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

Up Front

Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D.

Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D.

Wound Healing Overview Stresses Need for More Awareness, Research and Treatments

One of the most complex mysteries of biomedical science is why damaged tissue sometimes fails to heal. The cellular and molecular processes involved — whether the damage is caused by trauma, surgery or disease — remain poorly understood, despite the fact that millions of patients worldwide are affected each year.

In fact, traumatic injury alone is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and Europe, and wound-related complications of a variety of diseases and conditions have a much more direct link to mortality than is often recognized, according to the authors of a state of the art review just published by the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The review article, “Wound repair and regeneration: Mechanisms, signaling and translation,” was written by Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D., professor of dermatology and Director of the Wound Healing and Regenerative Medicine Research Program in the Department of Dermatology, and co-authors from the University of Cologne and the University of Bristol. It explores emerging concepts in tissue regeneration and repair, and provides perspectives on how to translate current knowledge into viable clinical approaches for treating patients.

Read more about the overview article »

More News

Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D.

Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D.

Dr. Sara Czaja in Stockholm for Nobel Prize Events

Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D., Scientific Director of the Center on Aging at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is adding another achievement to her notable career, participating in the Nobel Prize Awards this week in Stockholm, Sweden. Czaja, who is a Leonard M. Miller Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, was invited to participate in the Nobel Week Dialogue Panel.

The panel includes Nobel Laureates, world-leading scientists and thought leaders who will engage in discussions about how an increasing aging population is changing the way we live. “I have been specifically asked to discuss the implications of an older world and technological Innovations,” Czaja said.

Read more about Dr. Czaja's participation in the Nobel Week Dialogue Panel »

Jamie S. Barkin, M.D.

Jamie S. Barkin, M.D.

Distinguished Physician Jamie S. Barkin Receives Samuel Weiss Award

Nationally recognized gastroenterologist Jamie S. Barkin, M.D., professor of medicine, is the 2014 recipient of the prestigious American College of Gastroenterology Samuel Weiss Award.

Commemorating the College’s founding father, Samuel S. Weiss, M.D., the award recognizes Barkin’s outstanding career service to the American College of Gastroenterology.

Read more about Dr. Barkin's award »

Richard Melnyck

Richard Melnyck

Richard Melnyck Named Assistant Vice President for Medical Affairs

Richard Melnyck, Executive Director of Process Improvement and Innovation at UHealth, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President for Medical Affairs. Some of Melnyck’s duties in this newly created role will include working with key leaders to identify and execute strategic initiatives for the system, recruiting top talent, performance appraisal and creating leadership programs for Miller School students. He will be progressively transitioning to this position.

Melnyck brings a wealth of experience to his new role in the office of Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth. Melnyck is the creator and leader of the Office of Process Improvement, which he will continue to oversee in his new role. Melnyck has been instrumental in identifying process capability gaps and executing projects to close them at all three UHealth hospitals and the University of Miami Medical Group. He has led critical system-wide initiatives, such as recently serving as the operational lead on the Ebola Preparedness Task Force.

Read more about Richard Melnyck »

David S. Kushner, M.D.

David S. Kushner, M.D.

Researchers Discover Link Between Continence and Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery

Researchers in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation have discovered that the recovery of bowel and bladder continence by the time of discharge from inpatient rehabilitation can be used as an indicator of the potential for a favorable long-term functional recovery for severe traumatic brain injury patients. David S. Kushner, M.D., associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and Director of the University of Miami Rehabilitation Program at HealthSouth Miami, was initially surprised at the simplicity of the evidence he was seeing in traumatic brain injury patients.

“I have a series of patients who have suffered severe traumatic brain injuries. We use the Functional Independence Measure scale to score the level of their cognitive, physical and bowel/bladder continence upon admission and discharge to rehabilitation,” Kushner said. “After reviewing my patients’ scores, one of the things I noticed was that all my patients with long-term positive outcomes, who upon admission were mostly incontinent, became continent by the time of discharge. Bowel and bladder continence appeared to be a marker of improvement for brain injury.”

Read more about Dr. Kushner's research findings »

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

UHealth Leaders Urge Gun Safety at Free Gun Lock Distribution

University of Miami pediatricians and other leaders were joined by law enforcement and education leaders on the UM/Jackson Memorial campus on Thursday, December 4, to make a public plea to parents and other adults to be responsible and always use firearm safety measures. While there, the Miami-Dade Police Department also distributed free gun locks.

“This is about hundreds of children who didn’t need to die, because accidental firearm injuries happen all the time, at the rate of hundreds every year,” said Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., Interim Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Read more about the gun lock event »

From left, Jason Fox, Diane Philbin, Richard Ballard, Michael Mandich and Brandon Gibson with patients at alex's place..

From left, Jason Fox, Diane Philbin, Richard Ballard, Michael Mandich and Brandon Gibson with patients at alex's place..

Miami Dolphins Visit Families at alex’s place

Patients, their families and staff of alex’s place — Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s pediatric oncology clinic — received a special treat Monday morning. Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Brandon Gibson and Tackle Jason Fox, along with Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization member Diane Philbin, paid a surprise visit in recognition of the Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC) and the organization’s commitment to funding cancer research in South Florida.

“All the money that DCC raises goes straight to Sylvester,” said Edward D. Ziga, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics. “This money is very key for us because it goes to support the research that’s needed to find better therapies to fight cancer. So, we count on the Dolphins Cycling Challenge for support, and we’re grateful for it. It’s great to see the Miami Dolphins here with these children because they get excited when they see the players.”

Read more about the Miami Dolphins' visit »

Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., and Barry Hudson, Ph.D.

Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., and Barry Hudson, Ph.D.

CTSI Names New Directors of Clinical and Translational Investigation Master’s Program

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) has named Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and public health sciences, and Barry Hudson, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, as the new directors of the Master’s of Science in Clinical and Translational Investigation at the University of Miami.

The graduate program provides formal training in the principles and practice of translational science and clinical research to new and early stage investigators.

Read more about Drs. Rundek and Hudson's new role »

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.

Career Fair to Be Held at Miami Winter Symposium 2015

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Miami Winter Symposium 2015 will take place January 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami.

New to this year’s conference is the Life Sciences Career Fair, which will be held from noon to 3 p.m. January 19 and 20, and will give students and postdoctoral fellows a unique opportunity to interview with academic and industry employers from the life sciences, clinical research fields, scientific journals, hospitals, sales and regulatory agencies.

Read more about the Life Sciences Career Fair »

From left, Clinton Wright, M.D., Sara Czaja, Ph.D., Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S., film producer Trevor Albert, producer Jonathan Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., and film director and producer James Keach.

From left, Clinton Wright, M.D., Sara Czaja, Ph.D., Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S., film producer Trevor Albert, producer Jonathan Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., and film director and producer James Keach.

Miller Faculty Members Host Film Screening to Raise Alzheimer’s Awareness

To help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, the University of Miami Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neurology and Volunteers of America hosted a screening of the “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” documentary on December 2 at the Regal Cinemas on Miami Beach.

The film chronicles Campbell’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease while on the road for his farewell tour.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion. The film’s director, James Keach, producer Trevor Albert and Miller School of Medicine faculty, led by Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Olemberg Chair of Neurology, answered questions about Alzheimer’s research and caregiver support services.

Read more about the film screening »

Miller School Newsletter Holiday Schedule

This is the last issue of e-Update for 2014. The newsletter will not be published on Tuesday, December 23, or Tuesday, December 30.

Also, please note that the deadline for the January issue of MED is Tuesday, December 30, at noon.

Happy Holidays!

Are You Ready to Swim with the Sharks?

Do you have a business idea worthy of a pitch to the expert investors on the hit ABC television series Shark Tank? If you think you do, polish your one-minute elevator speech, because the show’s casting team will be on UM’s Coral Gables campus on Friday, January 16. Prospective entrepreneurs can stop by the Storer Auditorium at the School of Business Administration from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to try out for the show and pick up information about the upcoming season. Tryouts are open to UM students, alumni and faculty.

Miami Heat Partners with TeamUM United Way Campaign

Three-time NBA champions the Miami Heat are once again partnering with the University of Miami to offer a limited number of tickets to upcoming regular season games in February. University of Miami faculty and staff who make their 2014 United Way contributions online through myUM by December 31 can receive two complimentary tickets to see the Miami Heat in action. Leadership-level contributors (one percent) will receive four complimentary tickets. Each ticket will be accompanied by a food voucher for the night of the game.

Tickets will be available for the following games:

  • February 21, 2015 vs. New Orleans
  • February 23, 2015 vs. Philadelphia
  • February 28, 2015 vs. Atlanta

Again, tickets are limited, and the offer above is only for faculty and staff who have made their 2014 United Way contributions online through myUM by December 31. Remaining tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Details for ticket distribution will be announced in early 2015.

The TeamUM 2014 United Way campaign ends December 31. Please log into myUM to make your contribution today. For more information, visit the TeamUM United Way website.

Jacob Winston

Jacob Winston

Faculty and Staff Support the U: Jacob Winston Gives Back to UM While Earning His Degree

Jacob “Jake” Winston understands the importance of financial aid for students who have the talent but not the resources to attend the University of Miami.

“When I enrolled here as a freshman in 2009, UM gave me a scholarship, and that was a major factor in my decision to come here,” says Winston, a senior security systems technician at the UM Police Department. “Now that I am working full time here, I feel privileged to give back to the University.”

Last May, Winston contributed to the Class of 2014’s senior gift to UM, although he won’t receive his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering until next spring. He also gives 1 percent of his salary to the United Way, designating the University as the recipient. “I put no restrictions on my gifts,” says Winston. “It doesn’t matter where the donation goes as long as it helps UM.”

Read more about Jacob Winston »