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

Up Front

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., encourages supporters to double last year's fundraising total for cancer treatment and research

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Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., encourages supporters to double last year's fundraising total for cancer treatment and research

Dolphins Cycling Challenge Gears Up for Cancer-Fighting Ride

UHealth-University of Miami Health System leaders and Miami Dolphins players and executives welcomed cyclists, media, and fans to Sun Life Stadium Friday for the official kick-off of the 2011 Dolphins Cycling Challenge.

Recalling the success of last year’s inaugural ride, Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., said he was ready once again to join his “Team Sylvester” colleagues and other cyclists to help tackle cancer one mile at a time.

A collaborative effort between the Miami Dolphins Foundation and the Miller School of Medicine, the second annual Dolphins Cycling Challenge will be held November 5 and 6 to support cancer treatment and research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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More News

From left, John Bixby, Ph.D., Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., and Vance Lemmon, Ph.D.

From left, John Bixby, Ph.D., Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., and Vance Lemmon, Ph.D.

Miller School Researchers Receive NIH Blueprint Award

The National Institutes of Health has awarded grants to investigators across the United States, including three from The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Department of Ophthalmology, for an ambitious set of projects to develop new drugs for disorders of the nervous system. The projects – aimed at treating conditions such as vision loss, neurodegenerative disease and depression – are funded through the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.

The NIH Blueprint pulls together 15 of the agency’s institutes and centers, leveraging their resources to confront major, cross-cutting challenges in neuroscience research. The Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network will serve as a resource enabling investigators to develop new drugs for nervous system disorders and prepare them for clinical trials, and will be funded by up to $50 million over five years.

Read more about the NIH grants »

From left, Ryan Labbe, his wife Trine Engebretsen with their son Andersen, Dr. Andreas G. Tzakis, and Dr. Salih Y. Yasin.

From left, Ryan Labbe, his wife Trine Engebretsen with their son Andersen, Dr. Andreas G. Tzakis, and Dr. Salih Y. Yasin.

Pair of Liver Transplant Recipients Welcome Their Baby

His mother grew up in the spotlight and now, at less than a month old, Andersen Thomas Labbe is already drawing camera crews. Twenty-seven years after Trine Engebretsen, the first liver transplant recipient in Florida, won over a nation when President Ronald Reagan mentioned her in a radio address about organ transplants, Andersen is believed to be the first child born to parents who are both liver transplant recipients.

On Wednesday, Andersen was quiet through most of a joyous news conference at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center where Engebretsen and husband Ryan Labbe, both 30, and their physicians—transplant pioneer Andreas Tzakis, M.D., Ph.D., and obstetrics expert Salih Yasin, M.D.—answered questions about how the two liver recipients fell in love, the potential risks their parenthood posed, and the important roles the two Miller School physicians and their colleagues played throughout the long process.

Read more about Trine Engebretsen »

Gustavo Fernandez, M.D., the study’s principal investigator, readies patient Robert Chambers for his last dose of the promising drug.

Gustavo Fernandez, M.D., the study’s principal investigator, readies patient Robert Chambers for his last dose of the promising drug.

Out of Options, First Patient in Bladder Cancer Trial Now Has Hope

In May, when Robert Chambers became the first patient to receive a potential new bladder cancer therapy developed by Miller School Nobel laureate Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c., D.Sc.h.c., he was out of treatment options and hope. But the West Palm Beach resident figured he might help other patients by enrolling in the phase 1 clinical trial for AEZS-108 at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Now, after three months and six doses of the hybrid drug that pairs the chemo drug doxorubicin with a peptide that, like a guided missile, delivers the well-known cytotoxic agent directly to receptors on cancerous cells, the tumors that originated in Chamber’s bladder and spread to his liver and lymph nodes have shrunk by more than 70 percent. He’s also pain-free and has an appetite again.

“After the second infusion I was feeling a lot better,’’ the retired casino entertainment executive and father of two said Tuesday, as he was prepped to receive the final dose in the protocol.

Read more about the clinical trial »

Funding and Research

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