T Team- NIH Training Programs

The University of Florida partners with the National Institutes of Health to provide training opportunities for the next generation of scientists. As of April 2021, this partnership directly supports the training of 86 PhD students, 37 postdoctoral trainees, 20 medical students on short-term research rotations, and 7 undergraduates interested in health science research. Indirectly, it would be difficult to capture the intricate and profound impact of these programs on the overall training and research environment within the Health Science Center, as each program designs its resources to be available to all trainees in its research sphere.

MEET THE T TEAM!

The University of Florida and the National Institutes of Health jointly sponsor 24 training programs at the University of Florida's Health Science Center.

Students and pipettes

Not sure where to start? Have questions? Need to update information on the page? Email Audrey Natwick a.dickinson@ufl.edu or call (352) 294-8332 .

PhD Trainee Support:

Postdoctoral Trainee Support:

Other Support:

Basic Microbiology and Infectious Disease

Preparing PhD trainees in microbiology and infectious disease for exceptional and productive careers in biomedical research

Jasmine Ayers

Jasmine studies the immune response to dengue and Zika viruses in the Aedes aegypti gut

Jasmine Ayers

Jessica Brandwein

Jessie studies the genetic regulation of nitric oxide synthase (nos) in Staphylococcus aureus, as maintaining optimal nitric oxide levels is important for S. aureus respiration, stress resistance, and virulence

Jessica Brandwein

Joseph Dean

Joseph studies the transcriptional regulation of cytotoxic T cell differentiation and function in the context of cancer and mucosal immunology

Joseph Dean

Shanan emmanuel

Shanan studies the interactions of immune molecules, specifically antibodies and defensins with the viral capsids of Adeno-Associated Viruses (AAVs)

Shanan Emmanuel

Tristan grams

Tristan examines differences in reactivation efficiencies between two herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) strains in a newly established in vitro model of latency

Tristan Grams

Breathing Research and Therapeutics (BREATHE)

Training PhDs and postdocs to be the next generation of scientists devoted to preserving and restoring breathing and airway defense in clinical disorders that end life by respiratory failure.

Emanuel Boutzoukas

Emanuel focuses on counteracting cognitive declines in aging using non-invasive brain stimulation paired with cognitive training

Emanuel Boutzoukas

Andrew Dlugos, PhD

Dr. D’Lugos focuses on cancer cachexia, a metabolic condition characterized by progressive skeletal muscle loss and weakness

Andrew DLugos

Wendy Olsen, PhD

Dr. Olsen studies how sensory afferents lining the upper and lower airways of the aerodigestive track can elicit airway protective mechanisms

Wendy Olsen

Gerard Robinson

Gerard explores the role of skeletal muscle in the innate response to infection, particularly in sepsis

Gerard Robinson

Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program at the University of Florida

Developing and expanding a diverse and talented pool of professional researchers with the skills to pursue successful careers in the biomedical workforce

tyler alsup

Tyler’s research is aimed at the discovery of novel bacterial terpenoids and characterization of the key biosynthetic machinery responsible for their impressive chemical diversity

Tyler Alsup

lobna elsadek

Lobna explores the mechanism of action of discovered new bioactive marine products with a focus on anticancer and antifungal agents

Lobna Elsadek

Jessica Mamallapalli

Jessica studies the effects of kavalactones on norepinephrine-mediated signaling in cancer cells

Jessica Mamallapalli

michael goertzen ii

No research description available

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Clinical and Translational Pre-Doctoral Training in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Equipping the next generation of AD researchers with the perspective & skills to make true advances in the treatment of this devastating and complex disease

Priscilla Amofa

Priscilla studies behavioral interventions as an alternative treatment to the delay and/or prevention of dementia among older adults with mild cognitive impairment, with a special focus on minority inclusion in clinical research

Priscilla Amofa

Cheshire Hardcastle

Cheshire studies functional brain changes related to cognitive interventions that reduce dementia risk in an aging population

Cheshire Hardcastle

Jessica Kraft

Jessica studies the neural correlates of cognition and the use of non-invasive interventions to improve cognition in older adults

Jessica Kraft

Tristan Williams

Tristan studies the effect of APOE isoforms on tau and amyloid pathologies in regard to Alzheimer’s disease

Tristan Williams

Comprehensive Training Program in Oral Biology

Employing team science to advance the detection, prevention, treatment and cures of oral and craniofacial diseases and abnormalities

Bruna Albuquerque-Garcia

Dr. Albuquerque-Garcia investigates the association of CBP+ Streptococcus mutans with increased caries risk and recurrent infections

Bruna Albuquerque

Natalie Atyeo

Natalie identifies and characterizes deregulated host transcription factors in lytic KSHV infection of gingival epithelial cells.

Natalie Atyeo

Beau Brummel, PhD

No research description available

Beau Brummel

debra brunson

Debra studies the mechanisms of metal homeostasis of Enterococcus faecalis.

Debra Brunson

leila casella

Dr. Casella characterizes the regulatory nucleotides in Enterococcus faecalis

Leila Casella

Lauren Gay

Dr. Gay examines the miRNA targetome of KSHV in vitro and in vivo, along with aspects of KSHV and oral cancer

Lauren Gay

Seung Jang

James (Seung Jin) studies immunoregulatory roles of the viral proteins of KSHV during oral infection.

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Callahan Katrak

Callahan is pursuing her DMD before turning to PhD training and research activities.

Callahan Katrak

lauren roberts Combs

Lauren studies the regulation of KSHV infection by ID2, a negative regulator of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors.

Lauren Roberts

Christina Rothenberger

Christina investigates the mechanisms that initiate surface translocation in Porphyromonas gingivalis.

Christina Rothenberger

lauren spires

Lauren studies the role of viral interferon regulatory factor 1 in facilitating HHV-8 lytic infection.

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Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Type 1 Diabetes and Biomedical Engineering

Blending medical knowledge and engineering technology to produce innovative therapeutics that address T1D care, and methods that deliver the long held hope for a means to prevent/reverse the disease.

Mollie Huber

Mollie investigates T1D pathogenesis using live pancreas tissue slices from human organ donors.

Mollie Huber

Alexander Kwiatkowski

Alexander’s research involves an antigen-specific dual microparticle system to treat autoimmune diseases.

Alexander Kwiatkowski

Leeana Peters

Leeana utilizes single cell transcriptomic and epigenomic data to research the genes and pathways involved in T cell behavior in T1D.

Leeana Peters

Magdalena Samojlik

Magdalena engineers a 3-D platform for controlled co-culture of islets and immune cells to study the pathogenesis of T1D.

Magdalena Samojlik

Interdisciplinary Training in Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration

Training the next generation of investigators with programs of basic, translational or clinical research to address movement disorders

Sidney Baudendistel

Sidney investigates the underlying mechanisms for prolonged and progressive mobility impairment in Parkinson’s Disease and explores novel interventions to improve gait function

Sidney Baudendistel

Adithya Gopinath

No research description available

Adithya Gopinath

Franjo Ivankovic-Macgibbon

Franjo studies genetic underpinnings of psychiatric disorders, namely Tourette Syndrome and OCD

Franjo Ivankovic

Noelle Jacobsen

Noelle investigates electrocortical activity during locomotor adaptation using mobile electroencephalography

Noelle Jacobsen

Douglas Miller

Doug studies regulatory mechanisms of dopaminergic networks using complex network theory to identify differences that underly neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease

Douglas Miller

Interdisciplinary Training in Neuromuscular Plasticity and Rehabilitation

Building a critical capacity of highly-trained rehabilitation scientists capable of conducting translational neuromuscular plasticity research.

vivian doerr

Vivian studies the detrimental effects of the chemotherapeutic doxorubicin on skeletal muscle health and function

Vivian Doerr

vini mariani

Vini conducts biophysics experiments to study loss of skeletal muscle contractile function in disease and aging

Vinicius Mariani

Jamie Murbach

Jamie researches the electrochemical polymerization of conductive polymers for the improvement of neural interfaces

Jamie Murbach

Alessanra norris

Alessandra studies how Hh signaling controls intramuscular fat formation and muscle regeneration

Alessandra Norris

brandon parks

Brandon studies how to close the loop on essential tremor with deep brain stimulation, and connections within the brain during movement

Brandon Parks

Sarah Skinner Burke

Sarah studies mechanisms of skeletal muscle atrophy in advanced age, with focus on the role of mitochondrial dysfunction

Sarah Skinner Burke

nicole stafford

Nicole studies the biomechanical performance of lower limb amputees using a portable myoelectric prosthesis

Nicole Stafford

Molecular Biology in Burns and Trauma

Training surgical residents in the science of inflammation & immunity

Erik Anderson

Dr. Anderson studies the characteristics of inflammation biology in patients with vascular disease and renal insufficiency

Erik Anderson

Dijoia Darden

Dr. Darden researches the transcriptomic and epigenetic responses of circulating leukocytes and bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells in surgical sepsis and trauma

Dijoia Darden

Brittany fenner

Dr. Fenner researches differing immune responses as a function of age using novel microfluidic technologies

Brittany Fenner

lauren kelly

Dr. Kelly studies the role of traumatic injury, inflammation, and stress on red blood cell development in the bone marrow

Lauren Kelly

Regenerative Medicine Training Grant

Training PhD students in the molecular and cellular aspects of stem cell biology and the use of stem cell products in patient care

Ruben Garcia-Vazquez

No research description available

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Gabriel Prado

No research description available

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Justin Varholick

Justin investigates how the external environment modifies structural and functional recovery during regenerative healing in the African spiny mouse

Justin Varholick

Augustine Vinson

Augustine studies hematopoietic stem cell behavior directly following transplant using intravital imaging techniques

Augustine Vinson

Renal Training and Retention (RETAIN) Program

Providing a collaborative research and training environment for research clinicians learning to reduce the burden of kidney disease

Jermaine Johnston

Dr. Johnston examines mechanisms through which the renal H,K-ATPase HKa1 subunit regulates ENaC

Jermaine Johnston

Research Training in Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Cognition in Aging, MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Training PhD students in non-pharmacological interventions for cognitive aging (CA), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease

Alejandro Albizu

Alejandro investigates novel computational modeling and machine learning techniques to develop individualized neuromodulatory interventions

Alejandro Albizu

Tara Cooper

Tara’s interest is the mechanisms of learning & memory and neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia

Tara Cooper

Nicole Evangelista

Nicole employs machine learning methods to determine the best predictive model of working memory performance, using multimodal measures of whole-brain structure and function

Nicole Evangelista

Kailey Langer

Kailey aims to conduct research that adds to an understanding of the efficacy of interventions and the factors that contribute to inter-individual differences in observed improvements

Kailey Langer

Andrea Mejia

Andrea researches the mechanisms that delay and/or prevent the progression of cognitive decline among Spanish and English-speaking populations

Andrea Mejia

Rebecca Polk

Rebecca investigates the neural activation and connectivity changes in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) after a 4-week oxytocin administration intervention in older adults

Rebecca Polk

Research Training in Vision Science

Training PhD students to become independent investigators in the vision sciences since 1991.

Russell Mellen

Russell develops gene therapy treatments for dominant inherited retinal diseases

Russell Mellen

William Ruddick

No research description available

William Ruddick

Jennifer Simonovich

Jennifer studies the effect of protein therapeutics on autoimmunity, inflammation, and immunometabolism

Jennifer Simonovich

Integrative and Multidisciplinary Pain and Aging Research Training

Addressing the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying age-related changes in the experience of pain

Joshua Crow, PhD

Dr. Crow studies central nervous system contributions to age-related physical decline

Joshua Crow

Soamy Montesino Goicolea, PhD

Dr. Montesino Goicolea focuses on mechanisms contributing to pain and sleep disturbances in older adults

Soamy Montesino

Calia Morais, PhD

Dr. Morais studies the influences of sociocultural stress and resilience on musculoskeletal pain among older Hispanic Americans

Calia Morais

Shreela Palit, PhD

Dr. Palit is interested in risk and resilience factors associated with musculoskeletal pain across the lifespan

Shreela Palit

Steven Pratscher, PhD

Dr. Pratscher focuses on efficacy and mechanisms of breathing interventions for musculoskeletal pain in older adults

Steven Pratscher

Team-based interdisciplinary cancer research training program

Transdisciplinary approaches to cancer research for PhD and postdoctoral trainees

Together: Transforming and Translating Discovery to Improve Health

Led by Wayne McCormack, PhD, this training program supports 10 PhD trainees and runs on principles of team science.

Rachel Newsome

Rachel researches the influence of human gut microbial activities on cancer progression and therapeutic efficacy in a novel system that enables the visualization of these complex interactions

Rachel Newsome

Shaheen Farhadi

No research description available

Shaheen Farhadi, PhD Candidate

danielle cook

No research description available

Danielle Cooke, PhD Candidate

nioud gebru

No research description available

Neo Gebru, MS, PhD Candidate

courtney wilkinson and phil mackie

We investigate the relationship between immune-brain communications in Parkinson’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder

CourtneyWilkinsonPhilipMackie1

natalie koskela-staples and jacqlyn yourell

We use mixed methods to examine parent-level barriers to and facilitators of physical activity among adolescents with comorbid asthma and obesity

Natalie Koskela Staples And Jacqlyn Yourell

Gregory takacs and hannah anderson

We integrate mathematical biology and pre-clinical murine models of glioma to better understand how myeloid cell populations contribute to the immunosuppressive microenvironment that is characteristic of GBM

Greg Takacs And Hannah Anderson

Sarah long and Catherine tocci

We investigate the network level interactions of attention and learning during an attention network task (ANT) and an implicit learning contextual cueing (CC) task

Catherine Tocci And Sarah Long

Rachel Judy and kyle see

We utilize traditional machine learning methods such as support vector machine and more complex models including deep learning to generate interpretable features within resting EEG signals

Rachel Judy And Kyle See

Jennifer Applebaum and Carlyn Ellison

We use sequential mixed methods to research the potential barriers to aging in place faced by older adults with companion animals.

Jennifer Applebaum and Carlyn Ellison

Training Program for Applied Research and Development in Genomic Medicine

Kelly Herremans, MD

Dr. Herremans explores the role of the oral microbiome in pancreatic cancer and how it relates to cancer health disparities

Kelly Herremans

Eric Pruitt, MD

Dr. Pruitt studies the genomics of aortic disease

Eric Pruitt

Andrea Riner, MD, MPH

Dr. Riner investigates pancreatic cancer health disparities utilizing ‘omics and ancestry informative markers

Andrea Riner

Lilian Shen, DVM

Dr. Shen investigates the use of gene editing for treatment of inherited feline and canine cardiomyopathies

Lilian Shen

Cameron Thomas, pharmd

Dr. Thomas utilizes pharmacogenomics to evaluate treatment outcomes and translates genetic associations into clinical practice

Cameron Thomas

Training Program in Chemosensory Science

The TPCS supports 4 predoctoral trainees focused on study of the chemical senses

Caitlin Baumer Harrison

Caitlin examines AT1aR-containing sensory afferents in the regulation of blood pressure, sodium intake, and taste

Caitlin Baumer Harrison

Julien Habif

Julien studies the role of a Joubert Syndrome ciliary protein on olfactory sensory neurons

Julien Habif

Natalie Johnson

Natalie investigates how the chemosensory components of flavored e-cigarette juices contribute to nicotine reinforcement and reward in adolescents

Natalie Johnson

Brian Lee

Brian studies the effects of pathological Tau on primary cilia leading to olfactory dysfunction

Brian Lee

Translational Research Training on Aging and Mobility (TRAM)

Addressing the multi-factorial causes and consequences of age-related changes in mobility and/or designing multi-modal interventions to prevent and rehabilitate mobility impairments in older adults

erika pliner, phd

Dr. Erika Pliner quantifies the efficacy of balance training on neuromechanical components by manipulating sensory information and measuring electrocortical and biomechanical responses

Erika Pliner

Valay shah, PhD

Dr. Valay Shah uses MRI techniques to capture brain deficits that relate to mobility impairment in older adults

Valay Shah

Now Accepting Applications!

Are you a postdoc (or soon to be postdoc) scholar interested in Mobility and Aging? If yes, please visit the TRAM website for information on eligibility criteria & deadlines. We look forward to reading your application.

Translational Science Training to Reduce the Impact of Alcohol on HIV Infection

Improving health outcomes for people affected by HIV and alcohol in Florida

Seungjun Ahn

Seungjun is devising a statistical method to enable differential network analysis in a regression setting based on a pseudovalue technique

Seungjun Ahn

mark britton

Mark studies the “dynamic range” of localized brain activation/deactivation during task performance and the relationship to HIV serostatus and alcohol.

Mark Britton

Vaughn Bryant

Vaughn investigates the association between alcohol use and working memory function, as well as working memory brain networks, among people with HIV by examining cognitive outcomes and cognitive change

Vaughn Bryant

Caroline Deaterly

Caroline studies substance abuse and health outcomes in reproductive age women living with HIV

Caroline Deaterly

christina parisi

Christina studies changes in health outcomes and marijuana use among persons living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic

Christina Parisi

destin shortell

Destin assesses the utility of neuromodulation approaches to decrease craving in individuals with heavy drinking behavior

Destin Shortell

University of Florida Substance Abuse Training Center in Public Health

Training diverse predocs and postdocs for careers in drug use, addiction, and consequences of addiction through a population science and public health lens

Alyssa Falise

Alyssa studies mental health, prescription misuse, and polysubstance use among older adults

Alyssa Falise

Nicole Fitzgerald

Nicole studies psychiatric epidemiology with a focus on substance use disorders

Nicole Fitzgerald

Carolin Hoeflich, PhD

Dr. Hoeflich studies psychiatric epidemiology, focusing on disparities associated with substance use

Carolin Hoeflich

Marilyn Horta, phd

Dr. Horta studies social cognition, decision-making, and substance use in chronic pain and aging

Marilyn Horta

andrew mccabe

No research description available

Andrew McCabe

Jillian Rung, PhD

Dr. Rung studies behavioral pharmacology and behavioral economics, with an emphasis on manipulations of abuse liability

Jillian Rung

Vinita Sharma, phd

Dr. Sharma focuses on the intersection of substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and mental health

Vinita Sharma

enya vroom, phd

No research description available

Enya Vroom

Anna Wang

Anna focuses on substance use epidemiology research

Anna Wang

Nae Won

No research description available

Nae Won

Short-Term Training for Medical Students in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research

Providing intensive, short-term (2.5 month) training in research for 20 first year medical students (MS1s) whose projects focus on heart, lung, and blood topics

GatorStar: A New Marc U*Star Program at the University of Florida

Promoting the early entry of students into research by focusing on curricular reforms and activities that increase the students’ preparedness for foundational science and mathematics courses, and by increasing their awareness of scientific research as a profession