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

Up Front

Magic Johnson, center, stands with UM CFAR leaders, from left, Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., Margaret Fischl, M.D., and Savita Pahwa, M.D., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

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Magic Johnson, center, stands with UM CFAR leaders, from left, Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., Margaret Fischl, M.D., and Savita Pahwa, M.D., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

UM Center for AIDS Research Hosts National Symposium

Some of the brightest minds in the battle against HIV and AIDS from across the United States convened in Miami for the 17th Annual Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Scientific Symposium, held November 7 at the BankUnited Center on the Coral Gables campus.

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine, extended a warm welcome to the more than 200 symposium attendees. Experts at the meeting included CFAR Directors from across the U.S., key representatives from the National Institutes of Health, and prominent researchers who revealed their latest discoveries regarding HIV/AIDS prevention, pathogenesis, vaccine development, infection reservoirs, and the search for a cure.

Read more about the symposium »

More News

George W. Burke III, M.D., and Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., were among the researchers who helped uncover a new treatment option for reoccurring kidney disease.

George W. Burke III, M.D., and Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., were among the researchers who helped uncover a new treatment option for reoccurring kidney disease.

Study Finds New Treatment Option for Recurrent Kidney Disease

In a multi-institutional study led at the Miller School by George W. Burke III, M.D., professor of surgery, and Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and the Peggy and Harold Katz Family Chair in Kidney & Vascular Disease Research, physician-scientists have uncovered a new treatment option for recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), an idiopathic disease that causes kidney failure.

The study, “Abatacept in B7-1-Positive Proteinuric Kidney Disease,” published November 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine, identifies abatacept, an inhibitor that targets B7-1, a co-stimulatory molecule that, when under stress, is expressed by podocytes, the kidney cells responsible for development of FSGS.

Read more about the study »

Carl Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., seated, is surrounded by, from left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Alan Livingstone, M.D., and UM President Donna E. Shalala, as he receives the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair.

Carl Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., seated, is surrounded by, from left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Alan Livingstone, M.D., and UM President Donna E. Shalala, as he receives the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair.

Burn Specialist Carl I. Schulman Honored with the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair

Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., one of the Miller School’s leading clinicians, researchers and educators, was honored October 29 with the presentation of the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair in the Division of Burns in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery.

“This generous award will support our independent research into new areas of burn treatment and injury prevention,” said Schulman, who is associate professor of surgery in the Division of Burns and Director of the William Lehman Injury Research Center, and Associate Director, Surgical Residency Program.

Read more about Dr. Schulman »

With the Interventional Radiology team gathered, long-time donor Phil Corey, center, with glasses, and his wife Linda, cut the ceremonial ribbon with, from left, Robert Quencer, M.D., Govindarajan Narayanan, M.D., Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

With the Interventional Radiology team gathered, long-time donor Phil Corey, center, with glasses, and his wife Linda, cut the ceremonial ribbon with, from left, Robert Quencer, M.D., Govindarajan Narayanan, M.D., Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Interventional Radiology Unveils State-of-the-Art Angio Suite to Treat Sylvester Cancer Patients

With the Interventional Radiology Section team lining the halls, a grateful patient and the Dean of the Miller School smiling broadly, Govindarajan Narayanan, M.D., associate professor of radiology, declared a “new day for Sylvester” as he unveiled the new angio suite at University of Miami Hospital and Clinics.

Narayanan, who is Chief of the Vascular and Interventional Radiology Section and a member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, led the ribbon-cutting event held Nov. 5 in the radiology area of UMHC, adding that the project had been three years in the making. The new suite containing a Siemens Artis Q imaging system has advanced 3-D and Cone beam CT capabilities, and can perform several procedures in the growing arsenal of interventional radiology.

Read more about the new angio suite at UMHC »

From left are Antoni Barrientos, Ph.D., Dasmanthie De Silva, Ph.D. candidate, and Flavia Fontanesi, Ph.D.

From left are Antoni Barrientos, Ph.D., Dasmanthie De Silva, Ph.D. candidate, and Flavia Fontanesi, Ph.D.

A DEAD-Box Protein Functions in the Assembly of the Mitochondrial Ribosome

Proteins in a cell are universally synthesized by ribosomes. Mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, contain their own ribosomes, which specialize in synthesizing a handful of proteins (8 in yeast, 13 in human cells). These proteins are required for the generation of chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by the process of oxidative phosphorylation. Despite the biological relevance of the mitoribosomes, knowledge about the molecular details of the assembly pathway and factors involved in their biogenesis is still very limited.

In a study published in the November 5 issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, a group of Miller School scientists led by Antoni Barrientos, Ph.D., professor of neurology and biochemistry and molecular biology, used yeast models to characterize a protein called Mrh4 as the first DEAD-box protein involved in the process of mitoribosome biogenesis. The researchers include Flavia Fontanesi, Ph.D., research assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and Dasmanthie De Silva, a Ph.D. student from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program.

Read more about the study »

UBike Program Now on Medical Campus

To encourage faculty, staff and students to leave their cars at home and commute to the Medical Campus by bicycle, the UHealth Fitness & Wellness Center has joined the University’s UBike program. UBike participants will receive free access to the locker room at the Fitness & Wellness Center, located on the ninth floor of the Clinical Research Building, with access to complimentary towel service.

Read more about the UBike program »

Errol Douglas, standing in front of staff and students participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters School-to-Work Mentoring Programs, shared his journey to becoming a human resources executive.

Errol Douglas, standing in front of staff and students participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters School-to-Work Mentoring Programs, shared his journey to becoming a human resources executive.

UM Launches Big Brothers Big Sisters School-to-Work Mentoring Program

University of Miami Hospital was bustling October 23 as staff members greeted students from local high schools who are participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters School-to-Work Mentoring Program.

David Zambrana, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN, Chief Operating and Nursing Officer at University of Miami Hospital, kicked off the event, followed by Errol Douglas, Executive Director of Human Resources, who shared his personal and professional journey, and Jennifer McCafferty, Ph.D., whose energetic presentation on HIPAA and the importance of privacy captivated the students.

The mentoring program, which was established by Workforce Engagement and Development, is a partnership with BBBS designed specifically for people with busy schedules who want to give back to the community. It provides flexibility by allowing employees the opportunity to serve while at work.

Read more about the program »

Surrounded by his sisters, from left, Carla Acree Finger, Malissa St.Clair, and Rita Whitten, Kenneth B.

Surrounded by his sisters, from left, Carla Acree Finger, Malissa St.Clair, and Rita Whitten, Kenneth B. "JR" Wiggins Jr. serves in the National Guard and as director of the Citizens Board at UM.

Faculty and Staff Support the U: Citizen Soldier Gives Back to His Country and Alma Mater

A native of Clearwater, Florida, Kenneth B. “JR” Wiggins Jr. is an American soldier and a proud Hurricane. A first lieutenant and executive officer in the Army National Guard and the director of the Citizens Board at UM, he recently made a cash gift and a planned giving commitment to the UM Department of Religious Studies. As he says, “Even a small gift can have a big impact when you direct where it goes.” Do you have a story to share? Tell us why you give to the U.

Read Wiggins' story »

Charting the Momentum

The Fall 2013 M2U newsletter highlights initiatives and achievements of the historic Momentum2 campaign and its dramatic beneficial impact on the U.

Read it online.

TeamUM United Way Invites You to Dunk & Dine

Celebrate another successful University campaign to support the United Way on Friday, November 22, by visiting TeamUM United Way’s first Dunk & Dine, an event featuring cuisine from local food trucks and the chance to dunk UM leaders in a tank of water on the Miller School campus.

Faculty, staff, and students can buy tickets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle to test their skills at dunking the likes of Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School; Joe Natoli, Senior Vice President for Business and Finance and CFO; Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., Interim Executive Dean for Clinical Affairs, Interim Chief Executive of the UHealth Clinical Practice and Chief Executive of the University of Miami at Jackson Memorial Hospital; and Nerissa Morris, Vice President for Human Resources. All proceeds will benefit the United Way.

For a full schedule and details on the featured food trucks, download the event flier.

ICD-10 Transition Coming to UHealth

It’s an exciting time for healthcare reform in the United States, and a lot of that excitement revolves around the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. On October 1, 2014, the ICD-9 code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures will be replaced by ICD-10 code sets. All U.S. providers and hospitals covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will be required to make this transition, which will greatly expand medical coding and documentation and in turn increase the efficiency with which we provide, analyze and track our healthcare services.

Read more about the ICD-10 transition »

Buy Miami Dolphins Tickets and Help Raise Funds for UM’s United Way Campaign

The Miami Dolphins are proud to offer University of Miami faculty and staff the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets to watch the Miami Dolphins take on the San Diego Chargers at 1 p.m., on Sunday, November 17, or the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, November 24.

Find out how to get tickets »

2013 Finance and Treasury United Way Silent Auction

The UM Department of Finance and Treasury’s annual United Way Silent Auction, which runs through November 18, is still open for bidding at www.miami.edu/silentauction. Prizes include iPads, airline certificates, and much more!

The auction is open to all UM faculty, staff, and students. For more information, please contact Travel Management at 305-284-6585 or travel@miami.edu.

Enroll Now: Few Remaining Seats Available for Next Executive MBA Health Program

The University of Miami offers Florida’s No. 1 ranked Executive MBA Program in Health Sector Management and Policy. The fast-track program is designed exclusively for physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, and other top-level professionals in the medical and healthcare fields, who have at least seven years of managerial experience.

Applications are being accepted for the few remaining seats available for the next class, which begins in January. The enrollment deadline is November 25.

Read more about the program »

November Specials and Events at the UM Life Science & Technology Park

The University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park, at the corner of NW 7th Avenue and 20th Street, has several specials and events lined up for November, including a shopping extravaganza on Thursday, November 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the main lobby.

Find out what's going on at UMLSTP this month »

Research News

Miami CTSI Announces Three Funding Opportunities for Investigators

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is currently offering three funding opportunities for innovative research and career development, and University of Miami faculty as well as faculty from Jackson Health System and the Miami VA may be eligible.

The Miami CTSI focuses on speeding the translation of scientific discoveries into real-world therapies for our diverse populations. One of its key strategies is providing support to researchers who are exploring areas with significant community impact. Its open funding opportunities include the Mentored Translational Research Scholars Program (K12) Award, Pilot Study Award, and the Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research Award.

Read more about these grants »

Changes to Regulatory Support and Quality Assurance

The former Office of Regulatory Support and Quality Assurance is now part of the Office of Research Compliance and Quality Assurance, which will continue providing quality assurances, and the Office of Clinical Research Operations and Regulatory Support, which will oversee monitoring and regulatory support.

Read more about the changes »