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

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Wilfrid Macena, right, who lost his leg in the earthquake, shows 9-year-old Christlande Mattieu how to walk on the artificial leg he helped make at the prosthetics lab at Hospital Bernard Mevs. Macena received the first prosthesis at UM's tent hospital, from Robert Gailey, Ph.D., PT, and his team.

Wilfrid Macena, right, who lost his leg in the earthquake, shows 9-year-old Christlande Mattieu how to walk on the artificial leg he helped make at the prosthetics lab at Hospital Bernard Mevs. Macena received the first prosthesis at UM's tent hospital, from Robert Gailey, Ph.D., PT, and his team.

UM Marks Fifth Anniversary of Haiti Earthquake

When the horrific earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 12, 2010, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine physicians and medical staff were the first response team to arrive.

In conjunction with Project Medishare, the Miller School of Medicine has continued its support to the people of Haiti with programs that provide critical and primary care, pediatric services, prosthetics, ophthalmology, wound care, medical equipment, and training to Haitian doctors and health workers.

“We were there 20 years before the earthquake and we will be there 20 years after,” said Barth A. Green, M.D., Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery. “I am very proud of what we and our partners have accomplished, but it truly represents only the beginning. All that Haiti needs and wants is opportunity.”

Read a special report detailing UM’s many efforts and partnerships in Haiti.

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Paolo Romanelli, M.D.

Paolo Romanelli, M.D.

Psoriasis Clinic Highlights Need for Biologics

In the January 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Paolo Romanelli, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, published the results of eight years of research gathered while directing the Monthly Biologics Center for Indigent Patients with Psoriasis at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The data revealed what Romanelli suspected: socioeconomic status impacts patient access to biologics, which is one of the most effective forms of psoriasis treatment but highly cost-prohibitive to many. Thus, those who are under- or uninsured are more likely to have severe psoriasis.

Read more on Dr. Romanelli's study »

Ramon Valdes, Security Operations Manager at UM, left, and Markland Blackwood, Assistant Security Supervisor at Jackson, plan a response strategy to a hypothetical incident.

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Ramon Valdes, Security Operations Manager at UM, left, and Markland Blackwood, Assistant Security Supervisor at Jackson, plan a response strategy to a hypothetical incident.

New Class Teaches Incident Response to Miller School and Jackson Hospital Public Safety Personnel

A new training class, “On-Scene Incident Command,” pairs public safety personnel at the Miller School of Medicine with their counterparts at Jackson Memorial Hospital so they can learn together how to respond to a variety of hypothetical situations taking place on or near the medical campus.

“The class is the latest step in the University of Miami’s adoption of the National Incident Management System — known as NIMS,” said Matthew Shpiner, M.S.C.J., the Miller School’s Emergency Manager, who teaches the class. “NIMS grew out of situations that occurred during the California wildfires in the 1970s, and more recently following the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, when multiple groups, some from far away, converged on a large disaster. They were all well-intentioned, but they had little or no experience working together, and there were no consistent principles to direct their efforts in a safe, unified, efficient manner. NIMS provides those guidelines.”

Read more about the incident command class »

The new Dickinson Drive (in blue) will be the main entryway to the future Lennar Foundation Medical Center.

The new Dickinson Drive (in blue) will be the main entryway to the future Lennar Foundation Medical Center.

Dickinson Drive at UHealth Gables Site Now Open

The recent opening of Dickinson Drive at the University of Miami Coral Gables campus was a major step toward the construction of the University of Miami Health System’s 200,000-square-foot ambulatory center.

The road, located off of Ponce de Leon Boulevard, will be the main entryway to the future Lennar Foundation Medical Center. The street opened on December 28 after a four-month project where it was moved 100 yards east to make room for the outpatient center, which is expected to open in late fall of 2016. Construction will begin in late winter of 2015.

Read more about the Lennar Foundation Medical Center »

Feng Gong, Ph.D.

Feng Gong, Ph.D.

Researchers Identify Enzyme as a Regulator of DNA Damage Response

A team of Miller School researchers has proven that enzyme USP24 plays a strong role in regulating how cells cope with damaged DNA and prevent the development of cancer. Their findings have been published in the journal Cell Reports.

“Our laboratory focuses on studying the cellular mechanisms regulating DNA damage response and DNA repair pathways,” said Feng Gong, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and corresponding author of the article. “We use UV irradiation and the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin to study how cells respond to these DNA damage agents.”

Read more about the research »

Richard Myers, Ph.D., left, and Leila Abdelrahman.

Richard Myers, Ph.D., left, and Leila Abdelrahman.

Summer Scholars Program Turns Students into Scientists

It’s rare for a high school student to do university-level biomedical research during summer vacation. It’s even more uncommon to receive ongoing mentoring from a university research professor and be able to enter your work in national competition.

But that’s exactly what happened to Leila Abdelrahman, now a senior at Coral Reef Senior High School. In the summer of 2013, she was teamed with Richard Myers, Ph.D., lecturer in the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) High School Scholars Research Program. Since then, she has presented her research findings at an international biotechnology conference and been accepted by two of the nation’s top technology-based universities.

Read more about the Summer Scholars Program »

Maria T. Abreu, M.D., Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D.

Maria T. Abreu, M.D., Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D.

Florida State Senator Visits the Elaine and Sydney Sussman Family Crohn’s and Colitis Clinic

To help raise awareness about inflammatory bowel disease, Florida State Senator Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, recently visited the Elaine and Sydney Sussman Family Crohn’s and Colitis Clinic at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

Sen. Sobel toured the clinic for a first-hand look at how a state appropriation she helped secure is being used by Director Maria T. Abreu, M.D., and her team, both in the clinic and in advancing research toward better diagnoses and therapies for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD.

Read more about Senator Sobel's Visit »

Casey McGillicuddy portrays “Ms. Rubin” during her final exam for the Standardized Patient Training course.

Casey McGillicuddy portrays “Ms. Rubin” during her final exam for the Standardized Patient Training course.

Unique Collaboration Prepares Future Health Professionals

Ms. Rubin averts her eyes, afraid to hear what the doctor has to say. She’s just returned to her job as a high school math teacher, after surgery and an aggressive course of chemotherapy to treat colon cancer. The last two weeks, however, she has felt more tired than ever before, with bouts of severe abdominal pain.

Her doctor attends to her diligently. He asks questions and reviews the results of her CT scan. After a 10-minute consultation, he has bad news for Ms. Rubin: her cancer has spread to her liver.

Read more about the Standardized Patient Training »

Neurology Update and Stroke Intensive Conference, Jan. 22-24

The Division of Continuing Medical Education is hosting the Neurology Update and Stroke Intensive 2015 conference January 22 to 24 at the Mayfair Hotel and Spa in Coconut Grove.

The annual conference provides clinicians with the most recent developments in the diagnosis and management of neurological disorders, including stroke. Sessions will cover the latest advances in the diverse fields of neurology and neuroscience, including epilepsy, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders and neuromuscular diseases, all of which are critical in solving clinical problems, diagnosing and treating patients and improving the quality of patient care.

Read more on the Neurology Update and Stroke Intensive 2015 »

Yoly Hernandez

Yoly Hernandez

Faculty and Staff Support the U: Yoly Hernandez Peddles Her Passion for Cancer Research

As director of special projects, Yolanda “Yoly” Hernandez, is passionate about raising funds for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Our team of experts discover, develop, and deliver the world’s most effective ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer,” Hernandez says. “Most important, funds raised for Sylvester stay in South Florida, guaranteeing that the day you or a loved one may need cancer treatment, you don’t need to go very far.”

A cancer survivor who has been in remission for more than 25 years, Hernandez is also a top fundraiser for the Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC), the annual tri-county event held in partnership with the Miami Dolphins to raise funds for Sylvester. A virtual rider who will cheer for Team UM Sylvester and all the other cyclists during the fifth challenge on February 7-8, Hernandez says the secret to her fundraising prowess is passing on her enthusiasm for the DCC to colleagues, family, friends and grateful patients. “They understand the importance of this fundraiser and rally behind me every year.”

Read more about Yoly Hernandez »

Early Deadline for Submissions

Due to the Independence Day holiday on Friday, July 3, the deadline for the July 7 issue of MED will be Wednesday, July 2, at 5 p.m. Any requests received after the deadline will be processed the following week.

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 »

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 »

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.

Sign Your High Schooler Up Now to Earn College Credit this Summer

The University’s three-week Summer Scholars Program offers talented high school sophomores and juniors an opportunity to earn college credit in one of 12 academic specialties, learn from renowned UM professors and experience college life — all before graduation. Students attend classes with their peers, learn time management skills and explore South Florida on weekend excursions. Residential and commuter options are available.

The Summer Scholars Program runs June 27 through July 17. Students are encouraged to apply early to reserve space in their preferred program — the early action deadline is February 1. Applications will be accepted until May 1, or until the program has reached capacity.

Read more about the Summer Scholars Program »