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

Up Front

Miami CTSI Supports Collaborative Research Team to Study Zika Virus

From left, Mehrdad Nadji, M.D., David Watkins, Ph.D., Sylvia Daunert, Pharm.D., M.S., Ph.D., Glen N. Barber, Ph.D., Sapna Deo, Ph.D., Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., and Ronald Desrosiers, Ph.D.

From left, Mehrdad Nadji, M.D., David Watkins, Ph.D., Sylvia Daunert, Pharm.D., M.S., Ph.D., Glen N. Barber, Ph.D., Sapna Deo, Ph.D., Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., and Ronald Desrosiers, Ph.D.

As the Zika virus outbreak develops as a public health emergency, both internationally and for South Florida, David Watkins, Ph.D., professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Pathology, and a team of top Miller School researchers are rapidly working to develop better diagnostic tests and to understand the virus’s link to neurological complications such as microcephaly.

With support from the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) through its Emerging Diseases Funding Award, Watkins and his collaborators, including experts from Brazil and Emory University, will focus their research on two areas — diagnostics and pathogenesis.

Read more about Zika virus research team »

More News

Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., left, and Eugene R. Schiff, M.D.

Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., left, and Eugene R. Schiff, M.D.

Senate Taps Two Faculty for Top Honors

Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., a renowned colorectal surgeon at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., one of the world’s leading authorities on liver diseases, have been unanimously selected by the Faculty Senate to receive two of its most prestigious awards, the Outstanding Teaching Award and the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

Among the University’s highest honors, the awards will be presented along with two previously announced awards at the 2016 Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 11.

Read more about the Faculty Senate award recipients »

From left, Joan J. Guinovart, Ph.D., Peter Libby, M.D., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

From left, Joan J. Guinovart, Ph.D., Peter Libby, M.D., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Renowned Scientists Present Latest Findings on Inflammation at 49th Miami Winter Symposium

The 49th Miami Winter Symposium, organized in part by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Miller School of Medicine, attracted 330 researchers, clinicians and students from 32 countries to address one of the world’s most challenging medical issues, “Inflammation — Causes, Prevention and Cures.”

“Inflammation is a far-ranging topic that is becoming more and more important to our understanding of acute and chronic conditions,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Dean of the Miller School of Medicine, in his welcoming remarks. “Rather than focus on a single inflammatory condition, we have brought together experts from many areas of research, including diabetes, cancer, autoimmunity, neurological disorders, stroke and atherosclerosis. That comprehensive approach allows us to learn from each other’s research.”

Read more about the Winter Symposium »

Brian Noga, Ph.D.

Brian Noga, Ph.D.

Dr. Brian Noga Receives $2.4 Million NIH Grant to Study Gait Ignition After Spinal Cord Injury

Brian Noga, Ph.D., research associate professor of neurological surgery and a researcher at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and colleagues have received a $2.4 million National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke award to study gait ignition after spinal cord injury.

Neuromodulation technologies are increasingly seen as potential treatment options for paralysis associated with spinal cord injury (SCI). Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is one method that to date has had little or no application in SCI patients, even though most new and chronic injuries are anatomically and motor incomplete, with some movement or sensation below the level of injury.

Read more about Dr. Noga's research grant »

UM President Julio Frenk.

UM President Julio Frenk.

UM President Julio Frenk Speaks on Medical Campus February 11

UM President Julio Frenk will speak on the medical campus on Thursday, February 11, as part of the Department of Public Health Sciences’ Distinguished Lecture Series. The title of his lecture will be “Health Professionals for the 21st Century: Leading the Education Revolution.”

Frenk is considered a leading futurist in the field of public health. As Minister of Health of Mexico, he established universal health care access that now covers 55 million people. He is also the winner of the prestigious 2016 Welch-Rose Award in Public Health, the highest award given by the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health.

Frenk will speak at 5 p.m. in the seventh floor auditorium at the Lois Pope LIFE Center. For more information contact Stephanie Maestri at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Read more about President Frenk's lecture »

From left, Ana Beatriz Viegas Georjutti, Otavio Salerno, Renata Del Bianco Batista, Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., Pedro Del Bianco Batista, James “J.D.” Daughtry, M.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Stuart Miller, Chairman of the UM Board of Trustees, Helen Salerno, Kim Salerno, UM Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D. Seated, Tomas A. Salerno, M.D.

From left, Ana Beatriz Viegas Georjutti, Otavio Salerno, Renata Del Bianco Batista, Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., Pedro Del Bianco Batista, James “J.D.” Daughtry, M.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Stuart Miller, Chairman of the UM Board of Trustees, Helen Salerno, Kim Salerno, UM Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D. Seated, Tomas A. Salerno, M.D.

Dr. Tomas A. Salerno Honored with DeWitt C. Daughtry Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery

At a ceremony before his family, friends, colleagues, and the University of Miami and Miller School of Medicine leadership, Tomas A. Salerno, M.D., professor and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, was presented with the DeWitt C. Daughtry Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

The ceremony took place January 15 at the Lois Pope LIFE Center. Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Dean of the Miller School of Medicine, said Salerno’s “absolutely extraordinary contribution to his field” made him a worthy choice for chair holder.

Read more about Dr. Salerno's endowed chair »

Pierre-Jacques Hamard, Ph.D.

Pierre-Jacques Hamard, Ph.D.

Sylvester Researcher Fights Cancer in the Lab and at the DCC

“Being a cancer researcher is not only a job, it’s also a commitment to patients and the community,” said Pierre-Jacques Hamard, Ph.D., an associate scientist in the laboratory of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D. “That is why I am doing the 5k run at this year’s Dolphins Cancer Challenge.”

On a regular day in the lab, Hamard is studying the mechanisms that are driving blood cancers (leukemias). He’s particularly interested in a gene called PRMT5, what its role is under normal conditions and what it does in cancer cells. Eventually, he and his colleagues want to use this gene as a target for new precision therapies because it has been shown to be overexpressed in a number of cancers.

Read more about Dr. Hamard's support of the DCC »

Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c. (Multi), D.Sc.

Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c. (Multi), D.Sc.

Miller School Researcher’s Peptide May Help Control High Levels of Lipids in Type 1 Diabetes

A peptide developed by Nobel Laureate Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.hc (Multi), D.Sc., professor of pathology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, may help control unhealthy levels of lipids in type 1 diabetes.

In a recent collaborative study, Schally, renowned for his work in cancer research and a member of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and vascular biology researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University found that the peptide MIA-602 blocked a key cellular receptor for growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), which is elevated in many patients with diabetes. The peptide, a chain of amino acids, also reduced two indicators of diabetes: protein in the urine, a sign of kidney damage, and the inability of blood vessels to relax, an indicator of blood vessel damage.

Read more about Dr. Schally's research »

Youssef Zeidan, M.D., Ph.D.

Youssef Zeidan, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Finds Botox May Reduce ‘Dry Mouth’ Following Radiation Therapy

A researcher at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has found that botulinum toxin (Botox) protects the salivary glands in mice, reducing the impact of “dry mouth” following radiation therapy.

“A drug used primarily for cosmetic skin treatments may also have the potential to reduce radiation toxicity and improve the quality of life for cancer survivors,” said Youssef Zeidan, M.D, Ph.D., a Sylvester member and assistant professor of radiation oncology.

Read more about Dr. Zeidan's research »

Mingjiang Xu, M.D., Ph.D.

Mingjiang Xu, M.D., Ph.D.

New Study Highlights Role of TET Proteins in Blood Cancers

Some proteins drive the cellular overgrowth that leads to cancer, while others act as cancer suppressors. TET1 and TET2 do both. Research led by scientists at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has uncovered the role these proteins play in cancer development, potentially leading to new treatments.

TET proteins are enzymes with a highly specific role — demethylating DNA. This is important because DNA methylation shuts down gene activity; it frees genes to express themselves, produce RNA and ultimately proteins. Gene expression can be good or bad, depending on the gene and the situation.

Read more about Dr. Xu's research »

New plantings and pathways offer visual delights and firm footing.

New plantings and pathways offer visual delights and firm footing.

Renovated ‘Enchanted Forest’ Opens at Sylvester

After three and a half months, renovations of the “enchanted forest” between Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Sylvester Support Services Building were completed in January. Prior to the renovations, the garden was overgrown, leading to visibility and safety concerns. The existing paths were not well defined and exposed roots made it difficult to walk through the garden safely. Now the garden looks more beautiful than ever before, with new paths constructed of a flexible, porous paving material partially made of recycled tires.

“It is a beautiful place that allows faculty, staff, patients and visitors to get away from the urban environment that surrounds us,” said Ricardo Herrán, AIA, LEED AP, campus planner at the University of Miami. “The renovations included tree pruning, the removal of invasive species, new landscaping and irrigation, new paths lined with coral rock and new seating for approximately 60 people.”

Read more about the “enchanted forest” »


Registration Now Open for the 2016 Corporate Run/Walk

Grab your running shoes, boost your stamina and manifest your UM spirit because the 2016 Mercedes Benz Corporate Run is coming! The Corporate Run/Walk is one of the nation’s largest 5K (3.1 miles) races and takes place at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami on Thursday, April 28. Last year, Team UM had our largest team ever and the second largest team overall with just over 1,450 participants.

Registration is now open here. Faculty and staff who register early by Wednesday, February 24, will receive $15 off the registration fee, 300 Well ’Canes points, and a chance to win a fitbit or have their registration fee waived. Be sure to sign up for the city’s largest office party and get ready to experience a night of exercise, food, entertainment and prizes.

Read more about the 2016 Corporate Run/Walk »

Michael Douglas, M.A.

Michael Douglas, M.A.

Medical Issues and the Growing Child Conference, February 16

The Mailman Center for Child Development presents “Medical Issues and the Growing Child XXIII: Bilingual Learners: Assessment and Intervention for Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing,” on Tuesday, February 16, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The guest speaker is Michael Douglas, M.A., Principal of the Mama Lere Hearing School in the Bill Wilkerson Center at Vanderbilt University.

The conference will take place at the Mailman Center for Child Development, eighth-floor auditorium. The conference cost is $50. CEUs, LSLS and ASHA CEUs will be provided.

Read more about the conference »


Family Days at Lowe Art Museum Begin February 21

This spring, UHealth-the University of Miami Health System will sponsor three family days at Lowe Art Museum on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus.

The Natural World: Ancient Andean Family Day
Sunday, February 21, noon to 3 p.m.
Discover the ways ancient Andean cultures understood and respected nature through the Lowe’s spring exhibition, “Kay Pacha: Reciprocity with the Natural World in the Ancient Art of the Andes.” Hear stories read aloud about the Andean people, and create a clay pinch pot inspired by the ancient Andean people.

Read more about family days at Lowe Art Museum »

End-of-Life Conversations: The Essentials, February 27

The University of Miami Division of Continuing Medical Education, Dade County Medical Association, Florida International University, and Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers will be hosting the first End-of-Life Conversations: The Essentials 2016 event on Saturday, February 27, at the University of Miami Hospital, Seminar Center A & B.

The conversation about advance care planning presents one of the most difficult challenges a physician encounters when caring for a chronically ill, frail elderly, or dying patient. Getting it right can be difficult, especially if this conversation is to be performed skillfully and empathetically. Being a better communicator about death and dying should be seen as a necessary challenge, one that bedevils even the most capable of physicians. Yet it is a challenge caring physicians will want to meet.

Read more about the conference »


Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management: Current and Future, March 3-4

Register now for the 6th Annual Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management: Current and Future conference, to be held March 3-4 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay by the University of Miami Division of Continuing Medical Education.

The importance of temperature management and therapeutic hypothermia has been a subject of ongoing experimental and clinical investigations in different fields of patient care. While mild to moderate levels of hypothermia protect and promote functional outcome in experimental and clinical studies, mild levels of hyperthermia may worsen outcome in some patient populations. Although there has been some success in translating positive results from the bench to the bedside, there is a need to continue to discuss with leading thought leaders when therapeutic hypothermia may be most appropriate to utilize in a patient population and under what conditions temperature management would be recommended.

Read more about the conference »


Shark Tank College Day, March 4

Shark Tank, the critically acclaimed, business-themed show, is bringing its search for the best entrepreneurs with the best businesses and products that America has to offer to the University of Miami. The Emmy-winning show features The Sharks — tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons who give budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their American dreams come true, potentially securing deals that could make them millionaires.

If you’re a student, faculty member or alumnus and you have a great product or business that needs an investment to propel it forward, you have the opportunity to meet the show’s casting team. Come by the Storer Auditorium in the School of Business Administration on Friday, March 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., to get information on the upcoming season and the application process.

Read more about Shark Tank College Day »

Destination Fashion 2016 to Benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, March 5

Destination Fashion 2016 to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, will be held on Saturday, March 5, at Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour, Florida. Global music icon Pitbull, Mr. Worldwide, will perform in concert and Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour has selected Italian luxury brand Brunello Cucinelli as the featured designer to showcase their Spring 2016 Collection at the event. Co-Anchor of NBC’s Today Show Savannah Guthrie, will serve as emcee for the progressive party and dinner hosted by Honorary Co-Chairs Grammy Award Winners Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Academy Award Winner Tommy Lee Jones and wife Dawn Jones, Golden Globe Winner Christian Slater and wife Brittany Slater, who will join a who’s who of celebrities, philanthropic icons, business leaders, fashionistas and other South Florida notables at the main event. For sponsorships, tables or more information visit thebuonicontifund.com/destinationfashion or call 305-243-4656.

Read more about Fashion Destination 2016 »


American Medical Women’s Association to Hold 101st Anniversary Conference in Miami March 10-13

To celebrate its next century for women in medicine, the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) — the vision and voice of women in medicine since 1915 — will host its 101st Anniversary Meeting from March 10-13 at the Hilton Miami Airport. The conference features an outstanding roster of speakers, CME sessions, an awards ceremony, poster presentations and its 101st Anniversary Gala. The meeting is open to everyone.

Conference faculty will include Hilit F. Mechaber, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine and Associate Dean for Student Services at the Miller School of Medicine.

Read more about the AMWA conference »

Save the Date: Miami Brain Fair, March 12

Save the date for the Miami Brain Fair, March 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the BankUnited Center Fieldhouse. The Brain Fair is a community education event designed to teach adults and children how the brain works and about the neuroscience research at the University of Miami. To volunteer, click here.


The Business of Health Care: Going Global Conference, March 21

UM President Julio Frenk will headline a trio of keynote speakers at The Business of Health Care: Going Global, the fifth in a series of health industry impact conferences hosted by the Center for Health Sector Management and Policy and the University of Miami School of Business Administration, on Monday, March 21.

Health care is an increasingly global commodity. Multinational health care service providers, biomedical and biotechnology industries, multi-country joint ventures, medical tourism and the promise of advances in technology, are but a sample of the globalization of the business of health care. This conference promises to offer an unparalleled opportunity for the exchange of ideas on the importance of thinking globally about the business of health care and the impact on the business community in general.

Read more about the conference »


2016 OHRP Research Community Forum, April 6-7

Come learn the latest in 21st Century Research: What You Need to Know About Vulnerable Populations, Emerging Designs, Technology and More.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections, the CITI Program, the University of Miami Human Subject Research Office, Miami Children’s Research Institute, Baptist Health South Florida, Nova Southeastern University and the University of South Florida invite you to attend this informative and dynamic two-day event April 6-7 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel in Miami, Florida. Learn more and register for RCF 2016: http://www.rcfmia.org

For more information, contact Adiper Bellow (305) 243-0244 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

This Week's Grand Rounds

Wednesday, February 17, 2016Dermatology Grand Rounds: Milestones for Dermatology Resident Evaluation

Thursday, February 18, 2016Ophthalmology Grand Rounds

View more Grand Rounds »

This Week's Events

Tuesday, February 16, 2016Medical Issues and the Growing Child Conference

Tuesday, February 16, 2016Calder Library Training Session: PubMed Basics

Tuesday, February 16, 2016Timeout! Calling the Right Play for Children with Severe Neurological Impairment

Tuesday, February 16, 2016Calder Library Training Session: PubMed Advanced

Thursday, February 18, 2016UM Strengthening Families and Communities

Saturday, February 20, 2016The Art & Science of Acupuncture for Physicians

Sunday, February 21, 2016The Art & Science of Acupuncture for Physicians

Tuesday, February 23, 2016Department of Cell Biology Seminar Series with Dr. Thomas Champney

View more Events »

For Your Benefit

 

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program Seminar: Surviving a Breakup

 

View more For Your Benefit Announcements »