Clinical and Health Psychology

 Congratulations 2016 Graduates

Twelve students from the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology were conferred the PhD degree at the August 5 doctoral degree commencement ceremony. The PhD is the culmination of years of painstaking work and dedication on the part of the students and their mentors. Congratulations to our newest Alumni! Read more

Szymkowicz Wins Benton–Maier Award

Congratulations to doctoral student Sarah M. Szymkowicz, who is a 2016 recipient of the Benton-Maier Scholarship for Neuropsychology graduate students. Awarded by the American Psychological Foundation of the American Psychological Association, recipients receive $2,500 in support of their doctoral research.

Recipients of this highly competitive award must have completed doctoral candidacy and must have demonstrated research competence and area commitment. Ms. Szymkowicz won the award for her dissertation project titled “Age-Related Mechanisms of Emotion Anticipation and Perception.” She has been working under the mentorship of Dr. Vonetta Dotson in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging and Depression laboratory and is co-mentored by Dr. Dawn Bowers.

Rozensky Announces Retirement

The Department of Clinical and Health Psychology celebrates the many accomplishments of Ronald H. Rozensky, PhD, ABPP, who retired from the from the University of Florida effective June 16, 2016. Dr. Rozensky's accomplishments and contributions to the department, university, and field of psychology have been substantial. Upon retirement, Rozensky was granted Professor Emeritus status. Read more


Dean's Office

Elizabeth Wood Appointed Director of Bachelor of Public Health Program

Elizabeth Wood, DHS, MPH, has been named Director of the Bachelor of Public Health program and clinical assistant professor. She received her Master of Public Health from the University of Florida and graduated with her Doctor of Health Science, concentration in Global Health, from Nova Southeastern University on August 19. She has served as the UF MPH internship coordinator since 2014. Dr. Wood brings a strong public health background and experience with educational program coordination to this new role in the college.


Environmental and Global Health

Dr. Bernard Okech Receives Funding to Further Research on Zika Virus Transmission in Haiti

Dr. Bernard Okech, along with co-investigators Dr. John Lednicky and Dr. Glenn Morris, have received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) to study entomological aspects of Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission in Haiti. In the study, they have proposed to analyze mosquito samples collected in field sites in Haiti to gain an initial understanding of ZIKV transmission patterns in an area with epidemic (and potentially endemic) disease. Mosquito samples will be collected in Haiti and shipped to the Emerging Pathogens Institute (EPI) for further analysis to determine which species have Zika virus infection. The information obtained will help determine mosquito populations involved in Zika virus transmission in Haiti and potentially in the US due to the shared mosquito species. There are still many critical questions that remain unanswered about which mosquito vectors are able to transmit ZIKV, and the relative importance of these vectors in disease transmission in areas such as Haiti.



New Professor Joins Epidemiology Department

Dr. Jinying Zhao joined the Department of Epidemiology this month as Dean’s Professor and Director of the Division of Genetic Epidemiology under the pre-eminence initiative.  She received her MD at the Zhengzhou University School of Medicine in China (1989), her first PhD in Molecular Genetics at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College (1996), and her second PhD in Statistical Genetics & Genetic Epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (2005). Dr. Zhao’s research focuses primarily on genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics. Dr. Zhao serves as the Principal Investigator of four NIH-funded R01 projects: 1) Telomere attrition and diabetes risk in American Indians (funded by NIDDK); 2) Epigenetic determinants for major depression: a monozygotic discordant twin study (funded by NIMH); 3) Novel metabolic predictors of diabetes in American Indians (funded by NIDDK); and 4) Genome-wide profiling of brain DNA hydroxymethylome in Alzheimer’s disease (funded by NIA). Prior to coming to the University of Florida, Dr. Zhao was a faculty member at Tulane University and Emory University. We are excited to have her as part of our team.

Epidemiology PhD Student Receives PDS Best Reviewer Award

Doctoral student Vicki Osborne was named one of the best reviewers for the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety in 2015 for her superb review skills. She started reviewing for this journal in 2011 while she was a Research Fellow at the Drug Safety Research Unit in the United Kingdom, and her excellent work first garnered her this honor in 2013. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety is the official journal for the International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology which will hold its annual meeting in Dublin, Ireland, August 24-28, to which Ms. Osborne has received a travel scholarship to attend. Kudos to Ms. Osborne on both the travel award and the recognition of her remarkable service as a reviewer.


Health Services Research, Management and Policy

MHA Student Awarded Harry J. Harwick Scholarship for MGMA

Elisa Myers, MHA candidate for the class of 2017, has been awarded the Harry J. Harwick Scholarship from the Medical Group Management Association. Elisa submitted her application against students from across the country and she was one of 10 students to receive an award. Congratulations Elisa!

MHA Program Receives Sponsorship from Central Florida Health

The MHA program notified our partners of opportunities to sponsor activities in the MHA program for the 2016-2017 academic year. Central Florida Health Alliance responded promptly with a sponsorship for the program’s community outreach activities. They have also enhanced our students’ learning experiences through summer internships. The program is grateful to Central Florida Health Alliance for their continued support!


Rehabilitation Science

RSD Program Congratulates New Graduates

The RSD program welcomes three more graduates to its alumni circle. Sahana Kamath, Jay Nair, and Brandon Roberts graduated on August 5th. Dr. Kamath’s dissertation title was "Neural and Behavioral Markers of Upper Extremity Motor Impairment Post-stroke" and she is mentored by Dr. Carolynn Patten. Dr. Nair’s dissertation project was "Phrenic and Cervical Afferents Following Spinal Cord Injury" and he is mentored by Dr. David Fuller. Dr. Roberts is mentored by Dr. Andy Judge and his dissertation was entitled "Identifying the Role of Fox01 in Cancer-Induced Muscle Wasting". 

(left: Fuller, right: Nair)

RSD Program in the Spotlight

Two more of Dr. Fuller’s mentees have recently made headlines. Current RSD student Brendan Doyle (left) participated in the regional qualifier for the U.S. Open Golf Championship held at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club this summer and RSD program graduate, Milap Sandhu, PT, PhD, (right) recently received the Switzer Fellowship from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Sandhu is currently a Research Scientist in the Sensory Motor Performance Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Read more

Alumnus Accepts Position at Duke

2014 RSD graduate Corey Simon, DPT, PhD, has accepted a position as assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Duke University. In addition to DPT program teaching responsibilities, Dr. Simon’s primary role is to build a productive research line specific to maintenance of physical function among older adults with musculoskeletal pain as he collaborates with investigators in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Psychology & Neuroscience, the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Dr. Simon was mentored by Dr. Steven George.


Physical Therapy

PT Faculty Accolades

Carolynn Patten, PT, PhD, FAPTA (left), and Steven Z. George, PT, PhD have been promoted to the rank of full professor. Dr. Patten also recently accepted an invitation from the National Institutes of Health to serve as a member of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section, Center for Scientific Review. Dr. Patten is also one of five PT faculty and RSD alumni highlighted on the Foundation for Physical Therapy "Meet Our Researchers" web page here, including: Meryl Alappattu, PT, DPT, PhD (who is the featured researcher), Sheryl Flynn, PT, PhDVirginia Little, PT, MS, NCS, and Barbara K. Smith, PT, MPT, PhD.

Team PT

The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. In reverence to the Olympic spirit, and led by Assistant Director of Education Amy Ladendorf, the PT department hosted a series of competitive physical and intellectual challenges for department faculty and staff over the two week period of August 8-19. Peruse the PT Office Olympic individual and team event photos on Facebook here. Well done, Team PT Olympians!

Grant Award

The Brooks Rehabilitation-PHHP Research Collaboration has been selected for a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Pipeline to Proposal Award. Led by Research Assistant Professor Jason Beneciuk, PT, DPT, PhD, MPH, FAAOMPT, this award will help fund a program designed to build a partnership of individuals and groups who share a desire to advance patient-centered outcomes research focused on musculoskeletal pain. Read more


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Dr. Emily Plowman and Students Invited to Participate at UF Center for Neurogenetics Symposium

Dr. Emily Plowman was an invited speaker at the Center for Neurogenetics first annual community focus symposium at the University of Florida Cancer Genetics Research Complex last month. This symposium is designed to provide patients and families with updates on treatments for neurologic genetic diseases. Dr. Plowman’s talk titled, “Just Do It: impact of Exercise on Swallowing Function in ALS”, provided an overview of recent updates and research performed in her laboratory. Raele Robison and Lauren Tabor, doctoral students under Plowman’s tutelage also attended the symposium and presented research from the lab in the form of a poster presentation.

(left to right: Tabor, Robison, Plowman)

UF Welcomes New SLP and AuD Students

From New York to Hawaii and from all around the Southeast, new students in speech-language pathology and audiology came to Gainesville Wednesday morning August 17th to begin the graduate phase of their journey into professional practice. An impressive group, they come from a range of undergraduate institutions (from Elon and Butler to Purdue, Ohio State and FSU), with strong academic records, and an impressive array of volunteer and work experiences. The AuD students have already begun their outer ear anatomy labs, and the SLP students have their Clinician’s Bootcamp underway. They are embarking on a set of classroom, laboratory and clinic experiences that will provide them with the knowledge and skills to become outstanding clinicians and the leaders of their profession in the coming years.  

(top: MA-SLP Class of 2018, bottom: Audiology Class of 2020)



Graduates Embark on Great Career Opportunities

Xinrui “Shirley” Zhang (left) was awarded a PhD. Prior to UF she earned a Bachelor of Economics at Wuhan University and Zhongnan University. She entered the department's graduate program in Fall 2011 and was awarded a MS in Biostatistics (UF) May 2013. She successfully defended her dissertation in June 2016, entitled “Internal Pilots with the Univariate Approach to Repeated Measures”. She was chaired by Dr. Yueh-Yun Chi (right) and co-chaired by Dr. Maureen Goodenow. Dr. Zhang starts next month as a Senior Statistician with Novartis Oncology in East Hanover, New Jersey.

Qi An (right) was awarded a PhD and MS. Prior to UF she earned a Bachelor of Science at Huazhong University of Science and Technology; Master of Science at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She entered our PhD program Fall 2012, and successfully defended her dissertation in May 2016, entitled “Optimal Group Sequential Designs”. She was mentored by Dr. Myron Chang (left), and has already embarked on a career with Eli Lily as a research scientist in oncology, working on breast cancer and gastric cancer studies.

PhD graduate not pictured include:

Jingnan Zhang was awarded a Philosophy and Master of Science. Prior to UF she earned a BS from Wuhan University; Master of Financial Mathematics from University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She entered the department's graduate program Fall 2013 and last month under the mentoring of Dr. Peihua Qiu, successfully defended her dissertation entitled “An Early Warning System for Modeling and Monitoring Spatio-Temporal Pattern of Infectious Disease”. She is now working as a Biostatistician at Pfizer in Boston, MA.