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

Up Front

From left, Christina Tellechea, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Kerri Belton and Micaela Stavrinos.

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From left, Christina Tellechea, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Kerri Belton and Micaela Stavrinos.

Happy Holidays to All from Dean Goldschmidt!

Dear Colleagues,

It has been my wonderful fortune to see many of you over the past two weeks as I hosted our annual holiday cookies and hot chocolate event on the Miami campus and at our large satellite facilities. This is a special season because it gives me an opportunity to thank you in person for your dedication and hard work throughout the year.

It also gives me a chance to get to know many of you in a more informal setting. We may discuss patient care or teaching or research for just a moment, but we invariably end up talking about holiday travel plans, family gatherings and other end-of-year activities.

It is important that we have these opportunities to get to know one another as individuals. Almost every aspect of medicine now involves being part of a team, sometimes working together under urgent, life-threatening conditions, or in the context of organizing population health management, and we all perform better when we feel a strong connection with our teammates.

Read more of Dean Goldschmidt's holiday message »

More News

Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., left, and F. Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D.

Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., left, and F. Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D.

Two Miller School Leaders Named to American Pediatric Society

Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., and F. Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D., two distinguished leaders at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, have been accepted into the American Pediatric Society, a highly selective national organization focusing on pediatric research and scholarship.

“We are truly honored to have these exceptional researchers and clinicians join the American Pediatric Society, whose purpose is to provide leadership for the advancement of academic pediatrics,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Dean of the Miller School of Medicine.

Read more about Drs. Schaechter and Armstrong »

From left, Roy Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Medicine; Michael A. Kolber, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine, Clinical Director of HIV for Infectious Diseases, and Director of the Comprehensive AIDS Program; Senator René García; Ronald Desrosiers, Ph.D.; Rafael Campo, M.D.; and Mario Stevenson, Ph.D.

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From left, Roy Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Medicine; Michael A. Kolber, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine, Clinical Director of HIV for Infectious Diseases, and Director of the Comprehensive AIDS Program; Senator René García; Ronald Desrosiers, Ph.D.; Rafael Campo, M.D.; and Mario Stevenson, Ph.D.

UHealth HIV Physician-Researchers Open New University of Miami Infectious Disease Research Unit

Top infectious disease researchers and physicians from UHealth—the University of Miami Health System and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine cut the ribbon on December 8 for the new University of Miami Infectious Disease Research Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Located adjacent to Jackson’s HIV clinic, the newly dedicated space will be used for comprehensive human research on HIV/AIDS and will help advance the University’s state-funded efforts to develop a vaccine and cure for the disease.

Read more about the new infectious disease unit »

Dipen J. Parekh, M.D.

Dipen J. Parekh, M.D.

Sylvester to Become First Ablatherm Robotic HIFU Site in Eastern United States

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, will become the first location in the Eastern United States to be equipped with the Ablatherm robotic high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) device, which is used for prostate tissue removal.

“We are pleased to add Ablatherm Robotic HIFU to our range of prostate ablation tools, as it complements our existing strength in robotic surgery,” said Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., a robotic surgeon and urologic oncologist at Sylvester.

Read more about the Ablatherm Robotic HIFU device »

Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c., D.Sc.h.c.

Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c., D.Sc.h.c.

Sylvester Nobel Laureate Researcher Elected to National Academy of Inventors

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center pathologist Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c. (Multi), D.Sc., whose groundbreaking research into the endocrine system was recognized with a 1977 Nobel Prize, was recently elected a Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors.

“While this is a great honor, it is even more gratifying to note that my 40-plus patents have provided millions of dollars in royalties to public and academic institutions committed to medical research,” said Schally, who is the Distinguished Leonard M. Miller Professor of Pathology and Professor of Hematology/Oncology, and International Medicine Institute Research Scientist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Distinguished Medical Research Scientist and Head of The Endocrine, Polypeptide and Cancer Institute, Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Miami.

Read more about Dr. Schally's election to the National Academy of Inventors »

Stephan Davis.

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Stephan Davis.

University of Miami Hospital Named a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality in National Survey

University of Miami Hospital, the flagship hospital for UHealth-University of Miami Health System, has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.

The honor is given to facilities that meet LGBT-inclusive benchmarks that are part of the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index, a unique survey that encourages equal care for LGBT Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT patients, visitors and employees.

Read more about UM Hospital's LGBT designation »

Denise C. Vidot, Ph.D.

Denise C. Vidot, Ph.D.

Miller School Study Finds Marijuana Users Have Lower Rate of Metabolic Syndrome

Marijuana users have a significantly lower rate of metabolic syndrome than non-users, according to a recent study by researchers at the Miller School of Medicine. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat, linked to increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as other health problems.

“These findings have important implications for the nation as marijuana use becomes more accepted and we simultaneously face multiple epidemics of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes,” said Denise C. Vidot, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in the Behavioral Medicine Research Group who has been studying the health effects of marijuana for more than three years. “As marijuana use becomes legal in more states, it is important to understand both the health risks and benefits of this substance.”

Read more about the marijuana study »

Sylvester's boat,

Sylvester's boat, "Discovering Hope," sent a powerful, yet festive, message to onlookers.

Sylvester’s “Discovering Hope” Shines in Fort Lauderdale Winterfest Boat Parade

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has been a proud member of the Broward County community for years. So it’s only fitting that, on December 12, the cancer center participated for the first time in the legendary Fort Lauderdale Winterfest Boat Parade. The 12-mile parade, which is watched by more than one million spectators along Fort Lauderdale’s intracoastal waterway, is the largest one-day, live audience event in Florida.

Sylvester’s boat, “Discovering Hope,” represented a floating laboratory, with beakers and lab equipment colorfully illuminated on the outside. Before the event started, Sylvester ambassadors distributed programmed wrist bands to thousands of viewers along the waterway. The wrist bands were synchronized with the music from the Sylvester boat and illuminated in bright colors when “Discovering Hope” passed by.

Read more about the Winterfest boat parade »

From left, Wei Yang, Shivam Joshi, M.D., and Hadi Kaakour.

From left, Wei Yang, Shivam Joshi, M.D., and Hadi Kaakour.

Resident and Medical Students Produce Patient-Education Video on Benefits of Kidney Transplants

A Miller School of Medicine alumnus and two current Miller School medical students have produced an educational video for patients with end-stage kidney failure about the benefits of kidney transplantation over long-term dialysis.

The video, “Kidney Transplant – A Better Option for Dialysis Patients,” offers a lively, animated take on a serious subject and is available on YouTube in English, Spanish and Creole. Although intended for the South Florida patient population, the video was created in the hopes that transplant centers elsewhere might find it useful in educating prospective kidney transplant patients in their area.

Read more about the kidney transplant video »

Sarah (left) and Claire Moody.

Sarah (left) and Claire Moody.

Sarah Moody Will Ride in DCC for Her Sister

Sarah Moody has supported her younger sister Claire through every stage of her cancer journey. Now, Moody is riding again in the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC) on Sunday, February 20, 2016, to raise funds for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“I have participated in the DCC for the last three years, cycling the 30-mile route,” says Moody. “It’s a super awesome experience to see the families whose lives have been affected by cancer.”

Read more about Sarah Moody »

From left, Graduate Student Association Executive Board members Matthew Phillips, Merly Ovares, Becca Yahr and Edwing Medina.

From left, Graduate Student Association Executive Board members Matthew Phillips, Merly Ovares, Becca Yahr and Edwing Medina.

Miller School Graduate Students Gain Additional Holidays

The number of annual holidays for the 400-plus Miller School of Medicine masters and doctoral students has been increased to 11, effective immediately. Under the prior policy, graduate students were restricted to the seven holidays given to Miller School employees due to clinical patient care obligations. As graduate students are not clinical workers, the Graduate Student Association and the Biomedical Graduate Student Government petitioned to have all graduate students, regardless of campus, receive the same number of holidays as UM employees on the Coral Gables campus.

Read more about more holidays for graduate students »

Give to the United Way and Win Free Miami Heat Tickets

The Heat is still on!

The three-time NBA champion Miami Heat are once again partnering with the University of Miami to offer a limited number of tickets to upcoming regular season games in January, February, March and April. University of Miami faculty and staff who make their 2015 United Way contributions online through Workday by December 31, 2015 will have the opportunity to win two complimentary tickets to see the Miami Heat in action.

Please remember that your contributions do not automatically renew and must be re-entered each year by logging into Workday.

Read more about the UM/Miami Heat partnership for United Way »

Get Updates about Funding, Training and Service Opportunities by Joining the CTSI Mailing List

Want to learn about important opportunities that can help advance your research? Join the University of Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) mailing list to find out more about the types of funding offered through the Miami CTSI and its partners. Free consultations with experts in areas like biostatistics, biomedical informatics and research participant recruitment, and training on topics such as database programming and grant writing are available. Sign up here.

Sebastian cheers on Essentials of Leadership graduates.

Sebastian cheers on Essentials of Leadership graduates.

Registration Now Open for Essentials of Leadership January 2016 Series

Managers at the University of Miami have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills with Essentials of Leadership (EOL), a customized leadership program aligned with the UM Common Purpose and Values, and leadership traits and behaviors. EOL is composed of interactive modules, leadership discussions, individual assessments, experiential learning activities and coaching. Enrollment for the EOL January 2016 Series (5) runs through January 3. To learn more, visit Essentials of Leadership Program, or contact Workforce Engagement and Development at 305-243-3090.

Read more about Essentials of Leadership »

Sexual Assault Resource Team Seeks Volunteers

The UM Counseling Center’s Sexual Assault Resource Team (SART) is seeking dedicated, warm and empathic faculty, staff and graduate student volunteers from the medical campus to serve as advocates during the 2016 calendar year.

SART is often the first line of response for UM students who have been sexually assaulted, molested or battered, and has supported sexual assault survivors and concerned others since 1992. As an advocate, you will provide hotline callers with much-needed emotional support, information, and referrals, in addition to help accessing resources when appropriate. You will receive comprehensive training in taking calls from students in a variety of sexual assault-related situations, orientation to UM’s varied resources for those who have been sexually victimized, and ongoing support from licensed mental health professionals at the Counseling Center.

Read more about the SART volunteer opportunities »

The Executive MBA for Health Care Professionals Program Starts January 8

There’s still time to apply to the Executive MBA for Health Care Professionals program offered by the School of Business Administration. Designed for working professionals in the health care industry, the program starts January 8 and meets once a month on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Applications are still being accepted and UM employees may be eligible for scholarships based on merit. To apply, please contact Priscilla Ferreira at 305-284-3981 or at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). More information is available here.

2016 Winter Symposium, January 24-27

The University of Miami’s 2016 Miami Winter Symposium will be held January 24-27 at the Hyatt Regency Miami. This year’s theme is “Inflammation: Causes, Prevention and Cures.” The annual event highlights advances in science discovery and brings together hundreds of scientists from the academic and industrial worlds.

Renowned scientists from institutions across the U.S., U.K., Switzerland, Israel and other countries will be featured. While registration fee waivers have been exhausted, discounts are available for Miller School of Medicine faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. A limited number of session passes are available for purchase.

Read more about the Miami Winter Symposium »