News : 2014

A Special Recognition and Accomplishment

Please join me in congratulating Ramiro Verdun, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and an Investigator in the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Miami VA Healthcare System, for his selection to the Advisory Panel for the newly conceived Aging Research Institute in Mexico City.

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A Special Message from the Chairman

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce that Robert C. Hendel, MD., Professor of Medicine, Radiology and Interim Chief of the Cardiovascular Division, has been nominated by the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) to present at the 2015 Mario Verani Memorial.

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Gwendolyn B. Scott, M.D., left, and Margaret A. Fischl, M.D.

Miller School Researchers Receive $5.67 Million Grant for HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials

Two researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have received a $5.67 million four-year grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to continue their clinical trials of adult and pediatric patients with HIV/AIDS. It is the latest in a series of federal HIV/AIDS grants to the Miller School, dating back to 1986.

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Miami VA Enrolls 10000 Veterans in Gene Research Program

For three years, the Miami VA Healthcare System has recruited volunteers for a national project to build a genetic database to help research how genes affect health and develop new treatments for both veterans and non-veterans

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Jamie S. Barkin, M.D.

Distinguished Physician Jamie S. Barkin Receives Samuel Weiss Award

Nationally recognized gastroenterologist Jamie S. Barkin, M.D., professor of medicine, is the 2014 recipient of the prestigious American College of Gastroenterology Samuel Weiss Award. Commemorating the College’s founding father, Samuel S. Weiss, M.D., the award recognizes Barkin’s outstanding career service to the American College of Gastroenterology.

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Chairman Announces New Associate Vice Chair

I am pleased to announce that Maritza Suarez, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, has been named Associate Vice Chair for Quality for the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami.

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Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D.

Katz Center Builds Global Reputation for Excellence in Kidney Disease Research

When the American Society of Nephrology held its annual Kidney Week global conference in Philadelphia, the Center’s entire research team was in attendance because every one of their submissions had been accepted for presentation. Earlier in the month, the Center signed a $3.3 million contract with Swiss-based pharmaceutical giant Hoffmann-LaRoche for drug discovery related to two rare kidney diseases.

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Joshua Hare, M.D., and Aisha Khan, M.B.A.

ISCI Selected as Cell Manufacturing Facility for National Research Network

The Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has been selected as a Cell Manufacturing Facility for the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN). Funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the Network conducts research to evaluate the use of cell-based treatment strategies for people with cardiovascular disease.

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From left, Margaret Fischl, M.D., and Deborah Jones Weiss, Ph.D., M.Ed.

HIV Study Empowers Younger Women with Family Planning Options

A new HIV women’s study at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is providing Miami-Dade County’s youngest HIV-infected women with pre-conception counseling about having safer sex now and healthy babies in the future.

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Johanna Kreafle

Miller Student Receives AMA Recognition for Patient Education Initiative

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine student Johanna Kreafle recently won an American Medical Association poster competition for a novel program she co-founded that educates patients about their health in the waiting room as part of their doctor visits.

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Patients, physicians and ISCI staff reunited October 27.

Patients Reunite to Celebrate Six Years of ISCI Clinical Trials

Nearly 60 patients gathered recently to celebrate the sixth anniversary of patient clinical trials at the 2014 Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute Patient Reunion at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Joshua M. Hare, M.D., ISCI’s founding director, said patients, faculty and staff have all contributed to make a major impact in the field of regenerative medicine.

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From left, Alejandro Caicedo, Ph.D., Per-Olof Berggren, Ph.D., and Midhat Abdulreda, Ph.D.

Young Blood Vessels Give New Life to Aging Islets, Researchers Find

A team of international researchers, led by investigators at the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine and Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), has found that young capillary vessels can rejuvenate aged pancreatic islets. The study finding is significant because it suggests that targeting inflammation and fibrosis in the small blood vessels of the islet may offer new treatment options for type 2 diabetes.

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Study: Predictors of Short-Term Diabetes Remission After Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

The high failure rate of medical treatment, along with the rising prevalence and life-threatening complications from both obesity and diabetes, has led to the wide use of bariatric surgery.

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From left, Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Cherie Stabler, Ph.D., Ashutosh Agarwal, Ph.D., and Richard J. Cote, M.D.

$4.9 Million NIH Grant Funds “Organ on a Chip” for Diabetes Research

A trio of Miller School of Medicine investigators has received a $4.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a collaborative effort to move the search for novel treatments for diabetes to a new level. The grant, one of only four awarded, is a part of the Consortium on Human Islet Biomimetics, a group under the newly formed Human Islet Research Network.

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From left, back row, Roy Weiss, M.D., Jacquelyn Katz, Peggy Katz, Oliver Lenz, M.D., Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., David Roth, M.D. Front row: Alessia Fornoni, M.D., center, with children Paolo, 5, and Martina, 8.

Dr. Alessia Fornoni Honored with Peggy and Harold Katz Family Chair

During a lunchtime celebration of her research, educational, and clinical achievements, Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., was named the recipient of the Peggy and Harold Katz Family Chair. For Fornoni, the chair is just the latest step in a medical journey with the Katz family that began more than 10 years ago.

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Amar Deshpande, M.D.

Dr. Amar Deshpande Named Assistant Dean for Medical Education

Highly regarded as an educator by colleagues and students alike, Amar Deshpande, M.D., associate professor of medicine, is taking on a new role that will further transform medical education at the Miller School of Medicine. Deshpande has been named Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Competency Assessment, a new position that will create a coordinated continuum between undergraduate and graduate medical education

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Tanira B.D. Ferreira, M.D.

University of Miami Hospital Names Interim Chief Medical Officer

Tanira B.D. Ferreira, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and Director of Clinical Services in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, has been named Interim Chief Medical Officer of University of Miami Hospital.

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From left, Megan Baker, UM President Donna E. Shalala, Ronan T. Swords, M.D., Ph.D., Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Dr. Ronan T. Swords Receives Pap Corps Endowed Professorship in Leukemia

Ronan T. Swords, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and Director of the Leukemia Program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, has received the Pap Corps Endowed Professorship in Leukemia. The endowment comes from The Pap Corps: Champions for Cancer Research, a volunteer organization that raises money solely for cancer research at Sylvester.

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Sandra V. Chaparro, M.D., holds the CardioMEMS device.

UHealth Becomes First in Southeast U.S. to Use New Heart Failure Monitoring System

Cardiovascular physicians at UHealth – University of Miami Health System are the first in the Southeast U.S. to implant a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure. The CardioMEMS HF System has been shown to reduce hospital admissions by more than one-third when used by physicians to manage heart failure. It was implanted at University of Miami Hospital, the flagship hospital of UHealth.

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From left are Sydney Sussman, Elaine Sussman, Donna E. Shalala, Alan W. Heldman, M.D., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Elaine and Sydney Sussman Endowed Chair in Interventional Cardiology Presented to Alan W. Heldman

Before a packed auditorium full of family, friends, and University and Miller School of Medicine leadership, longtime philanthropists Sydney and Elaine Sussman made their latest gift in the hopes of improving care for cardiovascular patients for generations to come. The Sussmans presented the Elaine and Sydney Sussman Endowed Chair in Interventional Cardiology to Alan W. Heldman, M.D. during an October 7 ceremony.

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Allan E. Rodriguez, M.D., left, and Michael A. Kolber, M.D., Ph.D.

Infectious Disease Researchers Awarded $1.2 Million to Integrate HIV Primary Care in Community Heal

Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases have been awarded $1.2 million by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a four-year project that will introduce a patient-centered medical home to integrate HIV primary care in the community healthcare setting.

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Charles Vogel, M.D., accepts the proclamation from Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief recognizing October as “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and October 14 as “UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Day.”

Dr. Charles Vogel Receives Breast Cancer Proclamation from Broward Commissioners

In an afternoon ceremony at the Broward County Government Center in Fort Lauderdale on October 14, Charles Vogel, M.D., professor of medicine and Director of the Women’s Center at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at Deerfield Beach, received a proclamation recognizing Sylvester as one of three centers that diagnose and treat the vast majority of breast cancer patients in Broward County each year.

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Deborah Jones Weiss, Ph.D., M.Ed., Mahendra Kumar, Ph.D.

Researchers Receive $2.9 Million NIH Grant to Study Cardiovascular Disease in Drug Abusers wit

Mahendra Kumar, Ph.D., and Deborah Jones Weiss, Ph.D., M.Ed., in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, have received a $2.9 million, five-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study cardiovascular disease in HIV-positive cocaine users.

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Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., and Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Sylvester Wins Supplemental NCI Award for Regional Cancer Disparities Research

A National Cancer Institute supplemental award will make the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center the coordinating center for the NCI’s Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program–Region 3 (GMaP3) — a research consortium of 11 institutions in seven southeastern states and Puerto Rico. The project is part of the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities’ Community Networks Program Centers.

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Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D., left, and Vikas Singh, M.D.

Study Finds Better Outcomes for Coronary Stent Procedures Performed by Experienced Cardiologist

A multi-institutional study led by a number of researchers across the country, including senior author Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D., associate professor of medicine and Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at University of Miami Hospital, represents the largest and the most contemporary study of percutaneous coronary intervention volume and its effect on outcomes.

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MPPDA Member Spotlight Toni Essallenne

This month’s MPPDA Member Spotlight features Toni Essallenne, MD, PhD . Toni has been an Associate Program Director and Global Health Track director at the Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami Med-Peds Program since 2011.

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Holy Cross Hospital

Miller School and Holy Cross Hospital Launch Internal Medicine Residency Program

The Miller School of Medicine and Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale are expanding their education partnership to create 42 new residency slots in internal medicine. The program will provide Miller School graduates and residents with additional training opportunities, and it will enable Holy Cross to make the transition to an academic teaching hospital providing a higher level of patient care.

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From left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Governor Rick Scott, Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., and Senator Rene Garcia.

$1 Million Grant from State of Florida Will Support UM HIV/AIDS Research

Governor Rick Scott and Senator Rene Garcia visited the Miller School of Medicine Monday to present a check from the state of Florida for $1 million to advance HIV/AIDS research. The funding will help support ongoing AIDS research programs and extend the research capacity of UM’s Center for AIDS Research through synergistic collaborations with investigators at other institutions in South Florida.

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

Leader in Eliminating Health Disparities Named on Top 100 Under 50 List

Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and public health sciences, Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Director of Community Engagement at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), has been named one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Leaders.

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U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Robert C. Hendel, M.D., pay tribute to the

Florida Cardiologists Meet with Lawmakers and Congressional Staff in Washington

Robert C. Hendel, M.D., professor of medicine, radiology and interim Chief of the Cardiovascular Division, was part of a delegation of Florida cardiologists who met with members of Congress and their staff in Washington, D.C.

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Lilian M. Abbo, M.D.

New Associate Chief Patient Safety and Quality Officer Named for UHealth

Lilian M. Abbo, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, has been named Associate Chief Patient Safety and Quality Officer for UHealth and Medical Director for Antimicrobial Stewardship for the UHealth system and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

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Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O.

Dr. Joshua D. Lenchus Honored by Alma Mater

Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., R.Ph., associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine, has been recognized by Broward College as one of its most outstanding alumni. The Merit Award, presented to Lenchus at the September 12 Alumni Hall of Distinction Awards breakfast at the Renaissance Plantation Hotel, honors his distinguished career as a hospitalist and his zeal for his alma mater.

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Chairman Congratulates Faculty on New Grant Awards....

  • Olveen Carrasquillo, MD, MPH., Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, is the recipient of an NIH Non-competing HRSA Award, entitled, “Faculty Development in Primary Care”

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Khin Zaw, M.D.

Miller School Introduces Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship Program

The Miller School of Medicine, recognizing the need to educate a new generation of physicians in the growing complexities of medical care, has introduced the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program.

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Chairman Announces New VCA

I am pleased to announce that Anna Carol Herman-Giddens, will be joining the Department of Medicine as Vice Chair for Administration effective October 6, 2014. Anna Carol was selected from a pool of highly qualified internal and external candidates and I am delighted that she will be joining us.

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Robert J. Myerburg, M.D.

Cardiologists Critique the Hope and Hype of Stem Cell Research Findings

Nearly a year ago, Miller School of Medicine cardiologist Robert J. Myerburg, M.D., was contacted by Michael R. Rosen, M.D., a colleague at Columbia University Medical Center’s Department of Pharmacology. Rosen, a productive basic scientist with a background in cardiology, wanted to talk to his long-time friend about stem cell research.

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Sonjia Kenya, Ed.D., M.S., M.A.

Champion for Health Equity Named One of 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business

Sonjia Kenya, Ed.D., M.S., M.A., assistant research professor of medicine, has been named by Legacy magazine as one of Miami-Dade County’s 25 Most Influential and Prominent Black Women in Business and Leadership for 2014.

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From left, FTRP grant recipients Glen Barber, Ph.D.; Shaun Brothers, Ph.D.; Claes Wahlestedt, M.D., Ph.D.; Seung-Uon Shin, Ph.D.; and Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D.

Miller School Researchers Receive State Funding for Drug-Discovery Projects

Miller School of Medicine researchers have received three grants in the latest round of funding from the Florida Translational Research Program (FTRP), a state-funded initiative to advance drug discovery. All of the projects receiving awards focus on the discovery and development of novel small molecules for the treatment of disease, specifically cancer.

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From left are Abhijit Ghatak, M.D., Mauricio Cohen, M.D., and Eduardo de Marchena, M.D.

Large Study Finds Higher Costs and Complications from Balloon Mitral Valvuloplasty

The largest study in the U.S. of percutaneous mitral valvuloplasty procedures has found a significant decline in use of this procedure in the United States along with an overall increase in the cost and complication rate.

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Member Anne Auguste brightens her day in a body-sculpting class.

The UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center: Transforming Lives

At 4:45 a.m., the sun isn’t up yet. Nonetheless, when Michael Montero, first-shift receptionist, and Miguel Figueroa, first-shift wellness instructor, arrive each weekday morning to open the recently renamed UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center, located on the 9th floor of the Clinical Research Building, the same group of guys is already waiting to get in and get started.

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Alejandro Ayala, M.D., left, and Alex J. Manzano, M.D.

Review of Cushing’s Disease Poses New Monitoring Algorithm for Early Detection

To address the need for standardized care of patients with Cushing’s disease, a rare neuroendocrine disorder, Alejandro Ayala, M.D., Interim Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and associate clinical professor of medicine, and former endocrinology fellow Alex J. Manzano, M.D., reviewed the current care and treatment protocols for the devastating disease.

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New Vice Chairs Announced

We are pleased to announce the appointments of several Vice Chairs for the Department of Medicine.

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From left, Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., Stuti Dang, M.D., M.P.H., and Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S.

Physician-Researchers Awarded $1.9 Million to Reduce Hispanic Stroke Disparities

According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death for Americans, and Hispanics face even higher risks, particularly for recurring stroke. To improve stroke prevention methods, a team of multidisciplinary physician-researchers at the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth will team up for a new five-year $1.9 million NIH grant.

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Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D.

Research Describes Novel Tumor-Promoting Adaptation in Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma

A collaborative Miller School study led by Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, describes a novel therapeutic target in RAS-driven lung cancer, a common but untreatable carcinoma. The study, published in Oncogene, describes a critical role for MTH1, a protein which sanitizes oxidized DNA precursors, in facilitating tumor formation by activated KRAS.

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Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D.

Dr. Mohammad Jahanzeb Appointed Chair-Elect of ASCO Quality Program

Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D., Medical Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at Deerfield Beach, has been appointed Chair-Elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Steering Group Committee.

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Robert C. Hendel, M.D.

Dr. Robert Hendel Named Interim Chief of Cardiovascular Division

Robert C. Hendel, M.D., professor of medicine and radiology, has been named interim Chief of the Cardiovascular Division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Before this appointment, he was the Associate Chief of Clinical Cardiology, Director of the Cardiac Care Unit and Director of Cardiac Imaging at the Miller School

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Robert C. Hendel, M.D., interim Chief of the Cardiovascular Division, Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., Chair of Neurology, Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., make the

American Heart Association Heart Walk Launch Draws Energetic Crowd

Dozens of energetic UM employees crowded the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center on July 24 for the Miller School’s kickoff to the American Heart Association’s 2014 Heart Walk. Members of the School’s senior leadership, a representative from the AHA and even Sebastian the Ibis were on hand to encourage employees to form or join teams to participate in the Heart Walk, which is sponsored by UHealth.

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Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D.

Study Finds Factors Affecting Diabetes Risk Among Hispanics

People of Hispanic origin living in the U.S. are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and related cardiometabolic abnormalities, but the risk varies considerably among specific ethnic groups and according to other factors, including education and length of time living in the U.S. That is the primary finding of a study led by the Miller School of Medicine and published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Bascom Palmer Ranked No. 1 in Ophthalmology for 11th Consecutive Year

For the 11th consecutive year, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has been ranked the nation’s best in ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report. Bascom Palmer has received the No. 1 ranking a total of 13 times and has been in the top two since the annual rankings began 25 years ago.

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

Miller Professor Contributes to Review of VA Patient-Centered Medical Homes

Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and public health sciences, Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Director of Community Engagement at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), was one of five editors for a supplement on the VA Healthcare System’s patient-centered medical homes published in the July issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Richard A. Preston, M.D., M.S.P.H., M.B.A.

Study Brings Knowledge to Complex Sodium-Induced Hypertension

In a study published in the August 2014 issue of Hypertension, the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers at the Miller School of Medicine help shed light on the complex connection between impaired nitric oxide bioactivity and sodium sensitivity – a precursor of arterial hypertension.

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From left, Clark Toole, Maria Abreu, M.D., Duff Rubin and Mitchell Cook at the June 12 check presentation in the Elaine and Sydney Sussman Family Crohn’s and Colitis Clinic.

Coldwell Banker CARES Foundation Presents Check to Crohn’s and Colitis Clinic

In order to help improve care and raise awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate CARES Foundation recently made a generous donation to the Elaine and Sydney Sussman Family Crohn’s and Colitis Clinic at UHealth, University of Miami Health System. Representatives from the foundation visited the clinic June 12 to present a ceremonial check for $25,000 to Maria T. Abreu.

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Robert J. Myerburg, M.D.

Research Finds New Genetic Link to Sudden Cardiac Death

An international team of investigators, including a Miller School cardiologist, has found a new association between a variant in a specific gene and Brugada syndrome, an inherited disorder associated with life-threatening arrhythmias. The identification of this genetic variant in affected families offers hope of identifying more individuals at risk for sudden cardiac death among family members of affected individuals.

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Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O.

Dr. Joshua D. Lenchus Receives Additional Funding to Continue Patient Safety Research

Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., associate professor of medicine and anesthesiology and associate director of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital Center for Patient Safety, received a $750,000 grant from the Florida Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (FMMJUA) for a two-year study titled “Minimizing Iatrogenic Procedural Complications: Reducing Thoracentesis-Induced Pneumothorax Incidence.”

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Clinton B. Wright, M.D., M.S.

Miller School Researchers Link Hormone to Stroke Risk

A team of Miller School researchers, collaborating with investigators at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, has found evidence of a link between elevated levels of a hormone that regulates phosphate levels in the body and increased risk of stroke.

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Mustafa Tekin, M.D.

Newly Discovered Gene Mutation is Linked to Hereditary Deafness

Researchers led by geneticists at the Miller School have discovered a new gene mutation that causes hearing loss. Their study, which focused on a large Turkish family in which six individuals have been affected by hereditary deafness, identified a mutated form of the gene FAM65B as a cause of sensorineural hearing loss.

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Raul Mitrani, M.D., left, holds the SmartTouch catheter in the Electrophysiology Suite at UMH, with Robert J. Myerburg, M.D., James O. Coffey, M.D., and Juan Viles-Gonzalez, M.D.

UHealth Cardiologists are First in South Florida to Use New Cardiac Ablation Device

A team of cardiologists at University of Miami Hospital are the first electrophysiologists in South Florida to use the SmartTouch ablation catheter, an advanced pressure-sensitive catheter to treat patients with potentially dangerous heart rhythm disorders. Raul Mitrani, M.D., and James O. Coffey, M.D., have corrected atrial fibrillation and other disorders in several patients using the new catheter.

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Miami CTSI K12 awardees are Ronan Swords, M.D., Ph.D., left, and Mark Stoutenberg, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Two Junior Investigators Awarded CTSI Career Development Grants

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) has awarded grants to two Miller School researchers through its Mentored Translational Research Scholars Program (K12), which helps junior faculty develop successful careers as independent investigators.

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Ronald Goldberg, M.D.

Long-Term Follow-Up of Diabetes Prevention Program Shows Continued Reduction in Diabetes Development

Treatments used to decrease the development of type 2 diabetes continue to be effective an average of 15 years later, according to the latest findings of the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, a landmark study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Ronald Goldberg, M.D., is one of the investigators of the Outcomes Study, which was conducted as an extension of the Diabetes Prevention Program.

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Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D.

UM Cardiovascular Division Presents Distinguished Faculty and Fellow Awards

The Cardiovascular Division honored four distinguished faculty and fellows at its June 8 Cardiovascular Fellows’ Graduation Ceremony at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay. Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D., received the Robert J. Myerburg Outstanding Academic Cardiology Faculty Award for his excellence in education, clinical care and research.

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Carl E. Orringer, M.D.

New Faculty Cardiologist to Lead Novel Preventive Cardiovascular Program

For Carl E. Orringer, M.D., the newest faculty member in the Cardiovascular Division, the move from Cleveland to Miami is a homecoming. Orringer is a triple ’Cane, with a B.A. in chemistry (1970), an M.D. (1974) and a residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital (1977). Thirty-seven years later, he’s back, bringing with him a high-profile cardiovascular disease-prevention program that he developed.

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Quality improvement contest winners are, from left, Jose Llinas, M.D., Lara Paraskos, M.D., Andreina Rojas, M.D., Melany Castillo, M.D., and Alex Manzano, M.D.

UHealth Promotes Patient Safety and Quality Initiatives During National Week

To further improve patient safety and quality initiatives that directly affect the University of Miami Health System, students, residents and fellows took part in various educational activities held in conjunction with National Patient Safety Awareness Week.

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From left are Vikas Singh, M.D., Juan F. Viles-Gonzalez, M.D., and Raul D. Mitrani, M.D.

New Study Reveals National Rise of Costly Atrial Fibrillation Hospitalizations

Hospitals throughout the nation have seen a significant rise in overnight stays for older patients experiencing irregular heart rhythms known as atrial fibrillation (AF). That is the finding of a recently released study, in which three Miller School of Medicine doctors participated, examining the high rate of AF-related hospitalizations and the resulting high medical costs in the U.S. over the past decade.

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Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D.

NEJM Publishes Research Finding Medication Slows Devastating Lung Disease

An international team of researchers, including Miller School pulmonologist Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., has confirmed the results of earlier trials that pirfenidone, a medication already approved for use in nearly three dozen countries, is effective in slowing the progress of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Their findings were published in the May 20 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

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Honored at the Health Care Heroes award luncheon, from left, Bernard J. Fogel, M.D.; Mary Bartlett Bunge, Ph.D.; Carlos A. Migoya; and Robert J. Myerburg, M.D.

Dean Emeritus Bernard J. Fogel, M.D., Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

An audience of more than 500 healthcare and business leaders cheered as Miller School Dean Emeritus Bernard J. Fogel, M.D., received the AXA Advisors Lifetime Achievement Award at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Health Care Heroes Awards Luncheon, held on May 20 in Jungle Island’s Treetop Ballroom. In addition, Mary Bartlett Bunge, Ph.D., won the Health Care Hero Award in the Bio-Medical category.

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Cor Vitae Stroke Award winner Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., right, with Heart Ball Corporate Chairman Carlos Castresana of Wells Fargo.

Dr. Ralph L. Sacco Receives Cor Vitae Stroke Award from American Heart Association

The American Heart Association has presented its prestigious Cor Vitae Stroke Award to Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Olemberg Chair of Neurology. Sacco received the award at the AHA’s 2014 Miami Heart & Stroke Ball, held May 17 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. UHealth was a Platinum Sponsor of the event.

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Dileep Yavagal, M.D., left, and Joshua M. Hare, M.D.

Study Finds Effective Approach for Delivering Stem Cells to Repair Stroke Damage

A new Miller School research study has identified a safe and effective route for delivering stem cells to the brain, where they can potentially repair stroke-damaged tissue. “Our team found that delivering a low dose of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) through the carotid artery at 24 hours after stroke resulted in effective therapy for ischemic stroke in an animal model,” said lead author Dileep Yavagal, M.D.

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Tissue culture shows mesenchymal stem cells, in green, interacting with cardiac stem cells, in red/orange, through gap junctions, displayed as white dots.

UM Leads in the Field of Regenerative Medicine: Moving from Treatments to Cures

Driven by a commitment to move from treatments to cures, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is a leader in the field of regenerative medicine. Researchers and clinicians are collaborating in a wide range of disciplines to develop new strategies that use the body’s own cells to fight cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic problems, as well as repair damaged nerve fibers.

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Arthur and Shelly Lipson

Family Expands its Miller School of Medicine Legacy

When Phillip Tenzel and Paul Tenzel received their Doctor of Medicine degrees May 10 at the BankUnited Center, the first cousins continued an expanding family medical legacy at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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Representing his award and righteousness, Joshua D. Lenchus receives a Tzedakah Box from former Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman.

Dr. Joshua D. Lenchus Named Humanitarian of the Year

Mentor, educator and hospitalist Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., R.Ph., President of the Medical Staff at Jackson Health System, was the guest of honor at the Samuel M. and Helene Soref Jewish Community Center’s 18th annual Humanitarian of the Year gala. Hundreds of friends, colleagues and family members gathered at the Signature Grand in Davie for the April 27 event to recognize Lenchus for his exemplary leadership.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics researchers are, from left, H. Peter Larsson, Ph.D., Marta E. Perez, Feng Qiu, Ph.D., Xiaoyu Wang, and Rene Barro-Soria, Ph.D.

Study Will Boost Therapeutic Options for Patients with Cardiac Arrhythmias

H. Peter Larsson, Ph. D., associate professor of physiology and biophysics, led a study published in the April issue of Nature Communications that brings researchers one step closer to understanding the mechanism behind cardiac arrhythmias caused by mutations in the IKs channel, a physiologically important potassium channel critical in controlling the heart’s electrical activity.

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Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D.

Multidisciplinary Researcher-Physician Earns Society’s Highest Honor

Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, received the Wybran Award at the Society of NeuroImmune Pharmacology’s 20th annual meeting in New Orleans. The highest honor bestowed by the Society, the award recognizes Toborek for his scientific contributions that have preserved and expanded the field of neuroimmune pharmacology.

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Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S., was one of four faculty members who spoke at the symposium.

Fit Friendly Symposium Discusses Healthy Work Environments

More than 50 corporate leaders joined UHealth and the American Heart Association at the 2014 Miami and Broward Fit Friendly Symposium, held at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center on April 22. The purpose of the panel event was to share health data and exchange tips for creating healthy work environments.

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Robert J. Myerburg, M.D.

Research Finds Link Between Aortic Valve Replacement and Atrial Fibrillation

A team of Miller School researchers has found a strong correlation between the type of aortic valve replacement procedure a patient undergoes and the development of post-operative atrial fibrillation. Their findings are reported in an article, “New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation After Aortic Valve Replacement,” that appears in the April 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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The POSEIDON study, conducted by a team of Miller School researchers, is the cover story of the April 11 edition of <em>Circulation Research</em>.

Two New Miller School Studies Show How Stem Cell Injections Improve Heart Structure

Two Miller School of Medicine studies led by a team from the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute use highly advanced cardiac imaging techniques to establish for the first time how stem cell injections are able to improve the structure of the heart — an important finding for the evolving field of regenerative medicine. The “Poseidon” and “Prometheus” studies were published in a recent issue of Circulation Research.

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Ramiro E. Verdun, Ph.D., and Elena M. Cortizas.

Research Published in PNAS Helps Explain Causes of Rare Genetic Disorder

An international collaboration co-led by Ramiro E. Verdun, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, illuminates the underlying origins of a rare genetic disorder that causes an immunodeficiency syndrome known as hyper-IgM syndrome type 2 (HIGM2).

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Tongyu Cao Wikramanayake, Ph.D.

Study Reveals Complex Role of Largely Unknown Mpzl3 Gene

A multidisciplinary study led by Tongyu Cao Wikramanayake, Ph.D., research assistant professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, has pinpointed multiple roles of the little-known protein-coding gene Mpzl3 (myelin protein zero-like 3).

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From left, Vikas Singh, M.D., Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D., and Eduardo de Marchena, M.D.

Study of PABVs Solidifies Importance of High-Volume, Specialized Centers

Vikas Singh, M.D., a fellow in the Cardiovascular Division, was a first author on the largest study on Percutaneous Balloon Aortic Valvotomy procedures in the United States.

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Roy E. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.

Miller School Names New Chair of Department of Medicine

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., has announced that Roy E. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, will be joining the faculty as the new chair of the Department of Medicine.

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Paul Martin, M.D.

Miller School Professor Contributes to New National Guidelines for Management of Liver Disease

Paul Martin, M.D., professor of medicine and Chief of the Division of Hepatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, played a key role in developing new clinical guidelines by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

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Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D., second from right, accepts the Florida Heart Research Institute Award, with colleagues, from left, Roberto I. Vazquez-Padron, Ph.D., associate professor of surgery, Claudia Rodrigues, Ph.D., research assistant professor of pharmacology, and Keith Webster, Ph.D.

Dr. Lina Shehadeh Recognized for Innovative Cardiovascular Research

Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Cardiovascular Division, has been recognized for her outstanding dedication to the mission of the Florida Heart Research Institute in the area of research.

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Raul D. Mitrani, M.D., examines patient Christopher Clark before implanting the Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor.

University of Miami Hospital First in South Florida to Implant Newly Approved Smallest Insertable Ca

Demonstrating further expertise in the cardiac field, a physician at the University of Miami Hospital (UMH) has become the first in South Florida to implant the world’s smallest cardiac monitoring device into a patient.

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John E. Lewis, Ph.D.

Research Shows Further Evidence of Enhanced Nutrition Benefits

In a study led by John E. Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, researchers have further proven the benefits of enhanced nutrition in improving cognitive and immune functioning among healthy older adults.

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Krishna Komanduri, M.D., second from right, celebrates his Laboratory of the Year award with, front row from left, Lizzeth Meza, Despina Kolonias, and Melanie Peapell, and back row from left, Eric Wieder, Ph.D., Daniel Dammrich, M.D., Dietlinde Wolf, Ph.D., and Cara Benjamin, Ph.D.

Three Miller School Labs Named “Lab of the Year”

Three labs on the Miller School campus tied for the 2013 Lab of the Year award from the University of Miami Office of Environmental Health and Safety. The chemistry research lab of College of Arts and Sciences Dean Leonidas G. Bachas on the Coral Gables campus received the same honor.

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Ride with Heart for the Cardiovascular Division

Show your support during heart awareness month by participating in the 3rd Annual Ride with Heart event benefitting the Miller School’s Cardiovascular Division. The event, a 62- or 32-mile bicycle ride, will take place on Sunday, February 9, with opening ceremonies starting at 7 a.m. at the Harbor Shops, 1815 Cordova Road in Fort Lauderdale.

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Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D., left, and Kim Eagle, M.D., President of the Association of University Cardiologists.

Distinguished Cardiac Researcher Elected to Association of University Cardiologists

Nanette H. Bishopric, M.D., professor of medicine, pediatrics and pharmacology and Director of the UM Cardiovascular Genomics Laboratory, has been elected to the prestigious Association of University Cardiologists. Founded in 1961, the Association is limited to an active membership of 125 academic cardiologists.

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Juan Viles-Gonzalez, M.D.

Atrial Fibrillation Study Shows Importance of Clinical Expertise, Volume

In the largest study ever done in patients undergoing catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation in the United States, a multi-center team, led by Miller School physicians and scientists, has made a critical discovery in predicting adverse outcomes. The investigators found that although the procedure is safe and the absolute number of complications is small, there are some complications.

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