April 2018 – Distinctions



Sara Jo Nixon, Ph.D., a professor in the departments of psychiatry and psychology, has been elected to a rare consecutive term as chair of the American Psychological Association Board of Scientific Affairs. The BSA is the primary advisory body to the APA Science Directorate. Along with its committees and affiliated groups, BSA is concerned with all aspects of psychology as a science.

Michael S. Okun, M.D., a professor and chair of the department of neurology, has been named the recipient of the 2018 American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics Presidential Award for extraordinary accomplishments in the field of clinical translational research.

Andrew Bryant, M.D., a clinical assistant professor in the department of medicine, has been awarded a prestigious Parker B. Francis fellowship for junior investigators along with a three-year, $156,000 grant. Bryant’s research has identified a novel biomarker for patients with pulmonary hypertension, which could lead to drug therapies for a disease with no effective treatment options.

Scott Teitelbaum, M.D., vice chair of the department of psychiatry, has been awarded the prestigious Annual Award by the American Society of Addiction Medicine in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field and for “expanding the frontiers of the field of addiction medicine and broadening our understanding of the addictive process, through research and innovation.”

Mingyi Xie, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, has been chosen for a 2018 Thomas H. Maren Junior
Investigator Award for his project “RNA metabolism mediated by the Integrator complex.” Only two faculty members are chosen for this UF Office of
Research Affairs award per year.


Tara Sabo-Attwood, Ph.D., chair of the department of environmental and global health, has been appointed a research associate with the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute. Research associates are nominated by the Smithsonian’s research staff and are considered scholarly affiliates who contribute knowledge to the institute. In this role, Sabo-Attwood will offer her toxicology expertise to Smithsonian researchers working in Africa on
studies of environmental contaminants.