Catherine Flores, Ph.D., a researcher in the department of neurosurgery, has received a $100,000 grant from the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. The grant, called a Young Investigator Grant, is awarded to childhood cancer researchers who present outstanding work and promising ideas in the field of pediatric oncology. Flores is developing what’s called “adoptive cellular therapy,” a way of educating a person’s own immune cells with the genetic material from his or her tumor. This teaches a patient’s immune system to recognize the brain tumor as a foreign invader — one it needs to attack.

Saleem Islam, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of surgery, has been named chief of the department of surgery’s division of pediatric surgery. Islam, who joined the college in 2007, has replaced longtime division chief, David Kays, M.D., who is retiring. Islam is board-certified in pediatric surgery and is a fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics. As a researcher, Islam’s clinical interests include studying gastrointestinal motility disorders and how care can be advanced to improve outcomes for children with these conditions.

Public Health and Health Professions

Dawn Bowers, Ph.D., a professor of clinical and health psychology, received the Doctoral Mentor of the Year award at the college’s convocation May 2. Bowers currently mentors five doctoral students and has served on 47 doctoral committees. When she mentors a student, Bowers said her main goal is to provide experiences and research opportunities that will point the student toward a career path in clinical neuropsychology that he or she will be passionate about.

Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., chair of the department of epidemiology and PHHP associate dean for research, received the 2015 Special Award for Outstanding Contributions Through Systemic Epidemiologic Approaches to Improving Health from the American College of Epidemiology. She was honored at the organization’s annual meeting in September in Atlanta.

Steven Z. George, Ph.D., P.T., an associate professor of physical therapy and director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and Brooks Rehabilitation research collaboration, received the American Physical Therapy Association’s 2016 John H.P. Maley Lecture Award for contributions to physical therapy clinical practice. He will present the Maley Lecture at the APTA’s annual conference held next year in Nashville.

Andrew Guzick, a doctoral student in the department of clinical and health psychology, received an outstanding poster travel award from the International Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation to present his poster, “In vivo exposure therapy use among providers who treat youth with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,” at the foundation’s annual conference in Boston.

Natalie Kelso, a doctoral student in epidemiology, has received an F31 training grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The $75,400 grant will support her research on alcohol consumption patterns and cardiovascular health in people with HIV.


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 to the appropriate NIH advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in her field of science.

Lindsey Childs-Kean, Pharm.D., M.P.H., BCPS, a clinical assistant professor at the college’s St. Petersburg campus, received the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists Forerunner Award during the organization’s annual meeting in Orlando. The award honors an individual who, through his or her dedication, interest and enthusiasm, has made a significant contribution to the practice of pharmacy in Florida.

Hartmut Derendorf, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of pharmaceutics, has been named the 18th Distinguished Alumni Professor by the UF Alumni Association. Every two years the UF Alumni Association selects a university faculty member to receive the Distinguished Alumni Professor Award. Derendorf will serve as an ambassador of the university’s academic and research achievements to The Gator Nation.

Stephan Schmidt, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of pharmaceutics, has been appointed as the vice chair of the Systems Pharmacology Community at the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, or ASCPT. In his role, he will lead efforts to develop a five-year strategic plan for systems pharmacology approaches in drug development and regulatory decision-making.

Steven Smith, Pharm.D., M.P.H., BCPS, a clinical assistant professor in the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research who holds a joint appointment in the College of Medicine, will receive the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s 2015 New Investigator Award in October. The award recognizes a new investigator whose research program is especially noteworthy in its theme and productivity.

Small Animal Hospital honors

The UF Small Animal Hospital has gained accreditation in both traditional and specialty areas from a national veterinary student group following a rigorous review of the hospital’s practice protocols, medical equipment, facility and client service. The designation, granted Aug. 4 by the American Animal Hospital Association, or AAHA, symbolizes the highest level of veterinary excellence, according to the association. Established in 1933, AAHA is the only accrediting body for small animal hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Today, only 12 to 15 percent of all veterinary practices in the U.S. and Canada are AAHA-accredited.