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

Up Front

Deborah C. Mash, Ph.D.

Deborah C. Mash, Ph.D.

UM Brain Endowment Bank Receives NIH Contract to Establish National Brain and Tissue Biorepository

The University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank will receive up to $8 million from a National Institutes of Health contract to centralize this research resource and advance studies of brain diseases in the United States.

The award, lasting up to eight years, underscores the growing importance of studying neurological and psychiatric disorders and the significant national standing of the Miller School program, led by Deborah C. Mash, Ph.D., professor of neurology and molecular and cellular pharmacology.

The new initiative, a joint effort of the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, aims to improve the support of brain banks, facilitate access to tissue by researchers and better educate the public about the need for donated tissue for research.

Read more about the award »

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Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., accepts his award from the North Carolina Psychiatric Association.

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., accepts his award from the North Carolina Psychiatric Association.

Psychiatry Chair Receives Mental Health Research Award

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., the Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Center on Aging, who has deep ties to the state of North Carolina, is the recipient of one of the Psychiatric Foundation of North Carolina’s top honors for his many years of cutting-edge psychiatry research.

Presented September 21 at the North Carolina Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting and Scientific Session, the V. Sagar Sethi, M.D., Mental Health Research Award recognizes Nemeroff for his research that has improved the understanding of the causes and pathogenesis of depression.

Read more about Dr. Nemeroff »

Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., second from left, is surrounded by Col. Brodes H. Hartley Jr., President and CEO of Community Health Centers of South Florida, Jessie Trice’s daughter Valencia Batiste, Shelia McCann, Grants and Program Manager for Health Choice Network, and Kevin Kearns, President and CEO of Health Choice Network.

Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., second from left, is surrounded by Col. Brodes H. Hartley Jr., President and CEO of Community Health Centers of South Florida, Jessie Trice’s daughter Valencia Batiste, Shelia McCann, Grants and Program Manager for Health Choice Network, and Kevin Kearns, President and CEO of Health Choice Network.

Community Health Leader Receives Prestigious Jessie Trice Hero Award

Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of public health sciences and Director of the Jay Weiss Institute for Health Equity at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Jessie Trice Hero Award for her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of underserved and minority populations.

Presented September 18 by Health Choice Network of Florida at the 13th annual awards luncheon and benefit at Trump National Doral Miami, the award recognizes the tireless advocacy and leadership Kobetz has exemplified for nearly a decade and the difference her efforts have made in many underserved communities in South Florida.

Read more about Dr. Kobetz »

Flanked by public safety, faith, business and civic leaders, UM President Donna E. Shalala declares the University of Miami's support for Jackson's bond issue.

Flanked by public safety, faith, business and civic leaders, UM President Donna E. Shalala declares the University of Miami's support for Jackson's bond issue.

UM Supports Jackson’s Bond Issue

President Donna E. Shalala declared the University of Miami’s support for the Jackson Health System’s proposed $830 million bond issue last week, when Jackson’s leadership and a coalition of supporters formally kicked off the campaign to encourage Miami-Dade County voters to support the modernization of the county’s most valued but aging treasure.

Flanked by public safety officials and faith, business and civic leaders, Shalala, Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and a number of Miller School physicians gathered September 17 in the Lois Pope LIFE Center at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis for the launch of the Citizens for a Healthy Miami-Dade campaign.

Read more about the bond issue »

The UM/Jackson team helping Peru includes, from left, Silvia Willumsen, RN, BSN, Maria Cabello, RN, Julio C. Barredo, M.D., Martin Andreansky, M.D., Krishna Komanduri, M.D., Cara Benjamin, Ph.D., and Alexandra Amador, MT, CHS.

The UM/Jackson team helping Peru includes, from left, Silvia Willumsen, RN, BSN, Maria Cabello, RN, Julio C. Barredo, M.D., Martin Andreansky, M.D., Krishna Komanduri, M.D., Cara Benjamin, Ph.D., and Alexandra Amador, MT, CHS.

Sylvester/Jackson Team Launches Peru’s Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit

Extending Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s outreach to Peru, a University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital team led by Julio C. Barredo, M.D., Director of Children’s Cancer Programs at Sylvester and the Toppel Family Chair in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, recently conducted the initial training seminar and workshop for specialists who will operate Peru’s first comprehensive pediatric bone marrow transplant referral center.

For Barredo, who was born in and received his early medical training in Lima, the opportunity to make such a tangible contribution to his homeland is particularly rewarding. “It is really exciting for me, and I believe for everyone at UM and the cancer center because we have the opportunity to transfer medical technologies to places where they are not available and, obviously, when you do that, it has a positive effect on the delivery of care.”

Read more about the outreach »

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., left, with Rogelio Villarreal, M.D., President of the Fundacion Ojos para Mexico.

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., left, with Rogelio Villarreal, M.D., President of the Fundacion Ojos para Mexico.

Mexican University Bestows Top Honor on Bascom Palmer’s Eduardo Alfonso

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., professor and chair of ophthalmology and Director of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, was honored last month with the University of Monterrey’s Catedra Laboris designation, which akin to an honorary chair is bestowed on an elite group of experts who have been invited to speak at the Mexican university.

Alfonso presented an overview of Bascom Palmer, which recently earned U.S. News & World Report’s ranking as the No. 1 eye program in the U.S. for the 10th consecutive year, after signing a cooperation agreement with the University of Monterrey on August 28. In his presentation, “Bascom Palmer Eye Institute: The Road to Excellence,” Alfonso stressed the importance of both education and research to Bascom Palmer’s mission.

Read more about the agreement »

Participants in the Drive for Life benefit  can drive or ride in cars like this Lamborghini to support interventional oncology research.

Participants in the Drive for Life benefit can drive or ride in cars like this Lamborghini to support interventional oncology research.

Drive for Life to Support Cancer Research at Sylvester

Interventional oncology is one of the fastest growing and most exciting areas of innovation in cancer care that has evolved as a minimally invasive clinical specialty with the ability to extend survival and maintain quality of life for cancer patients who otherwise have little or no treatment options.

To support this critical area of research, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and UM Division of Interventional Oncology are teaming up to host “Drive for Life,” an unforgettable event at the Palm Beach International Raceway next month when attendees can drive exotic automobiles, including Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and ride with professional drivers, all for a great cause.

Read more about Drive for Life »

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., left, and Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., lead the 2012 Out of the Darkness walk on the Coral Gables campus.

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., left, and Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., lead the 2012 Out of the Darkness walk on the Coral Gables campus.

Join “Team Iacino” in Promoting Suicide Prevention and Research at Community Walk

The Miller School of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences are committed to raising awareness about and preventing suicide and, for the fourth year, will support the Out of the Darkness community walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Members of the Miller School’s “Team Iacino” will walk together to honor the memory of their dear friend and colleague, Richard Iacino, and they invite you to remember him – and all friends and loved ones lost to suicide at 9 a.m. this Sunday, October 27, on the Coral Gables campus.

Read more about the Out of the Darkness walk »

NBC’s Brian Williams will be Master of Ceremonies at this year’s Great Sports Legends Dinner.

NBC’s Brian Williams will be Master of Ceremonies at this year’s Great Sports Legends Dinner.

The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis to Host 28th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner

The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, will host its 28th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 30. Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the dinner, which honors philanthropic heroes and sports legends who inspire and motivate those affected by spinal cord injuries.

The annual event, hosted by Nick and Marc Buoniconti and chaired by Mark Dalton, benefits The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and raises funds to support the ground-breaking spinal cord injury research of physician-scientists at the Miller School’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Since its inception in 1985, the Great Sports Legends Dinner has honored more than 283 sports legends and honorees and has raised much-needed funds for The Miami Project’s spinal cord injury research programs.

Read more about the 2013 Sports Legends Dinner »