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

Up Front

From left, Vikas Singh, M.D., Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D., and Eduardo de Marchena, M.D.

From left, Vikas Singh, M.D., Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D., and Eduardo de Marchena, M.D.

Study of PABVs Solidifies Importance of High-Volume, Specialized Centers

Vikas Singh, M.D., a fellow in the Cardiovascular Division, was a first author on the largest study on Percutaneous Balloon Aortic Valvotomy procedures in the United States.

The study, “Percutaneous Aortic Balloon Valvotomy in the US: A 13 years perspective,” published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Medicine, demonstrates a 158 percent increase in the use of the procedure, which once was abandoned due to poor long-term outcomes.

Read more about the study »

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Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., told healthcare professionals

Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., told healthcare professionals "it's never been better than now to do science in the United States."

UM and FDA Partner in Clinical Research Seminar

More than 400 research professionals gathered at the BankUnited Center on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus April 2-3 for a seminar on human clinical trials.

Organized by the University’s Office of Research Compliance and Quality Assurance, under the leadership of Executive Director Johanna Stamates, R.N., M.A., the seminar was held in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to promote compliance with research regulations and requirements. UM representatives demonstrated that the University takes its responsibilities seriously and that systems are in place to support such research and ensure compliance.

Read more about the seminar »

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff Named Associate Director of M.D./Ph.D. Program

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Center on Aging and Chief of Psychiatry at University of Miami and Jackson Memorial hospitals, has been named Associate Director of the Miller School’s M.D./Ph.D. Program.

The program is typically an eight-year effort that produces physician-scientists who can assume leadership roles in an era when the scientific content of medicine is steadily increasing. It combines the first two years of medical school, then four years in a Ph.D. program, followed by the final two years of medical school. Students select from among nine Ph.D. tracks, including discovery basic sciences and interdisciplinary graduate programs, as well as those in public health sciences.

Read more about Dr. Nemeroff's appointment »

Jubilation: Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity recipients, from left, Michael Miller, Ph.D., Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S., and Andrew Leone, Ph.D., M.B.A., exchange congratulatory handshakes at last Friday’s ceremony.

Jubilation: Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity recipients, from left, Michael Miller, Ph.D., Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S., and Andrew Leone, Ph.D., M.B.A., exchange congratulatory handshakes at last Friday’s ceremony.

Three Stand-Out Scholars Recognized for Their Achievements

Her work is reminiscent of Fantastic Voyage, the 1966 science fiction film in which a submarine and its crew — reduced to microscope size — enter the bloodstream of a comatose patient and embark on a journey to his brain to destroy a clot with a surgical laser.

In Sylvia Daunert’s case, however, she is experimenting with nano-sized particles, not miniature submarines, to deliver drugs to specific targets in the human body.

The Lucille P. Markey Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Miller School, Daunert earned a prestigious Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity for her research in bionanotechnology. She accepted the honor from Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc April 4 at the BankUnited Fieldhouse, sharing the spotlight with two other prominent UM researchers — Andrew Leone and Michael Miller — who also received accolades.

Read more about the awards »

James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D.

James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D.

Sylvester Study Provides New Insights on Melanomas

A new Miller School study led by James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, provides new insights into the genetic mutations that can lead to melanomas.

“Mutations driving melanoma growth have diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic implications,” said Grichnik, Chief of the Frankel Family Division of Melanocytic Tumors, and Director of the Anna Fund Melanoma Program in the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Our study showed an association with the growth patterns of early melanomas, and the mutations that caused that tumor – a finding that may help clinicians identify specific types of melanoma and identify patients predisposed to developing certain types of mutations.”

Read more about the study »

Fred Telischi, M.D., back row center, and his daughter Julia, seated to his right, are surrounded by children at the Albergue Mayflower school for the deaf in Nicaragua.

Fred Telischi, M.D., back row center, and his daughter Julia, seated to his right, are surrounded by children at the Albergue Mayflower school for the deaf in Nicaragua.

Dr. Fred Telischi Joins Medical Mission to Nicaragua

When the medical mission team from the U.S. arrived in Jinotega, a town of 80,000 in the Nicaraguan foothills, on February 15, there were already families waiting for them, hoping for a chance to receive treatment. The families had come from all over Nicaragua; some had waited six months for this opportunity and had walked long distances to be there.

One of the six surgeons — the only Miller School physician on the mission, which was sponsored by Oklahoma City-based Mayflower Medical Outreach — was Fred F. Telischi, M.D., Professor and James R. Chandler Chair of Otolaryngology. A similar number of nurses and audiologists accompanied the surgeons, who were prepared for a high-volume week of clinical examinations and surgical procedures.

Read more about the medical mission »

John Guy, M.D.

John Guy, M.D.

Clinical Trial Uses Gene Therapy to Target Mutations in Mitochondrial Genes

A multidisciplinary research team of scientists, clinicians and biostatisticians led by John Guy, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and director of the ocular gene therapy laboratory at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has pioneered a gene therapy approach for Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON), an inherited genetic disorder that causes rapid, permanent, and bilateral loss of vision in people of all ages, but primarily men ages 20-40. Guy’s preclinical research has been funded since 2007 by National Institutes of Health and National Eye Institute (NEI) grants totaling $6.1 million. A similar amount will fund a new five-year clinical trial that started April 1.

Read more about the trial »

From left, David R. Ellison, Ph.D., Sherrill H. “Sherri” Hayes, Ph.D., P.T., and Ricardo Bascuas, J.D.

From left, David R. Ellison, Ph.D., Sherrill H. “Sherri” Hayes, Ph.D., P.T., and Ricardo Bascuas, J.D.

Faculty Senate Honors Three ‘Champions of Excellence’

Sherrill H. “Sherri” Hayes, Ph.D., P.T., a professor who spearheaded the transition of the former Division of Physical Therapy into a Miller School of Medicine department that now awards clinical and academic doctorates, received the James W. McLamore Outstanding Service Award at UM’s April 2 Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony at Storer Auditorium, where two other professors also were honored.

Ricardo Bascuas, J.D., University of Miami professor of law, received the Outstanding Teaching Award, and David R. Ellison, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and one of the foremost scholars on the French novelist, critic, and essayist Marcel Proust, won the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

UM President Donna E. Shalala described the three professors as “champions of excellence.”

Read more about the awards »

Face painting was among the many activities enjoyed by employees and their families.

Face painting was among the many activities enjoyed by employees and their families.

’Canes Community Makes It a Family Affair at Marlins Park

Powered by the pitching of Jose Fernandez and the slugging of Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami Marlins notched their fifth win of the 2014 Major League Baseball season Saturday, defeating the San Diego Padres 5-0 at Marlins Park in Little Havana.

But what the box score doesn’t say is that not all of the attention was focused on The Fish. The team would share the spotlight with thousands of University of Miami faculty and staff who turned out at the ballpark for UM Family Night with the Marlins. Face painting, autograph sessions with Marlins players, on-field pregame ceremonies, performances by the UM band, and live post-game music with DJ Laz were among the many activities enjoyed by employees and their families.

Read more about UM Family Night with the Marlins »

Gaston Zilleruelo, M.D., shows off his proclamation designating March 6 as Pediatric Nephrology Seminar Day.

Gaston Zilleruelo, M.D., shows off his proclamation designating March 6 as Pediatric Nephrology Seminar Day.

41st Pediatric Nephrology Seminar Celebrates Another Successful Year and First Renal Pathology Cours

The UM Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Nephrology held its 41st international conference March 6-9 at The Alexander Hotel on Miami Beach, drawing 114 registrants from all over the world, including 37 participants from Latin America, five from Europe, two from the Middle East and 70 from the United States and Canada. A total of 57 presentations were made by 32 speakers in a seminar format that is unique to medical conferences and provides participants with direct interaction with speakers. This year’s conference added for the first time a one and a half day Renal Pathology Course organized by Laura Barisoni M.D., a renowned UM Renal Pathology physician, and a full afternoon Workshop on CRRT with live presentations conducted at Holtz Children’s Hospital.

With educational sponsorships provided by the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN), the International Pediatric Nephrology Association (IPNA), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, Questcor, Kaneka and Kidney Kare, 20 scholarships were awarded to national and international fellows, residents, and students so they could attend.

Read more about the conference »

Second Annual Week of Well-Being Gets Underway

The second annual Week of Well-Being, presented by Fidelity Investments, kicked off yesterday and runs through Friday, April 11. Featuring five days of wellness-related events, this year’s line-up is an impressive array of activities that will transform the way faculty, staff and students think about their overall wellness.

Among the events you won’t want to miss on Tuesday, April 8, is an engaging lecture on men’s health by Bruce Kava, M.D., associate professor of clinical urology, at 11 a.m. and an insightful presentation on clearing the clutter and getting organized by UM alumna Meryl Starr from 1 to 2 p.m. in Bascom Palmer’s Jose Berrocal Auditorium.

Faculty, staff and students also can take advantage of a free five-day trial pass to the Fitness and Wellness Center and enjoy several complimentary fitness classes, as well as yoga on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle.

For a complete schedule of Week of Well-Being activities and to watch live streaming events, visit miami.edu/wellcanes.

National Public Health Week at UM

In conjunction with the Week of Well-Being, the Public Health Student Association has partnered with the American Public Health Association to celebrate National Public Health Week and will host a panel discussion on Tuesday, April 8, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, Broad-Bussel Auditorium, located on the first floor of the Clinical Research Building. Panelists Rimsky Denis, M.D., Executive Director of the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Department of Community Services (DOCS); Lillian Rivera, R.N., M.S.N., Ph.D., Administrator of the Florida Department of Health; Marisel Losa, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Health Council of South Florida; and Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, will discuss local, regional and national prevention strategies for becoming the healthiest nation.

Other featured Public Health Week events include a free juice mixer from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and screening of Forks Over Knives from noon to 2 p.m. in the Clinical Research Building, ninth-floor atrium on Thursday, April 10.

For a full list of Public Health Week events being held during UM’s Week of Well-Being, visit facebook.com/umpublichealthweek.

Robert F. Moore

Robert F. Moore

Faculty and Staff Support the U: A Mentor to All, Educator Invests in Future Teachers

For the School of Education and Human Development’s Robert F. Moore, a resident master, assistant provost and teacher educator, the link between philanthropy and education is clear. Tell us why you support the U, or about a colleague who does.

Read his story »