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

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University of Miami/Jackson medical campus

University of Miami/Jackson medical campus

Five UM/Jackson Programs Nationally Ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Five University of Miami Miller School of Medicine programs at Jackson Memorial Medical Center (UM/Jackson) have been ranked among the best in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals survey, with UM’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute ranked Number One in ophthalmology for the eighth year in a row.

The four other nationally ranked Miller School programs at Jackson Memorial Hospital are neurology and neurosurgery, ranked 33; ear, nose and throat, No. 34; urology, No. 43; and nephrology or kidney disorders, No. 45.

Read more about the rankings »

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Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., received the 2011 Alzheimer’s Association Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award at a July 17 ceremony.

Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., received the 2011 Alzheimer’s Association Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award at a July 17 ceremony.

Miller School Geneticist Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award

A leading geneticist at the Miller School has been honored for her extraordinary lifelong contribution to Alzheimer’s disease research at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Paris.

The 2011 Alzheimer’s Association Bengt Winblad Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to 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, during a ceremony at the opening of the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual meeting on July 17.

“I am truly honored and humbled that the Alzheimer’s Association has chosen me for this award,” Dr. Pericak-Vance said. “The Alzheimer’s Association has played a pivotal role in supporting efforts to find new ways to treat and prevent this devastating disorder. I feel privileged to have played a part.”

For more than two decades, Dr. Pericak-Vance has played a major role in advancing the understanding of the genetics contributing to Alzheimer’s. She was instrumental in finding the first genetic evidence for Alzheimer’s in the 1990s. Now, she co-leads the analysis team for the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium, which is creating a definitive map of the Alzheimer’s genetic landscape. Earlier this year, the group published findings in Nature Genetics identifying four new genes linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more about Dr. Pericak-Vance's accomplishments »

From left, Lawrence A. Schachner, M.D., Martha Hsia, Niven Narain, and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., dedicate the Dr. Sung Lan Hsia Laboratory in Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery.

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From left, Lawrence A. Schachner, M.D., Martha Hsia, Niven Narain, and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., dedicate the Dr. Sung Lan Hsia Laboratory in Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery.

Dermatology Lab Dedicated to Pioneering Researcher and Educator

Over his remarkable 43 years in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Sung Lan Hsia, Ph.D., opened the department’s first laboratory, pioneered new discoveries, published 200 papers, earned nine patents, and guided a legion of students and colleagues who admired his humanity, humor, balanced nature and perpetually youthful enthusiasm as much as his brilliance.

To honor the late professor’s professional and personal achievements, many of Dr. Hsia’s admirers gathered with his family at the Miller School on July 14 to dedicate in his memory the same lab where he helped discover the cancer-inhibiting potential of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and the significant role HDL cholesterol plays in protecting the cardiovascular system.

“He would be absolutely delighted, as all of us are, that his laboratory will in perpetuity carry the name of The Dr. Sung Lan Hsia Laboratory in Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery,’’ Lawrence A. Schachner, M.D., chairman and Harvey Blank Professor of Dermatology, told the guests assembled in the department’s nearby George Ioannides, M.D., Library. “He would tell us that the lab, and we, must do the most good for as many people as possible, and it will, and we will.’’

Read more about Dr. Hsia »

Mahendra Kumar, Ph.D.

Mahendra Kumar, Ph.D.

UM Researcher Awarded NIH Grant to Study Endocrine Outcomes in Meth Abusers With HIV

Mahendra Kumar, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and psychology and director of the Molecular Neuroendocrinology and Neurotransmitters Laboratory, was recently awarded more than $3 million for a National Institutes of Health research project titled “HIV-1 Infection in Methamphetamine Abusers: Endocrine Outcomes.”

Funded through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the study will run through January 2016 with Kumar as the principal investigator and other collaborators, including Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., the Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D., professor of clinical medicine; Adarsh Kumar, Ph.D., research professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; and Maria Lopez, Ph.D., research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Read more about the grant »

Terrol Graham, left, and Artisha Scott

Terrol Graham, left, and Artisha Scott

Paving a Pathway for Future Doctors

Amid the noontime din at the Jackson Memorial Hospital cafeteria, a group of young students eat lunch while chattering excitedly about their classes and their futures. They are not medical students—at least not yet—but the college juniors, seniors and recent graduates seem to blend in well with the physicians, medical students and dozens of hospital employees around them.

In the years to come, these students could very well join the ranks of medicine, thanks to the program that has brought them to the Miller School this summer for a seven-week “mini med school experience.” The initiative, Minority Students in Health Careers Motivation Program, is one of the five programs that comprise the Miami Comprehensive Model for Health Professions Education, which, for more than three decades, has been providing underrepresented minority students with opportunities to develop the necessary skills to successfully compete for admission to schools in the medical field.

Read more about the program »

Director James K. Loftus, right, shares the Miami-Dade Police Department's gratitude for the Ryder Trauma Center with, from left, Carlos Migoya, Jackson Health System CEO, Nicholas Namias, M.D., M.B.A., and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

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Director James K. Loftus, right, shares the Miami-Dade Police Department's gratitude for the Ryder Trauma Center with, from left, Carlos Migoya, Jackson Health System CEO, Nicholas Namias, M.D., M.B.A., and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Miami-Dade Police Show Gratitude to Ryder Trauma Center

Nearly every night, South Floridians get a glimpse of Ryder Trauma Center, the region’s only Level 1 trauma facility. The world-renowned center, operated by Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Miller School’s Department of Surgery, is frequently the backdrop for grim TV news reports about severely injured people.

In some cases, the person rushed to Ryder clinging to life after an accident or an attack is a police officer.

At a July 13 news conference at the UM/Jackson Ryder Trauma Center, Miami-Dade Police Director James K. Loftus expressed his department’s collective thanks to the venerable trauma center by presenting a certificate of appreciation to Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya, and Nicholas Namias, M.D., M.B.A., professor of surgery and medical director of trauma at Ryder.

View a photo gallery and read more about the recognition »

Funding and Research

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