ASEMFL Announces Selection of 15 New Members for 2023

Aug 29, 2023

Fifteen prominent scholars from throughout the state of Florida have been selected for membership to the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida (ASEMFL), a group that brings together the nation’s most distinguished scholars who live and work in Florida.

With the induction of the 15 honorees, ASEMFL membership now totals more than 230.

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 Friday, November 3, 2023 during ASEMFL’s annual meeting in Orlando.

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 nine-month election process begins in August of each year and ends the following April.

ASEMFL’s 2023 new member inductees and their citations:

Cammy R. Abernathy, Ph.D., William H. Wadsworth Director of Engineering Leadership Institute and Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida. Citation: For creative research advances in thin film electronic materials and for broad impact in engineering education and engineering diversity.

Norma A. Alcantar, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering, University of South Florida. Citation: For outstanding contributions in providing drinking water for low-income communities and contributions to disrupting amyloid fibril formation in Alzheimer’s research.

Mark A. Atkinson, Ph.D., Director and Jeffrey Keene Family Professor, UF Diabetes Institute, University of Florida. Citation: For global impact on care and health of patients suffering from diabetes through translational research and leadership in the field.

Robert H. Bishop, Ph.D., Dean and Distinguished University Professor, College of Engineering, University of South Florida. Citation: For exceptional contributions to the U.S. space program and for enduring global impact in engineering education.

Jason M. Eichenholz, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Luminar Technologies, and Courtesy Faculty Member, College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida. Citation: For pioneering contributions to the development and commercialization of lidar, with emphasis on autonomous vehicle applications, and to methods of Open Innovation in photonics.

Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Katz Professor of Medicine and Chief, Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami. Citation: For discovery of renal fat as a key contributor to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and clinical development of drugs to halt CKD.

Girardin Jean-Louis, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami. Citation: For being arguably the premier researcher unraveling the mechanisms of race-based health disparities in sleep disorders, and in designing effective interventions to address this issue.

Pamela Keel, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, Florida State University. Citation: For identifying and characterizing purging disorder and advancing research in epidemiology, etiology, and treatment of an illness impacting 1 in 50 women worldwide.

Xue Z. Liu, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chair, Department of Otolaryngology, and Professor of Otolaryngology, Human Genetics, Biochemistry and Pediatrics, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami. Citation: For being a leading surgeon-scientist with known translational research in ENT disorders and in training physician-scientists.

T. Dwayne McCay, Ph.D., President Emeritus, Florida Institute of Technology. Citation: For being the technical lead for Space Shuttle Propulsion Systems and designing of the first laser-propelled rocket, process improvement for laser welding systems, and discovery of solute-driven Benard cells.

Subhra Mohapatra, Ph.D., University Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida. Citation: For pioneering developments in cellular and molecular engineering systems and nanoscale technologies, especially for advancing detection and treatment of human diseases.

William Pelham, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, and Director, Center for Children and Families, Florida International University. Citation: For seminal contributions to the understanding and treatment of children’s mental health challenges that are improving lives worldwide.

Talat S. Rahman, Ph.D., Pegasus and Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics, University of Central Florida. Citation: For outstanding contributions that unveil novel properties of low-dimensional materials and for efforts in enhancing diversity in STEM.

Theo M. Siegrist, Ph.D., Professor, Florida A&M-Florida State University College of Engineering. Citation: For research into novel materials that focuses on the structural-property relationships at the core of their exceptional properties.

Robert H. Weisberg, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida. Citation: For pioneering work advancing understanding of tropical and ocean current phenomena, contributing to mitigation of hurricanes and harmful algal blooms.

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