University of South Florida

USF College of Marine Science


Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida Announces Selection of 15 New Members for 2022

Mya Breitbart in the lab. Credit, Amanda Sosnowski at Terrene Visions.

Mya Breitbart in the lab. Credit, Amanda Sosnowski at Terrene Visions.

Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida

Dr. Mya Breitbart, a professor and microbiologist at the USF College of Marine Science (USF CMS), is among 15 prominent scholars from throughout the state of Florida who were selected for membership to the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida (ASEMFL). The ASEMFL brings together the nation’s most distinguished scholars who live and work in Florida. Breitbart was selected for her pioneering research in the field of viral metagenomics. 

“It’s an honor to be selected as a member of ASEMFL and I look forward to contributing to the mission of this distinguished organization,” said Breitbart.

Breitbart is also a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Academy of Microbiology and has earned a healthy list of additional awards for her research, mentorship, and leadership in outreach.

The ASEMFL membership now totals more than 200 and includes four members from the USF CMS: Mya Breitbart, Bob Byrne, Chuanmin Hu, and dean Thomas Frazer.

Housed at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, ASEMFL is a not-for-profit organization of top scholars and researchers from universities, public agencies and industries statewide who study issues in science, engineering and medicine that impact the people of Florida and provide unbiased, expert advice related to these issues.  

An induction ceremony will be held in November 2022 at ASEMFL’s annual meeting. 

Members of the National Academies – National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and National Academy of Medicine (NAM) – who live or work in Florida have automatic ASEMFL membership. National Academy membership is considered the highest career distinction in the United States in these disciplines.  

New members elected to ASEMFL are regarded as having potential to become National Academy members. ASEMFL membership serves as a step toward the national distinction. 

ASEMFL’s 2022 new member inductees and their citations: 

Chinemelu Anumba, Ph.D., DS.c., Dean and Professor, College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida. Citation: For seminal and innovative research contributions to construction engineering and informatics, and development of next generation industry leaders. 

Grace Bochenek, Ph.D., Director of School of Modeling, Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida. Citation: For contributions in modeling and simulation. 

Mya Breitbart, Ph.D., Professor, University of South Florida; Citation: Pioneering research in the field of viral metagenomics. 

Alexander N. Cartwright, Ph.D., President, University of Central Florida. Citation: For contributions to the development of flexible, nanocomposite crystallite doped polymer solar cells for commercial flexible, optically powered power supplies. 

Demetrios Christodoulides, Ph.D., Pegasus Professor and Cobb Family Endowed Chair Professor of Optics, University of Central Florida. Citation: For pioneering contributions to a variety of areas in Physical Optics and Quantum Electronics, especially the development of Airy-light-sheet microscopes. 

Mario De La Rosa, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, Florida International University. Citation: A national leader in conceptual - operational frameworks for large scale quantitative research on Latinos, and seminal contributions in community health interventions in high-risk sub-groups. 

Peter Hancock, Ph.D., D.Sc., Provost Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, and Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida. Citation: For lifetime research and technical contributions to the science and practice of Human Factors and Ergonomics. 

Thomas Joiner, Ph.D., Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Florida State University. Citation: For scientific excellence, extraordinary accomplishments, and international leadership in advancing our understanding, assessment, prevention, and treatment of suicidal behavior. 

Angela Laird, Ph.D., Professor of Physics, Florida International University. Citation: A leading scholar and pioneer in cognitive neuroscience with high-impact contributions to understanding brain function and development. 

Sylvie Naar, Ph.D., Distinguished Endowed Professor, Florida State University. Citation: Leader in translational behavioral research to improve chronic disease management in minority adolescents. 

Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Public Health Sciences, Executive Vice Chair for Clinical Research and Faculty Affairs, Scientific Director of Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Miami, School of Medicine. Citation: For outstanding contribution and leadership in science of atherosclerosis, neurovascular ultrasound, and research education and mentorship. 

Desmond Schatz, M.D., Interim Chair, Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida. Citation: Defining subjects at-risk for type 1 diabetes and the genetic, immune and metabolic alterations occurring before onset and development of therapies to prevent and delay. 

Jose Szapocznik, Ph.D., Professor, Chair Emeritus, Department of Public Health Sciences, Honorary Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Miami. Citation: For exemplar contributions to prevention science and globally impactful substance use prevention for youth and families. 

Almut Winterstein, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, University of Florida. Citation: For uncovering real-world drug safety problems and guiding clinical and regulatory decisions on the safe and effective use of medications. 

Shin-Tson Wu, Ph.D., Pegasus Professor, CREOL: The College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida. Citation: For seminal discoveries, inventions and modeling of liquid crystals and their applications in commercial displays and other photonic devices. 

This story was modified slightly from the original press release provided by Kimberly J. Lewis at UCF.

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