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

Up Front

Allan D. Levi, M.D., Ph.D.

Allan D. Levi, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Allan Levi Named Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery

Allan D. Levi, M.D., Ph.D., has been named Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Levi, who holds appointments in neurological surgery, orthopedics and rehabilitation medicine, joined the Miller School in 1997. “Allan’s career has been a model of excellence in every aspect of academic neurosurgery — clinical care, research, teaching and administration,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine and CEO of UHealth.

“He is the ultimate surgeon-scholar. I know that with Allan at the helm, the Department of Neurological Surgery will continue to grow exponentially and to deliver world-class performance at every level.”

Read more about Dr. Levi's new role »

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Join Sylvester in Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As South Florida and the nation prepare to mark breast cancer awareness month, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will have a substantial presence across the community, raising awareness about the groundbreaking research and clinical care taking place at the cancer center’s Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute. Sylvester is South Florida’s only Cancer Center of Excellence, as designated by the state of Florida, where physician-researchers work to discover, develop and deliver the most targeted treatments for each patient’s cancer. From lectures and mammograms, to walks, runs and a signature football game, all employees and their families are invited to take part and show their support for Sylvester patients, survivors, physicians, researchers, nurses and everyone else affected by breast cancer.

Read more about Sylvester's breast cancer awareness events in October »

Felicia Knaul, Ph.D.

Felicia Knaul, Ph.D.

Dr. Felicia Knaul to Lead Panel Discussion of Lancet Study on Women and Health

The findings of a major commission on women and health will take center stage at the Miller School of Medicine on Thursday, October 1, as Felicia Knaul, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences at the Miller School and Director of the Miami Institute for the Americas at the College of Arts and Sciences, leads a panel discussion of a Lancet study that found women are contributing around $3 trillion to global health care, but nearly half of this is unpaid and unrecognized.

Knaul, a co-author of the study while Director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative, will speak about the findings with the Chair of the Lancet Commission Report on Women and Health, Ana Langer, M.D., professor of the practice of public health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Read more about the Lancet study and panel discussion »

Nick and Mark Buoniconti, both UM trustees, will host the 30th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner on October 6.

Nick and Mark Buoniconti, both UM trustees, will host the 30th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner on October 6.

Sports Legends Dinner Celebrates 30 Years of Breakthroughs

Thirty years after NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti promised his newly paralyzed son, Marc, they would see a cure for spinal cord injuries one day, father and son are ever closer to that goal, thanks in large part to the 30th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner they’ll host tonight in New York City.

Over the past 29 years, the Sports Legends Dinners have inspired and entertained to raise incalculable awareness and more than $100 million for groundbreaking spinal cord injury research at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. NBC News icon Tom Brokaw will emcee the high-profile event at the Waldorf Astoria, where more than 1,300 celebrities and notables from entertainment, sports, and media will mark the 30th anniversary by recognizing a who’s who of sports legends and two couples who have used their talents to make a difference.

Read more about the Sports Legends Dinner »

From left, Bryon Lam, M.D., Shuliang Jiao, Ph.D., and Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D.

From left, Bryon Lam, M.D., Shuliang Jiao, Ph.D., and Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D.

Photoreceptor Imaging Breakthrough Expected to Improve Diagnosis, Assessment for Retinal Conditions

A collaborative Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Florida International University (FIU) biomedical engineering team has developed a breakthrough retinal imaging technology that could help clinicians diagnose and assess the extent of vision loss in patients with a wide range of conditions.

After three years of work, the researchers at the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and at FIU successfully tested the first visible-light optical coherence tomography (VIS-OCT) technology for imaging rhodopsin, the light-sensing molecule contained in the retinal photoreceptors that convert light signals to neuronal signals sent to the brain.

Read more about the VIS-OCT imaging technology »

Brian M. Slomovitz, M.D., (front center) and Sylvester's gynecology team played a crucial role in establishing the new dysplasia clinic.

Brian M. Slomovitz, M.D., (front center) and Sylvester's gynecology team played a crucial role in establishing the new dysplasia clinic.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Opens New Dysplasia Clinic

After months of planning and preparation, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center officially launched its new dysplasia clinic on September 18. With a world-class, multidisciplinary team of physicians and researchers, the clinic offers screening and treatment for women and men who are at high risk of developing cervical, vulvar or anal cancer.

Dysplasia is a medical condition in which cells of an abnormal type proliferate, leading to the enlargement of organs or tissue. A variety of cancers, including cervical, vulvar, and anal lesions, can develop from dysplasia as abnormal cells continue to grow and mutate. Given the role certain viruses play in the development of these cancers, the clinic will focus heavily on patients with HPV and HIV.

Read more Sylvester's new dysplasia clinic »

Barry I. Hudson, Ph.D.

Barry I. Hudson, Ph.D.

Susan G. Komen Awards Grant to Sylvester Breast Cancer Researcher

Barry I. Hudson, Ph.D., breast cancer researcher at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has received a three-year Career Catalyst Award of $450,000 from Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research. The award is one of only two in the state of Florida to receive new research funding from Komen National Headquarters totaling $630,000. These highly competitive awards are intended to promote the development of scientists in the field of breast cancer research at the early stages of their careers.

The relative of a breast cancer survivor, Hudson said the prospect of improving the treatment of breast cancer is satisfying on a personal level. “I’m extremely grateful to Susan G. Komen for this highly prestigious award,” he said. “I hope our collaborative work will ultimately make a significant difference in the lives of breast cancer patients and help us develop more targeted therapies.”

Read more about the award »

Harvey Sterns, Ph.D., with Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D.

Harvey Sterns, Ph.D., with Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D.

APA Honors Dr. Sara J. Czaja for Developing Strategies to Improve Quality of Life for the Aging

Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Scientific Director of the Center on Aging, was honored recently by the American Psychological Association (APA) for her numerous contributions to the field of applied gerontology.

“For the past 21 years, our team at the Center on Aging has looked at the development and implementation of strategies to improve the quality of life for older people,” said Czaja. “Much of this work has involved the use of technology. For example, we recently designed and evaluated an easy-to-use technology application, and demonstrated that use of the system which permitted communicating with family and old friends, sharing photos, and taking part in other online activities can significantly reduce feelings of social isolation and loneliness, which can be very detrimental to both physical and mental well-being.”

Read more about Dr. Czaja's award »

From left, Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., Chair of the UHealth Department of Pediatrics, Ana Ciguenas, Senior Communications Manager at Latin America Baxter Healthcare, Lisa Gwynn, D.O., Director of the UHealth Pediatric Mobile Clinic, and Jorge Vasseur, President and Region Head of Latin America Baxter International.

From left, Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., Chair of the UHealth Department of Pediatrics, Ana Ciguenas, Senior Communications Manager at Latin America Baxter Healthcare, Lisa Gwynn, D.O., Director of the UHealth Pediatric Mobile Clinic, and Jorge Vasseur, President and Region Head of Latin America Baxter International.

UHealth Pediatric Mobile Clinic Receives $85,000 for Mental Health Services

The Baxter International Foundation has awarded UHealth’s Pediatric Mobile Clinic $85,000 to expand mental health services for its patients. With a mission to increase health care access for underserved communities, partnering with the Pediatric Mobile Clinic made perfect sense for Baxter.

“UHealth’s Pediatric Mobile Clinic reaches young patients who otherwise might not receive basic health care,” said Jorge Vasseur, President and Region Head of Baxter Latin America. “Increasing access to health, especially in disadvantaged and underserved communities, is at the core of Baxter International Foundation’s mission, so it´s an honor for us to support the expansion of the mobile clinic’s services to benefit the youth of Miami and their physical and mental well-being.”

Read more about the donation to the mobile clinic »

Frank J. Eismont, M.D.

Frank J. Eismont, M.D.

Dr. Frank J. Eismont Honored with 2015 Leon Wiltse Award for Excellence in Spine Care

Frank J. Eismont, M.D., Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics, will receive the North American Spine Society’s 2015 Leon Wiltse Award for excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care.

A member of the Miller School of Medicine faculty for the past 35 years, Eismont is a nationally renowned orthopaedic surgeon who cares for patients with spinal disorders, and who has a special interest in disorders of the cervical spine and orthopaedic education.

Read more about Dr. Eismont's award »

From left, John L. Bixby, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and neurological surgery and Vice Provost for Research; Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D.

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From left, John L. Bixby, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and neurological surgery and Vice Provost for Research; Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D.

HSR Community Conference: Charting the Course for Quality

More than 320 members of the South Florida research community gathered on September 10 and 11 for the 2015 Human Subject Research Community Conference at the Shalala Student Center on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables Campus. The event offered researchers in every facet of a human research protection program a unique learning and networking opportunity.

Presentations were made by national and international leaders, including representatives from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Office of Human Research Protection under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Read more about the 2015 Human Subject Research Community Conference »

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., receiving a flu shot.

Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., receiving a flu shot.

It’s Time for Your Annual Flu Shot!

UHealth annual influenza vaccination is a safety priority and in the best interest of our patients and our employees. The most important thing you can do to protect your health — and that of others — this fall and winter is to get a flu shot now. We are asking everyone in the UHealth community to do so. Remember, a healthy “U” begins with you.

We want to make it easy to get vaccinated; there are lots of options so you can pick the one that is right for you. Flu shots are available Monday to Friday at our permanent sites in Employee Health, at University of Miami Hospital and at Healthy ’Canes clinics on both campuses. The upcoming benefits fairs will also offer free vaccinations. Other pop-up locations will be announced throughout the campaign season. You can find additional information on locations and schedules here.

Read more about getting your flu shot »

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

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

Join President Frenk at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate Meeting

The first Faculty Senate meeting hosted by President Julio Frenk on the Miller School of Medicine campus will take place on Wednesday, September 30, at 3:30 p.m. in the Lois Pope LIFE Center, seventh-floor auditorium.

All UM faculty members are invited to attend and to take advantage of this special opportunity to ask questions and to voice their concerns directly to President Frenk.

Read more about the Faculty Senate meeting with Dr. Frenk »

Khemraj Hirani, Ph.D., M.Pharm., M.B.A.

Khemraj Hirani, Ph.D., M.Pharm., M.B.A.

Dr. Khemraj Hirani Named Associate Vice Provost for Human Subject Research

Khemraj Hirani, Ph.D., M.B.A., Director of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute, has been named Associate Vice Provost for Human Subject Research. As associate vice provost, Hirani will be responsible for overall leadership of the Human Subject Research Office (HSRO), overseeing the activities of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) committees and of the HSRO staff, and acting as a liaison between the IRB and the research communities of the University of Miami.

Hirani succeeds Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D., who was recently named Interim Executive Dean for Research and Research education of the Miller School of Medicine.

Read more about Dr. Hirani's new role »

UM Employee Discounts Available for UHealth-Sponsored Festival Miami

Festival Miami, Florida’s premier live music festival, presented by the University of Miami Frost School of Music and UHealth-University of Miami Health System, wants you to enjoy an incredible array of live music on our beautiful Coral Gables campus. UM employees may take $5 off per ticket for up to four Festival Miami tickets per concert, available online, by using promo code EMP515 at check out. Tickets start at just $20, plus a $4 per ticket convenience fee.

The festival runs through November 7, offering vibrant performances by the biggest names on the music scene from around the globe who will showcase their talents alongside the outstanding students and faculty artists from the Frost School of Music. More than 20 performances organized into four themes — Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Music of the Americas and Creative American Music — will be held in the intimate setting of the 600-seat Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Drive, on the Coral Gables campus.

Read more about Festival Miami »

Countdown to ICD-10 Tip of the Week: Diabetes Family Categories

The national transition to ICD-10 — the updated and expanded code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures — is coming October 1. UHealth will provide a useful tip each week to help providers make the transition as seamlessly as possible. This week’s tip is about diabetes family categories.

Family categories are clinically related and provide differences in capturing specific information on the type of diabetes condition.

Document the diabetes family category, any complications and treatment given.

Read more about diabetes family categories »

Register Now for The Art & Science of Acupuncture for Physicians 2015-2016

Registration is open for The Art & Science of Acupuncture – a special course for physicians offered from November 2015 to May 2016 by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health through iCamp. The program is designed to help physicians integrate acupuncture into their practice. Upon completion of the program, physicians will have the necessary background and clinical knowledge related to acupuncture treatment and therapeutic approaches to make more informed recommendations or even apply techniques themselves.

The in-depth program will be held at the Highland Professional Building on one Saturday and one Saturday/Sunday weekend each month, beginning November 14. Physicians will receive 140 CME hours, as well as 140 CE hours through the Florida boards of Chiropractic Medicine and Dentistry. Those registering by September 25 will receive a special rate, and UM, Jackson and VA employees will receive an additional discount. For registration or additional information, please call 305-243-4751, email iCamp@med.miami.edu,, or visit the program website.

Sign Up Now for the 2015 Miami-Dade Heart Walk

What: A non-competitive three-mile walk/run.
When: Sunday, November 22, 2015.
Where: Museum Park, 1075 Biscayne Boulevard, Downtown Miami.
Why: To encourage people to take steps towards a heart-healthy lifestyle while raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke in our community.

UHealth’s goal is to sign up 1,000 walkers and raise $50,000.

Read more about the 2015 Miami-Dade Heart Walk »

The Fine Art of Health Care Series Continues

Studying art can improve your powers of observation. Can it also make you a better health care provider? The Lowe Art Museum on the Coral Gables campus is offering one more session in its three-part series of workshops, “The Fine Art of Health Care,” to help students in health care graduate programs learn the answer.

Participants will learn Visual Thinking Strategies, a method shown to improve important skills needed in all health care professions. Students will have the opportunity to collaboratively look at works of art in detail to hone their observation, listening and communication skills.

Read more about the workshops »

Registration Open for Clinical Nutrition 2015-2016

The University of Miami iCamp’s Clinical Nutrition Conference Series is bringing experts and leading physicians to Miami once a month this October 2015 through June 2016, presenting evidence-based research that will provide you with a framework for weaving nutrition-related medicine into treating and preventing disease. Network with physicians and professionals in an energetic and inspiring environment.

The Series will be held one Saturday per month, starting on October 3. UM, Jackson and VA employees receive a discount upon registration. Topics will include: the Gut-Brain Axis, Menopause as a Condition of Inflammation and Oxidation, an Integrative Approach to Auto-Immune Disease, and much more.

Read more about Clinical Nutrition 2015-2016 »

Join Team UHealth for the Out of the Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide

Every 60 seconds someone in the U.S. tries to commit suicide. Every 13 minutes, one of them succeeds. It’s tragic, and it’s preventable with treatment.

Please join Team UHealth, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in the annual Out of the Darkness Walk to raise money and awareness to help prevent suicide. The walk takes place on Sunday, October 11, from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning at the Stanford Rock on the Coral Gables campus.

Read more about the Out of the Darkness Walk »

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.