The McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida e-newsletter

                                                                            Issue 7, Spring 2018


Message from the director, Dr. Todd Golde

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome to the revamped version of our e-newsletter, The Brainstorm, which will be published each spring, summer and fall.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to check out all the exciting news and events involving our outstanding neuroscientists affiliated with the McKnight Brain Institute.

The MBI’s neuroscience and neuromedical community spans across the entire 16-college UF campus, not just our physical headquarters on Newell Drive, and together we are attracting national attention to the University of Florida.

In this issue of The Brainstorm, you’ll find info on the MBI's outreach and education endeavors, links to news articles featuring MBI members, details about our members' national honors and much more.

Read on, and click here to read about our faculty and staff's amazing accomplishments in 2017.


Feb. 27: MBI Research Evening — one image, 100 words

Join us for the next McKnight Brain Institute Research Evening at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 in the Biomedical Sciences Building Atrium. Refreshments will be served!


MBI tour

March 12-18: Brain Awareness Week

Join the MBI for several events during Brain Awareness Week, including the William G. Luttge Lectureship in Neuroscience, sponsored by the McKnight Brain Research Foundation; the annual conference of the North Central Florida Chapter of the Society of Neuroscience; and school visits.



MBI Training Opportunities

Please spread the word to faculty, fellows and students about several training opportunities, including MBI Travel Awards, MBI Pilot Grants, Toffler Leadership Awards and MBI Trainee Enhancement Opportunities.



MBI hosts first speaker for new Neuromedicine Scholars lecture series

On Feb. 8, the MBI Neuromedicine Scholars lecture series kicked off by hosting the University of Chicago's David Gozal, M.D., at the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building. Nearly 100 attended Gozal's lecture on the functional and structural neurocognitive consequences of sleep apnea.  



MBI in the News

Media outlets and publications consistently reach out to our faculty for their expertise on a variety of subject matters. If the media contact you, please let science writer Michelle Koidin Jaffee and assistant director of communications Todd Taylor know so we can assist with, archive and help promote your media endeavors. Here are just a few recent examples of our MBI experts in the news:

Drs. Jianping Huang and Duane Mitchell (Florida Trend): Immunotherapy treatment shows effectiveness against deadly brain tumor during early tests

Dr. Jamie Smolen (The Gainesville Sun): Be aware of mental health over holidays

Dr. Habibeh Khoshbouei (ABC 27): UF researchers say new drug therapy could help beat meth addiction

Dr. Michael Jaffee (Men's Health): Why You Get Leg Cramps When You're Sleeping — and How to Stop Them Fast


MBI members honored with prestigious awards

Chair of neurology Michael S. Okun, M.D., has been named the recipient of the 2018 American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics (ASENT) Presidential Award for extraordinary accomplishments in the field of clinical translational research. Click here to read more about Okun's award.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine named Scott Teitelbaum, M.D., medical director of the UF Health Florida Recovery Center, the winner of its prestigious Annual Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field. Click here to read more about Teitelbaum's award.


MBI members key contributors to new clinical care guidelines

Neurologist Melissa Armstrong, M.D., and neurosurgeon Brain Hoh, M.D., recently contributed to new clinical care guidelines in their fields.

Armstrong was among a group of authors who updated the 2001 American Academy of Neurology guideline on mild cognitive impairment. Click here to learn more about this new guideline.

Hoh was one of the authors of new American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines to improve care for stroke patients. Click here to learn more about these new guidelines.



Put your work on the national stage

Check out these recent Conversation pieces written by MBI members:

• Dr. Scott Teitelbaum: Why treating addiction with medication should be carefully considered

• Dr. Todd Golde: The two obstacles holding back Alzheimer’s research

• Dr. Brian Hoh: Anniversary of Konrad Reuland tragedy reminds us of the toll of brain aneurysms

More than 100 UF faculty members have contributed to date and it's a great opportunity to highlight your work. The Conversation reaches 5 million-plus unique readers monthly and then the articles go farther, often picked up by major newspapers and publications such as The Washington Post and Discover Magazine.

Please contact MBI science writer Michelle Jaffee with your ideas for The Conversation.



Reddit Science AMA: A new way to share your research

One of the world's most visited websites, Reddit, created a Science AMA (Ask Me Anything) series in 2014 to provide a unique format allowing researchers to answer Reddit users' questions in real time.

Researchers typically spend an hour answering users' questions on a timely topic of interest. There is no obligation to answer all questions, but researchers are encouraged to field as many as possible. Please contact science writer Michelle Koidin Jaffee and assistant director of communications Todd Taylor if you have an idea for a future AMA. Here are recent examples of our researchers on Reddit Science AMA.

Dr. Michael S. Okun: Management of Parkinson's Disease

Drs. Brenda Moore and Todd Golde: Research opens new avenue for Alzheimer's treatment

Brain Tumor Therapy team honored at annual SNO meeting

BTIP team honored at annual SNO meeting

A strong showing by the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program team at this year's Society for Neuro-Oncology meeting included a Top 5 Poster Award for Loic Deleyrolle, Ph.D., and Lan Hoang-Minh, Ph.D.



New recipients of graduate research fellowship grants for neuroscience research announced

Hunter Futch, a second-year graduate student in the lab of Todd Golde, M.D., Ph.D., and Abbi Hernandez, a fourth-year graduate student in the lab of Sara Burke, Ph.D., recently earned Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowships.


MBI team’s discovery selected as Hot Topic at SfN meeting

MBI team’s discovery selected as Hot Topic at SfN meeting

Delayed gratification research conducted in the lab of Jennifer Bizon, Ph.D., lab receives Society for Neuroscience honor at world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.



UF well-represented on Florida Society of Neurology board

Congratulations to three neurology faculty members and one resident who were recently elected to the board of the Florida Society of Neurology: President-Elect Irene Malaty, M.D. (pictured); board members Augusto Miravalle, M.D., and Maria I. Hella, M.D.; and resident board member Matthew McAdams, M.D.

TRACS check

Brain injury program gets creative support

Cindy LaRoe, M.D., had to give up her medical practice and her other passion — cycling — after an accident while racing left her with a traumatic brain injury.


Barbara's Dream Fund

Local nonprofit makes gift for frontotemporal dementia research at UF

Barbara Sperrazza was a dietitian and diabetes educator who had the warmest smile and loved to help people. She lost her ability to read, write, speak and eventually swallow due to frontotemporal dementia.



March 17: Second annual Jamie Chapin Classic

The UF men’s lacrosse team and the Jamie Chapin Foundation are gearing up for the second annual Jamie Chapin Classic golf fundraiser on March 17. Proceeds benefit the UF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program in memory of former team captain Jamie Chapin, who died of brain cancer at age 25 in 2011. The event will be held in Chapin's hometown of Ponte Vedra Beach.​



Save the date: Inaugural Annual Southeastern Neurodegenerative Disease Conference set for Sept. 27-29

The conference will be held in Orlando and David Holtzman, M.D., Washington University department of neurology chairman, will serve as plenary speaker. Abstract submissions will open in March.



MBI's Holiday Food Drive a success

In the fall, faculty and staff participated in the annual McKnight Brain Institute Holiday Food Drive to benefit Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida, which helps feed hungry children throughout our community. At the conclusion of the drive, the MBI donated 732 pounds of nonperishable food items to Food4Kids. Thank you for your support!


MBI News to share?

Contact science writer Michelle Koidin Jaffee and assistant director of communications Todd Taylor.