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

Up Front

Surrounding Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti, seated, are, from left, Barth A. Green, M.D., Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., Governor Rick Scott, UM President Donna E. Shalala, student David Goldstein, and state Senator Anitere Flores.

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Surrounding Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti, seated, are, from left, Barth A. Green, M.D., Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., Governor Rick Scott, UM President Donna E. Shalala, student David Goldstein, and state Senator Anitere Flores.

Governor Scott Celebrates State’s New Concussion Protections at Miami Project

Recognizing the contributions of UM’s concussion experts and a high school soccer player lucky enough to be one of their patients, Governor Rick Scott visited The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis last week to officially sign into law a bill designed to safeguard Florida’s youth athletes from the potentially devastating consequences of brain injuries suffered on the playing field.

Spearheaded by a state task force led by Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., research professor of neurological surgery and director of UM’s Concussion Program, and sponsored by state Senator Anitere Flores of Miami, the law bars young athletes who endure concussions from returning to practice or play until they are cleared by a physician. It also requires parents to sign informed consent forms acknowledging they are aware of the risks of concussion.

Read more about the bill »

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Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D.

Renowned Clinician-Researcher Named Chair of the Year

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, has been named Chair of the Year by CME Outfitters for his contributions to the field of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, dedication to education and commitment to improving patient care.

Nemeroff accepted the award October 12 in Orlando at CME Outfitters Fifth Annual Chair Summit, a continuing medical education event where academic department chairs in psychiatry and neurology convene to present the latest in pathophysiology and therapeutics and provide in-depth interactive learning opportunities. CME Outfitters also will make a $1,000 donation in his name to the United Way of Miami-Dade.

Read more about Dr. Nemeroff »

The co-authors are, from left, Murray Deutscher, Ph.D., Georgeta Basturea, Ph.D., and Thomas K. “TK” Harris, Ph.D., holding a petri dish of <em>E. coli</em>.

The co-authors are, from left, Murray Deutscher, Ph.D., Georgeta Basturea, Ph.D., and Thomas K. “TK” Harris, Ph.D., holding a petri dish of E. coli.

Miller School Team Settles Scientific Puzzle of Alleged New Life Form

In one of the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s most-read papers, Miller School educators and researchers – with input from some ingenious students – explain how a NASA-supported team of scientists managed to find faulty evidence of a strange new life form on earth.

Reported by the prestigious journal Science in December 2010, the claim made by the NASA scientists was as stunning as it was invalid: A bacterial strain found in California’s arsenic-rich Mono Lake used arsenic, a poison, to produce essential molecules like DNA, instead of its chemical cousin, phosphorus, one of the building blocks of life. NASA touted the finding as proof that alien life forms could exist – possibly on another planet.

Read more about the study »

In partnership with Calder Library, Suresh A. Atapattu, M.S., pictured sitting in the cockpit of the Atlantis space shuttle, is selling some of his NASA photos to benefit UM's United Way campaign.

In partnership with Calder Library, Suresh A. Atapattu, M.S., pictured sitting in the cockpit of the Atlantis space shuttle, is selling some of his NASA photos to benefit UM's United Way campaign.

Make Your United Way Pledge Today and Receive Free Miami Heat Tickets

Still mulling over your support for UM’s United Way campaign? If so, there are a number of enticing offers, including free tickets to see the Miami Heat in action, one-of-a-kind photos of NASA’s retired space shuttle program, and some great raffle and silent auction prizes, that may make it even easier to support charitable and non-profit organizations in our community.

UM employees who make a United Way contribution in person today, Tuesday, October 16, on the medical campus are eligible to receive at least two free tickets to the Heat’s exhibition game against the New Orleans Hornets on October 26. Team UM will be accepting online pledges and distributing the tickets on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Employees who already have made their online pledge also may pick up their Heat tickets on the quad, and pose with the Heat’s championship trophy, which will be on hand for free photo opportunities.

Read more about the photo exhibit and other United Way opportunities »

Gaetano Ciancio, M.D., M.B.A.

Gaetano Ciancio, M.D., M.B.A.

Four Miami Transplant Institute Programs Recognized for Excellence

The Miami Transplant Institute at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center has been awarded silver and bronze medals from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Transplantation for its kidney, kidney/pancreas, lung and heart transplant programs.

The Institute’s kidney transplant program was one of only nine in the United States to receive a silver medal at the October 4 Medal of Honor ceremony in Grapevine, Texas.

Silver medals also were awarded to the kidney/pancreas and lung transplant programs. The heart transplant program received bronze.

Read more about the transplant awards »

On hand to welcome community doctors are, from left, Miguel "Mike" Fernandez, chairman of Simply Healthcare Plans, Michael Kolber, M.D., Ph.D., Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

On hand to welcome community doctors are, from left, Miguel "Mike" Fernandez, chairman of Simply Healthcare Plans, Michael Kolber, M.D., Ph.D., Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Magic Johnson and Miller School Leaders Host Community AIDS Doctors at Reception

NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the most visible face of the new Clear Health Alliance, was a special guest at a reception held at the UM Life Science & Technology Park this month for community-based HIV/AIDS physicians and patient case managers interested in the HIV/AIDS Medicaid specialty health plan offered by Simply Healthcare.

Johnson’s Magic Johnson Enterprises is partnering with the Miller School and the Clear Health Alliance to ensure the delivery of high-quality medical services to the growing number of Medicaid-eligible people with HIV/AIDS in Miami-Dade County, which leads the nation in the number of new AIDS cases per capita.

Read more about the partnership »

Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., far right, poses with the WalkSafe team, front, Petra Caliste, program administrator; front row, from left, Taijha Harden, WalkSafe coordinator; Lauren Baker, student volunteer; Carolina Gutierrez, assistant director; Carolina Rios, communications coordinator; Jackie Smith, program volunteer; and William Ward, student volunteer; back row, from left, Ashlee Quintero, sports concussion coordinator; Flo Rida; Katie Swidarski, WalkSafe coordinator; Katie McInvale, program volunteer; and Jonathan Hooshmand, research assistant.

Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., far right, poses with the WalkSafe team, front, Petra Caliste, program administrator; front row, from left, Taijha Harden, WalkSafe coordinator; Lauren Baker, student volunteer; Carolina Gutierrez, assistant director; Carolina Rios, communications coordinator; Jackie Smith, program volunteer; and William Ward, student volunteer; back row, from left, Ashlee Quintero, sports concussion coordinator; Flo Rida; Katie Swidarski, WalkSafe coordinator; Katie McInvale, program volunteer; and Jonathan Hooshmand, research assistant.

UM WalkSafe Promotes Health and Safety on International Walk to School Day

In UM WalkSafe’s 11th year of decreasing pedestrian injuries, increasing physical activity and improving the environments around schools, program faculty and staff joined more than 500 students, parents, teachers and community leaders on October 3 to promote safety and wellness at Miami Park Elementary School on International Walk to School Day.

“International Walk to School Day is the kickoff to a school year and a lifetime of walking more and walking safely for these students,” said Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., research professor of neurological surgery and Director of the KiDz Neuroscience Center at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, who has directed the expansion of the program’s research initiatives, outreach and community involvement. “The WalkSafe program has contributed to a 70 percent decrease in the most severe pedestrian injuries in the county.”

Read more about WalkSafe »

Richard A. Iacino,
1946 – 2011

Richard A. Iacino, 1946 – 2011

Join the Miller School’s “Team Iacino” at This Year’s Out of the Darkness Community Walk

The Miller School of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences have always supported efforts to raise awareness about suicide. It is the country’s 10th leading cause of death, claiming 36,000 lives each year. Walks sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are designed to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention while also raising funds for research. The event is also an effort to reach out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

We have committed for the third year to supporting the Out of the Darkness Community Walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Miller School’s “Team Iacino,” in honor of our dear friend and colleague, Richard Iacino, will join together again to walk in his memory. We hope that all of you will join us in remembering him – and all the friends and family members we have lost — on Sunday, November 11, at 10 a.m. on the Coral Gables campus.

Read more and register for the Out of the Darkness Community Walk »

Captain Jeffrey Kuhlman, MC, FS, USN.

Captain Jeffrey Kuhlman, MC, FS, USN.

Miller School Hosts Capt. Jeffrey Kuhlman, Physician to the U.S. President, for Surgery Grand Rounds

The DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery and the Divisions of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns will host a special Grand Rounds presentation by the Physician to the President, U.S. Navy Captain Jeffrey Kuhlman, MC, FS, USN, at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Diagnostic Treatment Center.

Dr. Kuhlman will present “Presidential Healthcare in the 21st Century.”

Triple-board-certified in Aerospace, Family and Occupational Medicine, Kuhlman has clinical privileges in all three specialties through the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He is also a designated Naval Flight Surgeon with emergency medicine experience and multiple certifications in trauma and pre-hospital care.

Read more about the event »

New Monthly and Weekly Events at Balans

Balans at the UM Life Science & Technology Park will host a monthly Car and Bike Show starting at noon on the third Sunday of each month, Tuesday Poker Nights every Tuesday night at 7:30 and Game Days during NFL football season on Sundays and Mondays and during NBA basketball season during all televised games.

The first Car and Bike Show will be held on Sunday, October 21. The next Tuesday Poker Night on October 16 will feature a $10 buy in, which includes one free drink.

Balans is located at 1951 N.W. 7th Avenue in Miami. For more information, please call 305-534-9191, ext. 4.

Research News

Miami CTSI Offering Support for New Research Services and Funding Opportunities

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is pleased to announce that extensive research-related resources, including more than $750,000 in services and awards for fiscal year 2013 are available to support investigators on all UM campuses who are conducting research which has the potential to improve the health of our diverse community.

Recently established by an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award to become the nation’s champion of “culturalized health sciences,” the CTSI supports interdisciplinary clinical and translational research that focuses on health problems highly prevalent in ethnic-/racial-minority and medically underserved communities.

As such, all research proposals and requests for these CTSI services and resources should incorporate ideas and approaches from multiple disciplines and/or propose innovative research initiatives that have the potential to translate into improved health.

Read more about the new research opportunities »