Independent Researchers


Dr. Alliete Alfano


Alliete Rodriguez Alfano, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Dr. Alfano’s program of research focuses on oral bilingual speech and language development in children with hearing loss, perceptions of professionals and parents regarding bilingualism, culture and communication issues in Hispanic-Deaf families who use American Sign Language, and test development and adaptation in Spanish for children with hearing loss. Her clinical expertise is in the areas of auditory-verbal therapy, aural rehabilitation, and child articulation disorders.

Curriculum Vitae


Tana Carson Headshot


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.



Eric Fenkl Headshot


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.

Curriculum Vitae


Inae Gadotti Headshot


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.

Curriculum Vitae (docx)


Angela M. Medina Headshot


Angela M. Medina, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Medina’s program of research focuses on stuttering in Hispanic, Latino/-x, and Spanish-English bilingual communities. She has published work on the linguistic construction of the Spanish-English bilingual stuttering experience, fluency-inducing strategies used by Spanish-English-speaking bilinguals who stutter, and stigma as experienced by Hispanics who stutter. In this line of research, Dr. Medina infuses her background in linguistics with her expertise in stuttering and qualitative research methods to shed light on the cultural and clinical challenges uniquely faced by people who stutter in these communities. As co-director of The Mindfulness Research Lab in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Dr. Medina is engaged in designing and testing the efficacy of mindfulness meditation programs for people who stutter as well as speech-language pathology students. Dr. Medina serves as a research committee member of the National Stuttering Association.

Curriculum Vitae




Sandra "Sande" Gracia Jones, PhD, RN, ARNP, ACNS-BC, ACRN, FAAN, Retired

First Dr. Vanessa Von Wertheim Endowed Chair in Chronic Disease Prevention and Care (2020–2022)

Dr. Sande Jones is nationally renowned as a nurse researcher and advocate for HIV/AIDS care and prevention in various populations. Since joining the FIU Nursing faculty in 2000, Dr. Jones has led numerous research projects focused on HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) awareness and prevention through funding from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Dr.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 $1.8M to implement HIV prevention programs for college campuses, with a focus on Hispanic women and young men who have sex with men (MSM).

Dr. Jones is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing whose research contributions have been published in numerous professional journals, manuscripts and book chapters.She is designated as an HIV/AIDS Nurse Expert by the American Nurses Association.She is also the recipient of an HIV Doctoral Fellowship Award and the inaugural HIV Prevention Award from the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

Curriculum Vitae


Lynne Richard Headshot


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.

Curriculum Vitae


Deborah Sherman Headshot


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.

Curriculum Vitae