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

Up Front

From left, Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D., Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, and W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.

View Photo Gallery »

From left, Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D., Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, and W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.

Miller School Faculty Members Receive Scholarly Activity and Funding Awards

Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Otolaryngology, who has identified new genes for different forms of hearing loss, is one of three winners of the 2016 Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity.

Liu and the other winners — Francisco M. Raymo, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, who contributed to the explosion of molecular logic gates, and Peter Minnett, Ph.D., professor of ocean sciences at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, who specializes in remote satellite sensing of critical sea-surface temperatures — were honored Friday by Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, UM President Julio Frenk, and Vice Provost for Research John L. Bixby, Ph.D., during a ceremony at the BankUnited Center.

Read more about the Provost's awards »

More News

Lilian Abbo, M.D., left, with Dayle Wilson, Assistant Dean of Students.

Lilian Abbo, M.D., left, with Dayle Wilson, Assistant Dean of Students.

Women’s Commission Honors Dr. Lilian Abbo

For 45 years, the University of Miami Women’s Commission has been celebrating the contributions of women at the U and honoring the women — and men — who advocate for gender equality. At this year’s Women’s Commission Breakfast, held at the Shalala Student Center last Thursday, the 2016 May A. Brunson Award, named in honor of the University’s second dean of women, was presented to Lilian Abbo, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine and Chief of Jackson Health System’s Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship.

Abbo is also President of Women in Academic Medicine (WIAM), which supports career development for women on the Miller School faculty. WIAM will be hosting the first Women and Minority Leadership and Professional Development Symposium on Friday, May 13, at the Shalala Student Center.

Read more about Dr. Abbo's award »

From left, Norman Braman, Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Sandy Schlesinger, Lianne Lazetera and Jayne Malfitano.

From left, Norman Braman, Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Sandy Schlesinger, Lianne Lazetera and Jayne Malfitano.

Sylvester Hosts Dedication Ceremony for New Posner Pavilion

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and UHealth leaders, doctors, staff and supporters, and University of Miami President Julio Frenk came together on March 21 to celebrate the dedication of Phase I of Sylvester’s new Gail S. Posner Pavilion for Breast Cancer Care at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute. The Posner Pavilion has been established to provide comprehensive health care to women, all under one roof. Phase I of the pavilion has 17 exam rooms covering more than 7,300 square feet.

“Today, we see the result of a very generous gift – Phase I of the Gail S. Posner Pavilion for Breast Cancer Care at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute,” Frenk said at the ceremony. “In this pavilion, breast cancer patients can find all of the support services they need in one location. Our hope is that this will alleviate patients’ stress and travel time while also ensuring their comfort and privacy.”

Read more about the Posner Pavilion »

Izidore Lossos, M.D.

Izidore Lossos, M.D.

MicroRNA Controls Growth in Highly Aggressive B-cell Lymphomas

A recent study by researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine showed that a microRNA called miR-181a dampens signals from the cancer-driving NFκB protein pathway in the most aggressive large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL). By reducing NFκB signaling, miR-181a controls tumor cell proliferation and survival and could be the target of novel therapies. The study was published in the journal Blood.

“The miR-181a microRNA is one of the first examples of a pathway that deactivates NFκB at multiple levels, functioning as a master regulator,” said Izidore Lossos, M.D., director of the Lymphoma Program at Sylvester and lead author of the study. “In certain tumors there is no expression of this microRNA, which allows cells to propagate. We believe miR-181a could eventually be used therapeutically.”

Read more about Dr. Lossos' research »

Karyn Meshbane, left, with Robert W. Irwin, M.D.

Karyn Meshbane, left, with Robert W. Irwin, M.D.

Miller School Students Inducted into Gold Humanism Honor Society

Karyn Meshbane, an M.D./M.P.H. student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, understands the importance of compassionate patient care. “As a future doctor, I know that academic training is essential,” she said. “But your grades in school don’t matter as much as your ability to reach out and connect personally with your patients.”

On March 24, Meshbane became one of 32 third-year Miller School students inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society, a national organization dedicated to fostering integrity, compassion, respect, empathy and clinical experience among students, doctors and other medical professionals.

Read more about the Gold Humanism Honor Society »

Front row, from left, Delilah Valdez, Julissa Cerda, Jose Garza and Liam Garza. Back row, from left, Rodrigo Vianna, M.D., Jennifer Garcia, M.D., and Alan Tekin, M.D. Photo courtesy of Jackson Health System.

Front row, from left, Delilah Valdez, Julissa Cerda, Jose Garza and Liam Garza. Back row, from left, Rodrigo Vianna, M.D., Jennifer Garcia, M.D., and Alan Tekin, M.D. Photo courtesy of Jackson Health System.

UHealth Surgeons Save Toddler’s Life with Florida’s First Eight-Organ Transplant

UHealth – University of Miami Health System surgeons saved 1-year-old Liam Garza’s life by performing the first eight-organ multivisceral transplant in Florida. This was just five years after they saved Liam’s sister, Delilah Valdez. Both of them were diagnosed with Megacystis microcolon intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome (MMIHS), also known as Berdon syndrome, and required multi-organ transplants.

Jennifer Garcia, M.D., UHealth pediatric gastroenterologist and associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the Miller School of Medicine, described MMIHS as a rare prenatal congenital disease involving a dilated bladder that causes massive abdominal distension, microcolon, and decreased or absent intestinal function. The condition is usually fatal within the first year of a child’s life without transplant.

Read more about the transplant surgery »

S. Barry Issenberg, M.D.

S. Barry Issenberg, M.D.

Dr. S. Barry Issenberg Named Senior Associate Dean for Research in Medical Education

A long-time leader in health care training and simulation technology, S. Barry Issenberg, M.D., the Michael S. Gordon Professor of Medicine and Medical Education, has been promoted to Senior Associate Dean for Research in Medical Education at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He will continue to serve as Director of the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education.

“Barry Issenberg is an innovative thinker who will continue to bring novel and exciting ideas and insights to our medical education program,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Dean of the Miller School of Medicine. “He is a champion of assessing competence at all levels of health care, from students to staff and faculty, and his work has been published in the best journals and embraced worldwide.”

Read more about Dr. Issenberg »

From left, Eduardo Alfonso, M.D., Fahad Al-Rashid, Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid, Ph.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Ibrahim Al-Rashid, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and David Tse, M.D.

From left, Eduardo Alfonso, M.D., Fahad Al-Rashid, Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid, Ph.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Ibrahim Al-Rashid, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and David Tse, M.D.

Dedication Ceremony Held for Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Orbital Vision Research Center

A dedication ceremony was held March 18 at the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Orbital Vision Research Center, formally welcoming the one-of-its-kind, interdisciplinary research center at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

Located in the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Vision Research Center, the Al-Rashid Center is the first cure-based orbital research laboratory in the world, where basic science will be translated into clinical applications to transform the lives of patients with orbital tumors and traumatic optic nerve injuries.

Read more about the dedication ceremony »

Todd Smaka, M.D.

Todd Smaka, M.D.

Dr. Todd Smaka Named Associate Chief Patient Safety and Quality Officer for UHealth

Todd Smaka, M.D., associate professor of clinical anesthesiology in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management, and Associate Chief of Anesthesiology at University of Miami Hospital, has been named Associate Chief Patient Safety and Quality Officer for UHealth-the University of Miami Health System.

In his new role, Smaka will be actively engaged in all activities that enhance electronic health records reporting, convert and analyze medical and health data, and leverage data mining and qualitative or quantitative analysis across multiple information systems to improve quality of care and patient safety throughout the health system.

Read more about Dr. Smaka »

Clinton B. Wright, M.D., M.S.

Clinton B. Wright, M.D., M.S.

Exercise May Slow Brain Aging by 10 Years for Older People

A study led by neurologists at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found that exercise in older people is associated with a slower rate of decline in thinking skills that occurs with aging. People who reported light to no exercise experienced a decline equal to 10 more years of aging compared with people who reported moderate to intense exercise, according to a population-based observational study published in the March 23 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“The number of people over the age of 65 in the United States is on the rise, meaning the public health burden of thinking and memory problems will likely grow,” said study author Clinton B. Wright, M.D., M.S., associate professor of neurology at the Miller School. “Our study showed that for older people, getting regular exercise may be protective, helping them keep their cognitive abilities longer.”

Read more about Dr. Wright's research »

Miller School Opens New Lactation Room for Nursing Mothers

In its continuing effort to foster a family-friendly environment, the Miller School of Medicine has opened a fifth dedicated lactation room to support nursing mothers. It is located on the second floor of University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, 1475 N.W. 12th Avenue, Room 1405. Faculty, staff and students who need a private place to express milk may reserve space on a first-come, first-served basis by completing a Nursing Mother Accommodation Request Form.

UM supports nursing mothers by providing them reasonable break time to express breast milk for a year after their child’s birth. Having a lactation room supports the nutritional needs of newborn babies and strengthens the bond between mother and baby. Nursing mothers will be able to successfully balance their important priorities of family and work through on-site lactation support. Supervisors and coworkers are urged to lend their support by allowing nursing mothers to take time to use the facility.

Read more about the new lactation room »

Special Billing Compliance Alert!

CPT codes 99204 (Office/outpatient visit new) and 99205 (Office/outpatient visit new) have had billing errors. Reviews indicated the errors were based on insufficient documentation and services coded incorrectly.

Usually the presenting problem(s) is/are of moderate to high severity. Typically, 45 minutes is spent face-to-face with the patient and/or family. Claims submitted with E/M code 99204 and 99205 must be supported by documentation indicating the medical necessity for this level of service. First Coast will implement a prepay threshold for prepayment review of CPT code 99204 and 99205, for claims processed on or after April 7.

Read more about the prepayment codes »

Fourth Annual Week of Well-Being Brings a Celebrity Chef and a CNN Hero to the U

Whether you want to pick up some culinary tips and a tasty sample from Ortanique’s Chef Cindy Hutson, or learn how to beat the odds with CNN Hero Robyn Benincasa, the University of Miami’s fourth annual Week of Well-Being, now in its second day, promises to deliver. Other popular events scheduled for the week include Fitness Boot Camp with UM alumna and fitness expert Nicole Chaplin, food sampling and massages at the wellness fairs, and group yoga and zumba classes. This year, wellness will extend beyond the University and into the South Florida community with a food drive benefiting Camillus House and numerous community service opportunities. Don’t forget to share your Week of Well-Being experiences on social media by using hashtag #WOW2016, and follow @Inside_UM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for live event coverage. To view a complete schedule of events and satellite location activities, visit the Week of Well-Being page.

2016 OHRP Research Community Forum, April 6-7

Come learn the latest in 21st Century Research: What You Need to Know About Vulnerable Populations, Emerging Designs, Technology and More.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections, the CITI Program, the University of Miami Human Subject Research Office, the University of Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Miami Children’s Research Institute, Baptist Health South Florida, Nova Southeastern University and the University of South Florida invite you to attend this informative and dynamic two-day event April 6-7 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel. Learn more and register for RCF 2016: http://www.rcfmia.org

For more information, contact Adiper Bellow (305) 243-0244 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Annual M.D./Ph.D. Student Research Symposium, April 7

The annual M.D./Ph.D. Student Research Symposium will take place at the Miller School of Medicine’s Lois Pope LIFE Center seventh-floor auditorium on Thursday, April 7.

The featured speaker will be Kathleen L. Collins, professor of internal medicine, and of microbiology and immunology, at the University of Michigan. Collins, whose lab investigates the molecular mechanisms of HIV immune evasion, will discuss “Molecular Mechanisms of HIV Persistence” at noon.

Read more about the research symposium »

24th Annual Florida Bioethics Conference, April 8

The University of Miami’s Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy will host its 24th annual spring conference in conjunction with the Florida Bioethics Network on Friday, April 8, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel. To view the conference program and register, please visit http://www.cvent.com/d/hfqpkk.

The program – perhaps the oldest and largest community bioethics conference in the country – will feature presentations on climate change and bioethics, Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), ethics committee operations, clinical futility, public health priority setting and oncology ethics.

Read more about the Florida Bioethics Conference »

12th Annual CFAR HIV Symposium, April 8

The 12th Annual CFAR HIV Symposium will be held Friday, April 8, from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the BankUnited Center, 1245 Dauer Drive in Coral Gables. The symposium will bring together researchers and clinicians for a day of presentations by experts from around the country on HIV/AIDS. The goal is to educate infectious disease physicians (specifically HIV specialists), researchers and others involved in the field of HIV/AIDS.

This event is sponsored by the Miami Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), the UM HIV/AIDS Institute, the South FL SE AIDS Education and Training Center, and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The cost is $25 for UM faculty and staff; there is no charge for students, fellows and residents. Additional information and registration are available here.

Free Head and Neck Cancer Screenings, April 14-16

In recognition of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, head and neck cancer surgeons from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and medical students from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will be conducting free oral, head and neck cancer screenings April 14-16.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 305-243-8713 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Walk-ins will also be welcome.

Read more about head and neck cancer screening »

Register to Save a Life During National Donate Life Month and Wear Blue and Green on April 15

April is National Donate Life Month, and Friday, April 15, is National Blue and Green Day, making it the perfect time to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

It’s easy and rewarding. Just register online, and know that organ donors can save up to eight lives, and tissue donors can enhance the lives of many more men, women, and children who depend on the generosity of others to receive the vital care they require.

Read more about National Donate Life Month »

Registration Now Open for Essentials of Leadership May 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 comprised of interactive modules, leadership discussions, individual assessments, experiential learning activities and coaching. Enrollment for the EOL May 2016 Series (6) runs through April 15. To learn more, visit Essentials of Leadership Program, or contact Workforce Engagement and Development at 305-243-3090.

Join the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk, April 17

UHealth Pulmonology invites everyone to join the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk that will take place on historic Virginia Key Beach on Key Biscayne on April 17. Each year, the UM Pulmonology Team saves lives through treatment and research, and they are asking for your help to raise money for an amazing cause. Come out with friends and family for a 5K walk, beach party, live music, car show, kids’ activities and plenty of food. To join the walk and help raise money, you can register here.

For more information contact Sherri Kelly at 305-243-1680.

Women and Minority Leadership and Professional Development Symposium, May 13

The Women in Academic Medicine Advisory Board and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine present a leadership and professional development symposium on Friday, May 13, at the Donna E. Shalala Student Center on the Coral Gables campus. The event is intended to inspire and empower minorities, women, University of Miami faculty and alumni to assume greater leadership roles and to increase their value to the organization. The symposium will also show how to strategically leverage abilities and talents for positive results in a diverse and inclusive environment.

Space is limited. Additional information and registration are available here.