Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., addressing first-year students at orientation.
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For 25 years, Mark T. O’Connell, M.D., played a leading role in guiding the Miller School of Medicine’s innovative approach to medical education. His noteworthy accomplishments include revising the school’s curriculum, launching the regional medical campus in Palm Beach County, and designing the M.D./M.B.A. and M.D./M.P.H. programs.
Before retiring as Senior Associate Dean for Educational Development in June 2015, O’Connell spoke of his love of teaching. “We get the opportunity to take incredibly bright, motivated, skillful medical students and help them grow and achieve,” he said. “It’s a reward in itself, and there is nothing like it.”
In the past year, the school’s medical education leaders have continued O’Connell’s tradition of innovation, while planning a new state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility to replace and markedly enhance the current educational facilities.
Read more about innovations in medical education »
Holtz Children’s Hospital is one of the best in America.
Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center is among the nation’s top children’s hospitals, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2016-2017 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. Published online on June 21, the rankings feature the top 50 hospitals in each of 10 pediatric specialties.
Holtz Children’s is ranked in three specialties this year: 36th in diabetes and endocrinology; 44th in cardiology and heart surgery, and 45th in nephrology.
Read more about Holtz's rankings »
Ashok K. Saluja, Ph.D.
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has announced the appointment of Ashok K. Saluja, Ph.D., as the inaugural Director of the new Sylvester Pancreatic Cancer Research Institute at the Miller School of Medicine (SPCRI) and associate director for research innovation, senior associate dean for research, as well as professor and vice chair of surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Saluja joins Sylvester from the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he was the Eugene C. and Gail V. Sit Chair in Pancreatic and Gastrointestinal Cancer Research, the McKnight Presidential Chair, and professor and vice chair of research.
“We are incredibly pleased to have Ashok Saluja on the Sylvester team,” said Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D. “Ashok is a luminary in the field of pancreatic disease and cancer. He has been conducting cutting-edge research into the causes of pancreatitis and pancreatic tumors for more than 30 years and, most recently, has been focused on developing new potential treatments for these diseases. Together with Dr. Nipun Merchant, medical director at the SPCRI, we strive to better understand the disease as well as discover and develop effective treatments.”
Read more about Dr. Saluja's recruitment »
Thanks to advances in diagnostic imaging and minimally invasive surgery, many patient procedures that once required multi-day hospital stays can now be done on an outpatient basis.
If you could design the ideal surgical center, it would probably include state-of-the-art operating rooms, super-safe sterilization processes, and recovery rooms equipped with advanced monitoring equipment so you could go home later that day. Of course, the center would be staffed by experienced physicians, nurses and other staffers with comfortable family waiting areas and easily accessible parking.
That’s exactly what you will find when UHealth Coral Gables in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center opens its doors later this year. “We are bringing the future of outpatient surgery to our Gables campus,” said Ben Riestra, chief administrative officer. “Our new center will be a model for delivering patient care.”
Read more about UHealth Coral Gables »
Sakir Humayun Gultekin, M.D.
Sakir Humayun (“Hume”) Gultekin, M.D., has joined Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UHealth. Gultekin will serve as Director of Clinical and Molecular Neuropathology for the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative, where he will support its comprehensive brain tumor program via clinical and basic science research. He will also serve as the department’s Director of Neuropathology.
Gultekin joins UM from Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, where he has served since 2004, most recently as associate professor in the Department of Pathology. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor of pathology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. While at OHSU, he also served as the medical director for the Neuromuscular Pathology Laboratory, and as program director of OHSU’s Pathology Residency Program.
Read more about Dr. Gultekin »
More than 750,000 stroke cases occur in the United States every year, making it the fifth-leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability. Moreover, 85 percent of strokes are ischemic, occurring when the arteries to the brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow.
When treating a patient experiencing an acute ischemic stroke, time is the enemy. The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology has one of the largest stroke centers in the country, and its physicians, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, were among the first to introduce a rapid new procedure known as mechanical thrombectomy — a catheter-based system that uses a stent-like device to capture and remove the blockage — in South Florida. If the procedure is performed within six hours of the stroke’s onset, in combination with conventional intravenous clot-busting medication, symptoms are reversed in 60 to 70 percent of patients. The speed of response to the procedure is sometimes so dramatic that the patient shows immediate improvement in their motor paralysis or other stroke symptoms.
Read more about mechanical thrombectomy »
Suhrud M. Rajguru, Ph.D.
A team of researchers in the Department of Otolaryngology led by Suhrud M. Rajguru, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering and otolaryngology, has developed a novel system for delivering therapeutic hypothermia locally to the inner ear in an animal model to conserve residual hearing following cochlear implant surgical trauma. Their approach has the potential to ensure that the sensory structures in the cochlea are left undamaged, enabling patients to benefit from future technologies and therapies.
Rajguru and his colleagues reported on the safety and efficacy of the procedure in a recently published article, “A Cool Approach to Reducing Electrode-Induced Trauma: Localized Therapeutic Hypothermia Conserves Residual Hearing in Cochlear Implantation,” in the journal Hearing Research.
Read more about the hypothermia procedure »
From left, Gustavo L. Fernandez, M.D., Paola Pagan, Vanessa Hawrylak, Maritza Polania and Manuel Garcia.
During the Team Showcase Competition at the 24th Annual Florida Sterling Conference on June 3 in Orlando, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Laboratory team presented on the topic of “Safety Matters: Decreasing Blood Transfusion Turnaround Time at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center” and won an award in the “Best Use of Tools” category. The team was also named the “Overall Runner Up” among all six participating organizations.
“We are incredibly excited that Sylvester won the award and was named overall runner up,” said Gustavo Fernandez, M.D., Associate Chief Medical Officer at Sylvester. “But possibly the greatest accomplishment for the team was being able to decrease blood transfusion turnaround time for our patients by more than 78 percent.”
Read more about Sylvester's awards »
From left, front row, Diane Zheng, M.S., Jordan Baeker Bispo, M.P.H., Tali Elfassy, M.S.P.H., Lin Zhu, M.S., and WayWay M. Hlaing, Ph.D., M.B.B.S., M.S. From left, back row, Yue Pan, M.S., Manuel Ocasio, M.S.P.H., Wendy Stephan, M.P.H., Diana Naranjo, M.A., Sharleen Traynor, M.P.H., and Carrigan Parish, D.M.D.
When the 2016 Epidemiology Congress of the Americas opened on June 21 in Miami, a large number of Miller School of Medicine students in the Department of Public Health Sciences had a rare opportunity to play a major role in the proceedings. Among them were 13 students in the Ph.D. in Epidemiology program.
“All 13 who submitted abstracts had them accepted,” said Program Director WayWay M. Hlaing, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology. “One hundred percent success – that’s a record!”
Read more about the epidemiology congress »
Oleksandr Kryvenko, M.D.
A new study by prostate cancer researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has characterized the active surveillance criteria in Hispanic men, marking the first such study in this population.
When it comes to prostate cancer, early detection saves lives. Finding an aggressive tumor early, before it has spread, can offer patients more therapeutic options. However, early detection can also raise many questions. Not every prostate cancer is deadly. In fact, many are slow-growing and may never pose a serious threat.
Read more about the research »
Symphony Melody Edgecomb, held by her mother, Nicole Hannah.
The family of a 4-month-old infant took their baby home from Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial after UHealth – University of Miami Health System surgeons performed a life-saving surgery while the baby was still attached to her mother’s placenta. Doctors removed a plum-sized tumor that was covering the heart of Symphony Melody Edgecomb and crushing her lungs — all before completing a cesarean section to deliver the baby. The surgery was the first to be performed in Florida on a premature baby with this type of tumor.
At 29 weeks, Nicole Hannah, Symphony’s mother, was transferred to Holtz, where she began receiving care from Salih Yasin, M.D., UHealth obstetrician/gynecologist at Jackson Memorial Hospital, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and the delivery of multiple babies.
Read more about the lifesaving surgery »
At right, Stephen Martell, E.M.T.-P., a core instructor at the Gordon Center, takes students through a simulation scenario involving exposure to a vesicant, or blistering agent.
Delivering emergency care to victims of a terrorist attack is a challenging task, especially if chemical or biological weapons are involved. To help University of Miami Miller School of Medicine students gain a firsthand understanding of that experience, the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education recently completed a training program called Personal Protective Equipment/Emergency Response to Terrorism.
Fifty second-year M.D./M.P.H. students took part in the May 24 training session, according to Ivette Motola, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of emergency medicine, Director of the Division of Prehospital & Emergency Healthcare at the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, and Director of Simulation Education in the UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital Emergency Medicine Residency Program.
Read more about the training program »
From left, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Jesse Bailey, JoAnne Goldberg, W. Jarrard Goodwin, M.D., and Linda Moses.
The Pap Corps recently announced a $4 million gift for cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The gift includes funds raised through a partnership with the Dolphins Cancer Challenge and is the third-largest gift in the history of the Pap Corps.
“We want to express our deep appreciation for the Pap Corps’ steadfast commitment to fundraising for cancer research,” said Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D. “Their dedication and hard work is an inspiration to every researcher and clinician at Sylvester. Every event they hold, every call they make and every dollar they raise goes directly to supporting groundbreaking research that is truly saving lives. We thank all Pap Corps members for their incredible work and commitment to serve Sylvester.”
Read more about the Pap Corps' gift »
From left, Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., Shari Leonardi, Travis J. Leonardi, Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., Cory Sands, Dana Sands, M.D., and Ryan Sands.
In a first for the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, a distinguished member of its faculty has been presented with one of academia’s highest honors. Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., Chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the Miller School of Medicine, was presented with The Dr. Laurence Sands Endowed Chair in Colon and Rectal Surgery, which was generously funded by Mr. and Mrs. Travis J. Leonardi.
The ceremony was held May 25 before Miller School leadership, colleagues and family in the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education at the Don Soffer Clinical Research Center. Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., said the chair was an excellent opportunity to celebrate Sands, a longtime champion of the Miller School and UHealth – the University of Miami Health System.
Read more about the endowed chair »
W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.
W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., Scientific Director of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Senior Associate Dean for Discovery Science, and colleagues have received a $1.6 million National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke award to study the importance of brain temperature on mild traumatic brain injury or concussion. This competitive renewal application will be funded for five more years.
Over several decades, Dietrich, who is also the Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery and professor of neurological surgery, neurology and cell biology, and colleagues have investigated the role of small variations in temperature on neuronal vulnerability and functional outcomes after brain and spinal cord injury. This new study will clarify for the first time how relatively small increases in brain temperature at the time of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion can worsen outcomes and how best to manage this common neurological disorder.
Read more about the research grant »
From left, Mikhaylo Szczupak, M.D., Sean Knowles, Michael E. Hoffer, M.D., and Alex Kiderman, Ph.D., "kissing the bricks."
The recent Memorial Day weekend featured milestones for both the Indianapolis 500 race and the UHealth concussion research team. For race fans, it was the centennial of the annual event. For the researchers, it was the first time they had been invited to the event to expand on their research with the iPAS Goggle Concussion Detection System.
Stephen E. Olvey, M.D., associate professor of clinical neurology and neurosurgery, Director of the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital and Founding Fellow of the FIA Institute for Motorsports Safety, invited Michael E. Hoffer, M.D., Director of the Vestibular and Balance Program in the Department of Otolaryngology, and his team — Mikhaylo Szczupak, M.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Otolaryngology, Alexander Kiderman, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Neuro Kinetics, Inc., and Carey Balaban, Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh — to examine drivers involved in collisions during the race.
Read more about UHealth at the Indy 500 »
Camillo Ricordi, M.D.
A 41-year-old man who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11 has become the first patient in Europe to discontinue insulin therapy after receiving a transplant of pancreatic islet cells using an innovative technique developed by the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Following the DRI’s BioHub protocol, Drs. Federico Bertuzzi, head of the Islet Transplant Program, Mario Marazzi, head of the Tissue Therapy Unit, Luciano De Carlis, director of General Surgery and Transplantation, and collaborators at Ospedale Niguarda Ca’ Granda in Milan, Italy, transplanted the insulin-producing cells within a biological scaffold engineered onto the surface of the omentum, a highly vascularized tissue covering abdominal organs. This successful post-transplant outcome confirms the initial results achieved by the Diabetes Research Institute in August of 2015.
Read more about the European BioHub patient »
Neurological surgeons from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Neurological Surgery give the “U” after winning the J. Lawrence Pool Neurosurgery Softball Tournament in New York City's Central Park.
Neurological surgeons at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center traded in their scrubs for softball gear to raise money for pediatric brain tumor research, raising more than $100,000 at the J. Lawrence Pool Neurosurgery Softball Tournament held in Central Park in New York City on June 11.
Led by Sylvester brain tumor surgeon Ricardo Komotar, M.D., associate professor of neurological surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Glen Manzano, M.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery, and Allan Levi, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Robert M. Buck Distinguished Chair in Neurological Surgery, the UM team won the tournament for the second time in five years.
Read more about the neurosurgeons' victory »
From left, Sir Knight Brett Gordon, Darlene Miller, D.H.sc., Kara Cavuoto, M.D., Sir Knight Henry Adams and Vittorio Porciatti, D.Sc.
Kara M. Cavuoto, M.D., assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has received a Pediatric Ophthalmology Career Starter Grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.
Cavuoto is a pediatric ophthalmologist at Bascom Palmer, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, who specializes in children’s eye disorders. The $60,000 award will be used for Cavuoto’s research project, “The Evolution and Complexity of Pediatric Ocular Surface Microbiome.”
Read more about Dr. Cavuoto's award »
UM faculty Alex Moreno, M.P.H. (far left), Kele Marcia Stewart, J.D., Bernard Perlmutter, J.D., and Robert Latham, J.D. (fourth, fifth and sixth from left), with members of the Ukrainian delegation.
A delegation of Ukrainian professionals recently learned how a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine program is helping to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infections in Miami-Dade County.
“We discussed our Promote 2 Prevent (P2P) program, as well as other issues affecting adolescents in the Ukraine,” said Alex Moreno, M.P.H., Clinical Program Manager of Adolescent HIV Counseling and Testing Service, and P2P, a project of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the Mailman Center for Child Development. “The Ukrainian delegation included a documentary television producer and an administrator who were also interested in health-related legal issues, such as rights of transgender youth and patient confidentiality.”
Read more about the Ukrainian delegation's visit »
From left, Michael King, Business Development Consultant, BSFT Institute, Joan Muir, Ph.D., Mikael Jepsson, Director of the Outreach Unit at Framtid Stockholm, Goran Hagglund and Alexandra Goransson, Director of Social Services for the City of Stockholm
A unique partnership between University of Miami public health experts and the city of Stockholm plays a key role in supporting the health and emotional well-being of at-risk Afghan and Syrian refugee youth who have found their way from their troubled homelands to the Swedish capital.
The transatlantic connection stems from the city of Stockholm’s many years of use of Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT), an evidence-based family intervention program developed by a team of UM researchers led by José Szapocznik, Ph.D., and Olga Hervis, M.S.W., at the Department of Public Health Sciences’ Center for Family Studies.
The City of Stockholm has been a BSFT partner for the past nine years, but the extension of the program to Syrian and Afghan refugees is new.
Read more about Miami-Stockholm partnership »
This year's seminar attracted more than 80 high school students.
Each year, the Student Leadership Seminar, started in 2010 by the UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute, brings together high school students with leadership potential to hear from a number of speakers, participate in team-building exercises, and have the opportunity to speak with high profile panelists. The day-long program focuses on developing leadership qualities, succeeding in and out of school, creating a personalized brand, and preparing for college.
This year’s seminar, held on June 17, attracted more than 80 students eager to hear from an impressive roster of guest speakers.
Read more about the Student Leadership Seminar »
The University of Miami has named Douglas Horr, Executive Director of University Compliance Services, Interim Title IX Coordinator. The position, which reports to Rudolph Green, Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer in University Services, took effect June 1. Horr will also continue in his current role.
Horr will serve as the central resource for the University on all issues related to Title IX, and will work closely with the Deputy Title IX Coordinators (link to list) to help educate, train and support campus community members. He will coordinate and oversee compliance with Title IX statutory and regulatory requirement efforts.
Read more about the appointment »
With the Canon fleet in place throughout the University, Managed Print Services and Canon congratulate UM faculty and staff for their contribution to the University’s First Impressions Program by adopting the use of Mailboxes and enforcing duplex printing, both of which help reduce the overall consumption of paper.
The three departments on the medical campus that contributed the most to environmental savings in 2015 were University of Miami Hospital, University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, and the Department of Pediatrics, with a total of 116 trees and 20,357,440 gallons of water saved. Learn more here.