I earned my BS degree in biology at Creighton University. I earned my MS and PhD degrees in biological science at Florida State University under the mentorship of Kenneth H. Roux, PhD, and the title of my PhD dissertation was “Rabbit Immunoglobulin VH Genes: Molecular Basis for Latent Allotype Expression.” I pursued four years of postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan under the mentorship of Craig B. Thompson, MD, where my research focused on gene conversion in chicken immunoglobulin genes. I began my faculty career as a basic scientist, investigating chicken antibody and T cell receptor genes, and transitioned to a chicken model of the human autoimmune disease vitiligo, and then into preclinical translational research on genetic susceptibility to vitiligo.
I became involved in administration rather early in my career, and have been involved in virtually every facet of graduate program planning, curriculum development, recruiting & admissions, and administration. I have over twenty years of experience at higher education administration, having served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and biomedical sciences PhD program director (2001-2011), MD/PhD program co-director (2007-2011 and 2018-date), and serving since 2009 as the director of the UF predoctoral program in Clinical & Translational Science and Principal Investigator of the TL1 training grant. My current teaching responsibilities include “Principle of Immunology”, “Responsible Conduct of Biomedical Research”, “Translational Research and Therapeutics: Bench, Bedside, Community, & Policy”, “Team Science”, and “Fundamentals of Biomedical Science Education”. My administrative responsibilities include directing the Office of Biomedical Research Career Development, which implements professional and career development programs for all UF Health Science Center predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, and supporting training grant submissions, trainee tracking, and program evaluation. I also work with the “T Team”, a consortium of T32 program directors at UF, which meets periodically to discuss policy and administrative matters and share best practices. My research efforts focus on education-related projects, including team science training, clinical & translational research training, and competency-based assessment.
Extramurally I have been active in professional working groups of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), including the Graduate Research, Education and Training (GREAT) Group and the Group on Educational Affairs. I served as the national Chair (2011-12) of the GREAT Group, which provides professional development to and fosters the development and exchange of best practices among faculty and administrative leaders of biomedical PhD, MD-PhD, and postdoctoral programs, and evaluates national policy developments that affect the recruitment and retention of new scientific talent. I co-led a project to develop a competency-based assessment model for science PhD training at the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels. I am actively involved in the national CTSA Consortium as a member of the CTSA Program Steering Committee, Workforce Development Enterprise Committee lead team, and the TL1 Program Directors Group executive committee. I led the development of a national TL1 survey project now nearing completion, and co-led a national survey of TL1 trainees and KL2 scholars to assess the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on training. I’ve coauthored two papers describing measures of career outcomes and the status of current training for team science at CTSA institutions. I served for three years (2012-2015) as the president of Team-Based Learning Collaborative (TBLC), an international educational organization that promotes the understanding and evolution of team-based learning (TBL) across the educational community. I am an inaugural member of the International Network for the Science of Team Science (INSciTS), and was recently elected to its board of directors. I also have sixteen years of experience teaching advanced adult leadership skills outside the university setting, as a training team leader at the local, regional and national levels for the Boy Scouts of America. As a member of a national task force, I helped to redesign “Wood Badge” advanced leadership training for adult leaders, introduced additional active learning methods into the curriculum, and served as the director of the first national pilot course for the revised curriculum in 2018.