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

Up Front

From left, Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Cherie Stabler, Ph.D., Ashutosh Agarwal, Ph.D., and Richard J. Cote, M.D.

From left, Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Cherie Stabler, Ph.D., Ashutosh Agarwal, Ph.D., and Richard J. Cote, M.D.

$4.9 Million NIH Grant Funds “Organ on a Chip” for Diabetes Research

A trio of Miller School of Medicine investigators has received a $4.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a collaborative effort to move the search for novel treatments for diabetes to a new level. The grant, one of only four awarded, is a part of the Consortium on Human Islet Biomimetics, a group under the newly formed Human Islet Research Network.

The development of the cross-disciplinary project was assisted by the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute at the University of Miami (BioNIUM), which was founded in 2012 to encourage research collaborations throughout UM.

Read more about the research project »

More News

Front row, from left, are Barbara Simmonds, Ph.D., Ginna Gonzalez, A.R.N.P, D.N.P., Kayla Chomko, D.P.T., and Lourdes Grenier, L.C.S.W. Back row from left are, Muscular Dystrophy Association representative Karina Lambertini, Anita T. Blenke, P.A., former neuromuscular fellow Nita Usmani, Laura Guzman, O.T., Ramiro Tavel, R.T., Ashok Verma, M.D., M.B.A., Michael Benatar, M.D., Ph.D., Hilary Glazer, M.D., Jocelyn Odlum, M.A., Elizabeth McNamara, C.D., and Meri Jaime.

Front row, from left, are Barbara Simmonds, Ph.D., Ginna Gonzalez, A.R.N.P, D.N.P., Kayla Chomko, D.P.T., and Lourdes Grenier, L.C.S.W. Back row from left are, Muscular Dystrophy Association representative Karina Lambertini, Anita T. Blenke, P.A., former neuromuscular fellow Nita Usmani, Laura Guzman, O.T., Ramiro Tavel, R.T., Ashok Verma, M.D., M.B.A., Michael Benatar, M.D., Ph.D., Hilary Glazer, M.D., Jocelyn Odlum, M.A., Elizabeth McNamara, C.D., and Meri Jaime.

The Kessenich Family ALS Center Receives Center of Excellence Designation

The University of Miami’s Kessenich Family ALS Center continues to receive national recognition for the comprehensive care it provides to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The center recently received designation as an ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence. The ALS Association gives the certifications to a few select centers around the country based on the provision of multi-disciplinary patient care, active involvement in ALS research, and a strong relationship with the ALS Association’s local chapter.

Read more about the Kessenich Family ALS Center's recognition »

From left, Paolo Serafini, Ph.D., Adriana de la Fuente, research assistant, and Donald T. Weed, M.D.

From left, Paolo Serafini, Ph.D., Adriana de la Fuente, research assistant, and Donald T. Weed, M.D.

Cialis Shown to Benefit Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer Patients

Researchers at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, have found that Tadalafil, commonly known as Cialis, can be therapeutic for certain types of cancer. When used before surgery, Tadalafil can reduce certain cells that are detrimental to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients’ prognoses.

In a study recently published in Clinical Cancer Research, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, Donald T. Weed, M.D., professor of otolaryngology and Head and Neck Site Disease Group leader at Sylvester, and Paolo Serafini, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, determined that moderate doses of Tadalafil given before surgery in patients with squamous cell cancers of the mouth and throat resulted in significant and potentially beneficial changes in the patients’ immune response to their cancer. The results suggest that the use of Tadalafil to modulate the body’s immune system could be a new therapeutic strategy for these cancers.

Read more about the research findings »

Erin N. Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Erin N. Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

UM Researcher is Awarded GE Foundation Grant

Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Director for Disparities and Community Outreach for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been awarded a grant from the GE Foundation to help improve the prevention of cervical cancer in women living in medically underserved areas.

The one-year $209,000 grant will increase access to care in two South Florida communities by providing high-quality, cost-effective, self-sampling screening techniques to reduce the incidence and mortality of the disease.

“We are so excited that the GE Foundation is supporting our efforts to make cervical cancer prevention a reality for all women, regardless of healthcare access,” said Kobetz, associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, which was incorporated into Sylvester in 2013, and Co-Director of the Community Engagement and Cultural Diversity Program of the Miami CTSI. “This grant is an investment in health equity, and represents real opportunity to translate new technology to underserved communities.”

Read more about the GE Foundation grant »

Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., leads the North American BMW Crash Research Program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., leads the North American BMW Crash Research Program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Lehman Center to Test New Automobile Breath Sensors for BMW

After more than a decade of working with luxury carmaker BMW, Miller School of Medicine physicians and researchers at the William Lehman Injury Research Center continue to employ their collective expertise in trauma medicine to improve vehicle safety.

The center’s North American BMW Crash Research Program, which was first funded by BMW of North America in 2001, has helped the company understand how and why people get injured in motor vehicle crashes. Over the years, the findings have helped inform the car company’s decisions to install curtain airbags, redesigned seatbelts and flooring, stability control, and an advanced automatic crash notification system, among other safety features.

Read more about the BMW Accident Research Program »

WellBeingWell Keynote Speaker Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D., third from left, stands with Charles Vogel, M.D., professor of medicine and Director of the Women’s Center at Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, Krishna Komanduri, M.D., professor of medicine and Medical Director of the Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, John Goldberg, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Oncology Early Phase Clinical Trials Program, and Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., professor of medicine and Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

WellBeingWell Keynote Speaker Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D., third from left, stands with Charles Vogel, M.D., professor of medicine and Director of the Women’s Center at Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, Krishna Komanduri, M.D., professor of medicine and Medical Director of the Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, John Goldberg, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Oncology Early Phase Clinical Trials Program, and Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., professor of medicine and Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

Sylvester’s WellBeingWell Conference Provides Message of Hope

More than 400 guests who attended Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s WellBeingWell conference were asked to imagine a day when cancer is no longer the scourge of our time, but a chronic condition that can be treated. That message of hope was delivered at the conference held Thursday at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami Hotel.

The third WellBeingWell gathering, sponsored by Chico’sFAS, featured a series of seminars by Sylvester physicians and scientists who detailed the challenges of fighting cancer and finding new therapies, but also explained how the field is making headway thanks to breakthroughs in areas such as genetics, molecular pathways, immunotherapies and targeted therapies.

Read more about the conference »

From left, Daniel Ferraresi, Jon Batchelor, Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., Alessandra Claure, Nelson Claure, Ph.D., M.Sc., Sandy Batchelor, and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

From left, Daniel Ferraresi, Jon Batchelor, Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., Alessandra Claure, Nelson Claure, Ph.D., M.Sc., Sandy Batchelor, and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

UM Researcher Wins 2014 Micah Batchelor Award to Study Neonatal Respiratory Care

Surrounded by family, colleagues, University leadership, and many of the Miller School of Medicine’s top researchers, Nelson R. Claure, Ph.D., MS.c., received the prestigious 2014 Micah Batchelor Award for Excellence in Children’s Health Research.

The award was presented October 30 in the lobby of the Batchelor Children’s Research Institute, which was dedicated in 2001 with a $10 million gift from the Batchelor Foundation.

Read more about the Micah Batchelor Award »

Rotary Club of Miami members, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine leadership and medical students celebrated the first Thomas Brown McClelland Scholarship Pinning Ceremony at the UM Life Science and Technology Park.

Rotary Club of Miami members, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine leadership and medical students celebrated the first Thomas Brown McClelland Scholarship Pinning Ceremony at the UM Life Science and Technology Park.

Rotary Club of Miami Hosts First Scholarship Pinning Ceremony

The Rotary Club of Miami has been awarding medical students the Thomas Brown McClelland Scholarship for more than 30 years, and recently they added what they hope will become an annual tradition to the program.

On October 29, club leaders and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine held the first Thomas Brown McClelland Scholarship Pinning Ceremony.

Read more about the Rotary Club scholarship pinning ceremony »

Miami Neonatology 2014 Conference Nov. 12-15

The Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology is holding its Miami Neonatology 2014 conference from November 12-15 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

This year’s 38th annual international conference promises to be the largest and most successful conference to date, with more than 1,150 attendees from over 50 countries and exhibitors and supporters from 21 organizations.

Read more about the conference »

BCCC Director Shari Messinger Cayetano, Ph.D., M.E., welcomes participants at a REDCap training session.

BCCC Director Shari Messinger Cayetano, Ph.D., M.E., welcomes participants at a REDCap training session.

Biostatistics Core Offers Researchers Training and Support for REDCap Database Software

Research teams interested in learning how to use the University’s Research Electronic Data Capture system (REDCap) to collect and store data for study projects can take advantage of free support through the Biostatistics Collaboration and Consulting Core (BCCC).

REDCap is a secure and customizable web-based database application used to collect and store research data from case report forms, surveys or a combination of both. Setup is quick, and the program is flexible enough for any type of research.

Read more about REDCap software support and training »

Edna C. Shalala

Edna C. Shalala

Edna C. Shalala 5K Run/Walk Honors a ‘True Icon’

A pioneering lawyer, tennis champion, and supporter of women’s athletics, Edna C. Shalala, UM President Donna E. Shalala’s mother, was “a true icon” whose vibrancy until her death at age 103 last week inspired all who knew her.

Members of the UM family can honor and advance her legacy on Saturday, December 13, by participating in or supporting the inaugural Edna C. Shalala 5K Run/Walk, which will benefit the Edna C. Shalala Women’s Athletics Fund.

Dolphins Cycling Challenge V to Include First 5K Walk/Run

For the first time since its inception, the Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC) will include a 5K walk/run, providing something for everyone interested in supporting lifesaving cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The walk/run will be held at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, February 8, the second day of the two-day ride that spans three counties.

The University is once again honored to partner with the Miami Dolphins for the DCC, which has raised more than $7 million for groundbreaking research and patient care at Sylvester. These funds have helped build programs that have made a difference in the lives of countless cancer patients across South Florida.

Read more about the DCC »

Division of Continuing Medical Education to host Synergy 2014 November 14-16

The Division of Continuing Medical Education will host Synergy 2014 November 14-16 at the Eden Roc Miami Beach, 4525 Collins Avenue. The annual symposium provides a review of a variety of oncological diseases, combined with the latest developments in medical, interventional and surgical therapeutic options across multiple disciplines.

Leading experts from national and international programs will present the latest data and treatment innovations for oncological challenges in multiple organ systems with emphasis on implementation from diagnosis to treatment and the need for multidisciplinary approaches to achieve the highest levels of success in the fight against cancer.

Read more about the conference »

Team UM United Way Campaign Continues with Raffles, Silent Auction

Each year’s United Way Campaign at the University of Miami is an opportunity to demonstrate your support for our UM mission of providing service that extends throughout our community. In addition to making your contribution through MyUM, UM’s 2014 United Way Campaign, which continues through November 28, includes some unique ways to participate — Raffles hosted by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Human Resources and a silent auction offered by the Department of Finance and Treasury.

Read more about ways to participate in UM's United Way Campaign »