National Medal of Science Winner Presents Sylvester’s Zubrod Memorial Lecture


Robert A. Weinberg, winner of the U.S. National Medal of Science in 1997, gave the 17th annual Zubrod Memorial Lecture.

UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (May 26, 2016) — Robert A. Weinberg, Ph.D., winner of the U.S. National Medal of Science in 1997, was the featured speaker at the 17th annual Zubrod Memorial Lecture and Cancer Research Poster Session, hosted by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Lois Pope LIFE Center auditorium and the Schoninger Research Quadrangle on May 10.

Weinberg, a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, director of the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology at MIT, and professor of biology, lectured on “Mechanism of Carcinoma Malignant Progression.” About 200 people attended.

Nearly 90 clinical fellows/residents, postdoctoral fellows, medical students, and graduate students presented posters of cancer studies and projects and competed in the following categories: Basic Sciences, Clinical Research, Population-Based Research, and Translational Research. Faculty also were recognized for their efforts in research and instruction.

For more information on the Zubrod Memorial Lecture and Sylvester Cancer Research Poster Session, please visit the Sylvester Office of Education and Training page or call  305-243-2287.

Poster Winners and Categories:

Basic Sciences:

  1. Julian Naipauer

Lab/Research Mentor: Enrique Mesri, Ph.D.

  1. Tae Kyoung Kwak

Lab/Research Mentor: Barry Hudson, Ph.D.


Clinical Research:

  1. Phillip Miller

Lab/Research Mentor: Dorraya El-Ahry, Ph.D.


Population-Based Research:

  1. Felix Chinea

Lab/Research Mentor: Alan Pollack, M.D., Ph.D.


Translational Research:

  1. Diana Azzam

Lab/Research Mentor: Claes Wahlestedt, M.D., Ph.D.


Faculty Award Winners:                  

Basic Scientist of the Year: Stephen Lee, Ph.D.

Clinical Researcher of the Year: Ronan Swards, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPI, FRCPath

Community-Based Researcher of the Year: Judith Hurley, M.D.

Mentor of the Year – Junior Faculty: Dipen J. Parekh, M.D.

Mentor of the Year – Trainees: James E. Hoffman, M.D.

Teacher of the Year: Kerry L. Burnstein, Ph.D.

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NASA Honors Physicist for Rocket Launch

Special to UM News

RocketMassimiliano Galeazzi, associate chair and professor of physics at the College of Arts and Sciences, was part of a team that was awarded the Robert H. Goddard (RHG) Exceptional Achievement for Science Award by NASA.

‌The RHG award recognized the successful development of an instrument called the sheath transport observer for redistribution mass, or STORM. The detector was designed to study the X-ray glow and captures images from our solar system and its surroundings; it’s the first X-ray imager using micro-porous optics successfully launched into space.

“We were very happy to be recognized for the effort and work that went into developing the instrument,” said Galeazzi. “It also recognizes the nice collaboration between the members of different fields and groups.”

The STORM instrument was developed at Goddard Space Flight Center and flew attached to the UM Diffuse X-ray from the Local Galaxy (DXL) rocket, a mission lead by Galeazzi. In addition to the breakthrough discoveries found in the solar system and its surroundings, the DXL mission demonstrated the successful operation of the STORM instrument in space, in particular its innovative micro-porous (or lobster-eye) optics.

“The entire DXL mission led by Professor Galeazzi, which hosted STORM, was the result of phenomenal teamwork between the UM faculty and students, and the NASA field center,” says F. Scott Porter, an astrophysicist at the Goddard Space Center.

The collaboration began nearly four years ago when NASA scientists were looking for a rocket that could carry the STORM instrument in space. The heliophysics and astrophysics divisions of NASA joined forces to accomplish this task, with Galeazzi offering his services as part of the STORM team.

“The successes of the DXL mission and the STORM instrument were built upon collaborative multi-institutional work, with the participation of planetary, astrophysics, and heliophysics scientists,” said David Sibeck, a heliophysicists at the Goddard Space Center. “They point the way toward a future in which cost-effective university and NASA partnerships hone in on the most pressing research problems facing space scientists.”

Galeazzi worked as a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland before joining the UM College of Arts and Sciences in 2002. Since then, he continues to collaborate with NASA in constructing devices that can detect X-ray emissions in space.

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Antonio Nanni Named Officer of the American Concrete Institute

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

Antonio Nanni

Antonio Nanni

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 19, 2016)– University of Miami professor Antonio Nanni, who has conducted research on concrete and advanced composites-based systems for three decades, has been named a board member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI).

“This is a privilege and an honor and a duty I intend to take very seriously,” said Nanni, chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering in UM’s College of Engineering. “ACI is an incredible organization with an overarching national and international impact on the quality, safety, and sustainability of the built environment.”

Nanni currently serves as chair of the ACI Education Subcommittee of Committee 562 (ACI 562-E) and is a member of ACI’s Committee on Codes and Standards Advocacy and Outreach as well as the organization’s Educational Activities Committee. He also serves on various other committees of the ACI.

Nanni was named a Fellow of ACI in 1999. He is a recipient of ACI’s Chapter Activities Award and the Delmar L. Bloem Distinguished Service Award.

During the past 30 years, he has researched concrete and advanced composites-based systems as the principal investigator of projects sponsored by federal and state agencies and private industry. Nanni is the editor in chief of the ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering and serves on the editorial board of other technical journals. In addition to co-authoring two books, he has advised over 60 graduate students pursuing master’s and Ph.D. degrees and published 200 papers in refereed journals and more than 300 in conference proceedings.

Nanni has received several awards, including the 2015 Engineer of the Year Award, ASCE Miami-Dade Branch; 2014 IIFC Medal, International Institute for FRP in Construction; ASCE 2012 Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research; and the Engineering News-Record Award of Excellence in 1997 (Top 25 Newsmakers in Construction). He is a licensed professional engineer in Italy, Florida, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Oklahoma.



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Frenk Named to UN Foundation Board

UM News

President Julio Frenk

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 19, 2016)—University of Miami President Julio Frenk has been named to the Board of Directors of the United Nations Foundation, the international organization that supports the United Nations in tackling the greatest challenges of the 21st century—including climate change, poverty, and human rights violations. Founded as a public charity in 1998 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner, the UN Foundation has evolved into an active problem-solver that builds public-private partnerships and implements issue-based campaigns to connect people, ideas, and resources.

“We have reached a new global crossroad where, from public health to social and economic inequity to climate change, we are faced with both extraordinary opportunities and real and far-reaching risks,” Frenk said. “Our greater aspirations for human advancement depend on our ability to unite in purpose and in practice at the United Nations. I am honored to join the board of the UN Foundation and to champion collaboration and sustainable development with my fellow members.”

Frenk and fellow appointee Baroness Valerie Amos, director of SOAS University of London, join a distinguished list of global leaders on the board, including Nobel laureate and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The announcement came during the foundation’s semi-annual board meeting, held in Copenhagen to coincide with the Women Deliver Conference—the largest conference on the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women.

“We welcome Baroness Amos and Dr. Frenk to the UN Foundation Board and look forward to their leadership,” said Turner, chairman of the UN Foundation Board. “Their experiences, both inside the UN and in their governments, will be invaluable to our mission of connecting people, ideas, and resources to the United Nations’ lifesaving, life-changing work.”

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Blaine Smith Awarded National Fellowship

Special to UM News

Blaine Smith

Blaine Smith

Blaine Smith, assistant professor of language and literacy learning in multilingual settings in the School of Education and Human Development, has been chosen as a 2016 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. She is one of 30 fellows selected from a competitive pool of applicants who were judged on their past research record, career trajectory, and project quality.

“It is truly an honor to be selected for this award, which supports innovative research in a wide range of educational fields,” said Smith, whose work focuses on the digital literacy practices of culturally and linguistically diverse adolescents.

“Many youth lead technologically saturated and networked lives,” Smith said. “But traditional print-based reading and writing practices still dominate the classroom, creating a disconnect for students. Integrating digital projects like videos, podcasts, and hypertext that support academic learning can create a more engaging experience for students, particularly for culturally and linguistically diverse young people.”

The National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports early-career scholars working in critical areas of education research. Now in its 30th year, the fellowship program has nearly 800 alumni who include many of today’s high-profile education researchers.

Smith plans to use the $70,000 award to launch a multimodal composition research project this fall in a 10th-grade English class at a Miami-Dade County high school. “This study will examine how students analyze literature through multiple modes, including visuals, sound, text, and movement, and how the analytic skills they develop in their digital projects transfer to their academic writing,” she said.

For example, students reading a novel, short story, or non-fiction will create hypertexts that analyze important passages through digital links and related media. Multimodal projects like these will require students to comprehend complex texts, and examine themes, structure, and point of view.

“We will use screen capture and video data, conduct interviews, and analyze their multimodal compositions,” Smith said. “Our goal is to expand the ways students understand and analyze texts, and help teachers effectively integrate digital projects into their classrooms.”

Smith previously received the Literacy Research Association’s Outstanding Student Research Award and the Emerging Scholars Fellowship by the Reading Hall of Fame.

Her 2014 dissertation, “Composing Across Modes: Urban Adolescents Processes Responding to and Analyzing Literature,” was also a finalist for the International Literacy Association’s Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award.

Smith’s work has appeared in the Bilingual Research Journal, Elementary School Journal, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Literacy Research Association Yearbook, and Learning, Media, and Technology. She received her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.

“I am hoping to use this fellowship as a springboard to continue advancing this line of multimodal literacy research,” Smith said. “Digital technologies can help make our schools more relevant and effective for students from many cultures by offering multiple entry points and new ways to develop important literacy skills.”





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