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Ellen Brown Headshot

Ellen Brown, EdD, MS, RN, FAAN

Dr. Browns’ research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, industry, and other sources. Her research focuses on promoting the health and well-being of older adults and their caregivers. Dr. Brown and her colleagues have received a Florida State appropriation and federal funding to develop and test “CareHeroes”, a multi-function app designed to improve dementia care coordination and provide support for caregivers. Dr. Brown’ scholarly work has been presented nationally and internationally. Dr. Brown is an elected member of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). The nursing intervention developed by Dr. Brown and colleagues, “Training in the Assessment of Depression” (TRIAD), established efficacious and effective, received national recognition from the AANs’ Raise the Voice Edge Runner Program. Dr. Brown is a founding editorial board member of the journal Research in Gerontological Nursing.


Tana Carson, PhD, OTR/L

Dr. Carson has a PhD in Psychology in the area of Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience as well as a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. Her research interests include evidence-based practices, sensory processing and neurodevelopmental disorders. She has ongoing projects aimed at developing treatments to better address auditory hyper-reactivity sensory features of autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Carson has clinical expertise in vestibular rehabilitation, ASD, ADHD, anxiety and Tics/Tourette’s. She is also passionate about community services and is the Co-Founder and Vice President of All Kidz Inc., a not for profit charity, and serves on the planning committee for the Kids 4 Kids Triathlon, an annual charity event.

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Eric A Fenkl, PhD, RN, CNE

Dr. Fenkl’s research interests include HIV/HPV prevention and related disease among LGBT populations with an emphasis on MSM (men who have sex with men). He has been co-Principal Investigator on two grants from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, SAMHSA: one to develop a program focusing on HIV/STD and substance abuse prevention for minority LGBT students on college campuses; and a second one to implement a program for outreach in the greater Miami metropolitan area specifically for at-risk minority MSM. Dr. Fenkl has also been the Principal Investigator of a research grant from the Florida Nurses Foundation to study HPV and anorectal carcinoma knowledge in MSM.

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Inae Gadotti, PT, PhD

Dr. Gadotti’s research area is on head and neck orthopedics physical therapy and the application on rehabilitation. Her publications include studies evaluating head and neck posture; electromyography of the masticatory and cervical muscles; and neck dysfunction in temporomandibular disorders. For her PhD research funded by the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research, she tested the measurement properties of photogrammetry to measure head and neck posture. More recently at FIU, she expanded her research to evaluate eye, head and trunk movement in subjects with whiplash injury. She established collaborations with colleagues from FIU’s Lehman Center for Transportation Research and colleges of Electrical Engineering and Public Health to pilot test methods to evaluate subjects with whiplash injury in a driving simulator.

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Sandra Gracia Jones, PhD, ARNP, ACNS-BC, ACRN, FAAN

Dr. Gracia Jones’s body of research in HIV/AIDS prevention spans more than two decades. Over the past ten years she has received funding from the Office of Women’s Health, and the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, to develop and evaluate HIV prevention programs for minority college students. She’s also received funding from the National Institutes of Health to study safer-sex practices of older men using prescribed erectile dysfunction medications. For the past five years she has served as Principal Investigator for two SAMHSA grants funded for 1.8 million dollars to implement HIV prevention programs for college campuses, with a focus on Hispanic women and young men who have sex with men (MSM).

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Lynne R. Richard, PhD, OT

Dr. Richard has a clinical-rich background and expertise in providing occupational therapy services to adults with physical and cognitive disabilities, especially adults with a stroke, across the spectrum of healthcare service delivery. Her research has been collaborative and community-based focusing on stroke outcomes, Parkinson’s Disease, individuals with low vision, and client-centered practices.  Dr. Richard has a long history of mentoring OT graduate students, working with them on joint publications and presentations, developing data collection tools, analyzing data and presenting their findings for the dissemination of knowledge and outcomes.

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Jaclyn K. Schwartz, PhD, OTR/L

Dr. Schwartz draws on her experience as an acute care occupational therapist to direct her research toward improving health and well-being in people with disabling conditions, with a focus on medication adherence. She has used novel technologies and approaches to address long-standing issues in self-management and developed key resources on medication management, including the 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) position paper on the topic. In 2015, she was recognized by AOTA for her work and service to the profession with the Gary Kielhofner Emerging Leader Award.

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Deborah Witt Sherman, PhD, ARNP, ANP-BC, ACHPN, FAAN

Dr. Sherman has a strong program of palliative care research, as well as breast cancer research, with two studies funded by the National Institutes of Health. She has received a Predoctoral Research Fellowship by the Langer Foundation and a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Award from the Aaron Diamond Foundation. Dr. Sherman is a member of several nursing and palliative care editorial boards and is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Palliative Medicine. Dr. Sherman has also served on several NIH review panels and was a research consultant for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

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Edgar Ramos Vieira, PT, MSc, PhD

Dr. Edgar Vieira’s research expertise is on risk assessment and prevention of aging-related mobility impairments, frailty and falls. The aim of his research activity is helping older adults stay functionally independent longer in their lifespan. Dr. Vieira had 12 projects in the field funded by agencies such as the Florida Department of Health and the Administration for Community Living from the Department of Health & Human Services (ACL-HHS).

Headshot of Sandra Walsh

Sandra Walsh, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Walsh’s program of research focuses on art-related interventions with vulnerable populations.  Her current funded research, guided by Kolcaba’s comfort theory, is with veterans who reside at a community living center within the Miami Veterans Administration Medical System. She has been recognized for teaching excellence with multiple university-wide teaching awards and is a recipient of distinguished alumni awards from Duke University (BSN), East Carolina University (MSN), and the University of South Carolina (PhD in Nursing Science).  Additionally, she has an MAEd from Wake Forest University.