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

Up Front

Marilyn Glassberg, M.D., and Joshua Hare, M.D., are conducting the first U.S. stem cell trial for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Marilyn Glassberg, M.D., and Joshua Hare, M.D., are conducting the first U.S. stem cell trial for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Cardiac and Pulmonary Researchers Team Up to Test Stem Cell Therapy for Fatal Lung Disease

Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., professor of medicine and surgery, has won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct the first U.S. clinical trial of mesenchymal stem cells as a potential therapy for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Issued 30 days after she applied for an investigational new drug trial, the FDA approval gives Glassberg her first real hope of extending or improving the lives of patients with the progressive and fatal lung disease that has no known cause or treatment, other than a risky transplant. About half the patients die within five years of diagnosis.

“Most of these patients walk into my office with their burial plots ready to go, and want to know how many more months they have,” said Glassberg, who has conducted most of the available studies on potential therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could say, ‘You know what? You’re going to get a lot more months now.’ If stem cells work, it’s a new lease on life.”

Read more about the trial »

Research News

Miami CTSI Offering Support for New Research Services and Funding Opportunities

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is pleased to announce that extensive research-related resources, including more than $750,000 in services and awards for fiscal year 2013 are available to support investigators on all UM campuses who are conducting research which has the potential to improve the health of our diverse community.

Recently established by an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award to become the nation’s champion of “culturalized health sciences,” the CTSI supports interdisciplinary clinical and translational research that focuses on health problems highly prevalent in ethnic-/racial-minority and medically underserved communities.

As such, all research proposals and requests for these CTSI services and resources should incorporate ideas and approaches from multiple disciplines and/or propose innovative research initiatives that have the potential to translate into improved health.

Read more about the new research opportunities »

More News

From left, Elizabeth Felix, Ph.D., Doug Johnson-Greene, Ph.D., M.P.H., ABPP, and Shirin Shafazad, M.D.

From left, Elizabeth Felix, Ph.D., Doug Johnson-Greene, Ph.D., M.P.H., ABPP, and Shirin Shafazad, M.D.

Rehabilitation Medicine Wins Grant for Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems

A research team in the Miller School’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine has been awarded a federal Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems grant for more than $2 million. Funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the five-year grant will enhance rehabilitation services and research aimed at meeting the special needs of brain-injured individuals progressing through the clinical continuum, from emergency care to rehabilitation and community re-entry.

The Miller School is among 16 sites nationally that were awarded the prestigious U.S. Department of Education grant through a highly competitive selection process.

Read more about the grant »

Sergio Litewka, M.D., M.P.H., holds his advance copy of the

Sergio Litewka, M.D., M.P.H., holds his advance copy of the "100 Latinos Miami" magazine.

International Ethics Leader Recognized Among “100 Latinos Miami”

Sergio Litewka, M.D., M.P.H., international programs director at the UM Ethics Programs and Latin American director for the UM-based Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program, is included among “100 Latinos Miami,” a public recognition of the professional achievements of Hispanics.

As the name suggests, the recognition features 100 Latino professionals, all living in Miami with a common goal — to use their talents to contribute to the city’s progress and the community. Honorees celebrated at an October 4 gala at Miami-Dade College and will be showcased in the second edition of Talento Latino magazine, as well as a November exhibit at Miami International Airport, which will include their names, photos, native country, years in Miami and profession.

Read more about Dr. Litewka »

Wasif N. Khan, Ph.D., discusses job interview strategies and the job talk presentation with Maitreyi Das, Ph.D.

Wasif N. Khan, Ph.D., discusses job interview strategies and the job talk presentation with Maitreyi Das, Ph.D.

Postdoc Programs Office Launches Interview Support Program

With job interviews approaching, the Postdoctoral Programs Office is offering support to postdoctoral fellows who face the daunting task of preparing for two critical challenges — the “job talk” and the “chalk talk.”

The “job talk,” a formal presentation supplemented by PowerPoint slides or other visual aids, gives job candidates the opportunity to describe their research accomplishments over the years. In the less formal “chalk talk,” candidates discuss their future research plans and the specific aims of their first NIH grant application with the job search committee. Under the leadership of Wasif N. Khan, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology and Director of Postdoctoral Programs, the University of Miami’s Postdoctoral Programs Office has initiated a job talk/chalk talk interview support program to help postdocs prepare both integral components of the interview process.

Read more about the program »

From left, students Lenise Bennett (M.P.H.), Erica Paris (M.P.H.), Brigitte Frett (M.D./M.P.H.), Chanelle Diaz (M.D./M.P.H.) and Jennifer auf der Springe (M.D./M.P.H.) are ready to sign up voters.

From left, students Lenise Bennett (M.P.H.), Erica Paris (M.P.H.), Brigitte Frett (M.D./M.P.H.), Chanelle Diaz (M.D./M.P.H.) and Jennifer auf der Springe (M.D./M.P.H.) are ready to sign up voters.

UM Community Wellness Coalition Helps Overtown Residents Register to Vote

With the election fast approaching, the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity’s Community Wellness Coalition seized the opportunity to hold two voter registration drives in Overtown, one on the afternoon of September 19 and the other on Saturday morning, September 29, at Gibson Park.

Volunteers were first trained by Community Wellness Coalition Director Sonjia Kenya, Ed.D., M.S., M.A., research assistant professor of medicine, who has volunteered with Organizing for America to lead the grassroots efforts. Kenya, who also directs the Jay Weiss Center’s health disparities programs, and CWC coordinator Jamal Jones met with student and community volunteers on both days to train them on the registration process.

Read more about the voter drive »

Richard A. Iacino,
1946 – 2011

Richard A. Iacino, 1946 – 2011

Join the Miller School’s “Team Iacino” at This Year’s Out of the Darkness Community Walk

The Miller School of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences have always supported efforts to raise awareness about suicide. It is the country’s 10th leading cause of death, claiming 36,000 lives each year. Walks sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are designed to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention while also raising funds for research. The event is also an effort to reach out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

We have committed for the third year to supporting the Out of the Darkness Community Walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Miller School’s “Team Iacino,” in honor of our dear friend and colleague, Richard Iacino, will join together again to walk in his memory. We hope that all of you will join us in remembering him – and all the friends and family members we have lost — on Sunday, November 11, at 10 a.m. on the Coral Gables campus.

Read more and register for the Out of the Darkness Community Walk »

595 Express Bus Service Expands to Miami Civic Center

The 595 express bus now offers West Broward commuters a chance to save time and money by taking advantage of its expanded service from Sunrise to the Miami Civic Center.

Every weekday morning and afternoon, the bus will take riders from the Westgate Square shopping center to the Miami Civic Center, which includes a stop at the medical campus, in about an hour.

Read more about the new bus service »