Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Post it
 Successful alumni
 Emerging Pathogens Institute
 Dog survives skewer
 Glycogen storage disease
 Knock-kneed filly
 Stroke education
 Craniofacial Center
 Baligh Yehia


The Post
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073869/00009
 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: March 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: UF00073869:00009
 Related Items
Preceded by: Friday evening post (1989)


This item has the following downloads:

00001 ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Post it
        Page 3
    Successful alumni
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Emerging Pathogens Institute
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Dog survives skewer
        Page 12
    Glycogen storage disease
        Page 13
    Knock-kneed filly
        Page 14
    Stroke education
        Page 15
    Craniofacial Center
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Baligh Yehia
        Page 19
        Page 20
Full Text

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UF Health Science
Celebrating 50 Years


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Table of Contents
S50TH ANNIVERSARY Successful alumni
RESEARCH Shark sense
COVER Emerging Pathogens Institute


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Glycogen storage disease
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- Stroke education

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Give kids

UF dental senior Lauren Leslie and an
Alachua County elementary student
engage in waiting room activities
during the Feb. 3 Give Kids a Smile
screening day at UF dental clinics. The
event provided sealants, fluoride
treatments, X-rays and treatment plans
for 165 Alachua County elementary
school children in preparation for the
Feb. 24 treatment phase. During the
treatment phase, 25 dentists from the
Alachua County Dental Association
joined Project: Dentists Care Inc., and
faculty and students of the UF College
of Dentistry, Santa Fe Community
College Dental Hygiene Program and
the ACORN Clinic to deliver dental
care to children throughout the county.

Visit us o

line @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.


On March 31, the College of Nursing will honor its heritage of nursing
research with its 50th anniversary commemorative Malasanos Distinguished
Lectureship and Research Day. Events will run from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Keynote speaker Anna Schwartz, Ph.D., A.R.N.P., F.A.A.N., a noted
researcher on cancer management through physical activity, will speak to
faculty, students and other health professionals on "Physical Activity in the
Care of Cancer Patients and Survivors: Exercise Prescription and Clinical
Recommendations." Schwartz's speech will begin at 9 a.m.
Schwartz is an alumna of the UF College of Nursing and an author,
researcher, educator and advanced practice nurse. She currently serves as
an associate research professor at the University of Washington, and resides
in Flagstaff, Ariz. She maintains a practice at the Northern Arizona Cancer
Center as a nurse practitioner and is the breast center program coordinator.
She recently published Cancer Fitness: Exercise Program for Patients and
Survivors, a culmination of years of research that gives cancer patients a
scientifically based program for physical activity and symptom management.
The Malasanos Distinguished Lectureship brings distinguished speakers
to the university every two years to discuss a wide variety of health topics of
interest to clinicians, patients and the public. The lectureship was endowed
in 1992 in honor of John Malasanos, husband of former College of Nursing
Dean Lois Malasanos.
The College of Nursing Research Day, held in conjunction with the lectureship,
will feature more than 35 faculty and student research poster presentations in
areas such as adult and elderly nursing, pain, health-care environments and
systems, and women's, children's and family nursing. For more information,
call (352) 273-6321.

This is the time of year when poster sessions take over lobbies and luncheon
areas of the HSC. A list of what to look for follows:

College of Dentistry Research Day
Events begin at 8 a.m. April 7 in D3-3.

College of Medicine Research Day
Events begin at 8:15 a.m. April 11 in the HPNP Building's reception area.

College of Public Health and Health Professions
Poster session begins at 9 a.m. March 20 in the HPNP Building's reception
area. This is a students-only event.

Medical Student Research Day
All day March 6 on the first floor of the Communicore Building in front of the
HSC Libraries.

Women's Health Research Day
Begins at 8 a.m. March 24 at the Paramount Conference Center.

Still looking for a way to help victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans?
Here's your chance: A group of UF medical students is traveling to New
Orleans during spring break in mid-March to help victims still living in the
hurricane-ravaged city. They need money and other donations to help. Send
checks to the University of Florida Foundation (memo: Project FRIEND), P.O.
Box 100689, Gainesville, FL 32610. For more information contact Nicole
Sammons at nsammons@ufl.edu.

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

Maren Readinq Room

dedication celebration

Mrs. Emily Sabah-Maren (right) attended with her friend (left) the
first-ever medical student creativity awards and annual Maren room
dedication in February. The Thomas H. Maren Medical Student
Reading room was named after Sabah-Maren's late husband, who
was one of the College of Medicine's founding faculty members
and a lover of literature.

It is not known what causes half of all premature births. The March of Dimes'
biggest fundraiser, WalkAmerica, supports lifesaving research and innovative
programs to protect babies from serious threats to their health and well-being:
prematurity, birth defects and low birthweight. You can help save babies by
participating in the 2006 WalkAmerica on March 25 in Gainesville. WalkAmerica
urges you to join a walking team, create your own team and/or recruit others to
participate in this effort.
This year the March of Dimes National Ambassador is 5-year-old Alexa
Ostolaza, a former patient of Shands Children's Hospital. She is the daughter of
Jessica Ostolaza, a radiology technician at Shands AGH, and Josue Ostolaza, a
deputy sheriff for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.
The 2006 WalkAmerica co-chairs for Shands HealthCare are Marilyn Tubb,
Shands HealthCare vice president for community affairs, and Fred Hamilton,
facility operations supervisor for University of Florida Physicians. To join a team,
contact Hamilton at hamilfa@shands.ufl.edu or Tubb at tubbml@shands.ufl.edu.

or the latest news and HSC events.


Most Likely to Succeed

Celebrating decades of HSC student success stories

By April Frawley Birdwell

When the University of Florida Health Science Center opened its doors to
students in 1956, no one knew what kind of effect these students and
those who followed them would have on the world.
The six colleges of the HSC have produced thousands of health professionals
during the past 50 years. One has made discoveries that have changed the way the

world sees drug addiction. Another has saved lives with research that shows how
well-trained nurses can make a difference in patient care. But nearly all these
alumni have spent their lives trying to help other people.
The HSC has produced too many successful alums to name in one issue, but the
POST has highlighted a handful who have dedicated their lives to helping others.

College of Dentistry

Craig Oldham, D.M.D., 1992
Craig Oldham is an avid Gator Sports aficionado, but college sports are not what make his
blood run orange and blue. It's the love of his profession and the alma mater that educated
him to excel in it-the UF College of Dentistry.
Since graduating in 1992, Oldham has paid his dues to become an established and
respected member of Florida's dental community first as a young associate in a Brandon
dental practice and now as a business owner, with partner Anthony Adams, of Brandon
Dental Care.
Even with a demanding business and family life, Oldham finds time to serve on the
Admissions Committee, wading through more than 1,300 applications for the 80 spots in
the college's entering dentistry class. He's also an officer on the board of the college's
Academy of Alumni & Friends.
Oldham, always active with his own class, has worked hard as class leader to generate
participation and support for college programs from his classmates. But he's also put his
money where his mouth is, donating to the college's General Dentistry Endowment Fund
and bequesting $100,000 to the College of Dentistry.
Oldham gets the big picture of how supporting dental education in Florida translates
into serving Florida's residents. His dedication of time, effort and financial commitment
sets the benchmark for alumni support and helps the college graduate outstanding young
dentists to join Florida's dental community.

Dr. Craig Oldham (center, back row) with his family and Dean
Teresa Dolan (right, back row).

College of Medicine

Peter Small, M.D., 1985
Peter Small, M.D., had established himself as a prominent faculty member and
tuberculosis researcher with a well-funded lab at the Stanford University School of
But when he was offered the chance to direct how millions of dollars would be
invested in tuberculosis research for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UF
College of Medicine alumnus could not resist.
"It was the allure of being in a position to make a real impact," Small said.
In 2003, the College of Medicine added Small to its Wall of Fame, a high honor
for any alum, but especially one who grew up at UF. Small's father, Parker Small,
M.D., a professor emeritus of pathology, joined the UF faculty in 1966.

SVisit us online @ http://news.health.ufl

While at UF, Small was one of the founding members of Physicians for Social
Responsibility, which he says built on an inherent social passion that has come full
circle with his work at the foundation.
Small, the foundation's senior program officer for tuberculosis, helps the foundation
uncover what research could be the most beneficial in the fight against TB. It's sort of
like being a venture capitalist, he says.
"Except the returns we're expecting on our investment is lives saved, not dollars,"
he said. "While many people think of TB as a disease of antiquity, the reality is it's
one of the biggest health problems the world is facing, killing someone every 16

.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

- '-'''


Mark S. Gold, M.D., 1975
Addiction medicine didn't exist when Mark S. Gold was a
medical student at the UF College of Medicine.
But at the beginning of his career, after watching how
drugs caused fellow students to self-destruct in college
during the early 1970s, Gold recognized the importance
of understanding how drugs of abuse affected the brain.
While a psychiatric resident at Yale Medical School,
Gold pioneered the prominent theory that drugs target
the brain and cause changes that lead to withdrawal when
the drugs are stopped.
Gold also discovered that a drug used to treat high
blood pressure stopped methadone withdrawal symptoms,
making it easier for drug abusers to kick the habit.
More recently, Gold, a UF professor of addiction
medicine, explained that exposure to exhaled anesthesia
in hospitals could make some doctors more susceptible to
drug abuse. He also found food addiction is similar to
drug addiction.
But Gold also has spent much of his career on drug
prevention and education. He's written 26 books on
drugs, worked with every presidential administration
since Ronald Reagan, served on the federal Drug Czar's
kitchen cabinet, and continues to work with the state
drug czar.
"Even though treatment is better than it was when I
started in 1975, and stigma is less than it was, the only
treatment that is 100 percent effective is prevention."
Gold credits his success to UF neuroscience faculty
members who encouraged him as a student. Gold still
treasures the compliment Al Rhoton Jr., M.D., a professor
and chairman emeritus of neurosurgery, gave him after
Gold was honored with a spot on the College of
Medicine's Wall of Fame.
"He said I've had a career that was worth admiring,"
Gold said. "That means a lot to a person like me who's
looked up to a person like him their whole adult life."

Dr. Alma Littles (top left) pursued her mission of improving rural medicine
after leaving the College of Medicine. Dr. Mark S. Gold (top right) made his
mark in addiction medicine, while Dr. Peter Small (shown with mother and
father, UF Professor Emeritus Parker Small Jr.) helps determine how millions
are invested in tuberculosis research at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Alma Littles, M.D., 1986
Alma Littles left her hometown of Quincy, Fla., with a mission to bring
health care to people in the small, rural town, where doctor visits were few and
far between.
Several members of her family, including her father, had died prematurely
from illnesses that could have been prevented. Littles, who became interested
in medicine after a teacher suggested it when she was in second grade, decided
then her goal would be to prevent this from happening to other people.
"The resources just were not there," said Littles, now an associate dean of
academic affairs at the Florida State University College of Medicine. "I felt
someone should be looking out for people there. That's where my passion came

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

from. My goal was to get as much knowledge as I could (at the UF College of
Medicine) and bring it back to Quincy."
And that's what she did. After earning her medical degree at UF and
completing her residency, Littles set up a practice in Quincy. Within three
months, her waiting room was full.
Littles spread her mission further when she became the residency director at
Tallahassee Memorial and, in 2002, a faculty member at FSU. Teaching allows
her to recruit more young doctors into rural medicine, she said.
"If you haven't been there it's easy to assume it doesn't exist," she said.
"Having access to someone who's been on both sides is a great influence."

or the latest news and HSC events. X

-- -----


College of Nursing

Linda H. Aiken, Ph.D., M.N., 1966; B.S.N., 1964
Linda Aiken is director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research and the Claire M. Fagin leadership
professor of nursing and professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has built a long and
distinguished research career with the agenda of improving health-care outcomes by building an evidence base for health
services management and providing direction for national policymakers.
She recently served as a keynote speaker for the College of Nursing's Dorothy M. Smith Nursing Leadership Conference.
Aiken was closely mentored by Founding Dean Dorothy Smith as a student and has supported recent College initiatives to
honor Dean Smith.
"Dorothy Smith instilled in her students the centrality of systematic surveillance and documentation of nursing care
and its outcomes in the professional nurse," Aiken said. "[Dean] Smith's vision of nursing reshaped nursing education
and practice worldwide."
Research conducted by Aiken showed that more nurses at the bedside could save thousands of patient lives each year.
Her 2002 study results found that patients who have common surgeries in hospitals with low nurse-to-patient ratios have
up to a 31 percent increased chance of mortality. A 2003 study found that patients experience significantly lower mortality
and failure-to-rescue rates in hospitals where more baccalaureate-prepared nurses provide direct patient care.
Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, Aiken was vice president of the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation. She recently was ranked 10th on Modern Healthcare's list of the 100 Most Powerful People in
Healthcare. She was a member of President Clinton's National Health Reform Task Force and served on the Joint
Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organization's Nurse Staffing Roundtable that produced the frequently
cited white paper on the nurse staffing shortage. Aiken has received honorary doctoral degrees from Emory University,
Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jo Snider, Ed.D., 1976; M.N., 1965
Jo Snider, an associate professor of psychiatric-mental health nursing in the department of health care environments and
systems, has made her mark as a UF College of Nursing faculty member since her start in 1965.
Snider was in the first class of master's students at the College of Nursing and was recruited to be a faculty member
after graduation. She liked the close-knit environment of the college and felt she was treated, for the first time in her
educational career, as though she had something to offer. She also admired the philosophy of the faculty who felt that
"there was a sense of responsibility for all faculty to contribute to the profession," she said.
After 30 years of teaching at the college, Jo Snider's e-mail inbox often contains messages from former students, some of
whom graduated more than 20 years ago. They seek advice, references or just someone to listen to their problems. Through
serving in a number of different positions, including director of BSN Senior Studies for 17 years and adviser to the Honors
program, a position she still holds, Snider has had an undeniable influence on many students she has taught.
She also currently teaches psychiatric-mental health nursing and nursing ethics and serves as chair for doctoral
dissertation and master's project committees.
"I believe Dean Smith would be very pleased with the college today, especially its dual emphasis on practice and
research as a foundation for education," Snider said.

College of Veterinary Medicine

Carlos Risco, D.V.M., 1980
Carlos Risco realized the importance of veterinary medicine at a young age. His father, a physician, raised Brown Swiss
cattle and canaries on a small farm in Ohio, and he always took the advice of veterinarians seriously.
So perhaps it was not too much of a surprise when Risco himself grew interested in veterinary medicine, specifically
dairy cows.
Risco, a member of the UF College of Veterinary Medicine's charter class of 1980, is a board-certified animal
reproduction specialist and a professor in the college's department of large animal clinical sciences.
Although living and working on a farm was one early influence on Risco, James Himes, emeritus associate dean of
students and instruction at the college, was another.
"Dr. Himes' enthusiasm was simply contagious," Risco said. "After attending his lectures, I couldn't wait to learn more."
A native of Cuba, Risco is an internationally recognized lecturer on dairy cattle, and in 2005, he received the Florida
Blue Key Distinguished Faculty award. That same year, he received the college Alumni Council's Distinguished Alumni
Award and was chosen by UF veterinary students to receive the college's Carl Norden Award for Distinguished Teaching.
In 2004, Risco completed a three-month Fulbright Fellowship to further his research into postpartum problems of dairy
cows in Argentina.

Sj J I itV Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC

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Linda Aiken, top, Jo Snider, middle, and
Carlos Risco are representative of the many
successful alumni of the HSC.


_ _____


College of Pharmacy

Noriega family
When you enter Bill's Prescription Center in Brandon, it's hard to believe the words
"Est. 1956" embossed into the threshold as you enter this modern pharmacy
bustling with pharmacists, technicians and clerks. It's not unlike the Walgreen's
across the street, except that it's more like walking into a family reunion.
Justo "Bill" Noriega worked hard to open his own pharmacy after he graduated
from the College of Pharmacy in 1954. As his business grew, so did his family of
pharmacists. In 1965, his sister, Melecia Noriega, graduated as a pharmacist from
UF. In 1981, son John Noriega, and in 1990, daughter Mary Noriega Denham, also
graduated as pharmacists from UF.
The Noriegas have built their community pharmacy practice on patient care from
the first year, when Brandon had only 1,800 residents and two doctors. With a
population of 200,000 today, their patient-care philosophy has not changed. John,
who grew up in his father's store, now manages the business. Sharing his father's
commitment, his focus is on patient care, giving service and being the best
pharmacy, not only in Brandon, but in the world.
Building the best pharmacy isn't the end of the road for John, it's just the
beginning. When asked about his vision for the future, he says he hopes to see
community pharmacy practice grow throughout the United States. John has
contributed $100,000 to his family's alma mater in support of his belief in pharmacy
education and to help establish the UF Institute for Pharmacy Entrepreneurs.

The Noriega family, all UF College of Pharmacy alumni, stand in front
of their pharmacy in Brandon. They are, from left, Mary Noriega
Denham, Bill Noriega, Melecia Noriega and John Noriega.

College of Public Health and Health Professions

Kay Walker, B.S., 1964; M.Ed., Ph.D., 1990
On her first day as a UF instructor, Kay Walker, Ph.D., prayed that the students wouldn't hear her knees knocking.
"I was scared to death," Walker recalled. "I had agreed to teach, thinking I would only do it for one semester ... I
never thought I would be a lifer!"
Walker, who retired in 2004 after 32 years as a professor of occupational therapy and 16 years as a department
chair for the College of Public Health and Health Professions, said she has Alice Jantzen, Ph.D., founding chair of
UF's occupational therapy program, to thank for pushing her in the right direction.
"She urged me to go to graduate school after receiving my bachelor's degree from the UF program in 1964, and
then she asked me to teach," Walker said.
It wasn't long before Walker was hooked on teaching.
Still, the years she served were not without challenges. She was named department chair in 1984, and as one of
very few female department chairs at the university, Walker took on the issue of equal recognition and
compensation for female faculty members.
During her 16 years as department chair, Walker expanded educational programs in the college. She developed
one of the first master's programs in the country for people with a bachelor's in non-occupational therapy fields
and saw her dream of a doctoral program realized with the college's rehabilitation science degree.
"I feel fortunate to have landed in academia as a career and to have been at UF with its excellent faculty,
students and administrators," she said. O

Kay Walker

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





UF scientists trace origin of shark's electric sense

By John Pastor

Sharks are known for their almost uncanny ability to detect electrical
signals while hunting and navigating.
Now researchers have traced the origin of those electrosensory
powers to the same type of embryonic cells that gives rise to many head and
facial features in humans.
The discovery, reported by UF scientists in the February edition of
Evolution &Development, identifies neural crest cells, which are common in
vertebrate development, as a source of sharks' electrical ESP.
It also fortifies the idea that before our early ancestors emerged from the
sea, they too had the ability to detect electric fields.
"Sharks have a network of electrosensory cells that allows them to hunt by

"If you think of this in the big picture of

evolution of sensory systems, such as

olfaction, hearing, vision and touch, this

shows sharks took a pre-existing genetic

program and used it to build yet another

type of sensory system."

- Martin Cohn, Ph.D.

detecting electrical signals generated by prey," said Martin Cohn, Ph.D., a
developmental biologist with the departments of zoology and anatomy and
cell biology and the UF Genetics Institute. "That doesn't mean they can only
detect electric fish. They can sense electricity generated by a muscle twitch,
even if it's the weak signal of a flounder buried under sand."
Likewise, sharks are widely thought to use the Earth's magnetic field for
navigation, enabling them to swim in precise paths across large expanses of
featureless ocean, Cohn said.
"If you think of this in the big picture of evolution of sensory systems, such
as olfaction, hearing, vision and touch, this shows sharks took a pre-existing
genetic program and used it to build yet another type of sensory system,"
Cohn said.
UF and University of Louisiana researchers analyzed electroreceptor
development in the embryos of the lesser spotted catshark, an animal that is
largely motionless during the day and hunts at night, mainly in the seagrass
beds of the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
Using molecular tests, scientists found two independent genetic markers
of neural crest cells in the animal's electricity-sensing organs. Analysis
shows these cells migrate from the brain and travel into the developing
shark's head, creating the framework for the electrosensory system a
previously unknown function of a much-studied group of cells, according to
Renata Freitas, a doctoral candidate in the zoology department and first
author of the paper.
The process mirrors the development of the lateral line that allows fish to

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

The dark markings indicate gene expression in the electrosensory organs
in the head of an embryonic shark. University of Florida Genetics
Institute scientists traced the origin of a shark's electrosensory powers to
the same type of embryonic cells that gives rise to many head and facial
features in humans.

mechanically sense their environment, and organs of the inner ear that enable
people to keep their balance. But scientists suspect as human ancestors
emerged from the sea, they discarded their lateral lines as well as their ability
to sense electrical fields.
"Our fishy ancestors had the anatomy for it," said James Albert, Ph.D., a
former UF biologist who is now at the University of Louisiana. "You can
imagine how valuable this system would be if you were aquatic, because water
is so conductive. But it doesn't work on land air doesn't conduct electricity
as well. When it happens, it's called a lightning bolt and you don't need special
receptors to sense it."
All primitive animals with backbones could sense electricity, according to
Michael Coates, an associate professor of organismal biology and anatomy at
the University of Chicago. Mammals, reptiles and birds lost the sense over
time, as did most fish alive today.
But in sharks and a few other species, such as sturgeons and lampreys,
electrosensory capability endured.
"Most fish you see today have large eyes," Coates said. "But sharks are
predators that do not particularly rely on vision. Knowing that the
electrosensory system may have developed with involvement of neural crest
cells is valuable for people trying to reconstruct vertebrate evolution. It gives us
further indication of how all of the various sensory systems come on line." 0

L.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

- --~--


Molecular force field helps cancer cells defend against attack

By Melanie Fridl Ross

Much as the famed starship Enterprise would
deploy a deflector shield to evade enemy attack,
tumor cells are capable of switching on a molecular
force field of their own to fend off treatments aimed
at killing them. Now University of Florida
researchers have found a chink in their armor.
The cells churn out an enzyme that bonds with a
protein, creating a protective barrier that deflects
damage from radiation or chemotherapy and
promotes tumor cell survival. But in laboratory
experiments, UF scientists were able to block the
union, and the malignant cells died. The findings are
opening new avenues of research that could lead to
improved cancer therapies, the researchers report in
Cancer Research.
"We have found a gene called focal adhesion
kinase which is produced at very high levels in
human tumors, and our work has shown this makes
the tumors more likely to survive as they spread
throughout the body and grow," said William G.
Cance, M.D., a researcher at the University of
Florida Shands Cancer Center and chairman of the
department of surgery at UF's College of Medicine.
"It also makes them more resistant to our attempts
to kill them. And we're trying to understand exactly
why this gene, which is a small enzyme molecule, is

very intimately associated with tumor cell survival."
Focal adhesion kinase, or FAK, has spawned a
flurry of research designed to develop new
medicines to prevent it from linking with the
protein known as vascular endothelial growth factor
receptor 3, or VEGFR-3. The protein is tied to the
growth of channels in the lymph system that serve
as cellular superhighways for cancer spread and is
found in breast, colon and thyroid tumors.
Cance and colleagues were the first to pull FAK
out of human tumors and to show that human
cancers make the molecule in large quantities. In
1996, the team went on to show that tumors
prevented from producing the enzyme die. The
scientists also have identified some protein
receptors FAK binds to; VEGFR-3 is the latest
they've discovered.
Breast cancers that pump out high volumes of
FAK and VEGFR-3 are more aggressive, Cance
said. The scientists were able to block FAK from
binding with VEGFR-3 in cultures of human breast
cancer cells by introducing a different protein that
stopped cancer cells from dividing and caused them
to die but spared normal breast cells.
UF surgical resident Christopher Garces, M.D.,
and UF research assistant professors Elena

New Gastrointestinal Oncology Center opens

By Melanie Fridl Ross

The UF Shands Cancer Center has opened the Gastrointestinal Oncology Center as
part of its ongoing commitment to patient-focused, multidisciplinary clinical care.
Nurse coordinator Coleen Booker, R.N., is working with cancer services
business representative Laura Buono to help patients and referring physicians
efficiently access the adult gastrointestinal oncology services they need. They also
act as liaisons between patients, referring physicians and the Cancer Center's GI
oncology team of physicians and staff. The program's medical leader is surgeon
Steven Hochwald, M.D.
"With so many facets of treatment, GI oncology patients will truly benefit from
having a designated advocate to facilitate and ease their transition between
procedures, clinics, doctors and staff," said W. Stratford May Jr., M.D., Ph.D.,
Cancer Center director. "Reducing the high-anxiety time period for patients is
one of our primary goals, and dedicating two individuals to manage the
cumbersome task of scheduling tests, labs, surgical procedures, consults and
financial counseling across multiple disciplines as well as psychosocial support
will expedite the individual's treatment."
The team also will work in concert with the Cancer Center's clinical trials office
to provide patients with information about relevant clinical trials.
Each year the UF Shands Cancer Center's multidisciplinary GI team of
surgical, radiation and medical oncologists, pathologists, gastroenterologists,
radiologists, nurse practitioners, nutritionists and social workers treats more than
500 patients who have complex gastrointestinal malignancies.
"I especially like the idea of being an advocate, and ensuring that our patients

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

Dr. William Cance and colleagues have
found a way to kill cancer cells in the
laboratory by blocking the ability of a gene
to bind with a protein.

Kurenova, Ph.D., and Vita Golubovskaya, Ph.D.,
also were involved in the work, funded by the
National Cancer Institute. Q


Steven Hochwald Coleen Booker

receive the best care possible in a smooth, caring and efficient manner," said Booker,
who previously worked as a nurse in the Shands at UF emergency department,
where she spent the last six years as the core charge nurse for the day shift.
For more information, call the GI Oncology Center at 265-0990 or e-mail
bookec@shands.ufl.edu or buonol@shands.ufl.edu. 0

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" '''--



Port of Call

State's vulnerability to bio-threats
prompts UF research initiative

By Christopher Hiatt

Each month, thousands of vacationers flock to Florida's coastline to soak up
the sun and experience the thrill of the state's attractions. But souvenirs
and sunburns might not be the only gifts they take home.
Take Norwalk virus, for example. Common on cruise ships, Norwalk causes
diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, and is spread through contaminated water, food and
personal contact. Because the virus is also resistant to chlorine, a dip in the pool
could infect unsuspecting swimmers. A sea-weary traveler, unaware of contagion,
could check into a Florida hotel and unpack more than just his or her luggage.
Florida is a potential port of call for a host of infectious diseases. The state's
varied ecosystems and broad borders make it vulnerable to a number of emerging
pathogens that could thrive in its subtropical climate. Floridians' active, outdoor
lifestyle puts them at risk for mosquito-borne viruses like West Nile. Hurricanes
skirting Latin America and the Caribbean islands could spread pathogens like
malaria and yellow fever to the Sunshine State's shores. Some say it's only a matter
of time before bird flu comes calling.
And it's not just people the pathogens plague. Diseases like citrus canker and
citrus greening threaten Florida's fruit crops, while soybean rust, sudden oak
death and Pierce's disease of grapes endanger other plant species. Diseases of food
animals like foot-and-mouth also pose serious risks. A large-scale outbreak has in
the past and could in the future prove catastrophic to Florida's multimillion-
dollar agricultural industry, crippling the state's economy.
"We have so many agents out there viruses, fungi, bacteria that can impact
this state that there needs to be a more concerted effort to be able to respond, to
identify through accurate diagnosis and treat or eradicate," said C. Craig Tisher,
M.D., dean of the College of Medicine.
Enter the Emerging Pathogens Initiative. The multidisciplinary endeavor is in
its formative stages and is uniting researchers across campus, all intent on one

& i t IiT i IVisit us online @ http://news.health.t

goal: combating the threat of dozens of agents that affect plants, animals and
people in the state of Florida and the United States. Together they plan to create
the Emerging Pathogens Institute, one of the first major academic institutes in
the world to unite traditional and nontraditional scientific disciplines devoted to
studying how these pathogens affect human health and influence the economy.
The initiative's objectives are threefold: first, to research and control the threat
of infectious disease in Florida; second, to train the next generation of scientists to
keep these threats at bay in the future; and third, to provide Florida residents with
relevant, accurate information and teach them how they can help control disease.
Representatives from IFAS and the colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary
Medicine, Engineering and Liberal Arts and Sciences are laying a foundation for
the institute through the Emerging Pathogens Initiative. State legislators will
review budget requests from several of the colleges during their next session.
Requests for operational funding could generate about $7 million, with a separate
building planning request of $8 million. The project is No. 4 on the Florida Public
Education Capital Outlay, a list used to prioritize projects before the Legislature.
The institute will also be a candidate for funding from the National Institutes
of Health.
It is too early to tell which specific diseases they will focus on, but the
collaboration of so many talented individuals under the direction of skilled
leadership promises to produce a wealth of innovation, researchers said.
"UF is the natural home to such an institute because of its enormous diversity
of research, scholarly and clinical endeavors," said UF President Bernie Machen.
The institute has the potential to foster economic development as well. Grant
McFadden, Ph.D., a molecular virologist relocating from the University of
Western Ontario to direct the institute, said he believes in education as an
incubator for economic development. Private-sector spin-offs of research

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Grant McFadden

conducted in the lab could strengthen Florida's economy and generate jobs in the
Gainesville area.
"EPI has the opportunity to bring together scientific talent currently at the
University of Florida and combine their strengths with those of newly recruited
experts in the area of microbial pathogens to form a critical mass of researchers,"
McFadden said. "The potential is simply enormous."

The scientist driving the Emerging Pathogens Initiative is Richard W. Moyer,
Ph.D. His research focuses on the pathogenesis of orthopoxviruses, which infect
humans and animals and include viruses like smallpox and monkeypox.
Monkeypoxvirus was imported from Africa. In 2003 the first infected humans
in the United States surfaced. Symptoms include fever, headaches and a
characteristic rash.
Both smallpox and monkeypox can be deadly to humans; smallpox was the
scourge of humanity until World Health Organization efforts eradicated it in
1976. Although monkeypox is rare and treatable, it is one of several poxviruses
that can infect humans as well as animals. Study of this virus is one of the
initiative's priorities.
Moyer's vision for the UF-based institute grew out of his research on pathogens
affecting humans and his experience as co-director of the Southeast Regional Center
of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infections. SERCEB, a cooperative effort
involving six institutions throughout the Southeast, is designed to foster research
necessary to protect society from emerging infections and biologic threats.
"SERCEB was the catalyst," he said. "This gets us a real seat at the table."
In five years, Moyer foresees the Emerging Pathogens Institute at UF combining
a variety of relevant sciences, including engineering, the agricultural sciences,
computer science, ecology, sociology, meteorology, chemistry, communications
and the more traditional microbiological sciences, all in one building.
"Uniting and fusing all the resources which are available on our campus will
create a program capable of innovative and novel research," he said.
Moyer points to the wealth of resources UF experts can contribute to an initiative
of this scope. Here are just a few examples:

UF chemists Weihong Tan, Ph.D., and Charles R. Martin, Ph.D., are using
nanotechnology to develop advanced methods for the detection of pathogenic
organisms. The research, said David E. Richardson, Ph.D., a professor and
chair of chemistry, could ultimately lead to the development of therapeutic
approaches to killing such organisms.

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

Eric W. Triplett, Ph.D., a professor and chair of microbiology and cell
science in IFAS, studies brucella. This bacterium causes brucellosis, an
ailment with symptoms similar to those of the flu. Brucellosis is found in
cows and sheep, and while it is not common in the United States, it can also
spread to humans. There is no vaccine available. IFAS scientists are also
interested in plant pathogens, particularly in citrus greening, a devastating
organism first discovered in Florida in August.

IFAS' Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach is one of the
largest of its kind in the country. The lab studies mosquitoes, which thrive in
Florida's climate and can spread infectious disease.

McFadden, the institute's newly recruited director, will bring all of this talent
together. He researches how viruses interact with their hosts, neutralizing the
antiviral effects of the immune system. When viruses infect a host, they produce
compounds that inhibit the immune system. Many of these compounds, when
cloned and examined free from their pathogenic origin, have tremendous
therapeutic potential. Like Moyer, McFadden's lab studies how poxviruses cause
disease and why they leap species unexpectedly.

"I'm very interested in that tug of war between the pathogen and the host,"
McFadden said.
McFadden is also the chief scientific officer and co-scientific founder of VIRON
Therapeutics Inc., a drug discovery and development company that arose out of
his research in virus-host interactions. McFadden and co-founder Alexandra
Lucas, M.D., hope to bring a branch of VIRON to Gainesville.
Through the new initiative, researchers from different scientific specialties
hope to answer questions more effectively than they could individually.
"Since we don't read each other's literature, if we work together we could have
synergy like nowhere else in the world," Triplett said.
The initiative's arsenal of thinkers is prepared to take a step toward more
"The way we are going to compete is by developing integrated and innovative
approaches to solving problems," the department of chemistry's Richardson said.
"UF is an organization that can do that that was Moyer's vision."

Until the initiative gains institute status, Moyer said participants will continue
to develop a local support system. This fall, the emphasis will shift to recruitment
of new researchers. Moyer and McFadden expect to hire three top scientists in
fields relating to human pathogenic disease by spring 2007.
Finding a permanent home for the institute on campus could take a little longer.
The College of Medicine has allotted 20,000 square feet in the Academic Research
Building for now, space being vacated by researchers relocating to the Cancer -
Genetics Building.
Moyer's dream of a building that serves as a nucleus for the institute will come
later. Winfred M. Phillips, D.Sc., vice president for research, said the $8 million
requested of the state Legislature would lay the groundwork for a facility that
could cost 10 times that amount.
"We are always pleased to see new and timely initiatives by faculty at the
University of Florida that will bring it to the forefront of research," Phillips said.
"I believe this is one of them." 0

Christopher Hiatt is a communications intern with HSC News and Communications.

or the latest news and HSC events.

Richard Moyer



Doctors help dog survive run-in with kabob

By Sarah Carey

When veterinarians and cardiologists from
the University of Florida said "Yankee,
go home," they did so with pride and a
sense of heartfelt joint ownership. Yankee, a tail-
wagging, 7-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, went
home from UF's Veterinary Medical Center Feb. 3
with her actual owners, the Stazzone family of
Satellite Beach, after successful open heart surgery to
remove a bamboo barbecue skewer from her heart.
In a collaborative procedure involving UF

surgeon on the case.
"We had very little time to coordinate this thing,
and the team worked out really great," said Gary
Ellison, D.V.M., a professor of small animal surgery
at UF who assisted in the procedure. "While we
provided the critical care before and after Yankee's
surgery, we don't have the capability of doing
bypass at our veterinary hospital and we needed the
human surgeon's expertise."
Only two veterinary institutions in the country

Yankee greets her owners, Vincent and Mary Stazzone, Feb. 3 as they arrive to take her home
from UF's Veterinary Medical Center. Pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon Mark Bleiweis, M.D., right,
was the lead surgeon for the operation to remove a shish-kabob skewer from the dog's heart.

veterinarians and physicians from the Congenital
Heart Center at UF, Yankee was placed on bypass
for 55 minutes Jan. 27 at a surgical research facility
located near the MRI unit that was used to pinpoint
the skewer's location. The skewer had perforated
the dog's stomach and pierced the heart after she ate
a steak kabob.
The entire operation lasted about three hours,
and pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon Mark
Bleiweis, M.D., the center's director, was lead

perform heart bypass procedures in dogs and those
are located in Texas and Colorado, Ellison said,
adding that Yankee's condition would have made
transport to any other facility extremely risky.
Once the skewer was removed, Bleiweis rebuilt a
damaged heart valve.
"I'm really proud of what we did, and that we were
able to put this many people from so many specialties
together to save this dog's life," Bleiweis said. "I'm an
animal owner and this is someone's family member."

Bleiweis added that although Yankee had a severe
heart infection, she responded to the procedure
"better than most people do."
"We were able to get her off the ventilator and out
of the operating room without a problem and she
was standing on all fours that same day," he said. "It
was amazing."
Yankee's woes actually began on Halloween,
when the Stazzones had steak kabobs for dinner and
Yankee grabbed one, "practically inhaling the
whole thing," Mary Stazzone said. "Immediately
she was sick and throwing up, and everything I
cleaned up was steak, but no stick."
After initial surgery to remove the skewer from
her stomach, Yankee seemed to have recovered. But
two months later her condition rapidly deteriorated
and it initially appeared to be unrelated to her
previous illness.
When Yankee was admitted to the VMC a few
days prior to surgery, her blood was not clotting and
she was anemic, said Nikki Hackendahl, D.V.M.,
the small animal internal medicine resident who
had primary responsibility for Yankee. Then
Hackendahl detected a heart murmur and
immediately requested a consultation from
veterinary cardiologist Amara Estrada, D.V.M.
"We did an echocardiogram and noticed a strange
linear structure in the heart," Estrada said. "Then
we found out the dog had a history of eating a
bamboo skewer and surgery had been performed to
remove part of it from the dog's stomach."
Because of the close relationship Estrada and the
veterinary cardiology group have with the human
pediatric cardiology team the two groups round
together on Wednesdays Estrada shared images
from Yankee's echocardiogram and asked her
human counterparts' opinion.
"We were going to do inflow occlusion, a
procedure that prohibits blood flow but gives you
only two to four minutes to open up the heart and
look inside," Estrada said. "They said this wasn't
such a great idea due to the short time frame and the
limited access. I asked them for help and they readily
accepted and offered to assist us with the case."
Although Yankee developed a systemic infection
that will continue to be treated with antibiotics, she's
alive and improving every day, clinicians said. Her
owners said their three daughters had been making
cards for Yankee and couldn't wait to have her home.
"I bought Yankee for my husband when we were
just dating and we've had her for seven years," Mary
Stazzone said. "It was just such a shock how this has
all happened." 0

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r12 ).g


Devoted patients follow doctor to UF

By April Frawley Birdwell

A boy once lived to be 18.
That was the only hope doctors could give Kathy
Dahlberg when her twin sons were diagnosed with
glycogen storage disease, a rare condition that keeps the body
from being able to store glucose and maintain necessary blood
sugar levels. They said her infant sons probably would not live
to graduate high school. They would never grow up.
Three years later, she attended a conference to meet other
parents coping with the disease. Instead, she met someone
who would change her children's lives. A speaker at the
conference, David Weinstein, M.D., gave the Minnesota mom
shocking news after examining the twins, who at 3 were
taking 39 pills a day: Weinstein thought the boys could be
Two months later Dahlberg and her children were on a
plane to Boston, where Weinstein was a faculty member at
Harvard Medical School's pediatric teaching hospital,
Children's Hospital Boston. He revised their treatment and
by the time the family was back home, Dahlberg was noticing
something strange her boys were playing and full of energy,
like other 3-year-olds.
In August, Weinstein moved his entire clinical practice and
research program to the UF College of Medicine, making it
the largest center in the world for glycogen storage disease.
Dahlberg, along with all 150 other patients and all of the
program's employees, followed. Avery Diamond, 9, has been seeing Dr. David Weinstein fc
"We're not just cases to him," Dahlberg said. "We're people 150 glycogen storage disease patients who followed Weins
to him. We all think we're his favorites. He's just the most

r two years. Diamond was one of
;tein's program from Boston to UF.

exceptional doctor I've ever met."
As devoted as patients already are to the doctor, the decision
to come to UF may make them even more grateful. The move
has allowed Weinstein to collaborate with leading researchers in other specialties to
search for a cure and better treatments for the disorder.
In the months since Weinstein joined UF, 23 researchers from different specialties
have already formed seven teams to study different aspects of the disease. Teams are
studying gene therapy, stem cell therapy, new treatments, the genetics of the disease
and associated problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anemia,
which some patients have.
"The University of Florida believes in collaborations; people work together and
there's a lot of excitement here," he said. "It was worth the move down to create a
program where we have so much interest from so many people who are using their
strengths to guide treatments for these conditions."
Only about one in 100,000 children are born each year with glycogen storage
disease, which when not treated properly can result in retardation, seizures and
other medical complications.
Weinstein had been exposed to glycogen storage disease throughout his training
at Harvard. His mentor, John Crigler, M.D., discovered the only known treatment
for the disease, cornstarch therapy. Prior to cornstarch therapy, most patients died
from glycogen storage disease, Weinstein said.
"Cornstarch isn't very fancy, but it turned this into a manageable disease," he
said. "This is a life-sustaining medication for our patients and they weigh it out to
the gram."
But it wasn't until Weinstein started going to conferences and meeting families
like the Dahlbergs who weren't getting the treatment they needed that he decided

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to specialize in the disease.
"I realized most patients were not doing nearly as well as our patients were doing,"
he said. "This is a rare disease. Unfortunately there aren't many doctors who are
trained in it. There were children who were having seizures and children who were
dying. At that point, I decided somebody needed to be an advocate for these
Robert Diamond noticed a dramatic difference in his son Avery, 9, after they
began seeing Weinstein two years ago. His growth rate improved, as did his muscle
tone and the size of his abdomen.
The problem is doctors at other centers who don't see many patients with the
disease often don't know how to manage cornstarch therapy. Because people with
glycogen storage disease can't store glucose to maintain blood sugar levels between
meals, they have to take precise doses of cornstarch at specific times.
"We started him young enough that cornstarch didn't taste horrible," Diamond
said. "Avery likes it with pink lemonade."
"It's chunky," Avery added, shrugging.
The choice to stick with Weinstein was an easy one for Dahlberg. Weinstein's
patients usually only have to see him once a year for an overnight checkup, and with
Disney World and the beach nearby, the yearly trip is now fun too.
But more importantly, her twin sons Andrew and John, who are now 9, no longer
take 39 pills a day or have to have continuous feedings through the night. Sometimes,
she even forgets her children have the disease.
"I can't imagine where my kids would be if I had not met him," Dahlberg said.
"It's one of the things I am most thankful for in my life." O

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-- WX-


Filly has new lease on life thanks

to rescuers and UF large animal surgeons

By Sarah Carey

Thoroughbred filly named Squirt born
"knock-kneed" with deformed joints
faced euthanasia at the young age of 6
weeks but now runs and plays at her home farm like
the healthy pet she is, thanks to the horse lovers
who rescued her and to surgeons at the UF
Veterinary Medical Center.
After a series of surgeries performed between
May and August at UF, Squirt's deformities appear
to have been completely addressed, says her proud
owner, Giovanna King, who lives in Live Oak.
"She is continuing to gain weight and grow
muscle," King said. "When I look at her now and
compare pictures of her then and now, she just looks
like an entirely different horse."
King said she and her husband, Mike,
unexpectedly gained possession of the filly in mid-
May, when a friend called after visiting a breeding
farm in Ocala.
"She said, 'I'm going to be bringing you a baby,'"
King recalled. "I said, 'No way, I don't want another
horse.'" The Kings own Beaver Creek Farm and
own several horses they have rescued over the years
as well as other horses they breed and sell.
But King's friend told her, "Don't worry, you'll
want this one."
King's friend told her that the filly's mother had
been sold by the farm owner, but the buyers did not
want the foal because of her limb deformities.
"She actually overheard the farm hands talking
about taking this filly back behind the barn to shoot
her," King said.
After she heard the full story and saw the filly,
King's attitude changed.
"This filly's knees were totally together and she
was unable to run because she'd trip and fall,"
King said.
A regular client of UF's VMC, King knew right
away the filly would require specialized treatment.
As it turned out, several surgeries were required to
fully address the problems with Squirt's legs. Troy
Trumble served as the attending clinician during all
of the procedures, supervising residents Nicholas
Ernst, Aric Adams and Sarah Matyjaszek and
walking them through each operation.
Squirt's deformity was due to abnormalities
surrounding her growth plate, Trumble said, and
was treated surgically in two procedures, one on
each leg.

The knock-kneed filly, Squirt, (left) before her life-saving treatments at the UF Veterinary
Medical Center and after (right). Dr. Troy Trumble served as the attending clinician during all
of the procedures.

The transformation in Squirt from the first
visit to the last screw removal was very impressive,
not just in how the legs corrected, but also in
Squirt's entire appearance and demeanor, the
surgeon added.
"I can see what Giovanna sees in this filly, as she
is a very curious and amiable horse," Trumble said.
"Each time I tried to examine her legs in the stall,
she would just walk right up to me and she snuggles
right up next to you. You can't help but like her.

"I could see Giovanna's drive to make this baby
right," Trumble said. "I hope that Squirt and
Giovanna have many long years together."
King said Squirt was "growing like a weed" and
picking up weight.
Despite all Squirt has been through, it hasn't
changed her attitude, King said.
"She's with me and she's not going anywhere,"
King said. "All of us here, we're so attached to her.
She follows us around like a puppy." 0

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r14 ).g


Breast cancer awareness event attracts experts, public

By Patricia Bates McGhee

More than 200 experts in breast health attended the 11th Annual Multidisciplinary
Symposium on Breast Disease, held Feb. 10-12 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.
Designed to provide breast health education to physicians and those involved in
the study and management of breast cancer, the symposium attracts experts from all
over the nation. And a free public forum and dinner, "What Everyone Should Know
About Breast Cancer," held at the Omni Hotel in downtown Jacksonville the
evening before the symposium's start, attracted interested members of the public
from Savannah, Ga., to Palatka.
The forum is designed to help the public make educated and informed decisions
about their breast health. "But it's much more than just how to detect the disease,"
says Shahla Masood, M.D., a professor and associate chair of the department of
pathology at UF College of Medicine Jacksonville, who along with Robert A.
Smith, director of cancer screening for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta,
moderated a panel of six experts. "We hope our multidisciplinary team of medical
professionals can give people the overall knowledge to help them understand the
disease, too," she explains.
The forum's question-and-answer session addressed topics such as knowing the
risks of breast cancer, getting second opinions, having regular mammograms and
giving self-examinations.
In addition to Masood and Smith, faculty panelists included Patrick Borgen,
M.D., chief of breast service in the surgery department of Memorial Sloan-
Kettering Cancer Center, New York; James Chingos, M.D., an associate professor
and division chief of hematology/oncology in the department of medicine at UF-
Jacksonville; Lawrence Solin, M.D., a professor of radiation oncology at the
University of Pennsylvania, and David Dershaw, M.D., director of the breast
imaging section at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. O

The panelists for the public forum that preceded the 11th Annual
Multidisciplinary Symposium on Breast Disease included (from left)
Dr. James Chingos, UF-Jacksonville; Dr. David Dershaw,
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Dr. Lawrence Solin,
University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Shahla Masood, UF-Jacksonville;
Dr. Patrick Borgen, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and
Robert Smith, American Cancer Society, Atlanta.

Campaign to educate the community on stroke

By Patricia Bates McGhee

Jacksonville is the ninth city in the country to
participate in the "Know Stroke in the
Community" national awareness program, and
Scott Silliman, M.D., a UF-Jacksonville associate
professor of neurology, serves as the initiative's local
stroke expert.
Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health
(specifically, the National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke, or NINDS) and the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, "Know Stroke
in the Community" is dedicated to raising
awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke
among Americans, particularly for groups identified
as having the highest risk for stroke blacks,
Hispanics and senior citizens.
NIH and CDC launched the grassroots stroke
education program in 2004 in five pilot cities -
Houston; Richmond, Va; Chicago, Birmingham,
Ala.; and New Orleans. Jacksonville is one of five
additional cities coming on board in 2005-06, along
with Boston, St. Louis, Cleveland and Atlanta. NIH
and CDC plan to expand the program in the future.
According to Margo Warren of NINDS, the
educational campaign is being launched in cities

with a high rate of stroke, large black and Hispanic
populations, and with medical centers dedicated to
the treatment of stroke patients. Jacksonville has
two designated stroke centers Shands
Jacksonville and St. Luke's Hospital.
To kick off the program in Jacksonville last
month, more than 30 community leaders, health
educators, senior care community managers,
physicians and nurses dubbed stroke champions
- met on the UF&Shands Jacksonville campus to
learn more about stroke and organize a plan to "get
out the stroke message" citywide.
Silliman, who also directs the Comprehensive
Stroke Program and Comprehensive Multiple
Sclerosis Program at The Neuroscience Institute at
Shands Jacksonville, explained the different types
of strokes, their symptoms and treatments,
underscoring the need for people to seek help
"The southeastern United States, including
North Florida, is part of a 'stroke belt,'" he said.
"It's not clear why, but Florida is hit hard by
stroke." Silliman said it's also unknown why some
minority groups are at higher risk for stroke. "Our

Scott Silliman

goal is to save lives by educating Jacksonville-area
residents so they can identify the symptoms of
stroke and know to seek help immediately." 0


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Craniofacial Center film to offer

parents an 'emotional roadmap'

By Lindy McCollum-Brounley

he families of one of every 700 children born in the United States face the
challenge of coping with their newborn's cleft lip and/or palate. It can be a
distressing experience as parents are confronted with problems with
breastfeeding, worry for the child's future and feelings of guilt that maybe the
parents are the cause of the deformity.
Fortunately for many, cleft lip can be diagnosed using ultrasound before birth,
allowing parents to make necessary medical arrangements and to prepare

Creating a documentary on dealing with cleft lip/cleft palate, Tim
Nackashi focuses his lens on the work of the doctor and pediatric
dental assistant as the patient's mother looks on. Nackashi's brother,
Bryan Nackashi, serves as sound boom operator during taping.

themselves emotionally for the birth of their baby. Even when an ultrasound exam
doesn't reveal the anomaly, parents of children born with cleft lip and/or palate can
quickly place a healthy perspective on their baby's deformity when they know what
to expect next.
"Parents often are overwhelmed when they first learn of their child's cleft lip
and/or palate," said William Williams, Ph.D., a professor and director of the UF
Craniofacial Center. "The value of introducing these new parents to other parents
who have gone through the process is remarkable."
The UF Craniofacial Center, under contract with the Department of Health's
Children's Medical Services, has developed the statewide Cleft Lip and
Craniofacial Network. Network coordinators counsel parents of babies with cleft
lip and/or palate and provide specialized bottles and nipples to make nursing
easier. More importantly, network coordinators introduce new parents of babies
with cleft lip and/or palate to other parents who have already gone through the

16 j jBVi Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl

repair process.
"It matters little that the physician tells the parent that cleft lip and/or palate is
one of the most common birth defects worldwide," said Williams. "But when they
meet the average mom and dad who have already gone through the process, you
can hear an audible sigh of relief."
Williams noted that UF's Craniofacial Center is taking parental education a
step further. The Center is developing a documentary film on the
interdisciplinary approach used to correct cleft lip and palate and provide a broad
range of services, including speech therapy, hearing assessment and psychological
counseling for children and their families. The DVD will be available as an
educational resource for parents distributed nationwide through the offices of
craniofacial teams, pediatricians and obstetricians.
When searching for a talented documentarian to take on the project, Williams
didn't have far to look. Tim Nackashi, 33, son of John Nackashi, a professor of
medicine and chief of general pediatrics, won acclaim in 2004 for his and partner
David Sampliner's award-winning production "Dirty Work," which was honored
at the Sundance Film Festival and won Best Documentary Feature at the Atlanta
Film Festival (www.dirtyworkdoc.com). Nackashi's documentary film experience
combined with his sensitivity to his father's life's work made him a natural choice.
"Growing up, I saw a lot of my dad's work and connected with it," said Nackashi.
"I had expressed interest in doing health-related pieces, and the craniofacial team
expressed the need to create a piece that could be a great support tool for families
who are in the early stages of receiving news that their child will have or was just
born with a cleft lip and palate.
"The families, in many cases, aren't used to spending much time in a hospital or
interacting very much with doctors, so there are a lot of questions that arrive
around, 'What is my child going to look like,' 'What if I'm afraid of how my baby
looks,' 'How will I feed my baby' and on and on," said Nackashi. "Obviously, the
idea is to create a piece that can, in some way, address all of these issues."
Nackashi decided to share the real-life stories of patients and their families as
they progress through the different stages of cleft lip and palate repair, from the
early challenges of infancy to the end result of a happy and normal young adult.
But he would delve into deeper territory than the cold, clinical timeline of
surgeries, therapies and various other medical aspects of the process.
"I wanted to focus more on what to expect emotionally, and how to think about
some of those things emotionally that are going to be happening with your baby as
he or she goes through the process of rehabilitation," he said.
To do that, Nackashi interviewed the entire cleft palate team at UF-affiliated
Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville and doctors, dentists and speech
pathologists affiliated with the UF Craniofacial Center and Children's Medical
Services in Gainesville.
More important to his "emotional roadmap" theme, Nackashi also interviewed
and documented the experiences of several patients and their families during
different stages of rehabilitation.
"I filmed and interviewed a great number of the craniofacial team members, and
I'm very much aware that it's a strong collaborative process across disciplines,"
Nackashi said. "But this is still a piece that in the greater sense is about the
resiliency of children. Children can overcome incredible odds and obstacles.
"With the right support, and if you'll just let them, they can actually lead you
through the process," he said.
For more information about the Center, please visit www.cleft.ufl.edu. 0

.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

_ _____



a professor and chief of the
division of gastroenterology,
hepatology, and nutrition,
was elected president of
the American Pancreatic
Association in November
2005. He will serve a one-
year term. The APA is the Forsmark
only professional society in
the United States dedicated solely to study of
diseases of the pancreas.

Ph.D., director of the
William R. Maples Center for
Forensic Medicine, director
of toxicology and professor
of pathology, immunology
and laboratory medicine,
was named president of
the American Academy Goldberger
of Forensic Science at the
group's 58th annual meeting, held Feb. 20-25
in Seattle. The AAFS, a nonprofit professional
society organized in 1948, is devoted to the
improvement, administration and achievement of
justice through the application of science to the
process of law.

an assistant department
chair and professor of
ob/gyn at the UF College of
Medicine -Jacksonville, was
recognized by Baptist Health
South Florida for "teaching
excellence in obstetrics and
gynecology." The group
awarded him the Sanford Kaunitz
H. Cole, M.D., Memorial
Lectureship on Jan. 14 at the 20th Annual
Sanford H. Cole, M.D. Memorial OB/GYN
Symposium, held in Coral Gables.

associate chair and an
associate professor of
community health and family
medicine at the College of
Medicine -Jacksonville, has
been appointed to a two-
year term on the American
Academy of Family Wilson
Physician's Commission
on Finance and Insurance. AAFP, the largest
medical specialty organization devoted solely to
primary care, was the first medical organization
to require its members to complete a minimum
of 150 hours of accredited continuing medical
education study every three years. The group
represents more than 94,000 physicians and
medical students nationwide.


Leading public health
psychologist BARBARA
CURBOW, Ph.D., has
been named chair of the
department of rehabilitation
counseling in the College
of Public Health and Health
She succeeds former
Chairman Horace Sawyer,
Ed.D., who is retiring.

which t
and oc
girls an
"I am
25 doc


Curbow most recently served as an associate over th
professor in the department of health, behavior served
and society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg "I take c
School of Public Health. a hand
One of Curbow's first challenges in her UF public
post will be guiding the department through EMILY K
the transition to a new name and the addition student
of two areas of study. Pending approval from of clinic
university administration, the department will psycho
take the name community and behavioral health as winr
sciences to reflect the addition of public health student
divisions in environmental health and social and cogniti
behavioral sciences to the existing program in the Am
rehabilitation counseling. Associc
"A goal of mine is to find a way to integrate the Clinica
interests of the faculty and students so this is a King w
single working group instead of three separate paper
divisions," Curbow said. "There are many ways in this sur

ELEANOR GREEN, D.V.M., chair of the department of large
animal clinical sciences, and DANA ZIMMEL, D.V.M., an
assistant professor of equine extension, have advanced in
the leadership ranks of the Association of American Equine
Green, who also serves as chief of staff of UF's Large Animal
Hospital, has been named the association's vice president.
Zimmel has been named to the board of directors. The two
officially began their new posts during the AAEP's s annual
convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Seattle.
As vice president, Green becomes the first female
practitioner to serve on AAEP's executive committee and will
become AAEP president in 2008. Board-certified by both the
American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the
American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Green is a past
president of the ABVP and also of the American Association of
Veterinary Clinicians.
Zimmel serves as a clinical faculty member in the large
animal medicine service in addition to her extension duties.
She is dually board-certified by both the ACVIM and the ABVP.
Zimmel currently is the faculty advisor for the AAEP student
chapter at UF.
Headquartered in Lexington, Ky., the AAEP was founded in
1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and
welfare of horses. The group has 8,500 members worldwide
and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management,
research and continuing education in the equine veterinary
profession and horse industry.

these disciplines can overlap."
ow's research interests include risk
inications, cancer prevention and control
cupational health psychology, with
s focusing on issues such as adolescent
d smoking, mammography screening,
of life issues for patients with cancer, and
ated stress.
ow ranks involvement in graduate
ion high on her list of achievements.
proudest of the fact that I have mentored
toral students who are now scattered all
e country," said Curbow, who has also
on 75 doctoral dissertation committees.
reat personal satisfaction in having
in training them in the psychology of

ING, a graduate
t in the department
cal and health
logy, was selected
er for the best
t research paper in
ve neuroscience by
erican Psychology
tion's Division of
I Neuropsychology. King
ill receive $500 and will present her
at the association's annual conference




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

---II-0 17~



Investigators to study cognitive effects

of surgery in patients with Alzheimer's

By Jill Pease

eniors who undergo major surgery are at risk for
memory and thinking problems after surgery, and
patients with Alzheimer's disease may be
particularly vulnerable.
With support from a $100,000 grant from the
Alzheimer's Association, a UF research team will evaluate
whether major surgery could increase cognitive decline in
patients with Alzheimer's.
Previous research has shown that almost half of
patients over the age of 65 who undergo non-cardiac
surgery experience cognitive changes when they leave the
hospital. And three months later, only 75 percent of them
have completely regained their cognitive capacity.
Although theories abound, the cause of postoperative
cognitive dysfunction is unknown, said principal
investigator Catherine Price, Ph.D., an assistant professor
in the College of Public Health and Health Professions'
department of clinical and health psychology who has a
joint appointment in anesthesiology.
But researchers are not sure how memory and thinking
abilities are affected in people with Alzheimer's who have
"People with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of

dementia have not been included in these studies," Price
said. "This raises the question: How might surgery affect
their cognitive capabilities?"
Price and College of Medicine colleagues Peter Gearen,
M.D., chairman of the department of orthopaedics and
rehabilitation; Richard Vlasak, M.D., and Matthew
Holsbeke, A.R.N.P., of orthopaedic surgery; and Victor
Zhang, M.D., of anesthesiology, will evaluate 45 patients
during the two-year study. The researchers will assess
changes in cognitive function in 15 people with
Alzheimer's disease who elect to have knee or hip
replacement, 15 individuals who are free of dementia and
having surgery, and 15 people with Alzheimer's who
decide to postpone surgery.
At two weeks and three months after surgery, the
scientists will use a protocol of neuropsychological tests
to assess cognitive function. They will also measure
levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released in times
of stress.
"Our findings will help determine if people with
Alzheimer's disease are particularly vulnerable to the
effects of surgery, and if so, whether biological stress
might be a mitigating factor," Price said. 0




Catherine Price

Stechmiller receives NIH funding to assess

wound healing in diabetic ulcers

By Tracy Brown Wright

UF College of Nursing associate professor Joyce
Stechmiller, Ph.D., A.R.N.P., has been awarded
$200,000 from the National Institutes of Health to
lead a three-year research study to determine whether the
antibiotic doxycycline can accelerate the healing of
diabetic foot ulcers, reducing the number of amputations,
decreasing costly interventions and ultimately improving
the patients' quality of life.
Approximately 16 million people with diabetes reside in
the United States. Of these, 15 percent will develop lower-
extremity ulcers, and approximately 50,000 diabetic
patients a year will undergo amputation because of ulcers.
In previous research, Stechmiller showed that fluids
collected from chronic wounds contained high levels of
pro-inflammatory cytokines proteins that can stimulate
or inhibit the growth and activity of various immune cells
- and proteases, enzymes that aid in the breakdown of
proteins in the body. However, fluids from a healing skin

1Visit us online @ hi

wound contained low concentrations of cytokines and
In her current study, Stechmiller will seek to determine
whether diabetic foot ulcers often fail to heal because
persistently high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines
present in the wound induce high levels of proteases,
which then destroy factors essential for wound healing.
Researchers also will attempt to describe the molecular
changes that occur in diabetic foot ulcers as they heal and
to detect changes in the patterns of gene expression in
healing diabetic wounds treated with topical doxycycline.
Stechmiller and her research team will monitor four
groups for 20 weeks, taking measurements every two
weeks. Group A will receive doxycycline and Group B will
serve as a control group. Researchers will measure the
wound surface, cytokines, proteases and growth factor
activities of both groups at specified times throughout the
20 weeks. 0

Joyce Stechmiller

tp://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

- --~--




Passion for medical education drives student

By April Frawley Birdwell
Baligh Yehia never hesitates to share his
opinions on medical education, even when
speaking to a roomful of leaders from some of
the nation's largest hospitals and medical schools.
As the only student on the American Medical
Association's Council on Medical Education, Yehia

"I'm surrounded by deans of

medical schools and they

really value the student

perspective I bring to the

council. It's a valuable voice

I bring." Baligh Yehia

speaks for every medical student in the country, and
it's a job the University of Florida College of
Medicine senior takes seriously.
"I'm surrounded by deans of medical schools
and they really value the student perspective I
bring to the council," Yehia said. "It's a valuable
voice I bring."
At 24, Yehia is one of the youngest students in
the College of Medicine's 2006 graduating class and
one of the most active leaders on campus. Aside
from his role with the AMA, Yehia is also chairman
of the Florida Medical Association Medical Student
Governing Council and co-president of the college's
chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical student
honor society.
A Lebanese native who grew up in Coral Springs,
Yehia was admitted to the College of Medicine
through the Junior Honors Medical Program,
which accepts just 12 promising students a year and
allows them to begin their medical training while
still technically undergraduates.
He joined the AMA when he was a freshman and
immediately was excited to see the effect medical
students could have. He liked the idea of being a
driving force on issues related to health care in the
government, not leaving these decisions to the sole
discretion of lawmakers.
"If we want to create a better health system, it
needs to come from the people who are involved,"
he said. "This is an avenue to do that."
He began serving on different AMA committees

l ll l ,

Baligh Yehia, one of the youngest students in the College of Medicine's senior class, is an active

leader on campus and the only student on the
Medical Education.

and last year was chosen to be the sole student on
the AMA Council for Medical Education. The
group of leaders meets four times a year and deals
with issues like continuing medical education,
diversity and medical education debt.
But "organized medicine" isn't Yehia's only
passion. He's been playing the French horn for 14
years and played in the UF Marching Band before
starting medical school.
He played the trumpet first, but switched to the
French horn when his middle school band director
needed another person to play the instrument. He
never switched back.
"The French horn kind of picked me," Yehia said.
Being part of the AMA has also given Yehia the
opportunity to travel across the country. But the
most exciting trip the 24-year-old has taken actually
happened before he started medical school.
Yehia spent two months living in the bush of the

American Medical Association's Council on

African nation Burkina Faso, with no electricity
and no running water, as part of a mission trip in
2002. He and members of his group spent time
building relationships with villagers and helping
out with what they could, even setting up a
basketball hoop. While he was there, Yehia also
visited a local hospital for rounds.
Last year, Yehia was inducted into UF's Hall of
Fame, one of the most prestigious honors awarded
to UF students. And he was one of only 20 UF
students recently included in "Who's Who in
American Universities."
The senior, who hopes to pursue a career in
oncology and clinical education, says he owes much
of his success to his mentors.
"There are a lot of role models here who
demonstrate what it is to be a good clinical educator,"
he said. "By helping students become doctors you
can impact the lives of thousands of patients." 0

ol MeJ. uL19

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

---II-0 19~



UF neurologist tapped to lead

national Parkinson's group

By John Pastor

One of the directors of the University of
Florida Movement Disorders Center
has been named the medical director of
the National Parkinson Foundation.
Michael Okun, M.D., a neurologist in the UF
College of Medicine, will represent the
foundation in the medical and scientific
communities and provide guidance regarding
medical and scientific issues relating to
Parkinson's disease, according to an
announcement in February. The three-year
appointment will not affect his position at UF.
"With the appointment of Dr. Okun, NPF
has taken a huge step toward enhancing the
amount and the level of service to the Parkinson
community, including researchers and

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
Staff Writers
Tracy Brown, Sarah Carey, Tom Fortner,
April Frawley Birdwell, Linda Homewood,
Lindy McCollum-Brounley, Patricia McGhee, John
Pastor, Jill Pease, Melanie Fridl Ross, Denise Trunk
Sarah Kiewel

UF Health Science

clinicians, as well as persons with Parkinson's
disease and their care partners," said foundation
Chairman Paul Oreffice in a printed release.
"A crucial factor in our success against
Parkinson's disease will be our ability to pool
worldwide resources for research, clinical care
and outreach," Okun said. "We want to take
advantage of all of our opportunities for
synergy, partnership and collaboration,
particularly within the 40-plus international
centers of excellence funded by NPF. We would
like to aid the Parkinson community in coming
together to develop better symptomatic
treatments, improve diagnosis in rural areas,
deliver care to the underserved and to eradicate
this disease through meaningful research."

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.




Michael Okun

Okun is co-director of UF's Movement
Disorders Center along with Kelly Foote, M.D.,
an assistant professor of neurosurgery, and
Hubert Fernandez, M.D., a neurologist and
director of clinical trials for movement
disorders. Together, they answer questions
from Parkinson patients and family members
on a Web-based "ask the expert" forum
sponsored by the foundation.
"Dr. Okun is absolutely dedicated to finding
new treatments and a cure for Parkinson's
disease," said Dennis Steindler, Ph.D.,
executive director of UF's McKnight Brain
Institute. "He's a great movement disorders
clinician and he works with a great team. His
work with the National Parkinson Foundation
has been extremely positive for the Movement
Disorders Center, the McKnight Brain
Institute and the University of Florida."
Founded in 1957 and headquartered in
Miami, the National Parkinson Foundation
was created to serve those affected by
Parkinson's disease and to support research
aimed at curing the disease.
"We at NPF know Dr. Okun well," said
Nathan Slewett, NPF chairman emeritus. "We
have funded Parkinson research that he is
performing, and we have heard him speak on
numerous occasions in various forums, always
with great enthusiasm and a wealth of
knowledge about the disease that we are all
intent on eradicating." 0