Department News : 2017

A Step Closer to Realizing the Promise of Precision Medicine in Cancer

New findings by researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center may prove to be an important solution to one of the more difficult problems faced in the field of precision medicine when it comes to treating cancer. An article reporting their findings, “Discordancy Partitioning for Validating Potentially Inconsistent Pharmacogenomic Studies,” was published online November 9 by Scientific Reports.

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From left, Kerry L. Burnstein, Ph.D., Mai Huynh, Govindi Samaranayake, Rolando Lyles, Clara Troccoli, and Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D.

Sylvester Researchers and Colleagues Identify Novel Therapeutic Target for Incurable Prostate Cancer

A collaborative study by researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and colleagues has identified a novel therapeutic target for incurable prostate cancer. The research found a critical role for thioredoxin-1, a protein that protects cells from oxidative stress, in the progression of prostate cancer to the incurable castration-resistant stage.

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From left, Michael A. Kolber, M.D., Ph.D., Hansel Tookes, M.D., M.P.H., and Daniel J. Feaster, Ph.D.

NIDA Grant Awarded to Researchers to Identify Best Practices to Boost PrEP Adherence

An international collaboration among researchers in Miami, New York, and Montreal aims to determine the best strategies for effectively providing people who inject drugs with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to protect them from HIV infection. Their efforts will be backed by an $8 million grant just awarded from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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The many elements behind effective big data analysis.

NIH Award Will Help Expand Big Data

More and more often in this era of big data, it’s not a lack of information that’s the issue. Instead, it can be sorting through a tsunami of data to find what’s most relevant and meaningful to drive medical research forward. Now a $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of Health will boost efforts of a team of researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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Medical campus update: Hurricane Irma

The latest on Hurricane Irma and how it is affecting the medical campus.

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Dr. Guillermo Prado Named ‘Research Exemplar’

Graduate School Dean Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., an internationally known expert in effective intervention strategies for at-risk youth, has been named a “research exemplar” by The Research Exemplar Project at Washington University School of Medicine. Prado is the Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health.

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The invasive shrub Prosopis juliflora.

Study Shows Removal of Invasive Shrub Can Help Reduce Malaria Transmission

Removing the flowers of the invasive shrub Prosopis juliflora from mosquito-prone areas might be a simple way to help reduce malaria transmission, according to a new study co-authored by John Beier, Sc.D., a world-renowned University of Miami Miller School of Medicine entomologist, professor of public health sciences and director of the Division of Environmental and Public Health.

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Dr. Guillermo Prado Receives Prestigious Award for Mentoring

Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School and professor of public health sciences, received the Friend of ECPN (Early Career Preventionist Network) award at the 27th Annual Convention of the Society for Prevention Research for his dedication to transforming the lives of young professionals in his field.

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Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, Ph.D.

Grants Will Fund Studies of Dementia Risk

Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences’ Division of Epidemiology, is one of the recipients of two multi-institution RO1 grants from the National Institute on Aging funding studies of different aspects of the risk of dementia.

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Students Create App to Lead Patients and Families to Healthy Food on Campus

Motivated by the knowledge that “nutrition is preventive medicine,” three members of the Miller School’s 2019 M.D./M.P.H. class have created a free iPhone app to show patients and families, faculty, staff and trainees the healthy, reasonably priced food options on the medical campus.

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From left, Carl H. June, M.D., Pasquale Benedetto, M.D., Mark L. Gonzalgo, M.D., Ph.D., Nipun Merchant, M.D., Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., Breelyn A. Wilky, M.D., and Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

Zubrod Memorial Lecture Program Spotlights Faculty and Young Investigators

Six physician-scientists were recognized for their contributions to cancer research and treatment as part of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 18th Annual Zubrod Memorial Lecture and Sylvester Cancer Research Poster Session on May 19. Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., hosted the event.

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Miller School physicians helped displaced families in Ecuador.

Miller School Team Finds Sharp Rise in Zika Cases in Ecuador After 2016 Earthquake

A University of Miami Miller School of Medicine team has found a sharp rise in Zika virus cases in northeast Ecuador after a devastating earthquake on April 16, 2016. “We saw many pregnant women with typical signs of Zika on multiple UM medical missions to the affected region,” said Leonardo Tamariz, M.D., MPH, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Population Health and Computational Medicine.

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Winston Health Policy Scholarship recipient Nawara Alawa.

Public Health Sciences Student Receives Winston Health Policy Scholarship

Nawara Alawa, a third-year student in the M.D./M.P.H. program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has won a $10,000 Winston Health Policy Scholarship. Only 10 students nationwide receive the prestigious award each year. A Miami native, Alawa studied microbiology as a UM undergraduate, then spent a year at the Brookings Institution before entering medical school with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.

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Motorcycle fatalities account for 14 percent of all U.S. traffic deaths.

Medical Students Publish Perspective on Motorcycle Helmet Laws in New England Journal of Medicine

Two students at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have published a perspective on the relationship between motorcycle helmet laws and public health. The article, which appeared recently in The New England Journal of Medicine, takes both a statistical and a cultural look at the lives saved by helmet laws and the staggering rise in death, serious injury and public expense that occurs when those laws are repealed.

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At center, Department of Public Health Sciences Interim Chair J. Sunil Rao, Ph.D., and Miller School of Medicine Interim Dean Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., MACP, with awardees at the 2017 Annual Public Health Graduate Student Showcase.

Public Health Graduate Students Showcase their Work through Poster Exhibits

A select group of graduate students at the Miller School of Medicine had the opportunity on March 2 to highlight their efforts to tackle some of the world’s most pressing and complex public health problems. The 46 students took part in the 2017 Annual Public Health Graduate Student Showcase and Reception, held at the Don Soffer Clinical Research Center. It was the fifth year for the event.

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From left, Hilit F. Mechaber, M.D., Nanette Vega, M.A., Ivette Motola, M.D., M.P.H., and Stephen Symes, M.D.

Honoring Women in Academic Medicine and Their Achievements

Women in Academic Medicine, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Committee of Interns and Residents at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine hosted the annual Evening of Fellowship on January 23, honoring recent successes and achievements of the Miller School’s women faculty. The event began with networking among attendees from various departments, including many chairs and center directors.

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Amar R. Deshpande, M.D.

Next-Generation Medical Education Task Force to Design the Ideal Training for Doctors of the Future

As medicine and the delivery of health care continue to be transformed, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine — already a national leader in innovative education — is taking a global look at transforming the entire medical curriculum. And Amar R. Deshpande, M.D., who is leading the charge as chair of the Next Generation Medical Education Task Force, says the timing couldn’t be better.

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Dalia Kaakour.

M.D./M.P.H. Student Dalia Kaakour Awarded 2017 Duke Global Health Fellowship

Globalization has shaped global public health issues, including human rights, health equity, food access and housing. This summer rising first-year M.D./M.P.H. student Dalia Kaakour will experience those globalization forces firsthand. Kaakour was awarded the Duke University Global Health Fellowship, and she will spend eight weeks in Geneva learning about and addressing vexing global health policy issues.

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