Honors, Awards + Achievements
Cheers to the New Year 2022
We enjoyed celebrating our annual Cheers to the New Year event on January 12! Though virtual, we enjoyed reflecting on the many accomplishments of 2021 and acknowledging our colleagues, whose efforts are essential to our success. To see the full list of award winners, click the button below.
Bently Doonan, M.D., M.S.
Bently Doonan, M.D., M.S., became a member of the Hoosier Cancer Research Network Melanoma Clinical Trial Working Group UF Health Med Ed Podcast Emerging Therapies for Metastatic Melanoma on December 12th and was appointed to UF Health Cancer Center’s Scientific Review and Monitoring Committee (SRMC), as a Core Member.
Changlin Yang, M.D., Ph.D.
Changlin Yang, M.D., Ph.D., presented, “The Antigenic Profile of Murine and Human Medulloblastoma” at the Wells Brain Tumor Center Representation at 2021 Society for Neuro-Oncology.
Christian Jobin, Ph.D.
Christian Jobin, Ph.D., presented, “Intestinal Microbiota and Immune Check Point Inhibitor: Engineering a Responsive Bacterial Consortium,” at the virtual 8th annual Digestive Disease Week in Guangzhou, China, in November 2021.
David D. Tran, M.D., Ph.D.
David D. Tran, M.D., Ph.D., presented:
“Induction of Anti-Tumor Immunity in Glioblastoma Using Tumor Treating Fields,”
“Phase 2 study of pembrolizumab plus TTFields plus temozolomide in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (2-THE-TOP),”
“Development of a Novel Gene Therapy Approach Targeting Glioblastoma Following Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Directed Identification of the GBM State,” and
“Rapid and Low-Cost Liquid Biopsy-Based Method for Screening and Monitoring of GBM By Master Regulatory Gene Markers in GBM Stem-Like Cells,” at the Wells Brain Tumor Center Representation at 2021 Society for Neuro-Oncology.
Additionally, he won the 2021 SNO Award for Excellence in Adult Basic Science for his abstract/selected presentation entitled: “Development of a Novel Gene Therapy Approach Targeting Glioblastoma Following Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Directed Identification of the GBM State.”
Dejana Braithwaite, Ph.D., MSc.
Dejana Braithwaite, Ph.D., Msc., was invited in December to serve on the Medical Advisory Board of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D.
Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., presented, “Next Generation Cancer Vaccines for Malignant Gliomas,” at the Wells Brain Tumor Center Representation at 2021 Society for Neuro-Oncology.
Fan Zhang, Ph.D.
Fan Zhang, Ph.D., appointed to a new committee: Editorial Board for Particuology and presented “Nanomedicine-based approach to address immune resistance”, at the SITC annual conference 2022 in Washington, DC.
Georges Khalil, Ph.D.
Georges Khalil, Ph.D., was nominated Chair of the Adolescent Network Education Committee at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.
Additionally, he presented, “The Role of Social Connections in Driving Intention to Use Different Tobacco Products,” on Dec. 8 as a Poster Presentation at the annual Meeting of Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, March 15-18. Baltimore, MD, USA.
Further, he presented “Strengthening Connectivity: Leveraging Game-play and Social Networks to Prevent Adolescent Tobacco Use,” as a Pre-Recorded Paper Plus Presentation on December 21 at the annual Meeting of Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, March 15-18. Baltimore, MD, USA.
Lastly, he presented, “Storm Heroes A Game-Based Tobacco Prevention Intervention that Promotes Peer-to-peer Interaction Among Adolescents,” on December 8 as an accepted poster presentation at the annual Meeting of Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, March 15-18. Baltimore, MD, USA.
Jatinder Lamba, Ph.D., MSc.
Jatinder Lamba, Ph.D., MSc., presented 7 abstracts (6 poster and 1 oral), 3 of them received abstract achievement awards at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting.
Additionally, she presented “Pharmacogenomic Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Scores as a Tool to Predict Toxicity Phenotypes in Treatment of Acute Childhood Leukemia (ALL),” at the ASCPT (American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics) meeting. This was presented by graduate student Dr. Nam Nguyen and was selected for two awards: “Presidential Trainee Award” and “2022 David J. Goldstein Trainee Award.”
Lastly, the abstract “A Polygenic DNA Damage Repair Pharmacogenomics (DDR_PGX) Score Predicts Response to Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin in Pediatric AML Patients.” was presented by postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Vivek Shastri and selected for “Presidential Trainee Award.”
Jia Chang, DDS
Jia Chang, DDS, presented, “Effect of antidepressants on periodontal stability and dental implant health” at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. Additionally, he was appointed an NIH Ad hoc Reviewer in the Skeletal Biology Development and Disease (SBDD) Study Section.
Lakeshia Cousin, Ph.D., APRN
Lakeshia Cousin, Ph.D., APRN, assistant professor, was named an editorial board member for Seminars in Oncology Nursing with Elsevier Oncology — an international oncology nursing journal with nurse scientists across the globe.
Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., MPH, FACE
Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., MPH, FACE, Dean’s Professor in Epidemiology and PHHP’s Associate Dean for Research, received the Rema Lapouse Award for Achievement in Epidemiology, Mental Health and Applied Public Health Statistics at APHA 2021.
Lingtao Jin, Ph.D.
Lingtao Jin, Ph.D., received a $150,000 2021 LCRF AstraZeneca Research Grant from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation/AstraZeneca titled, “Targeting immune microenvironment to potentiate durvalumab in Small Cell Lung Cancer.”
Michael S. Gutter, Ph.D.
Michael S. Gutter, Ph.D., presented “Financial Toxicity and Cancer Survivorship,” at the Biennial Science of Global Prostate Cancer Disparities in Black MenProstate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC), and the African- Caribbean Cancer Consortium.
Mei He, Ph.D.
Mei He, Ph.D., presented “Highly Efficient Cellular Production of Immune Functional Extracellular Vesicles for Cancer Immunotherapy,” at a UFHCC Seminar in November 2021.
Additionally, she presented “Exosome Isolation & Subtyping for Precision Therapeutic Development,” at the Exosome Therapeutic Development Summit as an invited speaker.
Mingyi Xie, Ph.D.
Mingyi Xie, Ph.D., received a $115,500 grant from the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation for his study titled, “Examine the Contribution of miRNA Degradation in Oxaliplatin-Induced Colorectal Cancer Cell Death.”
Nosha Farhadfar, M.D.
Nosha Farhadfar, M.D., was invited to join Chronic GVHD Consortium— an integrated group of academic medical centers, patient support organizations and clinical research resources dedicated to conducting clinical research. Additionally, she was invited to join two approved NIH grants (subcontract with our center) R01CA118953 (PQRST): 4/15/20 – 3/31/26 and U01CA236229 (CATCH): 7/2/19 – 6/30/24.
Lastly, Dr. Farhadfar’s abstract was selected for oral presentation at national meeting Transplantation & Cellular Therapy (TCT meeting) titled, “Metabolomic Markers of Persistent Fatigue Among Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant Survivors.”
Ramzi G. Salloum, Ph.D., MA, MBA
Ramzi G. Salloum, Ph.D., MA, MBA, presented “Advancing Economic Evaluation in Implementation Studies: Multi-stakeholder Perspectives on Assessing Costs and Value,” at the National Cancer Institute Implementation Science Webinar Series.
Raymond B. Mailhot, M.D.
Raymond B. Mailhot, M.D., was selected for ASTRO’s Leadership Pipeline Program.
Syed Tahir (Student Honor)
Syed Tahir (Student Honor), a UF BME undergraduate researcher in Dr. Meghan Ferrall-Fairbank’s lab, who was selected as a UF Emerging Scholar to support Dr. Ferall-Fairbank’s research efforts. Syed’s project focuses on modeling diversity metric changes in an evolving tumor population.
Todd E. Golde, M.D., Ph.D.
Todd E. Golde, M.D., Ph.D., MBI Director, was named BioFlorida Researcher of the Year —an inaugural award recognizing a researcher whose achievements have contributed to knowledge, innovation and public health.
Zsolt Toth, Ph.D.
Zsolt Toth, Ph.D., spoke at a Philips Institute seminar series and presented, “Regulation of primary KSHV infection by host epigenetic factors,” at Virginia Commonwealth University on November 10th.
Gregory Sawyer, Ph.D., and Duy T. Nguyen, Ph.D., (Fellow)
Gregory Sawyer, Ph.D, and Duy T. Nguyen, Ph.D., (Fellow) presented, “3D Lung Microtissue Models of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Progression,” at the Wells Brain Tumor Center Representation at 2021 Society for Neuro-Oncology. Additionally, they presented “Cancer Immunotherapy in Three Dimensions: in situ Visualization of Tumor Explant-Immune Interactions,” at the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) 2021 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Lastly, they were on of the selected 2021 UF Innovations of The Year Award.
Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., and Elizabeth Ogando-Rivas (Mentor)
Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., and Elizabeth Ogando-Rivas (Mentor) published, “The Smartbook of Neurosurgery” with the UF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program (UFBTIP). The purpose is to provide a handbook for neurosurgery residents and young neurosurgeons to review evidence-based information about daily neurosurgery in-patient consults, board questions and surgical advices.
Thomas J. George, M.D., and Saun-Joo Yoon, Ph.D., RN.
Thomas J. George, M.D., and Saun-Joo Yoon, Ph.D., RN., presented a poster titled, “Survival differences based on red cell distribution width (RDW) at the time of diagnosis in patients with stage 2 pancreatic cancer,” at the Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) 36th Annual Conference.
Christian Jobin, Ph.D., and Steven D. Bruner, Ph.D.
Ryan M. Thomas, M.D., and Christian Jobin, Ph.D.
Ryan M. Thomas, M.D., and Christian Jobin, Ph.D., received an NIH/NCI grant with a score of 6% for their study titled, “Microbiota-Mediated Enhancement of the Anti-Tumor Effect of Natural Killer Cells to Facilitate Prevention and Responsiveness to Chemotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer.”
Jesse Dallery, Ph.D., and Ramzi G. Salloum, Ph.D., MA, MBA
Jesse Dallery, Ph.D., and Ramzi G. Salloum, Ph.D., MA, MBA, received a $4,439,999 grant from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) titled, “Comparative Effectiveness of Mobile Health Smoking Cessation Approaches among Underserved Patients in Primary Care.”
Lynn El-Haddad, Ph.D., Christian Jobin, Ph.D., and Raad Z. Gharaibeh, Ph.D.
Lynn El-Haddad, Ph.D., Christian Jobin, Ph.D., and Raad Z. Gharaibeh, Ph.D., received an NIH/NCI grant with a score of 1% for their study titled, “Bacteriophage-Mediated Microbiota Modification to Prevent Colorectal Cancer Development.”
Saun-Joo Yoon, Ph.D., RN., Thomas George, M.D. and Subharup Guha, Ph.D.
Saun-Joo Yoon, Ph.D., RN., Thomas J. George, M.D. and Subharup Guha, Ph.D. received an NIH/NCI grant for the gastrointestinal cancer study titled, “EQoL-MAGIC: Enhancing Quality of Life by Mitigating Cachexia-Related Symptoms through Mechanism-based Acupuncture in Patients with Advanced.”
Saun-Joo Yoon, Ph.D., RN., Diana Wilkie, Ph.D., RN, FAAN and Sherise Rogers, M.D.
Saun-Joo Yoon, Ph.D., RN., Diana Wilkie, Ph.D., RN, FAAN and Sherise Rogers, M.D., received a grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) Chronic Pain Management titled, “Pain and Related Symptom Mitigation with Mobile Health Technology and Acupuncture.”