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

Up Front

Marvin Smith, left, and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt. M.D., make the “U” in celebration of Smith’s first-choice match to a UM/Jackson residency.

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Marvin Smith, left, and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt. M.D., make the “U” in celebration of Smith’s first-choice match to a UM/Jackson residency.

Match Day Sends Miller School Seniors to Top Residency Programs

As Marvin Smith walked briskly to the stage, his own video camera capturing every move, he put on a cheerful face, but his heart was in overdrive. His mother, Cynthia Smith, a school principal, stood close by, nervously waiting for her son to tear open the envelope and publicly reveal where he matched for medical residency—the place he would spend the next several years as a physician in training.

Smith was one of 177 Miller School seniors gathered under a large white tent with family, friends, classmates and professors cheering them on as they took part in the annual event—the highly anticipated, often nerve-wracking ritual known as Match Day, held March 16 on medical school campuses across the United States.

Read more about Match Day and view a photo gallery »

More News

David Watkins, Ph.D.

David Watkins, Ph.D.

Pathologist Joins Faculty to Focus on AIDS and Dengue Fever Vaccines

David Watkins, Ph.D., an accomplished investigator studying the mechanisms of viral evasion from the immune system, has joined the Miller School faculty as professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Pathology.

Long funded by the National Institutes of Health, Watkins and his lab are focused on the development of vaccines for viruses that affect millions of people worldwide, particularly HIV and dengue fever. With approximately 30 million people living with HIV and 50 to 100 million people infected annually with dengue, effective vaccines against these two viruses are among the world’s top public health priorities.

Read more about Dr. Watkins »

Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D.

Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D.

Physician-Scientist Awarded $3 Million Grant to Study Genetic Hearing Loss

The Miller School’s Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of otolaryngology and human genetics, has received a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his search for genetic causes for hearing loss in humans.

Liu, who is also director of the Molecular Genetic Laboratory at the University of Miami Ear Institute, was awarded a grant renewal for his decades-long quest to identify genes that cause hearing loss. He was previously awarded $1.6 million over five years in 2006.

“We’re excited that the NIH continues to validate the importance of our research,” Liu said

Read more about Dr. Liu's research »

The architects of the new M.D./J.D. program are, from left Mark O’Connell, M.D., Sandy Abraham, M.A., M.B.A., and Dean Patricia White, both of UM School of Law, and Alex J. Mechaber, M.D.

The architects of the new M.D./J.D. program are, from left Mark O’Connell, M.D., Sandy Abraham, M.A., M.B.A., and Dean Patricia White, both of UM School of Law, and Alex J. Mechaber, M.D.

Miller School and Law School Launch Joint M.D./J.D. Degree

Traditionally, a medical degree opens up the wonderful world of life-saving patient care, while a law degree provides entree into courtrooms, boardrooms and the halls of power where policies are set. But with the two fields increasingly intersecting and overlapping, medical and law schools are partnering to offer dual degree programs designed to equip a certain kind of medical student with the medical/legal expertise needed to address the growing complexities of modern health care.

Now, the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and School of Law are among them, offering a joint M.D./J.D. degree program that can be completed in six years—one year less than if the degrees were pursued separately. On March 9, two of the architects behind the new initiative, Patricia White, dean of the law school, and Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., senior associate dean for undergraduate medical education and associate professor of medicine, hosted a session at the Miller School to acquaint interested students with the program.

Read more about the program »

Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., top, Robert Langer, Sc.D., left, and George Whitesides, Ph.D.

Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., top, Robert Langer, Sc.D., left, and George Whitesides, Ph.D.

Nanotechnology Experts Gather for 45th Miami Winter Symposium

In its 45th year, the renowned Miami Winter Symposium focused on “Nanotechnology in Biomedicine” this year, drawing biotechnology and nanotechnology luminaries—including 2008 Nobel laureate Roger Tsien, Ph.D., as well as members of the U.S. national academies—to South Florida to discuss the latest advancements in the two fields that are fueling cross-collaborations, challenges, and new discoveries.

Organized by Nature Publishing Group and co-sponsored by the Miller School, and Scripps Florida, the Miami Winter Symposium was co-chaired by Nature’s Andrew Marshall and the Miller School’s Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., professor and Lucille P. Markey Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The February 26-29 symposium explored a range of topics that included sensing and detection at the nanoscale, nanostructures, artificial membrane rafting and micro- and nano-based drug delivery systems.

Read more about the Miami Winter Symposium »

Nursing Mother Rooms Now Available Across the University

In its continuing effort to foster a family-friendly environment, the University of Miami is pleased to announce the opening of dedicated rooms at the Miller School and on all UM campuses to support nursing mothers upon their return to work. Details of the program, which is open to faculty, staff and students, can be viewed in the Break Time for Nursing Mothers policy.

Nursing Mother Rooms are now open at the following locations:

Miller School of Medicine campus
• Dominion Tower, 1400 N.W. 10th Avenue, suite 302, room 301A
• Rosenstiel Medical Science Building, 1600 N.W. 10th Avenue, room 7166
• University of Miami Hospital, 1400 N.W. 12th Avenue, seventh floor, room 780

Read more about the program and view additional locations »

FIU student Chrissy Wong explains the differences between human and animal brains to attendees at the 2012 Brain Fair.

FIU student Chrissy Wong explains the differences between human and animal brains to attendees at the 2012 Brain Fair.

More than 2,000 Kids Attend 3rd Annual Brain Fair at the Miami Science Museum

A record number of school children celebrated Brain Awareness Week with University of Miami scientists at the Brain Fair 2012 on Saturday, March 17, at the Miami Science Museum. The free science event educated more than 2,200 children of all ages about how the brain works with an array of hands-on activities.

Children had the chance to discover if they are supertasters and to watch the dissection of a sheep brain. Other fun and educational activities included building neurons, discovering the differences between dog and cat brains, and learning how visual illusions work. Kids were also entertained with puppet shows, face painting, and more than 400 of them received free bike helmets, courtesy of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida and The Pilot Club of Miami.

Read more about the Brain Fair »

Family Weekend with the Miami Marlins Set for April 27-29

In appreciation of the dedication and outstanding work of its employees, the University of Miami will host Family Weekend with the Miami Marlins on Friday, April 27; Saturday, April 28; and Sunday, April 29, at the new 37,000-seat Marlins Park in Little Havana. Playing in new uniforms and new digs, the Marlins will take on the National League West Champion Arizona Diamondbacks at 7:10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1:10 p.m. on Sunday.

Ticket distribution on the medical campus is scheduled for Friday, March 30, and Tuesday, April 10.

View ticket distribution dates »

UM Receives Grant to Provide Free Oral Care to Miami-Dade County Students

School-aged children will soon be sporting bright, toothy grins thanks to a generous grant that will help provide free oral health care services to elementary, middle and high school students in Miami-Dade County.

The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation School Health Initiative, a signature program of the Miller School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, has received a $129,000 grant from the Health Foundation of South Florida to provide free preventive oral health services, including fluoride varnishes and dental sealants, to students of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Read more about the health initiative »

20th Annual Bioethics Conference Set for March 30

The University of Miami Ethics Programs will host the 20th annual spring conference, in conjunction with the Florida Bioethics Network’s 20th anniversary, on Friday, March 30, at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa, 4833 Collins Avenue. The educational program, which is considered one of the oldest and largest community ethics conferences in the country, will feature presentations on informed consent, information overload, allocation of scarce resources, gun safety and pediatrics, hospital discharges against medical advice, and “Health Care Professionalism in Florida,” a conversation with representatives from the Florida Medical Association, Florida Nurses Association and Florida Hospital Association.

Read more about the conference and register »