Latest News : 2016

Sheldon Greer, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus Sheldon Greer Passes Away, Services on Friday

Sheldon Greer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, passed away on Monday, December 19. Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 23, at 1 p.m., at Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapel, 20955 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura, Florida 33180. Following the services, a gathering of family and friends will be held at the same location until 6 p.m.

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From left, Camillo Ricordi, M.D., receives the Advocacy Award from Bernard Siegel, founder and Chairman of the World Stem Cell Summit.

DRI Director Dr. Camillo Ricordi Receives Advocacy Award

Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, received the World Stem Cell Summit’s Advocacy Award for being “a path-finding diabetes researcher, motivating the biomedical community to take a stand for cures.” He accepted the award on December 7 during the annual Stem Cell Action Gala at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

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The name change from Life Science and Technology Park to Converge Miami will be complete when new signage — shown here in an artist's depiction — is installed.

UM and Partners Push to Accelerate Technology Innovation in South Florida

When University of Miami President Julio Frenk delivered his inauguration speech on January 29, one of the ambitious ideas he put forth was “the development of a major innovation hub with hemispheric scope” — a challenge for which he said the University was uniquely positioned. Strengthened by a new partnership and directed by a new strategy, UM is setting off on the path to meet Frenk’s challenge.

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From left, Bart Roep, M.D., Ph.D., Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., MACP, Alberto Pugliese, M.D., President Julio Frenk, Joshua Rednik and Valentina Pugliese (seated).

Dr. Alberto Pugliese Celebrated as Inaugural Holder of the Dodson Chair in Diabetes Research

Alberto Pugliese, M.D., a world-renowned researcher in diabetes and immunogenetics at the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was presented with the J. Enloe and Eugenia J. Dodson Chair in Diabetes Research. Pugliese, professor of medicine, and microbiology and immunology, and Deputy Director for Immune Tolerance Research at the DRI, is the first holder of the chair.

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Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

Researchers Develop Procedure for Standardized Pancreatic Islet Cell Production at Multiple Sites

The Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, in a collaborative study with seven other institutions around the world, has demonstrated the feasibility of large-scale production of pancreatic islet cells by multiple manufacturing sites using a standardized process. Their report was published as the cover story in the November issue of Diabetes.

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University of Miami and Heat Biologics Announce Zika Vaccine Collaboration

The University of Miami has entered into an agreement with Heat Biologics, Inc., to license and develop a portfolio of patents leveraging the gp96 platform to target the Zika virus and other infectious diseases. Heat has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Zolovax, Inc., to focus on the development of gp96-based vaccines targeting Zika, HIV, West Nile, dengue and yellow fever.

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From left, Roy E. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., with Romero Britto.

Romero Britto Unveils Colorful ‘Thyroid’ at Department of Medicine Reception

With the pull of a black drape, internationally renowned artist Romero Britto unveiled his gratitude to the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with a colorful tribute to a vital part of the human body. The painting called “Thyroid” was introduced at a reception September 16 at Britto’s newest gallery on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

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From left, Maria Alejandra Quintero, M.P.H., Jacob McCauley, Ph.D., Oriana M. Damas, M.D., and Maria T. Abreu, M.D.

Miller School Researchers to Collaborate in Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Hispanics

A team of Miller School of Medicine researchers has been awarded a $1.26 million grant to explore genetic variation in U.S.-born and foreign-born Hispanic patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The project will build upon the existing interdisciplinary IBD clinical and genomics research collaborative at the Miller School.

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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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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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Krishna V. Komanduri, M.D.

Dr. Krishna V. Komanduri Named President-Elect of Transplantation Society

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, has announced that Krishna V. Komanduri, M.D., Director of the Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program and Kalish Family Chair in Stem Cell Transplantation, was recently named President-Elect of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT).

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Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

First Type 1 Diabetes Patient in Europe is Free from Insulin Therapy after BioHub Transplant

A 41-year-old man who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11 has become the first patient in Europe to discontinue insulin therapy after receiving a transplant of pancreatic islet cells using an innovative technique developed by the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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Ernesto A. Pretto, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., left, with Christopher A. Fraker, Ph.D.

Miller School Researchers Develop Revolutionary Anesthesia Formulation

An innovative anesthesia formulation developed by a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine research team could dramatically improve surgical care around the world. Unlike conventional anesthesia systems that vaporize liquid anesthetics into gas and then deliver it to the bloodstream through the lungs, the new formulation would allow this class of anesthetic drugs to be injected directly into the bloodstream.

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Mario Stevenson, Ph.D.

HIV/AIDS Researchers and Clinicians Outline Recent Advances at 12th Annual Symposium

Advances in antiretroviral therapy are extending the lives of individuals with HIV/AIDS, but more work is needed to develop an effective vaccine against the virus. Both themes were emphasized by a distinguished roster of researchers, clinicians and community activists at the 12th annual symposium held by the Miami Center for AIDS Research that drew more than 200 attendees.

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2016 George Paff Teaching Award winners.

Medical Students Present 2016 Paff Teaching Awards to Outstanding Instructors

Warren Kupin, M.D., professor of medicine, was one of 18 outstanding Miller School of Medicine instructors honored by their students at the 2016 George Paff Teaching Awards Ceremony on April 28 at the University of Miami Hospital Seminar Center. Second-year students Shirin Razdan and Matthew Chen co-chaired the ceremony, assisted by Soum Lokeshwar, Sophia Liu and Catherine Lee.

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Camillo Ricordi, M.D., left, and Rodolfo Alejandro, M.D.

Islet Transplantation Moves Toward an Approved Treatment for Severe Type 1 Diabetes

An unprecedented collaborative study across North America has found that islet transplantation was effective in preventing severe hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels, in the treatment of the most severe forms of type 1 diabetes. Eight centers including the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, participated in the trial.

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From left, Eugene Schiff, M.D., Laurence Sands, M.D., M.B.A., Kristin Podack, widow of Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D., and Richard L. Williamson, Jr., J.D.

Senate Presents Highest Honors to Three Miller School Faculty Members

The Faculty Senate last week bestowed its highest honors on Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., and Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., two pioneering physicians at the Miller School of Medicine. For the first time, the Senate also conferred a Special Senate Award posthumously, recognizing Eckhard Podack, M.D., Ph.D., the late researcher at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, for his life-saving discoveries.

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Brian Deegan, Ph.D., left, with Sylvia Daunert, PharmD, M.S., Ph.D., in Daunert's lab.

Miller School of Medicine Achieves Significant Gains in NIH Research Grant Rankings

The Miller School of Medicine rose one position in the national rankings of medical schools based on research grants received from the National Institutes of Health during the 2015 federal fiscal year. That gain is significant, considering the ongoing reductions in NIH grants that have caused many medical schools to fall in the rankings.

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Ernesto A. Pretto, Jr., M.D., M.P.H.

Miller School Professor Edits First Comprehensive Textbook on Transplant Anesthesia

A Miller School professor has edited the first scholarly textbook in the field of transplant anesthesia and critical care. “Transplant anesthesiology is an emerging field of medicine that requires specialized skills and knowledge,” said Ernesto A. Pretto, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., professor and Chief of the Division of Solid Organ Transplant and Vascular Anesthesia at the Miami Transplant Institute.

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From left, VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., and James E. Williams, M.S., President of VCU Alumni Board of Governors.

Dr. Norma Sue Kenyon Receives Alumni Star Award

Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., has received the Alumni Star award from Virginia Commonwealth University. Kenyon, the University of Miami’s Vice Provost for Innovation and Chief Innovation Officer at the Miller School of Medicine, earned her doctorate from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Medical College of Virginia, which nominated her for its parent institution’s 2015 award program.

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