Honoring excellence

On Wednesday, 11 professors received one of the highest honors a college can bestow upon faculty members at the UF Health Science Center’s annual Celebrating Distinction Ceremony.

The event, which took place at the McKnight Brain Institute, began with a welcome from UF Health President David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., who acknowledged the benefactors and newly appointed professors and chairs.

He said appointment to these positions, which were made possible through endowments “rooted in the idea of an enduring gift,” reflect a “lifetime of achievement” for UF faculty.

Endowed chairs maintain a rich history, Guzick said, with the first named chairs established by Lady Margaret Beaufort at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford in 1502. Her grandson, King Henry VIII, also established professorships at both universities nearly 50 years later.

UF’s installation ceremony recognized faculty from the colleges of medicine, nursing and pharmacy, as each dean presented wooden chairs with each professor’s name engraved on an attached plaque.

College of Medicine honorees included Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D., associate chair of pediatrics and director of the UF Powell Gene Therapy Center; Joseph Fantone, M.D., senior associate dean for educational affairs; and Jeffrey Martens, Ph.D. ’98, chair of the department of pharmacology and therapeutics.

UF College of Medicine Dean Michael L. Good, M.D., noted Martens’ appointment not only serves as a “fitting homecoming” but also “completes an exciting circle.”

Martens, who received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from UF, served as an associate professor of pharmacology and chair of the pharmacology graduate program at the University of Michigan before returning to his alma mater at the start of 2014 to head the department he studied under.

As the Thomas H. Maren, M.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, he said he hopes to uphold the legacy of the department’s founding chairman and to continue to build a strong program.

“The opportunity to return to the department and lead it is a great honor,” Martens said. “It means a lot to me.”

All photos by Jesse S. Jones


College of Medicine

  • Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D.
    • Earl and Christy Powell University Chair in Gene Therapy and Genetics Research
  • Joseph Fantone, M.D.
    • Jules B. Chapman, M.D. Professorship in Clinical Care and Humaneness
  • Bradford S. Hoppe, M.D., M.P.H.
    • The James E. Lockwood Jr. Professorship in Proton Therapy
  • Daniel J. Indelicato, M.D.
    • The William and Joan Mendenhall Professorship in Radiation Oncology
  •  Jeffrey Martens, Ph.D.
    • Thomas H. Maren, M.D. Professorship of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Laurence M. Solberg, M.D.
    • Ruth Jewett Professorship in Geriatrics
  • Karl Womer, M.D.
    • Central Florida Kidney Center Inc. Eminent Scholar Chair in Nephrology and Hypertension 

College of Nursing

  • Jeannie P. Cimiotti, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN
    • Dorothy M. Smith Chair
  • Gail M. Keenan, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN
    • The Annabel Davis Jenks Endowed Professorship for Teaching and Research in Clinical Nursing Excellence
  • Debra Lyon, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN
    • Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Endowed Chair

College of Pharmacy

  • Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D.
    • Debbie & Sylvia DeSantis Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development