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

Up Front

Amar R. Deshpande, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, pins the Courvoisier Society's Shadi Damanpour.

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Amar R. Deshpande, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, pins the Courvoisier Society's Shadi Damanpour.

2013 Freshman Pinning Ceremony Celebrates First-Year Students and Their Families

As a high school senior, Eric Weiss told his dad he had no intention of following him into the medical profession. “I wanted to be a meteorologist,” he recalled. Yet, there he was standing on stage in the Schoninger Research Quadrangle this past Friday, joyously receiving the gold, green and orange pin symbolizing his official welcome into the Miller School’s proud family of physicians from his father, a member of the Class of 1981 who four years earlier had pinned his older brother.

With high-fives, hugs, handshakes and big sighs of relief, Weiss and 194 other members of the Class of 2016 celebrated the near-completion of their first year of medical school during the 13th Annual John G. Clarkson Freshman Pinning Ceremony, a now-cherished tradition named in honor of Dean Emeritus John G. Clarkson, M.D., a member of the Class of 1968. Crossing the stage in pairs with fellow members of their respective medical societies, each student stood proudly as a faculty member, a Miller School alumnus or an upperclassman – sometimes a sister, brother, mother or, as in Weiss’s case, a father – affixed the lapel pin depicting the Miller School’s mission statement to their white coat.

Read more and view a photo gallery of freshman pinning »

More News

Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A., holds his award, surrounded by, from left, Peter Segurola, M.D., President of the American Heart Association South Florida Board; Ernesto Perez, Chair of the AHA 2013 Miami Heart & Stroke Ball; and Diana Block, Chair of the AHA South Florida Board.

Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A., holds his award, surrounded by, from left, Peter Segurola, M.D., President of the American Heart Association South Florida Board; Ernesto Perez, Chair of the AHA 2013 Miami Heart & Stroke Ball; and Diana Block, Chair of the AHA South Florida Board.

Mauro Moscucci, M.D., Receives AHA’s Cor Vitae Heart Award

The American Heart Association presented its prestigious Cor Vitae Heart Award to the Miller School’s Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A., professor and interim Chair of Medicine and Chief of the Cardiovascular Division, at the 2013 Miami Heart & Stroke Ball, held at the Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday evening.

Moscucci, an interventional cardiologist who has focused on outcome assessment and quality improvement throughout his career, joined the Miller School in September 2008 from the University of Michigan, where he served as Director of Interventional Cardiology Services, among other roles.

He described receiving the Cor Vitae Award as a “humbling experience,” pointing out that cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer in the U.S. despite major advances in the field. “Beyond providing outstanding care to our patients, our mission as cardiovascular specialists is to find new cures, to prevent cardiovascular disease and to educate the public and the next generation of cardiovascular specialists,” Moscucci said. “The American Heart Association has been instrumental in promoting and supporting such missions.”

Read more about Dr. Moscucci's award »

Mustafa Tekin, M.D.

Mustafa Tekin, M.D.

Human Genetics Faculty Awarded $3.1 Million NIH Grant To Study Hearing Loss

Mustafa Tekin, M.D., associate professor in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics and member of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, has been awarded a $3.1 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to identify genes that cause deafness and are associated with inner ear anomalies.

The grant, “Genetic Studies of Inner Ear Anomalies,” will complement Tekin`s previously funded NIH grant, which aims to find the genetic causes of nonsyndromic deafness. The long-term goal is to improve the clinical and genetic management of individuals with hearing loss by providing molecular diagnostic tests, which will lead to better genetic counseling, treatment, and prevention of disease conditions.

Read more about the grant »

From left are Claudia Rodrigues, Ph.D., Keith Webster, Ph.D., and Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D.

From left are Claudia Rodrigues, Ph.D., Keith Webster, Ph.D., and Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D.

Dr. Keith Webster Recognized for Innovative Translational Stem Cell Research

The Miller School’s Keith Webster, Ph.D., professor of molecular and cellular pharmacology and the Walter G. Ross Distinguished Chair in Vascular Biology, has been recognized for his outstanding dedication to the mission of the Florida Heart Research Institute in the area of research.

Paul Kurlansky, M.D., Director of Research, presented Webster with the award in recognition of his innovative translational stem cell research and robust collaborative support of the institute at the institute’s February 26 annual meeting at the Sabadell Financial Center on Brickell.

Read more about Dr. Webster »

Marine Dididze, M.D., Ph.D., and Allan Levi, M.D., Ph.D.

Marine Dididze, M.D., Ph.D., and Allan Levi, M.D., Ph.D.

Miami Project Researchers Publish Findings on Use of Mild Hypothermia for Acute Spinal Cord Injury

Researchers at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis have published six-year findings in the journal Spinal Cord, the official journal of the International Spinal Cord Society, that provide additional evidence that the use of mild hypothermia is a safe and effective strategy for treating acute spinal cord injuries.

Much of the pre-clinical investigative data on the use of hypothermia post-injury, which was pioneered by Miami Project and Miller School researchers, led senior author Allan Levi, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery, orthopaedics, and rehabilitation medicine, and first author Marine Dididze, M.D., Ph.D., associate scientist of neurological surgery, to undertake the latest study, which to date represents the largest prospective series of cervical spinal cord injury patients treated by modest hypothermia.

Read more about the study »

Event co-chairs Rujuta Pandya, left, and Lydia Fein present President Shalala with a Women’s Health Awareness Week t-shirt.

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Event co-chairs Rujuta Pandya, left, and Lydia Fein present President Shalala with a Women’s Health Awareness Week t-shirt.

Miller School Student Groups Promote Women’s Health During Women’s Health Awareness Week

In celebration of the third annual Women’s Health Awareness Week at the Miller School, the Women’s Health Interest Group, in partnership with the Preventive Medicine Club, OB-GYN Interest Group, and American Medical Women’s Association, hosted a series of events supporting the cause, which concluded with a Health Education and Resource Fair in Alamo Park.

The March 1 fair provided education on women’s health issues, such as breastfeeding and domestic violence, weight and nutrition counseling, information on community health resources, and free blood pressure screenings.

The fair also featured a keynote address by UM President Donna E. Shalala, who reiterated the importance of promoting women’s health.

Event co-chairs Lydia Fein, a second-year medical student, and Rujuta Pandya, a fourth-year medical student, said the event was important to showcase the University’s commitment to women.

“We want women to know that we at the University of Miami and the Miller School are committed to improving women’s health,” they said in a joint statement.

Michael Lucas, right, plant manager of GE Healthcare, moderated a panel discussion that included, from left, Deborah Williams, Senior Director of Supplier Diversity, Premier Inc.; Tomas Garcia, global sourcing manager, supplier diversity, GE Healthcare; Janet McCain, Director of Business Diversity, HealthTrust Purchasing Group; and Tracy Moté.

Michael Lucas, right, plant manager of GE Healthcare, moderated a panel discussion that included, from left, Deborah Williams, Senior Director of Supplier Diversity, Premier Inc.; Tomas Garcia, global sourcing manager, supplier diversity, GE Healthcare; Janet McCain, Director of Business Diversity, HealthTrust Purchasing Group; and Tracy Moté.

Business Development Program Hosts UMatch GPO Forum

The University of Miami’s Business Development Program, an initiative that encourages women and minority suppliers to engage in the institution’s procurement process, brought together several stakeholders in the healthcare industry for a spirited discussion on the business model of group purchasing organizations (GPOs).

UHealth, Broward Health, Baptist Health South Florida, the HealthTrust Purchasing Group, and Premier Inc. were among the many participants in the February 28 UMatch GPO Forum held at the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park.

Attracting more than 75 representatives of women- and minority-owned enterprises, the forum featured panel discussions on best practices for supplier diversity and tips on connecting with business opportunities.

Read more about UMatch »

Kimberly M. Tuggle

Kimberly M. Tuggle

Miller School Continues Diversity Initiatives with Miami Model Summer Programs

Long recognized for its unwavering commitment to diversity, the Miller School will continue promoting student diversity in the healthcare profession by helping underrepresented minorities like Kimberly M. Tuggle successfully compete for medical school admission through the Miami Model Summer Program, which includes two preparatory initiatives for college students and one for high schoolers.

“This was the most challenging yet rewarding experience of my educational career,” said Tuggle, who participated in the model program’s Minority Students in Health Careers Motivation Program last year. “I know that I am completely ready for the rigors of medical school because of this program.”

Read more about the summer programs »

Tony Etzel

Tony Etzel

Miller School/UHealth Co-Hosts Inaugural Academic Practice Forum

From benchmarking to meeting goals, no two medical practices are the same. That’s especially true of academic practices, which face many different challenges than their private-sector counterparts. That’s why Tony Etzel, Vice Chair for Administration in the Department of Otolaryngology and former president of the Association of Otolaryngology Administrators (AOA), is teaming up with the AOA to host the inaugural Academic Practice Forum Annual Meeting March 15-16 at the Miller School.

During the meeting, 16 practice administrators from universities across the nation and other healthcare professionals will discuss the many challenges of managing an academic otolaryngology practice, future trends in electronic medical records and cost-cutting strategies.

On Saturday, March 16, participants also will hear from UM President Donna E. Shalala, who will present “The Affordable Healthcare Act and Its Impact.” Miller School administrators and otolaryngology faculty are invited to attend the President’s lecture, at 9 a.m. in Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center conference room 1301.

Read more about the meeting »

2013 Alumni Award Recipients Announced

The University of Miami Alumni Association has chosen the following individuals and group to receive its highest honors at the 2013 Alumni Awards Ceremony: Dwayne Johnson, B.G.S. ’95 (Edward T. Foote II Alumnus of Distinction); Barbara Hecht Havenick, A.B. ’72, J.D. ’75 (Henry King Stanford Alumnus of the Year); Frederic Guerrier, M.D. ’81 (William R. Butler Community Service Award); Stuart Ellison, B.B.A. ’70 (Orange Award); College of Engineering Alumni Association (White Award); Jacqueline Landes, B.S.Ed. ’13 (Student of Distinction); Spencer Weinkle, B.S.C. ’07 (Outstanding Young Alumnus); and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc (Inside Out Award).

The Alumni Awards Ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, on the Coral Gables campus at the Newman Alumni Center, 6200 San Amaro Drive. For more information, visit www.miami.edu/alumniawards.

One More Day for Ticket Distribution for Family Weekend with the Miami Marlins

The last day to pick up tickets for the Family Weekend with the Miami Marlins is Wednesday, March 27, on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In appreciation of the dedication and outstanding work of its employees, the University will once again host the event on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, at Marlins Park in Little Havana, where the Marlins will take on the National League Central Division Chicago Cubs at 7:10 p.m. on Saturday and 1:10 p.m. on Sunday.

Each regular employee, as well as contract employees, can receive one complimentary ticket and purchase up to two additional tickets for $1 each. Employees are allowed to pick up one complimentary ticket and purchase up to two additional tickets for one game only — either the April 27 or April 28 game. Children under 3 do not require tickets. Each ticket comes with a food voucher for a hot dog, chips, and a fountain drink or bottle of water.

Read more about UM's Family Weekend with the Miami Marlins »

Miami Heat Offering UM Employees Discounted Tickets for Three April Games

UM Nights are returning to the American Airlines Arena this April, when University employees are eligible to buy discounted tickets to cheer on the NBA World Champion Miami Heat. Discounted tickets are available for the games against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, April 9, the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, April 14, and the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, April 17.

These games are expected to sell out, so buy your tickets now. Find more information and purchase tickets online.

Research News

Office of Research Administration Relocates

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) has moved its core staff to Gables One Tower. Consolidating ORA staff members to a single location will allow for better communication, automation, and streamlining of processes. Please update your records to reflect the following address change:

Physical Address
Office of Research Administration
1320 South Dixie Highway
Suite 650, Locator Code 2960
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Read more about Office of Research locations and procedures »