Most Valuable Player Award winner Allison Ivey (right) poses with
(from left) Dr. Jon Graham, Dr. John Wingard and Dr. Paul Okunieff.

Honoring excellence

UF cancer clinicians and researchers honored the outstanding work of their colleagues during the inaugural UF Shands Cancer Center Celebration of Excellence Awards ceremony. Selected from more than 80 nominations, the awardees were determined by cancer center member votes (and heartfelt justifications).

Bench to Bedside Award

Christopher Cogle, M.D., received the The Bench to Bedside Award. A physician-scientist who epitomizes innovative and collaborative efforts to accelerate the transition of scientific discoveries into new cancer therapies, Cogle is leading a phase 1 clinical trial based on his fi ndings of antileukemic properties in a molecule. His group also discovered that blood vessels promote and protect leukemia cells and may serve as sanctuary sites for disease that resists treatment.

Golden Glove Award

Rebecca Gaa, R.N., received the Golden Glove Award. Nominees for this award include faculty or clinical staff members who personify excellence in patient-centered cancer care. Gaa, a nurse in the gastrointestinal oncology program, was honored for her commitment to patients. One colleague said, “She has spent countless hours helping patients navigate their very challenging medical and personal cancer journeys.”

Mentoring Outside the Box Award

Edward Scott, Ph.D., received of the Mentoring Outside the Box Award, given to research or clinical faculty members who have provided extraordinary leadership and mentoring to students, postdoctoral associates and junior colleagues. Scott’s nominators described him as, “an accomplished investigator who has mentored countless clinicians and researchers in oncology, surgical oncology and orthopedic oncology.”

Most Valuable Player Award

Research nurse Allison Ivey, R.N., received the Most Valuable Player Award, which recognizes personal and professional excellence that has made a significant impact on organizational business, research and/or patient care objectives. Ivey is described as being “hands down, the best research nurse … extraordinarily diligent, careful and always complete … a stickler for patient safety and protocol compliance.”

Top Team Effort Award

Sadasivan Vidyasagar, M.D., Ph.D., and his team were recognized with the Top Team Effort Award for their effort to bringing a new product, Enterade, through research and development to market. The team worked as a tireless unit on a 24/7, three-shift schedule for three months to develop a beverage that would provide cancer patients undergoing GI irradiation or GI toxic chemotherapy with optimal nutritional support while minimizing diarrhea. In less than a year, the team successfully gained a patent, licensed their product, incorporated a new company and garnered $3 millionin investment for Enterade. The Enterade formula is now entering clinical trials. Led by Vidyasagar, team members Liangjie Yin, Mei Zhang, Amy Zhang, Zhenhuan Zhang and Rejeesh Menon were recognized.


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Summer 2012

From the director’s desk

They’re our patients’ bridge over troubled water … when you’re feeling weary and there’s darkness all around, they will comfort you.

Audrey’s journey across the world

Six-year-old from Australia comes to UF Proton Therapy Center for brain tumor treatment. “More happiness came out of the center than pain,” Anderson said.

Helping them live

Cancer is a scary diagnosis, by itself. Add in the need for appointments with surgeons, medical oncologists, genetics counselors and other specialists plus a slew of tests and the mind boggles. Nurse navigators guide patients through their cancer journeys.

Targeting tumors

Cancer that has spread from the site of an original tumor to other places in the body is often viewed as a death sentence. But if there are just a few of those secondary tumors, called metastases, some patients have a good chance of survival.

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