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

Up Front

Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D.

Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D.

Miller School Researchers Discover Pathway for Inhibiting Heart Growth

The Miller School’s Nanette Bishopric, M.D., professor of medicine, pediatrics and pharmacology, and her research team have discovered a natural mechanism that inhibits growth of the heart, a finding that could lead to the development of therapeutic agents for patients with hypertrophic hearts.

Often a precursor or companion to cardiac dysfunction, hypertrophy, or enlargement of the component cells of an organism, is also a normal part of growth. For example, as babies grow, their hearts grow, too, not because the relatively finite cardiac myocyte cells that comprise the heart muscle proliferate, but because they enlarge. But the complex process that keeps that growth in check has been a mystery, one which Bishopric’s latest study, published April 24 in EMBO Molecular Medicine, a publication of the European Molecular Biological Organization, begins to unravel.

Read more about the study »

More News

Brian Lally, M.D.

Brian Lally, M.D.

Study Finds Hispanic Lung Cancer Patients Tend to Outlive Blacks and Whites

A new analysis by a team of researchers at the Miller School’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that Hispanic lung cancer patients seem to live longer than white or black patients. Published April 23 online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study suggests that, as with several other types of cancer, certain yet-to-be-defined genetic and/or environmental factors put Hispanic patients at a survival advantage.

Most studies that look at ethnic and racial disparities in lung cancer compare black patients with whites. To evaluate how survival of Hispanic patients compares with other ethnicities after a lung cancer diagnosis, the Sylvester team, led by Brian Lally, M.D., assistant professor of radiation oncology, and Ali Saeed, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate, analyzed patient information from the Survival, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Database, which compiles incidence and survival data from population-based cancer registries in the United States.

Read more about the study »

Arthur M. Fournier, M.D., left, receives the Oscar E. Edwards Memorial Award for Volunteerism and Community Service from Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, MACP, 2012-2013 immediate-past president of the American College of Physicians.

Arthur M. Fournier, M.D., left, receives the Oscar E. Edwards Memorial Award for Volunteerism and Community Service from Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, MACP, 2012-2013 immediate-past president of the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Arthur M. Fournier Honored for Volunteerism and Community Service

Arthur M. Fournier, M.D., professor and vice chair of family medicine and community health, who for decades has brought primary health care to underserved communities from South Florida to Haiti, was honored by the American College of Physicians with the 2012 Oscar E. Edwards Memorial Award for Volunteerism and Community Service.

“I’m a little worried about receiving this lifetime award,” Fournier quipped about the award presented April 19 at the college’s convocation ceremony in New Orleans. “Perhaps they know something I don’t know.”

Established in 1998 in honor of Oscar E. Edwards, M.D., former governor and regent of the American College of Physicians, the award recognizes an ACP member who has initiated or been involved in volunteer programs or has provided volunteer service post-training.

Read more about Dr. Fournier »

Philip D. Harvey, Ph.D.

Philip D. Harvey, Ph.D.

Schizophrenia Researcher and Clinician Receives Society’s Highest Honor

Philip D. Harvey, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Division of Psychology, is the first recipient of the Schizophrenia International Research Society’s Outstanding Clinical/Community Research Award, considered the society’s highest honor.

Selected by a group of his peers, Harvey was recognized for his exceptional clinical and community contributions to schizophrenia research, particularly in the area of social cognition.

Read more about Dr. Harvey »

James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., speak to the crowd at the third annual SunSmart 5K Run/Walk.

James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., speak to the crowd at the third annual SunSmart 5K Run/Walk.

Miller School Helps the Community Get SunSmart at 5K Run/Walk

A record 640 runners took part in the Golden Key Gets SunSmart 5K Run/Walk on Key Biscayne to educate the community about sun safety and provide free skin cancer screenings.

Now in its third year, the race serves as an annual reminder about sun safety, which Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School, says is key to prevention.

“Through events such as the Golden Key Gets SunSmart 5K, we are increasing awareness about the importance of early detection in melanoma,” said the Dean, who was among the many UM faculty, staff and students who participated in the April 7 race. “I’m proud that the Miller School is taking a lead role in this effort.”

Read more about the SunSmart 5K Run/Walk »

From left are Mike Quijano and OB/GYN residents Alexander Mejia, M.D., Daniel Bolet, M.D., and Diana English, M.D., who completed their training on the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System.

From left are Mike Quijano and OB/GYN residents Alexander Mejia, M.D., Daniel Bolet, M.D., and Diana English, M.D., who completed their training on the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System.

OB/GYN Kicks off Robotics Training at University of Miami Hospital

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology was the first to offer formal robotic surgery training sessions for its residents, including a bedside orientation and console practice session last month at University of Miami Hospital.

The session was part of a new UMH-based robotics curriculum aimed at preparing residents from all surgical specialties to use the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, which is manufactured by Intuitive Surgical. Modeled after Duke University’s program, the training program consists of online, computer-based learning modules, the bedside orientation session with console practice time, and a timed practical exam, which assesses skill sets.

Read more about the training »

Miami Marlins Run Honors Workers and Benefits UM’s Multiple Sclerosis Center

On April 27, Miami Marlins President David Samson will host a “Run to Honor the Workers,” a 50-mile run from Pompano Beach to Miami to commemorate the 5,000 construction workers who labored for three years to build the new Marlins Park and raise $500,000 for 10 organizations, including the UM Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence.

A check for donations made to the center will be presented during UM’s Family Weekend with the Miami Marlins later that night.

Read more about the run »

Deadline to Place IT Orders for Fiscal Year 2012 is May 10

The deadline to purchase computer and IT equipment through Medical Information Technology for fiscal year 2012 is Thursday, May 10.

Every effort will be made to complete and bill for the orders in time for the close of the fiscal year; however, items that are not received by May 31 cannot be billed. Please call 305-243-1189 for assistance or more information.

In Memoriam

Howard Lessner, M.D.

Howard Lessner, M.D.

Cancer Center’s First Director, Howard Lessner, M.D., Passes Away

Howard Lessner, M.D., who became the first director of the University of Miami’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1972, passed away on April 18 at South Miami Hospital. He was 85.

Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Lessner, professor emeritus of oncology and the first chair of the Department of Oncology at the medical school, was an esteemed oncologist who served the greater Miami community for more than 50 years, working at Baptist Hospital, Cedars Medical Center and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Read more about Dr. Lessner »