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

Up Front

Jeffrey S. Augenstein, M.D., Ph.D.

Jeffrey S. Augenstein, M.D., Ph.D.

Miller School of Medicine Mourns Jeffrey Augenstein, M.D., Ph.D.

Jeffrey S. Augenstein, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery, director of the William Lehman Injury Research Center and a pioneer in injury prevention who helped save millions of lives on the road, on the battlefield, in the emergency room and in disaster zones during his unparalleled 37-year career, died in Los Angeles on February 11 while on a business trip. He was 64.

A 1974 graduate of the Miller School who earned his doctorate in psychology at the University of Miami the same year, Augenstein had a profound impact on the UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center campus, where he spent his entire career. He was instrumental in the creation of the Ryder Trauma Center, which he directed for five years. He also led the development of an international research model for preventing and treating automobile-related deaths and injuries, innovations for training battlefield physicians to treat war casualties, information systems that enable physicians to care for patients more efficiently and safely, and an international telemedicine program that allows doctors in Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti to consult with specialists at UM/Jackson 24 hours a day.

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Hilit Mechaber, M.D., associate dean for student services, pins first-year student Kevin Hu while Sanja Galeb awaits her turn.

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Hilit Mechaber, M.D., associate dean for student services, pins first-year student Kevin Hu while Sanja Galeb awaits her turn.

Class of 2015 Celebrates First Year at Pinning Ceremony

As co-director of the Miller School’s 12th Annual John. G. Clarkson Freshman Pinning Ceremony, second-year medical student Chad Parvus wanted to ensure that members of the Class of 2015 would recall the event— which officially welcomes first-year students into the medical profession— with the same joy he felt a year ago.

“The Pinning Ceremony is one of the things that makes the first year special for new medical students,” Parvus said, after completing his hosting duties at the February 10 ceremony with student Mitch Phillips. “It is definitely a time to celebrate, but it also marks the moment when you join the extended Miller School family. No matter where in the world their medical career takes them, they’ll always have this special day, this special pin, and a big family of supporters.”

Not even the thunderous skies and torrent of rain that pelted the large, white tent pitched in the Schoninger Research Quadrangle could mar the special moments for the 206 students, including 52 who last summer launched the University of Miami’s inaugural M.D./M.P.H. program.

Read more about the pinning ceremony »

Thomas M. Hooton, M.D.

Thomas M. Hooton, M.D.

Study in JAMA: Drug for Bladder Infection Not Effective

A promising antibiotic to treat bladder infections does not appear to be as effective as once thought, according to a Miller School study. The study, led by Thomas Hooton, M.D., professor of clinical medicine, was published in the February 8 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Bladder infections, also known as lower urinary tract infections, are more common in women than men and usually treated with a short-course of antibiotics, such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Cotrim, Septra). However, there is increasing resistance to such antibiotics due to their overuse.

Read more about the study »

Eric Greidinger, M.D., researches rheumatic disorders in his lab.

Eric Greidinger, M.D., researches rheumatic disorders in his lab.

Miller School Researcher Receives Grant to Solve Scleroderma Mystery

The Miller School’s Eric Greidinger, M.D., associate professor of medicine, is one of eight clinical researchers across the country to receive a 2012 grant from the Scleroderma Foundation aimed at finding a cause and a cure for the chronic autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 300,000 Americans.

The foundation awarded Greidinger $150,000 over two years to fund his proposal, “Antigenic Targets of Autoimmunity-associated Raynaud’s Phenomenon.” The rheumatologist plans to use the award to explore a novel animal model of Raynaud’s Phenomenon, a cold-induced spasm of the blood vessels in the fingers and toes that can cause severe pain and lead to ischemia and tissue loss.

Read more about Dr. Greidinger »

Celebrating Bascom Palmer’s 50th Anniversary are, from left, UM President Donna E. Shalala, John G. Clarkson, M.D., Richard K. Forester, M.D.; Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D.; Carmen A.  Puliafito, M.D.; Richard K. Parrish II, M.D.; and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Celebrating Bascom Palmer’s 50th Anniversary are, from left, UM President Donna E. Shalala, John G. Clarkson, M.D., Richard K. Forester, M.D.; Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D.; Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D.; Richard K. Parrish II, M.D.; and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

World’s Ophthalmologists Attend Bascom Palmer’s 50th Anniversary Scientific Meeting

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the nation’s No. 1 ranked eye hospital and part of UHealth–University of Miami Health System, began its golden anniversary year by hosting a global scientific meeting February 2-4. Nearly 650 ophthalmologists from around the world attended, including 300 Bascom Palmer alumni. With 180 distinguished presenters, topics discussed ranged from research breakthroughs in cataract surgery and gene therapy to targeted goals of new clinical trials regarding the treatment of glaucoma and optic nerve diseases.

“The plethora of information presented at the scientific meeting created a unique collaborative platform, which many of the world’s ophthalmologists can now use to explore new ways of approaching patient care and vision research,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and the Kathleen & Stanley J. Glaser Chair in Ophthalmology. “From advanced medical and surgical treatment options to new trends in refractive surgery and oculoplastics, didactical presentations and interactive panel discussions covered the gamut of both remarkable achievements and exciting possibilities within the ever-changing field of ophthalmology.”

Read more about Bascom Palmer's 50th anniversary »

As three Jackson residents watch, Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., right, and Aldo Pavon, M.D., left, supervise Miller School student Eyal Maidan as he practices on a mannequin.

As three Jackson residents watch, Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., right, and Aldo Pavon, M.D., left, supervise Miller School student Eyal Maidan as he practices on a mannequin.

Center for Patient Safety Reaches Milestone in Procedure Training

The University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital Center for Patient Safety has reached a major milestone, having trained more than 1,000 medical students, residents, fellows, nurses, and attending physicians to perform critical invasive bedside procedures with lower complication rates than those reported nationally.

The training approach developed and implemented almost five years ago by Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., associate director of the center, is especially noteworthy for integrating such critical elements as ultrasound, bedside checklists, direct supervision, and the use of simulation with task trainers, including mannequins. Together, the multiple aspects of the training bolster the educational experience and promote safer care.

Read more about the Center for Patient Safety »

At the 2012 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium are, from left, Yehuda Deutsch, M.D., Peter Hosein, M.D., Vinicius Ernani, M.D., and Arturo Loaiza-Bonilla, M.D.

At the 2012 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium are, from left, Yehuda Deutsch, M.D., Peter Hosein, M.D., Vinicius Ernani, M.D., and Arturo Loaiza-Bonilla, M.D.

Miller School Researchers Showcase Cancer Research at Annual Symposium

Four UM researchers offered a glimpse of the exciting cancer research taking place at the Miller School at the 2012 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, the largest meeting in the world dedicated to research and breakthroughs in gastrointestinal malignancies. Held January 19-21 in San Francisco, the meeting gave UM researchers the opportunity to showcase promising results from several studies that could lead to randomized clinical trials at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center/University of Miami Hospital and Clinics.

Peter Hosein, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine, presented “Initial experience using percutaneous irreversible electroporation (IRE) in the treatment of locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma (LAPC) with vascular encasement.” Currently, surgery is the only curative option for patients suffering from pancreatic cancer, and most are not candidates for surgery due to local invasion of blood vessels, despite significant response to chemotherapy and/or radiation.

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Eduardo de Marchena, M.D., right, led the trial in Colombia with assistance from William O’Neill, M.D., center, and  Reginald Low, M.D., professor at the University of California, Davis.

Eduardo de Marchena, M.D., right, led the trial in Colombia with assistance from William O’Neill, M.D., center, and Reginald Low, M.D., professor at the University of California, Davis.

UHealth Physicians Test New Percutaneous Valve in Colombia

The Miller School’s International Medicine Institute and Angiografía de Occidente S.A., the institute’s affiliate in Cali, Colombia, are collaborating on assessing the feasibility and safety of Direct Flow, Inc.’s new transcatheter aortic valve implantation device.

The team of physician-scientists last month implanted the device in four patients enrolled in the clinical trial for people suffering from aortic stenosis—a thickening and blockage of the main valve of the heart, which causes shortness of breath, chest pain, and heart failure. The study participants are considered at extreme risk for conventional cardiac surgery

Read more about the Direct Flow trial »

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., met with ELAM participants, in front row from left, Z. Leah Harris, M.D., Nancy E. Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., and Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D.; and in back row, from left, Joan Nichols, Ph.D., Marquetta L. Faulkner, M.D., M.B.A., and Tsveti Markova, M.D.

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., met with ELAM participants, in front row from left, Z. Leah Harris, M.D., Nancy E. Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., and Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D.; and in back row, from left, Joan Nichols, Ph.D., Marquetta L. Faulkner, M.D., M.B.A., and Tsveti Markova, M.D.

ELAM Fellows Discuss Women in Science and Medicine

Six of the nation’s most successful women faculty gathered at the Miller School last month to share enlightening and uplifting stories of the varied paths that propelled each of them to the heights of scientific research and administration, as well as their views on the current status of women in science and medicine.

The faculty members from Vanderbilt University, Wayne State University, University of Texas, University of North Carolina and Meharry Medical College spoke on a panel on January 26 at the invitation of Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., professor and Lucille P. Markey Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Miller School, who moderated the discussion.

Read more about the panel »

The Mailman Center’s Danny Armstrong, Ph.D., left, and Michelle Schladant, center, accept the grant from Carlos Ojeda, district manager of CVS Caremark.

The Mailman Center’s Danny Armstrong, Ph.D., left, and Michelle Schladant, center, accept the grant from Carlos Ojeda, district manager of CVS Caremark.

Mailman Center Receives CVS Grant to Expand Services for Children with Autism

The Department of Pediatric’s Mailman Center for Child Development received a $30,000 grant from CVS Caremark last week to expand its assistive technology services, including bilingual assistive technology evaluations, primary caregiver training, and targeted speech/language interventions for children with autism and related disorders.

CVS Caremark officials presented an over-sized check representing the award during a campus visit on February 7, the pharmacy company’s national “Day of Giving,’’ when CVS colleagues visit nonprofits across the country, surprising them with their requested grant.

Read more about the Mailman Center »

The 2010 and 2011 Clinical Research Center junior faculty research awardees are, from left, Jair Munoz Mendoza, M.D., Veronica Accornero, Ph.D., Sarah Messiah, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Tamara Isakova, M.D., M.M.Sc.

The 2010 and 2011 Clinical Research Center junior faculty research awardees are, from left, Jair Munoz Mendoza, M.D., Veronica Accornero, Ph.D., Sarah Messiah, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Tamara Isakova, M.D., M.M.Sc.

Clinical Research Center Announces Junior Faculty Research Awardees

The Miller Office of Research has awarded Tamara Isakova, M.D., M.M.Sc., assistant professor of medicine, and Jair Munoz Mendoza, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, the 2011 Clinical Research Center Junior Faculty Research Award.

The Clinical Research Center Junior Faculty Research Award is an internal funding program that supports junior investigators who use the University’s Clinical Research Center to generate preliminary data that will be used for career development grant submissions or already funded career development awards. The award allocates $2,500 toward the costs of conducting clinical research at the center.

Read more about the research award »

Women’s History Month Celebration at UM

The University of Miami’s Women’s Commission has embarked on a living history project that chronicles the many contributions women have made to the University. The women who have made outstanding contributions to the University community are featured on the Women’s Commission website.

The project includes a display of pictures and memorabilia through March, which is Women’s History Month.

Funding and Research

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