Research Faculty

Richard L Bennett

Richard L Bennett PhD

Research Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 273-8333

I first became interested in molecular and cellular biology as an undergraduate at Kalamazoo College, and later, as a graduate student at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, I decided to devote my career to researching the molecular basis of cancer. This has provided me with the opportunity to study interesting questions that are both fundamental to biology and also of significance to our society. After graduate school, I worked first as a post-doctoral fellow and then as a Research Assistant Professor to determine the role of the interferon-inducible, dsRNA-activated protein kinase PKR in tumorigenesis. In 2016 I had the opportunity to join the Research group of Jonathan Licht, M.D. to study the role of chromatin dynamics in cancer. My projects in the Licht lab include: characterizing how histone mutations that disrupt nucleosome structure may cause changes in gene expression that drive the tumorigenic phenotype, analyzing the mechanism by which an activating mutation of the histone methyltransferase NSD2 dysregulates the chromatin landscape to drive myeloma or ALL and identifying new genetic vulnerabilities in uveal melanoma.

Research Interests:
  • Biochemistry and Cell Biology
  • Cancer
  • Cancer Genetics
  • Cell signaling pathways
  • Gene expression
  • Regulation of Gene Expression
Christopher R Cogle

Christopher R Cogle M.D.

Phone: (352) 273-7493

Christopher R. Cogle, M.D. is a practicing oncologist, distinguished scientist, and leader in health policy with focus on cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Cogle’s clinic is designated a Center of Excellence by the MDS Foundation. Dr. Cogle has been named a Scholar in Clinical Research by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In 2020, the National Academy of Medicine distinguished Dr. Cogle as an Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine Scholar.

  • Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine Scholar
    2020 · National Academy of Medicine
  • Clinical Trials Award
    2018 · UF Health Cancer Center
  • Research Prize
    2016 · Harvard Business School Precision Trials Challenge
  • Research Prize
    2016 · UF Department of Medicine
  • Research Prize
    2014 · UF Department of Medicine
  • Customer Service Key Award for Excellent Patient Care
    2013 · UF Health Shands Hospital
  • Bench to Bedside Award
    2012 · University of Florida
  • Research Award
    2012 · UF Department of Medicine
  • Scholar in Clinical Research
    2012 · Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Best in Research
    2011 · University of Florida
  • Center of Excellence in Myelodysplastic Syndromes
    2009 · MDS Foundation
  • Excellence in Teaching Award
    2008 · University of Florida
  • Best in Research
    2006 · University of Florida
  • Top 10 US Young Stem Cell Scientist
    2005 · British Council
  • First Prize in Research
    2004 · Joint Cancer Conference of the Florida Universities
  • Young Investor Award
    2003 · American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • NIH Loan Repayment Award
    2002 · NIH
  • Alpha Omega Alpha
    1998 · Alpha Omega Alpha
  • Vigil Honor
    1989 · Order of the Arrow
  • Eagle Scout
    1987 · Boy Scouts of America
  • Oncology
Research Summary:

Christopher R. Cogle, M.D. is a physician and scientist with research focus on cancer and health policy. In his early career Dr. Cogle discovered that blood stem cells make blood vessels and used that biology to invent new therapeutics and diagnostics for people with cancer and heart disease. In his mid career, as a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar in Clinical Research, he began translating research discoveries into investigator-initiated clinical trials. Dr. Cogle has also made major discoveries in cancer epidemiology and was elected to lead Florida’s cancer prevention and control efforts at the state level, producing the Florida Cancer Plan, leading statewide campaigns for improved cancer prevention and control, and advising the Florida Legislature, Florida Secretary of Health, and Florida Governor on evidence-based strategies to reduce the state’s cancer burden. In 2020, Dr. Cogle was selected by the National Academy of Medicine as an Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine Scholar. As a Scholar he works to increase access to high quality health care by studying and improving health policies of government entities and health systems.

Research Interests:
  • Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Cancer
  • Cancer Genetics
  • Cancer Informatics
  • Cancer Screening
  • Cancer prevention
  • Digital Health
  • Genetics
  • Haplo-identical Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Health Outcomes
  • Health Policy
  • Health outcomes research
  • Healthcare policies
  • Leukemia
  • Population Health
  • Targeted Cancer Therapy
  • Telehealth
  • health services research
Coy Heldermon

Coy Heldermon M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Phone: (352) 273-8008

Dr. Heldermon is an associate professor of medicine, board certified medical oncologist with expertise in the treatment of breast cancer. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. His research expertise is in the use of gene replacement and stem cell therapies for the treatment of inherited disorders such as lysosomal storage diseases. He also studies the spread of stem cells from maternal or malignant sources using mouse models.

  • Oncology
Frederic J Kaye

Frederic J Kaye M.D.

Phone: (352) 273-7766

Dr. Kaye is a professor of medicine, medical director of the thoracic oncology program and director of the lung cancer center within the division of hematology and oncology. He is a clinical and basic science investigator with a focus on thoracic malignancies. Dr. Kay is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society, and serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

  • Hematology
  • Hematology and Oncology
  • Oncology
Jonathan D Licht

Jonathan D Licht MD

Director, The University Of Florida Health Cancer Center; The Marshall E. Rinker, Sr. Foundation And David B. And Leighan R. Rinker Chair
Phone: (352) 273-8143

Dr. Licht is the director of the UF Health Cancer Center, holding the Marshall E. Rinker, Sr. Foundation and David B. and Leighan R. Rinker Chair. Previously Dr. Licht was Chief of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University and an Associate Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. NCI funded for nearly 25 years, Dr. Licht is also Principal Investigator of a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Specialized Center and a Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation program grant. He is an investigator in the Dana-Farber SPORE in myeloma and co-leader in a NCI-funded Chicago Physical Sciences Oncology Center. Senior Editor of Clinical Cancer Research, Dr. Licht serves on the editorial boards of Oncogene and Cancer Cell. He’s a member of the executive committee of the American Society of Hematology, and will be co-director of the 2017 ASH/EHA Translational Research Training program. Additionally he sits on the Medical/Scientific Board of the LLS and is a member of the Basic Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics Study Section. Dr. Licht has published nearly 170 original articles, reviews and book chapters, and mentors graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty members.

Zhijian Qian

Zhijian Qian PhD

Professor, Pierre Chagnon Professor Of Cancer Research
Phone: (352) 294-8984

Zhijian Qian Ph.D. joined Department of Medicine, at the University of Florida in April, 2018. Currently, he is a tenured full Professor. Before that, he had been serving as a tenured Associate Professor of medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago for several years.

Dr. Qian received his Ph.D. degree from Shanghai Institute of Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Science, China, and then conducted postdoc training at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago. He established his independent research laboratory in 2010 in the department of Medicine at University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Qian is a scholar of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (2018) and Research of the year. His research has been supported by multiple RO1 grants from NIH and other private foundations.

Current Research Interests: The long-term goal of Qian laboratory is to understand the mechanisms that underlie the development of blood cancer with a focus on studying the genetic pathways that control the proliferation, survival and self-renewal of normal or leukemic hematopoietic stem cells, and to identify novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of myeloid malignant diseases. Current my lab research interests include 1) understanding molecular regulation of normal hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) and its leukemic transformation, 2) determining the role and mechanisms of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the development and maintenance of myeloid neoplasms, 3) understanding transcriptional, epigenetic and epitranscriptome regulation of normal hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis, 4) studying post-translational modifications of RNA m6A methylation regulators in cancer, and 5) developing novel targeted therapies for myeloid malignant diseases and solid tumors including lung and head-neck cancers.

Daphne Dupere-Richer

Daphne Dupere-Richer Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist
Phone: (352) 256-3151
Jianping Li

Jianping Li Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist
Phone: (352) 294-8457
Jixiu Shan

Jixiu Shan Ph.D.

Associate Scientist
Phone: (352) 392-3364