Laura P.W. Ranum, Ph.D., director of the Center for NeuroGenetics and a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, has won a prestigious Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study an inherited central nervous system disease. Named for the late U.S. Sen. Jacob Javits, the award offers up to seven years of research funding to scientists “who have a distinguished record of substantial contributions in a field of neurological science and who can be expected to be highly productive,” according to the institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Brian Ahn, Ph.D., ARNP, an assistant professor in the department of family, community and health system science, was honored with a UF Excellence Award for Assistant Professors, one of only 10 UF faculty members receiving this prestigious award. Ahn also was named a Pepper Center Junior Scholar by the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. This will support a two-year mentored research experience. Ahn also received the Florida Health Equity Research Institute, Faculty Scholarship Award, funded by Aetna.

Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill, Ph.D., ARNP, an assistant professor in the department of family, community and health system science, has been awarded the 2015 Innovative Use of Media Technology Award from the American Association of Diabetes Educators. As the recipient of this award she will receive $3,000 for the development and/or implementation of a concept for the innovative use of media and technology to advance diabetes self-management education and training.

Jeannie Cimiotti, Ph.D, R.N., the Dorothy M. Smith endowed chair, was awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to study the impact of advanced practice nurses on patient outcomes in the hospital setting.
This innovative study will be the first large-scale study of advanced practice registered nurses in hundreds of acute care settings in the U.S. to link their employment and practices with patient outcomes and costs. They hope to be able to document advanced practice nurses’ impact on outcomes such as mortality, hospital-acquired adverse events, readmissions and costs.

Linda Haddad, Ph.D., R.N., an associate professor and associate dean of academic affairs, and her team of co-investigators have been awarded $84,994 in grant funding for the proposal “Preliminary Efficacy of Culturally Tailored Smoking Cessation for Arab American Men.” This competitive Research Opportunity Fund award was one of 17 awarded across the university.

Jane Aldrich, Ph.D., a professor of medicinal chemistry, has accepted an invitation to serve on the Drug Discovery for the Nervous System Study Section of the Center for Scientific Review. Members are selected based upon their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline. In the role, Aldrich will review grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health, make recommendations on these applications and survey the status of research in her field of science.

Veterinary Medicine:
Patricia Wlasuk has been named director of the college’s new Veterinary Access Scholarship program following a national search. Prior to her appointment, Wlasuk served as assistant director of development and alumni affairs. She was first hired as a development associate at the college in 2009. With student debt continuing to rise more rapidly than veterinarians’ wages, the college’s dean, James W. Lloyd, D.V.M., Ph.D., recently launched a scholarship initiative that is now known as the UF Veterinary Access Scholarship. It is aimed at rapidly increasing annual scholarship awards 10-fold.

Geoffrey Zann, a third-year student in the college, has received the highly competitive national 2015 Merial Veterinary Research Scholar Award for his research on the motion of the kneecap after surgery in dogs. The award consists of $1,500, a plaque and a stipend to attend the Merial-National Institutes of Health National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, where Zann presented his research. Zann’s research involved the study of patellar kinematics, or motion of the kneecap, in dogs with rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament, the canine equivalent of the anterior cruciate ligament in humans.