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

Up Front

Researchers Discover Novel Cellular Mechanism Crucial to Brain Cancer Growth

From left, Nagi Ayad, Ph.D., Claes Wahlestedt, M.D., Ph.D., Chiara Pastori, Ph.D., and Ricardo J. Komotar, M.D.

From left, Nagi Ayad, Ph.D., Claes Wahlestedt, M.D., Ph.D., Chiara Pastori, Ph.D., and Ricardo J. Komotar, M.D.

A team of Miller School of Medicine researchers has discovered that a previously unappreciated so-called long noncoding RNA mechanism controls tumor growth of Glioblastoma Multiforme cells.

Their findings, which have been published online as “The Bromodomain protein BRD4 controls HOTAIR, a long noncoding RNA essential for glioblastoma proliferation” by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may lead to the development of new drugs with increased effectiveness against brain tumors.

Read more about the research »

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New Bascom Palmer Eye Institute facility in Naples.

New Bascom Palmer Eye Institute facility in Naples.
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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Opens in Naples

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has opened its much anticipated new eye center in Naples, bringing world-class eye care to Southwest Florida.

“This $25 million state-of-the-art eye care facility reaffirms Bascom Palmer’s long-standing commitment to deliver the highest level of ophthalmic care, research and education to our patients in Collier County,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., Chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the world-renowned Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the nation’s top-ranked program in ophthalmology as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Read more about Bascom Palmer's new eye center in Naples »

Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Ph.D., M.Tech.

Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Ph.D., M.Tech.

Bascom Researcher Receives $1 Million Federal Defense Grant to Study Lipids to Combat Glaucoma

A researcher at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is leading a research study to test whether a class of lipids found in inner eye fluid can help halt the progression of glaucoma among military troops and others who have experienced traumatic eye injury. The three-year study, led by Sanjoy K. Bhattacharya, Ph.D., M.Tech., professor of ophthalmology, was funded in April by a $999,998 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.

“My hope is that the combined aspects of this project will help us produce and commercialize a wonder drug that will help veterans,” said Bhattacharya, who was inspired to pursue the research after hearing stories of injured soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Read more about the research project »

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.

Neurology Leader Wins AHA Top Volunteer Award

Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., Professor and Olemberg Chair of Neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has received yet another honor from the American Heart Association (AHA) for his outstanding work to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. On June 23, Sacco was presented with the 2015 Gold Heart Award, the highest honor the American Heart Association gives in recognition of continued distinguished service.

The award was presented at the AHA’s 2015 Gold Heart Banquet in Dallas. Sacco, who is also Executive Director of the McKnight Brain Institute and Chief of Neurology at Jackson Memorial Hospital, was the first neurologist to serve as national president of the AHA in 2010-2011, and is the 2013-2015 co-chairperson of the organization’s International Committee.

Read more about Dr. Sacco's award »

Chanelle Diaz and Hansel Tookes, M.D., M.P.H.

Chanelle Diaz and Hansel Tookes, M.D., M.P.H.

Researchers’ Findings Support Syringe Exchange Programs for Injection Drug Users

A team of researchers from the Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital has published an eye-opening study of the financial cost to the public and the level of mortality for injection drug users admitted to Jackson for treatment of infections.

The reuse and sharing of needles by users of injection drugs create high risk for transmission of HIV, hepatitis C and a host of bacterial infections. The researchers studied the records of 349 patients treated for bacterial infections at Jackson who were injection drug users, 92 percent of whom were either uninsured or had publicly funded insurance. The total cost of treatment for the 349 patients was $11.4 million in one year. In addition, 17 of the subjects died during their hospitalization.

Read more about the research »

From left, student ambassadors Giulissa Honoré, Julia Veloso and Karina Abadia of Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School imagine their future as physicians.

From left, student ambassadors Giulissa Honoré, Julia Veloso and Karina Abadia of Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School imagine their future as physicians.

High School Students Inspired to Excel at 6th Annual Student Ambassador Seminar

The man with the baritone voice, signature mustache and graying hair was surely out of his mind. The University of Miami, which hadn’t been to a bowl game in more than a decade and was on the verge of mothballing its football program, would win a national championship within five years, he told a group of 18- and 19-year-old kids.

“Everybody thought he was nuts,” Don Bailey Jr., who was a freshman center for the Miami Hurricanes during the early 1980s, recalled about the talk then-coach Howard Schnellenberger gave to his players. “But that was his goal. He talked about it every day, and he got everyone else to believe in it.”

Read more about the Student Ambassador Seminar »

First-year M.D./M.P.H. student Samuel R. Huntley, left, with Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., C.P.H.

First-year M.D./M.P.H. student Samuel R. Huntley, left, with Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., C.P.H.

M.D./M.P.H. Student Awarded NIOSH Grant to Study Osteoarthritis in Hispanic Construction Workers

Samuel R. Huntley, a first-year M.D./M.P.H. student at the Miller School of Medicine, was awarded a Pilot/Small Project Grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for his proposal titled, “DOLORES – Determinants of Osteoarthritis Linked to Occupational Radiography: Epidemiologic Surveillance.” Through this pilot project, Huntley and his faculty mentor, Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., C.P.H., assistant professor of public health sciences, will develop and evaluate an innovative osteoarthritis screening method among Hispanic construction workers in South Florida.

The construction workforce is exposed to numerous worksite hazards that contribute to the development of chronic musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis. Despite being the most common form of arthritis, and its strong correlation to excessive wear and tear on the joint due to heavy mechanical loading and workplace exposures, few studies have examined the relationship between self-reported arthritis status, workplace exposures and its clinical validation using ultrasonography and clinical examination in this group of workers, particularly those of Hispanic descent.

Read more about the pilot grant »

Florida Cancer Data System staffers celebrate 13th consecutive gold certification.

Florida Cancer Data System staffers celebrate 13th consecutive gold certification.

Florida Cancer Data System Receives Gold Certification

The Florida Cancer Data System, Florida’s legislatively mandated, statewide, population-based cancer registry, has received the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries’ highest certification for the 13th consecutive year. Gold certification is awarded to central registries who meet the highest levels of completeness, data quality and timeliness in cancer abstract reporting.

“This does not happen by accident,” said Gary Levin, Deputy Project Director of the Florida Cancer Data System at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School of Medicine. “This is a team effort that includes the Florida Cancer Data System, Department of Health and all of our reporters around the state. Thank you to all those involved for your hard work and dedication to what we do. Our efforts have made Florida one of the top registries in the country.”

Read more about the Florida Cancer Data System »

Brittany Dixson, M.S.

Brittany Dixson, M.S.

UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center Launches New Fitness Program for Parkinson’s Patients

With the aid of a grant from the National Parkinson Foundation, the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center is launching a new program, Cycle for Parkinson’s, designed to decrease patients’ symptoms and lead to a better quality of life for those afflicted with the degenerative neurological disorder. The $22,000 grant enables the program, which began June 29, to be offered free of charge.

Cycle for Parkinson’s is a stationary cycling class designed from a Cleveland Clinic research study in which Parkinson’s patients reported up to a 35 percent decrease in their symptoms after participating in a cycling program.

Read more about Cycle for Parkinson's »


New Online Roadmaps Help Guide the Clinical Research Process

Clinical research professionals now have a comprehensive guide through the research process at the University of Miami. Developed by the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the Miller Office of Research, Research Education and Innovative Medicine (RIM), the clinical research roadmaps are interactive informational graphics that outline a course from pre-award to post-award.

Read more about the CTSI's Online Roadmaps »

Early Deadline for Submissions

Due to the Independence Day holiday on Friday, July 3, the deadline for the July 7 issue of MED will be Wednesday, July 2, at 5 p.m. Any requests received after the deadline will be processed the following week.

This Week's Grand Rounds

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This Week's Events

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For Your Benefit

 

Understanding Your Property Taxes Seminars

 

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