David J Clark Sc.D.
My research focuses on enhancing walking function in people with neurological impairments, particularly older adults and people post-stroke. Ongoing studies involve neurorehabilitation, neuroimaging, non-invasive brain stimulation, electrophysiology, and biomechanics. Grant funding listed below includes only projects administered by UF. For a full listing (including funding from the US Dept of Veterans Affairs) please see the attached curriculum vitae. Publications from my lab group are available at the following links for Pubmed and Google Scholar.
Sung M 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.
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.
Kimberly Sibille Ph.D., M.A.
Employment and Training
Dr. Sibille is an Associate Professor in the Department of Aging & Geriatric Research and the Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Pain Medicine in the College of Medicine. She is an Affiliate Faculty member in the Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence (PRICE) and the School of Advanced Dental Sciences (SADS), College of Dentistry.
Dr. Sibille earned a doctoral degree in Psychology/Clinical Psychology with concentrations in Neuropsychology and Health Psychology from Fielding Graduate University and completed post-doctoral training in Clinical and Translational Pain Research through the UF Comprehensive Center for Pain Research. Her research efforts benefit from her background in exercise science; graduate training in Counselor Education; over fifteen years of clinical practice in diverse healthcare settings; and experiences teaching and training healthcare professionals, graduate students, and medical and dental residents.
Honors and Awards
Dr. Sibille received the 2017-2018 College of Medicine’s University of Florida Term Professorship and the 2017 University of Florida Research Excellence Award for Assistant Professors. She is currently funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH). Previous research funding has been awarded from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the 2014 American Pain Society Sharon S. Keller Chronic Pain Research Grant; the 2014 UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Patient-Oriented Pilot Award; the 2012 International Association for the Study of Pain Grant funded by Scan/Design by the Inger & Jens Bruun Foundation; the 2012 UF CTSI KL2 Scholar and Institute on Aging Pepper Junior Scholar Award; and the 2010 American Pain Society Future Leaders in Pain Research Award.
Inspired by experiences working in healthcare, research from my lab focuses on bridging the biomedical and psychosocial chasm in chronic pain. Chronic pain is a major public health issue with significant functional and financial consequences affecting individuals, the community, and the healthcare system. Even more concerning, the consequences of chronic pain extend beyond disability and decreased quality of life to include an increased incidence of morbidity and mortality. Research investigation and clinical management of chronic pain is difficult due to significant individual variability and the lack of biological indices with which to evaluate risk and protective factors, progression, and treatment response.
Our scientific pursuits are specific to investigating the interactive influences of biological, psychosocial, cognitive, and behavioral factors associated with osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal chronic pain conditions with an emphasis on stress, aging, health disparities, and resilience. The intentions underlying our investigations are to 1) elucidate biological measures reflecting the stress-related biological burden resulting from chronic pain conditions; 2) delineate resilience and vulnerability factors for prevention and treatment; and 3) identify biobehavioral strategies to optimize chronic pain treatment interventions. The overarching goals of our efforts are to contribute to the research and medical community by improving the understanding of the biological interface of chronic pain and associated stressors, to formulate a clinical composite for assessing and evaluating treatment interventions, and to identify strategies and targets to prevent, reduce or ameliorate chronic pain.
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.