July-August 2019 Distinctions

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Bruce Bode, M.D., FACE, a clinical associate professor at Emory University in Atlanta, has been chosen to receive the Dr. Chris Newton Excellence in Education and Diabetes Care Award. Bode, a national key opinion leader in diabetes, is the third recipient of the award, which was created by the college in 2016 to honor Newton for his many contributions in teaching, research and patient care in the field of diabetes. Newton, an associate professor in the division of
endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, passed away in 2016 and he is remembered every May with an award and lecture held at UF by an outstanding diabetes
educator, clinical researcher and caring clinician.

Marco Salemi, Ph.D., an associate professor and member of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, has been appointed the Stephany W. Holloway University  hair for AIDS Research. An internationally recognized expert in the field of pathogen molecular evolution and bioinformatics, Salemi is a researcher in the department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine.

Bhanu Sandesara, M.D., an assistant professor in the department of aging and geriatric research, has been named interim chief of geriatric medicine.


Melissa Naidu, an academic specialist in the department of clinical and health psychology, and Candice Vogtle, an administrative specialist for Stephanie Hanson, Ph.D., the college’s executive associate dean, were named UF Superior Accomplishment award winners in division five, which encompasses the six health colleges. Both were also selected as the college’s 2018 Employees of the Year.


Alumni award winners, from left: Michael Wong, D.V.M.; Rob MacKay, BVSc., Ph.D.; and Cynda Crawford, D.V.M., Ph.D. Not pictured is Lucy Keith-Diagne, Ph.D.

Alumni award winners, from left: Michael Wong, D.V.M.; Rob MacKay, BVSc., Ph.D.;and Cynda Crawford, D.V.M., Ph.D. Not pictured is Lucy Keith-Diagne, Ph.D.

The college presented the following Alumni Achievement Awards during commencement exercises:

Cynda Crawford, D.V.M., Ph.D., the Maddie’s Clinical Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine at UF, received the award in the D.V.M. category. Her work in the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program has resulted in grant funding exceeding $11 million, as well as nearly $1.3 million in grants to support infectious disease work.

Lucy Keith-Diagne, Ph.D., received the award in the M.S./Ph.D. category. Since 2014, she has served as founder and executive director of the African Aquatic Conservation Fund, overseeing the group’s research and fundraising. Based in Senegal, West Africa, she is actively involved in several research projects involving the African manatee, and leads the country’s first marine mammal stranding network. She also advises and mentors six graduate students at African and American universities, including UF.

Rob MacKay, BVSc., Ph.D., a professor of equine medicine in the department of large animal clinical sciences, received the Distinguished Service Award. He joined UF’s faculty in 1987 and has maintained an active program of clinical research for most of his time at the college, with areas of investigation including equine endotoxemia/sepsis, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, anhidrosis, and plant toxicoses of importance in Florida.

Michael Wong, D.V.M., a veterinary neurology specialist, received the Special Service Award. He founded the Veterinary Business Management Association at UF in 2004, an organization that paved the way for future veterinary business leaders.

UF Health forensic medicine director joins national committee to combat emerging drug threats

By Doug Bennett

data-gallery GoldbergerUniversity of Florida Health forensic medicine director Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., has been named to a White House committee whose members will identify and respond to new drug threats nationwide. Goldberger joins experts in law and drug enforcement, public health and addiction on the Emerging Threats Committeeformed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Goldberger, a longtime UF pathology professor and expert toxicologist, was invited by Drug Control Policy Director Jim Carroll to join the 14-member committee.

The illicit drug trade is evolving rapidly and now includes many new psychoactive substances, Goldberger said. Many of them
are synthetic — opioids such as fentanyl, cathinones that are chemically similar to amphetamines, and synthetic cannabinoids.
As a forensic medicine expert, Goldberger wants to emphasize to the committee that the timeliness of its decisions is crucial.
“Drugs evolve continuously. These threats must be identified and mitigated quickly to save lives,” he said.