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

Up Front

From left, Rosemeire M. Kanashiro-Takeuchi, Ph.D., Joshua M. Hare, M.D., and Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c., D.Sc.h.c.

From left, Rosemeire M. Kanashiro-Takeuchi, Ph.D., Joshua M. Hare, M.D., and Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c., D.Sc.h.c.

Activating GHRH Receptor Shown to Stimulate Cardiac Damage Repair After Myocardial Infarction

A collaborative study by several physician-scientists from the Miller School demonstrates that a growth hormone-releasing hormone agonist (GHRH-A) reverses damage to the heart and enhances recovery following a myocardial infarction. The discovery, which builds on previous research from many of the same scientists, is published in the December 26 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Growth hormone-releasing hormone is a key regulator of growth hormone that is produced by the brain. A previous study led by Joshua Hare, M.D., the Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine in the Cardiovascular Division, and Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c., D.Sc.h.c., the 1977 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine, Distinguished Medical Research Scientist of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and distinguished professor in the Department of Pathology at the Miller School, found that GHRH agonists can stimulate major recovery of the heart injured by a heart attack (PNAS, January 2010). The NIH-funded study, with Hare and Schally again collaborating, builds on that discovery, showing the importance of the GHRH signaling pathway within the heart.

Read more about the study »

More News

Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D.

Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D.

Rising NIH Ranking Reflects the Miller School’s Growing Research Prowess

Enhancing the University’s growing reputation as a research institution, the Miller School of Medicine climbed two spots to No. 39 in the amount of highly coveted research funding awarded by the National Institutes of Health during the 2010-11 federal fiscal year.

The nationwide ranking, which puts the Miller School’s annual NIH grant tally at more than $111.6 million, makes UM the only Florida institution in the Top 50 and highlights the work of several departments and UM faculty. The research, which is often interdisciplinary and collaborative, is helping unravel the mysteries behind a multitude of diseases, such as cancer, HIV, and neurological ailments, and public health issues, such as obesity, that negatively impact quality of life.

Read more about the Miller School's NIH rankings »

Dr. Jose and Hortensia Berrocal, right, celebrate the dedication of the Jose Berrocal Auditorium with their daughters Maria Berrocal, M.D., in blue, and Nina Berrocal, M.D., back row, and their grandchildren.

Dr. Jose and Hortensia Berrocal, right, celebrate the dedication of the Jose Berrocal Auditorium with their daughters Maria Berrocal, M.D., in blue, and Nina Berrocal, M.D., back row, and their grandchildren.

Bascom Palmer Dedicates Auditorium to Jose Berrocal, M.D.

Surprising their husband and father, Hortensia Berrocal and her daughters Nina Berrocal, M.D., associate professor of clinical ophthalmology, and Maria Berrocal, M.D., joined faculty and staff at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute this month to dedicate the newly renovated Jose Berrocal Auditorium in honor of the first fellow to train under the Institute’s founder.

The auditorium, which originally opened in the fall of 1980 as part of the Institute’s Edith and Earl Retter Educational Center, has more than helped the Center fulfill its goal of promoting the best in ophthalmic training and education. For nearly 32 years, the auditorium has served as home to Grand Rounds each Thursday morning, and hosted thousands of faculty, staff, students and donors for seminars, research forums and other special events. But modern times and decades of use left the auditorium in dire need of updated communication equipment and overall renovation.

Read more about the dedication »

Miriam Masia, back right, music education specialist with Family Central T.A.L.K., leads Debbie School students in a family sing-a-long.

Miriam Masia, back right, music education specialist with Family Central T.A.L.K., leads Debbie School students in a family sing-a-long.

Debbie School and Jackson Memorial Foundation Celebrate Grand Opening of Dream Playground

With singing, dancing and their profuse thanks, students, friends, faculty and other supporters of the Department of Pediatrics’ Debbie School celebrated the grand opening this month of the dream playground students designed and school volunteers built at the Mailman Center for Child Development.

With students and many adults dressed in Santa hats, the celebrants gathered December 14 for a family sing-along on the 2,500-square-foot playground’s long-awaited artificial turf, made possible with a $35,000 donation from the Jackson Memorial Foundation requested by child advocate David Lawrence Jr.

Read more about the playground's grand opening »

Thomas J. Balkany, M.D., second from the left, stands with members of the UM Ear Institute and the Miami Marlins/AYUDA program.

Thomas J. Balkany, M.D., second from the left, stands with members of the UM Ear Institute and the Miami Marlins/AYUDA program.

Miami Marlins Bring Holiday Cheer to UM Ear Institute

The holidays came a little early for the UM Ear Institute this year. On December 15, members of the Miami Marlins organization, working with AYUDA, the Adults and Youth who are Underserved Deserve Attention program, paid a surprise visit to the Ear Institute, donating toys and a DVD player. The generous donation to the Cochlear Implant Program was part of a holiday charity giveaway, and came as a complete surprise.

Thomas J. Balkany, M.D., Hotchkiss Professor of Otolaryngology and director of the UM Ear Institute, was very appreciative of the unexpected gifts. “On behalf of the UM Ear Institute and the Department of Otolaryngology, it is an honor to thank the Marlins and AYUDA for their generosity. Christmas came early for the deaf children we have the privilege of caring for at the Miller School.”

Organizers called the Ear Institute in the morning to ask what items would be helpful to the Cochlear Implant Program, and upon learning that the DVD player used in the children’s waiting area had recently broken, the group arrived with a replacement and toys.

AYUDA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting underserved or at-risk families in Miami-Dade County through education, life-skills training, and programs that support self-sufficiency.

UHealth Fertility Center Expands Services and Redesigns Website to Enhance Patient Experience

The UHealth Reproductive and Fertility Center has expanded its treatment options to include acupuncture and nutrition services. With an acupuncturist and a nutritionist now on the center’s diverse medical team, the rapidly growing center offers a more comprehensive and innovative approach to treat infertility patients.

Read more about the reproductive and fertility center »

Help Connect the Campus: Participate in a Life Science Park Event Survey

With the completion of the first building, R+D One, and the official opening of University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park, the east edge of the medical campus is coming to life. Biotechnology and medical device firms are moving in and more development is on the way, including restaurants and retail shops.

Now with the new year kicking off, Wexford Science & Technology, the developer of the Life Science Park, is planning to bring the campus together with a series of outdoor events featuring food, music, and lots of fun. But before the Life Science Park can become the “place to be,” Wexford needs to hear from you.

Read more and take the survey »

Holiday Submission Deadlines

The Miller School will be closed on Monday, January 2, for New Year’s Day. Therefore, the deadline for the January 3 issue of e-Update will be Wednesday, December 28, by noon.

Funding and Research

View more Funding and Research Announcements »