College of Veterinary Medicine» faculty UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:35:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Teresa Pitts Fri, 31 Jan 2014 19:31:42 +0000 Research Assistant ProfessorDr. Teresa Pitts

Department of Physiological Sciences
Box 100144
1333 Center Drive
Gainesville, FL 32610-0103
Office: 352-294-4066
Fax: 352-392-5145


  • DOCTORAL DEGREE, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2010
  • MASTER OF ARTS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2006
  • BACCALAUREATE OF ARTS, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 2003


  • 2013 – 2018: National Institutes of Health K99/R00 Pathway to Independence
  • 2013 – 2014: University of Florida Opportunity Fund

Academic Honors

University of Central Florida

  • Florida Merit Scholarship, 1999-2003
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2003
  • Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders Top GPA, Summer 2005

University of Florida

  • Grinter Fellowship – Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2006-2008
  • Delta Epsilon Iota, 2010

Professional Honors

University of Central Florida

  • FLASHA annual convention 2nd place poster presentation, 2005

University of Florida

  • New Investigator Grant: Dysphagia Research Society Conference and the
    American Speech and Hearing Association, 2009
  • Outstanding Young Alumnus to the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in the College of Public Health and Health Professions, 2011

Research Interests

Her research has brought to light the co-existence of disordered swallow and cough in Parkinson’s disease which puts these patients at risk for significant respiratory complications. Pertinent findings included the viability of using voluntary cough to detect at-risk patients for swallowing disorders, and then treating those at-risk patients with Expiratory Muscle Strength Training which improved cough and swallowing safety scores. She is currently working to develop a model of airway protection including dysphagia (disorder of swallow) and dystussia (disorder of cough) for testing of novel therapies to extend the quality-of-life of persons living with neuromuscular diseases.

Public Relations

Webinars on Multiscale Modeling in Physiology, In Vivo and In Silico Models of Airway Protection, 2014

Selected Research Publications

  1. Castillo D, Pitts T. (2013) Influence of baclofen on laryngeal and spinal motor drive during cough in the anesthetized cat. Laryngoscope, 123(12): 3088-3092. weblink
  2. Hoffman-Ruddy B, Pitts T, Lehman J, Spector B, & Sapienza C. (2013) Improved voluntary cough immediately following office based vocal fold medialization injections. Laryngoscope (in press). weblink
  3. Pitts T, Rose M, Mortensen A, Poliacek I, Sapienza C, Lindsey BG, Morris KF, Davenport PW, Bolser DC. (2013) Coordination of cough and swallow: A meta-behavioral response to aspiration. Journal of Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology (in press). weblink
  4. Pitts T. (2013) Airway protective reflexes. Journal of Lung (in press). weblink

PubMed Search Results

Google Scholar Page

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Christopher J. Martyniuk Fri, 24 Jan 2014 17:08:01 +0000 Associate ProfessorMartyniukChris_200px

Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology & Department of Physiological Sciences
Box 110885
471 Mowry Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611
Office: 352-294-4636
Fax: 352-392-4707


  • PhD Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, CA, 2006
  • MCs Zoology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, CA, 2001
  • BSc Biology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, CA, 1996

Recent Honors and Awards

  • 2013: The Gorbman – Bern New Independent Investigator Award. North American Society for Comparative Endocrinology
  • 2013: Canadian Society of Zoology, Bob Boutilier New Investigator Award
  • 2010: UNB Harrison-McCain Young Researcher Award
  • 2008: ThermoElectron-ABRF 2008 Outstanding Scientist/Technologists Awardees
  • 2007: Finalist for top Ph.D. thesis in Canada (Canadian Society of Zoology)

Research Interests

aquatic toxicology, sex steroids, neuroendocrinology, gamma-aminobutyric acid, transcriptomics, proteomics, reproduction, fish biology

Current Projects

  • Mechanisms of intersex and sex differentiation (P Bahamonde)
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and reproduction (J Loughery)
  • Molecular biomarkers for environmental assessments for selenium (R.Kan)
  • Pesticide effects on GABAergic and dopaminergic signaling systems (A Cowie)

Recent Research Articles (62 total)

  • Martyniuk CJ, Houlahan J. 2013. Assessing gene network stability and individual variability in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) transcriptome. Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics. 8(4):283-291.
  • Ornostay A, Cowie AM, Hindle M, Baker CJ, Martyniuk CJ. 2013. Classifying chemical mode of action using gene networks and machine learning: A case study with the herbicide linuron. Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics. 8(4):263-274.
  • Garcia-Reyero N, Martyniuk CJ, Kroll KJ, Escalon BL, Spade DJ, Denslow ND. 2013. Transcriptional signature of progesterone in the fathead minnow ovary (Pimephales promelas). Gen Comp Endocrinol. 192:159-69.
  • Biggs K, Seidel JS, Wilson A, Martyniuk CJ. 2013. γ-Amino-butyric acid (GABA) receptor subunit and transporter expression in the gonad and liver of the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 166(1):119-27.
  • Chishti Y, Feswick A, Munkittrick KR, Martyniuk CJ. Transcriptomic profiling of progesterone action in the male fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) testis.
  • Bahamonde PA, Munkittrick KR, Martyniuk CJ. 2013. Intersex in teleost fish: Are we distinguishing endocrine disruption from natural phenomena? Gen Comp Endocrinol.
  • Martyniuk CJ, Feswick A, Fang B, Koomen JM, Barber DS, Gavin T, Lopachin RM. 2013.
    Protein targets of acrylamide adduct formation in cultured rat dopaminergic cells. Toxicol Lett 219(3):279-87.

PubMed Search Results

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UF veterinarians develop technique to test for manatee heart problems Thu, 27 Jun 2013 13:37:36 +0000  

An adult manatee receives an echocardiogram by Dr. Amara Estrada, a UF veterinary cardiologist, in the field at a Crystal River health assessment in the fall of 2011.

An adult manatee receives an echocardiogram by Dr. Amara Estrada, a UF veterinary cardiologist at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. (Photo by Dave Parkinson, Lowry Park Zoo)

Leisurely swims in warm, tropical waters fueled by the gaze of admiring fans and a healthy vegetarian diet.

The life of a manatee hardly seems likely to prompt concerns about heart disease. But researchers at the University of Florida say the lumbering, loveable sea cow’s ticker deserves a closer look because of the animal’s endangered status.

That’s why they’ve developed a technique to test for cardiac problems in endangered manatees, both in the wild and in captivity. The new technique will enhance knowledge of how the manatee heart functions.

The UF researchers are using the technique to gather data they hope to share with wildlife and zoo veterinarians to ultimately save more manatee lives. Collaborating with scientists from Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s marine mammal pathology laboratory in St. Petersburg, they are using echocardiography on the large creatures, making use of a specially designed table built to hold animals weighing up to 2,000 pounds.

“There are a lot of gaps in our knowledge base on basic anatomy and physiology of manatees due to the obvious limitations of working with a 1,000- to 1,500-pound animal that spends its entire life in the water,” said Dr. Trevor Gerlach, an intern in UF’s aquatic animal health program and lead author on a paper that documents the first phase of the researchers’ study in the June issue of the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. “Due to their current endangered status, it is important that we understand the animal in its entirety so that we can better tailor conservation efforts for the species.”

The researchers’ long-term goal is to provide practitioners at rehabilitation facilities and those working in the field with data from clinically healthy animals. Such animals could be compared to animals of concern to determine if cardiac disease is present.

To allow for effective testing, the researchers first developed a table built to hold the weight of 2,000-pound animals that were part of a large-scale manatee health assessment conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in Crystal River. Fourteen healthy, wild and captive Florida manatees underwent echocardiography, administered using the table technique, between fall 2011 and winter 2012. The group included eight females and six males of various ages.

Manatee sonogram

A manatee receives an echocardiogram administered by Dr. Ivan Sosa, center, a UF veterinary cardiology resident. Also shown assisting are veterinary technician Melanie Powell, second from right, and Dr. Trevor Gerlach, an aquatic animal health intern, far right. (Photo courtesy of Lowry Park Zoo.)

“We were able to clearly visualize all valves and chambers,” Gerlach said, adding that other key indicators of heart function also were successfully obtained. Some abnormalities in the study animals also were documented.

“Our results indicate that echocardiography in the Florida manatee is possible, which has both clinical and research implications in larger epidemiologic studies evaluating diseases of the cardiopulmonary and cardiovascular systems,” Gerlach said.

Although extensive research has been conducted on comparative anatomy, physiology and ecology of sea cows, very few studies have evaluated the manatee heart. Basic cardiac morphology and a test called an electrocardiogram have been examined, but the diagnostic value is limited to electrical imbalances in the heart, the researchers said.

“Echocardiography is the gold standard for diagnosing valve diseases and structural abnormalities, and provides other information as well,” Gerlach said.

Researchers are finishing up the second phase of the study, which entails collecting more data from echocardiographs to establish normal testing parameters for manatees of various ages.

“Once we establish the parameters, we can begin larger epidemiological studies on the prevalence of heart disease in the wild population, which is one of our long-term goals,” Gerlach said.

Dr. Bob Bonde, a manatee researcher with the USGS, praised the new technique.

“Out-of-water, real-time assessment of these large aquatic mammals will benefit our evaluation of manatee health-related indices in the wild population,” “Knowledge of manatee reproductive fitness and nutritional condition is paramount to our fully understanding their recovery.”

Dr. Amara Estrada, a veterinary cardiology specialist who mentored Gerlach while he was a UF veterinary student and assisted with his research, said the collaborative aspects of the project were especially valuable to her both professionally and personally.

“The opportunity to work with such a diverse group of people toward a common goal is especially meaningful to me as a clinician/researcher and can only be accomplished by being a part of the University of Florida,” Estrada said.

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Thomas B. Waltzek Mon, 24 Jun 2013 20:21:43 +0000 Waltzek2Assistant Professor
Co-Director, Aquatic Animal Health Program

Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology
PO Box 110880
Bldg. #1379, Mowry Road
Gainesville, FL 32611-0880
FAX 352-392-9704


  • PhD, Comparative Pathology, University of California at Davis, 2010
  • DVM, University of California at Davis, 2009
  • MS, Ecology, University of California at Davis, 2002
  • BS, Biological Sciences, Florida State University, 1998

Honors and Awards

  • 2010 - John L. Pitts Veterinary Student/Recent Graduate Scholarship
  • 2009 - Merck Achievement Award, UC Davis
  • 2009 - Wilds Scholastic Award, UC Davis
  • 2009 - AVMA Achievement Award, UC Davis
  • 2007 - Best Student Presentation, 33rd Eastern Fish Health Workshop

Research Interests

  • Characterization of Emerging Aquatic Animal Viruses (EAAVs) using Metagenomics;
  • Phylogenomics to study the Biology, Epidemiology, and Evolution of EAAVs;
  • Development of Broadly Applicable Diagnostic Methodologies to Track EAAVs;
  • Determining the Role that International Commerce of Aquatic Animals Plays in the Emergence of AAVs as it Relates to Global Aquaculture and Ecosystem Health.
  • Aquatic Animal Zoonoses, Public Health, One Health

Recent Publications

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James W. Lloyd Wed, 19 Jun 2013 02:55:58 +0000 Dean of the College and Professor
photograph of Dr. James Lloyd, Dean of UF College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. James Lloyd
College Dean

Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Office of the Dean
PO Box 100125
Gainesville, FL  32610-0125
FAX: 352-392-5145


  • PhD, Agricultural Economics & Operations Research, Michigan State University, 1989
  • DVM, Michigan State University, 1981
  • BS, Fisheries & Wildlife, Michigan State University, 1978

Honors and Awards

  • LGVMA Leadership Award, 2013
  • President’s Honor Roll, Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
  • Senior Fellow, Outreach and Engagement, Michigan State University, 2005-13
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Assoc. of Vet. Practice Management Consultants and Advisors, 2004
  • Norden Teacher of the Year Award Finalist, College of Veterinary Medicine, 2003
  • Creativity in Teaching Award, Merck Agvet, 1995
  • State Team Award, Milk Quality Assurance Program, Michigan State University Extension, 1993
  • Commendation (for Extension activity), Michigan Cattlemen’s Association, 1992
  • The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Michigan State University, inducted 1985
  • Phi Zeta, Honorary Veterinary Society, Michigan State University, inducted 1981
  • Butler Award, voted by peers as “most likely to succeed” in large animal veterinary medicine, 1981
  • Honors College, Michigan State University, 1975 to 1977


Dr. Lloyd was leader of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues working group on Enhancing the Skills, Knowledge, Aptitude, and Attitude of Veterinarians from 2000-2009. He also works as an organization development consultant, emphasizing strategic planning and leadership development with inclusion as a core element.

Recent Publications

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Jennifer L. Owen Tue, 18 Jun 2013 23:15:10 +0000 Assistant Professor Photograph of Dr. Jen Owen

Department of Physiological Sciences
Box 100103
2015 SW 16th Avenue
Gainesville, FL  32610-0103
Office:  352-294-4286
Fax: 352-392-2938


  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathologists, 2012
  • Residency, Veterinary Clinical Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2009-12
  • DVM, Valedictorian, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2009
  • Post-doctoral research associate, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, 2003-05
  • PhD, Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL, 2003
  • BS with High Distinction, Biology Major, Anthropology Minor, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 1996

Honors and Awards

  • 2012: Support Service Resident of the Year, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
  • 2012: Awarded sponsorship by the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians to attend the AAVC Residents’ Leadership and Professional Development Conference for residents who have shown aptitude for an academic career
  • 2011: CL Davis award, given to a veterinary pathology resident from a university who has demonstrated superior scholarship and diagnostic skills
  • 2009: Phi Zeta Award of Academic Excellence, $1000 awarded to the senior veterinary student graduating with the highest grade point average
  • 2009: Allan H. Hart IDEXX Scholarship, $500 awarded to the senior veterinary student who displays exceptional proficiency in diagnostic clinical pathology
  • 2008-09: Elizabeth Fuschetto Memorial Scholarship, $1000 awarded to academically superior students who demonstrate financial need
  • 2008: Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Scholarship, $1000 awarded to a deserving junior student having a high level of academic achievement and productivity in the field of veterinary medicine, and a financial need
  • 2007-08: SCAVMA Student Activities Award, awarded $250
  • 2003: Award of Academic Merit, for academic excellence by the graduate school of the University of Miami
  • 2000-03: Awarded a University of Miami Tumor Immunology Fellowship to present at several national conferences and an international meeting
  • 2000: Received a Scholar in Training Grant to present at the AACR conference, Cytokines and Cancer: Regulation, Angiogenesis, and Clinical Applications in September 2000, Vail, CO
  • 1999-2002: Awarded a University of Miami Fellowship, provided full tuition and graduate stipend
  • 1998-2002: Selected as a Florida Scholar, awarded $250/year towards training related expenses

Research Interests

Cancer immunology, mucosal immunity


PubMed listing

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Directories Tue, 18 Jun 2013 20:49:10 +0000
  • College of Veterinary Medicine Faculty
  • UF Veterinary Hospitals Residents and Interns
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    Florida panther recuperating after surgery at UF Tue, 11 Jun 2013 16:37:58 +0000
    Panther being taken to surgery

    Veterinary team members transport the anesthetized panther to surgery. (Photo by Jesse Jones)

    A young Florida panther is recuperating after successful surgery on June 7 at UF’s Small Animal Hospital to repair a fractured right femur. The panther’s injury was likely caused by having been hit by a car in Collier County in May. It had received surgery previously and was recuperating at White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Fla. when it reinjured itself.

    Dr. Daniel Lewis, a professor of small animal surgery at UF, performed the procedure, which lasted almost three hours.

    The animal, thought to be approximately 9 months old,  was brought to UF’s Zoological Medicine Service the morning of June 7. Following completion of the surgical procedure, the female panther was then transported by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission veterinarians back to White Oak, where her rehabilitation continues.

    Veterinary anesthesiologists prepare the panther for surgery.

    Veterinary anesthesiologists prepare the panther for surgery. (Photo by Jesse Jones)

    For more information about the UF Small Animal Hospital, click here.

    For more information about the UF Zoological Medicine Service, click here.

    For more information about the UF Small Animal Surgery Service, click here.

    For more information about the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, click here.


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    Risco named large animal clinical sciences department chair Mon, 17 Sep 2012 18:07:36 +0000 Dr. Carlos RiscoDr. Carlos Risco, a professor and food animal medicine and reproduction specialist at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, was recently appointed chair of the college’s department of large animal clinical sciences, effective Sept. 1.

    Risco, a board-certified theriogenologist whose primary interest is dairy medicine, succeeds Dr. David Freeman in the position. A professor of large animal surgery who has served as interim department chair since 2009, Freeman has returned to his position on the college faculty.

    As chair, Risco will be responsible for faculty recruitment, mentoring and promotion, as well as budget management and instructional activities. He also will provide leadership in the areas of research, veterinary and graduate student education, clinical resident and intern training, and outreach. Risco will work closely with the chief of staff of the UF Veterinary Hospitals to ensure high-quality clinical service, and will liaise with the scientific communities of both the UF Academic Health Center and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

    A member of the veterinary college’s first graduating class of 1980, Risco performed an internship at Chino Valley Veterinary Associates, a large dairy practice in Ontario, Calif., immediately following his graduation. He became a partner in that practice after completing his internship in 1981. Risco joined the UF veterinary faculty in 1990 as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor in 2002.

    During his tenure at UF, Risco has received many awards and honors for his teaching and research. In addition to several awards given by UF veterinary students, Risco also received the UF Blue Key Distinguished Faculty Award for teaching research and the Carl Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teaching Award from the college. He was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in Argentina in 2004 and was honored by the college’s Alumni Council with its annual Alumni Achievement Award in 2005.

    He is an internationally recognized lecturer on dairy cattle production medicine.

    “Dr. Risco brings a wealth of experience in large animal and a new vision to the leadership of the department,” said the college’s dean, Glen Hoffsis.


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    UF vet plays key role in care of “star” dolphin Mon, 05 Dec 2011 23:26:20 +0000
    Dr. Mike Walsh

    Dr. Mike Walsh

    Anyone paying attention to entertainment news these days knows about the new movie, Dolphin Tale, which opened Sept. 23 in theatres and tells the true story about Winter, a dolphin that survived entanglement in a buoy line by subsequently being outfitted with a prosthetic tail. What’s perhaps less commonly known is that the character of Winter’s veterinarian, played by Harry Connick Jr., is loosely based on none other than the University of Florida’s Dr. Mike Walsh.

    Walsh, who is associate director of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Aquatic Animal Health program, also performs veterinary services at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is where Winter has resided since being rescued by scientists from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce back in 2005. Aquarium staff contacted Walsh, who was director of veterinary services at Sea World in Orlando at the time, to ask his advice about how to best obtain blood samples from the impaired dolphin.

    “I first had contact with Winter when she was a baby, and because she was missing her tail, there was confusion as to how to get blood samples from her on a regular basis to keep track of what was happening with her,” Walsh said. “The probability of infection was high, so we needed to monitor blood on a regular basis.”


    Winter, shown at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

    Winter had lost her tail because the blood supply to it had been cut off when she was tangled in the buoy line, Walsh said. He recommended that samples be taken from the peduncle, the area between the dorsal fin and the tail since it could not be obtained from the tail, which is standard for obtaining blood samples from most dolphins but was impossible in Winter’s case.

    A year or so later, Walsh was serving as the park’s veterinarian. Many companies and individuals had approached the park about creating some type of prosthetic tail, but deciding whether this was a feasible option – as an alternative to euthanasia – and what the safest approach was, took some time, Walsh said. Eventually the park wound up working with a company called Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics of Waterville, Maine.

    “They had the best idea for achieving the goal without hurting Winter’s skin or causing other problems, and we thought that working with David Yates’ team at Clearwater was going to be a long term benefit for Winter,” Walsh said. He added that Winter’s success from a medical perspective was greatly impacted by Dr. Janine Cianciolo, who took care of her after her injury and nursed the dolphin, along with other members of the aquarium’s team, through infection, wound healing and growth.

    Five years later, Winter is doing well, Walsh said. However, he cautions that managing her tail is an ongoing, lifetime issue.

    “We still have a great need to continue to make progress and to make things even better over the long run,” he said, adding that as Winter grows, the needs of her tail change also.

    Winter’s prosthetic fin is “like a sock made for a certain sized shoe,” Walsh said. “Her tail has been modified many times by the Hanger group team headed by Kevin Carroll and Dan Strzempka, and we have gone through numerous prototypes as a result as the need for change. Each time we introduce a new tail, we have to go through a readaptation process, depending on how well it fits and the degree of propulsion she gets from it.”

    Veterinarians need to make sure not only that Winter is moving properly and building her muscles, but also that she can function well in a multiple animal environment with individuals that have normal tail structure, Walsh said.

    “The challenge with Winter is coming up with solutions to a problem that no one has dealt with before,” Walsh said. “This is where the College of Veterinary Medicine excels.”

    When filming took place for the movie, Walsh spent a day at the park with Harry Connick, Jr., talking to him about various medical issues experienced by animals there, including showing the star how some stranded sea turtles were being treated.

    For his involvement, Walsh was offered two tickets to the movie’s premier in Los Angeles, although he turned them down due to other obligations.

    Others from UF  have also played an important role in Winter’s care over the past few years, including Dr. Carolina Medina, chief of the college’s acupuncture and rehabilitation service, and Dr. Nicole Stacy, a clinical pathologist.

    Medina said she had gone to see Winter several times in the past two years, adding that she performed acupressure, laser therapy and therapeutic ultrasound, and in addition, showed Winter’s trainers how to perform massage and stretching exercises.

    Stacy has been involved in processing and interpreting diagnostic samples from Winter since 2009, “two to three times a week and more frequently during the time of filming last year for the purpose of monitoring her health during the process,” Stacy said.

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