Tag Archive | "miller school of medicine"

Bascom Palmer Offers Unique Master’s Degree

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Bascom Palmer Offers Unique Master’s Degree

From left are Eduardo Alfonso, David Tse, UM President Julio Frenk, Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid, his sons Fahad Al-Rashid and Ibrahim Al-Rashid, UM Trustee Ron Stone, and Miller School Dean Emeritus Pascal J. Goldschmidt.

From left are Bascom Palmer Director Eduardo Alfonso; Dr. David T. Tse, the Dr. Nassar Ibrahim Al-Rashid Chair in Ophthtalmology; UM President Julio Frenk; Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid and his sons, Fahad Al-Rashid and Ibrahim Al-Rashid; UM Trustee Ron Stone; and Miller School Dean Emeritus Pascal J. Goldschmidt.

MIAMI, Fla. (July 26, 2016) —Bascom Palmer Eye Institute—the global leader in eye care, vision research, and ophthalmology education—has launched the Master of Science in Vision Science and Investigative Ophthalmology (MVSIO) program. This innovative, first-of-its-kind program offers comprehensive training in ophthalmic translational research, problem-based learning, management, and a skill set available only at Bascom Palmer.

Led by Bascom Palmer’s world-class faculty and supported by leading-edge technology, the MVSIO program will educate the next generation of global leaders in ophthalmology, including clinicians and vision researchers. The interdisciplinary program focuses on science and laboratory research, research management, and administrative skills to sharpen the critical thinking and communication expertise essential for careers within the realm of ophthalmology.

Bascom Palmer is internationally recognized as an outstanding teaching, research, and patient care center, and its training programs are among the best in the world. As the department of ophthalmology at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, it is committed to improving sight, preventing blindness, and advancing ophthalmic knowledge.

This August, five students will begin the two-year MVSIO program. The inaugural class includes medical doctors with degrees from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine; Universidad Iberoamerica, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Tripoli University, Libya; and Alexandria University, Egypt.

Much of the MVSIO program takes place within the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Orbital Vision Center located in the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Vision Research Center on the Miller School campus.

The center’s facility was made possible thanks to a transformative $10 million gift from Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid and his children: Nourah Caskey, Ramzi Al-Rashid, Salman Al-Rashid, Ibrahim Al-Rashid, and Mohammad N. Al-Rashid. During a recent dedication ceremony of the eponymous center, the Al-Rashid sons, Ibrahim, Mohammad, and Salman, made an additional commitment of $2.5 million to continue to propel the vision research engine.

“The MVSIO program would not be possible without the generosity of the Al-Rashid family,” says Sanjoy K. Bhattacharya, professor of ophthalmology and director of the MVSIO graduate program. “Their support allows Bascom Palmer to attract exceptional graduate students from every corner of the globe to realize their full potential in eye and vision science.”

A longtime UM supporter, Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University in 2008. Two of  his sons are UM graduates, with Fahad Al-Rashid earning an A.B. in Marine Science Affairs in 2005, and Ibrahim Al-Rashid earning a B.B.A. in Entrepreneurship in 2006.


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Cheer on the Marlins and UM’s Cleft Lip/Palate Patients on July 26

Many patients from the Miller School of Medicine’s South Florida Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic, including one who will throw out the first pitch, have been invited to attend the Miami Marlins game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, July 26 to help bring awareness to this important heath issue during National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month.

Effecting approximately 1 of every 650 babies, cleft lip/palate is the second most congenital anomaly, which the clinic has been treating for almost a half century. Help support the clinic’s patients by cheering them and the Marlins on at Tuesday’s game, which begins at 7:10 p.m. at Marlins Park in Little Havana.



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40th Miami Neonatology 2016 Conference Now Open for Registration

Registration is now open for Miami Neonatology 2016, which will be held this year on Sunday, November 6 through Tuesday, November 8, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Presented by the Miller School of Medicine’s Division of Neonatology, the conference strives to provide medical professionals with comprehensive knowledge of the leading trends and best practices in Neonatology. Presentations will highlight the most current concepts in the pathogenesis, management, and prevention of problems in the newborn infant.

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Miami Neonatology has become one of the largest and most prestigious international conferences that address issues in perinatal and neonatal medicine. This year on this special occasion, four expert keynote speakers will discuss the evolution of perinatology and neonatology over the last four decades. The conference will provide attendees with an extensive educational program featuring new developments in treating conditions that are causally associated with morbidity and mortality in the neonate. Participants will understand the importance of the preventive approach in minimizing medical complications and optimizing developmental outcome.

Additional topics will include prenatal conditions that may jeopardize the fetus, management of acute neonatal complications, as well as issues relating to long-term developmental outcome. The goal of this educational activity is to provide attendees with improved competency and performance in providing optimal quality of care for newborns.

A one-day pre-conference workshop, “Advances in Respiratory Care,” will be held on Saturday, November 5.

Additional information is available on the conference website or by contacting Lizbeth Castellano, conference coordinator, at lcastellano@miami.edu or 305-243-2068.



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David F. Ertel to Assume Top Financial and Strategy Positions at Miller School and UHealth

Special to UM News

David. F. Ertel

David. F. Ertel

David F. Ertel, the chief financial officer of Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, has been named chief financial officer and chief strategy officer for health affairs.

As CFO, Ertel will be responsible for the business systems of the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, reporting to Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and CEO of UHealth.

“The success of the value-based health system we are creating will depend, in part, on the sound financial decisions we make, and David will lead the way in critical areas including contracting, budgeting, prioritizing initiatives and business development,” Altschuler said.

Ertel will also have oversight of short- and long-term forecasting, managed care contracting and other financial operations, such as local health market concentration.

“David’s depth of experience will make him a strong leader for the transformation of our health system,” said Altschuler.

The Einstein network in Philadelphia consists of three acute-care hospitals, a nationally recognized rehabilitation hospital, and a physician network that includes 450 employed physicians. The principal medical center — Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia — is affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University and trains 435 residents and fellows and more than 1,000 medical students annually.

As the CFO of Einstein, Ertel has collaborated on service line initiatives in behavioral health and women’s and children’s health, as well as a restructuring of investments and debt.

Previously Ertel was a managing director at Morgan Stanley and head of the National Health Care Group, advising health systems and academic medical centers in financial and strategic matters. He also worked as Vice President and Director of the Health Care Public Finance Group at PaineWebber. Before his investment banking career, he was Budget Director of the New Jersey State Department of Human Services, managing budget planning and control activities.

As a health system trustee, Ertel helped Princeton HealthCare System grow its clinical footprint, including the development of a new hospital.

Ertel holds M.B.A. and M.P.H. degrees from Columbia University. He will begin his new role in late July.

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New Formula Could Revolutionize Anesthesia


New Formula Could Revolutionize Anesthesia


From left are Ernesto A. Pretto, Jr. and Christopher A. Fraker.

Special to UM News

An innovative anesthesia formulation developed by a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine research team could dramatically improve surgical care around the world.

“If proven safe and effective in clinical trials, this new formulation could revolutionize the delivery of general anesthesia,” said Ernesto A. Pretto, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., professor and Chief of the Division of Solid Organ Transplant and Vascular Anesthesia in the Department of Anesthesiology.

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.

“This is potentially an easier, safer and faster way to deliver anesthesia in a low-cost, portable format, improving access to surgical care for patients in developing countries, soldiers on a battlefield or patients in traditional hospital settings,” said Christopher A. Fraker, Ph.D., a research assistant professor who developed the formulation in the Bioengineering Laboratory of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), whose support comes in large part from the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

U Innovation, which protects, transforms and guides the University of Miami’s intellectual property, recognized the potential of this breakthrough discovery. Its Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research funded work on the technology and provided guidance toward commercialization.

On April 14, U Innovation’s Office of Technology Transfer signed a license agreement with The Medicines Company, a global provider of solutions for acute cardiovascular care, surgery and perioperative care, and serious infectious disease care. The agreement will allow The Medicines Company to develop and hopefully market the new formulation, said Pretto.

“This is a platform technology with many potential applications,” said Daniel J. Catron, senior licensing associate at the Office of Technology Transfer. “This innovative formulation is ideal for resource-limited medical settings. It could also be applied to veterinary medicine, providing potential benefits when sedating and treating large and small animals. The Medicines Company understands our vision and has the ability to take this development forward. This commercialization partnership can help patients on a global level, while also benefiting our University.”

The University is negotiating a Sponsored Research Agreement with a collaborative research team from the Department of Anesthesiology, the Diabetes Research Institute and the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. That team includes DRI Director Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Stacy Joy Goodman Professor of Surgery, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Microbiology and Immunology, and Director of the DRI’s Cell Transplant Center, Fernando Garcia-Pereira, D.V.M., from the University of Florida, and Behrouz Ashrafi, M.D., assistant professor of anesthesiology, as well as Pretto and Fraker. The agreement will help The Medicines Company advance the technology through additional pre-clinical testing needed to enable clinical trials, Pretto said.

“The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is a world-class institution, and the opportunity to work with some of its most talented and innovative clinicians and scientists is an exciting, albeit humbling, opportunity,” said Jason Campagna, M.D. ’96, Ph.D. ’97, Vice President and Global Medical Lead for Surgery and Perioperative Medicine at The Medicines Company. “There are more than 300 million surgical procedures annually around the world, and the need for new anesthetics and ways to deliver anesthesia care safely has never been greater.”

Fraker said the anesthesia breakthrough originated with studies on how to protect insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells during transplantation to patients with life-threatening diabetes.

“I had studied fluorocarbon emulsions that carry oxygen to the blood, and was brought into an ongoing collaborative DRI/Department of Anesthesiology project by Dr. Antonello Pileggi,” Fraker said. “Dr. Pileggi was the initiator of many collaborative efforts and was adept at bringing in the right people to form teams that would accelerate and increase the chances of project success. We serendipitously found that mixing the anesthetic with a carefully developed emulsion could create an injectable that was safe and highly effective in sedating animals in the laboratory.”

This novel emulsion technology, made possible through the multi-year funding that Fraker and Pretto received from the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, received a patent this year.

Looking ahead, Fraker said that injecting the anesthesia medication directly into the bloodstream has multiple benefits in clinical care.

“You can use a lower dosage to accomplish the same result, increasing the safety profile,” he said. “You can also bring patients out of anesthesia more quickly.”

The new anesthesia platform would also allow combat medics to sedate wounded soldiers, slowing the blood flow and the onset of shock while the patient is transported to a field hospital, as part of a regimen being called emergency preservation and resuscitation, Pretto said.

“Our team presented a prototype to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and it was well received. Because of its self-contained portability, this formulation could even be taken into space.”

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