e-Update: News for University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Faculty and Staff

Up Front

50th Miami Winter Symposium Opens with Announcement of Frost Institutes for Science and Engineering

Julio Frenk with Patricia and Philip Frost.

Julio Frenk with Patricia and Philip Frost. Photo GalleryView Photo Gallery

Speaking to an audience of nearly 300 of the world’s leading scientists, researchers and physicians attending the 50th annual Miami Winter Symposium, University of Miami President Julio Frenk announced the creation of the Frost Institutes for Science and Engineering, an umbrella structure that will house individual institutes for the purposes of elevating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) across the University.

The Institutes are being created from a transformational $100 million gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost to support basic and applied sciences and engineering in a University-wide initiative being called STEM@UM. The gift was originally announced by President Frenk during his inauguration last year.

Read more about the Frost Institutes »

More News

The Lennar Foundation Medical Center.

The Lennar Foundation Medical Center.

Join Us for a Community Event at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center This Sunday

The University of Miami Health System is hosting a community-wide grand opening celebration at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center on the Coral Gables campus this Sunday, January 29, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to bring their family and friends to see UHealth’s spectacular new home for the health care of the future.

Read more about the Lennar Center community event »

Lee Kaplan, M.D., examines Victor Martinez.

Lee Kaplan, M.D., examines Victor Martinez.

The Lennar Center’s First Patient: An Athlete on the Mend

Growing up in San Diego, Victor Martinez wanted to be an athlete. Unfortunately, his body had other ideas, and a series of injuries led him to be the first patient through the doors of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center when it opened on December 5.

As a high school wrestler, Martinez injured both of his shoulders; each ultimately required surgery. And during the first football game of his senior year, he suffered a serious injury to his left knee that ended any dreams of gridiron glory. He had two knee surgeries in San Diego, but the troublesome joint never healed properly.

Read more about Victor Martinez »

Improvements Coming to Miller School and UHealth Newsletters and Websites

We are making some important changes to our news reporting and our websites at the Miller School of Medicine and the University of Miami Health System, in order to serve you better.

Our goal is to report as much useful, informative news as possible, but in a more visual and engaging way — sharing the research, clinical care, and educational distinctions of our academic medical center. With that in mind, this will be the last edition of the e-Update newsletter. It will be replaced by an all-new email communication that you will begin receiving next month. This will be one of the new channels we use to reach different audiences, including faculty and community physicians, our staff, and health care consumers.

Read more about Miller School and UHealth communications improvements »

Leaders from Sylvester, the Caribbean Gynecologic Cancer Society, and the University of the West Indies announced the new fellowship on January 13.

Leaders from Sylvester, the Caribbean Gynecologic Cancer Society, and the University of the West Indies announced the new fellowship on January 13.

Sylvester Launches Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship with Partners in the Caribbean

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine recently announced the launch of the new Caribbean Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship, supporting subspecialty training in low- and middle-income countries in the Caribbean. The fellowship is a collaboration between Sylvester, the Caribbean Gynecologic Cancer Society, and the University of the West Indies (UWI), which has campuses in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, among others.

Read more about the new fellowship »

From left, Tim Rowe, Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., and Julio Frenk.

From left, Tim Rowe, Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., and Julio Frenk.
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UM Joins Celebration of Cambridge Innovation Center’s Grand Opening at Converge Miami

Four strategic priorities of the University of Miami — innovation, entrepreneurship, education and hemispheric outreach — came together Saturday night at a high-energy celebration of the Grand Opening of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) at Converge Miami.

“Innovation is at the heart of the University of Miami’s hemispheric outreach strategy,” said President Julio Frenk in a fireside conversation with Tim Rowe, global CEO of CIC, at the January 21 event. “In addition to strengthening South Florida’s own innovation ecosystem, Converge Miami will provide a welcoming entry point for entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean, and help us build alliances with leading institutions throughout our hemisphere.”

Read more about CIC's grand opening celebration »

Steven Chen, Ph.D.

Steven Chen, Ph.D.

Sylvester Receives NCI Grant to Advance Proteogenomics

Despite significant progress in understanding cancer at the molecular level, the complexity of the disease remains a daunting barrier to developing interventions that are needed to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer in the era of precision medicine.

Steven Chen, Ph.D., who directs the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues from Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Gladstone Institutes, and other institutions recently received a five-year grant of more than $5 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study proteogenomics.

Read more about Dr. Chen's research »

Miller School of Medicine students discuss their training.

Miller School of Medicine students discuss their training.

Miller School Leadership, Faculty and Students Prepare for High-Stakes Accreditation Visit

A year and a half of hard work and significant changes to prepare the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for reaccreditation culminates in a visit by the national Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in early February.

The team of site visitors — leaders from the University of South Carolina, the University of Virginia, and other medical schools — will have already reviewed data from a 380-page report from the Miller School, an independent analysis based on a survey of current students, and other AAMC school reports when they arrive on February 5.

Read more about the LCME site visit »

Nicolas Acquavella, M.D.

Nicolas Acquavella, M.D.

Dr. Nicolas Acquavella: New Treatments for Melanoma Are on the Horizon

Nicolas Acquavella, M.D., is a board-certified medical oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System. He focuses on providing innovative and advanced treatment options to patients with advanced and metastatic melanoma. Here, he discusses unique treatments on the horizon.

Read more about Dr. Acquavella's work »

Cells with impaired chromatid separation (red arrows) in cultured WT and Asxl1+/- hematopoietic progenitor cells.

Cells with impaired chromatid separation (red arrows) in cultured WT and Asxl1+/- hematopoietic progenitor cells.

A Key Trigger in Myeloid Cancers

When the body is working well, hematopoietic (blood) stem cells in the bone marrow generate healthy red and white blood cells. However, faulty genes can produce abnormal cells, leading to myeloid leukemia and other conditions. Researchers have been working for years to untangle this complicated biology.

But now, Feng-Chun Yang, M.D., Ph.D., a cancer researcher at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues have shown that one protein — called ASXL1 — plays a major role in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. The study was published in the journal Science Advances.

Read more about myeloid triggers »

Rash on patient's stomach.

Rash on patient's stomach.
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University of Miami Physicians Publish Case Study of First Locally Acquired Zika Infection

Following the recent Zika outbreak in Miami-Dade County, a multidisciplinary team of physicians with the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine published a case study January 11 in The New England Journal of Medicine, describing in detail the nation’s first locally transmitted case of Zika.

The findings of the case study, titled “Cutaneous Eruption in a U.S. Woman with Locally Acquired Zika Virus Infection,” largely center on the skin rash associated with the then-23-year-old pregnant patient’s diagnosis and provide a glimpse of the skin manifestations of the Zika virus. The report may have implications for future Zika screening, diagnoses and linkage to care throughout the United States and abroad.

Read more about the Zika findings »

Craig Lockhart, M.D.

Craig Lockhart, M.D.

Dr. Craig Lockhart Named Chief of Division of Medical Oncology

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have named Craig Lockhart, M.D., Chief of the Division of Medical Oncology.

Lockhart, currently professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, Co-Leader of its Molecular Oncology and Developmental Therapeutics Section and Director of the Developmental Therapeutics program at the Siteman Cancer Center, will join Sylvester and the Miller School in April. He will also serve as Associate Director for Regional and Strategic Clinical Research Affiliations for Sylvester, and Chief of Medical Oncology Service for University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics.

Read more about Dr. Lockhart's appointment »

Harry W. Flynn, M.D.

Harry W. Flynn, M.D.
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Bascom Palmer’s Dr. Harry W. Flynn Receives Prestigious Schepens Award

Harry W. Flynn, Jr., M.D., professor of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, was awarded the prestigious Charles L. Schepens, M.D. Award at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago. The award and gold medal are presented each year to recognize a leader in the field of vitreoretinal surgery and include a personal honorarium and significant donation for Flynn’s vision research. Flynn’s lifetime contributions to ophthalmology encompass excellence in all aspects of clinical care, vision research, and teaching.

“I am honored to receive this award named after my early mentor and friend of 20 years,” Flynn said at the award presentation. “Not only was Dr. Schepens a pioneer in retinal surgery and a giant in the field of ophthalmology, he was recognized for extraordinary heroics during World War II. Dr. Schepens worked with the resistance in helping people escape from Nazi-occupied France into Spain. For these efforts and his bravery, he received the French Legion of Honour Award. I am grateful to the organizers for the honor of receiving the Charles L. Schepens, M.D. Award and privileged to accept it in recognition of this great man.”

Read more about Dr. Flynn's award »

Gilberto Lopes, M.D., M.B.A.

Gilberto Lopes, M.D., M.B.A.

Sylvester’s Dr. Gilberto Lopes Promoted to Editor-in-Chief of Global Cancer Journal

After spending two years as an associate editor for the Journal of Global Oncology, Gilberto Lopes, M.D., M.B.A., medical director for International Programs at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, was recently named the new editor-in-chief of the journal.

Following the recruitment and nomination processes, Lopes submitted his ideas and goals for improving the journal. Next up was an extensive phone interview with senior members, staff and leadership of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which launched the open-access journal in 2015. The journal’s publisher “called me a few weeks later to give me the good news,” Lopes said.

Read more about Dr. Lopes »

Charlotte S. Barrett, M.B.A.

Charlotte S. Barrett, M.B.A.

Charlotte S. Barrett Named Chair-Elect of Commission on Health Informatics Accreditation

Charlotte S. Barrett, M.B.A., Assistant Vice President of Health Information Integrity at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been named chair-elect of the Board of Directors of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

With more than 30 years of hospital, practice management and education experience in Miami, Barrett has served on many health care and university committees and boards. Her national leadership positions include past president and distinguished member, American Health Information Management Association, and commissioner and accreditation council member, Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education.

Read more about Barrett's appointment »

Leonard Buller, M.D., wearing a gho, the traditional outfit for men in Bhutan.

Leonard Buller, M.D., wearing a gho, the traditional outfit for men in Bhutan.
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Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Enhances Education with Volunteer Assignment in Bhutan

For Leonard Buller, M.D., an orthopaedic surgery resident, inspiration last year came not only from inside an operating room but also at an elevation high above sea level, tucked into a monastery in the Himalayan Mountains. There he met with monks who have dedicated their life to prayer, amidst a culture that stresses happiness, kindness, and conser¬vation. It was an education not found in any textbook.

“I’ve learned that life is quite finite,” said Buller, who is the administrative chief resident in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. “Perhaps our greatest assets are our friends and families and understanding how we can improve the condition of the world.”

Read more about Dr. Buller's volunteer assignment in Bhutan »

Dalia Kaakour.

Dalia Kaakour.

M.D./M.P.H. Student Dalia Kaakour Awarded 2017 Duke Global Health Fellowship

Globalization has shaped global public health issues, including human rights, health equity, food access and housing. This summer rising first-year M.D./M.P.H. student Dalia Kaakour will experience those globalization forces firsthand. Kaakour was awarded the Duke University Global Health Fellowship, and she will spend eight weeks in Geneva learning about and addressing vexing global health policy issues with non-governmental organizations and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“I feel very honored and thankful to have been awarded this fellowship. It has always been a dream of mine to work at the global level, and I will get a taste of that this summer,” said Kaakour. “This program will be immensely helpful in enriching my educational and practical knowledge of global health policy work, and I am looking forward to bringing back all that I have learned to my Miller family.”

Read more about Dalia Kaakour's fellowship »


RIDE. RUN. WALK. for Cancer Research

You’re invited to join Team Hurricanes for the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC) on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Every dollar raised during DCC directly funds cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System.

Since its inception in 2010, DCC has raised $16.5 million for cancer research at Sylvester, and it’s one of our cancer center’s most important fundraising initiatives.

Read more about the Dolphins Cancer Challenge »

Upcoming Grand Rounds

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Upcoming Events

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For Your Benefit

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