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Florencio Eloy Hernandez

EDUCATION/TRAINING

    B.S.       05/1992           Physical Chemistry.
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela
    Ph.D.    12/1996            Physical Chemistry & Nonlinear Optics. Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela
    Post-Doc    12/1999       Materials & Nonlinear Optics. Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela & Université de Franche-Compté
    MBA    05/2015              Leadership and Management.
University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA


Positions and Employment

  • 10/98-08/02 Visiting Research Scientist, CREOL/The College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida
  • 08/02-07/08 Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Optics, University of Central Florida
  • Since 08/08 Associate Professor of Chemistry and Optics, University of Central Florida
  • Since 08/16 Professor of Chemistry and Optics, University of Central Florida

Other Experience and Professional Memberships
  • 2002- Member, American Chemical Society
  • 2011 American Chemical Society-Orlando Local Section (Chair)
  • 2008- Panel Board, NSF-BIO Instrument Development for Biological Research
  • 2009 Panel Board, NSF-CHE Major Research Instrumentation
  • 2013 Associate Editor, Photonics Journal, IEEE
  • 2011-2015 UCF Faculty Senate
Honors
  • 2017-2018 Provost Faculty Fellow
  • 2010-2011 & 2015 Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award presented by UCF
  • 2010 Full Faculty Graduate Member in the College of Graduate Studies at UCF
  • 2009-2010 Research Incentive Award (RIA) presented by UCF
  • 2005-2006 Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award presented by UCF
  • 2004 American Chemical Society (Orlando Section) Outstanding Chemist Award
  • 2001 Awarded by Laser Focus World, for excellence in technical communications

Personal Statement
In collaboration with Dr. Suren Tatulian, we will combine two-photon absorption circular dichroism (TPCD) and isotope-edited FTIR (IE-FTIR) to tackle the structural mechanism underlying the aggregation of full-length Aβ and several fragments that represent structurally distinct and functionally important stretches of the peptide. The outcome of this investigation is expected to result in a better understanding of the role of small-soluble Aβ oligomers and large-insoluble Aβ protein clumps in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The proposed research combines multidisciplinary knowledge in ultrafast–broadband multiphoton spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy, computational chemistry, chemistry, biophysics and biology. I have all the expertise, leadership and motivation to successfully carry out the proposed work in collaboration with my Co-I Dr. Tatulian, a Biophysicist with extended experience in the study of Aβs and the application of IE-FTIR for their study.
Throughout my Ph.D, postdoc and academic career I have developed and applied spectroscopic, optic and analytical techniques to the characterization and application of cutting–edge linear and nonlinear optical materials. My focus during the last 12+ years has resided on the structure-property relationship of organic molecules, nanostructures and hybrid systems to address, among others, the current limitations in radiation penetration depth in bioimaging and photodynamic therapy for cancer diagnostic and treatment. In 2008, I built up a particular interest for the fundamental understanding of the nonlinear optical properties of chiral structures with pivotal role in living systems. In order to expand the knowledge of chirality, a unique experimental technique was developed in my group to measure two-photon circular dichroism (TPCD). TPCD is the only spectroscopic method that provides access to the, otherwise, dark spectral region of the VUV rich in structural fingerprints. At present, most of my effort is directed to the theoretical-experimental structural analysis of peptides, oligomers and proteins, among others.
During my academic career at UCF I have been the PI and Co-PI of multiple multidisciplinary grants from NSF, DOE and DoD. This experience have helped me develop leadership skills to successfully manage research projects, administer budgets, delegate responsibility, established solid professional collaborations, and mentor graduate and undergraduate students. At present I am willing to use all this knowledge to accomplish the proposed objectives within the timeline of this project and contribute to the development of an area of great significance for our aging population.

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