All posts by Cory Skeates


FSC Symposium to Highlight New Research in Alzheimer’s, Breast Cancer Treatment

Three chemistry experts will present their potentially life-saving research to the public this Friday, September 30, at the second annual Spencer Symposium at Florida Southern College.  The symposium is hosted by FSC’s chemistry and physics department and will be held in the Hollis Room on campus from 2 pm to 5 pm.

In honor of the late Dr. Jack Spencer, a Florida Southern College professor of chemistry who is credited with making major advances in the research and development of antibiotics, this annual Symposium draws together the FSC community and interested members of the public to highlight the application of chemistry in health.  The event is organized by Dr. Carmen Gauthier, professor of chemistry and chair of the natural sciences and mathematics division at Florida Southern College.

This year, highly notable advances in the research of Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, and methods for effective drug design, will be presented and discussed.

The 2011 program will include the following presentations:

2:00     “Biophysical Characterizations of Alzheimer’s Disease Related Amyloid-? Oligomers,” Dr. William M. Tay, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL

3:00     “How a mass spectrometer can tell us medicinal chemists NOT to synthesize inactive compounds,” Dr. Roman Manetsch, Chemistry Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

4:00     “Treasures from Under the Antarctic Ice:  Natural Products Drug Discovery at the End of the Earth,” Dr. Bill Baker, Chemistry Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

More about the symposium panelists:

Dr. William Tay moved to the U.S. at the age of 12 from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) to escape political unrest and to seek a better education.  He completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry and mathematics at Florida Southern College in 2002 and continued to a graduate career at the University of South Florida under the mentorship of Dr. Li-June Ming from 2002-2008.  His graduate training was largely in enzyme or chemical kinetics with some emphasis on nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.  Since earning his Ph.D., he has joined Dr. Terrone Rosenberry’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow for further training in biophysical techniques and mass spectrometry.

Dr. Roman Manesch received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2002 from the University of Basel (Switzerland) developing antibody-catalyzed cylization reactions under the guidance of Wolf-Dietrich Woggon. He then joined the group of K. Barry Sharpless at the Scripps Research Institute working on click chemistry. In 2005, he moved to the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Florida as an assistant professor. His current research focuses mainly on organic chemistry and chemical biology addressing modern aspects of medicinal chemistry, hit-to-lead progression strategies, and development of chemical probes for the study of specific proteins in complex biological matrices.

Dr. Bill Baker earned his BS in chemistry from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, and studied under Paul Scheuer at the University of Hawaii where he earned his PhD in marine natural products chemistry.  He held postdoctoral appointments with Ron Parry at Rice University and Carl Djerassi at Stanford University, joining the University of South Florida in 2001 where he is currently Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Drug Discovery and Innovation (CDDI).  He has been studying the chemistry of marine invertebrates, algae and microbiota for more than 20 years, including projects that encompass drug discovery, chemical ecology, biosynthesis and synthesis, centered on source organisms collected from environments that are understudied, such as Antarctica, and from highly productive environments such as the Florida Keys.

More about Dr. Jack Spencer:

Jack Spencer was born in 1932 in Sanford, FL, where he graduated from Seminole High School as Valedictorian.  He attended Rollins College for one year and transferred to DePauw University in Indiana, where he received his bachelor degree in Chemistry. He then went on to receive his PhD with honors in organic chemistry from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Spencer started his career as a research chemist at Lederle Company in New York and then joined Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, where he held several management positions in research & development, quality control, and production. He is named on several Lilly patents. Jack Spencer retired from Eli Lilly and joined the Florida Southern College Chemistry Department in 1988.  At FSC, he held the Jessie Ball DuPont Chair in the Natural Sciences and retired in 2003 as an emeritus faculty.  He was a 50-year member of the American Chemical Society, and in his spare time, he cultivated prize-winning camellias.


FSC Lecture to Explore the Limits of Science and the Role of God in Nature

The Florida Center for Science and Religion at Florida Southern College will host a lecture about the nature of science and its limits by a prominent philosopher of science.

Dr. David Banach, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, will speak on “Peering Beyond the Veil: Science at its Limits and the God of the Gaps” at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Hollis Room on the FSC campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Center co-director Dr. Sara Fletcher Harding said Banach’s lecture will deal with the religious implications of the “new cosmology,” which includes recent discoveries about the Big Bang, quantum physics and mathematical models of infinity.

“Some of these discoveries present a challenge to natural theology in which God is the explanatory principle,” Harding said. “Yet it’s also about the limits of what we can know.”

While visiting Florida Southern, Banach will also address the campus Philosophy Club and speak to classes. He has degrees in chemistry and philosophy, and has taught at Saint Anselm College for more than 20 years, specializing in the philosophy of biology and the history of science, especially the role of mathematics in ancient science.

The Florida Center for Science and Religion was established through funding provided by the Local Societies Initiative Grant of the Metanexus Institute on Religion and Science and is currently funded by Florida Southern College. The FCSR promotes the engagement of issues in science and religion throughout central Florida.  The center sponsors annual lectures and meetings on a wide range of topics.


Lakeland Regional to Host NICU Graduate Reunion

On Saturday, October 22, Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s (LRMC) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will host a NICU Graduate Reunion from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the LRMC Auditorium at 1324 Lakeland Hills Blvd. in Lakeland.

“We are very excited to sponsor the LRMC NICU Graduate Reunion,”

said Pam Kennard, BSN, RNC, NICU Manager.  “The NICU staff becomes very attached to our tiny patients and their families. They leave a permanent impression on our hearts, and we are looking forward to having the opportunity to see them again.”

People of all ages who were treated in LRMC’s NICU, as well as their family members, are invited to attend the event, as the NICU staff would like to celebrate the health and growth of each patient.

As the area’s largest Level II NICU, LRMC is specially equipped to care for newborns as small as 2.2 pounds. Our on-staff neonatologists work closely with our highly-trained NICU nurses and respiratory therapists to deliver the most sophisticated life-saving care in a technologically advanced, yet nurturing environment.

Equipped with the womb-like cradles of the intensive care beds, premature and at-risk newborns can thrive. LRMC provides Kangaroo Care that cultivates physical bonding between the baby and parents. And with the state-of-the-art Giraffe beds, NICU nurses are provided with immediate access to babies who require intense interventions, while allowing for a protected environment for premature babies. In addition, when appropriate, LRMC offers CPR instruction and sleep apnea monitor training when it’s time to go home.

For more information about or to RSVP to the NICU Graduate Reunion, please call 863-687-1400.

For more information about LRMC’s women’s and children’s services, please visit


New South Lakeland Location for Radiology & Imaging Specialists

Radiology and Imaging Specialists (RIS) is physician-owned and has been providing the community with the highest quality medical imaging service for over 40 years.  RIS has over twenty board-certified radiologists, many of whom are sub-specialized.  RIS advanced imaging services include: PET/CT Scan; multi-slice CT; MRI, ultrasound; nuclear medicine; digital mammography; bone densitometry and conventional x-rays.

Its facilities in Lakeland and Plant City are all accredited and are staffed by experienced and dedicated professionals.  RIS subsidiaries and locations include RIS Central Office, Upright MRI, Women’s Imaging Center, Lakeland Vascular Institute, Vein Care Specialists, Plant City Imaging and RIS’s newest location in South Lakeland.

The new office located in Emerald Plaza at 3021 Highlands Road offers x-ray and ultrasound services.

Hospital affiliations for RIS include: Lakeland Regional Medical Center; Bartow Regional Medical Center; Winter Haven Hospital; Bert Fish Medical Center and South Florida Baptist Hospital.  For more information and a listing of all our services visit our website


Polk County Customer ePlan Training Dates

The County will hold a training for ePlan, Polk County’s web based Electronic Plan Review system (ProjectDox  a software produced by Avolve) in the GM Conference Room located on the 2nd floor of the Neil Combee Administration Building, 330 W Church St, Bartow Florida 33830 on the following dates and times.

October 11, 2011 – 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

October 14, 2011  – 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

October 17, 2011 – 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

To register for one of the training sessions, please contact Charlotte Fillmore at 863-534-6488 or

Who should attend?

A.            Contractors, Architects, Engineers, and/or anyone who submits plans to the Building Division to be reviewed by County Plans Examiners (such as staff in Building, Fire, etc.) prior to permit issuance.

Why would I submit plans electronically?

A.            Saves customers money.

·         Using digital files drastically reduces paper consumption and the cost to manage and store paper documents.

·         Reduces the number of trips clients need to make to submit and resubmit building plans and eliminating multiple blueprint submission sets.

·         Citizens have access (24/7) to a secure, fast and convenient system to submit/resubmit plans

·         Centralizing plans and documents gives complete visibility to all departments and stakeholders, reducing confusion as to what changes have been made, by whom and when

·          Parallel review facilitates increased communication, accuracy and reduces/shortens resubmission cycle(s)

·         Plan review from remote locations allows for telecommuting, trip reductions for citizens and couriers, energy and environmental conservation

·         Improved accuracy of the data being transmitted and contained on the plans and reduced numbers of permits and plans being filed by non-licensed architects, engineers or contractors

Is ePlan (ProjectDox) a secure web application?

A.            ePlan uses the same browser security deployed by online banking sites. When combined with network and application security best practices deployed by your jurisdiction, ProjectDox ePlan technology will provide a secure collaboration environment for the citizen and government project stakeholders.

For more information please contact Charlotte Fillmore at 863-534-6488 or or visit the ePlan website at