Faculty members receive recognition for outstanding research

Each year, the UF Research Foundation recognizes professors whose distinguished record of research has helped make UF a top-tier research university. The three-year professorship includes a $5,000 salary supplement and grant funding to help further the recipient’s research goals. Five of this year’s 33 UFRF professors, who were honored during a ceremony Nov. 12, are from the College of Medicine.

Laurence M. Morel, Ph.D., a professor of pathology, immunology, and laboratory medicine, has made great progress in the study of lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes an immune system to attack the body’s own cells, tissues and organs. Morel is a world leader in autoimmunity research and is widely respected for her work.

David R. Nelson, M.D., an associate professor of medicine, has focused his research on liver disease and the immune system, specifically the body’s immune response to hepatitis C. He is the medical director of the Liver Transplant Program at UF, one of the 10 largest liver transplant programs in the nation.

Dietmar W. Siemann, Ph.D., a professor of radiation oncology, is searching for novel approaches to treat cancer. His research seeks to destroy tumors by targeting and cutting off the tumor’s blood supply. Siemann has organized national and international conferences to spread information about new cancer treatment programs.

Sankar Swaminathan, M.D., an associate professor of internal medicine and molecular genetics and microbiology, has become an expert on how AIDS and cancer relate to common viruses, specifically Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated virus. His expertise has made him a leader in the study of cancer and viruses.

Carolyn M. Tucker, Ph.D., a professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a researcher with the department of community health and family medicine in the College of Medicine, is the organizer of the Patient-Centered Culturally Sensitive Health Care and Promotion project, which seeks to bridge the gap that separates minorities and low-income communities from adequate health care. Tucker’s Family Health Self-Empowerment Project, which is funded by PepsiCo, aims to combat obesity and obesity-related issues, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and their effects on minorities and low-income families.

Charles S. Wingo, M.D., a professor of medicine and physiology, focuses his research on kidney regulation of serum potassium and how it is crucial to maintaining normal heart rhythm. Wingo’s research has changed traditional thought worldwide.

Please join me in congratulating these five professors, who were recommended by the college for their contributions to research and teaching.