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A very special delivery
Importance of global health
Good sleep helps epileptic kids
Get dads involved
Genetic influence on drugs
GatorSHADE in cyberspace
Shock therapy for horses
Patient care briefs
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UF Health Science
TABLE OF CONTENTS
POINT OF VIEW Importance of Global Health
Q RESEARCH Good Sleep Helps Epileptic Kids
O RESEARCH Get Dads Involved
O RESEARCH Genetic Influence on Drugs
EDUCATION GatorSHADE in Cyberspace
EDUCATION PHHP Accreditation
SCOVER FEATURE Information Security
SPATIENT CARE Shock Therapy for Horses
SFIVE QUESTIONS Medical Marijuana?
@GRANTS Dental Research Gets $75 Mil
ON TH CO ER Pht. ae tU' aulPHr uemo r yLs atz h OTsaftak aulPHr uemo r
staff Tam Wrah maktn an puli reain asoiae Mihe Peyton che Srr Mihe Evret instalatio
asssat an S ill Mideo n, seio seurt guard.
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Riggers use a crane (above) to hoist one half of the cyclotron
through the roof of the proton therapy facility in Jacksonville.
Six hours later, the unit was in place and operational (right).
A very special delivery
What weighs 484,000 pounds, was shipped from Belgium to Jacksonville in
two crates, took four hours to unpack and was so huge it had to be hoisted
through a building's roof to be delivered?
Give up? A cyclotron -the heart of UF's cutting-edge proton beam
therapy system under construction on the UF&Shands Jacksonville campus.
The revolutionary system uses proton beams instead of X-rays to treat
cancer. Proton therapy delivers very tightly defined high doses of radiation to
destroy tumors, with little or no damage to adjacent healthy tissues.
The Florida Proton Therapy Institute will be equipped with three treatment
rooms and a research room -all connected to the 230-MeV (mega-electron
volt) cyclotron. The cyclotron accelerates positively charged protons that a
beam transport system then guides to three gantries in the treatment rooms.
Each gantry weighs 330,000 pounds (150 metric tons).
"Even installing the crane to lift the cyclotron halves into the building
was tricky," said Vincent Collignon, project site manager for Ion Beam
Applications, the Belgian
manufacturer of the proton
The crane arrived on 12
trucks that required oversized
"Installation of the crane
started at 8 a.m., and six
hours later it was in place and =
operational," he said.
When completed in mid- ... .
2006 at a total cost of $100
million, UF's proton therapy
facility will be the only one in
POST wins a Golden Gator
The POST, a product of the
Health Science Center News &
Communications office, received top
honors in the newsletter category
during the University of Florida
Communications Network's Golden
Gator awards in April.
With humble beginnings as an 872
by 11 mimeographed newsletter, the
publication has sought to inform and
entertain faculty, staff and students
since the 1970s.
Designed by Lisa Baltozer (left) and
edited by Denise Trunk (right), the
POST was reinvented in 2004 through
efforts of the News & Communications
personnel and public relations
representatives from the Health Science
Center colleges. Part of the effort was
a readership survey to gauge the needs
S.. of Health Science Center readers.
4a a D e NXi Cmunr io Uln
aand naiona pnessE MintlllUllrllillu
rirydiiiieluiieli~ii-ei^ ^^ ^ Aaltteel~fclli
Just as good views can be seen daily from an office window, they can also
capture the fleeting beauty of a short season. David Brumbaugh saw the
blooming azaleas in the courtyard outside the Founder's Gallery and submitted
this good view as something to remember once the summer heat sets in.
Please submit your good view, and a comment on why you like it, to
Many voices heard on staff survey
The UF Staff Survey ended in mid-April with tremendous
response. More than 4,890 staff members -nearly 58 percent
of UF's 8,200 USPS and TEAMS employees -took time to
complete and return their anonymous survey by the April 15
Surveys were forwarded to the university's consulting firm in
Chicago, to begin the work of data analysis. The firm will return
the survey report for public review sometime in early June.
Special thanks to all of you who took the time to make your
YourVoice Your UF!
Click your way into the loop
Feeling uninformed? One way to stay up to date with the
latest news about the Health Science Center is to surf over to
the newly redesigned Web site of the HSC Office of News &
Communications. Located at www.news.health.ufl.edu, the site
is packed with useful information about HSC people, programs
Features include print and video news releases issued by the
office, stories about the achievements of faculty and staff, and
links to articles that mention the HSC in the consumer press.
You'll also find current and back issues of the POST, along
with the script and audio archive for the office's Health in a
Heartbeat radio program.
Other useful tools include the searchable news release
archive (we're currently adding 20 years of releases), a gallery
of downloadable images, fact sheets and UF's expert's guide.
What's your view?
- - - - -
POINT OF VIEW
Improving Global Health:
Our Primary Challenge for the 21st Century*
By Allan F. Burns, associate dean of the ( of Liberl Arts and Sciences nd chir of he Glob Helh Advisory Committee
Rob Lawrence, clinical associate professor of pediatrics
Parker A. Small Jr., professor emeritus in the departments o immunology and laboratory medicine, and pediatrics
he week of April 11 marked the 50th
anniversary of the development of polio
vaccine and the concurrent recognition that
health and disease eradication in the United States is
directly linked to global health. Historian Arnold
Toynbee said, "the 20th century will be chiefly
remembered by future generations ... as an age in
which human society dared to think of the welfare of
the whole human race as a practical objective."
The challenge for health-care professionals in the
21st century is to develop the leadership and
scientific innovations to achieve this bold prediction
and moral imperative. At our Health Science Center,
our students and faculty are preparing themselves for
this global medical challenge. Many students in the
HSC's six colleges have volunteered their time to
spend at least a week in Haiti, the Dominican
Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador or elsewhere.
These inter-professional trips are student-organized,
student-run and largely student-financed. Some
students go out of curiosity, some out of a sense of
duty, some to explore career options, but all have
returned with a true understanding of how the
majority of the world's population lives. Three billion
people live on less than two dollars a day; the
implications of this for the world's health become
meaningful to doctors in training after these trips
Many students come to our health center at leas in
part because of these programs. For our health
center to take full advantage of this student
interest and leadership, we need to integrate
these experiences into each of the six colleges'
curricula, much as veterinary medicine and
dentistry have done. We also need to energize
the Office of Global Health to facilitate
interdisciplinary learning, knowledge of
emergent illnesses and curricular integration
and to enhance faculty interactions throughout
Now it is time to take the courageous step of
going beyond "medical missions" to integrate
global health inter-professional education as a cor.
ideology in the six HSC colleges at UF. This will
help engender the next breakthroughs in research,
practice and education in a way that parallels how
advances have been achieved in brain science,
genetics and clinical practice.
Thanks to our students, our health center is in a
position to help lead the nation. If not now, when? If
not UF students, who? 0
A medical student who traveled
to Mexico on Project Yucatan
conducts a physical.
* Some of these ideas were abstracted from a speech by Dr. Richard Klausner, executive director of global health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Impact from abroad: Global trips enrich learning experience
International medical trips provide training and
perspective that are required in our increasingly
shrinking world, said 1991 UF graduate Michael
Lauzardo, M.D., who is now an assistant professor
in the division of pulmonary medicine and deputy
TB controller for the Florida Department of Health's
Bureau of Tuberculosis and Refugee Health.
"Our society is becoming globalized, our medical
education and health-care systems should prepare
medical students to deal with that," Lauzardo said.
Between his first and second years of medical
school, Lauzardo was the sole UF student on a two-
week international trip organized by the Christian
Medical Society to provide care to rural villagers in
"When you are a student you are in a very
impressionable stage," said Lauzardo. "The trip made
an impression on me. That trip and others have made
an impact on everything I do professionally and give
me a perspective I otherwise would not have had."
Lauzardo said he is glad to know the number of
HSC students who participate in medical trips has
grown to around 80 this year.
"When you take these trips it opens your eyes and
gives you perspective, training and experience in
how the rest of the world lives, what medicine is like
elsewhere," Lauzardo said. "Medicine is more than
just pills and surgery, it exists in a whole societal
context. Many things students can learn on these trips
relate to the compassionate side of medicine."
Solving sleep problems helps epileptic children
By John Pastor
sleeping woes may explain why children with
epilepsy are often so hyperactive, say
researchers with UF's Evelyn F. and William
L. McKnight Brain Institute.
Characterized at its extreme by physical
convulsions, epilepsy has long been thought to cause
excitability and contrariness in children. But UF
researchers writing in the journal Epilepsy &
Behavior believe the real reason some of these
children cannot sit still or pay attention is because
they don't get enough shut-eye.
"When we treated kids with sleep disturbances,
not only did their epilepsy get better, their daytime
behavior, concentration and capacity to learn
increased," said Paul Carney, M.D., chief of pediatric
neurology at UF's College of Medicine and a
professor at the B.J. and Eve Wilder Center for
Excellence in Epilepsy Research. "Many kids with
epilepsy aren't being adequately assessed for
underlying sleep disorders. We can significantly
have an impact over their cognition, learning and
maybe even improve their epilepsy by improving
Epilepsy describes a group of disorders that occurs
when electrical activity in the brain goes haywire, ,
resulting in bursts of frenetic activity that cause -
seizures. It strikes more than 2 million people in the -
United States, according to the National Institute of
Neurological Diseases and Stroke. Most children get cr;
UF scientists monitored the brain and muscular epilepsy are no differ
activity of 30 children with epilepsy between the disorder itself, not ai
ages of 7 and 14 during single overnight stays. None with epilepsy for the
of the children had seizures, but some awoke concentration and ca
hundreds of times because of breathing problems. learning and maybe e
In all, 24 of the children 80 percent breathed pediatric neurology
shallowly or had breathing disruptions caused by
apneas, which usually happen when the soft tissue in
the rear of the throat relaxes during sleep and blocks
a person's airway.
As the breathing disruptions increased in duration, the children spent less time
in rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep, a period in the sleep cycle when brain
activity is highest and people dream intensely. The children in the study spent 17
percent of total sleep time in the REM stage. The norm for young adults is 25
"Removing the sleep problem does seem to improve the behavior problem
significantly, because it changes the child's level of alertness," Carney said.
"Commonly, adults are just not as awake if they have a sleep disorder. But children
who haven't taken their nap are wound up instead. Treating their sleep disorder,
we think, can enable their brain to have some control over unwanted behavior."
Seventy-three percent of the children studied 22 of the 30 met clinical
criteria for inattention or hyperactivity, according to Carney, who conducted the
research with Eileen Fennell, Ph.D., a child neuropsychologist in the College of
Public Health and Health Professions, and Danielle Becker, M.S., a former
anky and don't do well at school when they don't get enough sleep. Children with
rent, but often their argumentativeness and behavior problems are blamed on the
ny underlying sleep disturbances. But when doctors at UF&Shands treated children
ir sleep disorders, not only did their epilepsy get better, their daytime behavior,
ipacity to learn increased. "We can significantly have an impact over their cognition,
even improve their epilepsy by improving their sleep," says Dr. Paul Carney, chief of
and a professor at UF's McKnight Brain Institute.
graduate student now pursuing a medical degree.
Of these 22 children, each had a sleep disorder, 14 had problems paying
attention during the day and eight had hyperactive symptoms, supporting the idea
that a poor night's sleep is associated with children's daytime attention problems.
UF scientists found no correlation between seizure frequency and behavioral
problems. Epilepsy alone did not appear to predispose them to behavioral
In general, scientists don't know exactly why people need sleep, but it is vital for
good memory, physical performance and psychological well being, according to the
National Institutes of Health. Some experts believe sleep gives brain cells a chance
to shut down and repair themselves. Sleep also may allow the brain to exercise
important connections that might wither from lack of activity.
Research with different groups of children is now under way to determine
whether treatment of sleep disorders will reduce seizure frequency and severity,
and to more fully understand the effects of sleep disorders on children's behavior
and cognitive abilities. O
Autistic kids benefit from dads' involvement
By Tracy Brown Wright
Make room for daddy, say UF autism experts. Teaching fathers how to
communicate and play with their autistic children pays dividends, for
parents and kids alike.
Autism is a developmental disability that typically appears during the first three
years of life and is characterized by problems interacting and communicating with
others. Caring for an autistic child can be a relentless and labor-intensive task -
one that is overwhelmingly performed by mothers, says UF nursing researcher
Jennifer Elder, Ph.D., R.N.
Now UF researchers have found that teaching fathers how to talk to and play
with their autistic children in a home setting improved communication, increased
the number of intelligible words the youngsters spoke
by more than 50 percent and helped dads get more
involved in their care. The findings were published
in a recent issue of the journal Nursing Research.
"We found that fathers were getting frustrated
because they felt they couldn't connect with their
autistic child," said Elder, the study's principal
investigator and an associate professor and
chairwoman of the department of health care
environments and systems at UF's College of
Nursing. "During one of our sessions, a child made
eye contact with his father and said 'Daddy' for the
first time in the child's life.
"Traditionally, mothers are the primary
caretakers of autistic children," Elder added.
"Through our training, we caused a shift in the
paradigm of many of these families, with fathers
taking on a more active role with their autistic
children, sometimes even taking the lead in
At least 1.5 million Americans have some form
of autism, and it now affects one in every 166
births, according to the Centers for Disease Control
UF researchers examined 18 father-child
relationships before and after specialized training
sessions. The families were recruited through UF's
Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and a UF autism research
community health practice in Central Florida and son, David. The Mc(
included 14 boys and four girls ranging in age from communicate with th
3 years to 7 years.
Building on a similar study of mothers of autistic
children, Elder videotaped the father-child pairs in
their homes during playtime sessions before training and at three key stages in the
training process. The training emphasized language development and taught
fathers to use everyday activities like playing with building blocks, puppets, cars
and trucks, and bubbles to interact with their children.
During the first stage, fathers learned to initiate play with their children
through animated repetition of their children's vocalizations and actions. Fathers
were told to resist the temptation to direct their child's play and instead to follow
the child's lead. In the second phase, they were told to wait for their child's
response before continuing play. Eventually, the two techniques were used
"We are really interested in promoting social balance, or turn-taking, in
autistic children and their parents," Elder said. "Normally, the parent might cue
the child with one question, ask another question without waiting, and the child
gets very frustrated and starts not to even attempt to respond. To combat that, we
teach the parents to give a cue and wait for the response, with the expectation that
the child will respond to establish that social balance."
Fathers were more likely to initiate play in an animated way and responded
more to their children during playtime. Children also became more vocal and
were more than twice as likely to initiate play with their fathers. Surveys
completed after the study was over also revealed that fathers viewed the training as
"One father related how after training, he felt empowered in his paternal role
r Jennifer Elder (center) observes Charles McCormac as he plays with his
Cormacs participated in Elder's research study, which trained fathers to better
ieir autistic children.
and became an active school liaison," Elder said. "This proved beneficial for the
child, who now had both parents consistently involved in his education."
Researchers also were surprised to find that many fathers in the study actually
took the lead in training the mothers and even siblings in the rest of the family, a
key distinction from the mothers in her previous study, Elder said. In that study,
researchers found similar benefits to training mothers, but moms weren't as likely
to attempt to teach fathers the techniques they learned.
Recent research has shown that early intervention with children can have a
major influence on how the child develops and functions later in life.
"With the proper training at an early age, we feel that these techniques can help
autistic children be more socially interactive and pick up language more easily,"
Elder said. O
Genes influence how heart
failure patients respond to drugs
By Melanie Fridl Ross
Genes dictate the color of our hair and eyes. They factor into
whether we get cancer or heart disease. And, scientists increasingly
recognize, they also ensure some patients will benefit from a
prescription drug, while others develop adverse reactions or simply
fail to respond at all.
Now UF researchers have discovered that patients with heart
failure can harbor genetic variations that determine whether they
will tolerate the common heart drugs known as beta-blockers.
In a separate study, they also determined certain genes influence
whether beta-blockers successfully restore the heart to a more
normal shape and size in these patients. The findings, published
recently in the journal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and
the journal Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, highlight the need to
individualize therapy, as opposed to treating all people with a
certain disease generally the same, said the studies' principal
investigator Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., director of the UF Center for
Although diet, age, health status and the environment also shape
how people respond to medications, personalizing drugs based on
genetic makeup instead of taking a trial-and-error approach could
lead to safer, more effective treatments, said Johnson, also a professor
at UF's colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine and chairwoman of the
department of pharmacy practice. Because of hereditary factors, some
patients break down drugs more slowly, so the amount of a certain favor
medication may soar to toxic levels in the body. Others metabolize drugs
quickly, and never accumulate enough in the bloodstream to ease what
A clearer understanding of who would benefit from beta-blocker therapy also
would ensure more patients would be helped, Johnson said, citing a serious
international problem with both underuse and underdosing of the drugs.
In the past five years, beta-blockers have become a standard part of the treatment
for heart failure. Patients with the disorder have enlarged hearts that lose the
normal heart shape and become rounder and somewhat baggy. Beta-blockers help
restore the heart to a more typical shape and size and, in doing so, improve heart
armacy researcher Julie Johnson is pictured in the laboratory where she
genetic variations that may account for whether certain patients respond
bly to commonly prescribed heart drugs.
function. The drugs also have been shown to prolong life and reduce the rate of
hospitalization for heart failure symptoms.
"In the past five to 10 years, there's really been an increased interest in
understanding the role of genetics in determining how people respond to drugs,"
Johnson said. "The reason for that is that we know that in a group of individuals, a
certain portion will have side effects, or toxicity from a drug, a certain portion will
derive the benefits we want, and some won't derive any benefit. The long-term goal
is to try to be able to determine that before we actually have to give them the drug." 0
Cellular communications breakdown identified in inherited brain disorder
A breakdown in brain cell communication may
contribute to the most common biochemical
cause of mental retardation, UF scientists have
The process is akin to a baseball game gone
bad. Imagine if a pitcher were joined by six
players simultaneously winding up on the mound.
Crouched behind home plate, the single catcher
would soon be overwhelmed. Even if the coach sent
in teammates to catch the extra balls, confusion
would reign on the field.
UF researchers, writing in the journal Brain,
identified an analogous situation in the brains
of mice with a version of the hereditary disorder
phenylketonuria, or PKU: A flood of an amino acid
found in nearly all foods bombards certain brain
cells, drowning out their ability to communicate
properly and potentially interfering with normal
Scientists have long known that babies born
with PKU lack or are deficient in the enzyme that
converts the amino acid phenylalanine into a
usable form. The amount of the amino acid in
the blood builds to toxic levels, ultimately causing
severe brain disorders, including mental retardation
and seizures. Researchers have been less clear
on precisely how that torrent of phenylalanine
interferes with brain function.
"Despite tremendous progress in the
understanding of the molecular basis of PKU, the
mechanisms of how the brain is negatively affected
by high levels of phenylalanine has not been
known," said Anatoly Martynyuk, Ph.D., an assistant
professor of anesthesiology and neuroscience at
UF's College of Medicine and the McKnight Brain
Institute. "This is a new and original approach
to explain the cellular mechanisms of brain
dysfunction in PKU."
See the full story at
GatorSHADE program goes from Swamp to cyberspace
By Tracy Brown Wright
ew animals are better at shading themselves
from the sun than an alligator, and for more
than 10 years, University of Florida faculty
members have used the wisdom of their school's
mascot to teach young children about the
importance of sun protection.
The GatorSHADE program was developed in
1994 to educate Florida's children and their
parents about skin cancer and encourage them to
make appropriate lifestyle changes to prevent the
disease. Now, GatorSHADE founders have decided
to share their program with the world through an
interactive Web site, designed to make the
GatorSHADE curriculum available to both
educators and consumers.
"Skin cancer has become the No. 1 cancer found
in the United States today, and Florida has one of
the nation's highest incidences of the disease," said
primary founder Carol Reed Ash, Ed.D., R.N., an
associate director at the UF Shands Cancer Center.
"Yet skin cancer is one of the most easily detected
and curable forms of cancer if treated early."
The new Web site, www.gatorshade.ufl.edu,
contains interactive games and learning tools
designed to make skin cancer education fun and
easy, and the curricular tools allow teachers and
counselors to easily integrate GatorSHADE
principles into their learning plans. It was
designed by Big Media Studios Inc. in Gainesville.
"After 10 years of developing, testing and
implementing the GatorSHADE program, we felt
it was time to share this with those who could most
benefit from it," said Ash, a UF College of Nursing
eminent scholar who fills the Kirbo endowed chair
in oncology nursing. "Education is no longer
confined to books and lectures, and today's
children utilize the Internet to learn about
important issues. We felt a Web site would be the
best way to communicate and share our program."
The GatorSHADE program is the brainchild of
Ash, who, along with Jill W. Varnes, Ed.D., the
interim dean of the UF College of Health and
Human Performance, launched the program at a
1994 UF football game with the distribution of
GatorSHADE hats to children and information
cards and SPF 30 sunscreen to all in attendance.
The hats were particularly important because they
contained special neck flaps that gave extra
protection in a vulnerable area.
That led to the development of a complete
curriculum package designed to teach elementary
students about sun-safe habits and the hazards of
overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. The package
includes a 16-minute video, two-player board
game, exercises, experiment and a take-home
information packet for parents.
The "Reach the Beach" game allows kids to flip
a virtual coin, take a turn answering a skin cancer
question, and advance through colored footsteps in
the sand. Whoever answers the most questions
correctly will "reach the beach" first. Also
included are a crossword puzzle, word search and
even a science experiment involving the sun. The
video, which features child newscasters reporting
about sun safety, has been made available in Web
format so that children may watch one segment at
Educators will find the curricular materials easy
to integrate into their lesson plans, Ash said. The
curriculum has been proved to raise awareness
through field tests at P.K. Yonge Elementary
School in Gainesville and 12 Indian River County
elementary schools. More than 1,100 elementary
students participated in the field tests.
Ash and her colleagues hope that the new Web
site will assist both parents and educators in
teaching children about the importance of sun
protection and making sure the practice lasts a
"Overexposure to the sun's rays is cumulative
and begins to build in childhood. Like safe
driving, safe sun practices have dramatic effects,"
Ash said. "For these reasons, the best defense
against skin cancer is prevention." 0
With the help of the GatorSHADE program,
future Gators show Albert the Alligator how
to protect his skin from the sun.
UF public health
program moves closer
By Jill Pease
The College of Public Health and Health
Professions has been named an associate member of
the Association of Schools of Public Health,
signifying the completion of the college's first
major step toward receiving accreditation as a
school of public health.
The criteria for associate membership are
acceptance by the public health education
accrediting body the Council on Education for
Public Health into the accreditation process and
an affirmative vote by the membership of ASPH.
UF established a new college of public health in
December 2003 that was integrated into the
existing College of Health Professions. The college
was renamed the College of Public Health and
"The associate membership status puts us in a
strategic position to move into full membership
status once we are accredited," said Mary Peoples-
Sheps, Dr.P.H., director of UF's public health
program. "We have come a long way in the past 18 months. It
is gratifying to have achieved associate membership in
ASPH, not only because it represents an important
milestone, but also because this accomplishment gives us
momentum to move toward full accreditation as a school of
The Council on Education for Public Health will review
the UF program in two to three years, Peoples-Sheps said. In
the meantime, the public health program will continue to
enhance the curricula in its five concentration areas:
biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health
management and policy, and social and behavioral sciences.
In addition, the program will increase the number of faculty
in those areas and promote the faculty's public health
"A strong College of Public Health and Health Professions
has always been our goal," said Robert Frank, Ph.D., dean of
the college. "This represents another step in the path toward
that end. A vibrant and progressive public health presence on
the campus of the University of Florida places us in the
company of the very top health science centers in the nation." 0
Dr. Mary Peoples-Sheps (left)
with public health students
Paula Crawford, Wei Yuan
and Annie Morton.
New Web site provides food-drug interaction database
Consumers and health-care professionals seeking reliable information
about food-drug interactions can turn to a new Web resource, according to a
University of Florida pharmacy educator in natural products.
The Web site -www.DruglnteractionCenter.org -houses a
comprehensive database of grapefruit-drug interactions along with supporting
scientific literature designed to be an easy-to-use reference tool for health-care
professionals and patients.
"Food and other nutrients can impact the effectiveness of prescription
and over-the-counter drugs with clinically significant results," said Veronika
Butterweck, an assistant professor and co-director of UF's Center for Food-Drug
Interaction Research and Education. She announced the new Web tool in a talk
on pharmacists' role in informing patients about food-drug interactions at the
American Pharmacists Association annual meeting held in April in Orlando.
In 2003, UF and Tufts University pharmacology experts established the center,
with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and assistance from
the Florida Department of Citrus, to bring together researchers in pharmacy,
medicine and food science to identify and analyze possible food-drug interactions
and their effects. Initially, the center's research efforts focus on grapefruit juice
interactions, Butterweck said.
The grapefruit juice effect was discovered in the 1980s when scientists learned
that grapefruit juice inhibits the CYP3A4 enzyme, which metabolizes certain
drugs. This interference may enhance the body's absorption of affected drugs,
causing side effects.
The Web site features include:
A listing of drugs that interact with grapefruit juice, as well as
alternative, non-interacting drugs within the same drug classes that
may also support a patient's therapeutic needs.
Access to detailed scientific summaries of interactions, along with
simplified summaries for patients.
A list of more than 130 relevant research studies and links to the
studies on PubMed.
While DruglnteractionCenter.org may help clarify information about drug
interactions with grapefruit juice, UF pharmacy faculty advise patients to discuss
the prescription medications they are taking with their health-care providers.
0 0 9&
INFORmEFTION SECURITY: IT'S ON YOU
By Denise Trunk
W hen a stranger walked into an office on the
University of California Berkeley campus
recently and walked out with an expensive
laptop, the thief carried off something more valuable
The portable computer's hard drive contained the
priceless personal and financial information of nearly
100,000 college students.
With the Social Security numbers and other
information stored on a stolen medical center laptop, a
thief could potentially steal identities, charge credit
cards, change a student's grade, order prescription
medications, discover the identities of AIDS patients,
steal medical research data, and more. There is really
no end to the possible dangers of a complete security
Let's face it, most files aren't what they used to be
- namely, written on paper and stored under lock and
key. Personal and institutional information is more
vulnerable than ever. Much of a patient's medical or
financial records are now stored on a computer
network. Personnel and research files are electronic,
too. And from the time computer networks were
invented, hackers have been trying to break into them
or cripple them with viruses.
So it comes as no surprise that information security
is a growing concern that has cost corporations and
educational institutions millions of dollars in the past
few years. Not only do traditional information storage
systems need protection, but remote access and
portable technology that employees can take outside
an institution's walls such as PDAs, USB storage
devices and laptops present special challenges to
"The times have changed and we no longer can
operate in a business-as-usual manner; we have to
keep up with the times, user demand and technology,"
said Jan J. van der Aa, assistant vice president for
health affairs for information services.
With information swirling around everyone in the
HSC, multiple tactics are necessary to keep data safe
and private, information security experts say. It is not
enough to encrypt a computer file if someone can walk
through an unlocked door and steal a paper copy from
a file cabinet. Thus, information security from
enforcing the use of ID badges to locking lab doors to
protecting computers with passwords requires a
A survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher
Education and published in December 2004 found that
about half the 500 U.S. colleges and universities
surveyed are spending more of their information
technology budgets on security each year. Many
universities, including UF, are hiring security officers,
constructing a centralized security structure and
creating strategies for dealing with the threat.
At the Health Science Center, Douglas Barrett,
M.D., senior vice president for health affairs,
authorized the development of the Security
Program for the Information and Computing
Environment, or SPICE.
SPICE addresses the protection of information that
is owned, managed and used by HSC faculty, staff,
students and volunteers. The goal of the program is to
secure information and data used in support of all the
HSC's missions -and includes everything from film
media to paper documents as well as electronically
stored and transmitted data.
"Information security has to be a priority for
everyone, especially those of us entrusted with
Information security essentials
Make information security a part of your everyday routine.
protecting the confidential information of our
patients," Barrett said. "That protective barrier is only
as strong as our weakest link, so I ask everyone to
please embrace this important effort."
van der Aa agreed, adding, "SPICE's theme, "The
Focus is on YOU," emphasizes the important role that
everyone in the Health Science Center has to play to
make this a reality."
Faculty, staff and students won't be on their own as
they learn and adapt to the new routine. SPICE will
assist personnel at HSC locations in classifying and
securing the information they use in support of all
missions and business activities through different
types of training now under development. Those in
charge of coordinating the program say it will take
time to streamline the system and bring staff up to
For the time being, the focus of a major training
effort will be to raise awareness of the problem and
make employees more conscious of what equipment or
data needs to be protected and how that can be done
on an everyday basis.
Eventually, for some types of security breaches,
HSC personnel could be held personally accountable,
with repercussions ranging from being denied access
to the network from a non-secure computer to
dismissal and criminal charges for negligence.
The program coordinates the HSC's security efforts
with the federal privacy regulations of the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or
HIPAA, to avoid inappropriate disclosure, loss or
corruption of information. To that end, the first step
to spicing up security was to discern what types of
information must be protected and how to best secure
it. That job fell to Tom Jordan, assistant director of IT
program development. He began two years ago to lead
the SPICE project team to find ways to identify and
protect data while meeting HIPAA security rules, as
oikI Up: your workspace,
office, patient care areas,
laboratories, conference rooms,
storage rooms and other spaces
containing information assets -
including desks, computers, file
cabinets, film storage,
computers, servers and network
equipment -when unattended.
WLUar: your UF Gatorl or
other approved ID badge at all
times when at an HSC facility.
1nI u: the kinds of
information you access, manage
and store. Know where it came
from, where it is stored and how
to safeguard it.
protect: your strong
passwords and change them as
required by your IT Service
Provider. Do not share your
password or write it where it
could be seen by anyone.
IDg ff: from your
computer or lock it when you are
leaving the area.
secure: follow the UF
privacy guidelines when sending
protected health information by
well as other federal and state regulations and
Team members were recruited to represent their
organizations, co-workers, colleges and fellow
students. They each brought knowledge of and
expertise in their work at the HSC. Members served
on specialty teams to develop policies, standards and
approaches to information security that could be
reasonably attained in the work environment.
"SPICE has been an HSC-wide effort involving over
60 team members from various HSC organizations in
Gainesville and Jacksonville," Jordan said. "Their
dedication, commitment and hard work were essential
in developing SPICE."
The program establishes four categories -
restricted, critical, operational or unrestricted for
all types of information, whether it is research data,
patient information, intellectual property or some
other type. Each classification has a corresponding set
of security requirements. Protected health
information is considered restricted.
"The federal privacy (HIPAA) regulations
contained a number of security provisions," said van
der Aa. "Additional security regulations that took
effect April 20 outline requirements for safeguarding
information and further benefit privacy. You cannot
have privacy without security. The two go hand-in-
The security rules give specific or required elements
for protection of information, set up to ensure privacy,
said Susan Blair, UF's privacy officer, whose office
contributed to the development of SPICE and is
responsible for UF's compliance with HIPAA
"I think this is long overdue," Blair said. "We are
seeing in the current environment organizations that
have been hacked and have had their information
stolen. With these safeguards in place, we are more
secure and our information is more private. The
measures SPICE has taken have gone beyond
HIPAA somewhat to secure information of all
types. I think that is a good thing."
van der Aa established a support team to get
the program started among the staff, including
creating a new position called HSC chief of
Colleen Ebel, recruited from the University of
Michigan Health System, will fill the position
and manage the ongoing implementation and
maintenance of SPICE along with dedicated
information security staff members. Ebel will
also chair the HSC Information Security
Council, which will advise and support the
program as it develops.
"Your network is only as effective as its community
of users including end users, systems administrators
and developers," Ebel said. "I plan to pour a great deal
of my time into education and communication. I really
believe this is the best approach in an academic
setting, where you can count on a highly intelligent
workforce who wants to do the right thing."
The HSC has been divided into organizational units
based on its colleges, departments and institutes, and
each will have information security technology staff
and administrators. Under Ebel's leadership, a unit
information security administrator, known as a Unit
ISA, and a unit information security manager, or Unit
ISM, will help the staff implement necessary security
measures, from physical security safeguards, such as
locked doors and drawers, to technical security
controls, such as password protection and encryption.
The Unit ISMs will investigate security breaches and
help resolve them.
Getting the SPICE Program up and running will be
an ongoing process. Given how far-flung and diverse
the HSC is, SPICE program staff says that developing
procedures and practices throughout every unit will
be a challenge.
Marian Boyle, a member of the training and
communications team, has helped create a SPICE Web
site at http://security.health.ufl.edu to assist HSC
personnel learn the new security ropes. The site
contains information and will have tutorials for staff
and students. Boyle says people need to refer to the
site often for updates.
"SPICE was a very large and complex project that
brought together the entire HSC to develop an
information security program that we can all be proud
of," Boyle said. "We still have much work ahead of us,
and the support of the Unit ISAs and ISMs is
Making information security a part of everyone's
daily routine helps to ensure that the HSC's
information assets, work and organization are
protected, Blair said.
"Nobody wants more government in their lives,"
she added. "But consumers want more security and
privacy and have a strong interest in making sure their
information is secure. This is a good way to do it." 0
if qLou use a portable or home computer,
Keep operating systems patched and up to date.
Use an anti-virus program and keep it up to date. The McAfee
VirusScan protection is available to faculty, staff and students for
home/personal use: www.software.ufl.edu/mcafee/.
Change default passwords (such as the password for the
Turn off file sharing (you can turn it on later when you need it).
Back-up your information and store in a secure location.
if LUF IT staff manages qour computer,
Store information classified as Restricted and Critical (mission-
and business-critical information) on a secure networked server.
SBackup your files regularly if not done so by the IT provider.
SDo not share accounts.
Juice for a horse's heart
UF veterinarians use electric shock to correct irregular heartbeats
By Sarah Carey
orrowing from a Canadian veterinarian's
unique expertise, UF veterinarians recently
became the first in the United States believed
to have successfully performed intracardiac
electrical conversion of a common arrhythmia in
horses that causes irregular and fast heartbeats.
Two horses received the procedure in March,
including an Ocala thoroughbred named Captain
who was part of a training exercise conducted for
UF veterinarians by the individual who developed
the technique, Canadian veterinarian Kim
McGurrin, D.V.M. McGurrin developed the
technique over the past four years along with her
mentor, Peter Physick-Sheard, B.V.Sc., at the
University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
Captain's arrhythmia, known as atrial
fibrillation, had been treated medically several
times but without success, said Mel Valley Farm
owner-caretaker Carl Stump. Now, however,
Captain appears to be doing well, Stump said.
"He is now training at a local place here in
Ocala, so he is back to work," Stump said.
McGurrin said the intracardiac electrical
conversion technique was developed to offer new
treatment options for atrial fibrillation.
"It is excellent that UF is now capable of
performing this procedure," McGurrin said. "We
have applied this technique on more than 50
horses, including 44 client-owned horses referred
from the states. Most horses have returned to
performance, and we now consider this procedure
Amara Estrada, D.V.M., an assistant professor of
veterinary cardiology at UF's College of Veterinary
Medicine, and her colleague, Darcy Adin, D.V.M.,
were both involved in the recent UF procedure.
Estrada said the cardiac abnormality for which the
procedure is used is "an important arrhythmia for
Dr. Amara Estrada (center)
prepares the horse for shock
treatment by opening
electrode patches. Dr. Sheila
"Probably it is most important to horse owners
and trainers of race horses because it causes poor
performance and poor racing," Estrada said. "But
certainly pet horses develop the condition as well."
It is also the most common arrhythmia in
horses, occurring in 1 percent to 2 percent of
Estrada said atrial fibrillation causes a decrease
in cardiac output, negatively affecting a horse's
The disease is said to be frustrating to both
horse owners and veterinarians because medical
therapy frequently has to be administered many
times and often has serious side effects.
"Typical medical treatment has consisted of anti-
arrythmic drugs given orally or intravenously, but
the drugs can have fairly significant side effects,
including toxicity," said Steeve Giguere, D.V.M.,
Ph.D., an associate professor of equine medicine at
The UF veterinarians had heard of McGurrin
and were aware that intracardiac electrical
conversion technology was now being performed in
horses at the University of Guelph routinely with
"great success," Giguere said.
The procedure, which takes about two hours,
involves surgically threading two catheters
through veins in the horse's neck into the heart's
right atrium and the pulmonary artery. During the
catheter placement, echocardiography, or
ultrasound technology, is used to determine the
exact placement of the catheters.
"Once the catheters are in the correct location, a
short shock is delivered to 'reset' the atria and
terminate the fibrillation, thus establishing a
normal rhythm," Estrada said.
The equipment used to administer the shock is a
biphasic defribrillator, the same technology used in
human emergency medicine to treat cardiac
"Most horses with atrial fibrillation do not have
underlying heart disease," Giguere said. "So if you
can restore their normal sinus rhythm, they usually
return to their previous level of performance." 0
Occupational therapy department hosts national executives
By Jill Pease
The department of occupational therapy at -
the College of Public Health and Health
Professions hosted executives from the
American Occupational Therapy Association
during a visit March 23...
Maureen Peterson, chief professional affairs
officer, and Elin Schold-Davis, coordinator of
the association's Older Driver Initiative, met
with department faculty and graduate
students, viewed the new assistive technology
at the UF Gator-Tech Smart House on the
campus of Oak Hammock at UF, and
participated in a town hall meeting for area
occupational therapists, faculty and students
who were interested in an informal and open
dialogue with the executives.
The association currently partners with the
department in the development of a training
program for driving rehabilitation specialists,
as part of the UF National Older Drivers
Research and Training Center program. The
executives' visit gave them a chance to scout -
out new partnerships with the department.
"The UF visit gave me the opportunity to
begin a dialogue about future collaborative possibilities around continuing education
between AOTA and UF," Peterson said. "I also had the chance to meet the very talented
faculty and to see firsthand the level of scholarship and commitment to research in several
Knowledge of university research helps the association communicate new information to
its members, Schold-Davis said.
"The UF occupational therapy department is ambitious and very involved in research,
in addition to having a strong professional program," she said. "As members learn about
what others are doing, it may influence their expansion of programs or maybe draw interest
in pursuing further education." 0
American Occupational Therapy Association executives
Maureen Peterson (left) and Elin Schold-Davis chat with
William Mann, Ph.D., occupational therapy chairman, in
the UF Gator-Tech Smart House's kitchen. On the
counter is a sample of the material used to build the
computerized "smart floor," which tracks occupants'
Children with ADHD develop social skills and improve peer relationships in new clinic
A recently launched Shands at UF Psychology Clinic service will address the social
problems many children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder experience.
Directed by Shelley Heaton, Ph.D., and David Janicke, Ph.D., assistant
professors in the department of clinical and health psychology at the College of
Public Health and Health Professions, the group intervention program is designed
for children between the ages of 8 and 11 who have ADHD.
Skills are taught through discussion, role-playing, homework assignments and
other fun activities. Program content includes developing skills for cooperation,
perspective taking, conversation, participating in group activities and controlling
anger and impulses.
Children with ADHD may have problems with social skills because their
hyperactive or impulsive behavior may disrupt other children's activities, making
them appear bossy or demanding, Janicke said. Children who are inattentive may
also have trouble focusing on what other children are saying and may lose interest
quickly, making them frustrating playmates.
"Sometimes these behaviors can make it difficult for children with ADHD to
make or keep friends," Janicke said.
Children who participate in the program will meet weekly for eight one-hour
sessions held in the early evening.
"The unique thing about this treatment is that we not only teach social skills to
the children, but also practice them in 'real-world' situations with other children in
the class, such as cooperating while playing a game or handling teasing," Janicke
said. "Children with ADHD are particularly responsive to repeated practice and
practical activities rather than just 'talk therapy' where they are told the social skills
but aren't given the opportunity to practice."
The next group starts in June, with openings for eight children. For more
information on the social skills group, call (352) 273-5282.
The burning debate over medical marijuana
The question of whether marijuana should be used medicinally is burning in
California, where it has been legalized for use with a doctor's recommendation in
spite of federal laws in place since 1970 banning it. A medical marijuana case
will soon be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court. As the debate grows, the issue has
become entangled with state, national and global politics and the legalization
agenda. The POST asks expert Paul Doering, M.S., a professor of pharmacy, to
comment on some of the medical aspects under discussion in the debate.
Is medical marijuana safe?
Safe is a relative term, for example, drugs for cancer are not safe, but
they are necessary. Marijuana has some detrimental side effects, such as
being bad for the lungs or impairing perception a user should not drive
or operate heavy machinery. On the other hand, if we are talking about
using it to treat symptoms of a dread disease or incurable pain, maybe its
use could be considered as safe enough. Safety and efficacy go hand in
Is marijuana useful medicinally?
The subject is so politically charged it almost defies looking at it objectively
from a medical point of view. That said, I don't know any legitimate form
of medicine that is delivered by rolling up leaves and igniting them. If
there is a legitimate medical use for marijuana, it is not in a form that has
so many negative side effects. As far as lowering intraocular pressure in
glaucoma patients, it is not very effective.
I wouldn't use it to replace the drugs that are used for glaucoma.
Perhaps, it could be useful to relieve the pain associated with terminal
illness. If someone has a one-way ticket to the next existence, I don't
think it would be harmful to allow him to use marijuana if it makes him
feel better. I wouldn't call that so much medicine; I might call it palliative
care. I think of someone who has constant pain and is bedridden the
humanistic part of me says that wouldn't be such a bad thing if they were
able to smoke a joint, if that made them more productive members of
society. But if they let the genie out of the bottle and you have people
toking away from coast to coast, that would be a bad thing. But I don't
ever see this becoming major product on the market. Burning and inhaling
smoke is not a feasible method of medical treatment.
Are their other possible delivery systems?
A synthetic form of the THC in marijuana, Marinol, is prescribed in a
capsule for stimulating appetite in cancer and AIDS patients. It could
eventually be used in an inhaler, creams, lozenges, or eye drops for
"I think of someone who has constant pain and is
bedridden the humanistic part of me says that '
wouldn't be such a bad thing if they were able to
smoke a joint if that made them more productive
members of society. But if they let the genie out
of the bottle and you have people toking
away from coast to coast, that would
be a bad thing."
Paul Doering, M S
PHOTO BY LISA BALTOZER
How do Marinol and marijuana compare in their classification and effectiveness?
Right now, marijuana is in the most highly controlled category
a Schedule I controlled substance, which are drugs that are not
recognized as having any medical benefit. Marinol is a Schedule III
drug. Marinol comes on slower but lasts longer it won't get you
high. People want it to act immediately to get that rush. Because of
this Marinol has not been that popular, which leads me to believe there
is a secondary agenda to the medical marijuana movement.
What potential, if any, is there in marijuana use for medicinal purposes?
There is a lot to be learned about marijuana, how it affects the brain,
how it works. There is a drug that is on the horizon that is based on
research on cannabinoids. Researchers have discovered a receptor in
the brain for marijuana. If you are able to block that receptor, it turns
out you dull your appetite. So you take the drug and you don't want to
smoke or eat. It has the potential as an appetite suppressor. So there
are powerful reactions in the body and I'm in favor of studying that.
You can get philosophical about the issue of how can you make a
plant illegal: Why has God put THC in the marijuana plant? You can
say God has a purpose for it. Or you could say the secondary plant
compounds have evolved in the plant for the protection of the plant.
You can ask why does the brain have a receptor that fits marijuana?
Or morphine? I think we need to put considerably more research
effort where we haven't been looking into the understanding of
the chemical and medical properties of plants. Twenty-five percent of
prescription drugs on the market today have their origins in plant or
animal sources. I think maybe it is time to go back to our roots and
look at these compounds in a systematic way. That is the way I would
like to see this headed, not patients toking away in the hospital. O
ROGER B. FILLINGIM,
Ph.D., is the author of
a new book, "Concise
Encyclopedia of Pain
by Haworth Press Inc.
Fillingim's book, which
will become available this
summer, is marketed as a
broad reference source of
clinical and scientific pain psychology topics
from Ato Z. Pain psychology terms, descriptions,
definitions and important findings are listed
in the book and supported by an extensive
bibliography to facilitate more in-depth study of
D.D.S., has been accepted
into the American Dental
Leadership Institute's 2005-
06 class, which consists
of 22 of the nation's most
promising dental fac-
ulty. As a member of the
ADEA Leadership Institute,
Guelmann will attend a series of national work-
shops in the next 12 months that develop and
refine participants' leadership, legislative, ad-
ministrative and teaching competencies.
MARC HEFT, D.M.D., Ph.D.,
is appointed acting chair
for the department of oral
and maxillofacial surgery
and diagnostic sciences.
Heft assumes the position
from M. Franklin Dolwick,
D.M.D., Ph.D., who stepped
down for personal reasons.
Dolwick, who recommended
Heft to the college's dean as a candidate for
acting chair, continues to serve as the head
of the oral and maxillofacial surgery division
and director of hospital dentistry for Shands
NELSON S. LOGAN, Ph.D.,
former director of multi-
cultural affairs at dentistry,
received a Presidential
Citation from UF's Frank
Catalanotto, 2004-05 pres-
ident of the American Dental
Education Association, dur-
ing the association's March
82nd Annual Session in
Baltimore. The citation recognized Logan's 35-
year career of promoting cultural and ethnic
diversity in dental admissions at the University
of Iowa and UF. Logan, who is revered by the
students he has mentored, left UF last December
to pursue his lifelong love of aviation.
NAVARRO, HSC liaison
librarian to the College
of Nursing, recently won
the 2005 Ida and George
Eliot Prize from the national
Medical Library Association.
The Eliot Prize is presented
annually for work published
in the preceding calendar
year that has been judged most effective in
furthering medical librarianship. Sherwill-
Navarro and her co-author were honored for
their 2004 article, "Research on the value
of medical library services: does it make an
impact in the health care literature?" Their
article examined four research articles on the
relationship between the use of clinical library
services and the quality of health care and
demonstrated the importance of library research
in clinical care and decision-making.
Ph.D., D.Sc., director of
the UF Center for Drug
Discovery is receiving the
honorary degree of Doctor
of Science from UF for his
in pharmaceutical research
to improve the therapeutic
effectiveness of medications.
His accomplishments as a scientist, scholar
and leader have had a significant influence on
health care, said William Riffee, Ph.D., dean of
the College of Pharmacy. Bodor is a graduate
research professor emeritus (active) in the
department of pharmaceutics, and serves as
chief executive officer of the IVAX Drug Research
Institute in Budapest, Hungary.
DAVID FULLER, Ph.D., an
assistant professor in the
department of physical ther-
apy, is one of four winners of
the 2005 Young Investigator
Awards sponsored by the
Society. The awards recog-
nize society members who
have demonstrated out-
standing potential in the field
$20,000 prize will be made
to UF on behalf of Fuller.
ELENA ANDRESEN, Ph.D.,
a professor and chief of the
division of epidemiology in
the department of health
services research, manage-
ment and policy, has been
of physiology. A
named to the Institute of Medicine's Committee
on Disability in America. She will be among
a group of disability experts whose task is to
review the new literature and developments since
the Institute of Medicine's report, "Disability in
America," was published in 1991.
JEFFREY FLEIGEL, a den-
tal senior, and BALIGH
YEHIA, a third-year medical
student, were honored with
the UF Hall of Fame Award
on April 13. The Hall of l
Fame Award, established in
1921, is the highest honor
u n i Fleigel
bestows on senior student
leaders in recognition of
and leadership in improv-
ing the university through
campus and community
WILLIAM ALLEN GRAY,
a dental sophomore and
JURGITA HERRON, a
Foreign Trained Dentist
dental student were hon-
ored during the March
29 Multicultural Awards
Ceremony sponsored by the
Dean of Students Office.
Gray received the Dis- Gray
tinguished Service Award
in recognition of his exceptional leadership
and devoted service to
improving the health of
Herron received the
Outstanding Student for
2005 Award for her
commitment to learning,
outstanding work ethic
and high standards of
JOE RICHARDSON, a soph-
omore dental student, was
awarded the UF President's
Recognition of Outstanding
Students award. Richardson
received the award dur-
ing the April 20 President's
Recognition Reception, held
to honor outstanding UF
students who have made
significant contributions to the university through
academic, leadership or service achievement.
2004-2005 Superior Accomplishment Awards
The annual campuswide Superior Accomplishment awards recognize staff
members who contribute meritorious service and who generally improve
the quality of life for students and fellow employees at the university. HSC
awards were distributed at the Division Five award ceremony on Thursday,
March 24 at the Savannah Grande Reception and Conference Center.
Winners were nominated by their peers for outstanding performance in
Dentistry: Winners Cassandra B. "Sandy" Williams, Joseph G.
Welch, Loretta L. Primosch, Gloria R. Griffis-Pagington, Kathleen W.
Leigh, Joanne C. Kwiatkowski, Matthew J. Dennis, Sharon L. Cooper,
Theresa M. Burford, with Cheryl O'Quinn (committee member),
Veterinary Medicine: Dean Joe DiPietro (left) with winners Lynn
Varner, Jennifer Lopez, Joyce Stewart, Judy Bousquet, Sarah Carey,
VPHA: Doug Barrett (left) and Dennis Hines (right) with winners
Edra M. Ijames, Charles J. Parks, Nina C. Stoyan-Rosenzweig
one of six staffing categories: support services, scientific/technical,
clerical/office support, administrative/supervisory, administrative/
professional or academic personnel. Each of this years division-level
award winners received cash awards of $200 and will go on to compete
for university-level awards, which offer eight $500 and six $1,500 cash
College of Dentistry
A.E. Buddy Clark Jr.
Sharon L. Cooper
Matthew J. Dennis
Loretta L. Primosch
Cassandra B. "Sandy" Williams
Gloria R. Pagington
Joanne C. Kwiatkowski
Kathleen W. Leigh
Theresa M. Burford
Joseph G. Welch
College of Medicine
Talha F. Nazir
Sandra K. Powers
Judith L. Allen
Amy M. Smith
Joan M. Crisman
Nicole T. Group
Cathy H. Hoover
John S. David
College of Nursing
Lisa H. Miller
Phyllis C. Stephens
Joan B. Hill
College of Pharmacy
Lynn M. Fowler
Karen P. Brown
Phyllis M. Wright
College of Public Health and Health Professions
Andrea M. Burne
College of Veterinary Medicine
Sarah K. Carey
Judy A. Bousquet
Lynn E. Varner
Miriam J. "Mimi" Zarate
James M. Van Gilder
Jennifer L. Lopez
Joyce E. Stewart
Student Health Care Center
Tracey B. Niblack
Maricelly T. Rodriquez
Jacquelyn Y. Green
Office of the Sr Vice President for Health Affairs
Nina C. Stoyan-Rosenzweig
Charles J. Parks
Edra M. Ijames
See more photos fromt the event at www.news.health.ufl.edu under Accolades.
Practice-based dental research networks receive $75 million
By Lindy McCollum Brounley
The National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental
and Craniofacial Research (NIH/NIDCR) have invested $75
million to establish three regional practice-based research
networks. NIH/NIDCR awarded $25 million of this amount to
UF's College of Dentistry and the University of Alabama at
Birmingham School of Dentistry to establish a southeast
regional network named the Dental Practice-based Research
Network to conduct dental practice-based research over a 7-
year period. The UF/UAB and its sister networks created by the
$75 million grant will investigate with scientific rigor the
everyday issues faced by dentists in their practices during the
delivery of oral healthcare.
"This is a major effort by the NIDCR and signals a new
approach to clinical dental research," said Ivar Mjor, B.D.S.,
M.S.D., M.S., Dr. odont., eminent scholar, professor of
operative dentistry at UF and co-chair of the Dental PBRN.
"The emphasis here is not on basic laboratory research, but on
real-world problems that dentists face every day in their
NIDCR's intent is that each of the three regional dental
practice-based clinical research networks will involve 100 or
more practicing dentists and/or hygienists from at least two
states in each research project. These dental practitioners will
be recruited and trained as practitioner-investigators. This
approach enables networks to draw from a diverse patient base
to better address a broad spectrum of racial, ethnic and socio-
economic factors that dental professionals encounter every day
in their offices. The practitioner-investigators will draw from
their own clinical practice patient base to investigate practical,
real-world issues and generate data that will be of immediate
interest to practitioners and their patients.
The UF/UAB Dental PBRN includes dentists from Alabama,
Florida and Georgia who will conduct approximately 15 to 20
short-term and cross-sectional clinical studies over the next
seven years, comparing the benefits of different dental
procedures, dental materials and prevention strategies under a
range of patient and clinical conditions. The Dental PBRN will
also have extensions into dental practices in Minnesota, Oregon
and Scandinavia. Anonymous chart reviews to generate
retrospective data on disease, treatment trends and the
prevalence of less common oral conditions may also be
Details of the Dental PBRN have been published on the
network's page located at www.dentalpbrn.org and it will be
updated regularly as the work progresses. The first study to be
conducted will be on dental restorations.
"The identification of problems faced by clinicians in
practice is considered very important, including the effect this
identification will have on the dental research agenda sponsored
by NIDCR and other funding agencies," said Mjor. O
Gregg Gilbert (left) professor and chair of diagnostic sciences at University of
Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry, and Ivar Mj6r., (right) eminent
professor of operative dentistry at UF, are co-chairs of the $25.3 million,
NIDCR-funded Dental PBRN. The Dental PBRN, one of three such federally-
funded networks, includes hundreds of dentists and oral hygienists who will
serve as "practitioner-investigators" to contribute to the networks clinical
The making of a Bioinformatics Librarian
Mix equal parts vision, science and exuberance
By John Pastor
Michele Tennant has been a librarian for nearly a decade, and she has yet
to "shush" anyone.
But she has taught students and scientists alike to use databases to
learn about gene therapies, bioengineered crops, the genetic foundations of
diseases and drug responses even about the diversity and organization of life
Not exactly the work of your parents' librarians, unless one of your parents
happens to have been named Watson or Crick.
More to the point, Tennant is a prime example of today's UF Health Science
Center librarian. A holder of advanced
degrees, with a doctorate in biology
from Wayne State as well as a master's
degree in library science from the
University of California, Los Angeles,
Tennant partners with faculty to
integrate information skills and
resources into the teaching curriculum.
"I haven't yet checked out a book to
anyone, either," smiles Tennant, lightly
dispelling some of the myths that have
grown up around librarians. A few
personal touches mingle with the
requisite books and files at her desk on
the first floor of the library, including
some memorabilia from Detroit Pistons
basketball games. An avid fan, Tennant
and her husband, Michael Miyamoto,
Ph.D., a UF professor and associate
chairman of zoology, have gone to
Pistons games in Los Angeles, Orlando,
Miami and Detroit. They even caught
the Pistons' win over Los Angeles in the
fourth game of the championship series
Nearby, artwork reminiscent of the
reptile exhibit at the Audubon Zoo in
New Orleans hangs on the wall and a
couple of plastic, gecko-like creatures lounge on the computer tower. Leaning
inconspicuously in a small bookcase is a copy of "Straight from the Stacks: A
Firsthand Guide to Careers in Library and Information Science," published by
the American Library Association.
"It was quite a surprise," Tennant says, referring to the book. "I was
interviewed about what I do and I didn't think much more about it, until one day
a copy of the book was sent to me."
In it, Tennant is featured as a bioinformatics librarian, a position that was
developed in 2001 by the Health Science Center Libraries and the UF Genetics
Institute. Her specialty, bioinformatics, uses information and computers to solve
Of course, Tennant answers traditional reference and library-use questions,
goes to committee meetings, publishes scholarly papers and is involved in library
associations. Recently, she was elected to the UF Faculty Senate.
But beyond that, Tennant is an authority at sifting through the abundance of
data not all of it created equal that surrounds genetic research. She
conducts literature searches for Genetics Institute colleagues, but in the spirit of
showing someone how to fish so that they will eat for a lifetime, she teaches
scientists and students not only how to find data, but also how to find it from
Much of Tennant's time is devoted to teaching students ranging from
undergraduate to graduate-medical school levels. She also innovates, pioneering a
program to partner faculty with medical librarians to teach undergrads how to
use genetic databases.
The idea sprouted in 1996, when
Tennant and her husband wanted to
enhance what undergraduate genetics
students learned from lectures and
textbooks. Rather than give the
students a list of journal articles to
Find, they believed that the young
scholars should use the same tools
practicing geneticists use to solve their
"She's a visionary," says Faith
Meakin, M.L.S., director of HSC
Libraries. "As a scientist., she saw how
valuable it would be for someone with
a science background to support
information services for researchers,
for knowledge management and for
teaching. With that in mind, Michele
obtained a master's degree in library
and information science at UCLA.
When she first came here almost 10
years ago, she moved the HSC
librarians to develop a liaison program
that libraries around the country
emulate. She is the future of library
Recently, the Medical Library
Association recognized Tennant as the 2005 Estelle Brodman Academic Medical
Librarian of the Year, a highly competitive award that usually goes to librarians
who are clinically oriented rarely to research librarians.
UF Genetics Institute Director Kenneth Berns, M.D., Ph.D., "toasted"
Tennant for the prodigious achievement at the April UFGI executive board
meeting. Diet Cokes and other sundry soft drinks were raised around the table in
"She really makes the Genetics Institute function as an institute," Berns says.
"With 125 faculty throughout the university, you need someone in the center like
Michele who is a facilitator and a communicator."
The work keeps her busy. But Tennant unabashedly says she loves it.
"I think we're showing that libraries are an important part of the university's
research and teaching mission," Tennant says. "If people still think libraries are
just places to check out a book, they're missing the main part of the story." 0
Class of 2005
College of Nursing
Alvarez and David
Seal share a bite
and a laugh at the
the Public Health &
Fong Wong, B.S.D., D.D.S.,
M.S.D., assistant professor of
prosthodontics in the College of
Dentistry, ran the first-ever
Ocean City Maryland Marathon
on April 16 to benefit CASA and
other Maryland organizations
serving abused and neglected
children. Wong finished the
26.2 mile course that winds
through the coastal Assoteague
State Park home of the
famous wild Chincoteague
ponies in four hours, 32
minutes and 27 seconds. She
placed 7th out of 19 women in
her age group and 59th of 150
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs
Douglas J. Barrett, M.D.
Director, News & Communications
Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
Tracy Brown, Sarah Carey, Tom Fortner, Linda
Homewood, Lindy McCollum-Brounley, Patricia
McGhee, John Pastor, Jill Pease, Melanie Fridl
Ross, Denise Trunk
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 email@example.com or
deliver to the Office of News & Communications
in the Communicore Building, Room C3-025.
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