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A psychology professor and an engineering professor from the University of Central Florida are among 15 honorees selected for induction to the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida (ASEMFL), a group that brings together the nation’s most distinguished scholars who live and work in Florida.

The induction of UCF Pegasus Professors Deborah C. Beidel and Sudipta Seal, and 13 others from throughout the state, expands the membership of the not-for-profit ASEMFL, all of whom are top scholars and researchers committed to addressing key issues and challenges impacting Florida. The 15 inductees bring the membership to 181. An induction ceremony will be held in the fall of 2021.

Members of ASEMFL seek to work with state and local agencies and planners – and contribute their expertise on issues such as mitigating COVID-19 transmission and impact, making coastlines more resilient, increasing transportation efficiency and safety, and ensuring senior-citizen health – by producing cutting-edge unbiased studies.

ASEMFL was founded in 2018 at the University of Central Florida, granting inaugural membership to the 140 members of the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine who live or work in Florida. National Academy membership is considered the highest career distinction for scholars in these fields in the United States. Those who live or work in Florida have automatic membership in ASEMFL.

ASEMFL members are from universities, public agencies and industries statewide. Election into the Academy is a lengthy process that starts in August and concludes the following April.

“With ASEMFL, we have assembled an impressive organization of brainpower and leadership in Florida to help address the state’s toughest problems to improve lives and livelihoods,” said Gavriel Salvendy, Ph.D., ASEMFL president and member of the National Academy of Engineering. “Throughout their distinguished careers, ASEMFL members have advanced science, engineering and medicine to benefit the nation, and are now uniquely positioned to do the same for the state of Florida.”

To carry out their mission, ASEMFL is actively seeking partnerships with state agencies and municipalities. City managers, agency leaders, program managers and others are encouraged to connect with ASEMFL with their unique challenges and projects.

UCF’s 2021 ASEMFL new members:

Deborah C. Beidel, Pegasus and Trustee Professor, UCF Department of Psychology, inducted for development, validation, and implementation of effective social treatment for children, and PTSD treatment for veterans.



Sudipta Seal, Professor and Chair, UCF Department of Materials Science and Engineering, inducted for outstanding research in multi-functional redox active nano-engineered oxide, and leadership in MSE and nanotechnology education.

Statewide 2021 ASEMFL new members:

Maria T. Abreau, Professor of Medicine, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine; Citation: Advanced understanding of therapeutic drug monitoring genotype-phenotype associations in inflammatory bowel diseases.

Robert H. Byrne, Distinguished University Professor, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida; Citation: Pioneering research and developments in marine science, particularly seawater physical chemistry.

Roberta D. Goode, Founder and President, ALTREC, LLC; Citation: Respected Business Leader, Entrepreneur and Employer in the area of Quality and Regulatory Sciences.

James R. Lewis, Distinguished User Experience Researcher, MeasuringU, LLC. Citation: Development of the IBM widely used usability test and for technological innovations for the first smart phone.

Israel Morejon, President, Integrated Engineering Technology; Citation: Pioneering technologies for LED, HVAC, wireless communications, thermodynamics, software, and nanotechnology.

Stephen D. Nimer, Director, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami; Citation: Groundbreaking discoveries, led major trials, mentored many researchers and obtained NCI designation.

Guillermo Prado, Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs, and Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Nursing and Health Studies, Public Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Miami; Citation: Creating science-based youth prevention interventions and taking them to scale nationally and internationally.

Adalio T. Sanchez, President, S Group Advisory, LLC; Citation: Contributions to the development of world-class Information Technology industry standards and computing systems.

Sudeep Sarkar, Professor and Chair, Computer Science and Engineering Department, University of South Florida; Citation: Distinguished contributions in computer vision and pattern recognition, perceptual organization and biometrics.

Christine E. Schmidt, J Crayton Pruitt Family Endowed Chair, and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Florida; Citation: Innovation of biomedical technologies impacting thousands & university & national biomedical engineering leadership.

Yuk-Ching Tse-Dinh, Director and Distinguished University Professor, Biomolecular Sciences Institute and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Florida International University; Citation: Seminal research on bacterial genome structure regulation and pioneering countermeasures against superbugs.

Carolyn M. Tucker, Florida Blue Endowed Chair in Health Disparities Research, Distinguished Alumni Professor, Professor of Psychology and of Community Health, University of Florida; Citation: Creating science-based tools health promotion and culturally sensitive health care in underserved communities.

Jeffrey M. Vance, Professor, Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine; Citation: Neurogenetics research expert who has made outstanding contributions to gene discovery for major human diseases.

More information is available on the ASEMFL website (

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