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UF experts on immunizations and vaccines

The following University of Florida researchers are available to speak to reporters on a range of topics related to immunization and vaccine research. If you are interested in speaking with a particular researcher, contact the UF Health communicator listed after the researcher’s information, or call Rossana Passaniti, media relations coordinator for UF Health, at 352-273-8569.

 

Amanda Bradshaw, doctoral student, UF College of Journalism and Communications

Research interests: Strategic communication in advertising focusing on digital and social media, health communication and advertising in the healthcare industry and interpersonal doctor-patient communication

Bradshaw has studied the role that social media, blogs and online consumer reviews play in the healthcare field. A primary area of research focuses on childhood vaccines and obesity. She spent three years as public relations manager of Preferred Medical Group which includes clinics and providers in pediatrics, family practice and child psychology.

Contact: Randy Bennett, executive director, external relations, UF College of Journalism and Communications, rbennett@jou.ufl.edu, 352-273-1223

 

 

Josephine Clark-Curtiss, professor of medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, UF College of Medicine; member, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute

Research interests: Tuberculosis, mycobacterial pathogenesis, regulation of gene expression, vaccines

Clark-Curtiss’ interest in developing a tuberculosis vaccine stems from the belief that immunization to protect individuals from infection is superior to the continued development of new antibiotics to combat bacterial pathogens that inevitably acquire resistance to currently available or newly designed antibiotics. Her research group is using recombinant attenuated Salmonella vectors as vaccines (RASVs) to deliver M. tuberculosis antigens to elicit protective immune responses.

Contact: Evan Barton, public relations specialist, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, ebarton@epi.ufl.edu, 352-273-7517

 

 

Roy Curtiss, professor, Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, UF College of Veterinary Medicine

Research interests: Biotechnology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, vaccinology

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, Curtiss studies the synthesis and delivery of protective antigens to maximize protective immunity with the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality caused by infections disease agents of fish, poultry, swine, cattle and humans. Curtiss also researches zoonotic threats and is working to develop preventative and therapeutic vaccines against cancer.

Contact: Evan Barton, public relations specialist, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, ebarton@epi.ufl.edu, 352-273-7517

 

 

Natalie Dean, assistant professor, Department of Biostatistics, UF College of Public Health and Health Professions

Research interests: Infectious disease surveillance, survey design, clinical trials, vaccines

Dean worked as an external statistical consultant for the World Health Organization’s HIV department. More recently, she has assisted in the design and analysis of a Phase III Ebola vaccine trial in Guinea and has participated in analyzing and modeling Ebola and Zika outbreaks, planning dengue serosurveys and designing vaccine trial strategies for emerging pathogens.

Contact: Jill Pease, public relations director, UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, jpease@PHHP.UFL.EDU, 352-273-5816

 

 

Roel Dinglasan, associate professor, Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, UF College of Veterinary Medicine; member, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute

Research interests: Vaccines to prevent malaria transmission, investigating pathways of infection and disease development with the goal of finding natural product compounds that could lead to new anti-malaria drugs

Dinglasan spent years developing a malaria transmission blocking vaccine that led to a $3.2 million award from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund to the University of Florida and partners in the United States and Japan to advance a promising vaccine to prevent transmission of malaria.

Contact: Evan Barton, public relations specialist, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, ebarton@epi.ufl.edu, 352-273-7517

 

 

Nicole Iovine, associate professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, Department of Medicine, UF College of Medicine

Research interests: Outbreak and control of gram-negative bacteria, which can cause respiratory infections including some types of pneumonia, and sexually transmitted diseases including gonorrhea

Iovine trained as both an infectious disease specialist and as an expert in innate defense against bacterial infection.

Contact: Evan Barton, public relations specialist, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, ebarton@epi.ufl.edu, 352-273-7517

 

 

Versie Johnson-Mallard, associate dean for student affairs, UF College of Nursing

Research interests: HPV vaccination, behavior change in response to culturally, gender and population specific prevention interventions, women’s health, reproductive health promotion, sexually transmitted infection prevention, HPV screening and prevention

Board certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar alumna, Johnson-Mallard focuses on sexual and reproductive health promotion, cancer prevention and addressing health care gaps. A goal of her research is to make information available, understood and translatable to create positive and sustainable behavioral changes.

Contact: Anna Suggs Hoffman, communications specialist, UF College of Nursing, asuggs@ufl.edu, 352-275-2782

 

 

John Lednicky, research professor, Department of Environmental and Global Health, UF College of Public Health and Health Professions

Research interests: Microbiology, virology

Lednicky, the first to detect Zika and Mayaro virus in Haitians, focuses on aerovirology, virus discovery, virus surveillance with an emphasis on athropoid-borne viruses, and influenza virus studies. His laboratory discovered RhinovirusC-51 and a variant of Human polyomavirus 9. He also is involved with the isolation of viruses that are causing lethal infections in Florida’s farmed deer.

Contact: Jill Pease, public relations director, UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, jpease@PHHP.UFL.EDU, 352-273-5816

 

 

Maureen Long, professor of virology and microbiology, Department of Comparative, Diagnostic and Population Medicine, UF College of Veterinary Medicine

Research interests: Equine and large animal infectious diseases including equine infectious anemia virus and West Nile virus

Long’s clinical interests are infectious diseases, immunology and endocrine diseases.

Contact: Evan Barton, public relations specialist, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, ebarton@epi.ufl.edu, 352-273-7517

 

 

Ira Longini, professor of biostatistics, UF College of Public Health and Health Professions; co-director, Center for Statistics and Quantitative Infections Diseases, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute

Research interests: Analysis of infectious disease transmission and control, biostatistics, epidemiology

Longini specializes in the mathematical and statistical theory of epidemics, a process that involves constructing and analyzing mathematical models of disease transmission and progression. He has studied the analysis of epidemics of influenza, HIV, tuberculosis, cholera, dengue fever, malaria, rhinovirus, rotavirus and measles. He also is working with the Centers for Disease Control and other public health interests on mathematical and statistical models for the control of bioterrorist attacks with an infectious agent such as smallpox.

Contact: Jill Pease, public relations director, UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, jpease@PHHP.UFL.EDU, 352-273-5816

 

 

Kathleen Ryan, clinical associate professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases, UF College of Medicine; member, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute

Research interests: Infectious diseases

Ryan specializes in diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases in children from birth to age 21, especially those with unusual presentations or complicated illnesses known or suspected to be caused by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and infections associated with vector-borne illnesses.

Contact: Evan Barton, public relations specialist, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, ebarton@epi.ufl.edu, 352-273-7517

 

 

Lindsay Thompson, associate professor of pediatrics and health outcomes and biomedical informatics, Department of Pediatrics, UF College of Medicine

Research interests: Social media and health, assessment of children with special health needs, neonatal outcomes

Thompson has successfully debunked myths on the concept of herd immunity and the likelihood of disease contraction from a vaccine. She also has served as a co-investigator on two research grants run through the Institute for Child Health Policy. One used health information technology to improve adolescent vaccination rates and the other aimed to create quality measures for oral health in pediatric settings.

Contact: Evan Barton, public relations specialist, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, ebarton@epi.ufl.edu, 352-273-7517