College Leadership

Beth A Virnig

Beth A Virnig Ph.D., M.P.H.

Dean And Robert G. Frank Endowed Professor
Phone: (352) 273-6214
Physical Address:
1225 CENTER DR
GAINESVILLE FL 32610

Beth A. Virnig, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the dean and Robert G. Frank Endowed Professor at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions. She joined the university in July 2022 as the sixth dean of the college in its 64-year history.

She served as a professor in the division of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and as director and lead of the school’s Strategic Global Public Health Programming, where she guided efforts with partner universities in Thailand, India, Mexico and Ghana. Prior to that, she served as the school’s senior associate dean for academic affairs and research.

Dr. Virnig’s research examines how patient factors and system factors combine to influence care and outcomes. Her research focuses on cancer care, women’s health, end-of-life care, and the measurement of racial and ethnic disparities in care and health outcomes among Medicare beneficiaries. Her work has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She serves on the American Cancer Society’s Council for Extramural Research. She is the author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, including an article on breast cancer surgery that was named one of the 10 best papers of the decade (1999-2009) by the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

She directed the Research Data Assistance Center, or ResDAC, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-funded program providing free assistance to academic, government and nonprofit researchers interested in using Medicare and Medicaid data in their work.

She earned both her Ph.D. and M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Virnig held positions at the University of Miami and Dartmouth Medical School’s Center for Evaluative Clinical Sciences.

Grants:
  • May 2024 ACTIVE
    Understanding the Impact of Obesogenic Environments on the Incidence of Colorectal Cancer
    FL DEPT OF HLTH BANKHEAD-COLEY CANCER RE · Other
  • Jul 2022 ACTIVE
    ResDAC
    UNIV OF MINNESOTA · Principal Investigator
  • Jul 2022 ACTIVE
    Disruptions in ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction Transfer Networks and Cardiovascular Health of Rural Americans
    UNIV OF MINNESOTA · Principal Investigator
Zachary M Bielling

Zachary M Bielling MHA

Executive Director, Administration
Phone: (352) 273-6143
Mailing Address:
UF PHHP – Office of the Dean
1225 Center Dr
PO Box 100185
GAINESVILLE FL 32610
Physical Address:
UF PHHP – Office of the Dean
HPNP Complex
1225 CENTER DR
GAINESVILLE FL 32610

Zachary (Zac) Bielling, MHA, is the Executive Director (Associate Dean) of Administration for the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions. In his role as Executive Director, Mr. Bielling, serves as the Chief Administrative and Financial Officer for the college reporting directly to the Dean. He is responsible for the financial, human resource, information technology and data analytics, and research administration operations of the college.

Mr. Bielling completed his Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) and Master of Health Administration (MHA) at the University of Florida and has professional leadership experience in public, higher education and private, hospital administration.

While completing his graduate training, Mr. Bielling, completed an Administrative Internship at Peace River Regional Medical Center (now Bayfront Health Port Charlotte) with Health Management Associates, Inc (now Community Health Systems). His performance as an Administrative Intern led to his appointment as the Assistant Administrator at Peace River Regional Medical Center. Thereafter, Health Management Associates promoted and transferred Mr. Bielling to complete the acquisition, transitional leadership and management of Shands Lake Shore Regional Medical Center as the Associate Administrator (Chief Operating Officer). In both positions, Mr. Bielling was responsible for the operational and financial performance of multiple clinical and non-clinical ancillary departments, in addition to contract administration.

Following his tenure in acute-care hospital administration, Mr. Bielling began his career in public, higher education with the University of Florida in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering as an Associate Director of Administrative Services. Over his nearly nine-years of service to Engineering, he served four academic departments: Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Chemical Engineering and the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. His service to each department required strong business acumen and leadership to oversee the daily and long-range administrative operations (assets, compliance, cost analysis, financial, human resources, and sponsored research), in addition to, a variety of other operational processes and projects.

Education:
  • 2008
    Master of Health Administration
    University of Florida
  • 2006
    Bachelor of Health Science
    University of Florida
George Hack

George Hack PhD, MEd

Associate Dean For Educational Affairs
Phone: (352) 273-6377
Mailing Address:
PO BOX 100185
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS-DEAN'S
GAINESVILLE FL 326100185
Physical Address:
ROOM HPNP 4112
GAINESVILLE FL 326100001

George Hack, PhD, MEd, is the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and a Clinical Associate Professor in the department of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Hack received his PhD in Educational Technology from the University of Florida and has designed online and face-to-face instruction in a variety of environments, including secondary, undergraduate, graduate, professional, adult vocational training, and military schools.

At the University of Florida, Dr. Hack has served in various roles, working in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences as a coordinator of extension nutrition education programs, teaching graduate and undergraduate technology courses in the College of Education, and as assistant director for instruction and information systems in the Health Science Center Libraries. He has also collaborated on the Compendium for Children’s Health with a team of international physicians, setting up an online environment for pediatricians to receive instruction in Community Pediatrics.

Dr. Hack’s research interests include human-computer interactions in learning as well as pedagogy influenced by situated and grounded learning theories. In addition, he has served ten years in the military, with four years of active duty in the Marine Corps.

Education:
  • 2004
    PhD
    University of Florida
  • 1991
    MEd
    University of Florida
  • 1990
    BA
    University of Florida
Stephanie L Hanson

Stephanie L Hanson PhD, ABPP (Rp)

Executive Associate Dean
Phone: (352) 273-6377
Mailing Address:
PO Box 100185
GAINESVILLE FL 32610
Physical Address:
4101 HPNP ROOM 4114
4101 HPNP
GAINESVILLE FL 326110001

Stephanie Hanson, Ph.D., ABPP (Rp) is the executive associate dean in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions. In her current position, Dr. Hanson is integrally involved in college and academic program accreditation processes as well as curricular reviews at the college level. She has also been involved in implementation of several college strategic plans. She led the design and development of both the master of public health program and the PhD program in rehabilitation science; she also transformed the bachelor of health science program to a broad-based pre-professional degree and served as the initial director of the MPH and the BHS. Dr. Hanson also led the college’s initial 5-year strategic initiative around blended learning. This involved spearheading the implementation of the college’s vision for a pedagogical educational model in which the use of technology and a blending of on line and interactive live class sessions facilitate student learning. A member of the college since 1996, Dr. Hanson received her Ph.D.’s in developmental psychology and clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University. She was one of the first women board certified in rehabilitation psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. She subsequently served on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology as well as on the Executive and Ethics and Social Responsibility Committees of the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA). She is an APA fellow and a rehabilitation psychology (APA Division 22) lifetime achievement award recipient based on her significant contributions to the field of rehabilitation psychology, particularly in the area of ethics. She most recently co-chaired the revision of APA’s Guidelines for Assessment and Intervention with Persons with Disabilities.

Education:
  • 1986
    PhDs, developmental psychology; clinical psychology
    Vanderbilt University
Jamie L Pomeranz

Jamie L Pomeranz PhD, CRC, CLCP

Clinical Professor
Phone: (352) 294-8549
Mailing Address:
PO BOX 100185
Office of the Dean
GAINESVILLE FL 32610-0185
Physical Address:
PO Box 100185
GAINESVILLE FL 32610

Jamie L. Pomeranz, Ph.D., CRC, CLCP is a Clinical Professor within the Department of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Pomeranz has obtained three degrees from the University of Florida which include: Masters of Exercise and Sports Science, Masters of Health Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science. He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Life Care Planner and has worked with people with disabilities in multiple capacities for over 20 years. His clinical background includes working with individuals with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and intellectual disabilities. Dr. Pomeranz has been on faculty at the University of Florida since 2004 and his topics of research include: health promotion for people with disabilities and life care planning and modern measurement theory. Since receiving his Ph.D. in 2005, Dr. Pomeranz developed 30 peer reviewed publications and two book chapters. Dr. Pomeranz currently serves on the PHHP Blended Learning Taskforce and is a past member of the collaboration task force and committee for promoting collaboration between public health and health professions. He has and continues to mentor multiple Ph.D and MPH graduate students from the public health program. He currently teaches within the Bachelors of Health Science undergraduate program and serves as the Advisor for the Pre-Public Health Concentration and the Honor’s Program Director within the Bachelors of Health Science Program. His courses include: Critical Issues in Public Health, Ethical and Legal Issues in Public Health and Health Professions, and Research Methods. Dr. Pomeranz has received funding from the Area Health Education Centers the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Veteran’s Health Administration. His NIH project involves developing one of the first empirically-based tobacco cessation programs for people with disabilities. Finally, Dr. Pomeranz has received numerous awards including: Excellence in Research, Outstanding Young Alumni Award, and the Public Health Award for Faculty Excellence.

Mattia Prosperi

Mattia Prosperi PhD, FAMIA

Professor And Associate Dean For AI And Innovation
Phone: (352) 273-5860
Mailing Address:
PO Box 100231
2004 MOWRY RD RM 4234
GAINESVILLE FL 32610
Physical Address:
2004 MOWRY RD
GAINESVILLE FL 32610
Research Summary:

Computational epidemiology Bio-health informatics Artificial intelligence Viral – bacterial diseases

Education:
  • 2008
    Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science Engineering and Automation
    Roma Tre University
  • 2003
    Master's in Computer Science Engineering
    Roma Tre University
Adam J Woods

Adam J Woods Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research, College of Public Health and Health Professions
Phone: (352) 273-9890
Mailing Address:
PO Box 100196
GAINESVILLE FL 32610

Dr. Woods is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. He is also Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory (CAM) in the McKnight Brain Institute and a Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. Dr. Woods completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania after completing his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at George Washington University. His undergraduate training in Psychology was completed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has expertise in non-invasive brain stimulation, neuroimaging, and cognitive training for working memory and speed of processing/attention. He is a national leader in the field of neuromodulation, leading the largest transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) and near infrared photobiomodulation trials to date, multiple cognitive training trials, publishing the first comprehensive textbook in the field of tES, and multiple field standards papers. Dr. Woods’ research specifically focuses on discovery and application of novel non-invasive interventions for enhancing cognitive function in adults with and without neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Woods has expertise in multi-disciplinary cognitive neuroscience methodologies (MRI/fMRI, electrophysiology, non-invasive brain stimulation), extensive experience with aging-related cognitive disorders, cognitive training applications, and past research with neurological diseases. Over the past ten years, Dr. Woods has established one of the largest and most well-funded neuromodulation laboratories in the United States. His lab is currently funded by four active NIH/NIA R01s. He was PI of the first and largest phase III RCT for tES using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and cognitive training, the ACT study (R01AG054077, n=360). He is currently PI of the largest phase II near infrared photobiomodulation trial (R01AG064587, n=168), and an artificial intelligence and precision dosing computational project that seeks to develop a novel brain-specific precision medicine approach to transcranial electrical stimulation treatment approaches (RF1AG071469). He also serves as site PI on two large clinical trials testing efficacy of cognitive training approaches in adults with and without mild cognitive impairment: the PACT and ACTIVE MIND Trials (R01AG070349, R01AG075014). In addition, Dr. Woods serves as an MPI for an NIH/NIA pre-doctoral T32 training grant focused on providing research training in non-pharmacological interventions for cognition in aging, MCI, and Alzheimer’s disease (T32AG020499).

Research Summary:

Pathways of Prevention in Cognitive Aging & Dementia using Neuromodulation: Cognitive function declines as we age. As our thinking and memory skills decline, the rate of functional dependence, mortality, and acute illness requiring hospitalization increases. Increased rates of cognitive and functional decline associated with dementia represent a growing concern considering our rapidly aging population. There is currently a paucity of effective treatments for preventing dementia or recovering age-related cognitive decline. A variety of methods have been proposed to counteract cognitive aging and/or slow onset of dementia (e.g., cognitive training). Unfortunately, these techniques have limited degrees of success and transfer to everyday life. My work demonstrates that combining treatments like cognitive training with non-invasive brain stimulation (tDCS, TMS, tACS) facilitates neural plastic response, improves cognitive abilities (specifically working memory, attention, and speed of processing), and leads to long-term improvement. In combination with modern multimodal neuroimaging, artificial intelligence, and electrophysiology recording, this work not only identifies mechanisms underlying improvement, but also provides information important for further optimizing treatment effectiveness. This work has led to funding of the largest and first Phase III randomized clinical trial for tDCS as an adjunctive method with cognitive training to remediate cognitive aging and potentially prevent dementia onset. In addition, my lab is funded to investigate mobility enhancement in older adults, treat chronic knee osteoarthritic pain, and enhance working memory function using a variety of non-invasive electrical brain stimulation methods in Phase II trials. At present, my lab maintains over 17 million dollars in active NIH funding to investigate non-invasive brain stimulation and other neuromodulation-based preventative interventions. Collectively, my work aims to slow the effects of cognitive aging and slow the onset of dementia using non-invasive and minimally invasive approaches. At present, a major focus in my lab uses machine learning and other artificial intelligence approaches paired with multimodal imaging, behavior and clinical variables/outcomes to identify novel pathways to precision dosing/medicine applications of non-invasive brain stimulation methods in patient populations and predict neurodegenerative disease onset.

Research Interests:
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Attention
  • Clinical Translational Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Aging
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Dementia
  • MR imaging
  • Neuroimaging Methods
  • Neuromodulation
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Non-invasive Brain Stimulation
  • Speed of Processing
  • Working Memory
Education:
  • 2005-2010
    Ph.D. Cognitive Neuroscience
    George Washington University
  • 1999-2003
    B.S.
    University of Alabama at Birmingham