Gator Kudos: Summer 2023

Recent awards and achievements of the UF College of Medicine community


  • Gilbert R. Upchurch Jr., M.D., the Edward M. Copeland III and Ann & Ira Horowitz Chair of Surgery and a professor in the department of surgery, has been elected to serve a three-year term on the board of directors for the American Board of Surgery.

  • Members of the American Statistical Association have elected Ji-Hyun Lee, Dr.P.H., a professor of biostatistics in the UF College of Medicine and the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, president of the association for its 2025 term. The American Statistical Association is the world’s largest community of statisticians, with more than 19,000 members in more than 90 countries. Lee also serves as the director of the division of quantitative sciences at the UF Health Cancer Center, providing strategic leadership and administrative direction for Cancer Center scientists.

  • The American Statistical Association has also elected Terrie Vasilopoulos, Ph.D., an associate professor of anesthesiology and orthopaedic surgery & sports medicine, as chair-elect of its Statistical Consulting Section. She will serve as chair-elect in 2024, chair in 2025,and past chair in 2026.

  • A research team led by Alex Yoon, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of surgery,  has received a two-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to conduct a metabolomics study of menthol cigarette smoking and lung cancer risk, especially among African American men, who have the highest burden of lung cancer.

  • Margaret Wallace, Ph.D., a professor in the department of molecular genetics and biology, received the 2023 Friedrich Von Recklinghausen Award from the Children’s Tumor Foundation for her valuable contributions to the field through the study and characterization of neurofibromatosis tumors. Wallace accepted the award at the Annual Neurofibromatosis Meeting in Arizona.

  • Sherise Chantell Rogers, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the division of hematology and oncology, is one of three recipients of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership, which provides funding for the Yale University School of Management’s MBA for Executives program. Participants will begin their MBA education this week as members of the MBA for Executives Class of 2025. The fellowship, designed to give health care professionals the leadership skills and the deep understanding of teams, markets and organizations necessary to tackle major inequities in the U.S. health care system, includes 22 months of study in the health care area of focus of the EMBA program, as well as specialized training and mentorship from national experts on health care disparities.

  • John R. Wingard, M.D., the UF Health Cancer Center’s deputy director who has led the UF Health Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program since 1996, retired this summer after 27 years at the university. Wingard joined the faculty in 1996 and has led Florida’s longest-established bone marrow transplant center since then. The program has a history of influencing national benchmarks for quality and innovation in stem cell transplantation and patient care. A medical oncologist with a clinical focus on hematopoietic cell transplantation and hematologic malignancies, Wingard is recognized internationally as a leader in clinical research.

  • Brian Ramnaraign, M.D., an assistant professor in the division of hematology and oncology, has been awarded a fall 2023 Faculty Enhancement Opportunity award to attend courses on cancer genomics and precision oncology, immuno-oncology, drug delivery, drug discovery and development and clinical drug development from Harvard Medical School. FEO awards support creative and flexible faculty development activities, including educational experiences or conferences, work with consultants or experts, time devoted to intensive writing or creative work or activities in support of a new direction for scholarly work.

  • Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., a distinguished professor in the UF Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, was presented the 2023 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, or ASCPT, Mentor Award this spring during the organization’s annual meeting in Atlanta. The award recognizes an influential figure in the life of a student or trainee in the field of pharmacology and translational medicine.

  • Mark A. Atkinson, Ph.D., director of the UF Diabetes Institute, has been inducted into the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida, an organization that brings together the nation’s most distinguished scholars who live and work in the Sunshine State.


  • Surgery resident Jonathan Krebs, M.D., was awarded best poster at the 2023 Vascular Research Initiatives Conference.

  • Tristan Grams, Ph.D. ’23, a postdoctoral associate in the department of molecular genetics and biology, received a poster award for “The HSV-1 Latency Associated Transcript (LAT) lncRNA Interacts with Cellular Transmembrane Protein 43 (TMEM43) During Latency in Human Neurons,” which he presented at the annual meeting of the RNA Society in Singapore.