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

Up Front

From the left are Stephan Zuchner, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of genetics; Julia Dallman, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology; Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., director, John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics; Byron Lam, M.D., professor of ophthalmology; and Rong Wen, Ph.D., research associate professor of ophthalmology.

From the left are Stephan Zuchner, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of genetics; Julia Dallman, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology; Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., director, John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics; Byron Lam, M.D., professor of ophthalmology; and Rong Wen, Ph.D., research associate professor of ophthalmology.

UM Researchers Identify New Gene Causing Blindness

Researchers led by geneticists at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have identified a new gene that causes retinitis pigmentosa, a form of blindness, ending one South Florida family’s nearly 20-year search for what caused three of their four children to lose their sight.

The Lidsky children, who are now in their 30s, began to lose their sight in their teens. Their parents, Betti and Carlos, had the family’s DNA tested for more than 50 retinitis pigmentosa (RP) genes. No one found the link until they began working with UM researchers in late 2009. By the summer of 2010, researchers had found the cause of their retinitis pigmentosa using exome sequencing and confirmed it with zebrafish studies.

Read more about their research »

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Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., discussed the importance of minimizing patient wait times at the 11th UCare Leadership Development Institute.

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., discussed the importance of minimizing patient wait times at the 11th UCare Leadership Development Institute.

UHealth Leaders Discuss “Managing Patient Wait Time”

At the 11th session of the UCare Leadership Development Institute (LDI), UHealth executives addressed several factors that impact how patients and their families rank the level of service they receive at a health system facility. The executives paid particular attention to “Managing Patient Wait Time,” and emphasized that, although the concept appears simple, institutions can be negatively affected if they ignore how long patients wait before receiving attention.

Even with expert care, “any patient who waits more than 45 minutes will be unhappy,” Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., told the February 3 audience, which included members of his leadership team and managers from many departments. While most UHealth wait times are under a half-hour, he said, it is up to everyone – executives, physicians, nurses, staff – to ensure that patient wait time is always kept to a minimum.

Read more about the 11th LDI »

Pictured from left with Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders and mascot T.D. are: Miami Dolphins player Vernon Carey, Miami Dolphins alum Nat Moore, Dr. W. Jarrard Goodwin, Dr. Joseph Rosenblatt, Jorge Perez, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.;  Mike Dee; Jeff Peck; and Miami Dolphins and UM alum Twan Russell.

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Pictured from left with Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders and mascot T.D. are: Miami Dolphins player Vernon Carey, Miami Dolphins alum Nat Moore, Dr. W. Jarrard Goodwin, Dr. Joseph Rosenblatt, Jorge Perez, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.; Mike Dee; Jeff Peck; and Miami Dolphins and UM alum Twan Russell.

Dolphins Cycling Challenge Raises More Than $500,000 for Sylvester

The Miami Dolphins presented Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth-University of Miami Health System, with a check Thursday for an impressive $533,106 – proceeds from the inaugural Dolphins Cycling Challenge. The two-day, 170-mile ride was coordinated by the Miami Dolphins Foundation and took place last November.

Cyclists from across South Florida joined University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, Miller School of Medicine Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee, and a host of Dolphins players, alumni, UM leadership, and physicians at the new Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center on the University of Miami campus Thursday night to celebrate the fruits of their labor.

Read more about the Dolphins Cycling Challenge »

Daniel Lichtstein, M.D.

Daniel Lichtstein, M.D.

Dr. Daniel Lichtstein Named Regional Dean in Palm Beach

Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., has appointed Daniel Lichtstein, M.D., regional dean for medical education at the Miller School of Medicine regional campus in Palm Beach County.

Dr. Lichtstein previously served as interim regional dean and senior associate dean for medical education. In his new role, Dr. Lichtstein will oversee all undergraduate and graduate medical education taking place at various locations in Palm Beach County, along with implementation of the Palm Beach County component of the new four-year M.D./M.P.H. program, which will enroll its first class in June.

Read more about Dr. Lichtstein's appointment »

Scott Simmons, M.S., and Anne Burdick, M.D.

Scott Simmons, M.S., and Anne Burdick, M.D.

UM TeleHealth Provides Remote Dermatology to Cruise Ships

TeleHealth at UHealth-University of Miami Health System has entered into a contract with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to provide teledermatology services to company employees working on cruise ships at sea. Physicians on board Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises will transmit dermatology images and information from ships across the cruise line’s fleet to dermatologists at the Miller School for remote consultation.

“For over 15 years, the Miller School of Medicine has been a leader in telehealth, including participation in the development of telehealth practice guidelines,” said Anne Burdick, M.D., professor of dermatology and associate dean of TeleHealth and clinical outreach at the Miller School. “We can use technology to provide our clinical expertise regardless of the patient’s location.”

Read more about the teledermatology service »

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and Jacquelyn A. Liberto

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and Jacquelyn A. Liberto

UHealth Executive Honored at Award Ceremony

Jacquelyn A. Liberto, executive director of strategic operations for UHealth – University of Miami Health System, was honored at the seventh annual “Movers and Shakers” award ceremony last week at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doral. Sponsored by Business Leader Media, the publisher of South Florida Business Leader magazine, the January 31 event recognized 52 up-and-coming business leaders in South Florida.

Read more about Jacquelyn Liberto's honor »

From left are Christopher J. Salgado, M.D.; Fahim A. Habib, M.D.; and Jose M. Martinez, M.D.

From left are Christopher J. Salgado, M.D.; Fahim A. Habib, M.D.; and Jose M. Martinez, M.D.

Department of Surgery Opens Hernia Center at UMHC

The Department of Surgery has opened a Hernia Center on the first floor of University of Miami Hospital and Clinics with a multidisciplinary team widely acclaimed for its diversity in hernia repair, variety of available procedures, comprehensive approach, and cutting-edge technology.

Team members, who employ laparoscopic and conventional hernia repair techniques to customize treatment plans for each patient, specialize in abdominal wall reconstruction, management of hernia recurrence and/or pain after previous repair, hernias with enterocutaneous fistulas, mesh reconstruction, and complicated mesh-related infections.

Read more about the Hernia Center »

Six UM Investigators Receive Grants for Promising HIV/AIDS Research

The University of Miami Developmental Center for AIDS Research (D-CFAR), which provides seed money to stimulate new research and new collaborations in HIV/AIDS, has awarded grants to six investigators for the purpose of developing pilot data for NIH grant proposals.

In its fourth year, the awards are designed to support pilot research projects conducted by young investigators or investigators new to the field of HIV/AIDS, especially those with collaborative research projects that are conducted between two different disciplines and/or departments.

View a list of the award recipients »