Postdoc Honors and Awards

The University of Florida's Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is proud to highlight the accomplishments and achievements of its postdoctoral scholars!

Dr. Indahlastari receives NYC Neuromodulation & NANS Young Investigator Award

Department of Clinical and Health Psychology

Dr. Aprinda Indahlastari received 2018 NYC Neuromodulation & NANS Young Investigator Award for her work in neuromodulation. Dr. Indahlastari is in her second year as a post-doctoral fellow in the Woods Neuromodulation Lab. She joined the lab with expertise in MRI-derived finite element computational models for electrical current density from her time in graduate training at Arizona State University with Dr. Rosalind Sadleir. She has expanded her skills to include structural and functional neuroimaging and tDCS clinical trials. Dr. Indahlastari is currently working on ground breaking projects integrating current density computational models with individual participant fMRI data to predict outcomes in tDCS clinical trials.

Submitted January 10, 2019


Dr. Geoffrey D. Keeler receives Career Development Award from the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy

Department of Pediatrics

Geoffrey D. Keeler, Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Pediatrics received the Career Development Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASCGT), in the category of Cell Therapies. Each year, the society bestows one award, per category, to support an independent transformative pilot study. The award is designed to bridge the gap between mentored research and independence. Dr. Keeler is a molecular biologist investigating the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy to treat autoimmune disease. For more information, please visit the Hoffman Lab website.

Submitted December 20, 2018


Dr. Diedre Houchen appointed to Commissioner of Education's African American History Task Force

Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, Levin College of Law

Dr. Houchen, a postdoctoral associate at the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, Levin College of Law has been appointed to the Florida Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force as a result of her research and advocacy on segregated schooling, equity, and African American educational history. The Commissioner of Education's African American History Task force is an advocate for Florida’s school districts, teacher education training centers, and the community at large, in implementing the teaching of the history of African peoples and the contributions of African Americans to society. The Task Force works to ensure awareness of the requirements, identify and recommend needed state education leadership action, assist in adoption of instructional materials by the state, and build supporting partnerships.

Submitted October 16, 2018

Dr. Gee Su Yang awarded National Institute of Health National Research Service Award

College of Nursing

For the first time in its history, a University of Florida College of Nursing postdoctoral associate is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award.

Gee Su Yang, Ph.D, R.N., is the recipient of this three-year $180,778 fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to enhance the research training of a promising postdoctoral candidate who has the potential to become a productive, independent investigator in scientific health-related research fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers.

The proposed F32 training award aims to advance Yang’s clinical research knowledge and skills in symptoms science, specifically focused on Aromatase Inhibitor-associated Musculoskeletal Symptoms, or AIMSS, in breast cancer survivors. Aromatase inhibitors, or AIs, are a type of endocrine therapy widely used in postmenopausal women with breast cancer that causes joint pain and stiffness as a primary adverse effect in nearly half of all women who receive the therapy. These effects are poorly understood, and, consequently, many patients are unable to alleviate the symptoms.

Yang’s research, titled “Biopsychosocial Correlates of Aromatase Inhibitor-associated Musculoskeletal Symptoms in Breast Cancer,” will help determine potential influences of neurophysiological, psychological and genetic factors on development and severity of AIMSS in breast cancer patients. Results from this study will provide important feasibility data, addressing a significant and understudied health concern in women treated for breast cancer.

Yang received her B.S.N. and M.S.N. degrees from Seoul National University, South Korea, and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. For the past year, she has served as a postdoctoral associate at the College of Nursing, under her mentor Debra Lyon, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, the executive associate dean and Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Endowed Chair.

Submitted September 13, 2018

Dr. Riley Jones Publishes on New Class of Anti-Cancer Immune System Activating Agents to Treat Rare and Exceptionally Deadly Cancers

Department of Medicine

Dr. Jones, a clinical Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Medicine, has recently published a case study describing promising results for patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Dr. Jones’ case study demonstrates the potential for a new class of anti-cancer immune system activating agents to treat rare and exceptionally deadly cancers such as malignant mesothelioma, while also highlighting areas for deeper investigation into better stratifying which patients are likely to be good therapeutic candidates that have been overlooked in most clinical trials to date.  This case study may play a key role in FDA approval for this potentially life-saving drug. The case study is published in the American Journal of Case Reports and was recently featured in the media.

Submitted August 13, 2018

 Dr. Kristi Streeter Awarded $1 million NIH Pathway to Independence Award

Department of Physical Therapy

Dr. Kristi Streeter, a post-doc mentored by Dr. David Fuller in the Department of Physical Therapy, received a $1 million K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of NIH. The focus of Dr. Streeter's research is understanding the role of phrenic afferents and cardiorespiratory control following spinal cord injury.

Submitted August 9, 2018



Dr. Raghuveer Singh Wins American Society for Microbiology Travel Award

College of Public Health & Health Professions, Department of Environmental and Global Health 

Dr. Singh was awarded the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) travel award to attend the 2018 ASM Microbe Conference in Atlanta, GA. Awardees are selected by a committee on the basis of the scientific quality of the submitted abstract. Dr. Singh gave oral and poster presentations describing his research group’s discovery of a new drug target for Chlamydia trachomatis. This study has important implications for understanding the evolution of bacterial pathogens and reveals a novel 2 for 1 target for drug development. Learn more about Dr. Singh’s research.

Submitted July 18, 2018

Dr. Ravindra Sharma wins Council on Hypertension New Investigator Travel Award

Dr. Sharma has been selected for the American Heart Association (AHA) award for his work entitled "ACE2 Is Protective In Pulmonary Hypertension'. 

 Submitted July 10, 2018



Dr. Star Booker Receives Distinguished Recognition for Work in Pain Disparities and Symptom Science Research

College of Dentistry

Dr. Booker, PhD, RN is a post-doctoral fellow in the College of Dentistry and is being mentored by Dr. Roger Fillingim, Dr. Ann Horgas, and Dr. Kim Sibille. Dr. Booker has received several recent awards for her work and commitment to pain disparities research in older African Americans. Awards include: Outstanding Young Alumni from Grambling State University (October 2017), Robert A. Levitt Award in Aging Research (First Place, April 2018), and Symptom Science Research Interest Group Dissertation Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society (April 2018). In addition, Dr. Booker has been selected to attend the North American Pain School in late June 2018 and the Health Disparities Research Institute at the NIH in July 2018. These training opportunities will provide leading-edge skills/resources, knowledge, and mentorship to advance Dr. Booker's career as an early stage investigator. Dr. Booker's current work seeks to understand movement-evoked pain and physical function in aging African Americans with osteoarthritis and to determine best practices for self-management of chronic pain.

Submitted June 21, 2018

Dr. Natasha Weatherspoon-Griffin Awarded Travel Grant

College of Public Health & Health Professions, Department of Environmental and Global Health

Natasha Weatherspoon-Griffin, an EGH postdoctoral researcher in Tony Maurelli’s lab, received a travel grant to attend the Wind River Conference on Prokaryotic Biology in Estes Park, CO in June 2018. This diverse, international meeting highlights research investigating the biology and pathology of prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic organisms. Natasha gave an oral presentation about her ongoing characterization of recently emerged Shiga toxin-producing Shigella flexneri strains that have epidemiological links to the island of Hispañola. These strains pose a threat to public health since Shiga-toxin producing bacteria have been directly associated with bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome, a severe and life-threatening kidney damaging sequela. Natasha’s work demonstrated that while high iron conditions prevent Shiga toxin production in traditional Shiga toxin-producing bacteria, these recently emerged strains have mechanistically lost this iron response and, consequently, continuously produce Shiga toxin. This gives rise to speculation that these newly emerged strains will pose a serious problem to public health.

Submitted June 20, 2018

First McKnight Brain Institute Trainee Enhancement Opportunity Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the first recipients of the McKnight Brain Institute Trainee Enhancement Opportunities, or MBI-TEOs, awards. The MBI established these awards to allow doctoral and post-doctoral trainees the opportunity to pursue training in neuroscience that extend beyond what a traditional training environment offers.

Aprinda Indahlastari, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Adam Woods’ laboratory in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology is one of the three MBI TEO Award recipients. The award has given Dr. Indahlastari the opportunity to attend hands-on imaging courses related to functional MRI. The knowledge gained from these courses will be used in her research to investigate the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation on cognitive aging.

Submitted June 20, 2018

Dr. Jay McEntee Publishes in Nature Ecology & Evolution

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology

Organismal traits may evolve either gradually or in rapid pulses, but the relative importance of these modes in the generation of species differences is unclear. Additionally, while pulsed evolution is frequently assumed to be associated with speciation events, few studies have explicitly examined how the tempo of trait divergence varies with respect to different geographical phases of speciation, starting with geographic isolation and ending, in many cases, with spatial overlap (sympatry). Here we address these issues by combining divergence time estimates, trait measurements and geographic range data for 952 avian sister species pairs worldwide to examine the tempo and timing of trait divergence in recent speciation events.

Read the Paper

Dr. McEntee's Research in the News

Submitted June 19, 2018

Dr. Emily Bartley Awarded Grant from the Sharon S. Keller Chronic Pain Research Program

College of Dentistry

Dr. Emily Bartley is a postdoctoral trainee on a NINDS funded “Integrative and Translational Training in Pain Research” T-32 training grant and is an active member of the Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence (PRICE) where she is mentored by Drs. Roger Fillingim (Director) and Mike Robinson. She is currently in her third year of training and has recently been awarded a grant from the Sharon S. Keller Chronic Pain Research program. This program was established in 2013 to fund research projects that have a high likelihood of leading to new treatments as well as increased access to or expansion of treatment options for people with chronic pain. Dr. Bartley’s research award was one of four $35,000 grants that demonstrated the greatest merit and potential for success. Her project entitled “Assessing the Efficacy of a Hope Intervention in Temporomandibular Disorder” will establish the ORION program which represents efforts to Optimize Resilience in Orofacial Pain and Nociception (ORION).  The study will evaluate the effectiveness of a hope-based resilience intervention on clinical and experimental pain in individuals with temporomandibular disorders, as well as examine various biological markers that may contribute to treatment response. The overall purpose of this study is to expand upon recent evidence suggesting that positive resilience factors are associated with health-promoting effects including greater quality of life and lower pain and disability, as well as improve upon existing therapies for pain management in temporomandibular disorders.

Submitted October 23, 2014


Please submit items about UF postdoc honors and awards to Lily Lewis (