UF Health MedMatters

Michael S. Okun, M.D., and Duane Mitchell, M.D, Ph.D. Awarded College of Medicine Clinical Science Research Award

The College of Medicine Clinical Science Research Award recognizes outstanding research that has a close connection to clinical medicine and/or a significant impact on the delivery of patient care. In the past 2 years, the departments of neurology and neurosurgery have been honored to have recipients of this award come from their respective departments.

Michael Okun, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in movement disorders ― particularly in the exploration of non-motor basal ganglia brain features ― was the recipient of the 2021 College of Medicine Clinical Science Research Award, and was recently honored for this achievement at the 2022 UF College of Medicine Research Day. He is a professor and chair of the Department of Neurology and director of the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health. In the below video, Okun discusses what receiving this award means to him.

Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., is the 2022 recipient of the College of Medicine Clinical Science Research Award. Mitchell is the Phyllis Kottler Friedman Professor in the Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery, the co-director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy at UF Health and director of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He also serves as assistant vice president for research and associate dean for translational science and clinical research at UF.

Duane Mitchell

Mitchell is a leading expert in the development of innovative immunotherapy treatments for adults and children with malignant brain tumors. He has pioneered many novel brain tumor immunotherapies that have been translated into first-in-human clinical trials and multicenter phase 2 studies. He has received over $40 million in research awards as principal investigator and has been continuously funded by the NIH for his cancer research since 2009. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and numerous private foundations, and he is an inventor on more than 25 patents for novel cancer therapeutics.

“It is an honor to receive this award, which truly is a reflection of the amazing environment here at UF, the incredible team of people I am lucky enough to work with and hopefully an effort that is worthy of such good fortune,” Mitchell said.

About UF Health Shands Hospital

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University of Florida Health Shands Hospital has been recognized among the nation’s best hospitals in seven adult medical specialties. Overall, UF Health Shands Hospital was recognized as one of the best hospitals in Florida. In addition to being ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals in seven specialties, UF Health Shands Hospital also was listed as “high performing” in seven specialties, including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, colon cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, lung cancer surgery, neurology & neurosurgery and orthopaedics.