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

Up Front

Keiko Konno, M.S., Glen N. Barber, Ph.D., and Hiroyasu Konno, Ph.D.

Keiko Konno, M.S., Glen N. Barber, Ph.D., and Hiroyasu Konno, Ph.D.

Researchers Identify Mechanism to Control Immune Signaling; Study Points to Treatment of Inflammatory Diseases

A new Miller School study has identified a cellular pathway used to deactivate innate immune system signaling – a key discovery that could potentially lead to the development of novel vaccines or clinical treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. The findings are published in the October edition of the journal Cell.

“Our scientific findings could lead to translational research and the generation of new drugs and therapeutics that could stop chronic inflammatory processes,” said senior author Glen N. Barber, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Cell Biology and Associate Director for Basic Research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Read more about the study »

More News

Byron Lam, M.D., and Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D.

Byron Lam, M.D., and Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D.

Discovery Leads to Simple Blood or Urine Test to Identify Blinding Disease

Research led by physician-scientists at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has produced a breakthrough discovery in diagnosing retinitis pigmentosa, a blinding disease that affects about 1 in 4,000 people in the United States.

Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D., and Byron Lam, M.D., professors of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer, in collaboration with biochemist Ziqiang Guan, Ph.D., a research associate professor at Duke University Medical School, discovered a key marker in blood and urine that can identify people who carry genetic mutations in a gene responsible for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). “A simple urine test can tell who has the RP-causing mutations,” said Dr. Wen. “Collecting urine is non-invasive and easy, especially from young children.”

Read more about the discovery »

Jerry W. Winters, CPA, left, and William “Bill” L. Devoney Jr., CPA, M.B.A.

Jerry W. Winters, CPA, left, and William “Bill” L. Devoney Jr., CPA, M.B.A.

Healthcare Veterans Named to Two New Miller School/UHealth CFO Positions

Two veteran Chief Financial Officers have joined the Miller School-UHealth team, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise in healthcare finance to the University of Miami Medical Group and the Hospital Division at a critical time, the new era of healthcare ushered in by the Affordable Care Act.

Formerly CFO of one of the nation’s leading healthcare service companies, Jerry W. Winters, CPA, is already onboard as CFO of UMMG, the physician practice, where he is fortifying the infrastructure needed to support about 1,000 UHealth physicians. William “Bill” L. Devoney Jr., CPA, M.B.A., the CFO of the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System in Chicago for the past seven years, will begin his duties as CFO for the hospital division at the end of this month.

Read more about the new CFOs »

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

FAMRI Awards Grant to Support Breast Cancer Research at Sylvester

As the nation marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded a grant by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, Inc. (FAMRI), to further its breast cancer research efforts. The grant of $150,000 will support and encourage novel, early stage research into breast cancer.

“Identifying new therapies for the treatment of breast cancer starts in the laboratory,” said Joyce Slingerland, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of the grant and Director of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at Sylvester. “This grant that provides seed funding for new breast cancer research projects will open new avenues for research that may have high yield in the future. This support from FAMRI will allow us to make those new discoveries.”

Read more about the grant »

Marc E. Lippman, M.D.

Marc E. Lippman, M.D.

Miami CTSI Offers Free Mentoring Advice and Matching to UM Researchers

Recognizing mentoring as a critical part of career development for young faculty, the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute has launched a free mentor matching consultation service that pairs seasoned faculty mentors with those at earlier stages in their careers needing advice.

Led by Marc E. Lippman, M.D., the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Professor of Medicine and Deputy Director of the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the service is free and available to faculty from all disciplines.

“One of the most common concerns from young faculty and late-stage trainees is that they don’t get mentored,” Lippman said. “Many of them have had excellent research training, but there are all kinds of areas that no one talks to them about which have everything to do with the success of their careers.”

Read more about the CTSI mentor matching service »

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 »

Team UM members are, from left, back row, Flor Delgado, Freddy Trujillo, Jose Cid, George Dumenigo, LCSW, Carlos Singer, M.D., Martha Guarin, Lorena Maldonado, Anita Blenke, Rianna Blenke, and Angela Russell, ARNP, Ph.D.; and middle row, Roxana Bustamante, Lissette Perez, Rebecca Lee, Bonnie Singer, Corneliu Luca, M.D., and son Daniel; and sitting, Catherine Jaramillo and daughter Aryelle.

Team UM members are, from left, back row, Flor Delgado, Freddy Trujillo, Jose Cid, George Dumenigo, LCSW, Carlos Singer, M.D., Martha Guarin, Lorena Maldonado, Anita Blenke, Rianna Blenke, and Angela Russell, ARNP, Ph.D.; and middle row, Roxana Bustamante, Lissette Perez, Rebecca Lee, Bonnie Singer, Corneliu Luca, M.D., and son Daniel; and sitting, Catherine Jaramillo and daughter Aryelle.

Neurology Team Participates in National Parkinson Foundation’s “Moving Day Miami”

For the second year, a team from the Department of Neurology Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center participated in “Moving Day Miami,” the National Parkinson Foundation’s annual walk to help raise awareness and essential research funds for Parkinson’s disease.

Led by Carlos Singer, M.D., professor of neurology, his wife Bonnie, Angela Russell, ARNP, Ph.D., and George Dumenigo, LCSW, Team UM members were among more than 1,000 walkers who took part in the October 6 fundraiser at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami.

Read more about the walk »

Participate in a “Wheel of Fortune” quiz at the UHealth booth and win this health tips desk calendar.

Participate in a “Wheel of Fortune” quiz at the UHealth booth and win this health tips desk calendar.

Learn About Your Benefits and the Chance to Win Hurricanes Football Tickets at This Week’s Benefits

A chance to win tickets to three upcoming Hurricanes football games is just one of many reasons to visit the UHealth – University of Miami Health System booth at the UM Employee Benefits Fairs, which will be held on Thursday, October 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Friday, October 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle, where you can interact with vendors, get a free flu shot and chair massage, and participate in raffles and giveaways.

You also can learn more about the important changes to your 2014 ’Canes Total Rewards benefits and highlights for the upcoming plan year by attending an information session on Wednesday, October 16, or Monday, October 21, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Mailman Center for Child Development, eighth-floor auditorium.

With eye-catching décor, including an oversized 3D tabletop U available as a prop for smartphone photos, the UHealth team will be hard to miss at the fair. Attendees who stop by will receive a free smartphone screen cleaner.

Read more about UHealth at the Benefits Fair »

Bradley Matthews with his son Jeremy on Miami Beach.

Bradley Matthews with his son Jeremy on Miami Beach.

Faculty and Staff Help Support the U: A Father’s Gratitude

Today, e-Update continues its new series on some of the dynamic faculty and staff members whose gifts to UM help support a variety of University-related initiatives. This week we profile Bradley Matthews, a sales account executive in UM’s Department of Athletics. Grateful for the care his young son has received at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute for a rare form of eye cancer, Matthews is planning an event to raise funds for cancer research. Do you have a story to share? Click here and tell us why you give to the U.

Read Bradley Matthews' profile »

Pictured with Victorious, of the Heat's Xtreme Team, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center's Ana Espinosa was among the hundreds of employees who got free Heat tickets last year.

Pictured with Victorious, of the Heat's Xtreme Team, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center's Ana Espinosa was among the hundreds of employees who got free Heat tickets last year.

Final Opportunity: Give to the United Way and Get Tickets to a Miami Heat Preseason Game

Your last chance to get free tickets to see the NBA champion Miami Heat in action is approaching fast. University of Miami faculty and staff who have made their 2013 United Way contribution and have not yet secured their complimentary tickets will have the opportunity to do so next week.

Miami Heat representatives will be on the Miller School campus on Monday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle to distribute tickets for the October 25 preseason game vs. the Brooklyn Nets.

Read more about ticket distribution »

Sign Up for This Year’s AHA Heart Walk

Sponsored by UHealth, this year’s American Heart Association’s Heart Walk is expected to draw more than 5,000 walkers to Marlins Park this Saturday, October 26, beginning at 8 a.m. If you are interested in joining the UHealth or University of Miami Hospital team, please register at www.miamidadeheartwalk.org.

UHealth’s UHealthAware screenings will be available for walkers so they know their risk for heart disease, vascular disease, stroke, sleep disorders, and spine pain. The Medical Wellness Center staff also will be at the UHealth booth and will lead the walkers in warm-up routines.

UMIT Security Alert: Beware of Phishing Email Scams

The University of Miami, like many colleges and universities, has had several reported instances of phishing emails directed toward our faculty, staff, and students. The number of attacks has increased, and while University of Miami IT (UMIT) works hard to block them from reaching your inbox, many slip through. As a result, we all must remain highly vigilant against these threats.

Isn’t this just spam? No, these attacks seek to gain your personal information including your ’Cane ID and password. With that information, a thief can change your banking information through MyUM or CaneLink and steal your payroll direct deposit by diverting it to a different bank account. Just this week there were two instances of direct-deposit fraud impacting our employees where the thieves changed employees’ banking information through MyUM. The University will, of course, cooperate with law enforcement, but the likelihood of catching the individuals involved is low.

Read more about phishing email scams »

Medical Compliance Services


Protect Your Android from Malware

Just like a desktop or laptop computer, your Android smart phone is vulnerable to malware (malicious software). The more mobile apps integrate into our lives, the more likely they will be targeted by cyber criminals. To limit the potential for malware infection, the University recommends installing an anti-malware program, such as Lookout Security, which is available for free through Android Market. Other free apps include Norton Mobile Security Lite and Webroot Secure Anywhere.

Learn more at privacyoffice.med.miami.edu.