Dr. Harneet Arora

Dr. Harneet Arora

Department of Physical Therapy

Dr. Arora is investigating the natural history of disease progression in both upper and lower extremities using functional tests and magnetic resonance imaging in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients. While DMD is an incurable disease, Dr. Arora's reserach will make it possible to identify appropriate age groups to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic drugs in onging clinical trials. Dr. Arora is involved in developing a protocol for an exercise study in mice using phosphorous magnetic resonance spectroscopy, where she is measuring the energetics in healthy controls with the long term goal of moving the protocol to DMD patients. This would help in early detection of the disease in DMD patients. Dr. Arora earned her PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Florida. She has been recognized for her exceptional science communication skills, including "Best Poster Award in Research Section" at the American Physical Therapy Association–Combined Sections Meeting, Anaheim, CA. 


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Dr. Kacoli Banerjee

Dr. Kacoli Banerjee

Department of Chemical Engineering

Dr. Banerjee is elucidating the altered cellular dynamics elicited by hyperthermia.​ Understanding the cross talk between cancer cells exposed to hyperthermia and immune cells will aid in the development of improved cancer immunostimulatory therapeutic strategies and regimens. Dr. Banerjee earned her PhD in Cancer Nanotherapeutics from the School of Medical Science and Technology at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur​, India. She has been awarded the Junior Research Fellowship (2009) and Senior Research Fellowship (2012) by the University Grants Commission. Dr. Banerjee's journal article entitled “Second generation liposomal cancer therapeutics: transition from laboratory” has been acknowledged as one of the top 25 most downloaded articles published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics from January-June, 2013.

Dr. Ana C. Bohórquez

Dr. Ana C. Bohórquez

UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Dr. Bohórquez's research has been focused on the intersection between biophysics and nanomaterials, particularly in the engineering and testing of nanomaterials for biomedical and consumer product applications.  Currently, Dr. Bohórquez works in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Research Service Centers (RSC) at the University of Florida under the supervision of Dr. Luisa Amelia Dempere. She is using her training and expertise as a chemical and biomedical engineer to develop solutions to research problems faced by a wide variety of RSC users.Dr. Bohórquez has made significant contributions to the assessment of «stability» and «mobility» of nanoparticles in biological environments in-situ through magnetic measurements, and in the development of magnetic nanoparticles that are colloidally stable in biological environments suitable for magnetic fluid hyperthermia (figure below). She serves as a volunteer reviewer for the International Journal of Nanomedicine. Dr. Bohórquez obtained her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 2009. Later, she attended the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez where she completed an MS in Chemical Engineering (2012). Dr. Bohórquez earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2016. Dr. Bohórquez was invited to present her research at P&G’s Focusing on Industrial Recruitment of Scientific Talent (FIRST) 2017 Conference.

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Dr. Jamie Bojko

Dr. Jamie Bojko

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences 

School of Forest Resources and Conservation

Emerging Pathogens Institute

The Behringer Laboratory

Dr. Bojko's research involves screening for and systematically identifying the symbionts of invertebrate and vertebrate hosts, primarily focusing on Crustacea. The diseases Dr. Bojko works with include microparasites (Microsporidia, bacteria and viruses) and macroparasites (Acanthocephala, Isopoda, Trematoda). He uses and develops histological, TEM, molecular diagnostic and metagenomic methods to better understand parasite diversity and taxonomy. One arm of Dr. Bojko's research involves understanding the role of the microbiome in biological invasions. A second includes understanding the effects of native diseases in local the ecology. Dr. Bojko earned his Ph.D. in the Faculty of Biology Sciences, at the Universiyt of Leeds. Photo below: Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) ecology project involving native range sampling and single-leg diagnostic methods to identify a virus, 'Callinectes sapidus Reovirus 1' (CsRV1).

Dr. Pablo Emiliano Canton

Dr. Pablo Emiliano Canton

Department of Entomology and Nematology

Dr. Canton is reseraching the gut physiology of the agricultural pest Nezara viridula, the southern green stink bug, in order to gain insights that will help develop new and better strategies for its control in crop fields. He earned his PhD in Biochemistry from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Dr. Canton has developed a strong research career in insect control with multiple publications, as well as being co-founder and member of a science communication and outreach NGO. This combination is critical in bridging the gap between academia and those who would benefit from scientific applications. Right Photo: N. viridula, the southern green stink bug.

 

DR EDWIN ALEXANDER CERQUERA-SOACHA

DR EDWIN ALEXANDER CERQUERA-SOACHA

Department of Neurology

Dr. Cerquera is currently a postdoctoral associate in the Brain Dynamics Program of the Wilder Center for Epilepsy Research under the Department of Neurology, College of Medicine. Prior to joining the Brain Dynamics Program, Dr. Cerquera was a postdoctoral fellow in the Brain Mapping Lab in UF’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Cerquera was instrumental in evaluating the utility of nonlinear-connectivity metrics for characterization of signals recorded with deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices and analysis of cognitive-motor tasks in electrocorticography (ECoG) signals, respectively, within the Brain Mapping Lab research group. 

Dr Cerquera’s research interests include digital processing of neural and brain signals, linear and nonlinear time series analysis, data analysis and visualization. His primary focus is on programming softwares such as Matlab. He has published his work in peer-reviewed journals primarily in the fields of electroencephalography and polysomnography signal processing for characterization of biomarkers in neurophysiological disorders and sleep apnea, respectively. Currently, his research is focused on the characterization of ECoG signals for analysis of motor coordination.

Dr Cerquera earned his Bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Universidad Antonio Nariño (UAN) in Bogota, Colombia. Subsequently, he completed his master’s studies in industrial automatization at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia – Manizales, and his doctoral thesis in the Ph.D. program “Neurosensory sciences and systems” at the Carl von Ossietzky Universitaet Oldenburg, Germany, under the supervision of Dr Jan Alfred Freund. Prior to joining the University of Florida in June 2017, he was a faculty member at the School of Electronic and Biomedical Engineering of the Universidad Antonio Nariño. Dr. Cerquera is fluent in English, German and Spanish, the latter as his native language. 

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Dr. Cara Louise Croft

Dr. Cara Louise Croft

Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Crofts research is focused on understanding how intracellular inclusions that build up in the brain in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease can cause whole brain organ failure. Dr. Croft has developed novel methods that use organotypic brain slice cultures and recombinant adeno-associated viruses to model these diseases in a dish. By using these unique methods, Dr. Croft can examine at a molecular and cellular level how these intracellular inclusions can drive neurodegeneration and cellular dysfunction and how we can most appropriately therapeutically target them. Dr. Croft earned her PhD in Neuroscience from King's College London, United Kingdom, where she was selected as a finalist to present her research to politicians and policy makers in the UK advocating for increased research funding for dementia. Dr. Croft has recently been awarded a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship from the Brightfocus Foundation to begin her path to academic independence.

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Dr. Hedwin Kitdorlang Dkhar

Dr. Hedwin Kitdorlang Dkhar

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is currently the number one killer amongst the infectious pathogens. Dr. Hedwin Kitdorlang Dkhar (Kit) works as a postdoctoral associate with Dr. Josephine Clark-Curtiss and Dr. Roy Curtiss III in the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute. This group has developed the Recombinant Attenuated Salmonella Vaccines (RASVs) technology for finding cures for many human and animal infectious diseases. Kit leads the Tuberculosis vaccine group, which demands project design, multi-tasking, planning, and training of colleagues. Kit is currently testing an improved RASV vaccine carrying various combinations of Mtb antigens using the mouse model system. His expertise is in microbial infection biology, immunology, molecular biology, cell culture, protein purification, and lipid and cell Biology. Kit works in a BSL2/BSL3 biosafety level facility for immunization and challenge of mice. The major goal of Kit’s project is to answer the big question, can we find a better vaccine to replace or boost BCG? Kit earned his Ph.D.from CSIR-IMTECH-JNU, India in 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Pawan Gupta where he worked with the host-pathogen interaction paradigm during the course of tuberculosis infection.

Dr. Samantha S. Dykes

Dr. Samantha S. Dykes

Department of Radiation Oncology

Breast cancer cells use cathepsin proteases to break out of the breast duct and travel throughout the body, forming metastasis. Dr. Dykes is investigating whether inhibiting cathepsins using novel agents can slow breast cancer mestastasis. Dr. Dykes earned her PhD from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Louisiana State University Health Science Center-Shreveport. 

Dr. Daniel Ence

Dr. Daniel Ence

School of Forest Resources and Conservation

Dr. Ence analyzes genomic sequence data to annotate genes in newly sequenced genomes and to map genes that control economically valuable traits for breeders and growers. He earned his Ph.D. in Human Genetics at the University of Utah. In addition to his research contributions, Dr. Ence serves as a mentor for enthusiastic young scientists.
 

(Above) Mapping Strategy for Disease Gene Loci

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Dr. Lorena Endara

Dr. Lorena Endara

Department of Biology

Dr. Endara uses a combination of molecular and morphological data to answer questions about plant evolution, particularly in groups of Neotropical orchids and gymnosperms. She is currently working on developing bioinformatic pipelines to extract valuable morphological data contained in taxonomic descriptions in order to generate large phenotypic datasets.​ Dr. Endara's contributions to evolutionary biology and botany are helping to facilitate efforts to answer pressing questions regarding the origin and diversification of land plants. Photo: Dr. Endara and colleague Mike Wenzel collecting orchid specimens for microbiome analysis. 

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Dr. Weiming Hu

Dr. Weiming Hu

Department of Entomology and Nematology

Dr. Hu uses next generation sequencing to study gene expression of plant pathogens and the interaction of microbial communities under agriculture management. She earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Hu has published four peer-reviewed papers and currently has three manuscripts on the way. 

Dr. Riley G. Jones

Dr. Riley G. Jones

Department of Medicine

Dr. Jones is a clinical Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Medicine, where he studies global health issues. He holds an MD degree from the University of Louisville, two MSc degrees from King’s College London and Tulane University, and recently completed an internal medicine residency in Cincinnati, OH before coming to UF. He serves half of the year as an attending physician at UF-Gainesville and the other half at clinical sites in Ghana, Haiti, Peru, and Tanzania. Beyond patient care, he studies the use of ultrasound in tropical medicine, the interaction of environment and non-communicable diseases, and health systems quality improvement; his global health research focuses on peace negotiations, rebuilding health systems after civil war, and the role of health in reinforcing or undermining the transition to peace. He has an ongoing study of different peace outcomes in intrastate conflicts and their impact on maternal and child health; he is currently investigating the sovereigntization and political uses of infectious diseases with epidemic potential. He has a personal interest in the role of medical education as a means to rebuild societies after war and teaches remotely in the Horn of Africa in this regard. Along with colleagues in the UK, Dr. Jones was recognized in the House of Commons for redesigning the medical education curriculum which is now used throughout the Horn of Africa.

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Dr. Sarah Kim

Dr. Sarah Kim

Center for Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaceutics

Dr. Sarah Kim is a senior postdoctoral associate at the University of Florida’s Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology in Lake Nona (Orlando), working under the supervision by Dr. Stephan Schmidt, Dr. Mirjam Trame and Dr. Larry Lesko. Her current research projects focus on: 1) systems pharmacology modeling to improve drug safety, for which she received the David Goldstein Trainee Award from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) in 2017 and two Presidential Trainee Awards from ASCPT in 2017 and 2018, 2) population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling and simulations to evaluate the impact of potential bioinequivalence on PD, and 3) physiologically-based absorption pharmacokinetic (PBA-PK) modeling to evaluate the impact of drug formulation and system-specific properties on PK. She also serves as a reviewer for the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and was selected as one of the most productive reviewers in 2017. Dr. Kim earned her PhD in Biomathematics in the Department of Mathematics at Florida State University, USA.

Dr. Suyog S. Kuwar

Dr. Suyog S. Kuwar

Department of Entomology & Nematology

Dr. Kuwar is engineering Bacillus thunringensis (Bt) derived proteins and toxins to increase their efficacy against insect pests.
He earned his PhD in Molecular Biology in the Department of Entomology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany.
Dr. Kuwar is an International Max Planck Research Scholar. He has beed regonized for his scientific communications, including a best poster award, and has given talks at a variety of professional conferences and meetings. He actively contributes to UF and his field as a teacher and through outreach.

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Dr. Andrew Nguyen

Dr. Andrew Nguyen

Department of Entomology and Nematology

Insects consistently attack and damage our food sources (crops). Often times, they prefer our crops over ones they have evolved to eat, also known as host switching. Dr. Nguyen aims to understand the physiological and evolutionary mechanisms that allow insects to host switch. Dr. Nguyen earned his PhD in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Vermont. He is interested in the forces that shape all levels of biological diversity from ecosystems to genes.

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Dr. Nguyen Tri Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen Tri Nguyen

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Nguyen conducts research to determine and implement advanced stabilization techniques and time marching schemes for the deliverable PSAAP-II code CMT-Nek (NNSA’s Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program II ), as well as integrate the finding of CS and exascale behavioral emulation into this code. He earned his PhD from the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Trento, Italy. Right Photo: The falling droplet with a HLLEM Riemann solver.

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Dr. Mohammad-Zaman Nouri

Dr. Mohammad-Zaman Nouri

Department of Physiological Sciences and Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology

Dr. Nouri is analyzing steroid hormones and performing lipidomics for various biological samples using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. These analyses are part of the toxicology research studies in the Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology. Dr. Nouri is developing high-throughput and robust techniques for quantification of hormones and lipids, especially in low-volume or small size samples. He had been awarded a Japanese government scholarship and received his PhD in Biotechnology from University of Tsukuba, Japan in 2011. Dr. Nouri has published about 30 peer-reviewed papers or book chapters and is skillful in reviewing manuscripts for journals in plant biology and proteomics.

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Dr. Shreela Palit

Dr. Shreela Palit

Dr. Palit’s research has focused on exploring mechanisms influencing pain processing (e.g., genetics, emotion, ethnic differences), primarily through the use of psychophysiological assessment and quantitative sensory testing methods. Her current research interests include further investigation of biopsychosocial determinants of pain across the lifespan, as well as development of novel psychological interventions and enhancement of existing treatment approaches for chronic pain management. Dr. Palit was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship in 2013 in recognition of her future contributions to science and education. This award supported her doctoral dissertation work in Clinical Psychology at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

 

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Dr. Suresh Pannerselvam

Dr. Suresh Pannerselvam

Department of Entomology and Nematology

Dr. Pannerselvam is working on the construction of a pesticidal protein database and the development of an improved classification algorithm. Dr. Pannerselvam earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Science and Technology from Ajou University, South Korea, with a Brain Korea (BK21) Scholarship funded by the Korean government. He has also been awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India. Image, below: Development of a Pesticidal Protein Resource Center.

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Dr. Mayur Parmar

Dr. Mayur Parmar

Department of Neurology

Dr. Parmar's professional research interests include multidisciplinary areas of biological sciences, including Pharmacology, Toxicology, and molecular/cellular biology, which are complimented by his extensive research experience in Neuroscience. Dr. Parmar has been involved in CNS research focused on understanding the pathological mechanisms (molecular, genetic, and cellular basis) underlying the development of neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) and potential therapeutic intervention to halt the disease progression. Currently, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative diseases (CTRND), Dr. Parmar is focused on understanding the role of Rab GTPase proteins in neurodegenerative α-synucleinopathies (Parkinson's, Dementia with Lewy Body & Multiple system atrophy) and tauopathies [Alzheimer's, Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD) & Progressive Supranuclear Palsy(PSP)] disorder. Further, Dr. Parmar has been involved in research focused on evaluating genetic risk factors associated with PSP and CBD using AAV-mediated technology. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. Rab GTPase regulatory cycle.

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Dr. Sudhir Kumar Rai

Dr. Sudhir Kumar Rai

Division of Endrocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Department of Medicine

Dr.Rai is a Basic Science Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Medicine. His research interests are largely directed towards understanding how polyamine (Polycationic small molecules) systems (Genetic, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry) interact during human disease. Polycationic small molecules widely distributed throughout the cell that control every aspect of cell. Dr.Rai is interested in learning how the polyamine components rewired cancer epigenome and more specifically how retrograde components influence development and progression of cancer. Dr.Rai’s research will open new therapeutic avenues that may lead to the formulation of novel treatments for cancers. Dr.Rai earned his Ph.D in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Tezpur University (Central), Assam, India, where he discovered and deposited 16S-rRNA sequence data in GENBANK NCBI database for novel microbes isolated from North-Eastern states of  India  producing therapeutic grade enzymes(Fibrinolytic and direct-acting thrombolytic) for treatment of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease. During his Ph.D research, he was nominated for the Young Scientist award in the New Biology section of the 98th Indian Science Congress Association-2010, SRM Chennai. Dr.Rai received the Senior Research Fellow award from the Council of Scientific and Industrial research (CSIR-SRF) in 2008. At present, Dr.Rai is serving on the editorial board for the Advances in Enzyme Research (AER) journal, and reviewers for Elsevier journals. 

Dr. Keesha Roach

Dr. Keesha Roach

Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, College of Dentistry

Dr. Roach is a Nurse Scientist and a postdoctoral fellow in Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science at the University of Florida in the College of Dentistry. Dr. Roach obtained a BS in psychology from the University of Maryland College Park, ABSN from Loyola University Chicago, MS from DePaul University and her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Roach is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar alum. She received a postdoctoral fellowship with a focus on pain and aging thru the Integrative and Multidisciplinary Pain and Aging Research Training (IMPART), (T32-AG049673, Fillingham PI) and a partnership with the UF Pain Research Intervention Center of Excellence (PRICE) under the mentorship of Drs. Fillingim, Wilkie, and Cruz-Almeida. As part of the T32, her research explores measurement of pain phenotypes, pain related genetics, epigenetics, and mechanism-based pain management, primarily in persons who have sickle cell disease.

Dr. Banikalyan Swain

Dr. Banikalyan Swain

Infectious Diseases & Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Swain's research involves the design, construction and evaluation of vaccines to elicit protective host immune responses in agriculturally important aquatic animals. He is interested in the study of molecular mechanisms of bacterial, parasite and viral pathogenesis, and host immune responses in aquatic animals in order to develop needle free vaccines. Dr. Swain's primary work is focused on genetic modification of bacterial pathogens, such as E. piscicida and E. ictaluri, as live vaccines to prevent systemic granulomatous disease and enteric septicemia of both freshwater and marine fish. As part of his postdoctoral research in Prof. Roy Curtiss’s lab, Dr. Swain has successfully designed and constructed a recombinant attenuated Edwardsiella vaccine (RAEV) vector system with regulated delayed attenuation and regulated delayed lysis system. RAEV constructs with the regulated delayed lysis in vivo attribute induce maximal mucosal, systemic and cellular immune responses against pathogens whose protective antigens are delivered by the vaccine construct. Dr. Swain is currently constructing RAEV strains for synthesis and delivery of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich) and Aeromonas hydrophila protective antigens to prevent white spot diseases and aeromoniasis in aquaculture.

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Dr. Yuanchun Wang

Dr. Yuanchun Wang

Plant Pathology

Dr. Wang's research focuses on Transgene-free gene editing of Citrus sinensis via CRISPR/Cas9 technology. She earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Microbiology at the China Agricultural University. Dr. Wang has identified and published on two new species of Ensifer, nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Dr. Yunchao Yang

Dr. Yunchao Yang

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Yang is currently a PostDoctoral Research Associate in the Center of Compressible Multiphase Flow at the University of Florida. He received his Ph.D. degree in Thermal Engineering from the University of Miami (2018). He obtained his Master and Bachelor's degree in Thermal Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China. His research interests lie in the area of Computational Fluid Dynamics, flow control, aircraft design, and multiphase flow. ranging from theory, to design, and to implementation. He has collaborated actively with researchers in several other disciplines of computer science, particularly high-performance computing and machine learning. His honors include the China National Scholarship for the graduate/undergraduate student – the highest honor bestowed by the Chinese government on outstanding graduate/undergraduate students. He has authored or co-authored more than thirty peer-reviewed papers in top journals and proceedings. He has given technical talks in major conferences AIAA/ASME/SAE, and he has presented research in NASA Ames.

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