Biostatistics Welcomes Dr. Shan

Please welcome Guogen Shan, PhD! He joined our department as a Professor on May 1st. Dr. Shan received his PhD in biostatistics from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2011. He was an Associate Professor at University of Nevada Las Vegas. Dr. Shan will work as a member of Research Design and Data Coordinating Center in the Department of Biostatistics to support collaborative research at UF and across the nation.

(pictured: Dr. Guogen Shan)

Submitted by Melissa Stabel

PhD Student Awarded Inaugural Scholarship

Dorothy Ellis, a 4th year PhD student, was awarded the inaugural Charlene Ruse Scholarship. Ms. Ruse donated a $500 gift to the Biostatistics Support Fund earlier this year to support a PhD student towards his/her research, conference presentation, etc. Congratulations Dorothy! 

(pictured: Dorothy Ellis)

Submitted by Melissa Stabel


Clinical & Health Psychology

Dr. Boissoneault Receives UF Excellence Award for Assistant Professors

Jeff Boissoneault, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of clinical and health psychology, is a 2021 recipient of the University of Florida’s Excellence Award for Assistant Professors. This is one of the university’s top honors for junior faculty and comes with a one-time allocation of $5,000 in support of research. Boissoneault has authored or co-authored 50 peer-reviewed publications and has twice received the college’s Dean’s Citation Award, which recognizes innovation and excellence in research. His research has focused on the application of behavioral, psychophysiological and neuroimaging approaches to the study of pain and related constructs, alcohol and substance use, and their interaction. Read more about the award here.

(pictured: Dr. Jeff Boissoneault)

Submitted by Aliye Karakoyun

New Research Led by Dr. Price Identifies Possible 

Two separate teams of investigators, led by Catherine C. Price, PhD, shed light into the differing types of cognitive symptoms that can develop in some people with Parkinson’s disease who do not have dementia. Using clinical findings, neuropsychological assessments and neuroimaging, the teams provided validation for three distinct cognitive types of Parkinson’s disease, offering insight that adults aged 60 and older who have Parkinson’s but not dementia can also have various cognitive symptoms. Read more on Dr. Price's research here.

(pictured: Dr. Catherine Price)

Submitted by Aliye Karakoyun

Doctoral Students to Attend Conference on Cognitive Aging Research

Priscilla Amofa, Nicole Evangelista, and Francesca Lopez were accepted to attend the NIH-funded Advanced Psychometric Methods in Cognitive Aging Research Conference held in August 2021. The overall mission of the conference is to expose leaders in the field and early-stage investigators to state-of-the-science psychometric and data analytic methods for use in cognitive aging research.

(pictured: Priscilla Amofa, Nicole Evangelista, and Francesca Lopez)

Submitted by Aliye Karakoyun


Environmental & Global Health

Two EGH Students Selected for Funding through the CTSI TL1 Predoctoral Training Program

Two TL1 teams with EGH students, Karen Coker (PhD in Public Health One Health) with Tyler Nesbit from the Department of Family and Community Sciences, and Andrew Rainey (PhD in Public Health One Health) with Lisa Emerson from the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, were awarded for funding through the CTSI TL1 Predoctoral training program. These two teams were chosen out of three after undergoing a very competitive and selective process.

(pictured clockwise from top left: Karen Coker, Andrew Rainey, Lisa Emerson, and Tyler Nesbit)

Submitted by Brynn Dalton

Coronavirus 2019 Infectious Disease Epidemic: Where We Are, What Can Be Done and Hope For

 “Coronavirus 2019 Infectious Disease Epidemic: Where We Are, What Can Be Done and Hope For” an article co-authored by John Lednicky, PhD, in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology was selected by the IASLC (International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer) as the highlight of the month. The article can be found here.

(pictured: Dr. John Lednicky)

Submitted by Brynn Dalton



Dr. Pearson Receives
Johns Hopkins Heritage Award

Thomas A. Pearson, PhD, MD, professor of medicine and epidemiology, has been selected by the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association to receive the 2021 Heritage Award. Dr. Pearson earned his BA, MPH, MD, and PhD in cardiovascular epidemiology all from Johns Hopkins, where he also completed residencies in preventive medicine and internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiology. The Heritage Award honors alumni and friends of Johns Hopkins who have contributed outstanding service over an extended period to the progress of the University. Dr. Pearson will receive the award at this year’s School of Medicine Reunion and Alumni Weekend on May 14th.

(pictured: Dr. Thomas A. Pearson)

Submitted by Abigail Hummel

Cottler Lab Hosts Weekly Virtual Happy Half Hours

COVID-19 has altered the way we do things, making it a challenge to remain connected. The Cottler lab has taken to Zoom to engage with their team during weekly “Happy Half Hour” meetings. What started as a way to check in with everyone in the midst of everything virtual has become an appreciated break in the hectic work week. Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, and team discuss topics from favorite recipes to questions like “what was your dream job as a kid?” Each attendee can emcee a meeting and pose their own discussion question. To date, the group has met over 40 times.

(pictured from left: Dr. Linda B. Cottler and team meet via Zoom)

Submitted by Abigail Hummel


Health Services Research, Management and Policy

Dr. King and MPH Students Inducted into Delta Omega Honorary Society of Public Health

The Department of Health Services Research Management and Policy would like to recognize Clinical Assistant Professor, Lindsey King, PhD, along with MPH students, Pam McFarlane and Jae’lyn Gilbert, for their induction into the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society. The Delta Omega Honor Society reflects its’ members dedication to increasing the quality of public health while safeguarding and progressing the health of all people. The inductees’ research and scholastic efforts have allowed them to make a lasting impression on the field of public health, and we look forward to celebrating their future achievements. Congratulations to the 2021 inductees! Read more about the Delta Omega inductees here.

(pictured: Dr. Lindsey King)

Submitted by Lance Jackson

Dr. Kates Named Co-Investigator for Grant Specializing in Health Policy Training in Tobacco Prevention and Cessation

Rick Kates, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor for HSRMP, was recently named co-investigator for the Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Grant. The Florida Health Policy Leadership Academy is a three-month professional development opportunity designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of policymakers and elected officials across the state. Within the academy, the focus of the Tobacco Free Florida Project is to provide training for community leaders and decision-makers in the area of tobacco cessation and prevention. Find more details here.

(pictured: Dr. Rick Kates)

Submitted by Lance Jackson


Occupational Therapy 

Dr. Struckmeyer Recognized as Washington University OT Outstanding Alumna

Linda R. Struckmeyer, PhD, OTR/L, Clinical Assistant Professor, was recognized as Washington University’s 2021 Program in Occupational Therapy Outstanding Alumna for dedicating her career to educational, leadership and community initiatives in the profession and beyond. As an educator at UF, she helped develop the entry-level OTD including the capstone experience. Her research in the areas of aging in place and home modifications improves the lives of older adults. Her leadership on boards, committees and as a faculty advisor has impacted the profession and inspired future practitioners. She has served the community through her clinical practice, volunteerism and commitment to diverse populations.

(pictured: Dr. Linda R. Struckmeyer)

Submitted by Betsy Westra

UF Gator Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD)
Receives Chapter of the Year Award for 2021

UF Gator COTAD consists of doctor of occupational therapy (OT) and pre-OT undergraduate students, and addresses issues surrounding diversity and inclusion in the field of OT. This honor was the result of their work over the past year, including: developing and implementing a Mentorship Program for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC),  as well as holding multiple events highlighting struggles faced by marginalized groups, supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, presenting a panel discussion entitled “Addressing Racism and Prejudice through the Lens of Occupational Therapy”, and holding workshops on learning medical terms in Spanish, Creole, and American Sign Language.

(pictured: Members of UF Gator COTAD)

Submitted by Betsy Westra


Physical Therapy 

The Gator PT: Spring 2021 Edition

In case you missed the spring edition of the DPT newsletter, you can read the Gator PT here.

Learn about how the Doctor of Physical Therapy class of 2021 endured stressful obstacles, yet stayed on course for graduation. Read about our alumni supporting the department and the larger Gainesville community and how our faculty continue to be leaders in the PT field. Additionally, readers will learn how the department continues to work to answer calls for justice and equality.

(pictured from left: Drs. Melissa and Tony Cere)

Submitted by Jaclyn Scott

Core Conversations: Podcast series produced by DEI Student Committee

The University of Florida Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2022 DEI Student Committee produced Core Conversations, a podcast series that focuses on having honest discussions about recent diversity initiatives, personal journeys to pursue anti-racism, and the balance between personal and professional expectations in addressing social justice issues.


In this episode, titled “The Director,” host Justus Norman, a second-year DPT student, interviews Program Director Mark Bishop, PT, PhD, FAPTA. The two reflect on how physical therapists can take an active approach as professionals in rooting out injustice in healthcare and agree that advocacy within the field is crucial for long-term change. Listen here.

Submitted by Jaclyn Scott


Rehabilitation Science 

Neuro Nines Seminar Series

The Neuro Nines seminar series is back for the summer semester! Join us every Thursday morning at 9 a.m. EST to hear from our doctoral students and postdoctoral associates as they present talks about their own research.

Scientists in all roles are invited to listen and participate in interactive discussions. You can find the full schedule of talks on the Neuromuscular Plasticity Nines webpage or you can register for the next talk here.

This seminar series is sponsored by the Department of Physical Therapy and the NIH T32 Training Programs in Neuromuscular Plasticity (NMPT) and Breathing Research and Therapeutics (BREATHE).

Submitted by Jaclyn Scott

Research Connection Presents: Dr. Emily Fox

Kanika Bansal, PT, MPT, received the 2020-2021 Frederick Family Scholarship Award. The $2,000 award is presented to a Rehabilitation Science student who treats others with positive regard, dignity and respect; shows dedication and service to the profession; displays evidence of exceptional dependability, and is self-reliant and dedicated to the pursuit of the doctoral degree.

Since the start of the program, she has shown that she truly embodies the meaning of this award. Congratulations, Kanika!

Read more about the award here.

(pictured: Kanika Bansal)

Submitted by Jaclyn Scott


Social & Behavioral Sciences

Congratulations to Spring 2021
SBS MPH Graduates

SBS is extremely proud of our Spring 2021 MPH graduates, several of whom received recognition for academic performance, leadership, and community service. Melanie Hechavarria won the MPH Exemplary Student Award for demonstrating exceptional academic performance, service, leadership, and dedication to public health during the MPH program. Additionally, Brian Phillips was inducted into the UF Hall of Fame for his outstanding commitment to campus involvement and scholastic achievement. Finally, Melanie Hechavarria, Karina Wilson, and Romae Morgan were inducted into the UF chapter of Delta Omega, the honorary society in public health for their academic excellence and commitment to leadership and service. Congratulations to SBS MPH graduates!

(pictured clockwise from top left: Melanie Hechavarria, Karina Wilson, Romae Morgan, and Brian Phillips)

Submitted by Dr. Lindsey King

SBS Faculty and Students Publish on Gender-Based Violence in Tajikistan

Liz Wood, DHS, faculty in SBS and the Department of Environmental and Global Health, along with Karina Wilson, SBS MPH Spring 2021 graduate, and KD Jacobs, SBS PhD candidate, published a study in BMC Women’s Health titled, “Exploring the differences between men's and women's perceptions of gender-based violence in rural Tajikistan: a qualitative study”. This study found that differences remain in perceptions of violence as it relates to empowerment between men and women, with men still holding onto traditional power structures within a household and women challenging gender roles and mobility. The study can be read in it's entirety here.

(pictured from left: Dr. Liz Wood, Karina Wilson, and KD Jacobs)

Submitted by Dr. Lindsey King


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences 

Audiology Students Participate in Gainesville Housing Authority Health Fairs

The Gainesville Housing Authority (GHA) held health fairs on their public housing properties on Thursday evenings from 3PM - 6PM April 1st through Thursday, April 22nd. Audiology students participated in the event by helping educate families and children on the auditory system, hearing loss, basic hearing loss prevention, and hearing and speech milestones for their developing child. 

(pictured from left: 1st-year AuD student Alaina Massaro and 3rd-year AuD student Sabrina Lee)

 Submitted by Aaron McEnery