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

Up Front

From left are, Daniel A. Sussman, M.D., Maria T. Abreu, M.D., and Amar R. Deshpande, M.D.

From left are, Daniel A. Sussman, M.D., Maria T. Abreu, M.D., and Amar R. Deshpande, M.D.

Study Finds Ethnicity Impacts Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A study led by Daniel A. Sussman, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, and senior author Maria T. Abreu, M.D., professor of medicine and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, found that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) presents differently in U.S.-born Hispanics than in foreign-born Hispanics and non-Hispanic white patients.

Published online in advance of print in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, the study, “Phenotypic Manifestations of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Differ Between Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites: Results of a Large Cohort Study,” evaluated 325 adult patients with IBD treated at University of Miami Hospital and Clinics and Jackson Memorial Hospital between 1998 and 2009. The cohort included 208 Hispanics, 68 percent of whom were foreign-born, and 117 non-Hispanic whites.

Read more about the study »

Research News

Medical assistant Zipporah Watkins processes samples in the Clinical Research Center laboratory for storage or shipment.

Medical assistant Zipporah Watkins processes samples in the Clinical Research Center laboratory for storage or shipment.

Clinical and Translational Science Institute Brings Reduction in Clinical Research Center Fees

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is a newly formed institute which focuses on culturalized medicine and the advancement of health discoveries. This article is the first in a series that will highlight significant accomplishments, upcoming events and research services made possible by the CTSI.

The Clinical Research Center, which serves as a cornerstone of the clinical research infrastructure at the University of Miami, is now collaborating with the CTSI, further enhancing the clinical research services and resources offered to multidisciplinary investigators.

Located on the seventh floor of the Clinical Research Building, the outpatient facility features a comfortable, safe and effective environment to conduct professional, high-quality research involving human subjects in a wide variety of research areas, ranging from general medicine to specialized fields, including endocrinology, psychiatry and pulmonology. The center staff also delivers state-of-the art nursing, bionutrition, and laboratory services under a fee-for-service model that supports growth and investment in clinical and translational research.

Read more about the Clinical Research Center at the CTSI »

More News

Howard Willens, M.D.

Howard Willens, M.D.

New Clinical Risk Score for Stroke May Not Be as Effective in Multiethnic Populations

In a study published online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, Miller School researchers have found the CHADS2 risk score outperforms the new European risk score, CHA2DS2-VASc, in predicting thromboembolic risk in a multiethnic United States population.

Clinical scores incorporate risk factors such as congestive heart failure, hypertension, age, diabetes mellitus and prior stroke to calculate stroke risk for patients with atrial fibrillation, a common but serious heart arrhythmia. CHADS2 is the most commonly used score, but is suboptimal because it classifies a substantial number of patients as having an intermediate or indeterminate risk. In recent years, European investigators developed a new score, CHA2DS2-VASc, which performed better than CHADS2 in European populations, but until now has not been tested in an American multiethnic population.

“Clinical risk scores are useful in identifying patients with atrial fibrillation at high enough risk for having a stroke to warrant anticoagulation with coumadin,” said Howard Willens, M.D., associate professor of clinical cardiology and first author on the study.

Read more about the findings »

Tracie Miller, M.D., and Steven E. Lipshultz, M.D.

Tracie Miller, M.D., and Steven E. Lipshultz, M.D.

Landmark Study Finds Pediatric Cancer Survivors Have Reduced Exercise Capacity

Pediatric cancer survivors have significantly lower exercise capacity than their siblings, according to a groundbreaking Miller School study led by Tracie L. Miller, M.D., professor of pediatrics and associate chair of pediatrics for clinical research.

“Most children who have survived cancer have undergone known cardiotoxic treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy,” said Miller, who is also co-director of the Clinical Interaction Resources component of the CTSI. “They should have a complete cardiac evaluation before starting an exercise program and be monitored closely as they participate.”

Read more about the study »

Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A.

Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A.

Interim Chair of Pediatrics Elected President of National Organization

Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., associate professor and Interim Chair of Pediatrics, has long been troubled by the fact that injury is the leading cause of death for children older than 1 year.

That’s why she has dedicated her career to injury prevention, education and research, and in 2000 founded the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Miami, one of 42 sites representing the nation’s fastest growing and most effective injury prevention program.

In November, Schaechter was elected president of the national organization composed of hospital-based, community-oriented programs in 40 cities across the U.S.

Read more about Dr. Schaechter's new role »

Susan Halloran Blanton, Ph.D., and William K. Scott, Ph.D.

Susan Halloran Blanton, Ph.D., and William K. Scott, Ph.D.

Genetics Faculty Awarded $4.3 Million to Study Cleft Lip and Advance Computational Genomics Training

Susan Halloran Blanton, Ph.D., associate professor of genetics and neurology, and William K. Scott, Ph.D., professor of human genetics, have been awarded a total of $4.3 million in grants by the National Institutes of Health.

Blanton, who is also Executive Director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, was awarded a $3.6 million, five-year grant to identify the genetic causes of familial cleft lip with and without cleft palate. This is the 13th year of funding for the grant, “Mapping Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and Palate Genetic Loci,” which was awarded in December 2012. Jacqueline T. Hecht, Ph.D., from the University of Texas Houston will serve with Blanton as co-principal Investigator.

Scott, who also serves as Vice Chair for Education and Training, received $731,740 for a five-year grant for the new University of Miami Computational Ocular Genomics Training Program. Addressing the need for scientists to be broadly trained in computational genomics and vision science, the grant will support five pre-doctoral and two post-doctoral trainees and create new NIH-supported training opportunities for students in computational ocular genomics that do not currently exist at the Miller School.

Read more about the grants »

Register Now for Ride with Heart to Benefit the Cardiovascular Division

Kicking off Heart Awareness Month in February, Michael Gale and his girlfriend, Kerry Cichon, will host the second annual Ride with Heart on Sunday, February 3, to benefit the Miller School’s Cardiovascular Division.

Gale and Cichon know firsthand the importance of getting annual checkups and bringing heart health education and awareness to the community.

In 2010, Gale, an avid cyclist, went into sudden cardiac arrest at a local restaurant. Thanks to physicians at University of Miami Hospital, who performed a cardiac catheterization and subsequent triple bypass surgery, Gale is back doing what he loves – riding even harder and farther than before.

So join Gale, Cichon, Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A., Interim Chair of Medicine and Chief of the Cardiovascular Division, and Robert J. Myerburg, M.D., professor of medicine and physiology in the Cardiovascular Division, for the Metric Century (62 miles) and Half Metric (31 Miles) cycling event at 7:30 a.m. at Harbor Shops, 1815 Cordoba Road in Fort Lauderdale as they spread the word about the importance of a heart healthy lifestyle.

Read more and register »

UM Biostatisticians Promote International Year of Statistics

The Division of Biostatistics at the Miller School and more than 1,400 organizations in 111 countries are combining energies in 2013 to promote the International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013), a worldwide initiative that will highlight the contributions of the statistics field to finding solutions to global challenges.

The goals of the awareness campaign are to increase public understanding of the power and impact of statistics on all aspects of society and nurture statistics as a profession, especially among high school and college students.

Statistics2013 participants include national and international professional societies, universities, schools, businesses, government agencies and research institutes. Members of these groups – including faculty and staff in the Division of Biostatistics – will help millions of people understand the value of statistical science through seminars, workshops and outreach to faculty, students and the general public. This outreach effort is aided by the Research Design and Biostatistics component of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

Read more about Statistics2013 »

Call for Nominations: Discovery Science Grand Rounds

The basic science chairs at the Miller School invite all departments conducting discovery science research to nominate one or more faculty members to present this year’s Discovery Science Grand Rounds by submitting the faculty member’s name and a brief summary of the proposed topic by January 31.

The Discovery Science presentations should convey novel concepts and insights without focusing on a narrow set of specialized data. Diagrammatic summaries and graphics are encouraged, but over-generalization should be avoided.

The next series of Discovery Science Grand Rounds, held the second Thursday of each month, will start Thursday, March 14, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Lois Pope LIFE Center, seventh-floor auditorium. The 40-minute lectures, which have a format similar to keynote lectures at scientific meetings, will focus on fields of exceptional significance and novelty with a broad interdisciplinary interest. Only UM faculty will be invited to present.

Read more about Discovery Science Grand Rounds and submit your nomination »