. Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D., a professor in the department of radiation
oncology at the UF Shands Cancer Center, uses a combination of cellular approaches
to find ways to attack blood vessels that provide nutrition to cancerous tumors.
Both wings of the building are connected by a perpendicular five-level common
area, which makes it look like a monumental offset "H" from above. Appropriately
enough, the cancer epigenetics researchers are across from plant epigeneticists.
"Scientists have been studying epigenetics in plants for years," Sugrue said.

UF Genetics Institute Associate Director Connie Mulligan and Director
Kenneth Berns hear details about the laboratories in the research building.

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A glass walkway links the genetics and cancer areas of the complex,
literally "bridging" the gap among various scientific disciplines.

"Only recently has epigenetics been implicated in cancer biology. We hope going
across the bridge between the two wings will literally mean we're bridging the gap."

The genetics faculty in the botany department of the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences will gain much-needed access to strictly experimental greenhouse and
growth chamber space, according to George Bowes, Ph.D., a professor and
chairman of botany.
Of course the department has its own greenhouses, but much of that space is used
for teaching purposes. Nor are those areas quite like the transgenic plant rooms in
the new building, where scientists will work with DNA-altered plants.
About four UF botanists are expected to move into the genetics wing, including
Sixue Chen, Ph.D., who studies protein mechanisms in plants.
"One of the things he is firing up to do is look at proteomics," Bowes said. "The
techniques he has expertise in that he uses with plants also apply to animals and
humans. Now we have a synergy possible not just with plant people but also with
people at the Cancer Center and Genetics Institute. In fact, plants he currently
works with may have anti-carcinogenic properties. His proximity to scientists
studying human medical conditions may be helpful."
Elsewhere, from his area on the third floor of the genetics wing, John Davis, Ph.D.,
an associate professor of forest biotechnology at IFAS, will be able to look north
toward Lake Alice and be within walking distance to Fifield and Newins-Ziegler
halls, where a good deal of IFAS research takes place.
"New ideas, grants proposals and new projects all come from being elbow-to-elbow
on a daily basis," said Davis, who leads the UF effort to identify genes that control
disease resistance in loblolly pine, one of the most-planted commercial timber species
in the South. "Some things you can't replace. Daily contact is one of them."
Meanwhile, a group of faculty will devote their energy to bioinformatics, the
science of computer data management that allows researchers to make sense of vast
amounts of information.
"The bioinformatics section of the genetics wing is on the first floor, which might
be considered the foundation of the building," Davis said. "Considering
bioinformatics being able to handle large volumes of information is the
foundation for modern genetics research, it's a fitting place for that activity."
With more than 60 investigators about to occupy the building, there's no doubt
the data will come.

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__ _


Rainbow Center educates

women and girls on

dangers of HIV/AIDS

By Patricia Bates McGhee

March 10 marked the inauguration of worldwide National Women and
Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and the UF Rainbow Center for
Women, Adolescents, Children and Families hosted Jacksonville's
official observance.
A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative, the
observance is designed to raise awareness of the increasing dangers of
HIV/AIDS transmission to women and girls.
"Our goal is to sound the alarm that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far
from over and there is still much local work to be done in battling this
disease, right here in northeast Florida," said Mobeen Rathore, M.D.,
a professor and assistant chair of pediatrics, division chief of pediatric
infectious disease and immunology and director of the UF Rainbow
Center. The Center and its Consumer Advisory Board and Partners
sponsored the event.
"The idea is to educate and empower women and girls by giving
them the facts and the emotional support to make good decisions and
stay safe," he added. Educators including physicians, health-care
team specialists and an HIV-positive motivational speaker shared
the facts and figures. Others shared the message of empowerment
through testimony, song and even dance. The "Empowerment Tango
for One" was a hit and had everyone on their feet.
UF Rainbow Center, the only comprehensive pediatric AIDS
program in Northeast Florida, provides primary, secondary and
tertiary care as well as confidential HIV testing for HIV-exposed and
-infected women, adolescents, children and families living in North
Florida and South Georgia.

Jacksonville's observance of National Women and Girls
HIV/AIDS Awareness Day encouraged attendees to kick
up their heels for education and empowerment. Here Dr.
Mobeen Rathore (with flower in mouth), UF Rainbow
Center director and professor and assistant chair of
pediatrics, joins in the "Empowerment Tango for One."

UF to offer free, online support groups for Alzheimer's caregivers

By Jill Pease

A new service from UF's AlzOnline.net aims to bring caregivers
together for support, no matter where they live.
AlzOnline.net, in partnership with the Central and North Florida
chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, has recently launched free,
facilitated support groups via chat room for caregivers of people with
Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
"We are attempting to bring people back to support groups in ways
that are more convenient for them," said Jeff Loomis, coordinator of
AlzOnline.net and associate director of the Center for Telehealth,
part of the College of Public Health and Health Professions. "There
has been a downward trend in support group attendance -10 percent
of caregivers attend a face-to-face group, while about 40 percent are
now accessing support online. There are probably several reasons for
this, but some recent reasons given locally have revolved around gas
prices and scheduling conflicts."
Approximately 4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease.
More than seven of 10 Americans with Alzheimer's live at home, and
almost 75 percent of their home care is provided by family and friends,

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according to the Alzheimer's Association.
"The idea of an online support group originally started when we
heard that traditional support groups were missing working
professionals with families who are trying to find balance," Loomis
said. "Also, there seems to be a growing group of caregivers dealing
with early onset dementia who fall between the cracks because of
their age."
AlzOnline.net is also introducing telephone support groups for
Spanish speakers in the Miami and Orlando area, with the hope of
eventually making the groups available for caregivers statewide.
AlzOnline.net also offers live, interactive classes on subjects such
as stress management, understanding and dealing with memory loss,
and managing difficult caregiving tasks. A message board and regular
telephone conferences with experts in Alzheimer's care are also
available. The free services are open to anyone through telephone and
For more information, visit www.AlzOnLine.net or call toll-free

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- '-'''


Neurology's new chairman

leads a booming department

By Patricia Bates McGhee

o say that Alan Berger's first few months at UF were challenging is an
understatement. When the medical doctor first joined the neurology
department in the UF College of Medicine Jacksonville in 1995,
there were two neurologists on staff.
"One of them quit within a few months after I started, leaving just me and
one other neurologist," he says with a smile.
But, 10 years later, it's difficult to imagine the department ever having
been that small. Berger has been named the department's first chairman and

Neurology department grand rounds are held monthly at UF-
Jacksonville. Pictured above are February attendees, left to right,
Loretta Schnepel, Dr. Walter Ray, Dr. Ramon Bautista, Jan Daniel,
Dr. Tannahill Glen, department chair Dr. Alan Berger, Dr. Michael
Pulley, Dr. Scott Silliman, Dr. Juan Ochoa and Dr. NaderAntonios.

the number of faculty members has more than quintupled.
Today the department has 11 neurologists on faculty, and three more will
join the staff in the next academic year. But if you start discussing what it
means to be the new department chairman and the first neurology chair
at UF-Jacksonville Berger quickly steers the conversation away from
himself. In fact, he gently makes it very clear that the story is about the
department's dedicated professionals who are responsible for the
department's phenomenal growth and depth and not about him.

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"Our success is built on our academic and research strengths, our
interdisciplinary approach and collaboration, and the respect everyone on
this list has for each other," Berger says. "Working with the people in this
department makes this job a joy, and any time you're working with people
like that, it's easy to have a department that shines."
And shine it does.
The collaborative effort and team approach of the department's own
neurosurgeons, neuropathologists, neuroophthalmologists, neuroradiologists
and neuropsychologist make the difference, he says.
"We have some of the nation's most respected clinicians and clinical
scientists on our UF staff who comprise The Neuroscience Institute at
UF&Shands Jacksonville definitely one of the most comprehensive
neurology departments in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia," adds
Berger, the institute's director.
The Neuroscience Institute offers specialized clinical and research
programs for stroke, neuromuscular disease, epilepsy, spinal disorders,
Parkinson's disease and movement disorders, multiple sclerosis and sleep
disorders. All physicians in the institute are UF faculty in the departments
of neurology, neurosurgery, pathology, ophthalmology or radiology at UF
College of Medicine-Jacksonville.
The team effort goes well beyond the Jacksonville campus, too.
"We also collaborate with UF's McKnight Brain Institute, which is
continually contributing new ideas to the treatment of brain and nervous
system disorders," says Berger.
Teaching is a high priority for the faculty members, and they consistently
receive exalted evaluations from medical students and residents, according
to Berger. Over the last few years, four neurology faculty have been honored
with UF's "Excellence in Medical Student Education Award" as well as
other teaching tributes.
UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville senior associate Dean Robert Nuss,
M.D., attributes the neurology department's interdisciplinary success to
these expert clinicians, researchers and teachers.
"Dr. Berger came to UF-Jacksonville in 1995 and since that time the
Department of Neurology has grown in numbers, clinical productivity and
progressively increasing research activity," he says. "Thanks to his
leadership, we've been able to attract academic faculty with expertise in all
divisions of neurology, making our neurology department a leader in the
Southeast, if not the country."
Board-certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology, Berger's
research interests are neuromuscular diseases. A graduate of Bowman Gray
School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., he completed an internship in
internal medicine at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York,
a residency in neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx,
N.Y., and a fellowship in electromyography and neuromuscular disease at
Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Berger lives in Jacksonville with his wife and two daughters, who are in

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Ancient DNA helps UF researchers

unearth potential hemophilia therapy

By April Frawley Birdwell

Acut can be life threatening for people with hemophilia, whose bodies don't
produce enough of a protein that prevents prolonged bleeding.
Now UF researchers may be one step closer to finding a safe way to spur
production of this missing protein in patients with the most common form of the
hereditary bleeding disorder.
Using a dormant strand of DNA that has quietly existed in fish for millions of
years, the researchers replaced the faulty gene responsible for the disease in
neonatal mice, according to findings published online in the March issue of
Molecular Therapy.
"The degree to which these patients have problems from hemophilia stems from
how much of this protein, factor VIII, is missing," said Bradley Fletcher, M.D.,
Ph.D., a UF assistant professor of pharmacology and one of the lead authors of the
study. "If they have very low levels of it, they have lifelong problems of bleeding, but
what's even more problematic for them is they bleed into their joints, knees, hips
and ankles, which limits their mobility."
More than 18,000 Americans, nearly all men, have hemophilia A, the most
common form of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Currently, the only safe treatment for the disorder is a purified form of
the protein, but it can cost patients thousands of dollars and its effects don't last
long. Scientists have been trying to find a safe way to perform gene therapy in
hemophilia patients for years, but problems with the viruses typically used to
transport needed genes to their target destinations have stymied their success,
Fletcher said.
Researchers usually hide corrective genes inside viruses, which then infect cells.
Without the virus to act as a key, the gene would be unable to enter the cell. But
viral gene therapy has been associated with medical complications, and a few
human patients have died as a result.

UF researchers Dr. Li Liu, Dr. Bradley Fletcher and Cathryn Mah used a
dormant strand of fish DNA to replace a faulty gene responsible for
hemophilia in neonatal mice.

UF assistant professor of pediatric cellular and molecular therapy, used the
transposon to inject the gene into endothelial cells, which line blood vessels and
other parts of the body.
This was unique, Fletcher said, because the liver is generally considered the

I The degree to which these patients have problems from hemophilia stems from how

much of this protein, factor VIII, is missing. If they have very low levels of it, they have

lifelong problems of bleeding, but what's even more problematic for them is they bleed

into their joints, knees, hips and ankles, which limits their mobility. 1/ Bradley Fletcher

Instead, UF researchers used a novel nonviral approach, employing a strand of
DNA present in modern-day fish called a transposon to transport the gene directly
into the DNA of the mice. Nonviral therapy is thought to be safer, Fletcher said.
Transposons have the natural ability to bounce to different positions in DNA,
allowing them to chauffeur genes into the cell. The transposon UF researchers
used had remained hidden in the DNA of fish for 15 million years until University
of Minnesota scientists discovered it in 1997.
Fletcher and researchers Li Liu, M.D., Ph.D., an adjunct postdoctoral associate
in the department of pharmacology and therapeutics, and Cathryn Mah, Ph.D., a

C 41 .1 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl

body's powerhouse for producing the protein needed to keep hemophilia at bay.
The study showed that these endothelial cells also could produce enough protein to
correct the problem, he said. It also was the first time researchers attempted such an
approach on an animal so young.
Now UF researchers are studying different ways to use the transposon and trying
to find a way to overcome the immune attack when performing gene therapy on
adult animals.
"I don't think the research is done," Mah said. "But this is definitely a step
forward for hemophilia gene therapy."

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- '-'''


Some heart patients vulnerable to mental stress

By Melanie Fridl Ross

The fear of public speaking might cause some people to do more than just break
out in a cold sweat and battle stomach-churning butterflies it could prove to
have consequences for their heart health.
UF cardiologists have identified a group of heart disease patients who appear
especially vulnerable to the physical effects of mental stress. A third of the heart
patients they studied developed temporary changes in heart rhythm or restricted
blood flow when they were asked to role-play a difficult interpersonal situation,
even though their hearts responded normally to exercise.
Chronic anxiety, depression or anger are widely recognized as raising the risk
of heart attack, hospitalization or sudden death in patients whose hearts suffer
dangerous decreases in blood flow during exercise testing. Even something as
simple as public speaking, doing mental arithmetic or recounting an argument
with a loved one can trigger a problem.
But until now, patients who exercised without experiencing chest pain or
restricted blood flow had never been similarly scrutinized when it came to mental
stress. Yet what goes on in their heads could have consequences for their hearts as
well, UF researchers wrote in the March 7 issue of the Journal of the American
College of Cardiology.
"Recently our group and some other investigators have started to expand the
population of patients that we're looking at to try to explore what happens when
mental stress is applied," said David S. Sheps, M.D., a professor and associate
chairman of cardiovascular medicine at UF's College of Medicine and the
Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center. "We believe the phenomenon
of mental stress-induced reductions in blood flow to the heart is much more

common than has been previously recognized."
UF researchers studied 21 men and women with documented heart disease who
had no signs of reduced blood flow during exercise.
Why does mental stress restrict blood flow in some patients even when exercise
fails to have the same effect? The effects of mental stress could predominantly
affect the heart's smaller vessels, causing them to spasm and temporarily limiting
blood flow, Sheps speculated. In contrast, exercise tends to affect the heart's
larger vessels.
"All of us are leading more and more stressful lives, and it's hard to avoid it,"
he said. "We as physicians need to find better ways to treat this phenomenon to
avoid having patients develop this type of response to an increased stressor."

Tracking trials: A new office helps researchers comply with style

By April Frawley Birdwell

Keeping clinical trials in line with myriad state and federal regulations can be as
tricky as mastering a maze blindfolded for some researchers. Yvonne Brinson is
trying to make this task a little less daunting.
As director of the College of Medicine Research Administration and
Compliance's new clinical trials compliance division, Brinson wants to create a
seamless system to ensure clinical trials comply with laws and regulations. It's a
move she says will better protect the college and its researchers by preventing
problems from slipping through the cracks.

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"Research has grown tremendously at the university over the past 20 years,"
Brinson said. "With that comes a greater responsibility for us to make sure we are
compliant with federal and state laws and regulations."
The federal government established new regulations in 2000 to encourage
seniors to participate in clinical trials. Although a positive step, these changes
presented potential billing concerns with Medicare. COM leaders formed the
compliance office to keep up with the changes and prevent problems at UF, said
Peter Pevonka, senior associate dean for research affairs.
"Good compliance programs can serve as excellent educational programs and in
the end not only reduce institutional exposure to unpleasant events but also
improve faculty and staff effectiveness in their research endeavors," Pevonka said.
College of Medicine Dean C. Craig Tisher said, "The Dean's Office desired to
get out in front of the changing compliance environment as evidenced by
investigations at other institutions. The first order of business is to review and
renew policy and procedures relevant to clinical research."
Brinson took on her new role as director of compliance in December. She has
worked in research at UF for 20 years, first as a research coordinator for Marian
Limacher, M.D., a professor of medicine, and as project director for the Women's
Health Initiative. Brinson is looking forward to using her experience to help
improve research compliance in the college. Brinson plans to hold meetings as a
first step toward creating a system that will include policies and procedures
covering a clinical trial from proposal to completion.
"This is going to take a great deal of coordination and organization of all the
right people to make this happen," Brinson said. "But this is a great opportunity
for the College of Medicine."

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" '''--


Racing to develop vaccines:

Veterinary researcher plays key role in discovery of emerging pathogens

By Cindy Spence

At first, Florida greyhound owners thought they had a particularly 1
of kennel cough on their hands. Then greyhounds started dying
mysterious respiratory ailment.
For answers, the dog owners turned to UF immunology and infection
specialist Cynda Crawford, D.V.M, Ph.D. Greyhounds have been dear to
since her days as a student in the UF veterinary college. "I adopted
greyhound here," said Crawford, who now owns three.
When Crawford began investigating, she found an epidemic of n
proportions. By June 2004, racetracks and kennels across the country were
hundreds of sick greyhounds, causing quarantines and putting a halt to
some locations.
No one liked what came next. Crawford's conclusion: equine influenza
jumped the species barrier from horses to dogs.
"In the veterinary profession, we had not identified influenza as
a cause of respiratory disease in dogs before," said Crawford, a
researcher in the College of Veterinary Medicine whose work will
be a vital component of UF's new Emerging Pathogens Institute.
"In fact, it has not been described in domestic species other than
horses, pigs and poultry. But our DNA analysis of the virus genome
showed that this virus actually jumped from horses to dogs.
"When the influenza virus crosses a species barrier, it's a big
deal because you don't know which species will be next down the
line," Crawford said. "Are people subject to acquiring influenza
from dogs now?"
Despite the surprising discovery, the diagnosis gave veterinarians
a target. With the culprit identified, Crawford is now pursuing
research on a vaccine for prevention of infection and use of
antiviral drugs for treatment of sick dogs.
Crawford works with a team that includes UF veterinary
researchers Paul Gibbs, William Castleman and Richard Hill as
well as researchers at the Cornell University College of Veterinary
Medicine and the national Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention with whom she published her flu research findings in
the Sept. 26, 2005 online issue of Science.
She is also working on developing a diagnostic assay to identify
infected dogs in hopes of catching the disease earlier.
The College of Veterinary Medicine has particular expertise in
racehorses and racing greyhounds through its Center for
Veterinary Sports Medicine and is the only veterinary college witi
greyhound racing track.
Crawford said respiratory disease outbreaks are the top cause of illness
greyhounds, but the severity and duration of these outbreaks led her to
novel infectious agent.
"In the past, these outbreaks would shut down greyhound racing every fi,
so," Crawford said. "But they started occurring annually and lasted for sever
Influenza is highly contagious, especially for dogs kenneled in close q
causes fever, coughing, nasal discharges and pneumonia, and can be fatal
During 10 years of private veterinary practice, Crawford ran a greyhound(
group for retired racers in Tallahassee. Veterinary medical research
however, so she gave up private practice and returned to her alma mater
posting was in a laboratory for feline immunodeficiency virus research an(
in that area continues today.

C16j JiV Visit us online @ http://news.h

Lately, Crawford and UF researcher Julie Levy have been working to identify a
diagnostic test that accurately detects feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV, in
cats. Cats infected with FIV are usually diagnosed by the presence of antibodies to
the virus in their bloodstream, and the tests available for detection of these antibodies
are accurate. However, the introduction in 2002 of a vaccine for protection of cats
against FIV infection has created a problem for diagnosis.
When a cat whose history is unknown shows up at a veterinary clinic or animal
shelter and tests positive for FIV antibodies during a routine health screening,
there is no other test available to verify whether the antibodies are due to infection
or vaccination.
"We now have a diagnostic dilemma," Crawford said. "The antibodies the cat
makes when it is vaccinated are indistinguishable from the antibodies the cat makes
when it is infected with FIV."

Dr. Cynda Crawford, who identified influenza in dogs, poses with her greyhounds.

It is important to identify the infection because it is contagious and lifelong. FIV-
infected cats need to be segregated from other cats to avoid spreading the virus, a
procedure particularly important in shelter cat populations. Shelter cats also face
euthanasia instead of adoption if they test positive for FIV, making an accurate
diagnostic test a life or death issue.
After three years, Crawford said, a test to differentiate between vaccinated and
infected cats is no closer, but the work will continue.
Crawford also directs the blood donor program at the UF Veterinary Medical
Center, which provides blood products for transfusion of its dog and cat patients. Her
research is supported by grants from the Winn Feline Foundation, Morris Trust Fund,
Alachua County Department of Health and the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering.
"I very much enjoy what I do. Every veterinary researcher's big dream is to
contribute something that improves animal health and welfare," Crawford said.
"That's also my big dream."

ealth.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

- '-'''



Ph.D., a research assistant
professor in the department
of orthopaedics and
rehabilitation, has been
awarded $218,250 from the
National Institutes of Health.
He will lead a three-year
study into the biological Gouze
effects of glucosamine on
arthritis, with the goal of developing a novel
strategy for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

has received the Resident
Award for Exemplary
Teaching from the American
College of Surgeons. Feezor,
chief resident of general
surgery, plans to specialize in
vascular surgery.

responsible for quality assurance and quality
control at the Rainbow Center, UF's family-
centered comprehensive health-care provider for
HIV/AIDS-infected or exposed infants, children,
adolescents, women and their families. This is
the second year in a row that a Rainbow Center
nurse has won the award.

a professor and associate
chair of pathology at
UF-Jacksonville, was
recently inducted into the
Gold Humanism Honor
Society. The society is an
initiative of the Arnold
P. Gold Foundation -a Masood
public foundation fostering
humanism in medicine. It honors senior medical
students, residents, physician teachers and
other exemplars for "demonstrated excellence
in clinical care, leadership, compassion and
dedication to service."

year medical student in the
division of geriatrics, has
been named the recipient
of this year's Edward
Henderson Student Award
by the American Geriatric
Society. The annual award
is given to one student
interested in pursuing a Pavon
career in geriatrics, who has
demonstrated excellence in the field. It includes
a $500 travel stipend to the society's annual
meeting in May.

Dotson Sachs

Opportunity Program funds
are provided to graduate
students on a competitive
basis to support the
purchase of materials for

SOWELL, a graduate Sindhu
student in the department
of clinical and health
psychology, received a
National Research Service
Award training grant from
the National Institutes
of Health. The grant will
support her research on
women who have received
implantable cardioverter Sowell
defibrillators. Sowell works under the mentorship
of associate professor Samuel Sears, Ph.D.,
in collaboration with Jamie Conti, M.D., an
associate professor of medicine.

BONNIE SACHS, students in
the department of clinical and
health psychology, have been
selected to attend the American
Psychological Association's
Advanced Training Institute on
functional magnetic resonance
imaging. The six-day course
will be held in May at the
Massachusetts General Hospital
in Charlestown, Mass.

M.D., a professor and
chair of the emergency
medicine department at
UF Jacksonville, has just
completed his tenure as
president of the Duval
County Medical Society. The
society's 118th president, he Vukich
presided at the group's 153rd
annual meeting in January and has been named
to a three-year term as a DCMS delegate to the
Florida Medical Association.

was named the 2005 Nurse
of the Year by The World
AIDS Day Committee of
Jacksonville at its annual
World AIDS Days luncheon.
A UF-Jacksonville employee
for five years, Harkey is a
special projects coordinator Harkey


Ph.D., an associate
professor in the
department of physical
therapy, received the
Award for Research from
the American Physical
Therapy Association's
Neurology Section at
the combined sections
meeting in San Diego. She was recognized
for an outstanding record of research on the
recovery of function after spinal cord injury.

BHAGWANT SINDHU, a doctoral student
in the rehabilitation science program with a
concentration in movement science, received
a Mentorship Opportunity Program grant from
UF's Graduate Student Council. Mentorship

Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., director of the William
R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, director
of toxicology and professor in the department of
pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine,
has been named president-elect of the American
Academy of Forensic Science at the group's 58th
annual meeting, Feb. 20-25 in Seattle. His term
will begin in 2007.

Kno soen wh hs

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Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

--- I -0 17~




CATCH as catch can, kids get a head start on good oral health

By Adrianna Rodriguez

because you can't varnish over cavities, two UF
pediatric residents and an undergraduate
student want to promote the idea that it's never
too early to get a head start on healthy teeth.
The dental team of third-year pediatric residents
Michele Lossius, 29, Kristen Eisenman, 28, and pre-
dental student Kristin Skelton, 23, is working to
make sure 1- and 2-year-old patients get a head start
on a lifetime of good oral health.
After receiving a $3,000 Community Access To
Child Health, or CATCH, grant from the American
Academy of Pediatrics, the pediatric residents
spearheaded a program to apply fluoride varnish to
some of their youngest patients coming in for routine
check-ups at the Children's Medical Services Eastside
and Haile Plantation clinics.
The clear varnish takes less than a minute to brush
over children's teeth and, along with good brushing
habits, helps protect teeth against cavities.
"Dental caries are a problem across the board for
all patients," Lossius said.
The residents began the program after attending a
lecture given by Frank Catalanotto, D.M.D., a
professor in the department of community dentistry

and behavioral sciences, who stressed the need for
dental care to also become part of routine visits to the
"These residents recognize the need," Catalanotto
said. "It's all about education."
At the clinics, oral health education begins for both
parents and children in the waiting room. There
Skelton talks to parents about good oral health for
their children as she hands out goody bags with free
child-sized toothbrushes, colorful brushing calendars
and quick oral health information for parents.
"The main thing is that most parents always take
their kids to the doctors, but they don't think about
taking them to dentists," Skelton said. "We try to get
them thinking about the benefits of going to the
dentist, too."
Although both Eisenman and Lossius are finishing
their last year as residents, they are looking for
incoming residents to pursue a new grant and
continue the program.
The doctors' ultimate goal is to take the concept of
applying varnish at pediatricians' offices instead of
just at dentists' office to the state Legislature in hopes
of getting Medicaid coverage of the procedure. If

Michele Lossius (left) and Kristen Eisenman
prepare to apply fluoride varnish to a toddler
patient at the Children's Medical Services clinic
near campus.

they succeed, Florida would become one of fewer
than a dozen states that cover the procedure.
"We realized kids couldn't get preventive care in
busy clinics," Eisenman said. "We would just like to
make a difference in their dental health."

Public health researchers to study sex ed in Florida's schools

By Jill Pease

Researchers in the College of Public Health and
Health Professions will perform the first
statewide assessment of sexuality education in
Florida's public schools.
The research group received a $100,000 grant from
The Picower Foundation to investigate the curricula
in classrooms across Florida.
"The state of Florida currently ranks in the top 3 in
the nation in terms of incident HIV infections and
overall AIDS cases; we also have high rates of other
sexually transmitted infections and unintended
pregnancies, particularly among young adults," said
principal investigator Brian Dodge, Ph.D., an
assistant professor in public health programs. "Little
is known about what is being taught in our state's
classrooms to prepare youth to deal with these
significant public health challenges."
Florida is one of 23 states that require schools to
teach sexuality education and HIV prevention, but
there are no other requirements or standards for the
course content. Previous national studies have

A group of College of Public Health and
Health Professions researchers received a
$100,000 grant to assess sexuality education
in Florida's public school system.

consistently shown that most parents want some form
of sexuality education to take place in the schools, but
there is no consensus on what should be taught,
Dodge said.

The research team, which also includes Dodge's
department colleague, Ellen Lopez, Ph.D., an
assistant professor, and Michael Reece, Ph.D., of
Indiana University, will develop a survey for middle
and high school teachers, with input from a six-
member scientific advisory committee (composed of
researchers from UF, Columbia University and the
University of North Florida) and a 20-member
community advisory committee.
Members of the community committee will include
teachers, public health workers, nurses, doctors and
school administrators who will help determine what
questions should be asked and which teachers should
take the survey. This approach follows a new trend in
public health research known as community-based
participatory research, Dodge said.
With help from research assistants Frank Bandiera,
Kristin Gant, Omar Martinez and Kristina Zachry,
the group plans to mail more than a thousand surveys
in English and Spanish to teachers across the state
later this spring.


Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

1 me


A passion for Pilates

PHHP faculty member provides a powerhouse workout

By Jill Pease

t's noon on a recent Wednesday and Sherrilene
Classen, Ph.D., M.P.H., O.T.R., is leading a
group ofHSC employees and doctoral students
through a series of challenging poses, including
The Hundred, Rolling Like a Ball and The Seal.
Throughout the weekly one-hour Pilates class,
Classen, an assistant professor of occupational
therapy in the College of Public Health and Health
Professions and a certified Pilates instructor,
reminds her class to focus not on the quantity of
exercise, but on the quality of execution.
"In the gym we want to go, go, go do more
reps or lift 20 more pounds," Classen said. "But
Pilates is about process building and finding the
perfect challenge for your body."
Classen has been teaching Pilates to a group of
about 18 regulars for three years. The class is free
and open to all faculty, staff and doctoral students
of the Health Science Center. Students need only
bring along a mat and a small inflatable ball,
which costs about $10.
"Sherrilene is a professional Pilates instructor,
but does not charge us a cent for the classes.
What a bargain!" said 'Nita Ferree, a reference
librarian at the Health Science Center Libraries.
"I've been doing some form of exercise most of
my adult life, usually aerobics and calisthenics. I
happened on to yoga a few years back and liked
that, too. But I never felt comfortable with Pilates,
because there were so many things of which to be
mindful, all at the same time. And when you're
in a big class at the gym, you can't ever be sure
you are doing it right."
A certified exercise teacher since 1988, Classen
has had a dual career for many years -
academician and researcher by day, and fitness
class instructor by night. In her UF position,
Classen is developing a public health intervention
plan to promote safe older driving. In the
evenings, she teaches step aerobics, cardio circuit
training and "abs and glutes" classes at Gainesville
Health and Fitness Center.
Classen, a native of South Africa, was drawn to
Pilates in recent years as an exercise that would
accommodate her body's changing needs, and
facilitate her core strength, stability, balance and
grace in movement.
"As I age I am noticing that I am not able to do
as much high-impact activity, such as running, as
was previously comfortable," said Classen, 43.
"While Pilates won't burn calories, it will increase

stamina, endurance, flexibility, coordination and
fluidity in muscle movements. The outcome does
not only manifest in these physical gains, but also
in developing a positive self image and an
awareness of practicing healthier eating and
lifestyle habits. From this premise, weight loss is
really the bonus, while positive lifestyle change is
the optimum goal."
Developed by Joseph Pilates during World War
I, the Pilates method focuses on strengthening
the body's "powerhouse" the abdominal
muscles and other stabilizing muscles of the

in patients who were recovering after a stroke.
Pilates works for any fitness level and is
accommodating for all shapes, sizes and ages, said
Classen, who demonstrates a beginning,
intermediate and advanced version of each of the
postures during class.
"Pilates is really safe, very effective, fun,
mindful and it allows you to explore your latent
strength the strength you didn't know you
had," she said.
"Sherrilene not only makes sure you are doing
the exercises correctly, but she infuses the workout

Sherrilene Classen, an assistant professor of occupational therapy in the College of Public
Health and Health Professions and a certified Pilates instructor, leads a weekly one-hour class
in the HSC.

chest, back and pelvis. Once popular among
athletes and professional dancers, Pilates has
moved into mainstream fitness over the past
several years and has recently expanded to health
care, with some physical therapists now using
Pilates in rehabilitation. As an occupational
therapist, Classen has used Pilates principles to
increase proximal stability, strength and balance

with positivity and encouragement," Ferree said.
"At the risk of gushing, I swear, it's like going to
church. You feel renewed and righteous afterward.
She's a terrific and talented teacher."
For more information on the Pilates class, held
from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the HPNP
Complex, please contact Classen at sclassen@


Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

--- I -0 19~



Rick Westenbarger hugs his partner Julie Demetree after he learned they
received their "couples match" and would both have residencies at UF.


Published by
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs
Douglas J. Barrett, M.D.
Director, News & Communications
Tom Fortner
Denise Trunk
Senior Editors
Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
Mickey Cuthbertson
Tracy Brown, Sarah Carey, Tom Fortner,
April Frawley Birdwell, Linda Homewood,
Lindy McCollum-Brounley, Patricia McGhee, John
Pastor, Jill Pease, Adrianna Rodriguez, Melanie
Fridl Ross, Cindy Spence, Denise Trunk

UF Health Science

Sarah Kiewel
Christopher Hiatt
Support Staff
Cassandra Jackson, Beth Powers, Kim Smith,

The POST is the monthly internal newsletter for
the University of Florida Health Science Center,
the most comprehensive academic health center
in the Southeast, with campuses in Gainesville
and Jacksonville and affiliations throughout
Florida. Articles feature news of interest for and
about HSC faculty, staff and students. Content
may be reprinted with appropriate credit.
Ideas for stories are welcome. The deadline
for submitting items to be considered for each
month's issue is the 15th of the previous month.
Submit to the editor at dtrunk@ufl.edu or deliver
to the Office of News & Communications in the
Communicore Building, Room C3-025.




finally came face to face with the envelopes that held their
fate. Although some students matched into programs earlier
in the year, for most the event capped off weeks of gut-
wrenching waiting.
"There's no place like home, Miami, baby!" David Chan
cried after opening his envelope and learning he'd been
accepted into an orthopaedic surgery residency. "I'm shaking,"
another student revealed after Associate Dean of Student
Affairs Patrick Duff, M.D., handed her letter to her.
Standing in front of the packed conference hall inside the
UF Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, Jolly Graham
pulled her letter out of the envelope. "Duke University!" she
cried, punching her hands into the air.
"It's like national signing day," Duff quipped after Jolly
Graham's husband secured a Duke University hat onto his
wife's head.
While the mystery of where students will head after
graduation was revealed on Match Day, for many students
the biggest sigh of relief actually came a few days earlier,
when they learned for sure that they had matched
That was the biggest hurdle for Rich Westenbarger and Julie
Demetree, who submitted a "couples match," meaning they
would either match into the same institution or not at all.
"That, for us, was almost a bigger deal," Westenbarger
said. "We knew we were going to be together."
The couple will be completing their residencies at UF,
although Westenbarger will be in Jacksonville training in
emergency medicine and Demetree will be in Gainesville,
training in psychiatry.
"It's going to be unique, but we've been talking about this
for a long time," Westenbarger said. "We're ecstatic."
After students opened their envelopes, each tacked a pin
into a U.S. map to show where they were headed. By the end
of the day, a large circle of pins covered north and central
Florida. Of UF's 115 medical school seniors, 42 will complete
their residencies at UF, either in Gainesville or Jacksonville.
Other students pushed pins into more far-flung locales, such
as Vermont and Colorado.
The National Resident Matching System uses a computer
algorithm to match a student's residency selections with the
needs of different programs. About 60 percent of students
nationwide matched into their first choice programs this year.
Deirdre Foster shrieked when she discovered she was
headed to her first choice program, Johns Hopkins University
for psychiatry.
"I'm speechless," she said, in between hugging family
members and friends. "It's such a good program."
After the anticipation was over and secrets hidden inside
the envelopes had been devoured, students wandered through
the room hugging each other and making tearful phone calls
to friends and family.
"It's a day we've all known about for a long time," Jolly
Graham said. "It's surreal that it's actually here."