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

Up Front

Celebrating the grand opening of the UHealth Vascular Access Center in Palmetto Bay are, from left, David Roth, M.D., Donna Merrill, R.N., Arif Asif, M.D., Anthony Degina, UMH CEO, William O'Neill, M.D., and Jochen Reiser, M.D., Ph.D.

Celebrating the grand opening of the UHealth Vascular Access Center in Palmetto Bay are, from left, David Roth, M.D., Donna Merrill, R.N., Arif Asif, M.D., Anthony Degina, UMH CEO, William O'Neill, M.D., and Jochen Reiser, M.D., Ph.D.

UHealth Vascular Access Center Opens in Palmetto Bay

When kidney failure patients in south Miami-Dade County face vascular access complications, such as clotting, stenosis or other related emergencies that impede their dialysis treatments, they can now seek help from a highly skilled UHealth – University of Miami Health System team of interventional nephrologists – right in the neighborhood.

Designed to extend the most advanced vascular access care to patients, and serve as a prototype for how UHealth and Miller School physicians can collaborate with community physicians, the UHealth Vascular Access Center opened its doors at 8770 Southwest 144th Street in Palmetto Bay last month and, on July 6, UHealth officials celebrated the grand opening with the center’s faculty physicians, nurses, staff and referring physicians.

“For the many patients in this part of the county who need these services, this is a wonderful undertaking for UHealth,” said William O’Neill, M.D., executive dean for clinical affairs at the Miller School and chief medical officer for UHealth. He also described the problems that can plague dialysis patients and how the Vascular Access Center is equipped to help.

Read more about the Vascular Access Center »

More News

Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A.

Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A.

Cardiovascular Chief Publishes Commentary in Prestigious Journal

Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A., professor and vice chair of medicine and chief of the Cardiovascular Division, has published a commentary in the July 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. He was invited to write the commentary about a study in the same issue titled “Not All U.S. Hospitals Are Following Guidelines for Percutaneous Revascularization Procedures for Some Patients With an Occluded Artery Following a Heart Attack.”

A previous 2006 study known as the Occluded Artery Trial demonstrated no benefit to performing routine percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with totally occluded arteries identified more than 24 hours after a myocardial infarction. The Occluded Artery Trial was classified as a medical “reversal trial,” one that was superior to predecessors and contradicting current medical practice.

Following those findings in 2007, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association issued revised PCI guidelines for patients with no symptoms. The new study examined how the revised guidelines have been adopted and found they have not been implemented into practice in a large cross section of U.S. hospitals.

Read more about Dr. Moscucci's commentary »

Carlos Singer, M.D.

Carlos Singer, M.D.

Carlos Singer, M.D., Awarded Grant to Study Breathing Disorders in Parkinson’s Patients

Carlos Singer, M.D., professor of neurology and director of the Miller School’s Center of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, has received a $250,000 grant from the National Parkinson Foundation to study the presence of sleep-related breathing disorders in patients with the degenerative central nervous system syndrome and their effect on cognitive abilities.

Poor sleep is known to affect the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s, and there is evidence it may contribute to decreased cognition and to trauma and injury associated with fatigue. Singer’s novel study, which is being carried out in collaboration with Shirin Shafazand, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and a member of the Sleep Disorder Center, and Douglas Wallace, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, will evaluate the prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing, a group of sleep syndromes that include obstructive sleep apnea.

“We will also be treating this disorder and examining if such treatment favorably improves the patients’ cognition,’’ Singer said. “This type of investigation has never been done at such a level of systematic inquiry and we expect the results will yield significant, immediate and practical recommendations on the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.”

Read more about Dr. Singer's grant »

Xue Zhong Liu, M.D.

Xue Zhong Liu, M.D.

Gene Linked to a Form of Progressive Hearing Loss is Identified

A gene associated with a form of inherited progressive hearing loss has been identified by an international team of researchers, led in part by Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of otolaryngology at the Miller School. The gene, SMAC/DIABLO, appears to be crucial in inner ear development and maintenance. The findings were published online on July 1 in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

The researchers identified the gene which is associated with the deafness locus DFNA64. The researchers used linkage and positional candidate gene screening in six generations of one Chinese family with dominant progressive non-syndromic hearing loss with over 50 affected individuals. Individuals with DFNA64 begin to lose hearing in both ears roughly between the ages of 12 and 30, and over the course of several decades will experience hearing loss that can range from moderate to severe.

Read more about Dr. Liu's study »

Jeanette Mladenovic, M.D.

Jeanette Mladenovic, M.D.

Dr. Jeanette Mladenovic Named Provost at OHSU

Jeanette Mladenovic, M.D., professor of medicine and senior associate dean for graduate medical education at the Miller School, has been named provost at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

A national leader in medical education for 20 years, Mladenovic joined the Miller School in 2004 as professor of medicine and chief of medicine at the Miami VA Medical Center. In 2006 she was appointed the Miller School’s first senior associate dean for graduate medical education.

During her tenure she oversaw the development of allopathic training programs in Palm Beach County (medicine, palliative care, surgery) and the expansion of Jackson Memorial Hospital-sponsored training programs to University of Miami Hospital and other sites. She also initiated programs in research education, such as the Translational Science Bootcamp.

Read more about Dr. Mladenovic »

Mahendra Kumar, Ph.D., left, advises Margaret Byrne, Ph.D., on her specific aims page.

Mahendra Kumar, Ph.D., left, advises Margaret Byrne, Ph.D., on her specific aims page.

Latest NIH Speed Mentoring Event a Success, More Planned

The Miller School Office of Research and Scientists and Engineers Expanding Diversity and Success (SEEDS) co-hosted another successful speed mentoring session on June 23, drawing rave reviews from both mentors and mentees. The University plans to host at least three mentoring events a year around the National Institutes of Health research project grant (R01) submission cycle. The next rounds will be held on August 25 and September 8.

Grant veteran Margaret Byrne, Ph.D., research associate professor of epidemiology and public health, attended as a mentee. No stranger to the grant-reviewing process, Dr. Byrne was impressed with the unique feedback she received from Mahendra Kumar, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and psychology.

Read more about speed mentoring »

Martin Rosen, a retired U.S. Army colonel, presents the Patriot Employer Award to Sherrill H. Hayes, Ph.D., PT.

Martin Rosen, a retired U.S. Army colonel, presents the Patriot Employer Award to Sherrill H. Hayes, Ph.D., PT.

Sherrill Hayes, Ph.D., PT, Honored for Supporting Military Reservists

The daughter of a World War II veteran who parachuted into Normandy on D-Day, Sherrill H. Hayes, Ph.D., PT, professor and chair of physical therapy, always does her part to support active-duty personnel, allowing students who are National Guard reservists to fulfill their part-time commitments.

“I’ve always told them, ‘It’s your obligation, and we will help you meet it,’” Hayes says.

That attitude helped Hayes win the Patriot Employer Award, an honor that recognizes employers—in this case, a professor—who “practice leadership and personnel policies” that support participation in the Guard and Reserve.

Read more about Dr. Hayes' honor »

Pedro Ruiz, M.D., left, receives his Honorary Fellowship award from Royal College President Dinesh Bhugra.

Pedro Ruiz, M.D., left, receives his Honorary Fellowship award from Royal College President Dinesh Bhugra.

Pedro Ruiz, M.D., Awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Pedro Ruiz, M.D., professor and executive vice chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The presentation ceremony took place on June 30 in Brighton, England.

The fellowship is the highest honor the Royal College can bestow on individuals who have advanced the field of psychiatry worldwide. Dr. Ruiz was one of only five recipients this year.

New Episode of Breakthrough Medicine Airs This Weekend

The latest Breakthrough Medicine episode, Tiny Miracles: Live-Saving Surgery Within a Mother’s Womb, will air on Saturday, July 16, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 17, at 2 p.m. on WPLG-Channel 10. This riveting segment follows a family expecting the arrival of their first child, which should be a time of celebration but, for them, becomes a test of faith. UHealth doctors will attempt an amazing procedure that can only be performed in Miami. Be sure to tune in and see how UHealth pediatricians in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit fight to save the baby’s life.

For more information, view a preview of the episode.

Funding and Research

View more Funding and Research Announcements »