News : 2016

Michael Freundlich, M.D.

Researchers Uncover Mechanism for Vitamin D-Mediated Cardio-Protection in Kidney Insufficiency

Miller School of Medicine researchers have found that abnormal vitamin D status and elevated levels of the hormone FGF23 contribute to cardiac hypertrophy — a thickening of the heart muscle that may result in a decrease in size of the chamber of the heart and affect cardiac performance — in patients with chronic kidney disease.

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From left, moderator (at podium) Karen A. Goraleski, Executive Director of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Stephen Higgs, Ph.D., Anne Schuchat, M.D., Ivan Gonzalez, M.D., Albert Icksang Ko, M.D., Pedro Fernando da Costa Vasconcelos, M.D., Ph.D., and Ann Powers, Ph.D.

Dr. Ivan Gonzalez Joins American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s Zika Expert Panel

Ivan Gonzalez, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and Co-Director of the Zika Response Team, joined other top international experts discussing the health impact of Zika at a recent press briefing held in Atlanta as part of the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).

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From left, Daniel Ferraresi, Eliana C. Martinez, M.D., Ph.D., Judy Schaechter, M.D., MBA, Emmalee S. Bandstra, M.D., Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., Jon Batchelor, Sandy Batchelor, Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Dr. Emmalee S. Bandstra Honored with 2016 Micah Batchelor Award

Renowned for her expertise in perinatal substance abuse, Emmalee S. Bandstra, M.D., recently received the prestigious 2016 Micah Batchelor Award for Excellence in Children’s Health Research. The award was presented November 8 during a ceremony at the Batchelor Children’s Research Institute before Batchelor family members and trustees of the Batchelor Family Foundation, UM and Miller School of Medicine leadership.

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The pilot needle exchange program, the IDEA Exchange named after the Infectious Disease Elimination Act, is just one area where University of Miami health officials have been working to find a cure and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

New Needle Exchange Program Launches on World AIDS Day

For years, while a student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Hansel Tookes fought the Florida legislature to pass the first law in the state that would allow drug users to exchange used needles for clean ones in an effort to combat HIV transmission among at-risk groups.

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Mailman Center Innovation and Connection Conference, October 26

The Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will host “Strategies for Promoting Positive Behavior in Children with Disabilities” on Wednesday, October 26, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Nancy Fawcett, M.D.

Miller School of Medicine Icon Dr. Nancy Fawcett Dies

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine lost a legend on September 16 when pediatrician Nancy Fawcett, M.D., died at the age of 85. Fawcett, who spent 52 years caring for children at Holtz Children’s Hospital and was one of the university’s longest tenured professors, was loved by all those she taught or treated.

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

Dr. Marilyn K. Glassberg Presents Research Findings at Vatican Stem Cell Conference

When Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., professor of medicine, surgery and pediatrics, spoke at an international conference held at the Vatican, she delivered a moving account of the promising early results obtained by investigators at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in a small clinical trial that explored stem cell treatment in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

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

Dr. Marilyn K. Glassberg Presents Research Findings at Vatican Stem Cell Conference

When Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., professor of medicine, surgery and pediatrics, spoke at an international conference held at the Vatican, she delivered a moving account of the promising early results obtained by investigators at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in a small clinical trial that explored stem cell treatment in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

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Christine L. Curry, M.D., Ph.D., speaking to Miami Beach City Commissioners about the Zika virus threat.

Miller School Clinicians and Researchers Urge Proactive Approach to Controlling Zika Virus

Controlling the mosquito-borne Zika virus must continue to be a public health priority for South Florida, according to several University of Miami Miller School of Medicine clinicians and researchers who spoke on September 14 at a public hearing held by the Miami Beach City Commission.

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From left, John C. Beier, Sc.D., David Watkins, Ph.D., Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., President Julio Frenk, Christine L. Curry, M.D., Ph.D., Ivan A. Gonzalez, M.D., and Paola N. Lichtenberger, M.D.

Expert Panel Discusses Variety of Responses by UM to Zika Virus Challenge

At a Zika symposium hosted by the University of Miami, the Miller School of Medicine, and UHealth – the University of Miami Health System today, UM President Julio Frenk called on Congress to approve emergency federal funding for Zika research, treatment and monitoring.

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From left, Roland Jurecic, Ph.D., Paolo Serafini, Ph.D., Samita Andreansky, Ph.D., and Richard L. Riley, Ph.D.

Interdisciplinary Team Awarded $3.4 Million to Research Safer, Improved Chemotherapy

Armed with a new $3.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), an interdisciplinary research team of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center members is creating a blueprint that may help to deliver safer, more-effective chemotherapy, with far fewer long-term negative health consequences.

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R. Rodney Howell, M.D.

Dr. R. Rodney Howell Elected President of International Society for Neonatal Screening

R. Rodney Howell, M.D., professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Pediatrics, and a member of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been elected President of the International Society for Neonatal Screening (ISNS). His three-year term will begin on September 11 at the 2016 ISNS International Symposium in The Hague, the Netherlands.

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Gary I. Kleiner, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Gary I. Kleiner Named to Florida Genetic and Newborn Screening Advisory Council

Gary I. Kleiner, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics and surgery, has received a four-year appointment as the representative from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to the Florida Genetic and Newborn Screening Advisory Council. The goal of newborn screening is to help prevent developmental impairments, delayed physical growth, severe illness, and death through early detection and intervention.

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From left, Niurka Del Valle, Jackson Health Foundation's Senior Director of Major Gifts and Director of Wonderfund, Carlos and Maria Fiallo, Ramzi Younis, M.D., Russell Benford, Deputy Mayor for Miami-Dade County, Carolina La Mendola Diago, Alana Grajewski, M.D., Rebeca Sosa and Eduardo Alfonso, M.D., Chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and holder of the Kathleen and Stanley J. Glaser Chair in Ophthalmology.

UHealth Doctors Honored by County Commissioner for Helping Blind and Deaf Brazilian Toddler

Doctors with UHealth-the University of Miami Health System and community members who worked together to restore sight and hearing to a Brazilian toddler were honored by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa. The commissioner paid a special visit to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where 2-year-old Nicolly Pereira received life-changing surgery for pediatric glaucoma.

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Michelle Schladant, Ph.D.

Mailman Center Receives Prestigious Grant to Develop Training Program to Build Language Skills

The Mailman Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has received a $2.3 million federal grant to develop a digital toolkit to teach parents and teachers in child care centers how to use assistive technology devices to improve hearing, vision or communication skills of children with developmental disabilities.

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Savita Pahwa, M.D.

Miller School Researcher Leading International Study on HIV Infections in Infants

Savita Pahwa, M.D., a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researcher, is leading a collaborative international study on HIV infections in infants and older children in search of new insights that could point to a cure for the worldwide epidemic.

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Miller School of Medicine, Schoninger Research Quadrangle

Miller School of Medicine Has Record-Breaking Fundraising Year

Continuing an upward trend, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reached a record-breaking fundraising total for the fiscal year 2016. According to standards set by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Miller School raised an unprecedented $159.8 million for the fiscal year, which ended May 31.

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From left, Alexander Ocampo Tuazon, M.D., M.D.E., with Andrew R. Colin, M.D.

Dr. Andrew Colin Receives President’s Award of the International Congress of Pediatric Pulmonology

Andrew Colin, M.D., Batchelor Professor of Cystic Fibrosis and Pediatric Pulmonology and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, was honored in June with the President’s Award of the International Congress of Pediatric Pulmonology (CIPP). The award recognizes his exceptional contributions to his field and its worldwide reach.

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40th Anniversary Miami Neonatology 2016 Open for Registration

Miami Neonatology 2016, to be held this year from Sunday, November 6, through Tuesday, November 8, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, is now open for registration. The conference strives to provide medical professionals with comprehensive knowledge of the leading trends and best practices in neonatology.

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UM faculty Alex Moreno, M.P.H. (far left), Kele Marcia Stewart, J.D., Bernard Perlmutter, J.D., and Robert Latham, J.D. (fourth, fifth and sixth from left), with members of the Ukrainian delegation.

Ukrainian Delegation Studies Miller School’s STD/HIV Prevention Program

A delegation of Ukrainian professionals recently learned how a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine program is helping to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infections in Miami-Dade County.

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Holtz Children’s Hospital is one of the best in America.

UM/Jackson’s Holtz Children’s Hospital Ranks Among the Nation’s Top Children’s Hospitals

Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center is among the nation’s top children’s hospitals, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2016-2017 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. Published online on June 21, the rankings feature the top 50 hospitals in each of 10 pediatric specialties.

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Symphony Melody Edgecomb, held by her mother, Nicole Hannah.

UHealth Surgeons Perform Lifesaving Heart Surgery on Newborn Still Attached to Mother’s Placenta

The family of a 4-month-old infant took their baby home from Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial after UHealth – University of Miami Health System surgeons performed a life-saving surgery while the baby was still attached to her mother’s placenta. Doctors removed a plum-sized tumor covering the heart of Symphony Melody Edgecomb and crushing her lungs — all before completing a cesarean section to deliver the baby.

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Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Jeffrey Brosco Appointed to HHS Advisory Committee on Disorders in Newborns and Children

Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., a nationally recognized pediatrician and scholar at the Miller School of Medicine, has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. Brosco, who is professor of clinical pediatrics and Associate Director of the Mailman Center for Child Development, will serve a four-year term on the committee.

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Miller School Class of 2017 participants Linsey E. Lindley, Ph.D., left, with Seth Sankary.

Medical Education Conducts Skills Exercises for Third-Year Students

The University of Miami Hospital and Clinics welcomed 198 third-year Miller School of Medicine students from both the Miami and regional medical campuses for the 21st annual Objective Structured Clinical Examinations — a medical school rite of passage that tests the clinical skills of students. More than 100 faculty members served as evaluators in the annual assessment.

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Natalia Parras, left, with F. Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D.

Mailman Center Hosts Award Program for Artistic Children with Disabilities

The Mailman Center for Child Development recently hosted the 18th annual ArtAbilities Award Ceremony honoring the artistic work of children with disabilities in Miami-Dade County public schools. The evening featured an exhibition of student artwork, entertainment by the Miami Beach Senior High School Acoustic Rock Ensemble, face painting and dinner.

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Michael Mills, Area Chair for Florida for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, left, presents Patriotic Employer Award plaque to Alina Riesgo.

Miller School Pediatric Practice Manager Honored with Patriotic Employer Award

Alina Riesgo, Practice Manager in the Department of Pediatrics, was honored recently with the Patriotic Employer Award for supporting a staff nurse serving in the U.S. Army Reserve. Daniel Lopez, LPN, a corporal in the Reserve, nominated Riesgo for the award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program that promotes cooperation and understanding with civilian employers.

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From left, Jackson Bowser, Eileen Davis, Ph.D., Laura Cruz, Ph.D., Abby Araya, BreAnne Danzi, Bridget Davidson, Tasha Brown, Clara Ko, Brian Richter, Allison Weinstein, Ph.D., and Jason Jent, Ph.D.

The Children’s Trust Honors Mailman Center’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Program

An innovative Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) service offered by the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development has been honored as “2016 Program of the Year” by The Children’s Trust, a Miami-Dade funding organization that promotes the physical and emotional well-being of children.

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Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty, left, with Lisa Gwynn, D.O., M.B.A.

UM Pediatric Mobile Clinic Wins Statewide Sapphire Award

The University of Miami Pediatric Mobile Clinic was named a winning program and awarded $50,000 at the recent Sapphire Awards program, which honors outstanding work by individuals, programs and nonprofit organizations in community health care or health care-related fields.

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From left, Payal Shah, D.O., Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., Jacqueline Larson, M.D., and Kristin Irmiter, M.D., M.B.A.

The Henry Gelband Pediatric Research Symposium Honors Work by Residents and Fellows

The inaugural Dr. Henry Gelband Pediatric Research Symposium, sponsored by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and Holtz Children’s Hospital/Jackson Health System, highlighted original research and scholarly work by UM/Jackson pediatric residents and clinical and postdoctoral fellows.

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Front row, from left, Delilah Valdez, Julissa Cerda, Jose Garza and Liam Garza. Back row, from left, Rodrigo Vianna, M.D., Jennifer Garcia, M.D., and Alan Tekin, M.D. Photo courtesy of Jackson Health System.

UHealth Surgeons Save Toddler's Life with Florida's First Eight-Organ Transplant

UHealth – University of Miami Health System surgeons saved 1-year-old Liam Garza’s life by performing the first eight-organ multivisceral transplant in Florida. This was just five years after they saved Liam’s sister, Delilah. Both of them were diagnosed with Megacystic Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS) and required multi-organ transplants.

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Gwen Wurm, M.D.

UHealth Pediatrician Contributes to Book about Impact of Parental Spending on Kids’ Well-Being

Gwen Wurm, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, went to a Christmas party in the home of friends and ran into a mutual friend, Brett Graff, a writer and expert in consumer economics. As they looked at the pile of presents placed under the tree for the family’s children, the same thought occurred to both of them. What if parents gave their kids less stuff and more time?

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Felicia Knaul, Ph.D., with Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

American Medical Women’s Association Honors Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, Dr. Felicia Knaul

Two University of Miami leaders — Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Dean of the Miller School, and Felicia Knaul, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences and Director of the Miami Institute for the Americas — were honored with “Local Hero” awards from the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) on Friday, March 11.

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Denise C. Vidot, Ph.D.

University of Miami Study Finds Young Hispanic Marijuana Users Have Lower Odds of Metabolic Syndrome

Hispanic/Latino marijuana users between the ages of 20 and 30 have significantly lower odds of metabolic syndrome than Hispanic/Latino non-users, according to a recent study by researchers with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences and Department of Psychology.

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From left, Alberto A. Mitrani, M.D.’84, Lori Laffel, M.D. ’80, M.P.H., Maria Victoria Egusquiza, M.D. ’87, and Laurence B. Gardner, M.D.

Alumni Reception and Reunion Banquet Highlight Medical Alumni Weekend

Miller School alumni from around the country had the opportunity to reconnect and reminisce March 5 at the annual Alumni Reception and Reunion Banquet, the crowning event of one of the Miller School’s most eagerly anticipated weekends. Medical Alumni Weekend is a yearly celebration that brings former classmates back to campus to celebrate the Miller School through activities, traditions, and continuing education courses.

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Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D.

Increasing ADHD Rates May Be Linked to Heightened Academic Expectations for Young Children

A new study led by Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has identified a possible correlation between the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and increasing academic demands on young children.

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43rd Miami Pediatric Nephrology Seminar and Renal Pathology Course, March 10-13

The 43rd Miami Pediatric Nephrology Seminar and Renal Pathology Course, sponsored by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital, will be held March 10 to 13 at The Alexander All Suite Ocean Front Resort on Miami Beach.

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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.

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Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A.

Debbie School Celebrates Literacy Week

The Debbie School at the Mailman Center for Child Development participated in “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!” on January 27, when Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, read “Where the Wild Things Are” to a group of its students.

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From left, on sofa, Wilma and Wildine Amoithe, standing, Shelly Baer, Maria and Michael Perez, and Leda Falero.

A Patient’s Big Smile Attracts Big-Hearted Donors

Wildine Amoithe, a regular patient at the Mailman Center for Child Development, has a genetic condition known as achondroplasia that has kept her from growing more than 30 inches tall. Despite her small stature, however, the 12-year-old sixth-grader has an outsized smile that touched the hearts of some generous Miami-Dade residents who read about her during the recent holiday season in the Miami Herald Wish Book feature.

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Lewis First, M.D., M.S.

Inaugural Dr. Lee Worley Memorial Lecture, February 4

Register now for the inaugural Dr. Lee Worley Memorial Lecture, to be held Thursday, February 4, at the Mailman Center Auditorium. There will be a reception at 5 p.m.; the lecture will begin at 6 p.m. The lecture, named for the longtime Department of Pediatrics faculty member who passed away in 2015, will be given by Lewis First, M.D., M.S., Chairman and Professor of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont.

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Satinder Sandhu, M.D., left, with Sethuraman Swaminathan, M.D.

Two Miller School Pediatricians Awarded New Board Certification in Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Satinder Sandhu, M.D., professor of pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, and Sethuraman Swaminathan, M.D., associate professor of clinical pediatrics, are among the first U.S. physicians to receive ACHD board certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine, which recognizes the qualifications of physicians’ care of a wide range of adult patients with congenital heart disease.

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