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. 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 (