2008 Awardees

  • Darin Acosta, Ph.D. By studying the smallest particles in nature, Darin Acosta is learning more about some of the largest mysteries in the universe. For the past 10 years, Acosta’s research has delved ... Read more
  • Ilir Bejleri, Ph.D. Before cities can be fashioned from bricks and concrete, they first have to be intricately planned on computers, grids and in the minds of qualified designers. In UF’s Department of ... Read more
  • Benjamin M. Bolker, Ph.D. As an ecologist, Benjamin Bolker works to understand, measure and explain animal interaction and movement within an environment. As a professor at UF, he’s fostering interaction and the movement of ... Read more
  • Jeffrey K. Brecht, Ph.D. For Jeffrey K. Brecht, ensuring that the best produce makes it from the tree to the table is top priority. As a professor of horticultural sciences, Brecht is an expert ... Read more
  • Mary B. Brown, Ph.D. Through her research, Mary Brown is uncovering new solutions for a wide range of human diseases. In the process, she’s also made the world a better place for endangered tortoises. ... Read more
  • Edward K.L. Chan, Ph.D. When Edward Chan first began to observe the cellular staining pattern of antibodies to the self protein GW182, he likened it to “love at first sight.” Later, Chan and his ... Read more
  • George Christou, Ph.D. Although George Christou works in nanoscale dimensions, his work is creating huge possibilities for scientists around the world. In the ever-shrinking yet increasingly relevant world of nanoscience, Christou has emerged ... Read more
  • Nicholas B. Comerford, Ph.D. It’s a dirty job; but Nicholas B. Comerford, who has spent decades studying soil and soil nutrients, is ensuring that the world’s forests will stay healthy, fertile and beautiful. As ... Read more
  • R. Paul Duncan, Ph.D. According to R. Paul Duncan, everyone deserves the peace of mind that comes with health insurance. After 10 years of research, however, he has discovered that about three million people ... Read more
  • Jennifer Harrison Elder, Ph.D., R.N. For families who want to unlock the mysteries of their autistic children, Jennifer Harrison Elder may have the key. Elder, a registered nurse and a Fellow of the American Academy of ... Read more
  • Mark Fenster, J.D., Ph.D. Mark Fenster has spent his career as a lawyer and professor exploring the limits of what we know about our own government. Fenster, who graduated from Yale University Law School in ... Read more
  • Richard E. Ferdig, Ph.D. Richard Ferdig is discovering better ways to take the classroom to the computer. For the 700,000 K-12 students nationwide who go to school online, Ferdig’s research is at the forefront ... Read more
  • Jesse F. Gregory III, Ph.D. The average adult needs about half a milligram of folate a day. In areas where people don’t get that much, pregnant women give birth prematurely, babies have low birth weights ... Read more
  • William W. Hager, Ph.D. Through the power of math, William Hager has devised several ways to understand the power of lightning. In studying the transport of charge and the electric field surrounding bolts of ... Read more
  • Jeffrey A. Hughes, Ph.D. Growing old is hard enough; but with Jeffrey Hughes’ novel research, people with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s may be able to remember more and worry less about ... Read more
  • Melissa L. Hyde, Ph.D. Melissa Hyde has made a career out of understanding the gendering of aesthetic culture in the 18th century. Hyde’s book, Making Up the Rococo: Francois Boucher and His Critics, studies ... Read more
  • Christopher M. Janelle, Ph.D. Any athlete who has ever been psyched up (or psyched out) before a game has experienced the link between emotional stress and physical performance. As director of the Performance Psychology ... Read more
  • Chris Janiszewski, Ph.D. Even the most poorly stocked grocery stores offer dozens of different toothpastes, shelves of spaghetti sauces and aisles of cereal. Among all of these seemingly identical products, however, shoppers often ... Read more
  • Jeffrey B. Jones, Ph.D. Jeffrey Jones knows tomatoes and peppers. More importantly, he knows the ecology, history and variations of the bacterial spots that infect these plants, resulting in rot, wilted leaves and less ... Read more
  • Jacqueline Y. Miller, Ph.D. Jacqueline Miller studies butterflies and moths. She has caught them in Cuba, bagged them in the Bahamas and netted them in the Netherlands Antilles. She has analyzed the way they ... Read more
  • Laurence M. Morel, Ph.D. As a world leader in autoimmunity research, Laurence M. Morel has turned mouse DNA into her own intellectual stomping ground. Her study of systemic lupus erythmatosus in mice has defined ... Read more
  • Paul A. Mueller, Ph.D. Looking back over millions, and sometimes billions, of years, Paul Mueller uses ancient rocks to catch a glimpse of what the world used to be, and how it has changed ... Read more
  • David R. Nelson, M.D. Through his research on liver disease and the immune system, David Nelson has made great progress in protecting the way humans protect themselves. Nelson’s study of the body’s immune response ... Read more
  • David P. Norton, Ph.D. Fashioning nanoscopic wires out of the key ingredient in sunblock may seem impossible, if not downright ridiculous. For David Norton and the world of nanoscience, it is both a new ... Read more
  • Panos M. Pardalos, Ph.D. In a world of seemingly endless choices, finding the best route can seem impossible. That’s where Panos M. Pardalos comes in. Figuring out how to make things run better, faster ... Read more
  • Gary F. Peter, Ph.D. Traditionally, the stuff that was left over after wood and paper production was considered waste. But because of researchers like Gary Peter, these plant by-products have a new name – ... Read more
  • Bhavani V. Sankar, Ph.D. By studying the individual components of a structure, Bhavani V. Sankar can predict the properties of the whole from the sum of its parts. In doing so, he can feel ... Read more
  • Dietmar W. Siemann, Ph.D. Tumor biologist Dietmar Siemann is looking for new ways to stop cancer at its source. As associate chair of the radiation oncology department, Siemann has focused on developing novel approaches ... Read more
  • Sankar Swaminathan, M.D. As the global fight against both cancer and AIDS continues, Sankar Swaminathan has emerged as an expert on both as they relate to common viruses. Over the past eight years, ... Read more
  • James P. Syvertsen, Ph.D. James P. Syvertsen has spent his academic life studying the tangy fruits that have become a part of Florida culture. His research, which focuses on citrus trees’ responses to environmental stresses, ... Read more
  • Carolyn M. Tucker, Ph.D. When it comes to health care, Carolyn Tucker follows her heart and remembers her roots. Tucker, who came from humble beginnings and once struggled with obesity, is the organizer of the ... Read more
  • Kim Walsh-Childers, Ph.D. Kim Walsh-Childers believes accurate news coverage can be good for your health. Walsh-Childers has spent her career researching how the traditional media and the Internet contribute to individual health behaviors ... Read more
  • Charles S. Wingo, M.D. For Charles S. Wingo, it’s about keeping the beat. Heartbeat, that is. Wingo’s research in potassium and aldosterone regulation in the kidneys has the potential to open new doors in ... Read more