CLAS Biology Awards

Every year since 1874, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science names its fellows for significant contributions to society and technology. In 2016, its 391 fellows included five UF faculty, three of whom are from the Department of Biology: and Prof. John “Jack” Ewel, Prof. Alice Harmon, and Prof. Robert D. Holt.

Holt, Eminent Scholar and Arthur R. Marshall Jr. Chair in Ecology, specializes in conservation biology and evolutionary ecology. He recently joined a team of nine scientists who have made a call to action to directly address extinction threats and loss of biodiversity caused by climate change. Their paper, published Sept. 9, 2016 in Science, outlines how wildlife conservation efforts need to be tuned to climate science and how averting a global climate crisis can save wildlife.

Ewel, professor emeritus of biology, refers to himself as “unsuccessfully retired,” having continued to work with UF Biology graduate students and postdocs while running a pecan farm. A former forester whose interests turned from classic forestry to tropical ecology and the human use of trees, Ewel taught for over 20 years and is “pleased to still be affiliated with UF,” he says. Remarking on the fellowship, he says, “It's a wonderful honor. When you're retired, honors don't exactly roll in over the door. It was very gratifying to receive that.”

Harmon, professor of biology and former chair of the Department (2009-2013) was recognized for her groundbreaking research on plants’ protein kinases and their physiological roles in calcium signaling. “I have wonderful colleagues and collaborators at UF and I’m proud to be Gator!” says Harmon. She was also recognized for her services to several editorial boards in her field. “There is nothing better than to have your science recognized by your peers,” she says. “I am thrilled and honored to be named an AAAS fellow.”

 Health Care Finance Journal Dedicates Issue to Contributions of Louis Gapenski

The Journal of Health Care Finance paid tribute to Louis Gapenski, Ph.D., by dedicating an entire issue to his legacy. An internationally recognized health care finance expert, Gapenski served on the faculty of the College of Public Health and Health Professions’ department of health services research, management and policy for nearly 30 years before passing away on April 20.

The fall 2016 issue of the Journal of Health Care Finance features more than a dozen research articles that are motivated by or related to Gapenski’s work. These include articles on organizational and environmental factors associated with hospital profitability; organizational characteristics associated with hospital financial performance; accounting strategies for hospitals; and public health finance.

Gapenski wrote the definitive textbook on health care finance, along with several best-selling textbooks, and is the author of a popular American College of Healthcare Executives self-study program in health care finance. His books are used nationally and internationally, having been translated into nine languages, and he taught courses and gave seminars at institutions around the world.

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 Dr. Somnath Datta:  Elected President of IISA for Year 2018

In November of 2016, Dr. Somnath Datta was elected as President of the International Indian Statistical Association (IISA) for the year 2018. The IISA is a non-profit organization with the key objective of promoting education, research and application of statistical and probability throughout the world with special emphasis on the Indian subcontinent. Dr. Datta has been involved with the organization for many years. As Dr. Datta prepares to join the leadership team, he will serve on the Executive Committee for the year 2017 as the president-elect. He will also serve the year after as the past-president.

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Dr. Sara Burke Recipient of the 2017 American Psychological Association (APA) Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award

In recognition for her contribution to behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, Dr. Sara Burke was selected as a recipient of the 2017 American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology. 

Professor Leslie Elin Anderson Awarded Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Professor of Political Science Leslie Elin Anderson has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her book project, Democratic Enclaves in Times of Trouble:  The Politics of Resistance in Nicaragua. The fellowship is part of the NEH’s $16.3 million awarded in this grant cycle.

“I have been studying Nicaragua since the mid 1980s, and I watched democracy rise and develop out of the 1979 revolution.” The coup, organized by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), unseated President Anastasio Somoza Debayle in 1979 and ended the 46-year Somoza regime. The US financially supported the contras, an armed militia opposing the FSLN, but the Sandinistas continued to hold power until 1990, when they lost to pluralistic candidates. They regained power in 2006 and still retain power under President Daniel Ortega after presidential term limits were lifted and the threshold for election voting was lowered. “Now democracy is in decline and the nation is struggling to keep its democracy alive,” says Anderson.

Anderson’s book will examine the effects of the patchwork of pluralistic and rightist enclaves in Nicaragua throughout the Sandinista regime as a measure of how local democratic efforts intersect with regime-oriented leadership. “It feels absolutely breathtaking to have a major foundation like the NEH recognize my work and support it,” she says.

Dr. Derendorf from the College of Pharmacy invited to serve on a NASA Expert Review Panel

Hartmut Derendorf, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of pharmaceutics and the V. Ravi Chandran Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the UF College of Pharmacy, has been invited to serve on an Expert Review Panel at NASA. The panel will review the Pharmaceutical Research Plan developed by the NASA Human Research Program’s Exploration Medical Capabilities Element Pharmacy Team. The plan details a research pathway designed to identify and develop a safe and effective medication formulary for future long-duration exploration spaceflight missions.

Joining Derendorf on the panel are five prominent researchers in the field of pharmaceutical science and medicine who will review the research plan and offer suggestions for achieving successful research outcomes. The panel will meet for the first time in March at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

 College of Medicine Awards

Dr. Laura P. W. Ranum Elected as AAAS Fellow

Laura P.W. Ranum, PhD. Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology has been elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which recognizes those who make distinguished scientific advances. Recognized for distinguished contributions to molecular and translational neuroscience, Dr. Ranum studies genetic mutations that cause neurologic diseases such as ataxia, myotonic dystrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Dr. Christopher E. Forsmark Receives the American Pancreatic Association Lifetime Achievement Award

Christopher E Forsmark, MD. Professor, Department of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has won the American Pancreatic Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Peter J. Carek Recipient of the F. Marian Bishop Leadership Award

Peter J. Carek, M.D., M.S. Professor and Chair, Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, in honor of Dr. F. Marian Bishop, received the F. Marian Bishop Leadership Award presented by the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine Foundation.  The award honors individuals who have significantly enhanced family medicine by a sustained, long-term commitment to family medicine in academic settings.

Dr. Brenda Fahy Appointed to Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Appeals Panel for Anesthesiology

Brenda G. Fahy, MD, MCCM. Professor, Department of Anesthesiology through a unanimous vote by the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) was appointed for a six-year appointment as a member of the appeals panel for Anesthesiology.  


Judith Russell Selected for 2017 Miles Conrad Award

Judith Russell, Dean of University Libraries has been selected as the 2017 Miles Conrad Award by the NFAIS (National Federation of Advanced Information Services).  Every year since 1968, NFAIS has recognized one outstanding individual who has made significant contributions to the global information community and the advancement of NFAIS' mission with the Miles Conrad Award. Named in honor of G. Miles Conrad (1911-1964), a key individual responsible for the founding of NFAIS, awardees are invited to present a special lecture to an audience of their peers during the annual conference. Throughout the years, industry leaders, innovators and pioneers from across every sector of the information community have enthralled conference attendees with their insights, reflections, anecdotes, and wisdom during the Miles Conrad Memorial Lecture.