UF Health team members honored at universitywide ceremony
By Sam Burroughs
Dina Michaels, a senior biological scientist in the College of Veterinary Medicine, was lauded for her work in a project that involved transporting, unpacking, sorting and storing a collection of bacteria and antiserum.
The project took place in the laboratory of Daniel Brown, Ph.D., an associate professor of infectious diseases and pathology in the college.
“In late 2013 we received seven commercial pallets of material containing 115 biosafety shippers of cultures and 25 boxes of antiserum,” Michaels said. “It was quite a big undertaking because of the amount of boxes we received. Each specimen had to be inspected and inventoried.”
After nearly a year of transportation negotiations, the collection arrived on short notice in November 2013. Michaels, with the help of undergrads she supervised, inspected around 30,000 vials by hand in less than three months.
Michaels then entered the details for each specimen into the online Global Catalogue of Microorganisms database of the World Federation for Culture Collections to make the materials available to the international research community.
This accomplishment has brought national and international recognition to UF. The lab has filled requests from U.S. labs and overseas labs in Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Germany, Israel, Spain and Turkey.
“I was very honored that my supervisor nominated me,” Michaels said. “Seeing our whole laboratory covered wall to wall in boxes on that day back in 2013 was quite overwhelming. I never expected that this project would end up becoming award worthy.”
Alex Mills, a senior information specialist for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, was recognized for her work on videos produced for the National Institutes of Health Common Fund national video contest, among other achievements.
“Alex had been on our team for just over a year and already contributed in a number of really wonderful ways,” said Claire Baralt, director of strategy and communications for the CTSI. “She’s helped with websites and videos and just established herself as a wonderful colleague.”
Mills led the production of the CTSI’s metabolomics and translational science entries in the contest, according to one of her nomination letters.
“Working with the Creative Services team at UF Health Communications, she conceived, organized, scripted and produced
two videos that finished fourth and sixth in the country,” wrote Michael Conlon, Ph.D., former co-director at the CTSI, in a nomination letter.
Mills also organizes the CTSI seminar series and maintains the
In addition, she was recognized for the creativity she brings to the workplace as well as her technical skills and communication abilities.
“It was really the whole package that she was nominated for,” Baralt said.
Brian Karcinski, director of admissions and finance in entrepreneurial programs at the College of Pharmacy, was honored for his work with the college’s online educational programs.
“What we ended up doing was reorganizing and bringing all of the online programs together using the same database technology and procedures to create efficiency,” Karcinski said.
Karcinski oversees the fiscal, operational and managerial aspects of the college’s online master’s degree programs, an online professional degree program and an online continuing education program.
Karcinski and his team have streamlined the processes involved in the running of the online programs. This included streamlining the inhouse applications and the admissions processes, supporting the group workflow and implementing a system to track student and staff communications on admissions, tuition payments and program questions.
Previously, tracking the management and population of the online courses was done manually. Karcinski’s work has helped reduce errors when handling the many aspects of the programs, according to his nomination letters.
Karcinski also initiated and developed consistent policies for the administration and helped increase revenue by $500,000.
“It was a nice validation for the effort that myself and my staff have put in over the last year, Karcinski said. “Having a reorganization and big changes is not always very easy or goes very smoothly. It was nice to see that people within the college appreciated the work of myself and my staff.”
Kristy Radeker, M.S.M., a senior grant specialist in the College of Medicine department of emergency medicine, was awarded the Gabor Award for her role in facilitating research in the department.
Radeker helped organize the first emergency medicine class for the Medical Student Research Program. Subsequently, the department received the highest rating provided and it was one of the most popular programs in the college’s summer research program, according to a nomination letter.
“Kristy Radeker’s superior accomplishment is that she established this department’s research infrastructure and, therefore, enabled our research mission,” said Kenneth Marx, M.B.A., M.H.A., associate director of emergency services and department administrator, in a nomination letter.
Radeker played a key role in the department receiving its first award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Her work has supported research that has led to therapeutic advances in lung injury prevention, potential changes to the treatment of flu viruses, discoveries for the treatment of life-threatening conditions such as sepsis and research in emergency department utilization that serves as a way to address challenges in the health care system.
“The research productivity in the department of emergency medicine increased dramatically when Kristy joined our department. Our research funding grew over 20-fold (from $97,330 in February 2012 to over $2 million in February 2014),” said Donna Carden, M.D., a professor and director of faculty development for the department of emergency medicine, in a nomination letter.