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Eight USF Faculty Members Named New AAAS Fellows

In fields spanning psychology, molecular medicine, geosciences and child and family studies, these leading faculty members have earned one of academia’s highest honors.

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2020) – Eight USF faculty members who have led their disciplines in research, innovation and scholarship have been named new Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of higher education’s highest honors bestowed by peers.

The USF faculty members hail from a wide range of disciplines and colleges and include individuals who have blazed trails in subjects as diverse as understanding the new realities of work-life balance, to working to ensure  the safety of nuclear power plants built near volcanoes, to the world’s leading researcher of Type 1 diabetes and the co-inventor of the DSL, which revolutionized global communications. Several of this year’s honorees also share a common theme in that their cutting-edge research has focused on the health and social well-being of children and form the basis of evidence-base standards of care.

The new class brings USF's total number of Fellows to 81. For the sixth consecutive year, USF has the fourth highest number of new AAAS Fellows elected in 2020 among individual institutions worldwide. USF also had the highest number of new AAAS Fellows elected this year among institutions in Florida, for the sixth consecutive year.

“Faculty are the intellectual lifeblood of our world-class research university, and I’m proud to congratulate USF’s exceptionally talented scholars selected for the 2020 class of AAAS Fellows,” said USF President Steve Currall, who himself was named a AAAS Fellow in 2013. “This lifetime distinction from AAAS is especially meaningful because it reflects recognition by peers of our faculty’s outstanding contributions to the fields of science and technology.”

The USF faculty members are among 489 scholars recognized with the honor this year. The new AAAS Fellows from USF are:

Tammy Allen

Dr. Tammy Allen, Psychology

Citation: For distinguished contributions to the field of psychology, particularly pioneering advancements in the nascent area of work-family interface, and developing theories, methodologies and tools.

Tammy D. Allen, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology in the USF College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Allen’s pioneering work over the past 20 years, especially in the area of work-family challenges, has drawn international acclaim. Her unique research trajectory has crossed multiple disciplinary divides and boldly flipped the focus of the conversation away from the traditional employer/work focus to the individual, thereby broadly extending a field of psychological research into new avenues. She helped found the national Work-Family Researchers Network, which established a new watershed for interdisciplinary research. She served as President of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2013-2014) and as President of the Society for Occupational Health Psychology (2018-2019). She is an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, American Psychological Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology; and has been recognized with an Honorary Doctorate from University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland; and an Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Award, University of South Florida; among other honors. She holds a B.A. from California State University (Fullerton), and a doctorate from the University of Tennessee.

Barry Bercu

Dr. Barry Bercu, Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology

Citation: For distinguished contributions and foundational research advancing the field of pediatric endocrinology and for seminal characterizations of Growth Hormone Neurosecretory Dysfunction and the “Bercu Patient.”

Barry B. Bercu, M.D., is a Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and a Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the USF Morsani College of Medicine. As a physician scientist, he was the first to clinically describe and coin the term Growth Hormone Neurosecretory Dysfunction (GHND). He characterized a deficiency in the neuroregulatory control of growth hormone secretion in the central nervous system of humans and animals that had been irradiated. He was the first to demonstrate that chemical substances outside the hypothalamus can potentially regulate pituitary Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone — a breakthrough discovery in neuroendocrinology. Dr. Bercu is also well-known for his research and description of what has since become known as “the Bercu Patient” in scientific literature. While at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bercu also was part of the landmark group of academic pediatric endocrinologists who innovated the original clinical biosynthetic human growth hormone protocol for Genentech, the company that developed the first of biosynthetic recombinant DNA products. The FDA rapidly approved the Genentech recombinant biosynthetic as a safe alternative to the extremely limited supply from natural tissue. He is also internationally recognized for founding, organizing and leading numerous national and international conferences to enable collaboration across disciplines, and across academia, industry, and governments, to address some of society’s pressing medical issues. In addition, Dr. Bercu was a driving force in the creation and ultimate construction of the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in Tampa. He earned his M.D. from the University of Maryland and did his residency and combined fellowships at MGH/Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical Center.

Charles B. Connor

Dr. Charles B. Connor, Geosciences

Citation: For distinguished contributions to the field of geosciences, particularly for advancement of volcanology and natural hazard assessment through development of numerical models of volcanic phenomena.

Charles B. Connor, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School of Geosciences in USF’s College of Arts and Sciences. Over the course of his career, Dr. Connor has made significant breakthroughs in the fields of volcanology and natural hazards assessment which have contributed to national and international policies on preventing and mitigating natural disasters and advancing understanding and prediction of volcanoes and their effects. His work has had substantial impact on government policy worldwide on volcanic hazard assessment for nuclear facilities, especially nuclear power plants and high-level radioactive waste facilities. He developed one of the first algorithms for modeling volcanic ash fallout which is still in wide use across the field. He and colleagues also developed a highly efficient lava flow inundation code that can be used to make probabilistic hazard maps, and which has been successfully implemented worldwide for modeling lava flow hazards, in countries including New Zealand, Mexico, Colombia, the western U.S., Jordan, and Nicaragua, among others. He revealed the clustered nature of volcanism in volcanic arcs and how to quantify these patterns of volcanic activity. He and his research team also developed a new method for constraining the ages of the youngest volcanoes on Mars — a method helping to clarify the ages of volcanic features around our solar system. His extensive leadership includes serving on panels of the International Atomic Energy Agency which developed guidelines for evaluating potential volcanic hazards at nuclear energy sites worldwide; serving on an expert panel for the U.S. Department of Energy; and member of two National Academies’ committees. He holds B.A. and B.S. degrees from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from Dartmouth College.

Gloria Cruz Ferreira

Dr. Gloria Cruz Ferreira, Molecular Medicine

Citation: For distinguished contributions to the field of iron-heme metabolism, particularly using enzymology and spectroscopy to study heme synthesis and the molecular basis of heme-related disorders.

Gloria Cruz Ferreira, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the USF Morsani College of Medicine and holds affiliate faculty positions in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences; and a courtesy faculty appointment in the Department of Global Health in the College of Public Health. Dr. Ferreira is well known for her breakthroughs on heme biosynthesis and iron and heme metabolism — important biological processes that enable oxygen transport in the blood, maintenance of critical iron reservoirs, support of cellular respiration and the function of certain enzymes and transporters. If heme biosynthesis becomes dysfunctional, it can lead to a group of rare disorders called porphyrias, encompassing neurological, mental and photosensitivity symptoms. Dr. Ferreira was the first to develop an expression system for the first enzyme of this pathway:5-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS), which permitted her and her research group to characterize the reaction mechanism, architecture and folding of enzyme, opening the field to new opportunities for investigation. Dr. Ferreira is also credited with the development of biophysical and biochemical approaches to investigate at a molecular level, the terminal enzyme of the heme biosynthetic pathway, ferrochelatase, among many other discoveries. Her investigations characterizing the molecular basis of heme-related disorders, such as porphyrias, have led to her development of several potential therapies for which she holds two patents. She was elected the 2002 chair of the prestigious Gordon Research Conference; and received the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award and American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award among others. She earned her Licenciatura (equivalent of B.S. plus M.S. degrees) from the University of Aveiro, Portugal, and her doctorate from the University of Georgia. She was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Postdoctoral Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Richard Gitlin

Dr. Richard Gitlin, Electrical Engineering

Citation: For seminal discoveries in the co-invention of DSL (digital subscriber line), which made the Internet possible via telephone networks, and in wireless communication and networking.

Richard D. Gitlin, Sc.D. is a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at USF’s College of Engineering, and Professor in the USF Institute of Advanced Discovery & Innovation. For 12 years prior, he served as the State of Florida 21st Century Scholar, Distinguished University Professor, and Agere Systems Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Gitlin’s pioneering research focused on leading-edge digital communications, broadband networking and wireless systems. He joined USF after retiring from Bell Labs, where he served as senior vice president for Communications and Networking Research, managing a team of more than 600 engineers; and later chief technology officer for Lucent’s Data Networking Business Unit. Dr. Gitlin co-invented DSL (digital subscriber line) in 1985. His research at USF included the intersection of communications with medicine to advance minimally invasive surgery and other cyber-physical health care systems; and creating foundational technologies to ensure ultra-reliability, low latency and other advanced technologies for the 5G wireless and IoT wireless networks, as well as the future 6G wireless networks. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering; the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida; Fellow of IEEE; Bell Laboratories Fellow; Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors; co-recipient of the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award and the S.O. Rice Prize; and a member of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. He holds 74 U.S. patents. He earned his B.E.E. from The City College of New York, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University.

Howard Goldstein

Dr. Howard Goldstein, Communication Sciences & Disorders

Citation: For distinguished contributions to the field of psychology, particularly for development of intervention strategies to promote early development of language, literacy, and social skills.

Howard Goldstein, Ph.D. is a Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Associate Dean for Research at the USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. Dr. Goldstein has made foundational advancements over the past several decades in the field of language development in individuals, especially children, with developmental disabilities. His research has produced models of early intervention that serve as a basis for inclusive education practices which have led to greatly improved social outcomes and quality of life for individuals with disabilities. For example, he pioneered ways to help adults and children with intellectual disabilities to produce generative language. He also developed interventions to improve social communication among children with autism and other communication disorders, notably the “Stay-Play-Talk” strategy, which due to its replicability and effectiveness is now actively employed in early childhood settings nationwide to help children with a range of communication abilities and children with a variety of developmental disabilities. He has published more than 150 papers and several books helping guide teachers. He has served in leadership roles and on study sections for the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and the U.S. Department of Education. He has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association, recipient of Phi Delta Kappa Research in Education Award, and William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award from the Florida Education Fund, among other honors. He earned his B.A. from the University of California-Santa Barbara, M.S. from the University of Washington, and Ph.D. from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.

Jeffrey Krischer

Dr. Jeffrey Krischer, Pediatrics and Internal Medicine

Citation: For distinguished contributions in diabetes research, particularly for advancing understanding of mechanisms of autoimmunity and disease progression and designing, conducting, analyzing multi-center clinical trials worldwide.

Jeffrey P. Krischer, Ph.D. is a Distinguished University Health Professor; USF Health Endowed Professor in Diabetes; Director of the USF Diabetes Center; Professor and Vice-Chair of Research in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Morsani College of Medicine; and Professor and Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Krischer is an internationally renowned epidemiologist and leads the largest epidemiological study and data network of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) etiology and pathogenesis funded by the National Institutes of Health. His research has improved our understanding of the genotype-phenotype relationships that govern the initiation of diabetes-related autoimmunity and progression to clinical diabetes. For example, his work to identify the predictive role of islet cell autoantibodies established for the first time associated metabolic markers that identify individuals with an increased risk of developing T1D. He is recognized as the first to clinically describe two different forms of T1D. He was also the first to describe the stages of T1D, which has led to a new generation of clinical trials designed to slow disease progression as well as identify possible preventions. Dr. Krischer’s state-of-the-art Health Informatics Institute is an internationally recognized repository for substantial clinical data sets, coordinating large trials such as the Rare and Atypical Diabetes Network, Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium, the Rare Lung Disease Clinical Research Consortium, and Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet. The Institute provides integrative analysis of Big Data comprised of genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, and the microbiome. They also develop technologies that advance translational medicine, including a smart phone app that allows for remote monitoring of pulmonary lung function, and an app that remotely measures ambulatory capacity. Dr. Krischer earned his B.S. from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and his Master’s degree and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He received an M.D. honoris causa from Lund University, Sweden.

Raymond Miltenberger

Dr. Raymond Miltenberger, Child & Family Studies

Citation: For significant contributions advancing applied behavior analysis research, including pioneering functional assessment to improve clinical outcomes and in-situ assessment and training to enhance generalization.

Raymond G. Miltenberger, Ph.D. is a Professor and Director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Program in the Department of Child and Family Studies at USF’s College of Behavioral & Community Sciences. Dr. Miltenberger developed and validated in situ assessment — a scientific approach to data-based decision making, especially in the analysis of children’s responses to safety threats. Dr. Miltenberger first applied this assessment method to evaluate safety skills specifically for abduction prevention and sexual abuse prevention, and subsequently developed an innovative training program to teach children skills to avoid these types of threats. He went on to conduct groundbreaking research regarding children and guns — showing that without proper safety training, most children will play with firearms they discover, and demonstrating effective interventions to teach skills to keep them safe. Over the past 15 years, his in situ training method continues to be the best practice as it ultimately empowers children to make safe choices in life and death situations. Dr. Miltenberger also conducted pioneering research in functional assessment — a comprehensive approach for understanding environmental factors which may contribute to problem behaviors in adults and children, such as binge eating and compulsive buying, among others. He demonstrated that gathering this information is critical to developing effective interventions, and this assessment method has again become best practice in the field. He is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Behavior Analysis Section Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Behavioral Research, among other honors. He earned his B.A. from Wabash College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at The John F. Kennedy Institute, Division of Behavioral Psychology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“We are immensely proud to celebrate these remarkable members of the USF faculty whose achievements have had a lasting impact in improving and safeguarding the lives of people everywhere," said Dr. Paul Sanberg, USF's Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise and himself a AAAS Fellow.

"This recognition from AAAS shines a light on how research can touch everyday lives, whether it be through enabling communications, strengthening families, addressing medical mysteries or ensuring that all children grow to reach their full potential. Through their achievements, the new AAAS Fellows demonstrate the importance and lasting impact of academic research, scholarship and invention.”

This year’s AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Friday. A virtual Fellows Forum — an induction ceremony for the new Fellows — will be held in February.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874.

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About USF

The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.

About AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, see www.aaas.org.

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