Happy Gator Day!

At HHP, we’re advancing the way we live, work and play by promoting healthy living, training the next generation, enhancing physical performance and enriching lives.

Below are stories that cut across our departments and demonstrate how we are advancing critical research in human wellness, equipping students for their field and future, and translating academic findings to improve lives.

With $2.5 million in funding, the University of Florida launches a strategic sports initiative

The University of Florida is embarking on a multi-faceted initiative to propel the university to the global stage in sports performance, healthcare, and communication, while illuminating its world-class sports facilities and partnerships. 

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Survey reveals why people choose to visit Florida

Florida is known for its great weather and beautiful beaches, but why are people really flocking to the sunshine state? A University of Florida survey, led by Rachel J.C. Fu, Ph.D., director at the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute and chair of the Department of Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management, examined the various factors involved in visitor decision-making and found that social media plays a huge role in why people visit Florida.

Read more at news.ufl.edu >

Advancing frontiers: Five teams awarded AI collaborative funds

The University of Florida College of Health & Human Performance has recently awarded five proposals with seed funding, up to $25,000 each, for external grant submissions. This initiative aims to propel the college into the forefront of cutting-edge research by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.

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Training Firefighters to be Peer Fitness Counselors

Firefighters put their lives on the line every time they respond to a call. But in order to do so, they must be physically able to handle the stressors of the job.

Anna Gardner, Ph.D., instructional assistant professor in applied physiology and kinesiology, is working to keep these public servants in optimal shape not only for the good of the community but also for their personal health.

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HHP research spending up 25 percent to record $12.6 million

University of Florida faculty conducted a record $1.25 billion in research in fiscal year 2023, a nearly 15% increase over 2022. UF’s College of Health & Human Performance’s contribution was a record $12.6 million, a nearly 25% increase over 2022.

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New grant studies heat stroke susceptibility in females

Orlando Laitano, Ph.D., (pictured left) assistant professor in applied physiology and kinesiology, and Gemma Casadesus, Ph.D., professor from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, have been awarded a substantial 3-year research grant of $1.8 million by the Department of Defense (DoD). This grant will support their groundbreaking research focused on unraveling the intricate interplay of ovarian hormones in exertional heat stroke pathophysiology.

Read more at scirc.med.ufl.edu >

Demetra Christou receives grant to study exercise regimens after breast cancer treatment

Demetra Christou, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, has received a two-year $419,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging to investigate the effectiveness of two exercise regimens in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease in breast cancer survivors.

Read more at cancer.ufl.edu >

UF study shows DBS may improve gait and balance in some essential tremor patients

For some patients with essential tremor, deep brain stimulation has been shown to improve tremor in the upper limbs, but its impact on other effects, such as gait and balance issues, is unclear.

The new 34-participant study was led by Evangelos Christou, Ph.D., professor in applied physiology & kinesiology, and a team of UF neuroscientists.

Read more at McKnight Brain Institute >

New Health Education and Behavior Research Focuses on Improving Participation in Research Trials

Danielle Jake-Schoffman, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Education and Behavior, recently published “Methods-Motivational Interviewing Approach for Enhanced Retention and Attendance” in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, looking at how an in-depth orientation for prospective participants can benefit clinical trials of behavioral interventions.

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HIV drug shows potential to combat genetic form of dystonia in preclinical study

A new study found that an FDA-approved medication to treat HIV restored multiple brain abnormalities in a mouse model of a genetic form of dystonia. David Vaillancourt, chair of the department of applied physiology and kinesiology, analyzed MRI data for the research team which included researchers from Duke University.

Read more at ufhealth.org >