Benjamin Bensadon Ed. M, Ph.D.
Benjamin A. Bensadon, Ed. M, Ph.D., is director of gerontology graduate programs and an associate professor in the division of geriatric medicine through the department of aging and geriatric research. He is also a licensed clinical gero-psychologist. Dr. Bensadon’s training and professional experience is centered on integrating psychology and medicine, with the goal of transforming primary care and creating an age-friendly health care system. To achieve this, Dr. Bensadon has co-authored book chapters on management decisions in mild cognitive impairment (Clinics in Geriatric Medicine) and geriatric neurology (Scientific American in press), and created and led a team of physicians and psychologists as editor of a collaborative text titled Psychology and Geriatrics: Integrated Care for an Aging Population (Elsevier). More recently he was one of 15 selected to the inaugural cohort of National Geriatrics Leadership Scholars by the American Geriatrics Society, Association of Directors of Academic Geriatric Programs, and Tideswell at UCSF. Prior to UF, Dr. Bensadon was an assistant professor at the Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where he served as associate director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program’s Geriatrics & Palliative Care Rotation.
Throughout his young career, Dr. Bensadon has developed, implemented and evaluated training curricula in didactic and clinical settings for medical students and residents, advance practice nurses and other health sciences trainees. He has provided clinical services in long-term care/geriatric rehabilitation, outpatient primary care and specialty settings. He completed his doctoral training at the University of Florida and his postdoctoral residency and fellowship at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.
Sung Han Ph.D.
Neurons extend axons and form synapses to communicate with distant cells. These unique structures are susceptible to damage from pathological or physiological stresses. Despite their delicate structure, most neurons are not replaced, and so they must be maintained throughout the life of the animal. My long-term research goal is to understand how the nervous system maintains its function and integrity during aging. In particular, my current goal is to identify mechanisms that regulate the location and function of the mitochondria in two key neuronal conditions: injury (the regulation of axon regeneration) and maintenance (preserving normal synaptic function). In response to a range of conditions, neurons transport and position mitochondria at distinct subcellular sites within axons and synapses. Incorrect mitochondrial localization in neurons can result in functional deficits, failure of axon regeneration, and neurodegeneration. However, the mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial localization, and how mitochondrial subcellular localization supports specific neuronal functions are incompletely understood.
My specific goals are:
1) Investigate how aging neurons regulates mitochondrial dynamics in response to local demand and injury; 2) Elucidate how mitochondria control nuclear gene expression in aging neurons; 3) Discover how aging neurons maintain mitochondrial function at synapses.
Over the long term, I believe that these approaches will result in a new understanding of the mechanisms that maintain optimal function of the nervous system during aging by regulating mitochondrial function in aging/stressed neurons. My lab’s findings will provide better insight into novel therapeutic approaches to restore neuronal functional after nerve injury that can cause permanent loss of motility and disability.
Henrique Kallas M.D.
Henrique Kallas, M.D., is an assistant professor for the University of Florida College of Medicine, and is a board-certified internal medicine and geriatric care physician. Dr. Kallas earned his medical degree from Doutor José Antônio Garcia Coutinho College of Medical Sciences in Minas Gerais, Brazil. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens, and a geriatric medicine fellowship at the University of Florida.
Dr. Kallas was awarded the American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award three times and the American Geriatrics Society Geriatrics Recognition Award twice. Dr. Kallas currently practices for UF Health Senior Care and the UF Health Douglas Williams Executive Health Program. His clinical interests are healthy living, preventive care, falls, men’s health, and gait and balance disorders in the elderly.
So D Kim MD
So Dam Kim, MD, graduated from Catholic University of Korea with her medical degree in 2008. Afterwards, she attended the University of Pittsburgh as a research scholar in the department of surgery, followed by a residency in internal medicine, geriatric track, at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Kim also completed her fellowship in geriatric medicine and wound care at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Kim is board certified for internal medicine, geriatric medicine and medical quality. She is also a member of the American Geriatrics Society, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care.
Dr. Kim has been awarded the Junior Faculty Travel Award in Society Leukocyte Biology, the Summit Resident Award from the Southeast Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and the AMDA Foundation Futures Program.
Dr. Kim’s clinical interests include fall, frailty, wound care and preventive medicine.
Christiaan Leeuwenburgh Ph.D.
Christiaan Leeuwenburgh received his PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne in 1995 where his doctoral work focused on the regulation of glutathione homeostasis during chronic glutathione deficiencies and/or supplementation. He completed postdoctoral studies in Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology and Division of Atherosclerosis, Nutrition and Lipid Research at Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis. He became an Assistant Professor in 1998 at the University of Florida and the Director of the Biochemistry of Aging Laboratory. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002, Professor in 2007. In 2005 he joined the newly created Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, College of Medicine and Institute on Aging at the University of Florida. He is the Chief of the Division of Biology of Aging for the Department. Dr. Leeuwenburgh has joint faculty appointments in the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a member of the department’s doctoral research faculty of the College of Medicine. Dr. Leeuwenburgh’s major research focus is to understand the molecular mechanism of oxidative stress and apoptosis with age in rodent models. The biochemistry of aging laboratory utilizes several animal models of aging. He is conducting research on the role of apoptosis in the loss of human skeletal muscle with age and it’s role in human frailty. He has participated in NIH workshops focused on the biology of aging and geriatric research of the National Institute on Aging. He has published papers in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, American Journal of Physiology and Science. He reviews regularly for numerous journals including American Journal of Physiology, Experimental Gerontology, Biogerontology, and the Journal of Gerontology and is a section editor for the Journal of Experimental Gerontology. In 2004 he received the Nathan Shock Award from the National Institute on Aging. He received the Merck Geriatric Cardiology Research Award from the Society of Geriatric Cardiology in 1999; the National Research Service Award of the NIH from the National Institute on Aging in 1997 and 1998; a Young Investigator Award from the Oxygen Society in 1996; and held an American Heart Association Pre-doctoral Fellowship from the Illinois Affiliate from 1993 through 1995. His work on assessment of oxidative damage in aging and apoptosis has been increasingly recognized and appreciated by gerontologists worldwide.
Christiaan Leeuwenburgh’s major research focus is to understand the molecular mechanism of oxidative stress and apoptosis with age. His laboratory utilizes short and long lived animal models of aging. He is a pioneer in conducting research on the role of apoptosis in the loss of heart and skeletal muscle function with age.
Todd Manini Ph.D.
A native of Wintersville, Ohio, Dr. Manini attended Ohio University in Athens, OH where he graduated with honors in Biology, Exercise Science, and Biochemistry. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. as well as a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Gerontology from Syracuse University. He completed a fellowship at the Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry at the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. He is now a Tenured Associate Professor at the University of Florida (UF) in the Department of Aging and Geriatric Research. He is the Leader of the Data Science and Applied Technology Core in the UF Claude D. Pepper Older American’s Independence Center. The Core is designed to maintain pace in a world that is becoming a connected system of computing and sensing components for mobility tracking in older adults. (mHealth). At an international level, he has fellow status at two societies: The American College of Sports Medicine and The Gerontological Society of America. He is the Chair of the American College of Sports Medicine Strategic Health Initiative on Aging and he carried this leadership to the Gerontological Society of America where he is the Co-Chair of the Measurement, Statistics, and Research Design (MSRD) Interest Group. He was also honored with being a standing member on NIH’s Center for Scientific Review as part of the Neurological, Aging and Musculoskeletal Epidemiology (NAME) Study Section. Lastly, he serves on the editorial board of the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. He is an active mentor and teacher by being awarded in 2011 with the UF College of Medicine Exemplary Teachers Award. He has also recently completed the 2018 Mentor Academy professional development program that develops the next generation of clinical and translational scientists through a culture of support for mentoring and training. He graduated from the inaugural class of the CTSI’s Academy of Research Excellence His current areas of research include: 1) developing and conducting randomized interventions to combat losses in physical performance seen with aging, 2) understanding the degree to which aging modifies the metabolic cost of performing daily activities, 3) identifying the role that mitochondria have in explaining cardiovascular responsiveness to chronic physical activity and 4) developing wearable technology (e.g. smart watch) for scalable ascertainment of real-time, free-living activity and community mobility in older adults. He receives support from the National Institute on Aging, American Heart Association, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and National Cancer Institute for his work.
John R Meuleman M.D.
John Meuleman, M.D. is an associate professor for the University of Florida College of Medicine and is a board-certified geriatric medicine physician. Dr. Meuleman earned his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, La. and received post- graduate training in Gainesville, Fla. Dr. Meuleman completed an internal medicine residency at UF Health Shands Hospital and VA Medical Center where he served as chief resident.
Dr. Meuleman currently practices for UF Health Senior Care and specializes in geriatric medicine. His clinical interests are frailty, sarcopenia, elder exercise, falls, education and polypharmacy. Dr. Meuleman also serves as the assistant director of the fellowship program.
Susan Schneider M.D., M.S.P.H.
Susan G. Schneider, MD, MSPH graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, with both a bachelor of arts in biology and her medical degree. Upon completion of her medical degree, she did her residency in family medicine at University of Missouri – Columbia. After her residency, she went on to do a fellowship in geriatric medicine as well as earn her masters of science in public health from the same institution.
Dr. Schneider has held various positions, including medical director, at multiple family practices, clinics and skilled nursing facilities in Missouri and Florida, including a geriatric specialty outpatient clinic for Aging Institute for Health First in Brevard County.
Dr. Schneider joined University of Florida Health in 2017 and practices as a geriatrician at UF Health Senior Care. She specializes in memory care, syndromes of aging and healthy living.
She is board certified in Family Medicine, Geriatrics and Hospital and Palliative Care.
Shinichi Someya Ph.D.
I am a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Aging and Geriatric Research in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. I received my BA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991 and received my PhD from the University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan) in 2005. I then pursued my postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Tomas Prolla in the Department of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin (2005-2011). I joined the faculty in the Department of Aging and Geriatric Research at the University of Florida as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in June of 2011 and was promoted to tenured Associate Professor in July of 2016.
I have extensive experience (17~ years) in auditory neuroscience, aging and oxidative stress. Up to this point, I have published 47 peer-reviewed research papers and 6 chapter books, and of these, I have several publications in top journals such as Cell, Science, Molecular Cell, PNAS, and Journal of Neuroscience. My research focuses on understanding cochlear aging and gender differences in hearing. Currently, my research is supported by 3 NIH RO1, 1 NIH P30, and American Cancer Society grants.
At the University of Florida, I currently direct six graduate courses: GMS 6486 Biology of Aging (fall/spring/summer), SPA5102 Auditory Anatomy and Physiology (fall), SPA6581 Anatomy and Physiology of Balance (fall), SPA6581 Auditory Pharmacology (summer), and SPA6564 Communication and Aging (spring). I also teach 5 graduate courses as a lecturer, including GMS 6893 Clinical and Translational Science Institute Student Seminar (fall), GMS 6622 Mitochondrial Biology in Aging and Disease (fall), and GMS6070 Sensory Biology (spring). In my courses, I take a student-centered and interactive approach. I encourage students to participate actively.
A large part of my teaching effort is dedicated to mentoring students. I have served or currently serve as a committee member and/or mentor for 8 doctoral students and 18 undergraduate students. Up to this point, five graduate students have completed their PhD program: Mi-Jung Kim (August 2018; Role: Chair), Karessa White (Graduation date: August 2017; Role: Chair), Angela Fulbright, PhD (Graduation date: June 2016; Role: Co-Chair), and Dalian Ding, PhD (Graduation date: February 2015; Role: Co-Chair). I truly enjoy mentoring, interacting with the students in the lab, and sharing my research questions and ideas with them.