Tag Archive | "Graduate School"


Dean Prado Appointed to Research!America Board

UM News

Prado photoCORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 16, 2018)—Graduate School Dean Guillermo (Willy) Prado, whose research focuses on the prevention of risky health behaviors in adolescents, has been elected to the board of directors of Research!America, a national advocacy and public education nonprofit committed to promoting research that improves health.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside the distinguished leaders that comprise the board of directors of Research!America,” said Prado, the Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and the director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health at the Miller School of Medicine. “I am eager to advance Research!America’s mission to elevate the visibility of the importance of research in improving the nation’s health.”

Prado joins the board along with Derek Rapp, president and chief executive officer of JDRF, which is a global leader in funding research for type 1 diabetes.

“Derek Rapp and Dr. Guillermo Prado have committed their careers to improving the lives of patients and supporting efforts to accelerate medical progress,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. “They bring a wealth of experience to our board and our alliance will benefit tremendously from their longstanding dedication to research for health.”

A double UM alumnus who was appointed dean of the Graduate School in 2016, Prado has focused most of his career on preventing drug use, unsafe sexual behavior, inactivity, poor diet, and other behaviors associated with adolescent morbidity and mortality, particularly in Hispanic youth.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has continuously funded his research on Hispanic adolescent health since the first year of his doctoral program in epidemiology and public health, which he completed in 2005, after earning his Master of Science in statistics in 2000.

Since earning his Ph.D., he has been a principal investigator (PI) Co-PI, or senior mentor of approximately $80 million in HIV, substance abuse, and obesity prevention studies funded by the NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He is currently the PI of two NIH-funded research grants—one in drug abuse and HIV prevention and the second in obesity prevention—and he has been recognized by numerous organizations for his research, mentoring and training of early career scientists.

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Prado being elected to the Board of Directors of Research America as it is a reflection not only of his exemplary leadership in advocating for the role that basic and translational research plays in our country, but also the University of Miami’s stature,” said Jeffrey Duerk,  executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Willy has been a creative and passionate leader of our Graduate School and I am thrilled to see he will have the opportunity to share his talents on the national stage.”

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Spring Graduate Faculty Meeting on April 11

The Spring Graduate Faculty Meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 11, at 3 p.m. in the School of Nursing and Health Studies’ Executive Boardroom on the Coral Gables campus. For questions, contact Maria Torres at mtorres@miami.edu or 305-284-4154.



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President Frenk’s Public Health Course Bridges the Gulf

By Maya Bell
UM News


Students who took the public health course that President Julio Frenk, front center, taught in Mexico gather for a post-course group photo. Not pictured are UM students who listened in on a live webcast.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 10, 2017)—President Julio Frenk returned to Mexico last week to teach a course on a subject he knows well—the fundamental concepts of public health—at the now-renowned National Institute of Public Health (INSP) he helped launch 30 years ago.

As INSP’s founding director and Mexico’s former minister of health, Frenk brought a wealth of knowledge and insight to the intensive eight-hour course that literally spanned the Gulf of Mexico. Held over four days at INSP headquarters in Cuernavaca, each two-hour class was simultaneously made available via live webcast to graduate students at the University of Miami.

“It was a great opportunity and very worthwhile,” said Daniel Samano Martin del Campo, a physician who earned his medical degree in Mexico and is pursuing his master’s in public health at the Miller School of Medicine.

“What I like about Dr. Frenk is his ability to connect complex ideas and concepts and paint a big picture—but it is his own picture with his background as a social scientist,” Samano continued. “I’ve gone to many of his talks around the U, not necessarily about public health, and every time he leaves you with a message—a meaningful message with words of wisdom you can apply to real-life scenarios.”

Like Samano, Frenk earned his medical degree in Mexico before pursuing his master’s in public health. The former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, UM’s sixth president was, in fact, among the pioneers of public health, a field that INSP has nurtured in Spanish-speaking countries around the world. Widely considered the top public health doctoral program in the developing world, INSP was created in large measure to conduct the research that would inform public policy.

“In the course of a decade and a half, it completely changed the character of the public health research and education in a developing country,” Frenk told The Lancet for a profile of INSP the medical journal published in February.

The institute was the brainchild of Guillermo Soberon Acevedo, who was president of Mexico’s National Autonomous University when Frenk was a medical student there and who went on to become Mexico’s minister of health in 1982.

When Frenk followed Soberon as Mexico’s health minister in late 2000, he relied on INSP work to establish Seguro Popular, which brought health coverage to millions of uninsured Mexicans. INSP research also led to an increased cigarette tax and more nutritious food in schools.

For Samano, who grew interested in public health during his mandatory social service year in a small, rural community outside Mexico City, Frenk’s real-world experiences and ability to explain the interactions between complicated health care systems, research, finances, and other complexities not learned in medical school made the virtual course particularly worthwhile.

“It was in that small community of 6,000 that I realized medicine goes beyond treating one person at a time,” Samano said. “I wanted to learn more about the system and how to expand health to communities, not just persons. He’s spent his life doing that.”

Graduate School Dean Guillermo “Willy” Prado said giving students on both sides of the Gulf access to a world authority on public health is consistent with the University’s aspiration of being a hemispheric institution.

“The goal of public health scientists and practitioners is to achieve health equity and improve the health of populations globally,” Prado said. “INSP’s public health course taught by President Frenk, a leading public health expert, covered methods and concepts to help achieve this important goal.”



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Dean Prado Named ‘Research Exemplar’

UM News

Prado photo

Guillermo “Willy” Prado

Graduate School Dean Guillermo “Willy” Prado, 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, the Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, was nominated for the honor in the Biomedical Science Division by UM’s John Bixby, vice provost for research.

“Dr. Prado’s career provides a clear example of the close relationship that exists between research integrity and research quality,” Bixby said. “He combines excellence in both management and mentorship of his research team with high-quality, high-impact research.”

Funded by an NIH career development grant awarded to Alison Antes, assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM), The Research Exemplar Project is a partnership with WUSM’s Professionalism and Integrity in Research Program, directed by James DuBois.

Their project, which aims to honor and enable others to learn from high-impact researchers who maintain an impressive reputation for professionalism and research integrity, yielded many outstanding nominations. A review panel narrowed down the nominees to a cohort of biomedical research exemplars and a cohort of STEM research exemplars.

Each of the exemplars was interviewed by WUSM researchers to identify and share their practices for leading research teams. Research exemplars also received a personalized award and are featured on the project website.

Prado, who earned his Ph.D. in epidemiology and public health and his Master of Science in statistics from UM, has focused his research on strategies to prevent obesity, drug use, and HIV infection in at-risk youth, particularly Latino youth. Over his career, he has received an estimated $75 million in funding (as principal investigator or co-principal investigator) from such agencies as the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As his bio on the exemplar website notes, “Colleagues view him as a role model for junior faculty, for Latino faculty, and for high standards of data analysis and interpretation in public health and epidemiology. They commend his leadership in developing a university-wide program in the Responsible Conduct of Research and describe him as thoughtful, fair, and insistent on high ethical standards at all times.”


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Graduate Students Host Child Psychology Research Conference

UM News

SFPCRCCORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 12, 2016) — Graduate psychology students from the College of Arts and Sciences teamed up with peers from Florida International University to host a collaborative research conference that encouraged students and faculty to take their research in child psychology beyond labs and classrooms.

With almost 90 graduate students, faculty, and mentors in attendance, the South Florida Child Psychology Collaborative Research Conference (SFPCRC) served as a unique opportunity to use research as a way to connect across academic institutions and participate in a nurturing learning community in which all participants have similar research interests.

“For graduate students, mentorship and networking are invaluable resources,” said keynote speaker and Graduate School Dean Guillermo “Willy” Prado. “The SFPCRC conference provides students with the opportunity to present their research and obtain valuable feedback from students and mentors across the participating academic institutions and community partners.”

During the conference, 27 graduate students from the University of Miami, FIU, and Florida Atlantic University presented their current research in a conversational and supportive environment. Additionally, students and mentors alike had the opportunity to develop partnerships with community agencies such as the United Way, The Children’s Trust, and the Early Learning Coalition to better understand how their research can enhance many community programs for children.

Johayra Bouza, a Ph.D. candidate in UM’s Department of Psychology, said the SFPCRC conference is unlike any local or national research conference she has attended. “This conference is unique in that it is organized by graduate students for graduate students,” she said. “It is one of the few settings in academia where graduate students have the opportunity to be the focal presenters and develop relationships with mentors from various areas of child psychology. The larger national conferences aren’t able to offer the same level of interaction and often times students don’t have the opportunity get feedback from the distinguished faculty outside of their university or their community partners.”




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