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Housestaff open house
Strep and OCD
Meidcal humanitarian trips
Words for the wise
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UF Health Science
*~ E A T E R
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PATIENT CARE Fluoride Fight
O FIVE QUESTIONS Strep and OCD
PROFILE Dr. Deidre Pereira
O COMMUNITY Medical Humanitarian Trips
@ COVER FEATURE Words for the Wise
RESEARCH Manatee Tears
@ RESEARCH Snoring Keeping You Up?
@ EDUCATION Pharmacy in Belgium
@ DISTINCTIONS Service Pin Ceremony
@ DISTINCTIONS Research Day Awards
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HOUSESTAFF OPEN HOUSE
In July, about 200 new College of
Medicine and College of Dentistry
residents, also known as housestaff,
started work in one of 57 different
residency and fellowship training
programs offered at Shands at UF in
To help orient them to the medical
center, the Office of Housestaff Affairs
held an open house June 29 in the
Shands at UF Atrium to "bring
everything to them for one-stop
shopping," said Sharron Wallace,
coordinator of housestaff affairs and
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Atrium was
filled with about 65 information booths
to provide one-stop shopping for the
new residents' start-up needs.
Everything from ID badges,
personalized prescription pads,
parking decals and hospital ID
numbers to access codes for scrub
machines, computer logins, health
screens and e-mail accounts was
available, along with information from
the HSC libraries, bookstores, cellular
phone companies, banks and various
hospital and UF departments.
With all the information in one place,
residents who were preparing to begin
their graduate medical education
training programs signed up and
signed on in one easy twirl around the
They can only hope the remainder of
their residencies will be as easy.
With hurricane season upon us, the group practice administration has issued a
reminder about UF clinic closings should we experience severe weather in our area.
Although UF may close, clinics will be open during regularly scheduled hours
unless an explicit decision is made to close. Physicians and other providers, faculty
practice clinic managers and staff, and any UF employees who staff clinics or are
responsible for making appointments or taking patient calls are expected to come to
work if at all possible.
The decision to close a clinic or clinics will made by Director of Faculty Practice
Clinics Kelly Kerr, in collaboration with clinic managers and medical directors when
Two telephone lines have been established to provide status reports:
Clinic staff, physicians and other employees should call the Staff Hotline at 265-
0900 for clinic status updates. The message will be kept up-to-date and will provide
information about clinics in general and, if needed, about specific clinics.
The patient hotline is 265-0008. Patients may call this number to hear a message
that will provide information on clinic closures and reopenings.
Reserving research information in cyberspace
The HSC Libraries now have electronic reserves available. Faculty may now place
on EReserves items such as professor- or student-generated materials, book
chapters and journal articles, PowerPoint presentations, Word documents from print
or online sources, and more. Traditional hard copy reserves will remain available
and are listed on the Libraries' ERes Web portal at http://eres.hscl.ufl.edu/eres/.
Marine lab gets new name and new building
UF's venerable Whitney Laboratory,
perched on the intracoastal waterway
near Marineland, celebrates its 30th
anniversary with a name change and a
The lab changed its moniker to
The Whitney Laboratory for Marine
Bioscience to better reflect its research
focus on biomedical/biotechnological An artistic rendering of the new building
aspects of human health and disease.
Construction for the new 17,650-square-foot building for the laboratory will begin
in August. When the two-floor structure is complete by May 2006, it will house
offices, labs, classrooms and an auditorium for its faculty, staff and students.
Using marine organisms such as sea slugs, lobsters, horseshoe crabs, jellyfish,
coral and the freshwater zebrafish, Whitney investigators work to determine how the
human body functions and malfunctions. Their research includes projects to discover
how brain neurons are wired, what the sensitive mechanisms of vision and olfaction
mean, identifying genes that cripple muscles, mapping proteins with fluorescent
markers and finding a safe mosquito larvicide.
Free tours of the UF-Gator Tech Smart House
A floor that can detect a senior's fall and contact emergency services. A smart
phone that acts as a remote control for all appliances and media players. See these
high-tech devices and more at the UF-Gator Tech Smart House, a project of the
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for Successful Aging at
the College of Public Health and Health Professions. The recently opened research/
demonstration home is now open for free tours and features a state-of-the-art
driving simulator and smart technologies for "aging in place" that are designed to
make living easier and safer for seniors.
The UF-Gator Tech Smart House is located at 2701 S.W. 53rd Lane at Oak
Hammock at the University of Florida. Please call (352) 273-6817 to sign up
for a tour.
The College of Public Health
and Health Professions and
the College of Pharmacy
sent a small delegation
to the Universidade De
Fortaleza in Brazil on
June 27 to discuss future
collaboration in research
and teaching. The group, Randal Martins Pompeu (left), vice rector of
led by Robert Frank, Ph.D., extension, and Carlos Alberto Batista, rector
dean of the College of of University of Fortaleza, sign a cooperative
Public Health and Health
Puic Heath and H agreement with College of PHHP Dean
the university's newly Robert Frank.
constructed multi medical
integrated clinic. The clinic, comprising audiology, occupational therapy, physical
therapy, nursing and pharmacy departments, offers therapy and medical services to
Faculty from each university met over several days to exchange ideas for ways to
advance educational initiatives between Brazil and the United States. The meeting
ended with an official signing of a cooperative agreement that provides for visits
of faculty/students to either institution, research or teaching ventures at either
institution, and the interchange of ideas regarding the development of programs at
either institution. Plans were discussed for the Brazilians to reciprocate with a visit to
UF in September.
Health care gets creative
UF's Center for the Arts in Healthcare Research and Education is hosting its annual
three-week summer intensive "The Arts in Healthcare" July 11 -29.
The session explores the healing potential of the arts and will include daily
workshops and instruction in the visual arts, writing, movement, music and theatre
for healing, clinical experience in facilitating the arts at the hospital bedside
within the Shands Arts in Medicine program, and lectures and workshops in Arts
in Medicine history, philosophy and physiology, program implementation and
administration, among other offerings.
The center's mission is to facilitate research, education and training in the use of
the arts to enhance the healing process, to further develop career options for artists
interested in the arts and health care, and to promote art and creativity as catalysts
for developing healthy lifestyles.
For more information, call 265-0768.
Starting July 1, UF students, faculty, staff and other university constituents joined a
growing segment of the public who are gaining more privacy rights.
The university's IT Security Team and Privacy Office have been working diligently
to prepare for a new law, formerly Florida House Bill 481, which passed in the state
legislature this spring.
The law requires organizations to notify clients within 45 days of a security breach
if their sensitive personal information has been compromised.
Sensitive personal information is defined as a name in combination with a social
security number, driver's license number or financial account number including
access security code.
privacy incidents. The Privacy Office manages internal communication, coordinates
notifications and handles other issues regarding privacy incidents. In the case of a
breach, the affected members of the public must be notified in writing or by e-mail,
conspicuous posting on a website or via statewide media.
Failure to do so can result in a fine from $1,000 per day to a maximum fine of
---~~ ___I ---l m
UF dentist helps
fight in Eustis
By April Frawley Birdwell
J ames Rotella never wanted to be known as an
anti-fluoridation crusader. He never even
thought much about the fluoride added to his
town's water until a few of his patients asked him
about it earlier this year.
"I didn't want to create any fears in the community,"
said Rotella, a podiatrist and city commissioner in
Eustis. "I just wanted to have a thoughtful discussion."
But when he publicly questioned whether Eustis
should continue adding fluoride to its water,
something the city has done for 20 years, he
inadvertently stepped into a hornet's nest of
controversy that has raged since the first drop of
fluoride was added to a Michigan community's water
60 years ago.
Years of research have shown that fluoride prevents Dr. Scott Tomar,
cavities. Experts tout the practice of adding fluoride to May to support
public water as one of the greatest health achievements Commissioners
of modern time. Yet fervent activists still protest it, and other dentist
claiming fluoride causes everything from cancer to low
IQ, links experts say are unsubstantiated.
That's why when seeds of an impending fluoride
debate were sown in Eustis, Scott Tomar, D.M.D., Dr.PH., a UF associate
professor of dentistry in the division of public health services and research, spoke
to the Eustis City Commission in May to defend a policy he believes saves teeth
"It's probably the most well-researched public health measure in history,"
Tomar said. "It benefits virtually everybody."
Fluoridation, dental experts say, fights tooth decay, the condition that accounts
for most of the country's dental costs. Fluoride is added to 67 percent of water in
the country, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually has
mentioned plans to increase that figure by 2010.
Fluoride reduces demineralization when acids from bacteria in dental
"(Fluoride) is probably the most well-
researched public health measure in history.
It benefits virtually everybody."
Scott Tomar, D.M.D.
plaque dissolve needed minerals from tooth enamel and works best if it is
already in the mouth when these acids are produced, Tomar said. This makes
fluoridated water ideal for cavity fighting, because drinking water and foods
processed in fluoridated communities will provide low yet constant levels of
fluoride throughout the day.
Before the first community fluoridated its water in 1945, nearly everyone
an associate professor of dentistry, spoke to the Eustis City Commission in
water fluoridation, a public health measure he says saves teeth and money.
voted to continue adding fluoride to the city's water after listening to Tomar
experienced tooth decay, said Howard Pollick, a University of California at San
Francisco dental professor.
Things are better 60 years later, but tooth decay is still a problem, and for some
people among lower socioeconomic levels, fluoridated water is the best dental care
they receive, Pollick said.
But a quick Internet search yields more than a dozen Web sites devoted to
stopping water fluoridation. Most of these sites, like The Fluoride Action
Network, link to research that claims fluoride causes cancer and other diseases.
Most of these articles, however, are not from peer-reviewed scientific journals, a
standard for accepted and credible research today, Tomar said.
Other groups have different reasons for opposing fluoridation, like not wanting
government to add anything to water or not trusting "the so-called experts,"
"Ever since someone proclaimed the earth is round, there have been people
opposed to it and there still are, even to this day," Pollick said.
Rotella voted to keep fluoridation in Eustis after listening to dentists during
the May meeting, but he is skeptical.
"There are a lot of unknowns," he said. "We thought drugs like Vioxx were safe
... Is it possible that one day we're going to wake up to find (fluoride) is not safe?"
Fluoride does have one side effect. Too much of it can cause white flecks or
stains to appear on teeth, called fluorosis. But this is merely cosmetic, Tomar
said, and more noticeable types of fluorosis usually occur when children swallow
too much fluoridated toothpaste, which has a much higher concentration of
fluoride than drinking water.
But there's no credible research linking fluoride to other diseases or health
problems, Tomar said.
"At those levels, it's just been found time and again to be safe," he said. "So the
health concerns, I think, are not really concerns. Which is why water fluoridation
remains strongly endorsed." 0
Strep and OCD, is there a connection?
A surprising number of children have gone to bed
with a sore throat only to wake up the next day with
obsessive-compulsive disorder, leading some doctors
to warn that a streptococcal
infection might trigger the
debilitating psychiatric condition in
some young patients. Doctors have
labeled this phenomenon Pediatric
Murphy Disorders Associated with
Streptococcus, or PANDAS. Some pediatricians have
already begun placing strep-infected children on
long-term antibiotic regimens in an effort to prevent
OCD, a practice that worries researchers on both
sides of the debate. Tanya Murphy, M.D., an associate
professor in the department of psychiatry who has
been studying PANDAS for 10 years, clears up some
questions for the POST.
Does research point to connections between other bacterial infections
and psychiatric disorders, or it is just group A strep and OCD?
The ones that we've classically looked at have been obsessive-compulsive
disorder and tic disorders, but it's thought that it can also include disorders like
attention deficit disorder, separation anxiety disorders and maybe fine motor
skill deterioration. But the ones that have gotten the most support have been
OCD and Tourette's. A child who wakes up from being a normal straight-A
student the day before to washing her hands 100 times and day and saying
"I can't stop, I can't stop" is so dramatic that I think you are going to find the
best association looking at the more obvious presentations. Strep has been
the infection that has been the easiest to look at partly because it's easy to
culture it in the pediatrician's office. Strep is the one most studied, but after
following these children over time, I have also found some children have a
clear-cut worsening of behavior and tics following a common upper-respiratory
infection. I don't think anything does it quite as clearly or dramatically as strep,
Why is PANDAS so controversial?
Many people think that this association is just coincidental because strep is
so common. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is also fairly common, about 2
percent of children have it. Probably about 20 percent or better of all children
develop tic symptoms at some point. So they are fairly common disorders and
maybe it's just a chance association. That's probably the biggest controversy.
Another issue is the lack of a one-to-one relationship between infection and
the onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms. Some children flare without evidence
of strep, many children develop strep without developing any neuropsychiatric
symptoms. I think we just need to research it more.
How effective is putting a child with PANDAS on long-term antibiotics?
We don't know yet because we haven't really studied it. We are doing a
penicillin study so we can have a better answer to that question. There are
clearly some children that I have seen who do much better on antibiotics, but
there are also children that do worse on antibiotics. I really don't think we know
enough to prescribe prophylactic antibiotics.
In what direction is research going right now?
There are a lot of people who don't believe in PANDAS who are very
outspoken about it, but if you look at the summary of the literature that is out
there, most of it is hinting that there is something going on. There is certainly
enough support to warrant looking at it further. I think it will still be about five
years until we have better answers, because it will take that long to do some of
the bigger antibiotic trials.
How should these patients be treated while research is ongoing?
I always recommend standard of care treatment for all of these children. For
OCD, the first thing you want to consider is doing cognitive behavior therapy,
even if it's a child that has a PANDAS-type presentation. What you are giving
that child is a skill to resist these symptoms even if those symptoms may be
immune-triggered, but at least they have a way to fight back the OCD. O
Healthy state of mind
Researcher examines the relationship between psychological and physical health
By Jill Pease
She mind-body connection, while oft studied, remains mysterious. A number of studies have
demonstrated that a person's thoughts and emotions can affect his or her physical health.
.But can the mind also influence health outcomes and mortality? That's a question
1 psychologist Deidre Pereira, Ph.D., and others in her field hope to answer.
"There is still some skepticism about how the mind can affect clinical outcomes," said Pereira,
an assistant professor in the department of clinical and health psychology in the College of Public
Health and Health Professions. "I share in the skepticism about the effect on mortality because
we just don't know the relationship yet. But there is ample evidence that factors such as
depression, stress, sleep quality and social relationships affect neuroendocrine and immune
functioning. We absolutely know this."
SPereira's clinical and research interests lie in two relatively new fields: psycho-oncology and
"Dr. Pereira's research focus in psychoneuroimmunology is truly forward thinking and brings
this area of study to the university," said Ronald Rozensky, Ph.D., chair of the department of
the map as a health science center that excels in this field."
Psycho-oncology includes two main areas of interest the effect of the cancer experience on
emotional and physical quality of life, and how a person's psychological state can influence cancer
risk and clinical outcomes. Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the mind-body relationship
and the effect of the psyche on the body's neuroendocrine and immune functioning.
In addition to her busy psycho-oncology clinical practice, Pereira is working with UF Shands
Cancer Center colleagues Daylene Ripley, M.D., and Linda Morgan, M.D., to conduct research on
endometrial cancer, the most common gynecological cancer and the fourth most common cancer
overall among women. She is studying the relationship between psychological factors, immune
functioning, stress hormones and health outcomes.
"For example, women with endometrial cancer will have hysterectomies as part of their
treatment," Pereira said. "We want to find out if psychological factors influence their ability to
heal after surgery."
Pereira's work in mind-body research studies began during her graduate studies at the
University of Miami under the mentorship of Michael Antoni, Ph.D., a leading
psychoneuroimmunology researcher. Together they studied women who have both human
papillomavirus, which can be linked to cervical cancer, and HIV, which suppresses the immune
Their research has yielded important findings. Women in the study who were more pessimistic
about their futures had worse natural killer cell functioning in their immune systems, which may
impair their ability to fight viruses and the spread of tumors. Women who reported more stress
had an increased risk for progression or persistence of cervical dysplasia, a precancerous
Antoni and Pereira also have preliminary data suggesting that women who received group
psychological therapy had a much lower risk for the progression or persistence of dysplasia.
There are countless other areas of mind-body research that have yet to be explored, Pereira
said, citing that and two other aspects of her work as motivators.
"The patients I work with in the clinic or in research are very inspiring and give me the energy
to do what I do," Pereira said. "It amazes me when an 80-year-old woman with cancer is eager to
participate in the research, completing a two-hour interview and testing her saliva at home for
stress hormones. I find that incredible.
"Also, sitting down with the research data to crunch the numbers and seeing right there on
your computer screen how closely the mind and body are related is thrilling," she said. "You can't
S.. believe it. It's exciting to get your research out in the literature so you can get feedback and take
... ... your work in new directions." 0
International programs take medical care on the road
To improve health and medical education globally, UF students and
faculty work with UF partners in developing countries to provide
integrated grass-roots medical outreach to those most in need of
Students and faculty of the HSC colleges conduct numerous health
extension and research visits each year to other nations, and, in doing so,
gain a hands-on, integrated, multidisciplinary educational experience.
COLLEGE OF NURSING
joined the annual UF
groups that traveled to
the Dominican Republic,
Ecuador and the Yucatan.
students performed -
health screenings for
underserved patients -
of all ages and
collaborated with local
to improve interventions Nursing student Leigh Greer screens a
and strengthen patient young patient in the Dominican Republic
education efforts. as part of the DR HELP outreach trip.
Nursing student Sara Wilson (center) is pictured with other members
of the Project H.E.A.L. team in Ecuador.
This outreach was initiated by UF students, and founded on the
expertise of UF faculty and the integrated and interdisciplinary structure
of the HSC.
In 2005, HSC students have delivered medical care to communities in
the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Haiti, Ecuador and Nicaragua. In the
next three pages, we've provided a glimpse of some of the international
programs that took place this year.
COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY
The college sponsored three international educational and service trips to
the countries of Dominican Republic, Mexico and Ecuador. While the
Dominican Republic trip was not affiliated with a foreign university, the
Ecuador and Yucatan, Mexico trips built on academic ties with sister
institutions in other countries to broaden the educational experience of
UF dental students. The college has established ongoing exchanges with
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador and Universidad
Aut6noma de Yucatan Facultad de Odontologi6 (UADY) in Mexico.
USFQ hosted 14 dental students early March, pairing them with USFQ
students to provide restorative and oral surgery treatment to about 150
patients. The December trip to the Dominican Republic included 21
dental students who were joined by three private dentists and two dental
assistants. Trip participants treated more than 500 patients, many of
whom were malnourished or children with HIV. The UF trip to the Yucatan
included two faculty and nine UF dental students who partnered with
UADY students to provide treatment to more than 400 children in largely
rural and underdeveloped areas.
UF dental junior Jennifer Larson (left) and senior Sundeep Rawal
(right) extract diseased teeth from an Ecuadorean mother as her
daughter looks on. Fourteen UF dental students journeyed to Ecuador
in March during Project HEAL, partnering with dental students from
Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Quito, Ecuador, to provide free
dental care to about 150 patients.
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
Fourth-year medical students and College of Medicine faculty traveled
to Nicaragua for two weeks in February to treat patients in two of this
Central American country's remote villages as part of Project Nicaragua.
The 15 medical students split into two groups to set up temporary clinics
in the villages of Ocotal and Matagalpa. During their stay, they provided
medical care to 1,423 patients, one-third of whom were children.
The students also traveled to other smaller surrounding villages and
treated farm workers at a nearby coffee plantation. The group donated
toothbrushes, toothpaste, children's toys, medications and vitamins
to the villagers and brought stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs to
clinics in the surrounding towns. Donald Eitzman, M.D., a UF professor
emeritus of pediatrics, and Larry Rooks, M.D., a UF clinical associate
professor of community health and family medicine, accompanied the
students on the trip.
Elizabeth Jungst (left), Rahul Chopra, Nadia Noor, Jay Poonkasem, Jose
Soberon, Dr. Donald Eitzman, Phoung Nguyen and Run Gan on their way
to treat needy patients while in Nicaragua this February.
Christy Milsted Cavanagh and Nasrin
Aldawoodi spent some time with local
children during their mission trip to Haiti.
Students and faculty from the colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Public Health and Health
Professions visited Haiti during spring break to treat patients at a hospital near the poverty-stricken
country's southern border. Serge Geffrard, M.D., a University of Miami cardiology fellow, started Project
Haiti when he was a second-year medical student at UF in 1996. Students have been making the trip
each year since then. The 25 students, faculty and
physicians who went to Haiti this year worked in a small
hospital in Fond Parisienne, a medically underserved
area ravaged by flooding last year. The group stayed
in the Dominican Republic because of safety concerns
in Haiti but traveled each day to the hospital. While
in Haiti, the group saw patients of all ages and had
to handle several life-threatening emergencies, such
as heart failure and critical injuries, with limited
T e n t ay e H equipment.
Toriseju Binitie treats a tiny patient in Haiti.
COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
Ten veterinary students, one veterinary technician and two veterinarians, including
the course coordinators from the veterinary college's Office of International
Studies, visited the Yucatan to conduct a rabies vaccination campaign in the rural
community of Tunkas, as well as set up a spay/neuter clinic for dogs and cats.
One veterinary student joined students from the College of Medicine and College
of Dentistry in March's interdisciplinary program.
ECUADOR/STUDENT INTERNATIONAL VETERINARY ORGANIZATION
Seven veterinary students joined a trip to Ecuador in June 2005 that combined
small animal veterinary work with opportunities to work with large animal herds to
learn more about foot and mouth disease.
One veterinary student is conducting a project relating to tuberculosis and
brucellosis in cattle will leave in July for the Austral University of Chile to complete
COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
Faculty and students from the
Doctor of Audiology, or Au.D.,
program made their third annual
trip to Yucatan, Mexico as
members of Project Yucatan. The
audiology students performed
screening tests that assessed the
function of the middle ear system,
measured levels of hearing
sensitivity, and assisted UF
medical students in the cleaning
and health care of the outer
ear. The UF Au.D. program also
donated hearing aids, hearing
aid batteries, cleaning supplies
and portable equipment that
can be used by local, trained
health-care professionals to
continue long-term audiologic
care in rural clinics. More than
500 children and 100 adults Audiology students Kristin Letlow (left), Meghan Miller and Michelle
received care from members of
Cramer are joined by local children at a hearing screening site in
the UF audiology group who
collaborated with Asociacion Yucatan, Mexico.
Yucateca Pro-Deficiente Auditivo,
a local organization established by parents of children who are deaf to provide hearing services and rehabilitation.
Master of Public Health students joined the annual UF interdisciplinary outreach groups that traveled to the Dominican
Republic, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. The public health students designed and implemented educational programs
for small groups of clinic patients. Topics included the prevention of tuberculosis, diarrheal and mosquito-transmitted
diseases, and health issues surrounding improved sanitation and infection control. The students also evaluated patient
understanding and awareness of the transmission and disease process of tuberculosis.
student and DR
4. HELP team
Paso Bajito in the
Republic on the
4 dengue, a
Members of the physical therapy
department provided instruction
to the faculty of the only physical
therapy education program in
Nicaragua. The UF group presented
information on shoulder impingement
evaluation and treatment to
faculty and local clinicians at the
Universidad Nacional Autonoma
de Nicaragua in Managua, the
nation's capital. This is the UF
group's third visit to Nicaragua in
an effort to provide information on
current physical therapy techniques
and treatments. Limited access to
continuing education and Spanish
language textbooks has put the
Nicaraguan physical therapy
curriculum 10 to 15 years out of
Nicaraguan physical therapists
receive hands-on instruction
on treating shoulder
impingement during a
laboratory session taught by
UF physical therapy faculty
members Terri Chmielewski
and Claudia Senesac.
Words for the wise
Mapping life's great adventures through the art of writing
By Melanie Fridl Ross
agers beep. Cell phones trill. Lab equipment
hums. Overhead, helicopters roar to a landing.
Inside trauma rooms, orders are shouted.
Patients laugh. Families weep.
Every day, hordes of doctors and students and staff
navigate the hallways of the Health Science Center,
bustling along at hospital pace.
But listen ever so carefully, and amid the cacophony
you'll hear from those who are quietly going places,
too, with the scritch-scratch of a pen on paper or the
quiet click of fingers tapping out stories on a computer
In unprecedented numbers, they're trading poems
and prose for prescriptions, a book for the baggage
that can come with the long, often exhausting days
that are part of learning and living. And they're
finding the journey to health is often more than just
physical, the path to becoming a health practitioner is
studded with self-reflection, and the trip into the
exam room to give the news good and bad can
sometimes be handled all the better one small word at
A reason to rhyme "
Research is increasingly showing that writing is
plain good for you, in ways that are as yet largely
unexplained. The therapeutic effects aren't just
psychological. They include physical benefits such
as reduced use of pain medications among patients
with arthritis to improved lung function among
patients with severe asthma. Studies also have linked
writing to positive immune system effects, fewer
doctor's visits, less stress and improved grades,
among other benefits.
Michelle M. Bishop, Ph.D., is working with John
Wingard, M.D., deputy director of the UF Shands
Cancer Center at the Gainesville campus, to study
writing's effects on the quality of life of spouses or
caregivers of cancer survivors who underwent bone
"What we realized from another study was that in
some ways the spouses are even worse off than the
survivors in terms of quality of life, even years after
transplant," says Bishop, a clinical and health
psychology researcher at UF. "Expressive writing
may be particularly useful for people who have a
restricted outlet for talking. If their primary
confidante is their spouse who is very ill, they may
not feel like they can share their own thoughts and
Forget the stereotype that the closest some
practitioners come to composing the printed word is
the barely legible prescription-pad penmanship they
dash off daily. Writing in its many forms, rooted in
the ancient healing arts, has begun to enjoy a modern-
day renaissance among patients, students and faculty
alike. And an increasing number of researchers
acknowledge that the simple act of putting pen to
paper can help people travel great
distances, emotionally and
"There's an awful lot of us who
believe that the most crucial
thing for success as measured by
inner satisfaction and happiness
in the long run linking the
passion of your heart to the Neims
purpose of our lives is self-
reflection," says Allen Neims, M.D., director of UF's
Center for Spirituality and Health. "That's the heart
of it for a patient writing, it's the heart of it for
students writing, and it's the heart of it for a doctor or
feelings; they may feel guilty if they complain. It may
be that expressive writing would be a great tool to help
people identify stressors and cognitively and
emotionally process them."
She and Wingard are studying caregivers who write
for 15 minutes once a week for four weeks. They
complete questionnaires about their quality of life at
the outset of the study and three months after the final
"Some of the things they've described to us so
far is they found the writing to be intense but
helpful, meaningful, revealing of feelings they were
not aware of, and an outlet for bottled up feelings they
might not feel comfortable sharing with other people,"
Other UF research is focusing on students. In
June, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a leading
supporter of humanities in medical education,
granted funds for continued teaching and evaluation
of the College of Medicine reflective writing elective
taught by Gail Ellison and supported by Arts in
Medicine, UF's Center for the Arts in Healthcare,
Research and Education, and the Maren Foundation.
The course, open to first- and second-year students,
is part of the Narrative Medicine program directed by
any kind of health professional writing, because the
kind of writing that seems to make the most difference
really is when you take something that's going on in
your life or in someone else's life and reflect on its
inner significance to you.
"This need to go inside as best as we can, to be on
that inner journey of reflection, leads us to a place
where we're more at peace and wiser," he adds. "Go
inside, the answer's there. I think reflective writing
really gets at that."
MEDICINE FOR THE MIND
From reflective writing to the art of narrative
medicine the practice of chronicling patient
encounters in a journalistic fashion by delving into
descriptive details beyond the normal notes scribbled
in a medical chart the trend is sweeping the globe.
Dozens of academic institutions have launched
literary medical journals and are incorporating
writing into the curricula. Web sites devoted to poetry
in medicine have multiplied into the thousands.
But you don't have to go great distances to witness it
first-hand. The Health Science Center has been at it
"In creating programs in the Maren Reading
Room, one of the things I immediately felt was an
important way to involve students but also to really
encourage the growth of empathy in health-care
professionals was to incorporate writing into the
curriculum in whatever ways possible," says Nina
Stoyan-Rosenzweig, the Health Science Center's
archivist. "I realize the importance of writing for
reflection and as a form of therapy and self-care for
physicians. And the whole focus of narrative medicine
is that if you understand the patient's story and see
the story as a narrative, then you will focus on that
and be better able to elicit information from the
patient, better able to understand their needs and
better able to diagnose their problem."
Goals of the writing elective include enhancing
observational and listening skills, increasing self-
awareness, improving physician-patient
communication, and developing a healthy lifelong
writing practice, Ellison says. The new grant monies
will be used to evaluate the course's effects on
physician-patient communication skills and physician
and medical student self-care.
Melanie Fridl Ross
'you are old, F(
'0nd yet you
S OU V
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0or'0 ge' dE
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2 Ii~ih. irIm
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the inception of
the Shands Arts in Medicine
program more than a dozen years ago. Today,
physicians and nurses are sharing their own poetry
with patients as a way to open communication
about their ailments. Other faculty members write
as a form of personal expression, a way to glean
greater understanding of their calling or to cope
with especially difficult circumstances.
Patients themselves are increasingly encouraged
to write as an outlet. For those who are gravely ill
and tethered to a hospital bed for months on end,
writing can help them escape to other places and
happier times. Recognizing the importance of this
form of self-expression, Shands HealthCare has
placed two writers-in-residence in its facilities, one
devoted to working with patients awaiting a heart
transplant, their families and the health providers
who care for them, and the other to detailing the
life stories of elderly hospitalized patients.
Students are benefiting from the writing process,
too. In the College of Medicine, the third-year
medical clerkship requires them to keep a portfolio
that includes reflective and narrative writings and
to participate in related small-group discussions. A
third-year medical student, meanwhile, has just
published "Panacea," the university's first literary
publication featuring the works of students, faculty
vho work in the health sciences.
ive writing seminars also explore
section of metaphor and
;, observation and listening
nd self-awareness. A cross-
emphasis on journaling and
` patient encounters is
pledged as increasingly
rtant. And similarly, many
nts are encouraged to keep
es that describe their
criences on international
'I hope they are learning a
long practice that's useful in
If-care," says Gail Ellison,
h.D., who teaches the reflective
writing elective for medical
students and is the writer-in-
residence at Shands at UF.
"Instead of just being
overwhelmed in the
experience they find
metaphor. The hero's journey
comes up a lot in their
writing. They have gon
into unknown territory
One student wrote abo
going into the body ai
likening it to a jungle
ave been explorers there
I a man. but she herself had
never been there."
John Graham-Pole, M.D., frequently finds his
office becoming plastered in Post-it notes. It's
his favorite way to jot down the snippets of
poems that come to him
during his busy days
caring for children
members share his
S passion. Robert
pens poems he
Graham-Pole sometimes shares
with patients. Pharmacy researcher
Issam Zineh, Pharm.D., writes and also
has participated in a therapeutic
writing course for heart transplant
patients at Shands at UF. Nurses,
following a decades-long tradition of
keeping clinical logs, also are
encouraged to write about their
challenges and achievements on the
Graham-Pole has written
hundreds of poems and published four books
He keeps a gratitude journal that he writes in every
"I found that writing was a way of expressing my
own feelings about my work; it was really almost a
safety valve," Graham-Pole says. "I work with a lot
of seriously ill patients and their families, and I
found the need to speak about that really for my
own benefit. And in time as I discovered other
physicians doing the same thing, I realized we
kind of wanted to hear each other. I also would
share writing with patients quite a bit and
encourage them to write."
That patient voice is something he cares about
"We need to hear their stories. As the director of
hospice palliative care, I spend my whole time
almost basically listening to patients' stories,"
Graham-Pole says. "And much of my writing is
inspired by the stories I hear day to day, really
extraordinary stories that don't get into the
College of Nursing w ,
Clinic,- L 5: Clinir LOQ
e on week involved more.,
ell" This y own patient bu,,.t -'-' ,,,_ .-., t
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questions and~ se had to bri, -
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to say. My pat ien e rching
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not trust me, or myj intentions :
patis eek I was more comfortable Wil I
patientac" need to m
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patient this week did es to taking to
Sfound the silence not respond to
because I w ~ o be very distract .,,
u e I Was unable to ile rc, ,.:
question right off f th he spac
Way in which I estate I alc o
not the best ed he c o l
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establish me s rt of re spacious. Mo '- .
gof in right into the q itionship with
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Student, Co//ege ofNursino
1 1* 1 0 0 11
As he began to write with regularity, often about
recent experiences, other events from his years as a
doctor in training and from his childhood came
sweeping to the surface. Thus a poem he wrote
about 10 years ago was actually about his first year
as a medical intern, in 1967.
The Annals of Internal
had as a very
writing it was "a
huge help, a
catharsis." He was
24, caring for a 20-
patient at a time
everybody died of the
condition. He was
desperately trying to
restart his intravenous
"He was a big, big g
I remember, and it
proved almost imposs:
middle of the night," Graham-Pole says. "The boy
was stable, but the mother called me and started
almost screaming down the phone. I didn't know
what to say so I said nothing, and gradually by my
silence she found it comforting and she started to
soften. After awhile, she
started to laugh. Then
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Heork k ronsp ,\n,,bouse ,aLold"O
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p o lnents,
p one linesh
to start his IV again," Graham-Pole says. "I found
myself kind of weeping really, and I was cursing
him under my breath, I blamed him for having no
veins. Of course they'd all been used up, you see.
Then the senior resident happened along and put
the IV in his foot and helped me. Years later I
wrote a poem called 'Vena Puncture,' and the last
sentence was 'God, why this tiny vessel in this
gargantuan frame?' It was sort of like the
blasphemy of blame, is what I call that really. I just
couldn't do it. The poem just popped out 33 years
Graham-Pole says much of art, and certainly
writing, is inspiring.
"I did write some pretty gloomy poems to begin
with, but I've found increasingly that I can find
humor in the setting of very severe or life-
challenging problems, and I could certainly find
inspiration and hopefully celebrate that in
And, he says, writing has just as much a role in
patient care as it does in helping practitioners
process difficult experiences, or in heralding happy
"A mother of a patient called me at home in the
gave me a *. c
poem, which Fror thi
basically oave rna
must have The ran
first poem sos
in 20 P tont pr,
years. So Coiige oeut,
in the of
the night she
instinctively start J
turning to poem ra king
Zineh, an assistant professor ol
pharmacy practice and pharmace
says writing has helped him sort
the world on a personal and a pro
48 hours after
)tion leaping all
*r me down the
THE WRITE STUFF
The interest in writing comes at a time when
effective physician-patient communication is
increasingly valued and students must demonstrate
competency in this area.
"Basically there's a return to the art of medicine
in the old doctor's 'black bag' style," Ellison says.
"Medical schools realize that there's more to
training healthy, compassionate physicians than
coursework in biochemistry and pathology."
Writing helps students become "more
conscientious and mindful of their own experience
in medicine, from first-years working with
cadavers to having a patient die for the first
time to observing their
liforni mentors and
Thep oat physicians
,ne Were Lc
pTh e tougher -. talk," she
S c top o- :. says. "In a
This i Poe/ .of
h s s where wf '' 'i .. t positive way, a
s he 0/w hI t st lot of their
dhe oesnt of Son J writing is
That now o6 Ur -. eking
we' Ve about th
Aroun V miken r he .. L underlying
Wild n F nci. ops : meaning in what
Po ryti o Everyth Ih \ are doing, the
oets h E is aIke veyh
COme he e he. : I h !hs and social
One h re. Cherry
te Ashe one ask i ia m ications, and
ate S ihill ,wn fears and
the poci thou^lht -1.-. o" J uhlI and strengths."
e h Buries te -, .. r .nd-year medical
e though what is he
oce The t oun r uJni Anitha Jain says
S oth e thire o ihc ,l ive writing
I s r th e th o
aSe n e oht k I i!\. a s meaningful
e, e sho :": I pbi.o hcauj. placed value on
Is Souldn't ..
SP/oce. exp ect I '.1 !l!in j anj emotional
Ved Scoost Uch ul ., J n art.
e w i/dr c ever "M J Ji JI ,l hool is very
es will "en w sil ay,
grow e born F i hiJ, ph\ !Lallv and
7. w ith "
eh out us. m..i'I !i nl\. j.nd having this
fessor o I ii rin 0 L,1 '. j, an amazing
co/scien Prmocy r ul b in \,
o ces, Practil-
'ij\ N'-!,. I'julson, who took
I.. m injIl IJI \,tr as a first-year
mcJ i...l iLuJn.i, "I ihink that so
lnm... ~rll a mJ, J ical school
f luJ rll 3 .u g-i ..h,.,ed with school
util s and grades and things that in the long
Sh p term matter but don't necessarily
out his place in
fessional levelcompose who you are. I think that writing really
essionaldoes help put things in perspective when you'relevel.
.. does help put things in perspective when you're
Science, ne says, informs nis writing, wln nis
poetry taking on a biological bent. About five years
ago, one of his poems was published inJAMA: The
Journal of the American Medical Association, and his
work also has appeared in other literary journals.
"On the other hand, my creative side fuels my
ability to write scientific manuscripts in a way
that's not boring," he says.
studying for hours on end, to take time out to
really reflect on what you're thinking and feeling.
It allows room for growing and learning."
Three years ago, Heather Harrell, M.D., who
directs the third-year College of Medicine
clerkship, began requiring students to ponder
anything that has happened to them in medical
.,, -vaspant Ut'
or bad, and
write about \
it. Then they
meet in small ,\ d
groups with Ne
Harrell and Jay
Lynch, M.D., a c
oncology, to share
"It's a very
difficult year for the
says. "They're faced
with a lot of life-and-
death issues. I was
curious about what their
perspective was, and
hopefully it will promote
this type of reflection in the
0r I' ,"
o.g\ \ .. .:.
, ,- ,. 't -. ,- _
co ,e .:',': "
Harrell says common topics
include facing a dying patient for the first time,
breaking bad news, and feeling rather powerless
yet wanting to effect change.
"Dr. Lynch and myself, after all these sessions,
come away feeling like we get more out of this than
the students," she adds. "We're so impressed by the
students and their thoughtfulness and their
compassion. It gives us a lot of hope for the future
In the College of Public Health and Health
Professions, Stephanie Hanson, associate dean for
academic affairs, has students keep a daily journal
of their experiences when they take a course
requiring them to shadow health-care providers.
"The purpose of the journal is for students to
comment on what they are learning and observing
as well as how they are reacting to the situation,"
Hanson says. "The goal of the latter part is to help
students increase their own awareness of their
values, biases and reactions to specific patient
College of Dentistry students are encouraged to
write about the humanitarian trips they take to
countries such as the Dominican Republic or
Mexico. And nurse researcher Jodi Irving assigns
her beginning nursing students to write essays
about the nursing-related artwork lining the walls
of the HPNP Building in an activity designed to
integrate reflections on health care and the value of
"Nursing has a long history of doing what are
called personal logs that review experiences in
clinical situations and their relationship to the
process of learning to be a nurse," Irving says. "I
teach psychiatric mental health nursing, and a big
part of our requirements for our students are to
Ju l % ,.I h their own issues
,:. I.'ima and reactions to
rr :.n ri I health and mental
Slnr, s. We do use
'. ing) in almost all
I h clinical courses in
S In addition,
nu- rising students who
,.- ork with
.are instructed to
: their feelings,
S describe issues
I h hu hts down before
Ih;\ jal ,n ihmr
In the hospital setting, nurses promote similar
writing exercises with patients of all kinds.
"What we unfortunately tend to focus on when
you become a patient is you as an illness, and it
really doesn't define an individual completely,"
says Tina Mullen, director of the Shands Arts in
Medicine program. "What the creative writing has
been doing for this adult population is giving them
back a sense of their healthy self through their
creative writing experiences. Some patients have
been in the hospital for months and months, and
the opportunity to even just wax poetically about
their feelings of the beach they haven't seen or
even their home and to put these things down on
paper makes them very real and very tangible."
Ellison, reflecting on her role as writer-in-
residence, says the stories she hears and poems she
reads aloud "encompass the entire human
experience; they require me to be in there laughing
and crying, commiserating and demonstrating
optimism bearing witness and serving as a
scribe for posterity."
"Patients write to their spouses and to each
other; they express their thanks to the staff," she
writes. "They tell their stories, which get posted on
doors and bulletin boards, so that physicians and
nurses can see the person behind the hospital
gown. In turn, physicians and nurses write about
their fears, foibles and silliness giving patients a
glimpse of the empathic, human side of caregivers
who are too often on the run.
"As the writing program spreads, it carries a
message that I reinforce with regular postings,
trying to build a bridge between sick people and
their families and those who devote their lives to
caregiving: We are all in this together. We will all
know sickness and death and suffer deep loss. We
will all experience times of bliss, calmness and
sheer joy. We can all listen, witness, be with,
contain, communicate, celebrate and grieve.
Find more writing samples at
Last month Gail
Ellison, a writer in
residence at Shands at
4 UF, received an
honorable mention in
the Blair Sadler
International Art and
Ellison Healing Competition for
the writing program at
Shands and the Health Science Center. The
award was presented at the International
Conference of the Society for the Arts in
Healthcare, at which Ellison spoke about
reflective writing in health-care settings.
As writer-in-residence at Shands at UF,
Ellison has helped compile a variety of
resources for patients, faculty and staff, and
students, including the following:
In-house Wisdom: Writing by Patients,
Families, Staff, and Students. A
collection of poems and essays placed in
Shands and Health Science Center waiting
Writing for the Health of It. An 8 1/2 x
11-inch writing pad distributed to patients
to encourage the kind of reflective writing
that promotes health.
Reflective Writing in Health-care
Settings. A handbook of ideas for people
who want to write with patients and staff,
but don't know where to start.
Write-on Shands. Small notepads
designed to be placed with a pen at the
bedside of each new patient.
Poetry & Medicine in Cyberspace. A CD
of links to Web sites where physicians,
medical students and other health-care
professionals share their writing, as well
as programs that promote the humanities
in medical education.
Polecats' Prattle. A patient-inspired
newsletter published on the Status One
(heart transplant) unit.
Poetry Tents for Nurses' Week. Selected
poems placed in nurses' stations
throughout the hospital and on tables in
J j 13
Manatee eyes could be window to health status
By Sarah Carey
or Florida manatees, the eyes may have it,
say UF researchers studying whether the
mammals' unusually thick tear film helps
protect against disease and could be used to gauge
the endangered sea cows' ability to fight stress
from cold water temperatures.
Manatees depend on both
natural and artificial warm
water refuges like those
found near coal-burning
power plants to survive cold
winters. As older coal-
burning power plants are 1
phased out in the next 10 to
20 years, researchers fear Samuelson
chronic exposure to cooler waters could weaken
the large herbivores' immune system, and they
could sicken or even die.
move into the cornea to supply oxygen because
the tear film creates a barrier so thick that
oxygen present in air can't penetrate it, said Don
Samuelson, Ph.D., a professor of ophthalmology
in the Marine Mammal Medicine program at
UF's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Manatees are believed to have the thickest tear
film of any sea mammal, and possibly of any
animal, Samuelson said. In general, mammals
produce tears to protect against infection,
because the eye itself does not have immune
"Through this protection against the potential
for infection, the manatee is able to enter murky
waters just rich with potential pathogens,"
Samuelson said. "For that reason, we think this
very thick tear film, undoubtedly rich with
antimicrobial components, serves to protect in
The unusually thick tear film found in manatees may one day provide clues to their health status.
By sampling manatees' tear film in addition to
performing other standard tests, scientists think
they might be able to more efficiently evaluate
manatees' immune system function and better
determine strategies for rescue, treatment and
The current tear analysis project, believed to
be the first of its kind, builds on work UF
veterinary scientists published recently in the
journal Veterinary Ophthalmology that described
the abundance of blood vessels found in manatee
corneas. Blood vessels could have a tendency to
areas that could otherwise be devastating."
Researchers speculate that tears, which can be
collected without removing manatees from the
water using a small, soft cotton swab, may one
day be used along with or instead of blood tests
to assess health status and to gauge whether the
mammals were recently exposed to health threats
such as red tide. Ongoing UF studies are
exploring the relationship between the tear film
and blood vessel formation.
"One of the findings of our earlier work was
that there is absolutely no pathology involved in
the formation of these manatee blood vessels,
which in other species occur predominantly
because of trauma or disease," Samuelson said.
"So the question is, why do these mammals have
such thick tears that corneal blood vessels form
naturally, even in the fetus?"
Samuelson collaborated with Roger Reep,
Ph.D., a UF professor of neurology, and Jenny
Harper, Ph.D., a recent doctoral graduate who is
now an assistant professor at Coastal Georgia
Community College. Together they examined 26
eyes from 22 individual manatees and
constructed 3-D images of the corneas.
"We've completed the evaluation and mapped
the blood vessels, so we know where within the
cornea they are located and how many there are,"
Samuelson said. "Our next goal is to start
examining the tears and evaluate them with
regard to the whole animal's health status."
He added that the recent study clearly
documented the fact that these blood vessels are
present, do not appear to interfere with manatee
vision and appear to be a part of manatee
anatomy beginning in the embryo.
"With that in mind, we are examining the
tears to see what they exactly consist of,
particularly with regard to the anti-infectious
component," Samuelson said. "This may
eventually be an opportunity to examine an
individual manatee's state of health with regard
to their immune system by analyzing their
Tear analysis is being used in human
ophthalmology and is in its early stages in
veterinary medicine, he said.
Kendal Harr, D.V.M.,
assistant director of UF's
Marine Mammal Medicine
program, is collaborating
with Samuelson on a large
federal Fish and Wildlife
Service research initiative
to assess the immune
Harr function of manatees at
Homosassa Springs State Park. She is
coordinating sample and data collection for the
UF veterinary college as part of the project.
"We suspect that manatees' thick, mucusy
tear film likely contains proteins, such as
antibodies, that would prevent bacteria and other
pathogens from causing disease," Harr said. "We
are currently developing qualitative assays to
measure antibodies in blood as well as in tear
film and milk." 0
Experts warn of rising death rate
tied to pain patch abuse
By Denise Trunk
Drug abusers are increasingly turning to a
slow-release form of a powerful painkiller for
a quick and dangerous high, University of
Florida researchers warn. The trend is raising alarm
as the number of people dying from an overdose of
the drug fentanyl, an opioid 100 times more potent
than morphine, rises.
Addicts are misusing a clear patch that transfers a
controlled dose of fentanyl through the skin into the
Dr. Bruce Goldberger in his UF laboratory.
bloodstream over the
course of a few days, UF
experts say. The adhesive
patch is typically
prescribed to treat
postoperative pain or
chronic pain conditions,
A clear patch attached to
the skin slowly releases a
medication to the patient
over a 72-hour period.
but in some cases is being
misused, often with deadly consequences.
"Because the patch is a sustained-release form of
the drug, if one withdraws the 72 hours' worth of
drug and uses it in a form that it wasn't designed to
be used for, then it can rapidly result in death," said
the study's lead researcher, Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D.,
director of toxicology and an associate professor in
the department of pathology, immunology and
laboratory medicine and of psychiatry in UF's
College of Medicine.
Patients who are prescribed the patch must be
made aware of the potential dangers of misuse,
Florida Department of Law Enforcement records
cited in the UF study, presented this month in
Orlando at the annual meeting of the College on
Problems of Drug Dependence, show abuse of the
patch resulted in the death of 115 people in Florida
While the number of fatalities linked to the patch
is still one-quarter the number associated with other
drugs abused, such as methadone or hydrocodone,
the number of sudden deaths from overdosing on
fentanyl has been on the rise during the past few
years not just in Florida but also nationwide,
"We have seen an increased use and abuse of the
patch form of fentanyl for the past five years or so,"
Goldberger said. "This is a recent finding related to
the prescription of fentanyl patches."
In many cases, people who died from overdosing
on the drug were able to easily remove the full dose
of fentanyl from the patch and take the entire three-
day amount at once, either by injecting, ingesting or
In some cases, the deceased sought a state of
euphoria by applying multiple patches
It is not always clear from the law enforcement
records where people who overdosed obtained the
drug, whether from a prescription of their own or
from one that had been stolen or otherwise not used
according to doctor's instructions, the group
"Oftentimes we don't know where the patch comes
from. Sometimes it is from someone who had a
prescription or it was purchased on the street or
acquired from a friend, so it has been diverted to
them," Goldberger said.
Goldberger's team, which includes Mark Gold,
M.D., a distinguished professor with UF's McKnight
Brain Institute and chief of the division of addiction
medicine, has been focused on the use and abuse of
prescription drugs. In the past few years his team has
seen increased abuse of methadone, and now
"Based on our study we're recommending that
physicians better educate their patients on the use of
the patch, and, as a result, we might see lower
numbers in fentanyl-related deaths in the state of
Florida," Goldberger said. O
Researchers create way to generate brain cells in lab
Regenerative medicine scientists at the University of Florida's McKnight Brain
Institute have created a system in rodent models that for the first time duplicates
neurogenesis -the process of generating new brain cells -in a dish.
Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers
describe a cell culture method that holds the promise of producing a limitless
supply of a person's own brain cells to potentially heal disorders such as
Parkinson's disease or epilepsy.
"It's like an assembly line to manufacture and increase the number of brain
cells," said Bjorn Scheffler, M.D., a neuroscientist with UF's College of Medicine.
"We can basically take these cells and freeze them until we need them. Then we
thaw them, begin a cell-generating process, and produce a ton of new neurons."
If the discovery can translate to human applications, it will enhance efforts
aimed at finding ways to use large numbers of a person's own cells to restore
damaged brain function, partially because the technique produces cells in far
greater amounts than the body can on its own.
In addition, the discovery pinpoints the cell that is truly what people refer
to when they say "stem cell." Although the term is used frequently to describe
immature cells that are the building blocks of bones, skin, flesh and organs, the
actual stem cell as it exists in the brain has been enigmatic, according to Dennis
Steindler, Ph.D., executive director of the McKnight Brain Institute and senior
author of the paper. Its general location was known, but it was an obscure species
in a sea of cell types.
"We've isolated for the first time what appears to be the true candidate stem
cell," said Steindler, a neuroscientist and member of UF's Program of Stem Cell
Biology and Regenerative Medicine.
Is excessive snoring keeping you up...
or bringing you down?
By Lindy McCollum-Brounley
If you answer yes to having any of the following symptoms restless nights,
loud snoring or daytime sleepiness you may be suffering from sleep apnea,
a condition where the soft tissues in the back of the throat relax during sleep
to obstruct breathing. Those with sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of
times during the night, leading to frequent nighttime awakenings and subsequent
Richard Berry, M.D., a professor of pulmonary medicine in the College of
Medicine, and Charles Smith, D.D.S., associate clinical professor of operative
dentistry in the College of Dentistry, collaborate to offer medical options and
dental appliances that work together to result in a good night's sleep for many of
Sleep apnea affects 12 million Americans, according to the National Institutes
of Health, and can have serious consequences such as cardiovascular disease and
high blood pressure not to mention separate bedrooms so sleepy spouses can
rest in peace. Men, people who are overweight, and those who are overweight and
over 40 are the groups most at risk for suffering from sleep apnea, but anyone,
including children, can suffer from the affliction.
Fortunately, Berry and Smith can offer several options to greatly diminish
sleep apnea, the most effective of which is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
CPAP patients wear a mask while sleeping that is connected to a machine that
funnels a continuous flow of air into the nose and mouth at a pressure high
enough to keep the airway open.
Some patients, however, find sleeping with CPAP uncomfortable and reject it
in favor of other options. This was the case of a 45-year-old woman who was
referred to Berry and Smith by her primary physician. They published a report of
her unusual experience in a recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
The patient found herself falling asleep at her desk at work in the afternoons
because her sleep apnea kept her up at night. After trying CPAP and finding it to
be too uncomfortable, the patient was referred for uvulopalatophyryngoplasty, or
UPPP, surgery to remove excess, fatty soft tissue from her palate.
After surgery, the patient's snoring and sleep apnea were dramatically
improved, but the patient still experienced some sleep apnea five months after the
surgery. Berry and Smith decided a mandibular repositioning device should be
used to alleviate the patient's occasional postsurgery apnea. MRDs are dental
appliances used to adjust the angle of the lower jaw, pushing it forward to keep
the airway open. Smith an international expert in the fabrication and
application of MRDs to relieve sleep apnea adjusted the MRD over the course
of several weeks to achieve optimum performance, resulting in the patient
reporting no afternoon napping at work three months after beginning use of the
MRD. A follow-up sleep study demonstrated the
patient's arterial blood oxygenation was
significantly improved during sleep as a
Result of the combined UPPP/MRD
Dr. Charles Smith demonstrates how the CPAP is fitted. The CPAP
blows a continuous flow of air into the airway while the patient sleeps,
preventing soft tissues from relaxing enough to close the airway.
What's your snore score?
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, your
answers to this sleep quiz will help you decide whether you may
suffer from sleep apnea:
1. Are you a loud, habitual snorer?
2. Do you feel tired and groggy on awakening?
3. Are you often sleepy during waking hours, and/or can you
fall asleep quickly?
4. Are you overweight and/or do you have a large neck?
5. Have you been observed to choke, gasp or hold your
breath during sleep?
If you or someone close to you answers yes to any of the
questions above, you should discuss your symptoms with your
physician or sleep specialist.
For more information, visit the
American Sleep Apnea Association at www.sleepapnea.org.
A dental appliance called a mandibular repositioning device, or MRD, can be fitted to sleep apnea patients
to help maintain an open airway. The MRD relieves sleep apnea by pushing the lower jaw down and out,
tightening soft tissues that would otherwise close during sleep to block the airway.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARLES SMITH
Deadly aortic disease difficult for doctors to detect
By April Frawley Birdwell
Aortic disease kills nearly
15,000 people in the United
States each year, but the rarity
and complexity of this deadly
disorder make accurately
diagnosing it difficult for
doctors in the health-care
trenches, UF researchers have
UF surgeons who specialize in treating the
disease studied the charts of 100 patients who were
transferred to Shands at UF medical center with
suspected aortic ailments and found that about one-
quarter of them initially had been misdiagnosed,
delaying treatment for some and sending others
into the operating room needlessly.
The study, which appears this month in The
Annals of Thoracic Surgery, suggests many doctors
who do not routinely treat aortic disease have
difficulty distinguishing between the two most
common culprits, an aortic aneurysm and an aortic
dissection. An aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta that
can rupture, while a dissection is a sudden tear in
the arterial wall. "Three's Company" star John
Ritter died in 2003 after suffering an aortic
dissection, drawing national attention to aortic
But even a slight variance in diagnosis can mean
the difference between medical treatment and
emergency surgery, said Thomas Beaver, M.D., a
UF assistant professor of cardiovascular and
thoracic surgery in the College of Medicine and the
study's lead author.
"When you start talking about doing major
thoracic aortic surgery on somebody, you really
want to be sure what you're doing and where it
started," he said. "For people who aren't as familiar
with it, it can be more challenging. There are subtle
According to the National Center for Health
Statistics, 14,746 people died in 2002 from either an
aortic dissection or aneurysm, but most community
doctors are not exposed to these disorders often
enough to discern the subtleties between them,
Beaver said. At Shands, where many patients are
referred for aortic disease treatment, thoracic
surgeons perform nearly 200 aortic procedures a
Increased education in medical schools and more
continuing education for practicing physicians
could improve how doctors diagnose aortic disease,
the researchers suggest.
Genetics could be the best indicator right now for
preventing and treating aortic disease before an
aortic tear or rupture, Martin said. People with
relatives who have had aortic aneurysms or
dissections should be examined for signs of the
"It's a curable disease," said Tomas Martin,
M.D., a UF associate professor of thoracic and
cardiovascular surgery. "And it's much better
treated on an elective basis than on an emergency
Fulbright Fellow leaves lasting
impression on UF colleagues
By Jill Pease
Fulbright Fellow Judith Dirk has made remarkable strides since arriving at UF
last August from Germany.
Hosted by the department of clinical and health psychology at the College of
Public Health and Health Professions, Dirk has taken a number of classes,
-finished her thesis, developed several manuscripts for publication and become
P !L' involved socially in the department, said her mentor Michael Marsiske, Ph.D.,
an associate professor of clinical and health psychology.
"The most amazing thing about Judith is despite the fact that she works
Dirk very hard she also really soaked up the culture and colleagues," Marsiske
said. "She's been a fixture at several colloquia and is known by name by people throughout the
college and university. She has really made the most of this experience."
Dirk has been working with Marsiske to examine the relationship between older adults' daily
activities and their cognition, mood and pain. She analyzed the daily activity diaries completed by a
group of older adults over a 60-day period. Jason Allaire, Ph.D., of North Carolina State University,
was another collaborator on the project.
"We found that the more active seniors are, the more likely they are to feel emotionally positive
and to report less pain," Dirk said. "If an older adult is experiencing positive mood, he or she will
participate in more leisure activities like reading books, going to the theater and visiting with
friends. These kinds of activities are important because they can help to maintain and enhance
physical and cognitive skills."
The daily activity diaries also gave Dirk a crash course on American life.
"I didn't know what a Sam's Club was," Dirk laughed. "This experience has been a real cultural
journey for me."
Although Dirk will return to Germany this summer to complete her psychology degree
(equivalent to a master's) at Dresden University, she plans to make good use of e-mail to continue
collaborating with UF researchers. She will soon be applying to doctoral programs in Europe and
the United States, and UF is high on her list. O
Global Gators meet
in Belgium for new
The College of Pharmacy held its fifth
symposium for new developments in clinical
pharmacy June 4 in Leuven, Belgium. More
than 50 pharmacy educators and researchers
who call themselves Global Gators attended
the collaborative meeting hosted by UF and
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. The
symposium, organized by Hartmut
Derendorf, Ph.D., a UF professor and
chairman of the pharmaceutics department,
is held biennially at a European university.
Pharmacy researchers from Belgium,
Germany, Austria, Poland, Iceland and the
United States presented clinical pharmacy
research findings related to drug delivery,
drug quality and safety, and pharmacy
At the close of the daylong meeting,
attendees were transported to a reception at
the Leuven Town Hall, where Mayor Louis
Tobback welcomed the educators and visitors
to his city. Symposium organizers Guy Van
den Mooter, Ph.D., from the University of
Leuven, and Derendorf presented to the
mayor a gold gator pin declaring him an
honorary Global Gator. 0
William Millard, Ph.D., (left) executive
associate dean of the College of
Pharmacy and Hartmut Derendorf,
Ph.D., UF pharmaceutics department
chairman, along with Guy Van den
Mooter, Ph.D., of the University of
Leuven, present a gator pin to Leuven
Mayor Louis Tobback (right).
Dr. Deke Beusse, (left),
with Shale Kenney, Cathy
Engel and Dr. Stephen
Shores, FVMA president.
Kenny and Engel received
scholarships this year in
honor of Beusse, a retired
director of UF's Marine
Program and a longtime
member of FVMA.
UF veterinary college names 2005 Distinguished Award winners
By Sarah Carey
Large and small animal medicine were equally represented in the 2005 UF College of Veterinary Medicine
Alumni Council Distinguished Awards program with the selection of a dairy reproduction specialist and a
small animal internist and hospital administrator for two key awards.
The program spotlights distinguished alumni, faculty and
friends of the college. This year, two awards were given:
one for alumni achievement and one for distinguished
service to the veterinary profession.
CARLOS RISCO, D.V.M., a member of the college's
class of 1980 its first graduating class received
the Alumni Achievement Award. Risco, a professor in the
college's department of large animal clinical sciences, is an
internationally recognized lecturer on dairy cattle. A board-
certified theriogenologist, Risco has twice been selected
Large Animal Clinician of the Year by UF veterinary
students. He also received the Daniels Pharmaceuticals
Young Clinical Investigator Award in 1996.
For many years, Risco has been actively involved in the Dr. Michael Schaer (left) and Dr.
college's alumni council, serving as a liaison between Carlos Risco.
members of the class of 1980 and college faculty and
administrators. Prior to coming to UF, Risco spent 10 years
in private practice at a premier dairy practice in California.
MICHAEL SCHAER, D.V.M., a professor of small animal medicine at the college and associate chair
of the department of small animal clinical sciences, received the Distinguished Service Award. Schaer, who
also serves as associate chief of staff of UF's Small Animal Hospital, oversees the day-to-day workings of
an organization that provides veterinary services to more than 10,000 companion animals a year. Prior to
coming to work for UF in 1978, Schaer worked at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City.
Schaer, who is double-boarded in veterinary internal medicine and in emergency and critical care, has
received multiple Teacher of the Year and Clinician of the Year awards from UF veterinary students and was a
1994 recipient of the university's Superior Accomplishments Award. He also received UF's Blue Key Award for
Distinguished Teaching in 2001.
The awards were presented May 28 at the college's commencement. O
HSC Service Pin Awards
On June 2, HSC employees were recognized for their long-term commitment and dedication to the University of Florida with mementos of the university. The five-, 10- and
15-year recipients received a service pin, as did the 20- and 25-year recipients, who were also given a Gator hat and a paperweight. The 30-year recipients received the same
gifts as the 20- and 25-years recipients plus a $100 check, and the 35-year employees received the same mementos and a $150 check.
Public Health and
Animal Care Services
Dorothy Joseph, a senior accountant with the College of
Nursing, Ulysses Ellis Jr. with the Physical Plant Division and
Kathryn Smith in the College of Medicine were recognized
for 35 years of service.
Ike Smith III
Jimmy Singletary Jr.
Lewis R. Scott
Ulysses Ellis Jr.
Senior Vice President,
For a complete list of winners and additional photos, visit www.news.health.ufl.edu. -
005 RCCARCH DAY AWARD CCREMONIC
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
College of Medicine Research Day's 30th annual Medical Guild-sponsored graduate student research
competition was held April 27. Six students received a cash award from the UF Medical Guild based on
the judges' final rankings: one Gold Medal finalist ($1,000), two Silver Medal finalists ($400), and three
Bronze Medal finalists ($300).
From left, SEAN KEARNS, ANN GRISWOLD, CHRISTINA NORRIS, PADRAIC LEVINGS, STEPHANIE
AMICI, ANTONIO AMELIO.
Gold Medal Finalist
ANTONIO AMELIO, Genetics
Identification of a Chromatin Insulator Located
within the Herpes Simplex Virus Type- (HSV-1)
Silver Medal Finalists:
STEPHANIE AMICI, Neuroscience
Peripheral Myelin Protein 22 is a Novel Binding
Partner for the a6b4 Integrin Complex in Schwann
CHRISTINA NORRIS, Physiology &
Impact of Tumor Vascularity on Response to
Bronze Medal Finalists:
PADRAIC LEVINGS, Biochemistry & Molecular
In Vitro Analysis of the Establishment and
Maintenance of b-globin Locus Chromatin
ANN GRISWOLD, Immunology & Microbiology
Identification of a Novel Mechanism for
Ammonia Production in Streptococcus mutans:
Implications for Virulence
SEAN KEARNS, Molecular Cell Biology
A More Complete In Vitro Parkinson's Model:
Slice Culture Bioassay for Modeling Maintenance
and Repair of the Nigrostral Circuit
Three faculty awards were given:
Basic Science Award
NASSER CHEGINI, Ph.D.
Department of OB/GYN
Clinical Science Award
WESTLEY H. REEVES, M.D.
Department of Medicine
Lifetime Achievement Award
RICHARD T. SMITH, M.D.
Department of Pathology
COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND
18th Annual Research Fair
Sixteen winning research posters were chosen
from 50 entries. The winners each received $500
to use toward travel expenses to a scientific or
professional conference. They include:
Behavioral Science Category
Sex differences and construct redundancy of the
coping strategies questionnaire catastrophizing
Examining apathy and depression in Parkinson's
Relationships between medication levels and
depressive symptoms in the active pilot study
MICHAEL J. LARSON
Cognitive control dysfunction in severe TBI: an
VANESSA A. MILSOM
Weight loss improves functional mobility in older
MARY E. MURAWSKI
Treatment of obesity in underserved rural settings
(TOURS): effects on quality of life
EVA R. SERBER
Depression and quality of life among
hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy patients
Startle modulation via processing of emotional
sematic knowledge conveyed by faces
DAVID A. STIGGE-KAUFMAN
Behavioral and neural correlates of working
memory interference due to anxiety and affective
Health Services Category
Adherence to breast cancer screening guidelines
among women in the rural South
Forecasting the demand for emergency
department services: a comparison of three
Rehabilitation Science Category
CHITRALAKSHMI K. BALASUBRAMANIAN
Fast walking speeds: implications for improving
functional mobility after stroke
NEETI C. PATHARE
In vivo bioenergetics of the mouse hindlimb
muscles following immobilization
AMY D. RODRIGUEZ
Intensive semantic treatment of anomia in fluent
aphasia: preliminary data
PRITHVI K. SHAH
Loading-induced changes in te soleus muscle
following incomplete spinal cord injury using
magnetic resonance imaging
Can "normal" post-stroke upper extremity reach
Faculty Leadership Award
CHRISTY HARRIS LEMAK, Ph.D.
Associate professor, department of health services
research, management and policy
COLLEGE OF NURSING
Top Honors, Graduate Research
Doctoral student AMANDA FLOETKE, M.S.N.,
Age Differences in Self-Reported Pain Among
Top Honors, Undergraduate Research
B.S.N. senior KAMILA PILCICKA
An Analysis of the Effects of Arginine on Wound
COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY
Third Annual UFCD Research Day
D.M. YATES, Z.T. WEN and R.A. BURNE,
Microbial Cell-Cell Interaction and Virulence
Regulation by Streptococcus mutans
Department of Oral Biology
B. JAFARNIA, K.J. SODERHOLM and M.
GUELMANN, Light Penetration and Bond
Strength of MagicfilT to Primary Molars
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
C.M. CAMPBELL, R.R. EDWARDS, B.A. HASTIE
and R.B. FILLINGIM,
Age and Sex Differences in Pain Perception: The
Role of Gender Role Stereotypes
Department of Operative Dentistry, Division of
Public Health Services and Research
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
18th Annual Research Showcase & Awards
Oral Competition $600 award
Mechanisms Underlying 7 Nicotinic Receptor
Discovery of Potent mMC1R Agonists with
Prolonged Activity at Human Melanocytes
Junior Division $600 cash award
Sulfonation of Environmental Chemicals and their
Metabolites in the Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus)
Potential Benefit of Nesiritide after Adult Open
Pharmacy Health Care Administration
Graduate Student $300 award
Development of Brain Tumor Organotypic
Cultures for Characterizing DNA Polymer/Plasmid
Mediated Gene Transfer
Pharmaceutics of siRNA Delivery
Pharmacy Student $300 award
Evaluation of Novel Anti-inflammatory Activity of
Sigma Receptor Ligands in Brain Immune Cells
A Retrospective Study of Drotrecogin Alfa
(activated) for the Treatment of Severe Sepsis
St. Petersburg Campus
Postdoctoral Fellow Division
DR. LI-QUAN WANG
Sulfotransferase 2A1 Forms Estradiol- 17-sulfate
and Celecoxib Switches the Dominant Product
from Estradiol-3-sulfate to Estradiol- 17-sulfate
THIRD ANNUAL WOMEN'S
HEALTH RESEARCH DAY POSTER
Best Overall Faculty Poster
RITA TORTO, Ph.D.
Central leptin insufficiency produced by
ovariectomy stimulates hyperphagia and adiposity
Physiology and Functional Genomics
Best Overall Graduate Student Poster
COLEEN MARTINEZ, B.S.
Low-intensity exercise therapy for women with
peripheral arterial disease: is it beneficial, and
can it be performed in community-based clinics
and fitness centers?
Department of Health Education and Behavior
Best Poster on Reproductive Health
THERESA MEDRANO, M.S.
Activation of th 1 pro-inflammatory cytokine
expression by aryl hydrocarbon receptor (ahr)
ligands in human uterine endometrial cells
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Best Poster on Cardiovascular Health
RHONDA COOPER-DEHOFF, Pharm D.
Blood pressure control and cardiovascular
outcomes in Hispanic women with coronary
artery disease hypertension: findings from the
International Verapamil-trandolapril Study
College of Medicine
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Best Poster on Health Behavior Research
BARBARA HASTIE, Ph.D.
Gender differences for Latinos in cancer
screenings and preventive care
College of Dentistry
Public Health Service & Research
Best Poster on Cancer Research
AMAL KHOURY, Ph.D.
Predictors of breast cancer screening in African
American and white women
Department of Health Services Research,
Management and Policy
Best Poster on Neuromusculoskeletal
BARBARA HASTIE, Ph.D.
Reliability and sex differences of experimental
pain responses across multiple sessions
College of Dentistry
Public Health Service & Research
COLLEGE OF VETERINARY
MEDICINE RESEARCH DAY AWARDS
Presentation, poster and publication Phi Zeta
Best Platform Presentation by a
KEVIN D. COLEMAN
Regulation of the transporter SNAT1 by hypoxia:
A possible mechanism for neuroprotection during
Best Platform Presentation by a
LARA R. DERUISSEAU
Recombinant adeno-asociated virus containing
acid-alpha glucosidase as a possible treatment
for respiratory and central nervous system
in a mouse model of glycogen storage disease
Best Platform Presentation by a Resident
LEANNE N. TWOMEY
The effect of intense exercise and excitement on
neutrophil phagocytosis and oxidative burst in
Best Poster Presentation by a Veterinary
AMY CUDA TANIS
The role of the periaqueductal gray in
mediating hemorrhagic sympathoinhibition in
Best Poster Presentation by a Graduate
Respiratory load perception with elevated
background airway resistance: RREP with resistive
background in healthy adults.
Best Poster Presentation by a Resident/
Echocardiographic estimation of systemic
systolic blood pressure in dogs with mild mitral
Best Clinical Research Publication of
His research paper on varanid herpesvirus 1
in green tree monitors was selected as best
academic paper by a postgraduate veterinarian
in trading from the College of Veterinary
Winners of the 3rd annual Women's Health Research Day Awards from left: AMAL KHOURY, Ph.D.,
M.PH.; BARBARA HASTIE, Ph.D.; RHONDA COOPER-DEHOFF, Pharm.D.; RITA TORTO, Ph.D.;
KATHLEEN SHIVERICK, Ph.D., standing in for THERESA MEDRANO, M.S.; and COLLEEN MARTINEZ, B.S.
** i 2
IKRAMUDDIN AUKHIL, ---
B.D.S., M.S., has been..
appointed chair of the depart-
ment of periodontology. Aukhil
comes to UF from the University
of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill School of Dentistry, where
he served as professor of peri-
odontology and director of
UNC's predoctoral program in
periodontology. The college's search committee
selected Aukhil based on his clinical and adminis-
trative ability and the opportunity to create new
collaborations between clinician-scientists and the
college's internationally respected molecular and
cell biologists. Aukhil assumes the chair from
Herbert Towle, D.D.S., who has stepped down to
serve as director of the periodontics residency pro-
ARTHUR E. "BUDDY"
CLARK, D.M.D., Ph.D., M.E.,
has been appointed chair of .
the department of prosthodon-
tics, assuming the position from
Arthur Nimmo, D.D.S., who
stepped down as chair for per- .
sonal reasons. Clark, who has
served as associate chair of the
department since 2001 and
previously served as chair between 1991 to 1996,
is a former executive associate dean of the college.
Nimmo will remain on the college's faculty,
concentrating his efforts on D.M.D. curriculum
instruction and prosthodontic research.
THOMAS C. PORTER, D.M.D.,
clinical associate professor of
and director of the college's St.
Petersburg Clinic, has been
recognized as a diplomat of the
American Board of Special
Care Dentistry with proficiency
in the areas of hospital dentistry,
dentistry for persons with
disabilities and geriatric dentistry.
DANIELA RODRIQUES P.
SILVA, D.D.S., M.S., an
assistant professor of pediatric
dentistry, has been appointed
interim director of the pediatric
dentistry residency program.
Silva, originally from Brazil,
earned her dental degree from
the University of Sao Paulo
and her master's in pediatric
dentistry from the University of Michigan. She
became board-certified in pediatric dentistry in
2003. She joined UF in 2004.
ALLISON ARTHUR, KRISTY BREUHL,
MATTHEW BUTLER, KAREN CREVIER,
MATTHEWCUNNINGHAM, ERIC EDWARDS,
CYRUS MONROE, ALAN TESSON and
BALIGH YEHIA, all third-year medical students,
were selected for membership in UF's chapter of
Alpha Omega Alpha in April. The students
distinguished by the AOA, a national medical honor
society, were eligible for election based upon
academic achievement, service to the university and
community, and personal character.
ALLISON BRINDLE, M.D., a
co-chief resident of pediatrics,
was named the Florida medical
resident of the year May 20 at
the Florida Medical Business
Golden Stethoscope Awards.
Brindle came to the university
in 2001 to complete her
residency training. While here
she has implemented a mortality
and morbidity conference for pediatrics, developed
curriculum for the advocacy and community
pediatrics rotation, and improved an online
teaching conference so users could access it from
remote locations. Brindle has also worked with her
colleagues to promote healthier choices in school
ZHANG were each
honored with an
at the International
Awards April 21. P
The Alec Courtelis Award is presented to just
three international students from the entire univer-
sity each year to honor their academic accomplish-
ments and community service.
Kobeissy (L) and Zhang are doctoral candidates in
the interdisciplinary program in biomedical scienc-
es. Kobeissy is completing his dissertation research
in the departments of neuroscience and psychiatry.
Outside of research, he organized Gainesville's
first Palestinian Film Festival.
Zhang is completing his dissertation research in
the biochemistryand molecular biologydepartment.
He has volunteered for the Friendship Association
of Chinese Students and Scholars and for the Pride
Community Center of North Central Florida.
ELOISE M. HARMAN, M.D.,
a professor in the division of
pulmonary and critical care
medicine, was honored May 20
with an Outstanding Clinician
Award atthe American Thoracic
Society's 100th Anniversary
Conference in San Diego.
It's the second year in a
row Harman has received the
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Harman graduated
from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in
1970. She stayed at Johns Hopkins to complete her
residency and then moved on to Cornell University
after obtaining a fellowship there. She came to UF
Harman said she is "committed to providing
excellent and compassionate patient care" and
spreading her passion for clinical medicine to
medical students, residents and fellows.
Neuroscientist receives Research Foundation professorship
ROGER REEP, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the College of
Veterinary Medicine and a researcher with UF's McKnight Brain
Institute, has received a UF Research Foundation professorship.
Sponsored by the university's Division of Sponsored Research,
the professorships are awarded to tenured faculty members
campuswide for distinguished research and scholarship. The
honor includes a $5,000 salary increase each year for three
years and a one-time $3,000 award for research support.
Reep, a professor in the college's department of physiological
sciences, studies spatial neglect, a syndrome that robs stroke
victims of the awareness of half their world. During 20 years of
research, Reep and his colleagues developed and used a model
in rats that allows for the study of spatial neglect syndrome.
Reep also studies evolution of the brain and recently has
focused on the manatee brain, in hopes of developing insights iv ---' 1
that can help in conservation of the protected animals..
The UF Research Foundation professorships were created r
by the foundation to recognize faculty members who have
established a distinguished record of research and scholarship
that is expected to lead to continuing distinction in their field.
Reep has been a member of the UF veterinary faculty
MARVIN A. DEWAR, M.D., J.D., has been
appointed associate dean of continuing medical
education. He replaced the interim associate
dean, Floyd Pennington, June 1.
Dewar has been a faculty member in the
department of community health and family
medicine since 1988. He remains an associate
professor in this department and also serves as
vice president for affiliations and medical affairs
for Shands HealthCare.
Dewar has been listed among "The Best Doctors
in America" and "The Best Doctors in Florida" and
has received several teacher-of-the-year awards.
He also has served as a medical consultant for the
Governor's Academic Task Force for the Review of
the Insurance and Tort Systems. As associate dean
of continuing medical education, Dewar said he
would like to further improve continuing medical
education at the university.
LINDA SIGSBY, MS, RN,
CNOR, an assistant professor,
recently received the 2005
Association of Perioperative
Registered Nurses Journal
writing award. The annual
award is sponsored by the
Medi-Flex company and
recognizes excellence in
Sigsby was honored for her 2004 article
"Perioperative Clinical Learning Experiences."
The article described how perioperative clinical
experiences for nursing students meet academic
accreditation standards set by the Commission on
Collegiate Nursing Education and the National
League for Nursing.
of distinction? 111
PUBLIC HEALTH & HEALTH PROFESSIONS
SARAH COOK, a graduate
student in the department of
clinical and health psychol-
ogy, received a $10,000
scholarship from the AARP
Scholars Program to support
her research on neurocogni-
tive predictors of older driver
behavior. She works with
Associate Professor Michael
Marsiske, Ph.D., and the UF National Older
Driver Research and Training Center.
MICHELLE HARWOOD, a
graduate student in the
department of clinical and
health psychology, is one of
three nationwide winners of
the 2005 Dissertation Award,
presented by the Melissa
Institute for Violence
Prevention and Treatment.
Harwood received $2,000 to
support her pediatrics research.
ALICE HOLMES, Ph.D., a
professor in the department of'
communicative disorders, has
received specialty certification
for cochlear implant audiolo-
gists from the American Board
of Audiology. Fewer than 25
audiologists nationwide have
been awarded the certifica-
tion, which verifies broad-
based knowledge of cochlear implants and com-
petency in several key areas of the implant process
including counseling, device operation, trouble-
shooting and rehabilitation.
BILLY JEFFRIES, a student in
the Masterof Public Health and
sociology doctoral programs,
was awarded the American
Public Health Association's
2005 Excellence in Abstract
Submission award for student
members. He also received
the association's HIV/AIDS
Section Student Scholarship.
Atkinson receives national
MARK ATKINSON, Ph.D.,
a UF diabetes researcher,
has been given the
Juvenile Diabetes Research
Foundation's highest honor,
the David Rumbough Award.
The annual award,
established in 1974 by
actress Dina Merrill in
honor of her late son, David,
acknowledges outstanding achievement and
commitment to diabetes research and service to
Atkinson is the Sebastian Family/American
Diabetes Association professor for diabetes
research at the College of Medicine and directs
the Center for Immunology and Transplantation
and the JDRF Gene Therapy Center for the
Prevention of Diabetes and Its Complications at UF
and the University of Miami.
He is an internationally recognized authority
on type 1 diabetes, with particular interests in
disease prediction and prevention, the role of
environment in initiation of the disease, stem
cells and pancreatic regeneration, and the use of
gene therapy as a means to cure the disease and
prevent its complications.
Atkinson was among the first to show that
administering insulin to mice genetically destined
to develop diabetes could thwart the errant
immune system's battle to destroy insulin-
producing cells in the pancreas. His published
findings helped pave the way for the massive
National Institutes of Health Diabetes Prevention
Trial, which tested the approach in people.
He also was one of the earliest investigators of
glutamic acid decarboxylase, or GAD, an enzyme
generated by the insulin-producing islet cells of
the pancreas. Patients with type 1 diabetes often
develop autoantibodies to GAD as the immune
system turns against the body's islet cells. Atkinson
then helped develop a standardized way to use the
presence of these GAD autoantibodies to predict
Melanie Fridl Ross
Educators from the Medical University of Gdansk, Poland visit the College of Nursing
JANUSZ MORYS, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the faculty of medicine at the Medical University of Gdansk and
Aleksandra Gaworska-Krzeminska, dr n. med., head of the department of nursing at the Medical University of
Gdansk, recently visited the University of Florida to discuss future educational collaborations with the College of
Nursing. During their four-day visit, the faculty toured many areas of campus, notably HSC facilities such as the lona
M. Pettengill Nursing Resource Center and the McKnight Brain Institute, in addition to Shands at UF. The faculty at
r the Medical University of Gdansk welcomed Dean KATHLEEN ANN LONG and Eminent Scholar CAROL REED
*ASH to their campus last fall.
During their visit, Gaworska-Krzeminska was inducted as the first international member of the Alpha Theta Chapter
of Sigma Theta Tau International, a worldwide nursing honor society.
Dr. Janusz Morys, left, Dean Kathleen Ann Long, Dr. Gaworska-Krzeminska and Alpha Theta Chapter
President and UF faculty Dr. Rose Nealis after the Sigma Theta Tau induction ceremony.
LOOKING' AT YOU
Recent graduates of the College of Public Health and Health Professions
- bachelor of health science degree students Kelly Haskin (left), Ameen
Baker, Claudia Mena and Lynette Guimond were honored during
graduation week at UF President Bernie Machen's annual reception
recognizing outstanding students. Students were selected for their
significant contributions to UF through academic, leadership or service
Wade Douglas, the project superintendent with the construction
company Milton J. Wood, prepares a pedestrian walkway as
part of a traffic detour that will reroute vehicles on Center
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,
April Frawley Birdwell, Linda Homewood,
Lindy McCollum-Brounley, Patricia McGhee,
John Pastor, Jill Pease, Melanie Fridl Ross,
UF Health Science
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
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Submit to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or
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Sammie Brooks, a program assistant for the Dean's Office in
the College of Nursing, takes a pause to smile for the POST.
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new phone numbers n Agustip 1.^
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