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

Up Front

An Adventurous New COO Takes the Reins at UHealth

Thomas A. McGrath, M.B.A.

Thomas A. McGrath, M.B.A.

Thomas Allan McGrath, M.B.A., sits in his office sporting a necktie with a jaunty DNA double helix. It spirals down from the knot at his throat, gradually unwinding as the tie widens, until it splits into two separate strands near the bottom. It’s a fashion statement, to be sure, but it’s also thematically appropriate for the new Chief Operating Officer of UHealth.

On the molecular level, the double-helix structure serves to protect the nucleotides inside that make us who we are, and it only splits when that information is being passed on. In McGrath’s case, the parallel spirals represent the dual tracks of his career — the adventurous philosophy major who did stints as a cowboy, a bicycle courier and a follower of the Grateful Dead, and the analytical M.B.A. who has empowered teams at prior healthcare institutions to improve their performance and build the bottom line. Now he is in Miami, hoping to unravel that experiential DNA in ways that will propel UHealth to the next stage in its growth.

Read more about Thomas Allan McGrath »

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Michael Hoffer, M.D.

Michael Hoffer, M.D.
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NFL Grant Awarded to Study Novel Diagnostic Device for Concussions

A $500,000 grant from the National Football League will enable the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and medical equipment manufacturer Neuro Kinetics Inc. to test the effectiveness of a diagnostic device prototype, the I-Portal® PAS goggle, for early and accurate detection of concussions.

The NFL grant, one of seven announced separately November 13 by the football league and cosponsors Under Armour and GE Ventures, was awarded to the Miller School of Medicine’s Michael Hoffer, M.D., professor of otolaryngology. Carey Balaban, Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology, neurobiology, bioengineering, and communication science and disorders, and vice provost at the University of Pittsburgh, and Robert Cantu, M.D., clinical professor of neurology and neurosurgery and co-founder of the CTE Center at Boston University School of Medicine, will collaborate in the research project.

Read more about the grant »

Lee Kaplan, M.D., holder of the first Petra and Stephen A. Levin Endowed Chair for UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness, talks about some of the Institute’s initiatives.

Lee Kaplan, M.D., holder of the first Petra and Stephen A. Levin Endowed Chair for UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness, talks about some of the Institute’s initiatives.

$2 Million Gift Will Advance Research at UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute

From Pop Warner football players to the weekend warrior, just about everyone in South Florida can benefit from the computerized motion analyses, advanced concussion testing, and other sophisticated performance evaluations and therapies that are major components of the Miller School of Medicine’s UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute.

“Whether it’s a world-class triathlete or someone exercising to keep heart disease and diabetes away, the Institute enables people to optimize their own health and wellness,” said Lee Kaplan, M.D., director of the Institute, chief of the UHealth Sports Medicine Division, and medical director and head team physician for UM Athletics and the Miami Marlins.

On November 14, members of the University community gathered at the Newman Alumni Center on the Coral Gables campus to celebrate the recent $2 million gift from longtime philanthropists Petra and Stephen A. Levin that will help Kaplan advance the Institute’s research in a multitude of sports medicine areas.

Read more about UHealth Sports Medicine »

On the helipad where the Burn Center surgical team meets critically burned patients are, from left, Louis Pizano, M.D., M.B.A., Nicholas Namias, M.D., M.B.A., professor of surgery and Chief of the Division of Trauma, and Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., associate professor of surgery, Director of the William Lehman Injury Research Center and the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair in the Division of Burns in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery.

On the helipad where the Burn Center surgical team meets critically burned patients are, from left, Louis Pizano, M.D., M.B.A., Nicholas Namias, M.D., M.B.A., professor of surgery and Chief of the Division of Trauma, and Carl I. Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., associate professor of surgery, Director of the William Lehman Injury Research Center and the Eunice Bernhard Endowed Chair in the Division of Burns in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery.

UM/Jackson Burn Center Remains Only Verified Center in South Florida

Recently re-verified by the American Burn Association (ABA) and American College of Surgeons, the Burn Center at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital remains one of only 63 burn centers in the nation and the only one in South Florida to earn the ABA’s highest honor. The Center’s verification will continue for another three-year cycle.

This is the second re-verification for the Burn Center, said Louis R. Pizano, M.D., M.B.A., associate professor of surgery and anesthesiology, Chief of the Division of Burns and the C. Gillon Ward Endowed Chair in Burn Surgery, who noted that it has been leading the way in burn care since 1962, and has been a verified facility for more than six years.

“The UM/Jackson Burn Center has been so successful because of its multidisciplinary team approach to caring for patients,” said Pizano. “An effective burn center requires collaboration with dozens of specialists, including physical and occupational therapists, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, and rehabilitation faculty and staff, in addition to skilled surgeons.”

Read more about the Burn Center »

Stephen Nimer, M.D., receives the Life Raft Humanitarian of the Year Award from Breelyn Wilky, M.D., assistant professor of medicine.

Stephen Nimer, M.D., receives the Life Raft Humanitarian of the Year Award from Breelyn Wilky, M.D., assistant professor of medicine.

Dr. Stephen Nimer Receives Humanitarian of the Year Award

The Life Raft Group has named Stephen Nimer, M.D., Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, its Humanitarian of the Year. Dr. Nimer was presented the award at the 7th anniversary of the biennial Life Fest convention, a unique event where hundreds of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) patients and caregivers gather for a weekend of camaraderie and unprecedented access to global medical leaders. Many GIST patients who sought treatment at Sylvester were on hand to celebrate Nimer’s recognition.

GIST is a rare type of sarcoma that begins in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract, growing from connective or supportive tissues within the body. GIST affects about 5,000 new patients each year.

Read more about Dr. Nimer »

Eduardo H. Bancalari, M.D.

Eduardo H. Bancalari, M.D.

38th Annual Neonatology Conference Draws a Global Audience of Pediatric Professionals

Practitioners from all over the world gathered last week at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach for the 38th annual Miami Neonatology conference, sponsored by the Miller School of Medicine and presented by the Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Neonatology. This year’s theme, “Advances in Respiratory Care,” featured two dozen of the field’s leading experts sharing the latest research and clinical knowledge in a series of presentations and panel sessions.

“We have 1,200 people from 50 countries here, and our speakers come from 11 countries,” said an obviously pleased Charles R. Bauer, M.D., professor of pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology and psychology, Associate Director of the Division of Neonatology and Director of the Early Steps Program, who was one of the conference’s two co-directors. “Many of our attendees come every year. Some group practices trade off among their members so everyone has a chance to attend.”

Read more about the neonatology conference »

Mustafa Tekin, M.D.

Mustafa Tekin, M.D.

Dr. Mustafa Tekin to Lead Division of Clinical and Translational Genetics

Mustafa Tekin, M.D., professor of human genetics, has been named Chief of the Division of Clinical and Translational Genetics in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics. Tekin assumed his new role November 17.

“I am proud to be a part of a department that is conducting cutting-edge research to find the best ways to translate genomic information into patient care,” Tekin said. “One of my goals is to expand our clinical services into other specialties where genetic evaluations may benefit patients.”

An internationally renowned expert on genetic characterization of a variety of disorders, Tekin has a particular interest in hearing loss, and his laboratory has discovered numerous novel genes for human diseases. Board certified in clinical, molecular, and medical biochemical genetics, he received his medical degree with honors from Ankara University School of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey, where he also completed his pediatric training.

Read more about Dr. Tekin »

From left, back row, Roy Weiss, M.D., Jacquelyn Katz, Peggy Katz, Oliver Lenz, M.D., Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., David Roth, M.D. Front row: Alessia Fornoni, M.D., center, with children Paolo, 5, and Martina, 8.

From left, back row, Roy Weiss, M.D., Jacquelyn Katz, Peggy Katz, Oliver Lenz, M.D., Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., David Roth, M.D. Front row: Alessia Fornoni, M.D., center, with children Paolo, 5, and Martina, 8.

Dr. Alessia Fornoni Honored with Peggy and Harold Katz Family Chair

During a lunchtime celebration of her research, educational, and clinical achievements, Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., was named the recipient of the Peggy and Harold Katz Family Chair. For Fornoni, the chair is just the latest step in a medical journey with the Katz family that began more than 10 years ago.

“I am who I am today because of the Katz family’s vision,” said Fornoni, who is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, and Director of the Peggy and Harold Katz Family Drug Discovery Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “I am so proud to hold the chair associated with them.”

Read more about Dr. Fornoni »

Early Deadline for Submissions

Please note that the submission deadline for the December 2 issue of MED is Tuesday, November 25, at noon. Any requests received after the deadline will be processed the following week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Help Support Autism Research, Education and Patient Care at 2015 WalkAbout Autism

The Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism, which provides needed funds for local providers of autism treatment services, including the Debbie School, a division of the Mailman Center for Child Development, will be held Saturday, January 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium.

Less than five years ago, one in 110 children and one in 70 boys were diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Now, one in 88 children and one in 54 boys are being diagnosed with autism. In response, the University of Miami combined its autism-related clinical, research, education and community outreach efforts into a unified team — UM Autism Programs.

UM Autism Programs will once again be participating in this year’s WalkAbout Autism and encourage all UM faculty, staff and students to join them. Since 25 percent of funds raised will go directly to the Debbie School, if you cannot participate in the walk, please consider supporting a walker or donating.
To join the UM Autism Program team or support a walker, visit the event website.


Team UM United Way Campaign Continues with Raffles, Silent Auction

Each year’s United Way Campaign at the University of Miami is an opportunity to demonstrate your support for our UM mission of providing service that extends throughout our community. In addition to making your contribution through MyUM, UM’s 2014 United Way Campaign, which continues through November 28, includes some unique ways to participate — Raffles hosted by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Human Resources and a silent auction offered by the Department of Finance and Treasury.

Read more about ways to participate in UM's United Way Campaign »

Miami Winter Symposium Fee Waivers Still Available

The deadline to submit abstracts for the 2015 Miami Winter Symposium, “Towards Personalized Cancer Medicine,” has passed, but limited funds still remain to provide fee waivers for Miller School of Medicine faculty, staff and trainees who wish to attend.

Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and registration is available online at www.miamiwintersymposium.com. Be sure to register through the UM section. When fee waiver funds are exhausted, discounted registration will still be available to UM personnel by registering through the general section.

In the unlikely event that fee waiver funds are unspent by Friday, December 19, this will be the final deadline for applications. The symposium will take place January 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami.

Dolphins Cycling Challenge V to Include First 5K Walk/Run

For the first time since its inception, the Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC) will include a 5K walk/run, providing something for everyone interested in supporting lifesaving cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The walk/run will be held at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, February 8, the second day of the two-day ride that spans three counties.

The University is once again honored to partner with the Miami Dolphins for the DCC, which has raised more than $7 million for groundbreaking research and patient care at Sylvester. These funds have helped build programs that have made a difference in the lives of countless cancer patients across South Florida.

Read more about the DCC »


Register Now for Inaugural Edna C. Shalala 5K Run/Walk

Register now for the inaugural Edna C. Shalala 5K Run/Walk and save $5 on the registration fee, which will benefit the Edna C. Shalala Women’s Athletics Fund. Can’t make it Saturday, December 13? Don’t fret. You can still support women’s athletics and honor President Shalala’s mother, a devoted former athlete and avid supporter of women’s sports, three different ways.

The run/walk, which will wind past athletics facilities and showcase much of the Coral Gables campus, will begin at 10 a.m. and feature many student-athletes, coaches, administrators, the Spirit Squad, cheerleaders, and Band of the Hour. Race participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, medal, entry into a post-race tailgate, and a complimentary season ticket to all remaining 2014-15 women’s basketball home games.

Read more about the Edna C. Shalala 5K Run/Walk »

This Week's Events

Monday, December 1, 2014Biostatistics Roundtable: "REDCap: Research Electronic Data Capture Support"

Monday, December 1, 2014Human Genetics & Genomics Seminar

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For Your Benefit

 

Mindful Living Seminar

 

 

Well `Canes Yoga Wednesdays at the Miller School

 

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