Prosperi and Boucher Receive New R01 Grant

Associate Professor in Epidemiology Mattia Prosperi, MEng, PhD, and Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Christina Boucher, PhD, are MPIs on a new Research Project Grant Award (R01). The grant entitled “Developing Computational Methods for Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistant Agents” will develop scalable bioinformatics methods to identify and track drug resistance signatures of pathogens across clinical and agricultural environments. The department congratulates Prosperi and Boucher and is excited to see where this research takes them.

(pictured from left: Drs. Christina Boucher and Mattia Prosperi)

Epidemiology Professor Retires

Professor of Epidemiology David S. Sheps, MD, MSPH, has recently retired. Sheps earned his BA, MD, and MSPH degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He did his internal medicine training at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC and completed his fellowship in cardiology at Yale. Sheps has been on the faculty at University of Miami, UNC Chapel Hill, Emory University, and the University of Florida. His major area of interest was behavioral medicine, specifically the relationship between psychological stress and coronary artery disease. Sheps joined the Department of Epidemiology in 2012 where he could instruct the next generation of epidemiologists. He was the editor-in-chief of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine from 1999-2011. The impact that has been made both as a researcher and as an educator will be everlasting. The department thanks Dr. Sheps for all of his hard work.  


Health Services Research, Management and Policy

HSRMP Hosts Gator Healthcare Forum

The Gator Healthcare Forum is a collaborative forum that strives to strengthen partnerships in the research field and promote best practices in the healthcare industry. On January 11 in the Reitz Union, the 2019 forum brought together over 150 leaders, researchers, students, and healthcare providers from UF as well as neighboring institutions in North Florida. With thought-provoking presentations and engaging workshops, the forum stimulated discussions about the challenges and breakthroughs in healthcare.

The plenary speaker, Lars E. Peterson, MD, PhD, serves as the Vice President for Research at the American Board of Family Medicine. Peterson delivered the keynote presentation centered on key issues in board certification occurring throughout all medical specialties and their implications on clinical practices, credentialing, and care quality.


Occupational Therapy

OT and the UF Transportation Institute Host Dr. Carissa Slotterback as a Dean’s Visiting Scholar

On December 6, 2018, Occupational Therapy, as well as colleagues from Public Health, Biostatistics, Environmental and Global Health, diverse disciplines in Engineering, and representatives from the City of Gainesville and the Florida Department of Transportation, were well-represented during the Dean’s Visiting Scholar’s keynote address. Carissa Slotterback, PhD, presented “Advancing Collaboratively Engaged Research: Implication for Transportation Research Now and in the Future.” She emphasized the value of fostering relationships with stakeholders and discussed how to promote networking and strengthening relationships among transportation activists. The importance of collaboration was reinforced through case studies, which addressed the challenges, adversities, and lessons learned. Five prominent leaders in transportation presented their perspective on the current and future state of transportation, culminating in an understanding that collaboration is necessary to develop transportation equity. Attendees participated in a conversation circle that expanded on the themes of equity, mobility as a right, human factors, and predicting the future of transportation. An agenda was set with action steps to further the activities of the collaborative networks.

(pictured from left: Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, FGSA, Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy; Lily Elefteriadou, PhD, Barbara Goldsby Professor of Civil Engineering; Malisa McCreedy, AICP, Director of Mobility, City of Gainesville; Carissa Slotterback, PhD, FAICP, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; Ruth Steiner, PhD, MBA, Professor, College of Design, Construction and Planning; Tom Byron, Assistant Secretary, Strategic Development, Florida Department of Transportation)

Medhizadah Receives Certificate of Excellence

PhD student Shabnam Medhizadah from the Department of Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Science program was one of four graduate students and a faculty member from the College of Public Health and Health Professions honored by the University of Florida International Center. The International Center holds an annual International Student Achievement Awards ceremony to highlight the accomplishments and contributions of international students from across disciplines at the university. Medhizadah, an international student from Canada, was awarded the certificate of excellence in recognition for her outstanding achievements and evidence of professional promise. She was recognized for her scholarly publications, presentations, professional development and service. Under the mentorship of Dr. Sherrilene Classen, Medhizadah’s research focuses on fitness to drive, screening, assessments and interventions for medically at-risk drivers across the life span.

(pictured from left: Dr. Afsar Ali, Dr. Yan Wang, Dr. Sherrilene Classen, Shabnam Medhizadah, Olga Munoz, Ke Ding, and Alan Salvador Alonso)


Physical Therapy

 UF PT Well Represented at CSM

The Department of Physical Therapy will be well-represented at the 2019 Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in Washington, D.C. — the largest PT conference in the nation. Eighteen faculty members will present posters or platform presentations, moderate platform sessions, and take part in educational sessions. Many current doctor of physical therapy students will be in attendance.

Additionally, the department will be hosting the annual Alumni and Friends Reception on Thursday, January 24. This event is a great way for faculty, students, and alumni to reconnect.

Read more for the full UF at CSM schedule and for details about the reception.


Public Health

MPH Student Receives Cancer Policy Internship

Fizza Imran, a second year MPH student with a concentration in Public Health Management and Policy and 2018 graduate of the Bachelor of Public Health program, has received a cancer policy internship to join the new Federal Relations team in the University of Florida’s Washington, D.C., office. This internship will have a primary focus on legislative support related to cancer policy. In this position, Imran will have the opportunity to observe Congress firsthand and to acquire exposure to federal policy including areas of education, research, healthcare and budget.

Imran is working in the internship during the spring 2019 semester which ends on April 27. She says the goals she has for the internship are to provide legislative support and be an effective liaison on behalf of the UF Health Cancer Center. As a first generation college student and a woman of color, she is truly honored to have this opportunity to further her goals in the pursuit of becoming a policy analyst.


Rehabilitation Science

RSD Student Wins Research Award

Rehabilitation Science PhD student Kanika Bansal was recently chosen as the 2019 recipient of the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy PT Post Professional Student Research Award based on the abstract titled, “Is Faster Really Better? Implications of Fastest Comfortable Speed on Gait Asymmetry Post-Stroke,” that was submitted and accepted as a poster presentation at the 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM).

Bansal will be formally recognized at the ANPT Awards Ceremony at CSM in Washington, D.C., on January 25.

RSD Students Receive Travel Awards

The Rehabilitation Science Program awarded five travel grants during the fall 2018 semester.

Joseph Wasser gave a platform presentation at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in October, and Brendan Doyle also gave a platform presentation at the Original Lilly Conference on College Teaching “Evidence-based learning and teaching” in November.

Additionally, Kanika Bansal, Kavya Kamalamma, and Abby Wilson received travel awards to present their abstracts (one poster and two platform presentations) at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in Washington, D.C.

(pictured from left: Joseph Wasser, Brendan Doyle, Kanika Bansal, Kavya Kamalamma, and Abby Wilson)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

SBS Congratulates PhD Graduates

The Social and Behavioral Sciences program would like to congratulate their three PhD graduates for the fall 2018 semester. Dr. Kanathy Haney successfully defended her dissertation titled, “Factors associated with successful reintegration of sex trafficking survivors: A public health perspective,” on October 18 under the direction of her mentor Dr. Mark Hart. Dr. Nichole Stetten successfully defended her dissertation titled, “Disability and public health perspectives of Medical Marijuana use,” on October 30 under the direction of her mentor Dr. Jamie Pomeranz. Dr. Lindsey King successfully defended her dissertation on November 8 titled, “A social ecological examination of trauma-informed, resilience-building community initiatives,” under the direction of her mentor Dr. Mark Hart. The SBS program is so proud of the PhD graduates and wishes them the best in their future endeavors.

(pictured from left: Drs. Jamie Pomeranz, Nichole Stetten, Kanathy Haney, Mark Hart, and Lindsey King)


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

UF Hosts ACNS Conference

The UF Hearing Research Center and faculty from the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (Drs. Andrew Lotto and Ianessa Humbert) hosted the 13th Annual Conference of the Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Society (ACNS) on January 3 and 4. ACNS brings together scientists from around the country to present the latest research on hearing, sound, speech communication, and music perception. This year marked the third year that the conference was hosted by the UF Hearing Research Center and included speakers from 13 different universities from 11 different states. Topics ranged from the neural control of song production in birds to the pitch processing abilities of bilinguals to the genetics of rhythm.



Qiu Article Chosen for Technometrics Anniversary Issue

The flagship statistics journal Technometrics celebrated its 60th birthday with a special virtual issue in November 2018. Dr. Peihua Qiu’s article titled, “Nonparametric profile monitoring by mixed effects modelling (with discussions),” was one of 35 classic articles featured in the anniversary issue for their influence on applied statistics during the six decades Technometrics has been in publication. This paper suggested a flexible statistical method for sequentially monitoring nonparametric profiles over time. It has become a standard reference in the related research area.

Zahigian Receives Travel Awards

Biostatistics PhD student Rachel Zahigian was awarded the Biopharm-Deming Student Scholar Award. This award provided funding and travel support for Zahigian to present her poster titled, “Novel Response Adaptive Allocations in Factorial Designs: A Case Study,” at the 2018 Annual Deming Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Zahigian also received an internal travel award. She will be using this award to attend the 2019 ENAR Spring Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She will be presenting a poster titled, “Two-Stage Adaptive Enrichment Design for Testing an Active Factor.”


Clinical and Health Psychology

CHP Doctoral Student Awarded CTSI Research Pilot Award

Leslie Gaynor, MS, has been awarded a Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Research Pilot Award to support her dissertation research.

Gaynor’s research proposal titled, “Network connectivity signatures of cognitive aging: using the functional connectome to create a translational bridge,” will comprise the preclinical arm of her dissertation research project. She will act as principal investigator with primary mentorship from Dr. Sara Burke (Department of Neuroscience), as well as Dr. Russell Bauer (Department of Clinical and Health Psychology), and Dr. Marcelo Febo (Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience).

Toward the completion of the 18-month award, Gaynor is also receiving support from the Age-related Memory Loss (ARML) Program, sponsored by the McKnight Brain Research Foundation.

CHP Faculty Awarded ABPP Board Certification from the American Board of Clinical Psychology

Dr. David Fedele, Assistant Professor, has achieved the award of ABPP Specialty Board Certification in Clinical Health Psychology. This board certification attests to his excellence in meeting the advanced education, training, and professional standing established by the specialty, as well as examination by peers in the specialty attesting to the demonstration of practice in the specialty. Fedele will be honored at the ABPP Annual Convocation during the APA Annual Convention.


Dean's Office

UF Career Connections Center

Ashley Jacobs serves as the embedded liaison for PHHP, providing customized career development opportunities and industry connections for students through collaboration with employers, faculty, and staff. Jacobs and her student assistant, Aimee Wasserman, meet one on one with students during career planning appointments, provide customized educational workshops to classrooms and student organizations, and connect students to employers seeking their talent. They are excited to give presentations again to PHHP student organizations and classes for spring 2019.

If you are interested in outreach presentations, including but not limited to, resumes, personal statements, cover letters, CVs, teaching statements, interviews, overall professionalism, graduate school, networking and more, then requests may be sent via email to Aimee at awasserman@ufsa.ufl.edu.

(pictured from left: Ashley Jacobs and Aimee Wasserman)


Environmental and Global Health

Lednicky Helps Find Madariaga Virus in Haiti

John Lednicky, PhD, a professor in the Department of Environmental and Global Health and researcher with the Emerging Pathogens Institute, contributed to the identification of the Madariaga virus (MADV) in Haiti dating back to 2015 and 2016. The virus, similar to the South American eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), can cause symptoms similar to dengue fever, or lead to encephalitis.

Previously, postdoctoral associate Gabriela Blohm, alongside Lednicky, was the first to identify Madariaga in a human after conducting testing on a child’s blood from Venezuela. This latest discovery, however, raises the possibility that the virus may be on the move to other parts of the Caribbean or North America. Read more

EGH Student Receives Delores Auzenne Dissertation Award

Mirna Amaya, a fourth-year PhD in One Health student, has received the Delores Auzenne Dissertation Award. This award assists doctoral students with funding in the advanced stages of their dissertation.

Amaya received her MPH degree from the College of Public Health and Health Professions. She previously worked with the Pan American Health Organization, the Alachua County Health Department, and the World Health Organization. With this award, Amaya will continue her work in El Salvador as she finishes her doctoral degree.