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Young Blood Vessels Give New Life to Aging Islets, Researchers Find

From left, Alejandro Caicedo, Ph.D., Per-Olof Berggren, Ph.D., and Midhat Abdulreda, Ph.D.

From left, Alejandro Caicedo, Ph.D., Per-Olof Berggren, Ph.D., and Midhat Abdulreda, Ph.D.

A team of international researchers, led by investigators at the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine and Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), has found that young capillary vessels can rejuvenate aged pancreatic islets.

The study finding is significant because it suggests that targeting inflammation and fibrosis in the small blood vessels of the islet may offer new treatment options for diabetes. The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Islets, which contain the beta cells responsible for secreting the blood-glucose-regulating hormones insulin and glucagon, typically decrease in function with age. The researchers hypothesized that the decrease in function might not be due solely to a decrease in glucose-sensing or hormone-secreting capacity, but also to a decrease in blood supply caused by inflammation and scarring of the vessels. Replacing the islet vasculature in grafts transplanted into young mice restored the islets to full function, even at an advanced age.

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Thomas A. McGrath, M.B.A.

An Adventurous New COO Takes the Reins at UHealth

Thomas Allan McGrath, M.B.A., sits in his office sporting a necktie with a jaunty DNA double helix. It spirals down from the knot at his throat, gradually unwinding as the tie widens, until it splits into two separate strands near the bottom. It’s a fashion statement, to be sure, but it’s also thematically appropriate for the new Chief Operating Officer of UHealth.

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Lee Kaplan, M.D., holder of the first Petra and Stephen A. Levin Endowed Chair for UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness, talks about some of the Institute’s initiatives.

$2 Million Gift Will Advance Research at UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute

From Pop Warner football players to the weekend warrior, just about everyone in South Florida can benefit from the computerized motion analyses, advanced concussion testing, and other sophisticated performance evaluations and therapies that are major components of the Miller School of Medicine’s UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute.

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On the helipad where the Burn Center surgical team meets critically burned patients are, from left, Louis Pizano, M.D., M.B.A., Nicholas Namias, M.D., M.B.A., professor of surgery and Chief of the Division of Trauma, and Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., associate professor of surgery, Director of the William Lehman Injury Research Center and the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair in the Division of Burns in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery.

UM/Jackson Burn Center Remains Only Verified Center in South Florida

Recently re-verified by the American Burn Association (ABA) and American College of Surgeons, the Burn Center at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital remains one of only 63 burn centers in the nation and the only one in South Florida to earn the ABA’s highest honor. The Center’s verification will continue for another three-year cycle.

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Michael Hoffer, M.D. Video

NFL Grant Awarded to Study Novel Diagnostic Device for Concussions

A $500,000 grant from the National Football League will enable the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and medical equipment manufacturer Neuro Kinetics Inc. to test the effectiveness of a diagnostic device prototype, the I-Portal® PAS goggle, for early and accurate detection of concussions.

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Stephen Nimer, M.D., receives the Life Raft Humanitarian of the Year Award from Breelyn Wilky, M.D., assistant professor of medicine.

Dr. Stephen Nimer Receives Humanitarian of the Year Award

The Life Raft Group has named Stephen Nimer, M.D., Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, its Humanitarian of the Year. Dr. Nimer was presented the award at the 7th anniversary of the biennial Life Fest convention, a unique event where hundreds of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) patients and caregivers gather for a weekend of camaraderie.

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