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

Up Front

Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

The Miller School of Medicine and UHealth Welcome President Julio Frenk

When the University of Miami’s newest ’Canes begin arriving on the Coral Gables campus in just a few days, it will mark the first time in 14 years that an incoming freshman class will be welcomed by a new president.

Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., the Harvard dean and physician introduced in April as the successor to Donna E. Shalala, takes the reins as the University’s sixth president on August 16, inaugurating an era that undoubtedly has the entire UM community buzzing.

Read more about President Frenk »

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Felicia Knaul, Ph.D.

Felicia Knaul, Ph.D.

Dr. Felicia Knaul Receives Interdisciplinary Appointment to UM Faculty

The University of Miami welcomes international health economist and expert in Latin American health systems and social sectors Felicia Knaul, Ph.D., to the Miller School of Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences beginning August 16.

Knaul will serve as a tenured professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine. At the Coral Gables campus, Knaul will serve as Director of the Miami Institute for the Americas (MIA). MIA will focus on policy analysis in all sectors including the humanities, the arts, and social and economic development.

Read more about Dr. Knaul »

Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., and Derek Dykxhoorn, Ph.D.

Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., and Derek Dykxhoorn, Ph.D.

Researchers Win Contract to Study Stem Cells from Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Miller School researchers Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., and Derek Dykxhoorn, Ph.D., have won a three-year, $721,423 U.S. Department of Defense contract to ascertain and analyze induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease patients with specific Alzheimer’s-linked genetic mutations.

Pericak-Vance, the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Professor of Human Genomics and Director of the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics (HIHG), and Dykxhoorn, associate professor in the John T. Macdonald Department of Human Genetics and Director of the Center for Molecular Genetics in HIHG, will serve as co-principal investigators, in collaboration with Dr. Richard Mayeux of Columbia University.

Read more about the research contract »

Marc E. Lippman, M.D.

Marc E. Lippman, M.D.

Dr. Marc E. Lippman Inducted as Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians

Renowned breast oncologist Marc E. Lippman, M.D., Deputy Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, has been inducted as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), the oldest medical college in England. Lippman received the highest category of membership of the RCP at a ceremony held in London on July 8.

Lippman, professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is widely known for his research in breast cancer, having served as Head of the Medical Breast Cancer Section, Medicine Branch at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and as Senior Investigator at the National Cancer Institute. He is also a member of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at Sylvester.

Read more about Dr. Lippman's induction »

Nestor de la Cruz-Muñoz, M.D.

Nestor de la Cruz-Muñoz, M.D.

UHealth Surgeon Only Florida Doctor Trained to Perform Newly Approved Gastric Balloon Placement

Nestor de la Cruz-Munoz, M.D., leader of bariatric surgery at UHealth – University of Miami Health System, is the only Florida surgeon and one of a handful of surgeons in the U.S. trained to perform the newly approved ORBERA Intragastric Balloon procedure. On August 6, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the non-surgical procedure to help adult patients suffering from obesity.

The ORBERA balloon was developed by Apollo Endosurgery, Inc., and is part of the ORBERA Managed Weight Loss System, a two-part program consisting of a non-surgical procedure and dietary counseling, that was developed for adults with a body mass index of 30 to 40.

Read more about the ORBERA system »

Joshua  D. Lenchus, D.O., R.Ph., and Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., Executive Dean for Clinical Affairs, Chief Executive, UHealth Physician Practice, Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, second and third from left, with Miller School medical students and graduate students at the Florida Medical Association meeting. Photo by Eric Weiss, M.D. candidate 2016.

Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., R.Ph., and Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., Executive Dean for Clinical Affairs, Chief Executive, UHealth Physician Practice, Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, second and third from left, with Miller School medical students and graduate students at the Florida Medical Association meeting. Photo by Eric Weiss, M.D. candidate 2016.

Miller School Students and Faculty Recognized at Florida Medical Association’s Annual Meeting

Several Miller School students, graduates and faculty members were recognized for their clinical and research work at the annual meeting of the Florida Medical Association (FMA) on August 1 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

About 25 Miller School medical students and graduates attended the meeting, which included a poster symposium, continuing medical education sessions, as well as the House of Delegates deliberation over policy-guiding resolutions, according to Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., R.Ph., associate professor of clinical medicine and anesthesiology, Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency, and Associate Director of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital Center for Patient Safety. At the session, Lenchus was elected Vice Speaker of the FMA, and Hansel Tookes, M.D. ’14, a resident in internal medicine, was selected as the resident and fellow section representative to the board.

Read more about the Florida Medical Association awards »

From left, back row: Collin Roach, M.D., clinical advisor to the CDC Guyana program, outreach coordinator Allam Garcia, Peggy Renaud, a UM case worker, outreach coordinator Yuri Velasquez, Rhoda Moore, M.D., of Guyana's National Care and Treatment Center, Lawrence B. Friedman, M.D., and resident Elisa Alves, M.D. Front row: Shanti Singh, M.D., M.P.H., left, with Ruth Ramos-Gonzalez-Ram, M.D., Director of Guyana's National Care and Treatment Center.

From left, back row: Collin Roach, M.D., clinical advisor to the CDC Guyana program, outreach coordinator Allam Garcia, Peggy Renaud, a UM case worker, outreach coordinator Yuri Velasquez, Rhoda Moore, M.D., of Guyana's National Care and Treatment Center, Lawrence B. Friedman, M.D., and resident Elisa Alves, M.D. Front row: Shanti Singh, M.D., M.P.H., left, with Ruth Ramos-Gonzalez-Ram, M.D., Director of Guyana's National Care and Treatment Center.

Guyanese Physicians Visit UM’s Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Clinics

A delegation of Guyanese public health physicians toured the Miller School of Medicine’s pediatric and adolescent HIV clinics on August 4.

The four Guyanese physicians visited the Pediatric Care Clinic and Special Adolescent Medicine Clinic, where they engaged in observational sessions with the school’s renowned HIV pediatric specialists Gwendolyn B. Scott, M.D., professor of pediatrics and Director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease and Immunology, and Lawrence B. Friedman, M.D., professor of pediatrics and Director of the Division of Adolescent Medicine — both of whom have been on the frontlines of Miami’s HIV epidemic since the disease surfaced in the early 1980s.

Read more about the Guyana physicians' visit »

Elena E. Perez, M.D., Ph.D.

Elena E. Perez, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Elena E. Perez Appointed to Florida Genetics and Newborn Screening Advisory Council

State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health John Armstrong, M.D., has appointed Elena E. Perez, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics, Chief of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, and Director of the University of Miami Newborn Screening Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Referral Center, to the Florida Genetics and Newborn Screening Advisory Council. Her four-year term on the Advisory Council began July 23.

“I am honored to serve in this role and continue to advocate for the health of children in the State of Florida,” said Perez. “As a clinical immunologist, I have a passion for early detection of all primary immune deficiencies, in particular Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. Early detection and treatment leads to vastly improved outcomes for these patients and families. The disease is fatal without a bone marrow transplant, and in Florida we are finding and treating these patients before they get sick. Children with rare diseases deserve the best chance they can have for successful treatments that significantly change the course of the disease for the better, and this is accomplished through newborn screening.”

Read more about Dr. Perez's appointment »

Angela Fuste, M.H.S.A.

Angela Fuste, M.H.S.A.

Angela Fuste Named Vice Chair for Administration of Department of Pediatrics

The Department of Pediatrics has named Angela Fuste, M.H.S.A., permanent Vice Chair for Administration.

Fuste has served in the role of Interim Vice Chair since June 2014. Previously she was the service line leader for the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Read more about Angela Fuste »

Florida Cancer Data System staff celebrate designations.

Florida Cancer Data System staff celebrate designations.

Florida Cancer Data System at Sylvester Recognized as Registry of Distinction

The Florida Cancer Data System (FCDS) – a joint project of the Florida Department of Health and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center – has once again been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) as a “2014 Registry of Distinction” and a “U.S. Cancer Statistics Registry for Surveillance.” The two awards indicate that the FCDS has met or exceeded all of the data completeness, timeliness and quality standards as set forth in the NPCR Program Standards, 2012-2017.

This is the second year that the CDC has recognized outstanding state cancer registries with these awards, and it is the second consecutive year that the FCDS has been recognized with both. The recognitions place the Florida Cancer Data System in the highest category, which includes other state registries, and indicate that FCDS’ cumulative state data can and will be used in the “United States Cancer Statistics Report” and the “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.”

Read more about the FCDS designations »

Lantern Ceremony on August 13 Remembers Loved Ones

Join PediPals, the Pediatric Palliative Care Team at Holtz Children’s Hospital, for a Lantern Ceremony remembering patients who have passed away and the loved ones they left behind. The ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 13, in front of the water fountain at Holtz Children’s Hospital, 1611 N.W. 12th Avenue.

Read more about the Lantern Ceremony »

HRPP Accreditation Celebration – August 18

The University of Miami’s Human Research Protection Program is hosting a celebration of its accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs. The event will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 18, in the Schoninger Research Quadrangle. All human subject researchers are invited to attend.

The celebration will feature a host of speakers. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Health Executive MBA Discussion with Dr. Steven G. Ullmann – September 21

Join us on Monday, September 21, for a discussion with Steven G. Ullmann, Ph.D., professor and Director of programs in the Center for Health Sector Management and Policy at the School of Business Administration, to learn about the Executive MBA program in Health Management and Policy at the University of Miami.

The presentation will feature highlights of the Executive MBA program in Health Management and Policy, the admissions process and a Q&A session.

Read more about the information session »

Run 4-LIFE to Benefit Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation

The Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency at the Miller School of Medicine will hold Run 4-LIFE on Sunday, October 11 to benefit organ, eye and tissue donation education efforts. The 5K run/walk will start at 7:30 a.m. at Charnow Park, 300 Connecticut Street, Hollywood, Florida, following a 3.1-mile course along the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk and back to the park.

To register, view the course, or for more information visit Run 4-Life 2015.

Miami Valves 2015 Conference October 29-31

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Division of Continuing Medical Education will host Miami Valves 2015 from Thursday, October 29, to Saturday, October 31. The conference will be held at The Alexander Resort on Miami Beach, 5225 Collins Avenue. A maximum of 19.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits and Nursing Credits will be offered.

Organized by Eduardo de Marchena, M.D., professor of medicine and surgery and Associate Dean for International Medicine, the conference will showcase the latest in transcatheter valve replacement. As part of the natural progression of the Masters in Repair of Structural Heart Disease Conference, which has a long history of excellence, Miami Valves is expected to draw hundreds of scientists and clinicians in the field.

Read more about Miami Valves 2015 »

Green U: Avoid Idling

Please turn off your engine while waiting. Idling in parking lots is especially harmful, as overexposure to carbon monoxide aggravates heart disease and can cause headaches and visual impairment.

Read more about the dangers of idling »