Honors, Awards + Achievements

Alexandra De Leo, M.D.

Alexandra De Leo, M.D., department of radiation oncology physician resident, has been named a recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Resident Educator Award by the Society of Teaching Scholars.

Arun Srivastava, Ph.D.

Arun Srivastava, Ph.D., earned a patent for a study titled, “Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Vectors to Target Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma.” Additionally, he was appointed to the editorial board for the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. He was also named associate editor for Vaccines and Molecular Therapeutics. He also presented “Introduction to Gene Therapy,” and “Future Prospects for Gene Therapy of Sickle Cell Disease,” at the 17th annual Hot Topics in Neonatal Medicine conference at King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital, Jeddah, KSA.

Bently Doonan, M.D.

Bently Doonan, M.D., was an invited speaker for the Alachua County Prime Time Institute and gave a web seminar entitled: “Understanding Melanoma, and How I Treat the Disease.”

Carolyn Tucker, Ph.D.

Carolyn Tucker, Ph.D., received a $376,331 Florida Blue Foundation grant for a study titled “The Tele-Mental Health and Wellbeing Support Coaching Program for Black Adults and Youth.” Additionally, she received a $601,386 from The Humana Foundation for a study titled “Health-Smart Holistic Health Program for Seniors: Broadening Reach and Impact and Enhancing Sustainability through System Changes.”

Debra Lyon, Ph.D., R.N., FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN

Debra Lyon,  Ph.D., R.N., FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN, was named a Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame inductee. Lyon joins a select cohort of 32 world-renowned nurse researchers who will be formally inducted during the organization’s 33rd International Nursing Research Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland, in July. 

Eric Cooks, Ph.D.

Eric Cooks, Ph.D., presented two posters at the 46th annual meeting of the American Society of Preventive Oncology in Tucson, AZ: “Deploying Virtual Clinicians to Reduce Racial Disparities in Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer: Experiences of Black Adults With a Culturally-Tailored Telehealth Intervention,” and “Positioning Virtual Clinicians as a Tool to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Disparities in Rural Communities: The Impact of Identity on Evaluations of Virtual Clinician Appearance.” Additionally, he received a GMaP Region 2 Travel Award at ASPO Annual Meeting 2022.

Erin Mobley, Ph.D.

Erin Mobley, Ph.D., presented an abstract at the AACR Annual Meeting 2022.

Georges Khalil, Ph.D.

Georges Khalil, Ph.D., presented “Strengthening Connectivity: Leveraging Game-play and Social Networks to Prevent Adolescent Tobacco Use” at the Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco. Additionally, “The Role of Social Connections in Driving Intention to Use Different Tobacco Products,” was presented at the Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco; “STORM HEROES: A Game‐Based Tobacco Prevention Intervention that Promotes Peer to Peer Interaction among Adolescents,” was presented at the Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco; “A Game‐Based Network Intervention for Tobacco Prevention Reduces Network Exposure and Intention to Use Tobacco: A longitudinal Study,” was accepted for oral presentation at the Sunbelt Conference of Network Analysis; and “Group Composition Optimization during a Network Intervention for Tobacco Prevention,” was accepted for oral presentation at the Sunbelt Conference of Network Analysis.”

Jia Chang, D.D.S.

Jia Chang, D.D.S., will present “Exploring Gingival Epithelial Biomarkers in Periodontitis and Peri-Implantitis Patients” at the International Association of Dental Research meeting in 2022.

Jonathan Licht, M.D.

Jonathan Licht, M.D., received a fundable score on a National Cancer Institute grant for a study titled, “Defining and Targeting Epigenetic Plasticity-Driven Drug Resistance and Immune Escape in Melanoma.”

Lakeshia Cousin, Ph.D., APRN

Lakeshia Cousin, Ph.D., APRN, received a UF CTSI $100,000 grant for her study titled “A Pilot Feasibility Study of a Gratitude Journaling Intervention to enhance Well-being and Exercise Readiness in Older African American Female Breast Cancer Survivors.”

Luisel Ricks-Santi, Ph.D.

Luisel Ricks-Santi, Ph.D., presented an abstract at the AACR Annual Meeting 2022.

Maria Zajac-Kaye, Ph.D.

Maria Zajac-Kaye, Ph.D., had an approved patent for a study titled, “Thymidylate Synthase Inhibitors and Use Thereof.”

Martina C. Murphy,  M.D.

Martina C. Murphy,  M.D., is a 2022 Society of Teaching Scholars New Member Inductee and was recognized at the 22nd annual Celebration of Excellence in Medical Education.

Mei He, Ph.D.

Mei He, Ph.D., presented “Engineering Extracellular Vesicles for Delivery of Precision Cancer Immunotherapy,” at the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Sciences. Additionally, she participated in two study sections: NIH Common Fund Program the Cellular Senescence Network and Lab on Chip, Royal Society of Chemistry, and received an Outstanding Reviewer award for her role on the Lab on Chip, Royal Society of Chemistry study section.

Patrick J. Tighe,  M.D.

Patrick J. Tighe,  M.D., is co-leading leading the AI in medicine curriculum project that will introduce the UF College of Medicine community to a firsthand look at a new course designed to familiarize clinicians with the tools and possibilities surrounding artificial intelligence in medicine.

Ramzi Salloum, Ph.D.

Ramzi Salloum, Ph.D., attended the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT) 2022 Annual Meeting.

Richard A. Yost, Ph.D.

Richard A. Yost, Ph.D., was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Ryan Thomas, M.D.

Ryan Thomas, M.D., was named chair of the UF Health Cancer Center Scientific Review & Monitoring Committee (SRMC).

Shama Karanth, Ph.D.

Shama Karanth, Ph.D., received a GMaP Region 2 Travel Award at ASPO Annual Meeting 2022.

Thomas J. George, M.D., FACP

Thomas J. George,  M.D., FACP, was elected as one of ASCO’s Advocacy Champions by ASCO’s Government Relations Committee and ASCO’s Policy and Advocacy Staff.

Zhijian Qian, Ph.D.

Zhijian Qian, Ph.D., received a $535,489 four-year National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute grant with the role of of the TET1 short isoform in MDS development and maintenance.

Mei He, Ph.D. 
Padraic O’Malley, M.D.
Kiley Graim, Ph.D.

Mei He, Ph.D.Padraic O’Malley, M.D., and Kiley Graim, Ph.D., presented “Urinary Extracellular Vesicles for Precisely Defining Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer” at the ISEV Virtual Symposium on Urinary Extracellular Vesicles.

Meghan Ferrall-Fairbanks, Ph.D.
Merry-Jennifer Markham, M.D.,FACP, FASCO
Z. Hugh Fan, Ph.D. 

Meghan Ferrall-Fairbanks, Ph.D., Merry-Jennifer Markham, M.D.,FACP, FASCO, and Z. Hugh Fan, Ph.D., received a UF CTSI $331,012 grant for a study titled “Beyond Genetics: Impacts of Tumor Composition and Host Environment on Platinum-Sensitivity in Ovarian Cancer.”


Kathryn Hitchcock, M.D., Ph.D.
Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D.
Raymond B. Mailhot, M.D.

Kathryn Hitchcock, M.D., Ph.D., Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D., and Raymond B. Mailhot, M.D., have been recognized as Exemplary Teachers for 2021-2022 .