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

Up Front

From left, Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., Gary Beecham, Ph.D., and Eden Martin, Ph.D.

From left, Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., Gary Beecham, Ph.D., and Eden Martin, Ph.D.

University of Miami Researchers Receive $12.6 Million NIH Grant to Study Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics are part of a five-university collaboration receiving a $12.6 million, four-year grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to identify rare genetic variants that may either protect against, or contribute to Alzheimer’s disease risk.

At the University of Miami, the Consortium for Alzheimer’s Sequence Analysis (CASA) is led by Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., Director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Professor of Human Genomics, who is one of the principal investigators of the study. Other University of Miami investigators include Eden Martin, Ph.D., professor of human genetics and public health sciences; Gary Beecham, Ph.D., assistant professor of human genetics; Michael Schmidt, Ph.D., research assistant professor of human genetics; Jeffery M. Vance, M.D., Ph.D., professor of human genetics and neurology; Brian Kunkle, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow; Kara Hamilton, Research Support Project Manager; and James Jaworski, Research Support Project Manager

Read more about the grant »

More News

Dileep Yavagal, M.D., left, and Jeremiah Johnson, M.D.

Dileep Yavagal, M.D., left, and Jeremiah Johnson, M.D.

Burst Spinal Artery Aneurysm Linked to Ecstasy

Taking the street drug Ecstasy could lead to a potentially fatal weakening and rupture of the artery to the spinal cord, doctors warn in a new case report published July 4 in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Led by senior author Dileep Yavagal, M.D., associate professor of clinical neurology and neurological surgery, Director of Interventional Neurology and Co-Director of Endovascular Neurosurgery, doctors at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine discovered a posterior spinal artery aneurysm — a blood-filled swelling of the spinal cord artery caused by a weakening and distension of the vessel wall — as the cause of brain and spinal canal bleeding in an otherwise healthy teenager who took Ecstasy a few hours prior. Though bleeding in the brain linked to drug abuse is well-known, the report describes the first posterior spinal artery aneurysm with an identifiable underlying cause and the first aneurysm of any spinal vessel linked to drug abuse.

Read more about the report »

Free DCC Registration Until July 31

For the fifth year in a row, the University of Miami is proud to once again partner with the Miami Dolphins for Dolphins Cycling Challenge V, benefiting the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. For this milestone fifth year, the DCC is permanently moving to its new time frame, the weekend following the Super Bowl. DCC V is scheduled for February 7 and 8, 2015.

Similar to past years, bicyclists can choose from several routes that range from as little as 13 miles all the way up to 170 miles, spanning 37 cities in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. It’s an exhilarating and moving event that brings our community together for a single purpose – to fight cancer.

Read more about the DCC »

One skills-based exercise required team members to navigate an oversized gameboard using communication, leadership, situational monitoring and mutual support.

One skills-based exercise required team members to navigate an oversized gameboard using communication, leadership, situational monitoring and mutual support.

Inaugural Chief Resident Orientation Focuses on Skills for Success

Chief residents play many roles — leader, administrator, educator, mentor and counselor — but changes in graduate medical education are making them busier than ever before. In an effort to provide some guidance, the Miller School and Jackson Memorial Hospital recently held the first orientation specifically for new chief residents. The one-day program brought 55 of them together, representing every department in the school.

The orientation program was a collaborative effort involving Michael K. Butler, M.D., M.H.A., executive vice president and chief medical officer of Jackson Health System; S. Barry Issenberg, M.D., Director of the Miller School’s Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education; Richard K. Parrish, II, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education; Joan St. Onge, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education; and Hector Fabio Rivera, M.D., Assistant Director of Curriculum and Technology Development at the Gordon Center.

Read more about the chief resident orientation »

Shailee Patel, center, receives a certificate for completing a two-year Translational Science Wound Healing Research Fellowship, from Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D., and Lawrence A. Schachner, M.D., the Harvey Blank Professor and Chair of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery.

Shailee Patel, center, receives a certificate for completing a two-year Translational Science Wound Healing Research Fellowship, from Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D., and Lawrence A. Schachner, M.D., the Harvey Blank Professor and Chair of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery.

Student Researcher Honored with a Dozen Accolades in Two Years

Thanks to an inimitably successful two years of research at the Miller School, Shailee Patel can add a remarkable list of accomplishments to her curriculum vitae as she heads back to medical school to complete her fourth-year clinical rotations.

Patel, who took those two years off from medical school to work in the laboratory of Marjana Tomic-Canic, Ph.D., professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery and Director of the Wound Healing and Regenerative Medicine Research Program, earned 12 honorable distinctions during her research tenure

Read more about Shailee Patel »

From left, José Szapocznik, Ph.D., signs the partnership with Alexa Zambrano, M.D., Ms.C., Director of the National Public Health Research Institute; Mauro Toscanini Segale, President of the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil; María Cecilia Loor de Tamariz, Provost of the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil; Mario Jiménez, signing on behalf of Ecuador’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation; and Gustavo Ramírez, M.D., Dean of Medicine at the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil.

From left, José Szapocznik, Ph.D., signs the partnership with Alexa Zambrano, M.D., Ms.C., Director of the National Public Health Research Institute; Mauro Toscanini Segale, President of the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil; María Cecilia Loor de Tamariz, Provost of the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil; Mario Jiménez, signing on behalf of Ecuador’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation; and Gustavo Ramírez, M.D., Dean of Medicine at the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil.

Researchers Bring Public Health Initiatives to Ecuador

The Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences, led by José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and Ana Palacio, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine and Director of the Department of Public Health’s Latin American Programs, has partnered with the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil and Ecuador’s National Public Health Research Institute to bring the latest evidence-based methods for dengue controls and adolescent drug abuse and sexual risk behavior prevention to the country.

The mosquito safety initiative, to control the spread of dengue fever, will include community-based research led by post-doctoral student Whitney Qualls and John Beier, Sc.D., professor of public health sciences, Director of the Division of Environment and Public Health and professor at the UM Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of public health sciences, Director of the Jay Weiss Institute for Health Equity and Associate Director for Disparities and Community Outreach at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Community Engagement Program at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), will consult on community-based participatory research.

Read more about the partnership »

Miami CFAR Funds Seven Pilot Projects for HIV/AIDS Research

The Miami Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) has awarded seven pilot grants to support HIV/AIDS research.

Aligned with the areas of priority for CFAR, funding was awarded for projects related to HIV prevention and drug abuse, AIDS malignancies, co-morbidities, and cures.

Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, received funding for her project “Needs Assessment for a Provider Intervention to Increase PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) Prescribing in Florida.” South Florida continues to have the highest incidence of new HIV infections among all Centers for Disease Control metropolitan statistical areas. Doblecki-Lewis’ project highlights the need for innovative strategies to optimize implementation of evidence-based prevention methods, such as PrEP.

Xianxi Xu, Ph.D., professor of cell biology and member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, received funding for his project “Roles of Nuclear Envelope Disruption in Viral Oncogenesis of HIV/AIDS-associated Malignancies.” Xu will study a new mechanism and gain further understanding of the viral oncogenesis of HIV/AIDS-associated malignancies.

Read more about the CFAR-funded projects »

From left, Darren Roach, daughter Veronica, wife Glory, and son Brendan, make the ever-popular “U” symbol in front of the Sebastian statue at the Newman Alumni Center.

From left, Darren Roach, daughter Veronica, wife Glory, and son Brendan, make the ever-popular “U” symbol in front of the Sebastian statue at the Newman Alumni Center.

Faculty and Staff Support the U:  Retired Lieutenant Colonel is on the Frontlines of UM Information

Through his 20-year military career, UM alumnus and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Darren Roach’s dedication to UM never wavered. Now, he gives back on the job, and as a Loyalty Society member.

Read about other faculty and staff who support the U

Read his story »

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 »

Medical Compliance Services

Medical Compliance Services/Office of Billing Compliance to Host Ophthalmology Training

The Department of Medical Compliance Services/Office of Billing Compliance will provide education on professional coding, billing and documentation guidelines from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9, at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Jose Berrocal Auditorium.

The program is intended for:

  • Faculty Physicians
  • Fellows
  • Residents
  • Technicians
  • Scribes
  • Administrators
  • Billing staff, including coders

For more information, please contact the Office of Billing Compliance at 305-243-5842 or officeofbillingcompliance@med.miami.edu.