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

Up Front

Eli Gilboa, Ph.D.

Eli Gilboa, Ph.D.

Dr. Eli Gilboa Receives Avant-Garde Award from NIH for HIV/AIDS Research

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researcher Eli Gilboa, Ph.D., is one of five scientists selected from across the nation to receive a 2015 Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Gilboa, professor of microbiology and immunology and Director of the Dodson Interdisciplinary Immunotherapy Institute, was selected for his proposal to develop novel drugs to successfully restore the function of T cells, which are critical in immune response. This proposal has the potential to transform therapies for HIV/AIDS patients, including substance users whose drug use has further undermined their immune function.

Read more about Dr. Gilboa's award »

More News

From left, UM President Donna E. Shalala; ASBMT President Sergio A. Giralt, M.D.; Krishna V. Komanduri, M.D.; and Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

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From left, UM President Donna E. Shalala; ASBMT President Sergio A. Giralt, M.D.; Krishna V. Komanduri, M.D.; and Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

President Shalala Receives Public Service Award from Transplant Organization

University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala received a rare honor last Friday — the Public Service Award from the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT).

The award, which goes to an individual who has advanced the interests of blood and marrow transplantation, is not given every year, but only when the ASBMT’s Executive Committee achieves consensus regarding an outstanding candidate. Shalala was recognized specifically for her support for the field as Secretary of Health and Human Services during both terms of President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Read more about President Shalala's award »

Krishna V. Komanduri, M.D., left, and Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

Krishna V. Komanduri, M.D., left, and Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

Sylvester Plays Leading Role at International Blood and Marrow Transplant Meeting

Last week’s 2015 BMT Tandem Meeting, held jointly by the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research in San Diego, put the Miller School of Medicine’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and its stem cell transplant programs solidly in the international spotlight.

The meeting is the largest in the field of blood and marrow transplantation, and this year’s gathering attracted a record 3,100 attendees, with 610 abstracts submitted from investigators in 28 countries, another record. Included in that total was a multidisciplinary delegation of nearly two dozen Sylvester physicians, administrators, nurses, pharmacists, data managers and others involved in transplantation, who participated in most of the meeting’s 11 parallel tracks.

Read more about the 2015 BMT Tandem Meeting »

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., left, and Chuanhui Dong, Ph.D.

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., left, and Chuanhui Dong, Ph.D.

Miller School Study Finds Lower Systolic Blood Pressure Reduces Risk of Stroke

People 60 or older, especially minorities and women, have a lower risk of stroke if the top number (systolic) in their blood pressure is below 140 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), according to a study conducted by a team of neurologists at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Columbia University.

The findings, presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2015 in Nashville, challenge a controversial report published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The JAMA report advised doctors to aim for blood pressure readings of less than 150/90 mm Hg when treating patients 60 or older who do not have diabetes or chronic kidney disease. That raised the standard for systolic blood pressure by 10 points from previous guidance, stirring controversy among healthcare providers, agencies and professional groups.

Read more about the study »

David S. Kushner, M.D.

David S. Kushner, M.D.

New Interdisciplinary Model Improves Patient Outcomes

David S. Kushner, M.D., clinical associate professor, and Doug Johnson-Greene, Ph.D., professor and Associate Vice Chair, both of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, recently conducted a comparative study of patient outcomes from before and after the integration of SDMM at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Miami. They determined that SDMM was an effective tool to improve patient functional outcomes and decrease length of stay in rehabilitation. Their findings were published in PM&R, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Read more about the comparative study »

Antoni Barrientos, Ph.D., left, and Ph.D. candidate Ya-Ting Tu.

Antoni Barrientos, Ph.D., left, and Ph.D. candidate Ya-Ting Tu.

Researchers Discover the Mitochondrial Equivalent of the Nucleolus

In a study published in the February 12 issue of the journal Cell Reports, a group of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine scientists led by Antoni Barrientos, Ph.D., professor of neurology and biochemistry and molecular biology, discovered a factor that plays an essential role during the early stages of mitoribosome large-subunit assembly. Barrientos and Ya-Ting Tu, a Ph.D. student from the biochemistry and molecular biology program, used human cells in culture to demonstrate that a protein called DDX28 is the first human DEAD-box protein involved in the process of mitoribosome biogenesis.

Read more about the study »

Denise C. Vidot, Ph.D.

Denise C. Vidot, Ph.D.

Student’s Article on Marijuana Risks is Among Most Downloaded

A University of Miami Miller School of Medicine epidemiology Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Public Health Sciences was recently recognized by academic publisher Routledge for having one of the top three most downloaded articles published in their Health & Social Care journals in 2014.

Denise Vidot’s article “Emerging Issues for our Nation’s Health: The Intersection of Marijuana Use and Cardiometabolic Disease Risk” was published last April in the Journal of Addictive Diseases. The article highlights key research data showing that marijuana use can lead to elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and obesity, among other poor health outcomes.

Read more about the article »

2015 Concept to Commercialization “C2C” Monthly Series

U Innovation, the home of technology advancement at the University of Miami, has kicked off a year-long series of monthly seminars that are focused on the commercialization of intellectual property and business concepts.

The 2015 Concept to Commercialization “C2C” seminars feature guest speakers and are free and open to all UM faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and students. Each seminar will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. in the main conference room on the first floor of the Life Science and Technology Park, 1951 NW 7th Avenue. Entrepreneurs at the Life Science and Technology Park are welcome to attend.

Read more about the “C2C” Monthly Series »

Be Vigilant Against Pretexting Attacks

Faculty, staff and students are urged to be aware of and vigilant against pretexting calls, in which callers pose as representatives of an organization you likely trust, such as UM or the NIH, to trick you into providing personal information that will enable them to access your computer.

Read more about pretexting attacks »

Workday HR Will Be Implemented in Two Phases

The sponsors of Workday recently announced that faculty, staff, and student employees on all UM campuses and at UHealth — except those at University of Miami Hospital — will begin using the University’s new HR and Payroll system on March 26.

UMH employees are scheduled to begin using Workday on June 18.

Read more about Workday implementation »

Faculty Promotion and Tenure Information Sessions in February

The promotion and tenure process has started for University of Miami Miller School of Medicine faculty. As the process varies by track, the Office of Faculty Affairs will be holding a series of track-specific information sessions during February. All faculty interested in learning more about the process are invited to attend. Those unable to attend one of the track-specific sessions are encouraged to attend other sessions for general information about the process.

Read more about the information sessions »

Sixth Annual SunSmart 5K Run/Walk Feb. 21

Are you ready for the 6th Annual SunSmart 5K Run/Walk? Are you interested in living a healthier lifestyle, supporting wonderful charities and getting a free skin cancer screening from a UHealth dermatologist all at once? Then come on out and join Sebastian the Ibis and other members of the Canes community in uniting to support skin cancer research and heart health.

This is a non-profit event created and hosted by current UM medical students. It takes place this Saturday, February 21, at 7:30 a.m. in Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. All of the proceeds go toward skin cancer research (through UM’s Anna Fund Melanoma Program) and a program called Team for Life, which places Automated External Defibrillators in public locations throughout the Miami area.

Read more about the Sixth Annual SunSmart 5K Run/Walk »

Hepatobiliary Disease in Clinical Practice Conference, March 13-14

The Division of Continuing Medical Education will host the Hepatobiliary Disease in Clinical Practice: Update XXI conference March 13-14 at the InterContinental Miami Hotel, 100 Chopin Plaza.

Join us for an informative, two-day conference designed to present updated knowledge in the diagnosis and management of liver and biliary disease. National and international experts will present on a broad range of topics. Sessions will include panel discussions and instructive case presentations.

Read more about the conference »

Sexual Assault Resource Team Needs Volunteers

The University of Miami Counseling Center’s Sexual Assault Resource Team (SART) is seeking dedicated, empathic faculty, staff and graduate students to volunteer as advocates through 2015. As an advocate, you will provide hotline callers, who have been sexually assaulted, molested or battered, with much-needed emotional support, information and referrals.

Read more about UM's Counseling Center »

Rare Disease Day is February 28

On February 28, millions of people around the world will observe Rare Disease Day. Events and activities will be held in more than 80 countries as a way to spread awareness of rare diseases as a public health issue.

In the U.S., a disease is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 people. Because the diseases are so rare, families often have trouble getting access to life-saving medical treatment or other services. Imagine the loneliness of having a disease that most people have never heard of, that can’t readily be treated, and is not even being studied by medical researchers.

Read more about Rare Disease Day »