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UF Research Foundation names 2023 Professors

April 19, 2023 — The University of Florida Research Foundation has named 34 of the university’s most productive and promising faculty members as UFRF Professors for 2023.

“This recognition goes to faculty who have a distinguished current record of research and a strong research agenda that is likely to lead to continuing distinction in their fields,” said David Norton, UF’s vice president for research. “Based on the more than 700 UF faculty recognized over the past 26 years, we can expect significant research discoveries, scholarship and technology transfer from this group in the future.”

The UFRF Professors were recommended by their college deans based on nominations from their department chairs, a personal statement and an evaluation of their recent research accomplishments as evidenced by publications in scholarly journals, external funding, honors and awards, development of intellectual property and other measures appropriate to their field of expertise.

The three-year award includes a $5,000 annual salary supplement and a one-time $3,000 grant. The professorships are funded from the university’s share of royalty and licensing income on UF-generated products.

The program was paused in 2020 due to financial uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, so UF Research will recognize the 2020 and 2023 UFRF Professors during an event in the fall.


This year’s UFRF Professors are listed below:

College of the Arts

Jasmin Arakawa

Associate Professor of Piano


Warrington College of Business

Liangfei Qiu

Associate Professor of Business


College of Journalism and Communications

Yu-Hao Lee

Associate Professor of Media Production, Management, and Technology


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Paul Ortiz

Professor of History


Duncan Purves

Associate Professor of Philosophy


Derek Cummings

Professor of Epidemiology


Jonathan Martin

Professor of Geology


Jason Blackburn

Professor of Geography


Lori Knackstedt

Associate Professor of Psychology


College of Medicine

Eric Wang

Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology


Philip Efron

Professor of Surgery


Matthew E. Merritt

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Jada Lewis

Professor of Neuroscience


Carol Mathews

Professor of Psychiatry


College of Design, Construction and Planning

Timothy Murtha

Professor of Landscape Architecture


College of Dentistry

José Lemos

Associate Professor of Oral Biology


College of Education

Joni Williams Splett

Associate Professor of School Psychology


Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Sanjay Ranka

Distinguished Professor of Computer & Information Science & Engineering


Parisa Rashidi

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering


Bala Balachandar

Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Florida Museum of Natural History

David Blackburn

Associate Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles


College of Health and Human Performance

Rachael Seidler

Professor of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology


Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Jose Dubeux

Professor of Agronomy


Zhifeng Gao

Professor of Food and Resource Economics


Erica Goss

Associate Professor of Plant Pathology


KC Jeong

Associate Professor of Animal Sciences


Jawwad Qureshi

Associate Professor of Entomology and Nematology


Yu Wang

Associate Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition


Levin College of Law      

David Hasen

Professor of Law


College of Nursing

Leslie Parker

Professor of Nursing


College of Pharmacy

Stephan Schmidt

Professor of Pharmaceutics


College of Public Health and Health Professions 

Samuel Wu

Professor of Biostatistics


Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology              

Katrin Karbstein

Professor of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology


College of Veterinary Medicine

Liang Zhou

Professor of Infectious Diseases and Immunology




About the University of Florida

The University of Florida attracts the best and brightest students, staff and faculty, places them together and connects them with world-class resources to spark extraordinary discoveries and innovations. UF’s momentum is reflected in the university’s designation as a top-five public university by U.S. News & World Report. Artificial intelligence is a centerpiece at UF, spanning all disciplines so that every student has the opportunity to acquire competence and expertise in AI. The University of Florida is a place where limitless potential meets boundless opportunity through teaching, research, scholarship and service to the state, the nation and the world.


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