News : 2011

From left, Rosemeire M. Kanashiro-Takeuchi, Ph.D., Joshua M. Hare, M.D., and Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., M.D.h.c., D.Sc.h.c.

Activating GHRH Receptor Shown to Stimulate Cardiac Damage Repair After Myocardial Infarction

A collaborative study by several physician-scientists from the Miller School demonstrates that a growth hormone-releasing hormone agonist (GHRH-A) reverses damage to the heart and enhances recovery following a myocardial infarction.

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Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Michael Kapiloff, M.D., Ph.D., credit ISCI’s open labs for their unusual collaboration.

Unlikely Duo Collaborates on NIH Grant to Study Optic Nerve Stroke

The lunchtime musings of two graduate students from adjacent labs at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) have led to the award of one of the Miller School’s more unusual NIH grants – for a $2.11 million study on how to improve neuron survival and function after optic nerve stroke using research already conducted on the heart.

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RSAP’s co-directors are, from left, Leonardo Tamariz, M.D, M.P.H., Stephen Symes, M.D., and Ana Palacio, M.D., M.P.H.

Resident Scholarly Activity Program Seeks New Mentors to Expand Its Success

In 2007, the Department of Medicine established the three-year Resident Scholarly Activity Program, or RSAP, to give internal medicine residents experience in the arduous research process, from developing and investigating an idea to presenting the conclusion at a national meeting or publishing it in a peer-reviewed journal.

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Flanked by community health worker Ernesto Reyes-Arrechea, left, and Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., patient Telma Vega shows off her <em>Cariño</em> certificate.

With Pushing, Prodding and Love, Diabetes Program Graduates Its First Class

The intervention component of the NIH-funded Miami Healthy Heart Initiative study, Cariño, which means affection in Spanish, pairs community health workers, or CHWs, with Latino or Hispanic patients at Jackson’s Ambulatory Care Center who have poorly controlled diabetes and are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

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Surrounding division Chair Antonio Bianco, M.D., Ph.D., seated, are from left, Brian Kim, M.D., Sanford Baim, M.D., and Gianluca Iacobellis, M.D., Ph.D.

Expertise Sets Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Apart

To be recognized among the best academic health systems nationwide requires excellence in education, research and patient care. So it was no surprise when Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., took the helm of the Miller School in 2004, the highly regarded cardiologist began to search for distinctive faculty who could offer the kind of advanced care that would attract patients across the region, the country and the world.

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From left, Eduardo de Marchena, M.D., patient Mark Frye, and Si Pham, M.D., share a laugh at the news conference celebrating UM/Jackson's heart transplant program.

UM/Jackson’s First Heart Transplant Patient Celebrates 25 Years of Success

Back in 1986, Homestead resident Mark Frye discovered quite by accident that he had, at best, a year to live, so he thrust himself into the role of medical pioneer. Just 26 at the time, his heart was so enlarged he needed a new one, and he chose an untested but well-prepared team at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital to perform South Florida’s first heart transplant.

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Gabriel Contreras, M.D., M.P.H.

New Study in NEJM Offers Hope to Lupus Patients with Kidney Disease

Nephrologists at the Miller School of Medicine have played a key role in an international study that has uncovered an effective therapy for treating patients with lupus nephritis, a debilitating kidney disease linked to lupus.

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Kathy Hebert, M.D., M.M.M., M.P.H.

Dr. Hebert Takes Heart Failure Disease Management Overseas

Despite significant advances in therapy and health education, cardiovascular diseases remain the No. 1 cause of death globally. There are, however, physicians and scientists who are chipping away at the root causes to prevent cardiovascular diseases and help those who have been afflicted live healthier lives, regardless of where they live.

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Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D.

Dr. Bishopric Inducted in American Clinical and Climatological Association

Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Laboratory, was inducted into the American Clinical and Climatological Association at the organization’s annual gathering in Sarasota on October 21. The prestigious society limits new membership to 25 physicians in the United States each year.

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Claudia A. Martinez Bermudez, M.D., was one of the speakers at the 2011 M3 International Conference, which brought together other worldwide leaders in cardiovascular disease.

International Cardiovascular Conference Highlights Emerging Therapies in Heart Disease

On October 3, international leaders in heart disease gathered at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach for the M3 2011 International Cardiovascular Conference.

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Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., pictured with patient Zulma Alvarez, is principal investigator on the primary care grant.

Miller School Divisions Win Grant to Develop Primary Care Faculty

Three Miller School primary care divisions have launched a bold and historic collaborative effort aimed at significantly advancing UHealth’s scope of primary care in research, education and direct clinical care, and helping to relieve the shortage of physicians who work and conduct research in this field.

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William T. Branch, Jr., M.D.

Society for Professors of Medicine Brings Internationally Recognized Leader to the Miller School

William T. Branch, Jr., M.D., director of the Division of General Internal Medicine and the Carter Smith, Sr. Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, will be the distinguished guest speaker at the Department of Medicine Grand Rounds on Wednesday, October 12, as part of the Society for Professors of Medicine, a program hosted by the Department of Medicine.

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Myles Wolf, M.D., M.M.Sc., Ansel Amaral, Joshua Hare, M.D., and Christian Faul, Ph.D.

Nephrologists Discover Key Link Between Kidney Disease and Heart Disease

A team of researchers has discovered a key factor in the cause of heart disease in patients with kidney disease.

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Mehmet M. Altintas, Ph.D., left, and Jochen Reiser, M.D., Ph.D., are proud of the years-long collaboration that culminated in another key discovery.

Nephrologists Discover Key to Kidney Disease Progression

The Miller School’s Jochen Reiser, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, has made another important discovery in the fight against progressive kidney disease, this one published in the September 12 online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Vineet Gupta, Ph.D.

UM Researchers Target Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases

Research led by a Miller School team has unearthed new findings showing that activating a specific integrin—one of the receptors that mediate attachment between a cell and surrounding tissue and play a role in cell signaling—could lead to more therapies for fighting inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that afflict millions of people worldwide.

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Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D.

Cardiac Researchers Discover Predictor of Stem Cell Efficacy in Treating Heart Failure

Stem cell researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have made another discovery advancing the field of cardiac stem cells. Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Laboratory, has led a team of researchers in discovering a factor that can serve as a predictor of stem cell development into blood vessels, a key finding for future applications.

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Silvina Levis, M.D.

UM Study Shows Soy Does Not Help Women During Menopause

Soy supplements do not help women in menopause, according to the findings of a two-year, $3 million study conducted at the Miller School’s Osteoporosis Center. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health to determine if the widely popular product could preserve bone health and ease symptoms in the first years of menopause.

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Jochen Reiser, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Changli Wei, M.D., Ph.D.

Nephrologists Discover Cause of Common Kidney Disease

Nephrologists at the Miller School have solved a decades-long search for the cause of a significant form of chronic kidney disease – focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Working with mouse models and a bank of patient samples, scientists have discovered the first circulating factor known to start the process leading to FSGS.

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Joshua M. Hare, M.D.

National Public Radio’s Science Friday Broadcast Features UM Stem Cell Research Leader

The Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute continues to receive national attention for its groundbreaking research translating stem cell biology into clinical trials. Joshua M. Hare, M.D., director of the Institute, headlined National Public Radio’s Science Friday program, hosted by Ira Flatow, on July 22.

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Researchers Identity New Risk Factors for Heart Muscle Disease in Children

Miller School of Medicine researchers and their collaborators have identified important risk factors for death and transplantation in children with dilated cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), in findings published online July 25 in the journal Circulation.

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University of Miami/Jackson medical campus

Five UM/Jackson Programs Nationally Ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Five University of Miami Miller School of Medicine programs at Jackson Memorial Medical Center (UM/Jackson) have been ranked among the best in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals survey, with UM’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute ranked Number One in ophthalmology for the eighth year in a row.

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Celebrating the grand opening of the UHealth Vascular Access Center in Palmetto Bay are, from left, David Roth, M.D., Donna Merrill, R.N., Arif Asif, M.D., Anthony Degina, UMH CEO, William O'Neill, M.D., and Jochen Reiser, M.D., Ph.D.

UHealth Vascular Access Center Opens in Palmetto Bay

When kidney failure patients in south Miami-Dade County face vascular access complications, such as clotting, stenosis or other related emergencies that impede their dialysis treatments, they can now seek help from a highly skilled UHealth – University of Miami Health System team of interventional nephrologists – right in the neighborhood.

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Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A.

Cardiovascular Chief Publishes Commentary in Prestigious Journal

Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A., professor and vice chair of medicine and chief of the Cardiovascular Division, has published a commentary in the July 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. He was invited to write the commentary about a study titled “Not All U.S. Hospitals Are Following Guidelines for Percutaneous Revascularization Procedures for Some Patients With an Occluded Artery Following a Heart Attack.”

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Efren Manjarrez, M.D.

Efren Manjarrez, M.D., Focuses on Safety and Quality

When residents begin the hospital medicine track of the Internal Medicine Residency Program this fall, they will face a curriculum long on quality improvement and patient safety, compliments of Efren Manjarrez, M.D., a patient safety and quality improvement guru.

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Agustin Castellanos, M.D.

Agustin Castellanos, M.D., Retires After Nearly Six Decades

On June 1, 1996, the University of Miami recognized Agustin Castellanos, M.D., professor of medicine, for “33 years of devotion, distinguished work, and faithful service.”

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The Miller School research team includes, from left, Huiliang Xie, Ph.D., Patricia Wahl, Ph.D., Tamara Isakova, M.D., M.M.Sc., and Myles Wolf, M.D., M.S.Sc.

UM Researchers Identify Novel Risk Factor in Chronic Kidney Disease

A new study led by Miller School researchers and their collaborators across the country has identified a novel risk factor, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), for predicting progression of early chronic kidney disease to end-stage renal failure and death. The finding could lead to the development of treatment interventions to prevent disease progression.

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Murray Epstein, M.D.

Dr. Murray Epstein Receives Marvin Moser Clinical Hypertension Award

Murray Epstein, M.D., FASH, professor of medicine emeritus, is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious American Society of Hypertension Marvin Moser Clinical Hypertension Award, presented during the organization’s scientific meeting on May 23 in New York City.

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Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., right, congratulates Eugene Schiff, M.D.

Eugene Schiff, M.D., Named First Al-Rashid Chair of Hepatology

Surrounded by friends, colleagues, and University of Miami leadership, Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., became the first holder of the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Chair in the Division of Hepatology and the UM Center for Liver Diseases at a May 25 ceremony on the medical campus.

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Jochen Reiser, M.D., Ph.D., Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., and George W. Burke III, M.D.

Physicians Discover How Cancer Drug Works to Help Prevent Recurrent Kidney Disease

A collaboration of Miller School physicians, surgeons and scientists has unlocked the mechanism of a drug used to prevent recurrent kidney disease. The finding, which has implications for the diagnosis and treatment of many other diseases, involves the action of rituximab, a B-cell lymphoma therapy, in treating recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in children and young adults.

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Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D.

New Treatment for Fatal Lung Disease Proves Promising

New findings from two international clinical trials could offer hope to patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and fatal lung disease with no known cause or treatment. The results were published online May 14 in the prestigious British medical journal Lancet.

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William O’Neil, M.D. with Joshua M. Hare, M.D.

Cardiac Stem Cell Patients Hailed as ‘Pioneers’

When Edgardo Irastorza started feeling out of breath, with blurry vision and numbness in his legs following a workout, he knew something was wrong. Rushed to the hospital, he says he “flatlined” and had to be revived. Doctors told him he had suffered a massive heart attack due to a major blockage in a coronary artery, called a “widow-maker.” A huge amount of heart tissue was damaged due to the heart attack.

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Marc E. Lippman, M.D., and Laurence B. Gardner, M.D.,

Miller School Leadership Elected Masters of the American College of Physicians

Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., professor and executive dean for education and policy, and Marc E. Lippman, M.D., the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Professor of Medicine and chair of medicine at the Miller School, have been elected Masters of the American College of Physicians (ACP).

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William O'Neill, M.D.

Dr. William O’Neill Presents Final PROTECT II Study Results

New findings presented at the American College of Cardiology’s meeting and i2 Summit 2011 in New Orleans are offering new hope for high-risk patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention or angioplasty who also require hemodynamic support. The presentation was made by William O’Neill, M.D., executive dean for clinical affairs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and principal investigator for the PRO

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University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center

UM/Jackson Named No. 1 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale

University of Miami/Jackson Named No. 1 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals Metro Area Rankings

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Ray E. Hershberger, M.D.

Research Team Discovers New Gene for Dilated Cardiomyopathy

A team of researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has identified a new gene that, when altered, causes dilated cardiomyopathy, which leads to heart failure in millions of people. Their findings have been published in the February 24 online edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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Jose G. Romano, M.D., left, and Eugene J. Sayfie, M.D.

Two Miller School Physicians Honored at AHA Heart and Stroke Ball

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association celebrated “A Gift of Time” at the 2011 Miami Heart and Stroke Ball this month by recognizing two Miller School faculty members – Eugene J. Sayfie, M.D., and Jose G. Romano, M.D. – for their tireless commitment to building healthier lives in South Florida.

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Keith Webster, Ph.D.

UM Researchers and Collaborators Publish Diet and Exercise Findings

Diet and exercise are supposed to be the building blocks for good cardiovascular health, but what role do they really play? That’s the question examined in a new study by University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researchers and their collaborators at the Florida Heart Research Institute and the Agatston Research Institute on Miami Beach.

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Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H.

Miller School Joins Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools

Through the leadership of Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., a national expert in health disparities, the Miller School has been admitted into Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS), a prestigious national association dedicated to improving the health of Hispanics through academic development, research initiatives and training.

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Six UM Investigators Receive Grants for Promising HIV/AIDS Research

The University of Miami Developmental Center for AIDS Research (D-CFAR), which provides seed money to stimulate new research and new collaborations in HIV/AIDS, has awarded grants to six investigators for the purpose of developing pilot data for NIH grant proposals.

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William O'Neill, M.D. (pictured) and Alan Heldman, M.D., were investigators in the national transcatheter aortic valve implantation (PARTNER trial).

Research by Miller School Cardiologists Makes National List

A number of studies led by Miller School cardiologists make up this year’s list of top cardiovascular research recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The top 10 major advances in heart disease and stroke research have been compiled each year since 1996. For the first time, this year there are two separate lists.

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