News : 2018

From left, Pamela Knous, Ralph Sacco, M.D., Danuta Szczesna-Cordary, Ph.D., Sunil Yadav, graduate student Yoel H. Sitbon, and Arnold Schmidt.

Doctoral Student Receives Grant through the American Heart Association

Third-year graduate student Sunil Yadav had never met Pamela Knous before their first handshake at the Rosenstiel Medical Science Building, but thanks to a shared medical interest, the Naples woman will play a significant role in the advancement of the doctoral student’s career. Knous and American Heart Association represemtatives presented Yadav with a check to fund his research to develop a treatment for heart disease.

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Raul Mitrani, M.D., viewing heart on screen.

Landmark Study Proves Ablation is Effective Alternative to AFib Drugs

About 33 million people worldwide have atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart rhythm disorder or arrhythmia. A landmark study in which the University of Miami Health System participated has helped prove that catheter ablation is a safe, effective treatment alternative to medication. In fact, ablation outperformed medication in the patients who underwent the procedure versus those who were treated with medication.

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From left, State Senator Oscar Braynon, Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., Joy Fishman, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Edward Abraham, M.D., and Hansel Tookes, M.D., M.P.H.

Senator Bill Nelson Tours Miller School’s Needle Exchange, Sees Opioid Epidemic First Hand

University of Miami champion U.S. Senator Bill Nelson toured the Miller School of Medicine’s needle exchange program on July 6. Joined by Edward Abraham, M.D., executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, and Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean of the Miller School, Nelson got an in-depth look at the site’s comprehensive operations, including its mobile van.

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Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

New Study Explores Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin D in Type 1 Diabetes

Scientists from the Diabetes Research Institute are launching a new clinical trial that will assess the impact of high-dose omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D supplementation on halting the progression of type 1 diabetes. The study will compare the effects of the proposed intervention in children and adults newly diagnosed and in those with longer-standing type 1 diabetes to evaluate any benefit of early and late interventions.

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Frank J. Penedo, Ph.D.

Cancer Survivorship Expert Dr. Frank J. Penedo Joins Sylvester

Frank J. Penedo, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert in cancer survivorship and psychosocial oncology, will join Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center on August 15 as associate director for cancer survivorship and translational behavioral research. Dr. Penedo will also co-lead the cancer control research program. “I am delighted to rejoin the team at Sylvester,” said Dr. Penedo.

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Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., speaking at the Vatican's

Dr. Marilyn Glassberg Presents Findings on Stem Cell Treatments for Lung Diseases

Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., professor of medicine, surgery and pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, spoke recently at an international health care conference held at the Vatican. Her presentation was part of “The Pharmacy of the Future – Cardiovascular, Pulmonary and Neurodegenerative Diseases,” a panel discussion moderated by medical journalist Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

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3D illustration of glucose-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells.

New Discoveries in Diabetes Call into Question Some Approaches to Treatment and Research

What is a normal blood glucose level? Pancreatic islets are programmed to know the answer, but that answer differs from species to species. What’s more, the original programming remains, even when the islets are transplanted from one species to another. If, for example, pancreatic islets are transplanted from humans to mice, they continue to dictate the blood glucose levels that are normal for humans.

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Robert J. Myerburg, M.D.

Dr. Robert Myerburg Explores Genetic Links to Sudden Cardiac Death

Cardiologist Robert J. Myerburg, M.D., at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues in Finland have uncovered genetic links that offer new explanations for some sudden cardiac deaths in young people. Myocardial fibrosis — scarring of the cardiac muscle — is a common postmortem finding in such cases. There is no known single cause, and in some individuals, there is no identifiable cause at all.

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Rajesh Garg, M.D.

Comprehensive Diabetes Center at Lennar awarded ADA Certificate of Recognition

The University of Miami Health System’s Comprehensive Diabetes Center, located in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center on UM’s Coral Gables campus, has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the American Diabetes Association. The center received the certification, which extends through October 1, 2021, for the high quality of its diabetes self-management education program.

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Dr. Robert Myerburg Contributes Editorial to JAMA on ECG Screening and Cardiac Risks

Robert J. Myerburg, M.D., professor of medicine and physiology and the American Heart Association Chair in Cardiovascular Research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was invited to contribute an editorial to the Journal of the American Medical Association about new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force regarding the use of electrocardiogram screening for cardiovascular disease risk.

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Breast cancer under light microscopy.

Sylvester Breast Cancer Specialist Publishes Commentary in New England Journal of Medicine

On June 4, The New England Journal of Medicine published an update to a large, international study of two clinical trials that examined the comparative survival rates for adjuvant therapies for hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer in premenopausal women. The journal’s editors turned to Marc E. Lippman, M.D., a breast cancer specialist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, to write an accompanying editorial.

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Natasha Schaefer Solle, Ph.D., and Alberto Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., center, with marine firefighters from Jacksonville Fire and Rescue's Station 39.

Sylvester’s Firefighter Cancer Initiative Expands to Jacksonville Area

Over the Memorial Day weekend, clinician-scientists from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s expanding state-funded Firefighter Cancer Initiative met with firefighters and paramedics at fire rescue departments throughout the greater Jacksonville area, and presented an overview of their research and cancer screening projects.

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Jessica MacIntyre, M.S.N., ARNP, helps patient Althea Chung try on one of the new hoodies.

Donated Hoodies Help Sylvester Patients and Staff by Adding Convenience and Comfort

Patients at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are the first in the country to receive new specially designed hoodies donated by Oscar de la Renta, LLC. In place of a long zipper down the middle, these hoodies have two shorter diagonal zippers that make it easier for nurses to access chemotherapy chest ports, while helping patients stay warm.

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Steven L. Cohn, M.D.

Dr. Steven Cohn Closes Miller School Career with Busy Speaking Schedule

Steven L. Cohn, M.D., a hospitalist, professor emeritus of medicine and nationally recognized expert in perioperative medicine, has had a busy spring. Although he officially retired from the Miller School of Medicine in April 2017, he has continued to work part-time and to teach. Now he is finally winding down his academic career, but the vagaries of conference scheduling have forced him to do so in a whirlwind of activity.

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Gilberto Lopes, M.D., M.B.A.

Sylvester Physicians and Researchers to Present at ASCO

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center will be well represented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting June 1- 5 in Chicago, as several physicians and researchers are scheduled to make key presentations. At the Plenary Session on Sunday, June 3, Gilberto Lopes, M.D., M.B.A., associate director of Global Oncology at Sylvester, will present the abstract on the Phase III KEYNOTE-42 study.

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Mehdi Mirsaeidi, M.D., M.P.H.

Researcher Identifies Increased Survival Factors for Sarcoidosis Patients with Lung Transplants

Sarcoidosis patients have better outcomes with lung transplants than patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Their survival outlook is also greater when the donor is young or white, or when receiving a double lung transplant, according to a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researcher who is an expert on this rare inflammatory lung disease.

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From left, Cindy L. Munro, Ph.D., RN, Otto Yang, M.D., Michael Weinstein, Julio Frenk, Jorge Saavedra, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.P.M., José Szapocznik, Ph.D., Hansel Tookes, M.D., M.P.H., Adriane Gelpi, Ph.D., M.P.H., Sunil Rao, Ph.D., Andrea Calo and Mitzi Tanaka.

Partnership to Tackle Research and Advocacy on Global Health Issues

To pursue critically needed scientific knowledge on global health issues, the University of Miami and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) recently announced the launch of the AHF Global Public Health Institute at the University of Miami. The partnership will allow researchers to generate objective evidence that can lead to improvements in public health policy at the global, regional, national and local levels.

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Craig H. Moskowitz, M.D.

Lymphoma Expert Dr. Craig Moskowitz Joins Sylvester as Physician-in-Chief for Oncology Service Line

Craig H. Moskowitz, M.D., one of the world’s leading experts on lymphoma, will join Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center on May 14 as physician-in-chief for the Oncology Service Line. He is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. Additionally, he is the author of more than 275 articles in high-impact journals and a sought-after speaker at scientific conferences worldwide.

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Gianluca Iacobellis, M.D., Ph.D., speaking at the ESC Conference in Vienna.

Researcher Reports Diagnostic, Prognostic and Therapeutic Promise of Epicardial Fat at Conference

When it comes to screening and modifying risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, research on epicardial fat is getting to the heart of the matter. This organ-specific fat has a unique genetic profile and dictates important local and systemic effects throughout the body.

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From left, Roy E. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., with Rabbi Morris I. Esformes.

Grateful Patient and Philanthropist Endows Chair in Medicine and Endocrinology for Dr. Roy E. Weiss

In recognition of his work searching for new treatments and cures for thyroid and pituitary gland disorders, renowned endocrinologist Roy E. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., was recently presented with the Rabbi Morris I. Esformes Endowed Chair in Medicine and Endocrinology. The ceremony was held April 24 in the Schoninger Research Quadrangle in front of more than 200 family members, friends, colleagues, and medical school leadership.

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Nearly 800 employees and faculty caught the spirit at the 5 to Thrive launch event.

5 to Thrive Comes Alive at Major Event to Generate Employee and Faculty Input

Nearly 800 medical campus employees and faculty packed the tent erected on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle last Thursday afternoon, their animated conversation mixing with the DJ’s music as they celebrated the energetic launch of 5 to Thrive, a dynamic new initiative designed to make UHealth – the University of Miami Health System a truly preeminent academic health system for the 21st century.

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Some of the newly elected student members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Gold Humanism Awards Recognize Students with Compassion, Empathy and Respect for the Whole Patient

Recognition from your peers is often the most meaningful. At the recent fourth annual Gold Humanism Awards Initiation Banquet, 33 students and one faculty member from the Miller School of Medicine learned first hand what that feels like.

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From left, Ivonne Schulman, M.D., with Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D.

Miller School Researcher Receives $1.5 Million Grant to Study Role of Osteopontin in Heart Failure

A Miller School of Medicine researcher has received a $1.5 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study a potential new strategy for treating an intractable form of heart failure. “Prior studies have shown that lowering the level of a protein called osteopontin can ameliorate heart failure with reduced ejection fraction,” said Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine.

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Eugene Braunwald, M.D.

Dr. Eugene Braunwald, World-Renowned Cardiologist, to Speak at Miller School on April 18

Eugene Braunwald, M.D., a world-renowned cardiologist who is the recipient of 22 honorary doctorates and whose h-index of 208 has caused him to be named the most frequently cited author in cardiology by the journal Science Watch, will speak at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on Wednesday, April 18.

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Top row, from left, Alfonso Sabater, M.D./Ph.D., Bradley Goldstein, M.D./Ph.D., Armando Mendez, Ph.D., and Keyvan Yousefi, Pharm.D. Bottom row, from left, Stefania Goncalves, M.D., Guerline Lambert, M.S., Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D., Wen Ding, PhD., and Amy Kloosterboer.

Collaborative Miller School Study Finds Potential Treatment for Rare Genetic Condition

A collaborative research team at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has developed a potential treatment strategy for Alport syndrome, a rare genetic condition characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss, and eye abnormalities. The researchers found that reducing osteopontin by genetic deletion can prevent kidney, vision, and hearing pathologies in the Alport mouse and could significantly extend its lifespan.

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Miller School of Medicine Rises in NIH Research Grant Funding

The Miller School of Medicine received $120.7 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health in Federal Fiscal Year 2017 — a $9.5 million increase over the school’s FFY 2016 total. According to the national rankings of medical schools based on data compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, that total made the Miller School the No. 1 NIH-funded institution in Florida.

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Susan Martin, center, with Alessia Fornoni, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, and Tom Green.

Susan Martin Receives Patriotic Employer Award from Office of Secretary of Defense

Susan Martin, senior division administrator for the Department of Medicine’s Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, has received the Patriotic Employer Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The award was presented on March 13 by Tom Green, area vice chair of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

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From left, Paul Martin, M.D., Matthias Salathe, M.D., Jeremiah Faith, Ph.D., Eugene J. Sayfie, M.D., Alison Morris, M.D. ,and Roy Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.

4th Annual Eugene J. Sayfie, M.D. Research Day Celebrates Research and Creative Endeavors

The 4th Annual Eugene J. Sayfie, M.D. Research Day of the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine was held Wednesday, March 7, at the Miller School’s Mailman Center auditorium. The Eugene J. Sayfie, M.D. Research Day is a celebration of the research and creative endeavors of our undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, fellows and faculty.

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Sylvester Researchers Discover New Pathway Linking Inflammation and Cancer

A team of researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, collaborating with outside investigators, has discovered a new pathway of inflammation-driven cancer development. Their findings, “Initiation of Inflammatory Tumorigenesis by CTLA4 Insufficiency Due to Type 2 Cytokines,” were published online on January 26 by the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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Stuart Weiss, M.D.

Medical Alumnus Encourages Others to Give Back

Although it has been nearly 50 years since Stuart R. Weiss, M.D. ’71, graduated from the University of Miami School of Medicine, he is still dedicated to ensuring the future of his medical alma mater. Weiss, an endocrinologist, has been a generous supporter of the medical school for more than 40 years. His first gift to the school came just three years after graduation.

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Stromal cells in the laboratory.

Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Shown to Prevent Lung and Skin Fibrosis, Restore Wound Healing

A cross-disciplinary group of researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has found that allogeneic adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASCs) will prevent lung and skin fibrosis, and restore wound healing.

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From left, Alvaro J. Alencar, M.D., Edmundo Carvalho Mauad, M.D., Ph.D., Gilberto de Lima Lopes, M.D., M.B.A., Sergio Vicente Serrano, M.D., Ph.D., and Joseph D. Rosenblatt, M.D.

Sylvester and Brazil’s Barretos Cancer Hospital Sign Agreement for Collaborative Research

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Barretos Cancer Hospital — one of the most advanced public hospital cancer centers in Brazil — signed a memorandum of understanding on February 2 for wide-ranging collaborative research that may begin by the end of this year. Representatives from Barretos traveled to Miami to sign the agreement, meet with Sylvester researchers and clinicians, and tour Sylvester’s facilities.

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From left, Alvaro J. Alencar, M.D., Edmundo Carvalho Mauad, M.D., Ph.D., Gilberto de Lima Lopes, M.D., M.B.A., Sergio Vicente Serrano, M.D., Ph.D., and Joseph D. Rosenblatt, M.D.

Sylvester and Brazil’s Barretos Cancer Hospital Sign Agreement for Collaborative Research

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Barretos Cancer Hospital — one of the most advanced public hospital cancer centers in Brazil — signed a memorandum of understanding on February 2 for wide-ranging collaborative research that may begin by the end of this year. Representatives from Barretos traveled to Miami to sign the agreement, meet with Sylvester researchers and clinicians, and tour Sylvester’s facilities.

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The new predictive model can help guide immunotherapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Sylvester Researchers Develop Predictive Model to Guide Immunotherapy for Lung Cancer Patients

Researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have developed a predictive model that can help guide immunotherapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

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