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

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Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D.

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Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Eckhard Podack and Research Team Find Perforin-2 to be Potent Weapon against Bacterial Infection

The late eminent Miller School of Medicine researcher Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D., and a multi-disciplinary team of investigators have discovered that the protein Perforin-2 is a highly potent mechanism of the immune system for fighting bacterial infection. Their findings may provide an answer to the looming medical threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Perforin-2 is an ancient protein found in the cells of a wide range of organisms, from sea sponges to humans. It has been known for some time that this protein has a role as an antimicrobial agent, but the exact function Perforin-2 has in the innate immune system and the mechanisms it uses to combat bacterial infections have remained elusive.

Read more about the research »

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From left, Enrique Ginzburg, M.D., Gillian A. Hotz, Ph.D., and Michael J. Kelley.

From left, Enrique Ginzburg, M.D., Gillian A. Hotz, Ph.D., and Michael J. Kelley.

Iron Arrow Honor Society Taps Six from Medical Campus

Stunned reactions have become the norm each time the University of Miami Iron Arrow Honor Society inducts unsuspecting students, faculty, staff, and alumni into its ranks. Last Thursday was no exception when 40 distinguished individuals — including six from the medical campus — were tapped into the prestigious organization that honors individuals who demonstrate a love of alma mater and embody the qualities of good character, leadership, scholarship and humility.

Miller School of Medicine faculty tapped were Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical pediatrics and Associate Director of Clinical Services at the Mailman Center for Child Development, and Gillian A. Hotz, Ph.D., research professor of neurological surgery, Director of the Kidz Neuroscience Center and Director of the WalkSafe and BikeSafe Concussion Programs.

Read more about the Iron Arrow tapping »

Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D.

Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D.

Age of Donor Affects Stem Cell Effectiveness in Repairing Lung Damage from Pulmonary Fibrosis

Miller School of Medicine researchers have found that the age of a donor mouse affects the ability of its mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to repair damage to the lungs caused by pulmonary fibrosis. Their laboratory study, published recently in Translational Research, has important implications for clinical stem cell treatments in older patients with damaged and scarred lung tissue caused by smoking or other conditions.

“Donor stem cells from younger mice were effective in preventing damage when infused into older mice at the same time as a disease-causing agent,” said Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., professor of medicine, surgery and pediatrics, Director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Program, Director of Pulmonary Diseases at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, and Vice-Chair of Medicine for Diversity and Innovation. “However, donor MSCs from older mice had virtually no effect.”

Read more about the research »

E. Robert Schwartz, M.D.

E. Robert Schwartz, M.D.

Department of Family Medicine Celebrates Half-Century Milestone

A half-century after becoming the first academic family medicine department in the United States, the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health is taking time to reminisce and celebrate its groundbreaking accomplishments.

A 50th Anniversary Celebration Reception will be held November 12, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Life Science & Technology Park, located at 1951 NW 7th Avenue in Miami. Department Chair E. Robert Schwartz, M.D., says the celebration is open to members of the medical community and friends of the department who want to help acknowledge five decades of innovative health care and service.

Read more about the 50th anniversary celebration »

Adrian S. Ishkanian, M.D.

Adrian S. Ishkanian, M.D.

DCC Funds at Work: Researchers Combine Immunotherapy and Radiation to Improve Cancer Outcomes

By using radiation therapy to boost the body’s immune system, researchers at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are exploring a promising new approach to fighting this disease. Supported by funding from the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC), radiation oncologist Adrian Ishkanian, M.D., M.Sc., and his laboratory team are studying the use of radiation to find hidden cancer cells that can then be attacked by the immune system in the hope of substantially improving patient survival.

“Participants in the DCC play an important role in supporting our collaborative groundbreaking research,” said Ishkanian, who plans to walk in the February 20, 2016, fundraising event at Sun Life Stadium with his wife Fazilat Ishkanian, M.D., who is also a radiation oncologist at Sylvester. “We have gotten tremendous support from Sylvester patients and families as we pursue our studies.”

Read more about the research »

Kids of all ages will have fun at the Fall Family Fest.

Kids of all ages will have fun at the Fall Family Fest.

Kids Can #TackleCancer at Fall Family Fest

Kids and their families are invited to the inaugural Fall Family Fest on the Coral Gables campus on Sunday, November 15, for a day of fun to support the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC), which has raised nearly $12 million to advance lifesaving research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The festival, which begins at 10 a.m., will include a kids’ bicycle ride, where children ages 3 to 16 can pedal through a car-free loop to raise awareness about fighting cancer. The kids’ zone will also feature bounce houses, face painting, an animal exhibit, Dolphins Youth Programs, and a Discovery Lab, where kids can view slides through microscopes and learn about different types of cells from Sylvester research scientists. Food trucks also will be on hand with plenty of culinary offerings. Registration is just $15 per child.

To register for Fall Family Fest, visit http://dolphinscancerchallenge.com/fall-family-fest.

From left, Daniel M. Lichtstein, M.D., Julia Belkowitz, M.D., Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Joan St. Onge, M.D., Frederick K. Williams, M.D., Amalinnette R. Zito, M.D., and Gauri G. Agarwal, M.D.

From left, Daniel M. Lichtstein, M.D., Julia Belkowitz, M.D., Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Joan St. Onge, M.D., Frederick K. Williams, M.D., Amalinnette R. Zito, M.D., and Gauri G. Agarwal, M.D.

Dean Goldschmidt Inspires Regional Campus Students and Faculty with Special Presentation

October 29 was a special day for students, residents, physicians and faculty leadership on the Regional Campus at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Fla. Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine and CEO of UHealth, paid a special visit to the campus to do a grand rounds presentation on the future of health care and hold an informal town hall meeting to discuss any topics of interest to those assembled.

Goldschmidt spoke to an audience of nearly 100 — approximately 30 medical students and 50 residents, plus regional deans and physicians. In addition, his presentation was piped in to the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center to enable participation by the medical professionals there.

Read more about Dean Goldschmidt's presentation »

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., after getting dunked.

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., after getting dunked.

The Dean Gets Dunked for a Good Cause

Dunk the Dean in a giant tub of water and raise money for the United Way — who could pass up a chance like that?

Many could not, which found them on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle over lunchtime on November 5, paying $10 for three throws to try to unseat Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine and CEO of UHealth, from his perch several feet above the water. Attempting to throw a tennis ball through a hole not much larger than a tennis ball, from a distance of several feet, proved to be harder than it looked — but it was all fun for a good cause. Eventually someone’s aim was true, and down he came. More than once, in fact.

Read more about the big splash »

Megan Ondrizek.

Megan Ondrizek.

DIRECCT Talk: Students Inspire This Communications Specialist and Proud ’Cane

In this week’s DIRECCT Talk, Megan Ondrizek, Associate Director of Communications and Public Relations in University Communications, recalls the “ah-ha” moment that helped her realize the impact and global reach of her “home-away-from-home.”

Share a moment in your career when you realized the reach and impact of the University.

Fall 2012 or, more accurately, the weeks leading up to September 19-20, and beyond into “Decision 2012.” The University of Miami was selected as the venue for Univision’s first-ever “Meet the Candidates” conversations with Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, and later hosted campaign rallies for both tickets. When I found out that UM would host these events, it was a bit of an “ah-ha” moment for me. UM is such a significant part of my everyday life, and for those political events, UM played an even bigger role. It was an honor for the University to host those events, and it was an honor for all of us who worked on them to help UM shine. Those moments in Fall 2012 helped me realize the global reach of my home-away-from-home.

Read more about Megan Ondrizek »

Laurence B. Gardner, M.D.

Laurence B. Gardner, M.D.

Dr. Laurence B. Gardner to Present Gross Lecture on the Affordable Care Act on November 19

Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., Miller Professor and Executive Dean for Education and Policy, will present this year’s Ralph H. and Ruth F. Gross Endowed Lecture, “The Affordable Care Act: Implications for the Future of Healthcare in the United States,” on Thursday, November 19, at 4 p.m., at the Louis Calder Memorial Library.

RSVP to Janet Ross at 305-243-6424 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Rocky Pedroso.

Rocky Pedroso.

UMIT Featured in EdTech Magazine

UMIT was featured in an article about IT consolidation in the November issue of EdTech magazine. Steve Cawley, UM’s CIO and Vice President for Information Technology, and Rocky Pedroso, Director of Information Technology, explained how institutions of higher education are centralizing IT resources to save money, gain efficiencies and improve service.

In the case of UM, having separate IT departments at the Miller School of Medicine, Coral Gables and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science campuses was less than ideal. There was too little coordination between the various IT personnel, too much variety in tools and processes and too much redundancy.

Read more about the magazine article »

Fred F. Telischi, M.D.

Fred F. Telischi, M.D.

UHealth Otolaryngology Awarded Two International Conferences for 2019

The UHealth Department of Otolaryngology has been selected to host two international conferences in 2019.

The American Cochlear Implant Alliance just awarded the 16th Symposium on Cochlear Implants in Children to the University of Miami Ear Institute. The symposium attracts more than 1,000 attendees spanning the entire range of the CI world, including technology companies, scientists, audiologists, universities and surgeons.

Read more about the conferences »

Jazz Up Your Lunch Hour!

Jackson Memorial Hospital, in partnership with The Miami Foundation and the Miami Jazz Cooperative, is holding “Jazz at Jackson” lunchtime concerts every Thursday through April 2016. Jazz bands will perform live at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. in Alamo Park.

2015 United Way Silent Auction Has Begun!

The Department of Finance and Treasury’s annual United Way Silent Auction has begun here. With prizes from name-brand electronics to fabulous hotel getaways, there’s something for everyone. The auction is open to faculty, staff, and students. Contact Travel Management at 305-284-6585 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

Women in Technology Event, November 11

The University of Miami and WITI SFL will hold a Women in Technology event on Wednesday, November 11, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., in the Storer Auditorium at the University of Miami School of Business Administration on the Coral Gables campus.

Much of the program’s focus will be on new medical technology, and Norma Kenyon, Ph.D., the Martin Kleiman Professor of Surgery, Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology and Biomedical Engineering, and Chief Innovation Officer of the Miller School of Medicine, and Elizabeth J. Franzmann, M.D., associate professor of otolaryngology and Director of Head and Neck Research, will play active roles in the sessions.

Read more about the Women in Technology event »

2015 Employee Day Football Game Promotion Has One Game Left

Tickets are now available for the final 2015 Employee Day football game, when the Miami Hurricanes meet the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, November 21 at Sun Life Stadium.

The game will feature the popular Stadium Bucks, discounted parking for all participants, and a host of other employee-related promotions.

Read more about the Employee Day Football Game Promotion »

XXXVII Inter-American Course in Clinical Ophthalmology, November 22-25

The Department of Ophthalmology will host Curso 2015, XXXVII Inter-American Course in Clinical Ophthalmology from Sunday, November 22 to Wednesday, November 25, at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami.

The Inter-American Course is designed for practicing ophthalmologists in Latin America and the Caribbean, to provide maximum emphasis on practical approaches to select clinical problems. In addition to the course material presented with simultaneous English-Spanish translation, more than 60 commercial exhibitors will participate in an accompanying trade show.

Read more about Curso 2015 »

Sign Up Now for Holistic Holiday at Sea 2016

Sign up now for Holistic Holiday at Sea 2016 and earn CMEs/CEUs while you enjoy the world’s largest, most comprehensive health and wellness program ever held on a ship at sea. Produced by the University of Miami’s Integrative and Complementary Academic Medicine Programs (iCamp), Holistic Holiday at Sea takes place from February 27 to March 5, 2016, aboard the MSC Divina.

The CME/CEU program features renowned speakers who will cover evidence-based research and its applications in modern clinical medicine. Topics will include cardiovascular disease, cancer prevention, diabetes, the function of the retina, what current research says about GMO foods and our health, nutritional supplementation, the gut-brain axis, and much more. Of the 135 classes offered, up to 40.75 CEU hours and 37.75 CME hours are obtainable.

For more information on the Holistic Holiday at Sea CME/CEU Program, click here or call 305-243-4751. For more information on first booking your cruise, click here.

UM Business Plan Competition Opens — Entries Due by November 30

The annual University of Miami Business Plan Competition — sponsored by the School of Business Administration but open to all undergraduate and graduate students, and alumni — is now soliciting entries. The submission deadline for concept papers is November 30.

Miller School teams have won in the Graduate Student Category for the past two years. This year’s competition is offering more than $50,000 in prize money. Access is available to executive coaching and mentors.

For more information, visit miami.edu/bplan.