Bernard S. Baumel, M.D.
A first-of-its-kind trial using stem cells in Alzheimer’s disease patients that is led by UHealth – the University of Miami Health System and sponsored by Miami-based life sciences company Longeveron LLC, has received a $1 million award from the Alzheimer’s Association. The grant is part of a $7 million investment in clinical trials that target brain inflammation as an innovative approach to Alzheimer’s therapy, led by philanthropist Michaela “Mikey” Hoag.
Bernard S. Baumel, M.D., an Alzheimer’s specialist at UHealth and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is the clinical investigator of the Phase I clinical trial examining the safety and efficacy of using stem cells in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. Using the novel therapy that is manufactured by Longeveron LLC, doctors will inject mesenchymal stem cells from healthy adult donors into patients’ bloodstream.
Read more about the clinical trial »
Beginning in October, South Florida’s only academic medical system, UHealth — the University of Miami Health System, will take a major step in expanding the way its pioneering research touches the lives of patients.
With the launch of the UHealth Consent-To-Contact Initiative, patients who come in for care will have a unique opportunity to take advantage of the many innovative therapies and treatments available through the health system. In this initiative, patient access representatives will ask patients at the time of the clinical admissions process if they would like to be contacted in the future regarding research opportunities for which they may be eligible.
Read more about the new research offerings »
Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., speaking at the Vatican.
When Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., professor of medicine, surgery and pediatrics, spoke at an international conference held at the Vatican, she delivered a moving account of the promising early results obtained by investigators at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in a small clinical trial that explored stem cell treatment in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
Glassberg, who is also Director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Program and Director of Pulmonary Diseases at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, was the only lung disease expert in the world invited to speak at “Cellular Horizons: How Science, Technology, Information and Communication Will Impact Society.” It was the Vatican’s third international conference on regenerative medicine, and Glassberg joined a stellar group of speakers that included Pope Francis and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
Read more about the Dr. Glassberg's presentation »
From left, Kerry Burnstein, Ph.D., with Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D.
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researchers Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine/hematology and oncology, and Kerry Burnstein, Ph.D., professor of molecular and cellular pharmacology, have received a $1.15 million Idea Development Award from the Department of Defense (DOD) to investigate a novel mechanism of inhibiting incurable prostate cancer. Their research will determine how redox-protective pathways, shown to be elevated in human prostate cancer, impact development and progression to the terminal form of the disease.
Lowering testosterone levels and blocking androgen receptors by androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in men with prostate cancer is the standard-of-care for advanced disease. While ADT causes tumors to shrink, the cancers typically recur in one to three years, as a highly aggressive form termed “castration-resistant prostate cancer” (CRPC) that often metastasizes.
Read more about the development award »
Noam Alperin, Ph.D.
A research team led by Noam Alperin, Ph.D., professor of radiology and biomedical engineering, and Director of the Physiologic Imaging and Modeling Lab, has continued to refine the means of determining which patients with a neurological disorder known as Chiari Malformation Type I (CMI) will benefit from surgery.
CMI is characterized by tonsillar herniation, a condition in which a part of the brain, the cerebellar tonsils, has descended out of the skull into the spinal area. The resulting crowding causes compression of parts of the brain and spinal cord and disrupts the normal cerebrospinal fluid physiology. Symptoms include severe headaches, gait problems, numbness in the extremities and motor weakness.
Read more about the study »
Robert M. Califf, M.D.
Four years ago, if someone had told FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D., that, soon, it might be possible to remove disease-causing genes from organisms and replace them with healthy ones, he would have called such genetic manipulation the stuff of science fiction.
“But it turns out that we now have technologies that can do this,” Califf said while delivering the keynote address to open the symposium “Improving Clinical Research in the Age of Precision Medicine,” held at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center September 14-15.
Read more about the FDA commissioner's remarks »
Christine L. Curry, M.D., Ph.D., speaking to Miami Beach City Commissioners about the Zika virus threat.
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Controlling the mosquito-borne Zika virus must continue to be a public health priority for South Florida, according to several University of Miami Miller School of Medicine clinicians and researchers who spoke on September 14 at a public hearing held by the Miami Beach City Commission.
“We would not be here today if Zika were not a serious problem,” said Christine L. Curry, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, who consults with the state Department of Health. “We are having this conversation because Zika has spread to 70 countries, and more than 20 of them report birth defects.”
Read more about the hearing »
From left, Robert J. Myerburg, M.D., Nish Patel, M.D., and Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D.
Cardiovascular researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have found a nationwide increase in the use of cardiac diagnostic and interventional procedures in patients hospitalized after being resuscitated from a cardiac arrest in the community. Their study of more than 400,000 U.S. patients hospitalized after out-of-hospital cardiac arrests between January 2000 and December 2012 also found a significant overall improvement in survival rates.
“Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a major issue, with a relatively low survival rate,” said Nish Patel, M.D., a third-year cardiology fellow who initiated the research project and was lead author of the study published September 14 in JAMA Cardiology. “Coronary artery disease is the underlying disease in the majority of cardiac arrests, so the growing use of coronary angiography tests and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures to open those blood vessels should have a positive impact on outcomes in appropriate patients.”
Read more about the research findings »
Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D.
Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Center on Aging at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been elected to a four-year term on the Executive Council of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
“It is an honor to serve on the council and provide my perspective on the connections among people, machines and their environments,” said Czaja, whose research has focused on developing strategies to improve the quality of life for older adults. “There are many ways that well-designed technology can benefit older people in the U.S. and around the world.”
Read more about Dr. Czaja's election »
From left, Maria Alejandra Quintero, M.P.H., Jacob McCauley, Ph.D., Oriana M. Damas, M.D., and Maria T. Abreu, M.D.
A team of Miller School of Medicine researchers has been awarded a $1.26 million grant to explore genetic variation in U.S.-born and foreign-born Hispanic patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
A common and devastating immune-mediated disease, IBD affects more than 1.6 million people in the U.S. The project, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health, will investigate how the IBD risk associations for Hispanics compare with those for patients of primarily European ancestry. The focus of the three-year study is highly significant, as it represents the first opportunity to comprehensively explore genetic risk for IBD within the diverse ancestrally admixed Hispanic population.
Read more about the research project »
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, has announced that it is partnering with the Florida Panthers for Hockey Fights Cancer.
On October 22, the partnership will kick off with the Viktor E. Dash 5K Race at the BB&T Center, where fans can sign up to help support the National Hockey League’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. A portion of the registration fees will go to the Florida Panthers Foundation.
Read more about the partnership »
Heidi Allespach, Ph.D., left, and Erin N. Marcus, M.D.
Over the course of 18 years, Heidi Allespach, Ph.D., associate professor of clinical family medicine, medicine and surgery, and Director of Behavioral Medicine, identified specific patterns in the interactions between new doctors and their patients. In particular, she saw how the relationships were strained by persistent paperwork, electronic medical records and obstacles to delivery of care by insurance carriers.
These issues, combined with increased time pressures, contribute to physician stress and burnout, and Allespach wanted to help restore the rewarding and satisfying aspects of patient care. After reviewing more than 700 videos of residents interacting with patients and the extant literature, Allespach developed what she calls the “Rule of Six 2s” — a simple step-by-step protocol for maximizing the efficiency and quality of patient interactions. Each pair of rules is based on the “TAD” — Take, Address, Do — structure.
Read more about The Rule of Six 2s »
From left, Hope Torrents, Jennifer Tibangin and Andrew Stine-Rowe.
A program run by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UM’s Lowe Art Museum to teach visual learning skills as a way to decrease future medical diagnostic errors was one of several featured at a recent conference hosted at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Hope Torrents, the Lowe’s School Program Coordinator, and Valerie Bell, D.N.P., assistant professor of clinical nursing at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Sciences, presented at “The Art of Examination: Art Museum and Medical School Partnerships,” a two-day symposium held in June. Their work, and that from museums including the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Dallas Art Museum, gained attention from more than 130 attendees representing medical schools and museums around the world.
Learn more about the Lowe programs for medical students »
From left, Vance Lemmon, Ph.D., Kevin Park, Ph.D., and Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Ph.D.
A team of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine investigators has been awarded a three-year $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study biological treatments for blindness — specifically factors that affect neural regeneration in the retina.
The Miller School team was one of only six nationwide to receive funding as part of the National Eye Institute Audacious Goals Initiative (AGI) — a targeted effort to restore vision by regenerating neurons and their connections in the eye and visual system.
Read more about the research grant »
Marc Buoniconti, center, with this year's Sports Legends and other honorees.
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The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, honored an unparalleled group of Hall of Famers, gold medalists, world champions and philanthropists in front of a crowd of more than 1,300 supporters on September 12 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, raising millions of dollars for spinal cord injury research during the 31st Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner.
The benefit, hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc, honored New York Yankees great and World Series champion Mariano Rivera, seven-time tennis major winner and fashion designer Venus Williams, NFL Hall of Fame running back from the New York Jets Curtis Martin, New York Knicks legend and NBA Hall of Famer Willis Reed, four-time IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, WNBA, NBA and FIBA Hall of Fame basketball great Cheryl Miller, and record-setting long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad.
Read more about the Great Sports Legends Dinner »
From left, Terrence L. Cascino, M.D., President, and Catherine Rydell, CEO, both of American Academy of Neurology, and Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.
An internationally renowned expert in stroke prevention, Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Chairman of Neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, participated in a forum on heart health at the White House on September 9. Part of the “Making Health Care Better” series focusing on cardiovascular health, the event discussed progress made in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, the remaining challenges, and policy responses.
Sacco, former national president of the American Heart Association and Olemberg Family Chair of Neurological Disorders, was one of the invited attendees, among a group of nonprofit and foundation leaders, advocates working to advance cardiovascular health, and representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
Read more about Dr. Sacco at the White House forum »
The U.S. Department of Labor announced changes to overtime regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective December 1, 2016, the salary threshold required to qualify for an overtime pay exemption will increase from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. As a result, several staff positions will transition from exempt (monthly paid) to non-exempt (biweekly paid/overtime eligible).
Human Resources has been working closely with University leaders to determine which positions will make the transition. Employees who transition to a non-exempt position will move from a monthly pay cycle to a biweekly pay cycle. They will also become eligible for overtime pay (time and one-half) for all hours worked over 40 in a work week and will be required to record all hours worked.
Read more about the new regulations »
In order to prevent contamination of our single-stream recycling bins, please follow those simple guidelines:
- Recycle all of your empty bottles, cans and paper
- Keep food and liquids out of your recycling
- Keep loose plastic bags out of your recycling
Read more about single-stream recycling »
Save the dates! On October 5 (full day) and October 6 (half day), Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Miami Institute for the Americas will hold a conference, “Women’s Cancers in the Americas: Strategies for Synergy,” at the University of Miami’s Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life.
The conference will be held in collaboration with the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Tómatelo a Pecho, and the Unión Latinomericana Contra el Cáncer de la Mujer.
Read more about the conference »
Miami Valves 2016 will be held October 6-8 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay. The conference will showcase the latest systems, techniques and practices to ensure safe and effective transcatheter valve replacement, and is the natural progression of the University of Miami’s Masters in Repair of Structural Heart Disease Conference, which has a long history of professional educational excellence.
The faculty represents some of the foremost experts in the field of structural heart disease therapy. They will utilize interactive presentations, case presentations and symposia to appraise new and upcoming technologies in the management of valvular heart disease to determine their benefit for patients, evaluate the relative advantages and disadvantages of different strategies in complex cases involving valvular disease, and demonstrate how to start a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program.
Read more about Miami Valves 2016 »
For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at their annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk. Designed to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention while also raising funds for research, the event is an effort to reach people with mental illnesses and those impacted by suicide.
On Sunday, October 16, Team UHealth, led by Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, will gather at the University of Miami Coral Gables campus to walk. Nearly 250,000 people will walk in cities across the nation.
Read more about the Out of the Darkness Walk »
The next issue of e-Update will be published on Tuesday, October 4. The deadline for submissions will be the prior Wednesday, September 28, at noon.