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

Up Front

From front, Yaima Alonso, Kelvin Allenson, Nicole Akar-Ghibril, Benjamin Addicott, Jennifer Chen, Johnathan Castano and Andrew Camp, lead the class of 2012 into the BankUnited Center.

From front, Yaima Alonso, Kelvin Allenson, Nicole Akar-Ghibril, Benjamin Addicott, Jennifer Chen, Johnathan Castano and Andrew Camp, lead the class of 2012 into the BankUnited Center.

Class of 2012 Graduates Eager for New Responsibilities

With an abundance of enthusiasm and several reminders of their new responsibilities, the Miller School of Medicine’s Class of 2012 accepted their doctor of medicine degrees and contemplated their futures as they exited the BankUnited Center on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus on May 12.

“I’m overwhelmed and honored,” said Juliet Nissan, M.D., who will remain in Miami to pursue her residency in general surgery at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Read more about medical commencement »

More News

Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., left, and Antonio Marttos Jr., M.D.

Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., left, and Antonio Marttos Jr., M.D.

Director and Co-Director Named for William Lehman Injury Research Center

Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., associate professor of clinical surgery, has been named director of the William Lehman Injury Research Center in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, and Antonio Marttos Jr., M.D., assistant professor of surgery, has been named co-director.

Schulman, a widely honored clinician, educator and researcher who served as co-director of the center, replaces the late Jeffrey Augenstein, M.D., Ph.D., who passed away on February 11. Together, they fostered the center’s international reputation for improving the treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of traumatic injuries resulting from blunt trauma – a legacy he plans to continue.

Read more about Dr. Schulman and Dr. Marttos »

From left, José Szapocznik, Ph.D., Viviana Horigian, Ph.D., and Lisa Metsch, Ph.D.

From left, José Szapocznik, Ph.D., Viviana Horigian, Ph.D., and Lisa Metsch, Ph.D.

Epidemiology and Public Health Researchers Surpass $51 Million in NIH Funding

With $6.8 million in grants awarded by the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse this fiscal year, the Miller School-based Florida Node Alliance of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinic Trials Network has surpassed $51 million in funding over the 12 years of its ongoing NIDA grant to conduct a broad range of drug abuse treatment trials.

The funding has helped principal investigators José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and chair of epidemiology and public health, and Lisa Metsch, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and public health, and project director Viviana Horigian, Ph.D., research assistant professor, transform Miami into a major hub for translating drug abuse treatment research into practice. The trio has also received an additional $10 million in NIH Research Project Grants made possible by the Florida Node Alliance.

Read more about the grants »

Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D.

Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D.

Dr. Dileep R. Yavagal First in South Florida to Use FDA-Approved Stroke Device

On April 4, 58-year-old Jorge Lazo, a smoker with diabetes and high blood pressure, was rushed to a nearby hospital after the entire left side of his body suddenly became paralyzed. When standard treatment failed to improve his condition, Lazo was taken to the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he found hope in Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D.

After an advanced MRI revealed blockages in Lazo’s right carotid artery and a large area at risk for irreversible stroke damage, Yavagal, director of interventional neurology, co-director of endovascular neurosurgery, and assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery, sprang into action.

Read more about the stroke device »

Front row from left, Anne Kimball; Stefania Prendes-Alvarez; Karina Lifschitz; Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D., M.P.H.; and Jonathan Colasanti, M.D. Back row from left, David Haverman; Carly Rivet; Devlin Paiva McGlohn; Mihai Puia-Dumitrescu, M.D.; Vanessa Cutler; and Eric Hecht, M.D.

Front row from left, Anne Kimball; Stefania Prendes-Alvarez; Karina Lifschitz; Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D., M.P.H.; and Jonathan Colasanti, M.D. Back row from left, David Haverman; Carly Rivet; Devlin Paiva McGlohn; Mihai Puia-Dumitrescu, M.D.; Vanessa Cutler; and Eric Hecht, M.D.

Public Health Springboard Program Supports Eight New Research Projects at the Miller School

Thanks to a generous $100,000 gift to the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, 10 public health graduates and Miller School students have received eight grants under the Public Health Springboard Program, which supports innovative, independent projects by students who are working toward or recently earned a Master of Public Health.

“Those who support our graduate public health programs make it possible for us to achieve our mission of training future public health leaders,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School. “This gift makes it possible for us to do just that — prepare our students to address the biggest public health challenges of our time.”

Read more about the springboard grants »

Rene F. Rodriguez, M.D.

Rene F. Rodriguez, M.D.

Orthopaedic Surgeon Publishes Book on Physicians in Congress with Dean Goldschmidt’s Endorsement

Orthopaedic surgeon Rene F. Rodriguez, M.D., believes doctors should take part in politics. So to inspire them, the former assistant professor of clinical orthopaedics at the Miller School, who recently retired as chief of orthopedics at the Miami VA, compiled a book about the hundreds of physicians elected to the U.S. House or Senate since the Continental Congress in 1774.

While most of the pages in “Physicians in Congress 1774-2011” are devoted to the 437 lawmaker-physicians who have served through the 111th Congress – which Rodriguez painstakingly researched for five years – the book also includes chapters on physicians who signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, and those who have served as governors and on the U.S. Supreme Court, and, more predictably, in the appointed post of Surgeon General.

Read more about the book »

Annual General Faculty Meeting on May 30

President Donna E. Shalala, Provost Thomas LeBlanc and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., will hold the annual General Faculty Meeting on Wednesday, May 30, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Lois Pope LIFE Center, seventh-floor auditorium.

All Miller School faculty members are encouraged to attend this important meeting. For those who cannot attend, the meeting will be broadcast live via webcast.

In Memoriam

Francisco E. Fantes, M.D.

Francisco E. Fantes, M.D.

UM Mourns Glaucoma Specialist Francisco Fantes, M.D.

Francisco E. Fantes, M.D., 57, professor of clinical ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, passed away at home on May 11 following a brief illness.

Over the course of his career at UM, Dr. Fantes taught and supervised hundreds of residents and fellows. He was also course director for the Inter-American Course in Clinical Ophthalmology, which draws more than 500 ophthalmologists from Latin American and the Caribbean to Miami each year.

Read more about Dr. Fantes »