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

Up Front

Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Michael Kapiloff, M.D., Ph.D., credit ISCI’s open labs for their unusual collaboration.

Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Michael Kapiloff, M.D., Ph.D., credit ISCI’s open labs for their unusual collaboration.

Unlikely Duo Collaborates on NIH Grant to Study Optic Nerve Stroke

The lunchtime musings of two graduate students from adjacent labs at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) have led to the award of one of the Miller School’s more unusual NIH grants – for a $2.11 million study on how to improve neuron survival and function after optic nerve stroke using research already conducted on the heart.

It’s not just that the grantees – Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of ophthalmology, who is an expert on the retina and glaucoma, and Michael Kapiloff, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and pediatrics, who is a researcher in the Division of Cardiology – seem an unlikely pair.

Read more about the grant »

More News

Tracie L. Miller, M.D.

Tracie L. Miller, M.D.

Researcher’s Dual Studies Link Pediatric HIV Therapy to Premature Cardiovascular Disease

Tracie L. Miller, M.D., professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of Pediatric Clinical Research, published two major multicenter studies this month that found HIV-positive children exposed to antiretroviral drugs in utero or at birth are at higher risk for developing premature cardiovascular disease.

Both studies were conducted under the auspices of the NIH-funded Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS) network, which was established to evaluate the long-term consequences of antiretroviral therapies administered early in life. Miller’s studies, one of which appeared in HIV Medicine, the official journal of The British HIV Association, and the other in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, collectively suggest that clinicians should carefully monitor HIV-infected children for abnormal vascular markers of premature atherosclerosis, abnormal lipid measurements, and abnormal body composition to identify those at highest risk for cardiovascular and cardiometabolic disease so appropriate interventions are initiated.

Read more about the studies »

Kevin Park, Ph.D.

Kevin Park, Ph.D.

Miller School/The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Researcher Co-Authors Nature Study

Kevin Park, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery at the Miller School’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and colleagues published a manuscript in the prestigious journal Nature that demonstrates that the deletion of two genes, phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) and suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), promotes continued and significant axon regeneration following injury.

The study, conducted with colleagues at F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Harvard Medical School, and led by Zhigang He, Ph.D., B.M., associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, was conducted on damaged optic nerves. The findings may ultimately provide an important avenue to researchers currently unraveling the mysteries of spinal cord injury and other neurodegenerative disorders since long-distance axonal regeneration has, until this point, proved difficult to attain.

Read more about the study »

Nicholas Namias, M.D., sits in the Robert Zeppa Endowed Chair surrounded by, from left, Alan S. Livingstone, M.D., Albert Vara, Enrique Lopez, UM President Donna E. Shalala, Mariano “Harry” Macias and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Nicholas Namias, M.D., sits in the Robert Zeppa Endowed Chair surrounded by, from left, Alan S. Livingstone, M.D., Albert Vara, Enrique Lopez, UM President Donna E. Shalala, Mariano “Harry” Macias and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Nicholas Namias, M.D., Named Robert Zeppa Chair in Division of Trauma

Surrounded by friends, family, and UM and Miller School leadership, Nicholas Namias, M.D., professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Trauma, accepted the Robert Zeppa Endowed Chair in the Division of Trauma at a December 14 ceremony on the Miller School campus.

“As the head of UM/Jackson Medical System’s Ryder Trauma Center, Dr. Namias embodies the commitment to patient care, education, and research that is necessary to lead such a prestigious division of this medical institution,” said Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., who proudly announced that the University of Miami had been instrumental in training 10 of Israel’s 13 top trauma surgeons. “There is no doubt in my mind that UM/Jackson Health System’s Ryder Trauma Center is the premiere trauma center in the United States, and there’s no finer physician I can think of to help us build on that kind of international recognition.”

Read more about the Zeppa Endowed Chair »

Sergio Litewka, M.D., M.P.H.

Sergio Litewka, M.D., M.P.H.

Presidential Commission Issues Report on Bioethics Investigation with UM’s Input

Acting on the findings of an international research panel that included a member of the UM Ethics Programs, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has concluded that current rules and regulations provide adequate safeguards to protect against the kind of research atrocities that occurred on human subjects in Guatemala in the late 1940s. The commission also found that all U.S. agencies need to better track the human research they undertake with taxpayer dollars.

In all, the presidential commission issued 14 recommendations in its December 15 report, “Moral Science: Protecting Participants in Human Subjects Research.” Key among them was the suggestion that every federal agency involved in human research maintain a core set of data for its research programs and that the Office for Human Research Protections, or another entity, administer a central web-based portal that links to each department or agency system.

Read more about the report »

Nannette Vega, left, receives UM’s “breastfeeding-friendly employer” award from Manuel Fermin, CEO of the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade.

Nannette Vega, left, receives UM’s “breastfeeding-friendly employer” award from Manuel Fermin, CEO of the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade.

UM and Jackson Recognized with Healthy Start Awards

The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade recognized the University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital and other institutions this month for contributing to the county-wide effort to decrease infant mortality, which dropped to its lowest rate in county history last year, and to improve programs for prenatal, postnatal and infant health care and education.

The community-based prenatal care agency, which celebrate its 10th year of improving the odds for at-risk mothers and babies at a December 13 ceremony, awarded Jackson staff and Miller School of Medicine faculty with “most improved” and “Champions of Change” awards for conducting more prenatal screenings and launching efforts to provide optimal newborn feeding and use evidence-based maternity care.

Read more about the awards »

Joshua M. Hare, M.D., left, and Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

Joshua M. Hare, M.D., left, and Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

UM’s Stem Cell and Diabetes Research Institutes Co-Sponsor World Stem Cell Summit

The Miller School’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute and Diabetes Research Institute will be taking the lead on the world stage of stem cell research, uniting with the Genetics Policy Institute to co-sponsor and organize the world’s largest and most comprehensive multi-track interdisciplinary stem cell conference.

The 8th annual World Stem Cell Summit, to be held December 3-5, 2012, at the Palm Beach Convention Center in West Palm Beach, will gather more than 170 renowned international scientists, advocates and speakers in the field of regenerative medicine. Prominent researchers, clinicians, industry leaders, philanthropists, and ethicists will discuss the latest scientific discoveries, translational issues, and best practices in the field during an estimated 50 hours of in-depth programming.

Read more about the annual summit »

Holiday Submission Deadlines

The Miller School will be closed on Monday, January 2, for New Year’s Day. Therefore, the deadline for the January 3 issue of e-Update will be Wednesday, December 28, by noon.

Funding and Research

View more Funding and Research Announcements »