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

Up Front

Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Byron Lam, M.D.

Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Byron Lam, M.D.

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Researchers Receive $2.82 Million to Study Blinding Disease

Physician-scientists at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have received a five-year $2.82 million grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health to study retinitis pigmentosa (RP). RP is a group of inherited eye diseases that cause progressive vision loss and blindness due to degeneration of the retina, the layer of light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. It affects about 1 in 4,000 people in the United States.

Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D., and Byron Lam, M.D., professors of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer, in collaboration with biochemist Ziqiang Guan, Ph.D., a research associate professor at Duke University Medical School, received the grant to specifically study DHDDS (dehydrodolichyl diphosphate synthase)-associated retinitis pigmentosa.

Read more about the grant »

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William Burns beside his plane on an aircraft carrier deck.

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William Burns beside his plane on an aircraft carrier deck.

Medical Student, a Former Navy Pilot, is Named UM’s First Tillman Military Scholar

William Burns, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot who is entering his fourth year as a medical student, has been named the University of Miami’s first Tillman Military Scholar. The $15,000 award is given by the Pat Tillman Foundation to active-duty service members, veterans and military spouses who are pursuing higher education, and who wish to continue to be of service to others.

“Many would think twice about going back to school later in life for a second career,” said Burns, 40, a lieutenant commander who has been in the Navy for nearly 20 years. “Instead, I see it as an opportunity to continue my service to others through healing. I believe my operational experience will give me a unique perspective in the Navy Medical Corps, and I am excited about the future.”

Read more about William Burns »

Mustafa Tekin, M.D.

Mustafa Tekin, M.D.

Newly Discovered Gene Mutation is Linked to Hereditary Deafness

Researchers led by geneticists at the Miller School have discovered a new gene mutation that causes hearing loss. Their study, which focused on a large Turkish family in which six individuals have been affected by hereditary deafness, identified a mutated form of the gene FAM65B as a cause of sensorineural hearing loss.

The research also demonstrates that FAM65B is a previously unrecognized component of the inner ear that is required for hearing. Their report, “FAM65B is a membrane-associated protein of hair cell stereocilia required for hearing,” was published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more about the study »

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

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

Miller School Researchers Link Hormone to Stroke Risk

A team of Miller School researchers, collaborating with investigators at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, has found evidence of a link between elevated levels of a hormone that regulates phosphate levels in the body and increased risk of stroke.

The hormone, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), has been found in prior studies at elevated levels in patients with chronic kidney disease, along with associated connections to increased risk of cardiovascular mortality and combined vascular outcomes that included stroke. This new study, however, is one of the first to find a link between FGF23 and stroke in patients without kidney disease. The results, “Plasma FGF23 and the risk of stroke,” were published in the journal Neurology.

Read more about the study »

Frost School of Music Dean Shelly Berg conducts members of a string quartet who convey important lessons to medical and nursing students through music.

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Frost School of Music Dean Shelly Berg conducts members of a string quartet who convey important lessons to medical and nursing students through music.

Music to Medical Ears: Frost Quartet Gives Medical and Nursing Students Lessons in Patient Safety

The last place one might expect to teach future doctors and nurses about patient safety is on a concert stage. But an accomplished string quartet from the Frost School of Music performed Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik’’ for 210 medical and nursing students who spent last week forging teams to address medical crises thrown at them during the second Interprofessional Patient Safety Course run by the Miller School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

The concert was not a respite from the rigors of the intense, fast-paced encounters with simulated patients—lifelike mannequins with fading vital signs and human actors with an assortment of maladies and emotions—that are designed to teach situational awareness, tear down hierarchies, and nurture the mutual respect and team-building skills future physicians and nurses will need to prevent errors and improve patient outcomes in the real world.

Read more about the event »

From left are Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., PhD.; event committee and advisory board members Alyson Katz, Donna Bitterman Shepard, Grisell Ocariz, Edmi Cortez, M.D., Susan Racher, Cori Lopez-Castro, and Mary Demetree; and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D. (Committee and Advisory Board Members not pictured are Gayle Nemeroff, Tricia Rutsis and Jennifer Sazant).

From left are Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., PhD.; event committee and advisory board members Alyson Katz, Donna Bitterman Shepard, Grisell Ocariz, Edmi Cortez, M.D., Susan Racher, Cori Lopez-Castro, and Mary Demetree; and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D. (Committee and Advisory Board Members not pictured are Gayle Nemeroff, Tricia Rutsis and Jennifer Sazant).

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Hosts Event to Raise Program Awareness

With an eye toward raising awareness and needed funding for mental health programs, members of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and its volunteer Advisory Board recently came together to inform the community of the many resources and treatment programs available to them when dealing with mental health issues.

At the community outreach event, Lean In… on Mental Health, held recently at Sagamore, the Art Hotel in Miami Beach, health professionals shared information about the programs and services offered through the department, for what is often considered a silent topic in the community. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, and many are affected by more than one disorder at a time, impacting not only their health and sense of well-being, but also the lives of family and friends.

Read more about the event »

Abhinav Gautam, M.D., started Nexus Clinical while completing his residency at the University of Miami.

Abhinav Gautam, M.D., started Nexus Clinical while completing his residency at the University of Miami.

Software Start-Up Pushes Cloud-based Medical Operations to New Heights

Earning a medical degree was a step in the right direction for Abhinav Gautam, M.D., voluntary assistant professor of anesthesiology. But it was during his residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital that the 32-year-old began to see the bigger picture, and he set off on a path toward entrepreneurship to help solve what he calls “massive inefficiencies” in healthcare.

Doctors, he said, were still performing a tremendous number of administrative tasks manually or with inefficient software.

Read more about Nexus Clinical »

November 3 Deadline for Poster Submission and Fee Waiver Application for 2015 Miami Winter Symposium

The deadline for faculty, students and staff to apply for fee waivers to attend the 2015 Miami Winter Symposium is Monday, November 3.

To apply, please complete and email the application form to William J. Whelan, D.Sc., at wwhelan@miami.edu.

The deadline for poster submissions also is November 3. If you are interested in submitting an abstract, please visit www.miamiwintersymposium.com/submit- abstract for more information.

Read more about the symposium »

The Word on Workday: Workday Project Releases First Communications Tool Kit, Appoints Organizational

In support of the Workday project’s change management and communication endeavors, Workday HR’s Advisory Board has selected Organizational Readiness Liaisons (ORLs) to serve as project champions and communication vehicles for their respective colleges, schools, units, and divisions. There are approximately 175 ORLs, including faculty and staff of all levels, across the Gables, Medical and Rosenstiel campuses, as well as UHealth satellite offices.

In an effort to educate and inform everyone at the University of Miami about the upcoming Workday HR implementation, the project team has released the first in a series of Workday Communications Tool Kits that will be made available to all faculty and staff at the University. These Communications Tool Kits will enable everyone at UM to communicate with their teams, colleagues and peers about the Workday HR project.

Read more about Workday HR »

Miller School Introduces 25 Live Calendar System

The Miller School of Medicine has joined the University’s ’Canes Calendar events management system to provide a new and improved comprehensive listing of events, from Grand Rounds and lectures, to employee training, information sessions and fundraisers.

Events are no longer submitted via email. Instead, with the new calendar powered by the 25 Live event scheduling system, faculty and staff can submit event information to one source and have it shared in multiple platforms, including e-Update and e-Veritas.

The calendar also allows users to:

• Subscribe to weekly emails of calendars of interest

• Add events easily to their personal calendar

• Email events to a friend

• Receive notifications of event changes

• Receive text message and email reminders as an event nears

• Share events on Twitter and LinkedIn

To submit an event, please visit www.miami.edu/calendar/login and sign in with your regular username and password. For more information about the calendar or help, visit www.miami.edu/index.php/canescalendar.

For news and other announcements, employees should continue submitting requests to update@med.miami.edu.

Frank Millero, Ph.D.

Frank Millero, Ph.D.

Faculty and Staff Support the U: Chemist Makes a Difference on the Oceans and on Campus

Frank Millero, Ph.D., a chemist at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, has dedicated nearly a half-century to protecting the oceans, and advancing the University. Read about other faculty and staff who support the U

Read his story »