University Beat

University Beat is a radio and television program that focuses on the research and work at the University of South Florida and how it benefits the Tampa Bay area, Florida, and the world around us.

Each week, reporter Mark Schreiner looks at the latest USF efforts in medicine, engineering, education, arts and sciences and explores other programs that reach out to both students and the community.

AP Photo

The University of South Florida College of Nursing has received a $2.7 million grant from a branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH) to conduct a study of the gut microbiome in premature infants and determine how it affects their growth and development.

Maureen Groer, PhD, is the Gordon Keller professor at the USF College of Nursing. She also serves as the lead researcher of an interdisciplinary team of USF scientists conducting the study.

"It's the only way to do this kind of science - it's team science," Groer said. "We all have particular knowledge and skills and we can collaborate and cooperate and come out with wonderful ideas together that we wouldn't have ever had on our own."


M.S. Butler / WUSF 89.7 News

Among the voices weighing in on the deal announced Tuesday limiting Iran's nuclear program is a University of South Florida expert on the Middle East.

Dr. Mohsen Milani, the executive director of the USF World Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, called the agreement "a victory for diplomacy."

But, he added, make no mistake about it - this is not a deal that's built on trust.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

It’s not every class that has students taking pictures of chickens on a farm one day and then pictures of them – well, not so alive – as they sit on the grill at a market on another day.

"The name of the class is "Sizzling Images," a short course in food photography, and so the purpose of the class is to immerse the students into the world of food photography," University of South Florida St. Petersburg visiting assistant professor Janet Keeler said.

While the University of South Florida received funding in the state budget for its downtown Tampa medical school and a St. Petersburg business school, money that would have gone to a new research vessel was removed by Governor Rick Scott's veto pen earlier this week. The Florida Institute of Oceanography, the collaborative effort of dozens of research institutes and agencies, is based out of the USF College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg. The $6 million FIO was seeking would be used to buy a research boat to replace the aging Bellows. The Tampa Bay Times reports that FIO officials and state lawmakers are trying to figure out what to do next.

Angela DeBose, the University of South Florida registrar who's currently on leave, wants a Hillsborough County civil court to compel USF to release emails that she says will show a USF official discriminated against her because of her race and gender. The Tampa Bay Business Journal says DeBose's request claims that emails will show Vice President for Student Success Paul Dosal discriminated against her because she's black and a woman. She also says Dosal became more aggressive towards her after she asked the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate him. USF is set to fire DeBose when her professional leave ends in August.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

While University of South Florida officials wait to see if the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott sign off on the state budget and more than $29 million for two important projects, they're also waiting for approval of millions more in performance-based rewards.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The University of South Florida sits among such intellectual titans as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology on the top ten list of U.S. patents issued to American universities in 2014.

USF's 104 patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ranked 10th nationally and 13th among all public and private universities worldwide. It's the fifth year in a row USF has placed in the top 15 worldwide.

In a business plan filed with the state, USF said the project would unite researchers, patients at Tampa General Hospital, the existing USF Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation and corporate space in Vinik's planned office, residential and entertainment district. The USF project is seen as an anchor for Vinik's larger $1 billion redevelopment in downtown Tampa. City Hall and Hills­borough County are expected to spend up to $30 million on street and infrastructure improvements. Vinik's development company plans to build a medical office building and parking garage on the site with a value estimated at $90 million. USF had said that being close to Tampa General would help the heart institute attract researchers who would bring in an estimated $28 million more per year in research grants, and a more robust research environment would draw biotech start-ups to downtown.

The University of South Florida's plans to build a new medical school in downtown Tampa and a new College of Business building in St. Petersburg have run into a bonding snag in the Florida Legislature. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the House of Representatives is in favor of raising the $45 million for the two projects by borrowing money on the bond market. However, the Senate and Governor Rick Scott are opposed to that proposal.

Tyler Lewis

College internships can be a toss of the dice as to what a job entails. Sometimes it’s something cool, like a medical student assisting on a surgery; sometimes it’s a drudgery, like a business student photocopying documents all day.

Tyler Lewis’ internship was definitely in the first category – as he worked earlier this year at the White House.

"You kind of have to pinch yourself every day you’re there and remember where you’re at," Lewis said.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The University of South Florida is a step closer to tearing down a fifty-year-old student housing complex on its Tampa campus and replacing it with a 'village' that would be home to 2,165 students.

At USF Board meeting in St. Petersburg Thursday, trustees approved a public-private partnership agreement, also known as a 3P, with Capstone Development Partners and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital to build the estimated $133 million complex.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The University of South Florida, Florida International University and the University of Central Florida – the state’s three largest metropolitan research universities – are teaming up in an effort to improve graduation rates as well as the number of degrees they award in high-demand areas.

Combined, the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities (FCMRU) serve an area that includes almost two-thirds percent of the state’s population and nearly half of the students enrolled in the State University System.

Pint of Science

Pour me another one, bartender...or is it pour me another one, doctor?

For the next three nights, scientists will take over bars in nine countries and 50 cities, including a trio of sold-out Tampa area locations, to discuss their work with the public over drinks.

"Pint of Science" was created four years ago in the United Kingdom, and brought over to the U.S. last year by USF Health Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology Research Associate Parmvir Bahia and her husband, Moffitt Cancer Center researcher David Basanta.

FL Officials Renew All Aboard Florida Concerns

May 18, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

As clean-up continues in the fatal Amtrak wreck near Philadelphia, several Martin County officials have again stressed their opposition to All Aboard Florida.

The proposed train route between Orlando and Miami could bring an additional 32 trains per day through the Treasure Coast without making a stop. Mark Robitaille is CEO of Martin Health Systems. He says he worries about having a train between patients and the hospital despite promises they’ll be moving rapidly.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Clinical trials help medical professionals find out how effective new treatments are – but as Dr. Kevin Sneed, the dean of the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy points out, they’re not a “one size fits all” proposition.

"Very often, when we think about how are we going to effectively treat somebody, whether it be cancer, cardiovascular disease, or anything neurodegenerative in nature, when we do the clinical research to gather the evidence, if you don’t have enough people from enough varied backgrounds; we can’t automatically transfer knowledge gained in one part of the population onto another part of the population," Sneed said.

But minority populations – specifically the African American and Hispanic and Latino communities – don’t take part in clinical trials at a level that would give researchers the data they need.

Pages