Sigma Xi recognizes UF professors for contributions to research, science teaching

Published: May 4 2012

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Sigma Xi, the National Scientific Research Society, has recognized three University of Florida professors and a local high school teacher for their contributions to research and science teaching.

At its annual banquet in early April, Sigma Xi presented a Junior Faculty Research Award to Jose E. Santos; Senior Faculty Research Awards to Martin J. Cohn and Robert J. Cousins; and a Pre-college Teaching Award to Virginia Christensen.

Santos is an associate professor in the department of animal sciences. A veterinarian, nutritionist and physiologist, Santos was recognized for his innovative and practical approaches to enhance reproductive performance, milk production and the health of dairy cattle. Santos’ research resulted in the 2005 Young Scientist Award by the American Dairy Science Association. Since 2001, he has given 131 presentations at conferences around the world.

Cohn is a UF Research Foundation Professor in the department of molecular genetics and microbiology. He is a recipient of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist Award in recognition of his groundbreaking research in embryonic development and evolution in vertebrates. Cohn’s findings have been published in many leading scientific journals including Nature, Cell and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cousins is the Boston Family Professor of Nutrition in the department of food science and human nutrition and a National Academy of Science member. His research focuses on trace element nutrition and its role in cellular function and defense mechanisms to specific diseases. Cousins has been recognized with a MERIT Award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and is recipient of Dannon Institute Mentorship Award from the American Society for Nutrition. Cousins is currently Editor of the Annual Review of Nutrition and serves as president and board chairman of FASEB and as president of the American Society of Nutrition.

Christensen is a certified teacher in chemistry and biology at Eastside High School, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2012. Christensen has served as a sponsor of the Florida Junior Academy of science and served as Eastside’s science department chair for six years. She has taught applied aerodynamics to secondary science teachers at UF summer workshops, and serves as co-director of Aviation Camp Bernoulli, a camp for fourth- and fifth-graders held at the UF department of aerospace engineering mechanics and engineering science.

Sigma Xi was founded in 1886 to honor excellence in scientific investigation and encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among researchers in all fields of science and engineering. The Greek letters “sigma” and “xi” form the acronym of the Society’s motto, “Spoudon Xynones,” which translates as “Companions in Zealous Research.”

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories