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

Up Front

UM President Donna E. Shalala presents the 11th Biennial Ralph H. and Ruth F. Gross Lecture at Louis Calder Memorial Library.

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UM President Donna E. Shalala presents the 11th Biennial Ralph H. and Ruth F. Gross Lecture at Louis Calder Memorial Library.

President Shalala Shares Her Optimism for Health Care Reform’s Future

UM President Donna E. Shalala told a standing-room audience at the Louis Calder Memorial Library last week that even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the mandate that all Americans have health insurance by 2014, the structure of the new health reforms will survive, moving the nation closer to the universal health coverage that most countries already offer.

Her optimism, Shalala explained while delivering the 11th Biennial Ralph H. and Ruth F. Gross Lecture on November 17, derives from the trillion dollars the act will pump into the health care system over the next decade to subsidize the exchanges states are setting up to provide insurance to small businesses and individuals without coverage. Though states don’t yet have the federal subsidies that will help low-income people buy into a plan, Shalala said, at least 16 already have exchanges, and even reticent states like Florida will be hard-pressed not to follow.

Read more about the Gross Lecture and watch the video »

More News

Flanking award winner Sarah Messiah, Ph.D., center, are, from left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Donna E. Shalala, Jon Batchelor, Steven Lipshultz, M.D., Dan Ferraresi, and Jack Falk.

Flanking award winner Sarah Messiah, Ph.D., center, are, from left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Donna E. Shalala, Jon Batchelor, Steven Lipshultz, M.D., Dan Ferraresi, and Jack Falk.

UM Researcher Wins 2011 Micah Batchelor Award to Study Childhood Obesity

Surrounded by family, colleagues, University leadership, and some of the Miller School of Medicine’s top researchers, Sarah E. Messiah, Ph.D., M.P.H., received the prestigious 2011 Micah Batchelor Award for Excellence in Children’s Health Research. Also attending the award ceremony were Batchelor Family Foundation Trustees Jack Falk, Dan Ferraresi, and Jon Batchelor, who is also a UM trustee.

The late George E. Batchelor, a renowned aviation pioneer and philanthropist, established the $300,000 annual award in 2004 in memory of his grandson, Micah, to recognize Miller School investigators researching children’s diseases at the Batchelor Children’s Research Institute. Seeded with a $5 million endowment, it is one of the largest awards nationally for children’s health research.

Read more about Dr. Messiah »

Dileep Yavagal, M.D., left, and Jose Romano, M.D.

Dileep Yavagal, M.D., left, and Jose Romano, M.D.

Miller Researchers Part of Landmark Stent Treatment Trial for Stroke

Two Miller School physician-researchers participated in a landmark multicenter study which indicated that treating non-disabling strokes, or transient ischemic attacks (TIA), with aggressive medical management alone is superior to the combination of intracranial angioplasty, Wingspan intracranial stenting and aggressive medical management of the patient for warding off a recurrent stroke.

Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D., director of interventional neurology, co-director of endovascular neurosurgery, and assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery, and José Romano, M.D., associate professor of neurology and chief of the Stroke Division, led the Miller School arm of the trial, which involved patients in the Miller School stroke program at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The study is the first prospective randomized multicenter trial to make the treatment comparison of stenting with the Wingspan intracranial stent to aggressive medical therapy in patients with symptomatic high-grade (70-99 percent) stenosis of a major intracranial artery.

Read more about the study »

Michael C. Lewis, M.D.

Michael C. Lewis, M.D.

Michael C. Lewis, M.D., Named Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education

In a move that ensures the Miller School will continue to be a national leader in graduate medical education, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., has appointed Michael C. Lewis, M.D., the vice chair of residency affairs for anesthesiology, perioperative medicine and pain management, as Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education.

Graduate medical education, or residency, is the next step for students with medical degrees, where they continue their training in the medical specialty of their choice. The Miller School trains more than 1,000 residents each year.

“Our residency programs have maintained a stellar reputation, which has allowed us to draw from among the best medical graduates nationally and internationally,” said Dean Goldschmidt, who is also the Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Chief Executive Officer of UHealth – University of Miami Health System. “We have been so fortunate in this area, because people like Dr. Lewis are committed to helping our program flourish. In this new position, he will continue to use his expertise and immense knowledge of residency training to elevate our program to even higher levels.”

Read more about Dr. Lewis' appointment »

Gabriel Contreras, M.D., M.P.H.

Gabriel Contreras, M.D., M.P.H.

New Study in NEJM Offers Hope to Lupus Patients with Kidney Disease

Nephrologists at the Miller School of Medicine have played a key role in an international study that has uncovered an effective therapy for treating patients with lupus nephritis, a debilitating kidney disease linked to lupus. The findings are published in the November 17 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, with Gabriel Contreras, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, as the Miami-site principal investigator.

“This is a big breakthrough in the treatment of patients with lupus nephritis,” says Contreras, who initially reported in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2004 that mycophenolate mofetil, an immunosuppressive agent, is a more effective maintenance therapy than the current standard, and carries fewer side effects.

Read more about the study »

Si M. Pham, M.D.

Si M. Pham, M.D.

UM/Jackson Heart Transplant Program Recognized as Top Transplant Center

The heart transplant program at the Miami Transplant Institute at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital has been recognized by HealthGrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals, with the Heart Transplant Excellence Award.

HealthGrades evaluated 116 adult acute care hospitals nationally, and selected the UM/Jackson Heart Transplant Program and two others for the award.

The program, under the leadership of Si M. Pham, M.D., professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Heart and Lung Transplantation, achieved excellent results.

Read more about the heart transplant program's award »

Eduardo Bancalari, M.D., (at podium) and a panel of experts, from left, Olaf A. Bodamer, M.D. Ph.D., Barbara Schmidt, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, Myra H. Wyckoff, M.D. associate professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern, and Steven M. Donn, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan, field questions during a Q&A session.

Eduardo Bancalari, M.D., (at podium) and a panel of experts, from left, Olaf A. Bodamer, M.D. Ph.D., Barbara Schmidt, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, Myra H. Wyckoff, M.D. associate professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern, and Steven M. Donn, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan, field questions during a Q&A session.

International Neonatology Conference Highlights Critical Care of Pre-Term Infants

Leading experts in neonatology from 42 countries gathered at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach last month for the 35th Annual International Miami Neonatology Conference.

Among the topics covered by the three-day conference and one-day workshop were the role of genetics in prematurity, respiratory care, retinopathy of prematurity, blood transfusions, infections, stem cell therapy, and other aspects critical to the unique needs of premature infants.

The conference, one of the largest and most established neonatal meetings in the world, was attended by more than 800 neonatologists, nurses, and respiratory therapists. It featured nine of the most renowned neonatal and perinatal specialists from around the world, as well as 19 University of Miami faculty including Olaf A. Bodamer, M.D., Ph.D., professor of human genetics, who delivered the keynote address.

Read more about the international neonatology conference »

Early Deadline for Submissions

Please note that the submission deadline for the December 2 issue of MED is Tuesday, November 25, at noon. Any requests received after the deadline will be processed the following week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Funding and Research

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