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

Up Front

From left are graduate student Andre Jordan, Vinata B. Lokeshwar, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow Ronny Racine, Ph.D., and Luis Lopez.

From left are graduate student Andre Jordan, Vinata B. Lokeshwar, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow Ronny Racine, Ph.D., and Luis Lopez.

Top Urologic Researcher Wins NIH Grant to Study Potential Breakthrough Kidney Cancer Therapy

A long-time Miller School researcher, who has dedicated her career to studying the mechanisms that fuel cancers of the prostate and bladder, is now studying a promising drug combination to combat kidney cancer. More than one-third of patients with kidney cancer develop metastasis despite treatment, and less than 10 percent of them survive beyond five years.

Vinata B. Lokeshwar, Ph.D., professor of urology and cell biology and Director of Pilot Studies at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), was awarded a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to test a combination of sorafenib, a drug already approved for kidney cancer, with the dietary supplement hymecromone in pre-clinical models. The drug combination was shown to eliminate kidney tumors in mice without toxicity, and if successful in humans could be the first to prevent the cancer from metastasizing.

Read more about the study »

More News

Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D.

Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D.

Study Finds Factors Affecting Diabetes Risk Among Hispanics

People of Hispanic origin living in the U.S. are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and related cardiometabolic abnormalities, but the risk varies considerably among specific ethnic groups and according to other factors, including education and length of time living in the U.S. That is the primary finding of a study led by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and published in the August issue of Diabetes Care, based on the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) and sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Researchers have long known that people of Hispanic background are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes than non-Hispanic Caucasians. However, most research has examined Hispanics as a whole, rather than looking at subgroups, such as Puerto Rican, Mexican and Cuban, and Central and South American.

Read more about the study »

Robert C. Hendel, M.D.

Robert C. Hendel, M.D.

Dr. Robert Hendel Named Interim Chief of Cardiovascular Division

Robert C. Hendel, M.D., professor of medicine and radiology, has been named interim Chief of the Cardiovascular Division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Before this appointment, he was the Associate Chief of Clinical Cardiology, Director of the Cardiac Care Unit and Director of Cardiac Imaging at the Miller School.

A skilled cardiologist, Hendel specializes in the diagnosis and management of complex cardiac diseases with a particular focus on cardiac imaging and the appropriate use of cardiac technology. He has authored more than 150 publications and two textbooks as well as given invited lectures in more than 10 countries.

Read more about Dr. Hendel »

Eugene Hershorin, M.D., and Sebastian the Ibis celebrate a “breakthrough” in outpatient service at the opening of the UHealth Pediatric Specialists South facility.

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Eugene Hershorin, M.D., and Sebastian the Ibis celebrate a “breakthrough” in outpatient service at the opening of the UHealth Pediatric Specialists South facility.

New Pediatric Center Brings Expanded Service to South Dade Families

A newly opened outpatient facility in Deering Plaza is providing South Dade families with direct, convenient access to UHealth pediatric specialists. UHealth Pediatric Specialists South, located in an office building adjacent to Jackson South Community Hospital, serves patients from newborns to age 21.

The facility features 13 examination rooms, as well as dedicated meeting areas where patients can confer with physicians. Pediatric specialties offered include surgery, cardiology, nephrology, pulmonology, gastroenterology and endocrinology, with additional specialties to be added. Many of these specialties were previously located at UHealth at Kendall; others are now available because the new facility is larger.

Read more about the new facility »

Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D.

Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D.

Research Describes Novel Tumor-Promoting Adaptation in Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma

A collaborative Miller School study led by Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, describes a novel therapeutic target in RAS-driven lung cancer, a common but untreatable carcinoma.

The study, “MutT Homolog 1 (MTH1) maintains multiple KRAS-driven pro-malignant pathways,” published July 14 online ahead of print in Oncogene, a Nature Publishing Group journal, describes a critical role for MTH1, a protein which sanitizes oxidized DNA precursors, in facilitating tumor formation by activated KRAS, the most commonly mutated oncogene in human cancers. The study specifically focused on KRAS-driven non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), a highly aggressive and treatment-resistant form of lung cancer.

Read more about the study »

Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D.

Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D.

Dr. Mohammad Jahanzeb Appointed Chair-Elect of ASCO Quality Program

Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D., Medical Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at Deerfield Beach, has been appointed Chair-Elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Steering Group Committee.

Jahanzeb, professor of medicine, has been instrumental in the development of QOPI since its inception in 2002. He has served as a member of the original QOPI Alpha Group, the Original Measures Work Group and the Physician Champion Pilot Testing Group. As Chair-Elect, he will oversee and steer the strategic direction and implementation of the QOPI program.

Read more about Dr. Jahanzeb »

Liver transplant recipient Makinley Edwards with parents Nicki and Michael.

Liver transplant recipient Makinley Edwards with parents Nicki and Michael.

Transplant Saves Life of Baby with Rare Cancer

Makinley Edwards, who turned 1 on June 14, is like lots of adorable baby girls. She loves going to the beach, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and eating chicken fingers and French fries. She also likes looking into the mirror and trying to figure out who the other baby is.

Just a few months ago, however, her prospects were grim. Shortly after her birth, Makinley was diagnosed with stage 3 hepatoblastoma — a form of liver cancer that tends to strike young children. Without the life-saving liver transplant she received on Valentine’s Day at the Miami Transplant Institute, a collaborative program between the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital, Makinley never would have reached her first birthday, according to her father, Michael.

Read more about the transplant surgery »

Ragen and Roy Elterman

Ragen and Roy Elterman

Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation Establishes New Scholarships

Thanks to a generous $500,000 gift from the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation (PERF), new financial incentives will soon be in place in perpetuity for students at the Miller School of Medicine. The not-for-profit foundation, which is led by Miller School alumnus Roy Elterman, M.D. ’74, is establishing two scholarships to assist students for generations to come.

The Dr. Roy D. and Ragen S. Elterman Endowed Medical Scholarship Fund will be a merit-based scholarship, while the Morton and Alma Elterman Endowed Medical Scholarship Fund, named for Elterman’s parents, will be a financial need-based award. PERF’s intention is to add $1 million to the endowment by May 2016.

Read more about the gift »

Robert C. Hendel, M.D., interim Chief of the Cardiovascular Division, Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., Chair of Neurology, Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., make the

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Robert C. Hendel, M.D., interim Chief of the Cardiovascular Division, Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., Chair of Neurology, Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., make the "U" with Sebastian at the Miller School kickoff to the 2014 Miami-Dade Heart Walk.

American Heart Association Heart Walk Launch Draws Energetic Crowd

Dozens of energetic UM employees crowded the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center on July 24 for the Miller School’s kickoff to the American Heart Association’s 2014 Heart Walk. Members of the School’s senior leadership, a representative from the AHA and even Sebastian the Ibis were on hand to encourage employees to form or join teams to participate in the Heart Walk, which is sponsored by UHealth, and raise money to fight cardiovascular disease.

“As a cardiologist, I am a believer in the mission and goals of this great organization,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth. “The biggest change in life expectancy has been through the management of cardiovascular disease. The Heart Walk is a fun event and an easy way to stay healthy and support the initiatives of the AHA. I count on seeing all of you and your families there.”

Read more about the Heart Walk »

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 »

Implementation of Patient Privacy Monitoring Solution

The privacy and security of health information are extremely important. Patients trust their healthcare providers to keep their information private, and this trust can influence where they choose to receive care. The updated Florida Information Protection Act of 2014, combined with the national HIPAA/HITECH Final Rule, calls for stricter enforcement and fines on organizations that breach the confidentiality of patient and other sensitive information. Please do your part by ONLY accessing patient information in our systems for legitimate clinical, research, teaching or business needs.

UHealth is implementing the FairWarning patient privacy monitoring system to proactively monitor clinical systems and provide data related to inappropriate activities.

Individuals who engage in inappropriate activity regarding patient information (accessing information for a non-business or clinical need) are subject to sanctions, as determined by Human Resources and/or Faculty Affairs.

We appreciate all that you do for UHealth and ask that you join in efforts to respect patient privacy and build patient trust. To learn more, please read Implementation of Automated Patient Privacy Monitoring. For any questions, please contact the Office of HIPAA Privacy & Security at 305-243-5000.

The new program includes supervised weight training.

The new program includes supervised weight training.

UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center Introduces Supervised Exercise Program

The UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center is introducing the Supervised Exercise Program for eligible individuals who are not currently exercising and would like to start a routine under the guidance of an exercise professional.

The program is an outgrowth of the Center’s rebranding as a medically based exercise facility, said Tony Musto, Ph.D., Director of Fitness Programs.

Read more about the exercise program »

Relax and Rejuvenate with a Personal Acupuncture or Massage Session

The Courtelis Center’s Integrative Medicine Program, in partnership with Well ’Canes, is pleased to offer acupuncture and massage sessions for UM faculty and staff at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. If you suffer from headaches, body pain or weakness, digestive disorders, insomnia, fatigue, or anxiety, you could improve your condition through the benefits of acupuncture or massage.

Acupuncture sessions are covered at the primary care physician co-pay rate for UM/Aetna medical plan members, or $122.50 per consult and $60 per follow-up for self-pay patients. Massage sessions are $30 for 30 minutes and $60 for 60 minutes. Call 305-243-4129 to learn more about the benefits of these services and to book an appointment. For additional information about the University of Miami’s wellness offerings, please visit miami.edu/wellcanes.