Rounds of applause: Fall 2022

Recent awards and achievements of the UF College of Medicine community

Faculty and staff

  • Five physicians in the division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine have been named recipients of the 2022 College of Medicine Exemplary Teacher Award: Bashar Alzghoul, M.D., Ibrahim Faruqi, M.D., Saminder Kalra, MBBS, M.D., Jorge Lascano, M.D., and Divya Patel, D.O. This award recognizes college faculty nominated by their department and selected based on their teaching excellence of medical students, residents and fellows, physician assistant students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and mentorship of junior faculty.

  • University of Florida neuroscientist and assistant professor Coralie de Hemptinne, Ph.D., M.S., is among three researchers nationwide to receive the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Award, which supports young and aspiring scientists in the Parkinson’s field. The $300,000 grant will support de Hemptinne’s project exploring new neuromodulation strategies for Parkinson’s disease, with a goal of developing automated programming algorithms to improve the process of selecting deep brain stimulation parameters.

  • Michael S. Okun, M.D., director of the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health and chair of the department of neurology, received one of the two Tom Isaacs Awards bestowed by the organization Cure Parkinson’s in 2022. The award was created in memory of the late co-founder and president of Cure Parkinson’s and recognizes researchers who have made a significant impact on the lives of people living with the disease.

  • The UF Health Cancer Center recently awarded three pilot grants to UF faculty members for exploratory projects, including Matthew Sarkisian, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of neuroscience. The projects are designed to collect preliminary data required to test novel ideas with the goal of creating a foundation for larger studies. This year’s projects focused on creating novel methodologies or innovative ways to use shared resources at the Cancer Center.

  • Surgical oncologist Christiana Shaw, M.D., an associate professor in the division of general surgery, has been inducted into the fifth cohort of the American College of Surgeons’ Academy of Master Surgeon Educators. She and her colleagues will work to advance the science and practice of education across all surgical specialties.

  • Christopher E. Bayne, M.D., an assistant professor in the department of urology, was recently recognized as Top Reviewer in 2022 for the Journal of Urology. The honor is indicative of an individual providing high-quality reviews that have received outstanding marks by the journal’s editors. Bayne’s senior partner, Romano DeMarco, M.D., chief of the division of pediatric urology, was recognized with the same honor last year.

  • Ellen Satteson, M.D., an assistant professor and hand surgeon in the department of surgery, has been selected as a 2022 Young Leader by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Members focus on identifying key issues within the upper extremity profession.

  • Ali Zarrinpar, M.D., an associate professor in the division of transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery, has been awarded the American Society of Transplant Surgeons’ Poster of Distinction Award for his work, “Optimizing kidney transplant immunosuppression using a phenotypic personalized dosing model.”

  • Penny Reynolds, Ph.D., an assistant professor of anesthesiology, won the 2022 IQ Consortium and Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care’s International Global 3Rs Award for her paper, published in PLoS One in January, titled “Effects of non-aversive versus tail-lift handling on breeding productivity in a C57BL/6J mouse colony.” The award was formally presented in October at the 73rd National Meeting of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care in Louisville, Kentucky.

  • Samir K. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy, received the 2022 Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the Society for Vascular Surgery.

  • R. Stephen Smith, M.D., a professor of acute care surgery, received an award for best historical paper presented at last year’s annual meeting of the Halsted Society. The society’s purpose is to perpetuate the memory of William Halsted, M.D., who devised a surgical treatment for breast cancer in the 19th century, to further the doctor’s scientific ideals and principles and to encourage a free and informal exchange of ideas on various aspects of surgery.

Learners and trainees

  • Christina Baxter Vernace, D.O., and Evelyn Obregon, M.D., two former UF pediatrics residents, have been recognized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for making improvements to their program. The honorees received the ACGME’s David C. Leach Award, which recognizes residents and fellows who have fostered innovation and improvement in their programs, advanced humanism in medicine and increased efficiency and emphasis on educational outcomes. Vernace is now a pediatrician in South Florida, and Obregon is completing a neonatology fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

  • Gerald D. Richardson, M.D., a resident in the department of psychiatry and a 2020 graduate of the UF College of Medicine, was selected as a Psychiatry Resident-in-Training Exam, or PRITE, Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists for 2022-23. Richardson will contribute to formulating PRITE questions for the 2024 test.

  • Maryuri Briceno Cannon, M.D., a pediatrics resident at UF Health Jacksonville, received a top research poster award from the Florida Medical Association, or FMA, for “Increasing vitamin D therapy in infants to comply with AAP guidelines at a primary care clinic.” FMA awarded the posters during its annual meeting earlier this year.

  • Neurosurgery resident Sandra Yan, M.D., received the Women in Neurosurgery Sherry Apple Resident Travel Scholarship. The award is granted yearly to an outstanding resident abstract accepted at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting. Yan presented her study on the role of frailty in spine outcomes at the meeting.

  • Sabrina Zequeira, a graduate student in the department of neuroscience, received a first-place award for UF’s 2022 Three Minute Thesis competition. The event challenges graduate students to make a compelling presentation on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes. The competition helps students develop academic, presentation and research communication skills and the capacity to explain their research to a non-academic audience. Zequeira presented on her dissertation work, which, using rodent models of aging, is focused on understanding how cannabis might uniquely impact cognition in older adults.