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

Up Front

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Ralph L. Sacco Named President-Elect of American Academy of Neurology

Adding to an already illustrious list of awards and accomplishments, Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Chairman of Neurology and Olemberg Family Chair of Neurological Disorders, has been named President-Elect of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Sacco was unanimously elected to the two-year position during the AAN’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on April 20.

In this position, which takes effect immediately, Sacco will help lead the world’s largest professional association of neurologists with 28,000 U.S. and international members. He will be responsible for appointing hundreds of academy members to leadership activities, attending numerous committee meetings, and shaping the future of neurological care, education, and research on behalf of the AAN. Following two years as President-Elect, Sacco will become President in 2017-19, followed by two years as the immediate Past President.

Read more about Dr. Sacco »

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Survivors observe rubble in Nepal following the earthquake..

Survivors observe rubble in Nepal following the earthquake..

Miller School Students from Nepal Plead for Help for Earthquake Survivors

When Shaurya Joshi, a Ph.D. student in biomedical science in the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, heard about the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal Saturday, his first thoughts were of his mom and relatives living in the nation’s capital, Katmandu.

He immediately tried calling his mother, but couldn’t get through. Again and again. Finally, about 12 hours following the quake, Joshi heard his mother’s voice on the other end of the call. Their neighborhood was destroyed, but his mother, his aunts, and other relatives were okay.

Read more about the earthquake in Nepal »

In center, Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S., with Academia officers, from left, Dr. Josep M. Ventura, Dr. Mariano Esteban, Dr. Joan J. Guinovart and Dr. Bartolome Ribas.

In center, Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S., with Academia officers, from left, Dr. Josep M. Ventura, Dr. Mariano Esteban, Dr. Joan J. Guinovart and Dr. Bartolome Ribas.

Dr. Sylvia Daunert Elected to Scientific Academy in Spain

Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S., Professor and Lucille P. Markey Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Associate Director of the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute (BioNIUM), has been elected to the Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia de España.

The Academia was established by S.M. Felipe V de Borbón, King of Spain, to become the country’s scientific, educational and professional center of health sciences. It is the oldest professional society in the world, and its origins date back to a brotherhood of apothecaries founded in 1589.

Read more about Dr. Daunert's election »

Matthias A. Salathe, M.D., stands behind a smoking robot that will be used for his e-cigarette research.

Matthias A. Salathe, M.D., stands behind a smoking robot that will be used for his e-cigarette research.

Leading UM Pulmonologist Awarded $1.95 Million Grant to Study Impact of E-Cigarettes

Matthias A. Salathe, M.D., professor of medicine and molecular and cellular pharmacology, and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, was recently awarded a competitive $1.95 million grant from the Florida Department of Health to conduct an unprecedented study on whether e-cigarette vapors have toxic effects on human airways.

The study, said Salathe, will be the first of its kind to investigate potential pulmonary health risks of smoking e-cigarettes, which has become popular for a growing number of youth and adults looking for a safe and flavorful smoking sensation. A sizeable number of traditional smokers also have switched to e-cigarettes for their perceived safety over tobacco cigarettes. However, Salathe said, the advertised health benefits of e-cigarettes have yet to be proven.

Read more about the research project »

Anat Galor, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Anat Galor, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Link Discovered Between Allergy Seasons and Dry Eyes

While we usually associate allergies with red, teary eyes, University of Miami researchers Anat Galor, M.D., M.S.P.H, and Naresh Kumar, Ph.D, have discovered that there is a correlation between dry eye and allergy seasons. Dry eye is a disease with symptoms that include burning and dryness, as well as blurred vision. It affects one in six Americans over the age of 50.

Galor and Kumar’s findings, which were published in the April issue of Ophthalmology, the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, are significant because they could modify how physicians manage dry eye. If dry eye is associated with allergens, treatment would be different than normal approaches for the condition. In addition, patients could manipulate their environment to minimize allergen exposure, which is more cost effective than medical treatment.

Read more about dry eye »

Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D.

Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D.

New Study Finds Stem Cell Therapy via Intra-Carotid Artery Infusion Safe for Treatment of Stroke

A yearlong study of patients who had suffered from ischemic strokes, led by physician-scientists at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the Miller School of Medicine, has found that stem cells can be safely infused to the brain through the carotid artery within two weeks after a stroke.

The national co-principal investigator of the study, Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D., associate professor of neurology at the Miller School, presented the discovery abstract of the RECOVER-Stroke trial entitled Intra-Arterial Delivery of Autologous ALDHbr Cells in Ischemic Stroke: Final 1-Year Results of the RECOVER-Stroke Trial at the European Stroke Organization Conference, in the UK. The findings provide new hope for future stroke treatments as well as for other brain-related illnesses.

Read more about the research findings »

Phillip Ruiz, M.D., Ph.D.

Phillip Ruiz, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Phillip Ruiz Elected Fellow of American Society of Transplantation

Phillip Ruiz, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery and Medical Director of the Transplantation Laboratories in the Department of Surgery, has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Transplantation (AST). He will be formally inducted on May 4 during the American Transplant Congress in Philadelphia.

This honorary distinction by AST recognizes individuals who have provided exceptional commitment to the field of transplantation through their clinical and society service, research and grant support, and exemplary scholarly work.

Read more about Dr. Ruiz »

Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Steven Ullmann, Ph.D., fourth and fifth from right in first row, with conference attendees.

Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Steven Ullmann, Ph.D., fourth and fifth from right in first row, with conference attendees.

Conference Focuses on Public Health Workforce Strategies

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences and the School of Business Administration joined the de Beaumont Foundation to host a group of renowned public health leaders from around the country this month. The purpose of the two-day meeting was to examine innovative and effective training opportunities to provide needed business skills to the public health workforce.

The meeting included national leaders representing big city and statewide health departments, as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.

Read more about the meeting »

From left, Phi Ho, Erica Barrios and Iman Rabizadeh.

From left, Phi Ho, Erica Barrios and Iman Rabizadeh.

Three M.D./M.B.A. Students Take Top Honors in UM Business Plan Competition

A team of Miller School of Medicine M.D./M.B.A. students won Grand Prize and $10,000 on April 17 at the University of Miami’s 2015 Business Plan Competition.

Erica Barrios, Phi Ho and Iman Rabizadeh took top honors in the graduate student category for MediTick, a low-cost device to prevent urinary tract infections in patients with urinary catheters. This is the third year in a row that a team comprised of M.D./M.B.A. students has won in that category.

Read more about the winning team »

Daniel M. Lichtstein, M.D., left, and Bradford Hastings.

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Daniel M. Lichtstein, M.D., left, and Bradford Hastings.

2015 Regional Campus Paff Awards Ceremony Honors Faculty and Residents

Deans, faculty and students representing the Miller School of Medicine’s regional medical campus gathered on April 8 for the second annual Regional Campus Paff Awards Ceremony. The event, which was organized and hosted by the regional campus student government, recognizes faculty members and residents contributing to the education of students in the dual-degree M.D./M.P.H. program.

The award ceremony honors the late anatomy professor George Paff, Ph.D., who is remembered for his eccentric and unique abilities to help teach students. Thirteen awards were handed out at this year’s ceremony.

Third-year M.D./M.P.H. student Bradford Hastings, who helped organize the event, said it “provided an amazing opportunity to thank our wonderful regional campus faculty, deans and staff members.”

Read more about the regional campus Paff Awards »

Michael Benatar, M.D., Ph.D., seated in first row center in light blue shirt, and consortium guests at the first meeting of CReATe.

Michael Benatar, M.D., Ph.D., seated in first row center in light blue shirt, and consortium guests at the first meeting of CReATe.

CReATe Consortium Holds First Annual Meeting in Miami

Miller School of Medicine neurologist Michael Benatar, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and Chief of the Neuromuscular Division of the Department of Neurology, who is the principal investigator of the CReATe Consortium, recently welcomed 60 attendees to Miami for the consortium’s first annual meeting. The event explored developments in research and care of ALS and related disorders and brought together representatives from academia, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, non-profit patient groups and industry insiders.

Lucie Bruijn of the National ALS Association described the meeting as an outstanding forum for the investigators and foundations to get a clear understanding of the consortium’s goals, saying it highlighted the tremendous opportunities for collaboration among all the stakeholders across disease areas.

Read more about the CReATe meeting »

From left, Julia Gerhard, D.M.A., CCC-SLP, Larry the Larynx, David Rosow, M.D., and Ana Flavia Zuim, Ph.D.

From left, Julia Gerhard, D.M.A., CCC-SLP, Larry the Larynx, David Rosow, M.D., and Ana Flavia Zuim, Ph.D.

Medical and Music Schools Come Together to Celebrate World Voice Day

Faculty and students from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Frost School of Music came together on April 17 to celebrate World Voice Day 2015, a global day of events and education that promotes the importance of the human voice and maintaining vocal health. The second year of the partnership between the medical and music schools was called a success by all who participated, as the University of Miami became one of 10 locations selected from around the world to stream its events to a global audience.

World Voice Day is overseen by the University of Miami Vocal Health Collaborative, a unique partnership between members of the UHealth Department of Otolaryngology, the Division of Speech Language Pathology and the Frost School of Music. Together, they raised the bar with student and faculty concerts and a series of educational seminars led by Julia Gerhard, DMA, CCC-SLP, and David Rosow, M.D., both assistant professors of otolaryngology at the Miller School.

Read more about World Voice Day »

Final Marlins Ticket Distribution is April 29

In appreciation of the dedication and outstanding work of its employees, the University of Miami will host Family Day with the Miami Marlins on Saturday, May 2, at Marlins Park.

A final ticket distribution for medical campus employees will be held on Wednesday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle.

Read more about the ticket distribution »

University of Miami to Host Mental Health Summit

In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month this May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will host “STOP the Stigma: A Mental Health Summit” on Saturday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at University of Miami Hospital’s Seminar Center. The event is free and open to families, professionals and those living with mental illness.

Read more about STOP the Stigma: A Mental Health Summit »

Summer Volunteer Program Applications

Would you like to have volunteers work in your department this summer? The University of Miami’s Summer Volunteer Program starts on June 8 and runs through August 7, 2015. Eligible volunteers are encouraged to complete at least six weeks of the nine-week program, committing to a minimum of 100 hours. The Office of Human Resources encourages departments to submit their completed applications by April 30. Applications will be accepted beyond this date on a rolling basis.

Read more about the Summer Volunteer Program »

Academy of Medical Educators Call for Abstracts

The University of Miami Academy of Medical Educators is accepting abstracts and posters for our First Annual Research and Innovations in Medical Education Poster Reception. An interactive poster session and reception will be held on May 20 at Calder Medical Library, from 4 to 6 p.m. The deadline for abstract submission is May 4.

Read more about the call for abstracts and poster reception »

Have You Completed Your Workday Checklist?

Did you log in to Workday? Have you completed your checklist? If not, click on your role — Faculty, Staff, or Student Employee — now to access your checklist and complete the important tasks outlined for you. The tasks vary by role, but will include updating personal information, beneficiaries, payment elections, and more. Have questions or comments about Workday? Email a Workday expert at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Workday HR will be implemented at University of Miami Hospital on June 18.