Wall of Fame

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Mark Atkinson


Mark Atkinson, PhD ’88

Dr. Atkinson is an American Diabetes Association Eminent Scholar and the Jeffrey Keene Family Professor in the University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine. He serves as the director of the UF Diabetes Institute and is an internationally recognized expert on prevention and/or cure for Type 1 diabetes. He has received Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation awards, including the Gerold and Gayla Grodsky Award (2001) and the David Rumbough Award (2005), for his contributions to diabetes research. He is a three-time recipient of the Mary Tyler Moore & S. Robert Levine, M.D., Award for translational research on Type 1 diabetes (2004, 2008 and 2015). Dr. Atkinson has also received the Eli Lilly Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association (2004) and Novo Nordisk’s Jacobeus Prize, the largest award for efforts in metabolic research. He is ad hoc editor-in-chief of the American Diabetes Association’s journals Diabetes and Diabetes Care. Dr. Atkinson is the founding member of the National Institutes of Health Immune Tolerance Network and founding director of the JDRF Network for Pancreatic Organ donors with Diabetes (nPOD) program, the world’s largest Type 1 diabetes research program, overseeing scientific progress of 248 projects in 21 countries). He is the author of more than 500 publications and a recipient of more than $75 million in extramural research funding. In 2022 he received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Southeastern Universities Research Association.


Donna Baytop


R. Donna Baytop, MD ’76

Dr. Baytop is the former corporate medical director with Solar Turbines and a former regional medical director at Caterpillar Inc. She has served on the University of San Diego Board of Trustees for 22 years and is a UF Foundation National Board member. She is the past president and chair of the Western Occupational and Environmental Medical Association and a fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She received the Rutherford T. Johnstone Award for furthering the field of occupational and environmental medicine. At Caterpillar Inc., Dr. Baytop developed an in-house clinic to treat employees instead of sending them to emergency rooms. She also traveled the world establishing relationships with clinics to serve her employees in places like China, Siberia and Argentina.

Richard Belitsky


Richard Belitsky, MD ’77

Dr. Belitsky was the deputy dean of education at the Yale School of Medicine and is known for innovation in medical student and residency education. He is the residency program director in the Department of Psychiatry and served as the medical director of the Yale Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Belitsky was previously the unit chief of the Inpatient Services Division and director of the Inpatient Services Division of the Connecticut Mental Health Center. He received the Stephen Fleck, M.D., Faculty Award as Exemplary Physician and Teacher, the Charles W. Bohmfalk Teaching Prize, and the Francis Gilman Blake Award at Yale School of Medicine. He was also awarded the Irma Bland Award for Excellence in Teaching Residents and the Nancy C.A. Roeske, M.D., Certificate of Excellence in Recognition of Outstanding and Sustained Contributions to Medical Student Education.

Jean Bennett


Jean Lester Bennett, MD ’60

The first female graduate of the University of Florida College of Medicine, Dr. Bennett was a pediatrician in private practice for more than 40 years before retiring in 2004. She has been active in the medical community for her entire career, serving as a former chairman of the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and president of the medical staff at Morton F. Plant Hospital. She has received the UF Distinguished Alumnus award, UF Distinguished Community Service award and the 1984 American Academy of Pediatrics Pediatrician of the Year award for the state of Florida. Dr. Bennett was also recognized as one of 47 UF Alumnae of Outstanding Achievement at the university’s 50th anniversary of being coeducational. Bennett is a former member of the UF Health Science Center Board of Overseers and Medical Advisory Committee, and former president of the UF Medical Alumni Association, the George Harrell Club and the UF Pediatric Alumni Association. Her dedication to excellent patient care was highly regarded by her patients, several of whom established the Jean Lester Bennett Endowed Scholarship in her honor.

Robert Borrego holds an award shaped like an alligator.


Robert Borrego, MD ’84

Dr. Borrego is an exceptional individual, physician and community leader. Born in Havana, Cuba in 1955 during Fidel Castro's rise to power, he experienced the loss of family members due to political purges, which compelled his father to undertake a perilous journey with his family to Florida by boat. This early life experience instilled in Dr. Borrego valuable life lessons on human nature, compassion, sacrifice, tenacity and courage. Dr. Borrego completed a double major in chemistry and biology with a minor in mathematics in three years at the University of Tampa. He went on to graduate from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1984 and pursued a general surgery residency at the State University of New York, where he later became a faculty member. Currently, Dr. Borrego is an assistant professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and is the associate program director for the Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine. He has been the medical director of trauma critical care services since 1996 and is the chief of surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. In addition, he maintains a solo practice in general and vascular surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Borrego's dedication extends to his military service. He joined the U.S. Army Reserves as a trauma surgeon in 1990, becoming an instructor at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital Army Trauma Training Center. In 2003, during the buildup to the invasion of Iraq, he volunteered to serve in a U.S. Army Forward Surgical Team, demonstrating bravery and dedication to the well-being of those he treated, even in dangerous circumstances. During this period, Dr. Borrego's exceptional diagnostic skills and surgical expertise saved numerous lives and earned him deep respect from his peers and the soldiers he served alongside. His commitment to medicine and selfless service set him apart, even in perilous situations.



Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD ’95

Dr. Bottazzi is an accomplished figure at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where she serves as an associate dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine, a professor in pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology, and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. Recognized by the National Academy of Medicine as one of its Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Scholars, she has also shared her expertise as a keynote speaker at the 2019 UF Emerging Pathogens Institute Research Day and the UF Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences Career Development Series. Dr. Bottazzi's noteworthy achievements include the development of a phase 1 clinical trial vaccine for Human Hookworm, a parasitic disease affecting over 700 million people globally. She has collaborated with Dr. Peter Hotez on COVID-19 vaccines, with their vaccine gaining emergency use approval in India on Dec. 30, 2021. The vaccine, produced by Biological E. in Hyderabad, was set to manufacture more than 1 billion doses in 2022. As an internationally recognized vaccinologist and global health advocate, Dr. Bottazzi has over two decades of experience building sustainable global biotechnology capacity and training programs, successfully transitioning neglected tropical disease vaccines from research to clinical use. Her contributions have been widely acknowledged through national and international recognition, with over 120 scientific papers and participation in over 200 conferences worldwide. She holds fellowships with the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, the Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement (Infectious Diseases) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum. Dr. Bottazzi also serves as a committee member for the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the Stronger Food and Drug Regulatory Systems Abroad consensus study. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and clinical chemistry from the National Autonomous University in Honduras and a doctorate in molecular immunology and experimental pathology from the University of Florida. She completed her postdoctoral training in cellular biology at the University of Miami and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Brigety


Reuben Brigety, MD ’70

Dr. Brigety was the first African American graduate of the UF College of Medicine. He applied and enrolled one year after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. He faced formidable obstacles, but with great resilience and purpose, he paved the way for future African American students to thrive within the college’s halls. Dr. Brigety, who received the Trailblazer Award in 2015 from the city of Jacksonville, was the first physician in the Jacksonville area to perform laparoscopic surgery and has helped welcome thousands of babies into the world as an OB-GYN. He has served as a senior physician medical consultant for the state of Florida since 1985.

Christopher Broder


Christopher C. Broder, PhD ’89

Dr. Broder is a professor and chair of the Department Immunology and Microbiology at the Uniformed Services University (USU) in Bethesda, Maryland. He is an expert in virus-host cell interactions with an emphasis on virus receptor discovery, virus entry and virus-mediated membrane fusion, vaccines and therapeutics development. He also served as the director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Doctoral Program at USU. Dr. Broder developed the Hendra/Nipah soluble G glycoprotein subunit vaccine and developed therapeutic antiviral human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), including the anti-Hendra/Nipah human mAb m102.4, which has been used by emergency protocol internationally for humans with significant risk of Hendra or Nipah virus infection. He was awarded Breakthrough of the Year, Science, in 1996 and the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize in 1997 for discovery of the CXCR4 and the CCR5 HIV-1 coreceptors. He has co-authored more than 165 scientific articles and book chapters and his work has been cited more 19,500 times. Dr. Broder, who is the inventor on 20 U.S. and foreign patents, was awarded the 2013 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal from Australia's national science agency; the 2016 James J. Leonard Award for Excellence in Translational/Clinical Research; and the 2013 and the 2019 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer.


Charles Chesnut


Charles H. Chesnut III, MD ’66

Dr. Chesnut is a professor emeritus of radiology and medicine at the UW Neighborhood Roosevelt Clinic (Bone & Joint and Radiology), where he specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of metabolic bone diseases, including osteoporosis. He received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a medical degree from the University of Florida. He trained in internal medicine and nuclear medicine as intern, resident and fellow at the University of Washington. He is a nationally recognized leader in clinical interests that include the translation of measurements of bone mineral density to understandable information for both the ordering health care provider and the patient.


Steven DeKosky


Steven T. DeKosky, MD ’74

Dr. DeKosky is an outstanding researcher focused on understanding the neurochemistry, neuroimaging, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in both his laboratory and in clinical research. He currently serves as deputy directorof the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida. He has served as vice president and dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and was appointed an emeritus professor of neurology. He is a former chair of the Department of Neurology and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. DeKosky is an author of the first reports of dementia pugilistica, now called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American professional football players. In 2015, Dr. DeKosky was portrayed by actor Eddie Marsan in the movie “Concussion.” He served as chair of the Section on Geriatrics of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). He has received the Teacher Investigator Development Award from the NINDS, the Presidential Award of the American Neurological Association and is listed in “Best Doctors in America.”

John Downs


John B. Downs, MD ’69

Dr. Downs served as a chairman and professor of anesthesiology at the University of South Florida in Tampa and is currently a professor emeritus. He is revered as a pioneer in anesthesiology and critical care medicine. He has greatly influenced the development of monitoring techniques used in intensive care and in operating rooms worldwide. He holds U.S. patents for creating a method and developing equipment for ventilatory therapy of anesthetized and critically ill patients. His expertise has also had a tremendous influence on all levels of medical education. Under his leadership, for example, the USF anesthesiology department increased the number of residents nearly tenfold. Following his retirement from USF, he returned to UF, where he practiced until 2013. Dr. Downs was appointed president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists.


William Fisher stands in front of an emergency room while wearing a white lab coat.


William F. Fisher, MD ’75

The first UF graduate to travel in space, Dr. Fisher served as a mission specialist on board the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1985. He is credited with performing two space walks, including the then-longest spacewalk in history. He served as head of the Astronaut Office Space Station and was responsible for the medical support for the first four shuttle missions. Dr. Fisher was also a member of the NASA Medicine Policy Board and a member of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He has been honored with NASA’s Space Flight Medal and Exceptional Service Medal for his significant contributions to the Agency’s mission, the American Astronautical Society Victor A. Prather Award for Outstanding Achievement in the field of Extravehicular Activity and the FAI Komarov Diploma for outstanding achievements in the field of exploration of outer space. He served as a diplomat of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a former instructor of medicine at the University of South Florida. He currently practices emergency medicine in Houston.

James Free wears a sports blazer, a collared shirt and glasses.


James Free, MD ’60

Known as the man who “named Gatorade,” Dr. Free was one of 47 students selected by the UF College of Medicine’s first dean, Dr. George T. Harrell, to join the college’s inaugural class. Following two years in the United States Air Force, Dr. Free returned to Gainesville to serve as a lab researcher with Dr. J. Robert Cade, and was the first person to use the name “Gatorade” to describe the new sports drink. Dr. Free practiced internal medicine in Clearwater for 30 years, and with his wife, Carole, established the H. James Free, MD, Center for Primary Care Education and Innovation at the University of Florida. He was awarded the Presidential Medallion from the University of Florida for outstanding service and contributions to the university in 2001, received the Health Care Hero Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and earned an honorary doctorate from the University of Florida in 2011. Dr. Free passed away on Oct. 24, 2021 at age 87.

William Friedman


William Friedman, MD, Residency ’82

Dr. Friedman is the director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy at UF and was the A.L. Rhoton Jr. MD Chairman’s Professor of Neurological Surgery at the UF College of Medicine. For 19 years, he served chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at UF. He has authored more than 250 articles and book chapters and has written a book on radiosurgery. In 1986, Dr. Friedman began collaborative work with Francis J. Bova, Ph.D., which led to the development of the patented UF radiosurgery system. The system, known as LINAC Scalpel, assists with localizing, planning and treating intracranial tumors using computer software and a specially designed linear accelerator. The LINAC Scalpel has become one of the most popular commercial radiosurgery systems worldwide. Dr. Friedman is a member of numerous professional organizations. Most notably, he is a past president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, past president of the Florida Neurosurgical Society and past president of the International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society. He is the past editor of Neurosurgery On Call, the internet homepage of organized neurosurgery. He was a member of the UF Health Shands Hospital Board of Directors. He was also a gubernatorial appointee for the Florida Center for Brain Tumor Research and served as medical director of the Intraoperative Neurophysiology Service. Dr. Friedman has received many professional honors, including the UF College of Medicine’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the UF Clinical Research Prize, and the Fabrikant Award for outstanding contributions to the field of radiosurgery from the International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society.


Mark Gold


Mark S. Gold, MD ’75

Dr. Gold is a past-chairman of the University of Florida Department of Psychiatry and an Eminent Scholar Emeritus. He served as the Dizney Eminent Scholar and Distinguished Professor and founded the UF Health Florida Recovery Center during his 25-year tenure in the UF Department of Psychiatry. He is an internationally recognized leader in psychiatry, addiction medicine and recovery. He is a former Teacher of the Year and an outstanding researcher and inventor who has worked to develop models for understanding the effects of tobacco, cocaine and other drugs on the brain and behavior. Dr. Gold has received the American Psychiatric Association’s Foundation Fund Award and Prize, the National Association of Addiction Providers (NAATP) Nelson J. Bradley award, the Annual DARE Lifetime Achievement Award, the PATH Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and the American Society of Addiction Medicine McGovern Lifetime Achievement Award for his landmark contributions to the field of addiction medicine. He has developed the first addiction programs and ASAM fellowship training programs at UF, Medical College of Georgia and Tulane University. He has received Distinguished Alumni awards at Washington University in St Louis, Yale University School of Medicine and the UF College of Medicine. He recently co-authored an updated edition of Food and Addiction and is an adjunct professor with Washington University in St. Louis.

Michael Good


Michael L. Good, MD, Residency ’87

Dr. Good is the CEO of University of Utah Health, dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine, senior vice president for health sciences and interim president at the University of Utah. He served as dean of the UF College of Medicine from 2010-2019, including a brief tenure as interim senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health. He joined the UF College of Medicine faculty in 1988 after completing his residency training in anesthesiology. In his 30 years on the faculty, Dr. Good held numerous leadership positions at UF and its clinical affiliates. His leadership experience also extended to the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center and the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, where he served as chief of staff and system medical director, respectively. Early in his academic career, he led a team of UF physicians and engineers to create the Human Patient Simulator, a sophisticated computerized teaching tool that is now used in health care education programs throughout the world. Dr. Good is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He currently serves on the board of directors for University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics and ARUP Laboratories.


Donald Henderson


Donald R. Henderson, MD ’72

Dr. Henderson was a gastroenterologist and expert in medical technology. He established the first Minority Relations Office at the University of Florida. He served as an assistant clinical professor at UCLA Medical Center and the medical director of Encore Wellness and Weight Loss. He was an expert in medical technology and a telehealth consultant with Cedars Sinai Hospital. Dr. Henderson also co-authored "Encore Wellness and Weight Loss: A Balanced and Inspired Toolkit for Maintaining Weight Loss Success." He was an active member and spoke at conferences with the National Medical Association and hosted health-related programs on NBC Health and public access television. He served on the boards of Blue Shield of California, the Boys and Girls Club and the American Cancer Society. Dr. Henderson passed away in 2020.

Paul Hoffman wearing a white U-F Health lab coat.


Paul M. Hoffman, MD ’67

Dr. Hoffman is the former director of the Veterans Rural Health Resource Center – Eastern Region (VRHRC-ER). In that role, he led the development of the Rural Health Mobility Evaluation Clinic at the Lake City VA Medical Center, which has been designated as a Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence and serves as a model of care coordination for rural veterans with mobility deficits and implementation of distance technology. He is an outstanding researcher and inventor in neurologic care, neuro-rehabilitation, speech, and language pathology, and social work for veterans with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dr. Hoffman is the former director of medical research service for the Office of Research and Development, associate chief of staff for research and development at the VA Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and Gainesville, Florida, and staff scientist in the intramural program at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


Craig Kitchens


Craig Kitchens, MD ’70

Dr. Kitchens is professor emeritus of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Florida, where he spent 40 years of his career. His research includes studies in the areas of clinical hemostasis and thrombosis, coagulation testing, pre-operative testing, disorders of platelets and snake bite envenomation. He is a master in the American College of Physicians and has received numerous awards, including the Medallion Award, the Hippocratic Award, the Teacher of the Year award, and Master Clinician award from UF. Other awards include the National Award for Mentorship from the American Society of Hematology, the Charles K. Donegan Memorial Award from the Florida Chapter of the American College of Physicians and Best Hematology Mentor by The American Society of Hematology. He was editor-in-chief of four editions of the internationally recognized and multi-award winning authoritative textbook “Consultative Hemostasis and Thrombosis.” Along with his wife, Dawn, Dr. Kitchens founded The Still Place, a nonprofit that provides free family vacations to families with severely ill children at their North Carolina ranch to foster resiliency, empowerment and self-determination in all family members.

Suzanne Klimberg crosses her arms while wearing blue scrubs in an operating room.


Suzanne Klimberg, MD ’84

Dr. Klimberg is a professor and the division chief of surgical oncology and colorectal surgery in the Department of Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She holds the Courtney M. Townsend Jr., M.D., Distinguished Chair in General Surgery and also serves as the vice chair for administration, a professor and the chief of the division of surgical oncology in the Department of Surgery. She received the Edward R. Woodward Surgical Resident Award during her residency at the UF College of Medicine and was the second woman to be elected president of the Association of Academic Surgery. She served terms as the president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Oncology. Dr. Klimberg currently serves as the senior director of three major American surgical organizations. She has pioneered innovative breast cancer treatment methods for patients, authored 15 books and over 350 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and has held over 25 editorial board positions for surgical journals and publications. Dr. Klimberg has won over 75 awards in teaching, research and clinical care, and is the past president of three major American surgical organizations and treasurer of another. She is a senior director for the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Complex Surgical Oncology.

Terry Knapp


Terry R. Knapp, MD ’70

Dr. Knapp was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society and received the faculty’s highest award at graduation: the John Gorrie Award (“Most Promise for Becoming a Physician of the Highest Type”). He co-founded Collagen Corp. in 1975, based on the enabling protein chemistry technology that he had patented. While serving as Collagen’s first medical director and vice president of regulatory and clinical affairs, he conducted the clinical studies and regulatory strategies that resulted in the first Class III medical device approval by the Food and Drug Administration. D. Knapp practiced reconstructive surgery in the U.S. while also providing volunteer reconstructive surgery for children in developing nations for more than 40 years. He served as chairman, president and CEO of LipoMatrix. He holds more than 15 issued U.S. and foreign patents in the fields of medical devices and medical information technology, including the method of tagging implantable medical devices with small passive RFID transponders to provide long-term non-invasive device identification. He created and deployed the first global transponder-based medical implant registry, tracking, post-market surveillance and adverse event reporting informatics system. He has served on the advisory board for the Governor’s Office of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, served as director of Image Guided Technology Inc. and served as chairman, president, and CEO of AcuNetx Inc. Dr. Knapp is the founder, chairman and chief medical officer of CareSpan Holdings Inc., an integrated digital health care delivery company.


Joe Lezama


Joe L. Lezama, MD ’97

Dr. Lezama is the chief of medical service at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Florida. He is also a professor of medicine, vice chair and associate program director in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. He has received numerous awards for medical education, including the John T. Sinnott Award for Clinical Teacher of the Year, USF Clinician of the Year and Teacher of the Year for the VA Hospitals, and has been retired from receiving the USF Teacher of the Year Award. He was awarded the University of Florida Distinguished Alumnus Award for accomplishments in the field of medicine and the 2010 Outstanding Service Award by the State Surgeon General for serving as medical director of the Tampa Federal Coordinating Center for Operation Haiti Relief. Dr. Lezama established one of the first VA patient safety and quality improvement residencies with national recognition of his group five years ago at the Institute of Safe Medication Practices. He was recognized by the Under Secretary for Health for extraordinary and significant contributions to government service. n 2021, he received the ACP Laureate Award from the American College of Physicians, one of the most prestigious societies of internal medicine.

Maude Lofton


Maude Lofton, MD ’79

Growing up during the era of segregation and Jim Crow laws in Jacksonville, Florida, Dr. Lofton’s career options were limited. She loved science and aspired to become a teacher, following the path of the women who influenced her. During her junior year at Spelman College in Atlanta, she discovered the field of medical technology. After working in that field for almost a decade, she decided to seek an advanced degree at the University of Florida during a time when the College of Medicine was seeking to increase its minority student enrollment. She would eventually meet Mr. Willie Sanders, director of the college’s Office of Minority Affairs. Dr. Lofton successfully completed the prescribed course of study and was admitted to the College of Medicine. She did her pediatric residency at the University Hospital in Jacksonville, which later became UF Health Jacksonville. Upon completion of her residency, Dr. Lofton joined the UF College of Medicine faculty as an assistant professor of pediatrics and was invited to serve on the admissions committee. While in Jacksonville, Dr. Lofton served on the Mayor’s Commission for Children and Youth and the Governor’s Commissions on Children and Youth for the State of Florida and wrote a weekly column for the Jacksonville Advocate newspaper. She received numerous awards and commendations for her child and family advocacy from the city of Jacksonville, area churches, the Jacksonville Urban League, the NAACP and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She worked with the department of child development at Howard University and was on the faculty of the University of Alabama College of Medicine at Birmingham, where she pursued advanced training in child development and served on the admissions committee. She was awarded the 1998 Children’s Advocate Award by the Children’s Resources Agency. She was also on the faculty of the University of Louisville College of Medicine. Dr. Lofton’s professional career was highlighted in a 2007 edition of American Hospital Association News. Her focus is now on supporting health and education programs for youth, especially leadership development for girls and young women, and women’s health and wellness. A longstanding member of the National Association of Health Services Executives, Dr. Lofton retired from the active practice in 2002 after moving to Denver, where she now resides. A life member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Dr. Lofton is the chairman of the board of CourMed, a Dallas-based startup drug delivery company. She is also on the board of the Greater New Orleans Economic Development Foundation. The principal owner of Lofton Enterprises, Dr. Lofton is currently developing a mixed-use commercial/residential project in the historic cultural district of Denver, known as 5 Points.


James Mandell


James Mandell, MD ’70

Dr. Mandell is the former Distinguished Robert and Dana Smith Professor at Harvard Medical School and CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital and Children’s Medical Center, where he served for 13 years. He was a member of the board of trustees and a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Mandell has served as dean and chief of Albany Medical College and professor of surgery and pediatrics, as well as executive vice president for health affairs and executive medical director. He was a member of the medical staff at Boston Associate in Surgery with an associate professor appointment at Harvard Medical School. He is chair of the board of the Franciscan Hospital, chair of the board of the Harvard Risk Management Co. and a member of the board of directors of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Mark Mannis


Mark Mannis, MD ’75

Dr. Mannis is the chair of ophthalmology at the UC Davis School of Medicine. He has authored over 125 publications and five books on topics relating to corneal surgery and disease. His research has included the development of experimental antimicrobial agents and growth factors that affect the corneal wound healing rate, skin diseases that affect the eye and outcomes of corneal transplants and artificial corneas. Dr. Mannis has helped establish eye-banking and tissue-donation services in the U.S. and Latin America and is the former medical director of Sierra Donor, a nonprofit organ donation agency in Sacramento, California. He has received several awards, including the Dohlman Award and Castroviejo Medal from the Cornea Society; the John Gorrie Award from the UF College of Medicine; the R. Townley Paton Award from the Eye Bank Association of America; the 1996 Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award from Research to Prevent Blindness; the Doctor Honoris Causa from the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru; and the Moacyr Alvaro Gold Medal from the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. He served as the editor-in-chief of Cornea and the founding editor of Vision Pan-America: The Pan American Journal of Ophthalmology. He was also the president of the Cornea Society, the Pan-American Association of Eye Banks and the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology.

Kenneth McCurry


Kenneth McCurry, MD ’87

Dr. McCurry is a cardiothoracic surgeon and surgical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program. Since joining the Cleveland Clinic in 2009, he has performed almost 200 lung transplants. At the University of Pittsburgh, he was head of the Section of Cardiothoracic Transplantation, director of lung and heart-lung transplantation, director of cardiac transplantation, surgical director of clinical heart failure research and surgical director of pediatric lung and heart-lung transplantation. He has been honored twice as one of the top surgeons in the U.S. His research focuses on patient outcomes following heart, lung and heart-lung transplantation, and he currently has major research grants for clinical trials that include heart failure and transplantation. Dr. McCurry is an avid presenter and moderator at notable medical meetings and has led more than 50 sessions in the past six years.

Nancy Mendenhall


Nancy Mendenhall, MD ’80

Dr. Mendenhall is an associate chair for the UF Department of Radiation Oncology and medical director of the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute. She holds the James E. Lockwood Professorship and was the first female department chair at UF College of Medicine. She has more than 20 years of experience and specializes in the areas of breast cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, lymphomas and pediatric cancers. She also treats patients who have prostate cancer and other malignancies. She has been named in several leading women’s magazines as one of the nation’s top doctors for women with cancer. She was named the UF College of Medicine’s 2018 Clinical Science Researcher of the Year, in part for her research success in securing an $11.9 million grant for a national prostate cancer study comparing proton therapy to standard radiation treatment. Dr. Mendenhall received the Dave Paulus Clinical Excellence Award in 2020.


Patrick Ober


K. Patrick Ober, MD ’74

Dr. Ober is the associate dean for education, a professor of internal medicine and the section head of endocrinology and metabolism at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. He studies the relationship between the humanities and the practice of medicine and has written about the dehumanizing properties of electronic medical records. He is an internationally recognized Mark Twain scholar (author of the 2003 book “Mark Twain and Medicine: Any Mummery Will Cure”) and serves on the National Board of Medical Examiners Step 1 Committee. Dr. Ober has been recognized with the Medical Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Service Award from Wake Forest School of Medicine, the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, the Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the John P. McGovern Award from the American Osler Society. He was also nominated for the 2007 Humanism in Medicine Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Patrick O'Leary


James P. O’Leary, MD ’67, Surgery Residency ’72

Dr. O’Leary is the founding executive associate dean for clinical affairs and assistant vice president for strategic planning at Florida International University. He formerly served as the Isidore Cohn Jr., M.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Louisiana State University Medical Center. He was also associate dean of clinical affairs and former interim dean of the LSU Health Sciences Center. He remains emeritus professor and emeritus chairman of the LSU Department of Surgery. He retired as professor emeritus at Florida International University in the Department of Surgery and still advises and mentors students. Dr. O’Leary has earned several teaching awards from UF, Vanderbilt University and the LSU School of Medicine. He is an authority in the field of surgical gastroenterology, having written more than 200 peer reviewed scientific publications and four editions of the Physiologic Basis of Surgery textbook. Aside from holding several leadership positions with the National Board of Medical Examiners, he has also served as the president of the Southeastern Surgical Congress and the Association of Program Directors of Surgery and as the first vice president of the Southern Surgical Association. Most recently, he has been chairman of the Board of Governors and then first vice president of the American College of Surgeons.

Richard Ott


Richard F. Ott, MD ’73

Dr. Ott graduated with honors from the UF College of Medicine. During his plastic surgery training, he was awarded first place for research by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and wrote a review book for plastic surgeons studying for their plastic surgery board exams. He has served as president of the Broward County Medical Association (BCMA), president of the Caducean Society and chief of staff at Imperial Point Medical Center. During his tenure as an officer of the BCMA, he started a clinic for the homeless at the Salvation Army in Fort Lauderdale and organized the volunteer medical efforts to help victims of Hurricane Andrew. More than 10,000 patients were given free medical care during this five-month effort. Dr. Ott is also the founder and former director of Interplast South Inc., which provides free reconstructive plastic surgery to children in developing countries. He has received the Florida Medical Association Award of Merit, Excellence in Teaching Award, and Caducean Society’s Humanitarian Award for his landmark contribution to voluntary and noncompensated humanitarian endeavors.

Doctor Ozaki


Charles T. Ozaki, MD ’60

Dr. Ozaki received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in 1949 and a PhD in agriculture and life sciences from The Ohio State University in 1953 before returning to Gainesville to attend medical school as part of the UF College of Medicine’s inaugural class. He also served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Upon completing his pediatrics residency, Dr. Ozaki established his practice in an underserved North Florida community where he was the first and only pediatrician in a multi-county area. He served the children of this rural area for 40 years. He has earned recognition for his clinical accomplishments, contributions to research and his mentorship of students, residents and researchers. Dr. Ozaki is the first Japanese-American graduate of the UF College of Medicine. Dr. Ozaki passed away on February 3, 2021, in Gainesville, Florida, at the age of 94.


robert phillips


Robert L. Phillips Jr., MD ’95

Dr. Phillips is the executive director for the Center for Professionalism and Value in Health Care and a professor of family medicine at Georgetown University and Virginia Commonwealth University. He serves as co-chair of the Population Health Subcommittee and is a member of the executive committee of the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics. He previously served on the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Education, as president of the National Residency Matching Program and as vice Ccair of the U.S. Council on Graduate Medical Education. He is also the former director at the Robert Graham Center in Washington, D.C., and former vice president for research and policy at the American Board of Family Medicine. He received the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award from the UF College of Medicine and was a Fulbright specialist in the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Jim Potter


James M. Potter, MD ’63

After earning his medical degree, Dr. Potter served in the U.S. Navy as a flight surgeon before completing his residency in pathology at the UF College of Medicine. He has served on the UF Foundation Board of Directors and UF Medical Alumni Board of Directors, and he co-chaired the UF “Embrace Excellence” Capital Campaign for Medicine. Dr. Potter was also a founding member of The George Harrell Club. He has served as chairman of the Ethics Committee for Baptist Health Care and president of the Baptist Hospital medical staff. He has also served as president of the University Hospital medical staff and faculty associate in the Department of Medical Technology at the University of West Florida. Dr. Potter has been the president of the Greater Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and part of the Board of Directors for Animal Park Inc. Dr. Potter passed away on January 12, 2022, in Pensacola, FL, at the age of 84.

Nell Potter


Nell W. Potter, MD ’63

Dr. Potter practiced adolescent medicine at the UF Student Health Care Center and in private practice for almost 50 years in Pensacola, Florida. She was also the director of student health services at the University of West Florida. She has served on the UF Foundation Board of Directors and UF Medical Alumni Board of Directors, and she co-chaired the UF “Embrace Excellence” Capital Campaign for Medicine. Dr. Potter was also a founding member of The George Harrell Club and, along with her husband, Dr. James Potter, she established the Nell W. Potter, MD, Assistant Professorship in Adolescent Medicine in the UF College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.


Jason Rosenberg


Jason Rosenberg, MD ’95

Dr. Rosenberg is reconstructive microsurgeon specializing in reconstructive surgery in cancer patients. He is a partner and shareholder at The Orthopaedic Institute. He also served as an assistant professor of plastic surgery at the UF College of Medicine. He completed a four-year gubernatorial appointment to the Florida Board of Medicine, where he served as the board’s chairman in 2012. He also served as chairman of the board’s Rules and Legislative Committee and the Surgical Care Committee. In addition, he was a gubernatorial appointee to the State University System Board of Regents. Dr. Rosenberg is a member of the UF Board of Trustees and has served as president of the UF Alumni Association, president of the UF College of Medicine Alumni Association, a director of the UF Foundation and a director of the Gator Boosters Inc. He is also a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve Medical Corps and a clinical specialist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Warren Ross


Warren E. Ross, MD ’73

Dr. Ross served as executive associate dean at the University of Florida College of Medicine, followed by an appointment as CEO of the UF Health system. In this role, he led the strategic direction of the academic medical center’s clinical enterprise, including mergers and acquisitions, network development and care strategy. He also served as dean of the Drexel University College of Medicine from 1999-2003. He led a National Cooperative Drug Discovery Group that was responsible for the identification of a novel class of cancer chemotherapy agents commonly used today. He is a four-time recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award and a recipient of the Hippocratic Award from the UF College of Medicine class of 1987. Dr. Ross is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In addition to serving in advisory roles to the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, he has served on the Board of Directors of Tampa General Hospital and the Institute of Medicine. Today he leads the Academic Health Center Practice at Korn Ferry International.


Jude Samulski in his lab


Richard “Jude” Samulski, PhD ’82

Dr. Samulski received his PhD in medical microbiology and immunology from the University of Florida. His graduate work from 1978 to 1982 involved the cloning of the adeno-associated virus (AAV) genome and the demonstration of AAV as a viral vector, including the first U.S. patent involving non-AAV genes inserted into AAV. During his post-doctoral training at Princeton University, he developed the AAV 2 ITR vector backbone, commonly used by most labs today, as well as the initial establishment of an AAV production system. At the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biology, he was the first to demonstrate AAV transduction in rodent brain and muscle that culminated in the first clinical trials in the brain (Canavan) and muscle (DMD). In 1993, he was hired by the University of North Carolina to establish a Gene Therapy Center. For over 25 years, Dr. Samulski, a professor of pharmacology and the director of the Gene Therapy Center at UNC, has led a team of multiple principal investigators developing novel viral vectors and clinical gene therapy programs. He was recognized in 2008 by the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) as the first recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award, was awarded the National Hemophilia Foundation’s Investigator of the Year in 1999 and was the first non-MD to be added to the University of Florida College of Medicine Wall of Fame. He has served as past-president of ASGCT and was invited to China to meet with the Chinese Minister of Health. Soon after, he was named one of China’s Thousand Points of Light, a recognition bestowed on individuals whose contributions benefit mankind. In addition to being the lead inventor on over 300 patents in the field of AAV vectors and gene therapy, he is a scientific founder of ASGCT, Merlin, Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, NanoCor Therapeutics, Chatham Therapeutics, Bamboo Therapeutics, Viralgen and other entities that continue to advance the field of human gene therapy. He was selected as a seminal speaker at the Royal Society of Science in London in the Isaac Newton Lecture room on “Delivering novel therapeutic in the 21st century” in October 2018.

Peter Small


Peter M. Small, MD ’85

Dr. Small serves as the senior director of global health technologies at Global Health Labs. He completed his medical training and was chief resident at UC San Francisco at the dawn of the HIV era. While an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Stanford University, Dr. Small pioneered the field of molecular epidemiology and helped shape the public health response to the resurgence of tuberculosis. He built and ran the tuberculosis program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including its program in India. In 2015, Dr. Small founded the Global Health Institute at Stony Brook University, focused on innovative ways to deliver health care in remote regions of Madagascar and Nepal. He was a fellow at The Rockefeller Foundation, researching the use of technology to improve health in low- and middle-income countries.

Kevin Soden


Kevin J. Soden, MD ’74

Dr. Soden is an international award-winning medical journalist and critically acclaimed author and speaker. He served as a national medical reporter for NBC News. He has also served as an emergency physician and was the founder of the oldest and largest physician-owned managed care organization in North Carolina. Dr. Soden has earned numerous awards, including an Emmy, three Telly Awards, an International Freddie Award, a National Award for Excellence in Medical Reporting from the National Association of Medical Communicators and an International Film Critics award for short films. His documentary, Polio Revisited, won the TV category for the 2008 Awards in Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Health Care Journalists. Today, he is the worldwide medical director for both Texas Instruments and Cardinal Health.

Benjamin Louis Stalnaker


Benjamin Louis “Lou” Stalnaker, MD ’60

Dr. Stalnaker attended flight surgeon school in Texas before joining the U.S. Air Force. He also completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville and the University of South Alabama. Dr. Stalnaker was a professor and residency program director for the University of Florida Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology on the Pensacola campus. In addition to being a life member of the South Atlantic Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, he has served as past president of the Florida Obstetric and Gynecologic Society, a board member for NICA and a member of the Physician Advisory Council to NICA. He is also a former dean of clinical science with St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine in the Cayman Islands. Dr. Stalnaker was appointed vice president of academic affairs with Xavier University School of Medicine and served in that capacity for three years before accepting a part-time position with EmCare Physician Services in rural emergency medicine.


Kim Toone in Navy uniform


Kimberly Toone, MD ’97

A member of the U.S. Navy, Capt. Toone is the executive officer (XO) of the USNS Comfort, T-AH 20. She previously served as the force surgeon for Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic, senior medical officer, USS Gerald R. Ford, CVN 78, and strike group surgeon/senior medical officer, Carrier Strike Group Two/USS George H.W. Bush CVN-77. She was the senior primary care provider, 3d Marine Expeditionary Battalion in Sewon, Indonesia. She has served as Naval flight surgeon for the Department of Defense Manned Space Flight Medical Support Office. She is the former director of public health for the Naval Hospital Pensacola, former department head for the Branch Health Clinic of the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, and former senior medical officer for the Directorate of Branch Clinics at the Naval Hospital Okinawa in Japan. She is a medical educator for the Naval Hospital Okinawa and Naval Hospital Pensacola. A pioneer in her profession, Capt. Toone was the first female force surgeon for Naval Air Forces Atlantic and the first female aerospace medicine specialty leader.


Robert Walker


Robert B. Walker, MD ’74

Dr. Walker is a professor of family medicine at Marshall Health. He served as the vice chancellor for health sciences at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission for 11 years. From 1986-2008, he served as professor and chairman of the department of family and community health at Marshall Health, as well as associate dean for clinical affairs, director of clinical affairs for the Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health and executive vice dean. His honors include a Special Commendation Award for Rural Medical Service from the U.S. Public Health Service, as well as two accolades from the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine: the Outstanding Contribution to Medical Education Award and the Most Influential Faculty Member Award. Dr. Walker’s other awards include the 1989 West Virginia Professor of the Year from the Faculty Merit Foundation, the Outstanding Rural Physician Award from the West Virginia Medical Association and the Family Doc Award from the West Virginia Chapter of American Academy of Family Practice.

Robert Watson


Robert T. Watson, MD ’69, Neurology Residency ’73

Dr. Watson served as senior associate dean for educational affairs at the University of Florida College of Medicine for 17 years. He also served as the Jules B. Chapman, M.D., Professor in Clinical Care and Humaneness for 12 years and as vice chair of the UF Department of Neurology until 2008. Through the years at UF, he helped develop the concept of mission-based budgeting and provided professional counseling in the areas of curriculum and the continuum of medical education. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the International Association of Medical Science Educators. He has received numerous honors, including the UF College of Medicine Class of 1985 Hippocratic Award, the Florida Medical Association Leadership in Medical Education Award and the UF Society of Teaching Scholars Lifetime Achievement Award. He was given the highest national recognition for contributions to the education mission in 2005 when he received the AAMC Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Watson is currently a professor emeritus of neurology at the UF College of Medicine and a professor of neurology at Florida State University College of Medicine.

George Wirtanen


George W. Wirtanen, MD ’60

Dr. Wirtanen was a board-certified teacher and researcher. He served as associate director of the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center and as director of the radiation oncology section in the Department of Human Oncology. He was an innovative researcher and developed the transbrachial intra-arterial delivery of chemotherapy for cancer patients. This allowed precision, less toxic chemotherapy, and permitted patients to be ambulatory for the first time while receiving intra-arterial chemotherapy. He was also a principle investigator for the National Cancer Institute Grant in the Department of Radiation Oncology and served as medical director for Mercy Regional Cancer Center in Janesville, Wisconsin. Dr. Wirtanen passed away in 2002.


Michael Zinner


Michael J. Zinner, MD ’71

Dr. Zinner is the founding CEO and executive medical director for the Miami Cancer Institute. An expert in pancreatic-hepatobiliary diseases, he has earned worldwide recognition for his clinical accomplishments, contributions to cancer research and his mentorship of students, residents and researchers. He is the co-founder of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Zinner served as the Moseley Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and founded Harvard’s Center for Surgery and Public Health. He has been recognized by Harvard Medical School and the Association of Women Surgeons for his advocacy role in the advancement of women in medicine. He serves on the editorial boards of the Annals of Surgery, Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. He is a former chairman of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons and is now vice chairman of the College’s Board of Regents. Additionally, he chairs the College’s Health Policy and Advocacy Committee.