Tag Archive | "miller school of medicine"

$2 Million Gift Will Advance Research at UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute

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$2 Million Gift Will Advance Research at UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

A guest at the UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute exposition tries on a pair of high-tech goggles designed for the early and accurate detection of concussions.

A guest at the UHealth Sports Performance and Wellness Institute exposition tries on a pair of high-tech goggles designed for the early and accurate detection of concussions.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 14, 2014) – Call it a preemptive strike—a biomechanical analysis designed to prevent ligament and cartilage tears. That’s the basis of a School of Education and Human Development study conducted on members of the University of Miami women’s and men’s basketball teams that attached electrodes to players’ knees, ankles, and hip flexors, resulting in a 3-D computerized  readout of their movements.

“We looked at certain high-risk movements, and identified those players who would be at greater risk for injury,” explained Christopher Kuenze, assistant professor of kinesiology and sport sciences, who spearheaded the research. With the data, coaches and athletic trainers have integrated what Kuenze called “pre-rehabilitation” techniques into the practice sessions of their players, in effect, ensuring that serious injuries on the court won’t occur. Read the full story

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Synergy 2014: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Interventional Oncology

The Division of Continuing Medical Education will host Synergy 2014 November 14-16 at the Eden Roc Miami Beach, 4525 Collins Avenue. The annual symposium combines a review of a variety of oncological diseases with updates on the latest developments in medical, interventional, and surgical therapeutic options across multiple disciplines.

Leading experts from national and international programs will present the latest data and treatment innovations for oncological challenges in multiple organ systems with emphasis on implementation from diagnosis to treatment and the need for multidisciplinary approaches to achieve the highest levels of success in the fight against cancer.

Specific topics will include Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Lung Cancer, Metastatic Colorectal Cancer, Cholangiocarcinoma and Liver Metastases, Renal and Prostate Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Neuroendocrine Tumors, Musculoskeletal Tumors, and Palliative Treatment Options.

To register or for more information, please visit SynergyMiami.org. Questions may be directed to the Division of Continuing Medical Education at 305-243-6716 or cme@med.miami.edu.


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Attend the Great American Smokeout on the Medical Campus November 21

Join the Preventive Medicine Club and the Public Health Student Association in celebrating the Great American Smokeout on Friday, November 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. adjacent to the Alamo on the Miller School campus. The organizations are raising awareness about smoking cessation and the dangers of tobacco use as well as connecting patients and people from the UM community to free smoking cessation resources and programs. The event will also feature food, music, free blood pressure screenings, and prizes.


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Leukemia Specialist Receives Pap Corps Endowed Professorship

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Leukemia Specialist Receives Pap Corps Endowed Professorship

Ronan T. Swords, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Leukemia Program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, has received the Pap Corps Endowed Professorship in Leukemia. The endowment comes from The Pap Corps: Champions for Cancer Research, a volunteer organization that raises money solely for cancer research at Sylvester.

To date, The Pap Corps has donated more than $51 million to Sylvester, including this year’s record-setting $4.5 million as part of an overall pledge of $25 million to UM’s Momentum2 campaign. That makes the organization the fifth-highest University donor in overall giving.

The endowed professorship was celebrated at a ceremony at Sylvester on October 23 that was attended by leaders from the University of Miami and The Pap Corps, and several of Swords’ colleagues.

“With a focus on patient-oriented research and multidisciplinary clinical care, Dr. Swords is poised to become a leader in the field of hematologic malignancy,” said Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology. “An endowment makes it possible for Sylvester to support extraordinarily talented physician-researchers such as Dr. Swords, who will make that next life-changing discovery.”

“Endowed professorships offer many benefits, not just to the recipients, but to the entire University community,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala. “This gives us a chance to honor our brightest stars. It is an opportunity to invest in the future, and investing in Dr. Swords’ research and clinical care is absolutely critical to creating a world-class cancer center.”

Swords, a native of Ireland, received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the National University of Ireland Galway. Following a residency in general internal medicine, he became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland in 2002 and a fellow in 2011. After a fellowship in hematology, Swords became a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in London. He came to the U.S. in 2009 for an advanced fellowship in drug development at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Swords joined Sylvester in 2012.

“An endowed professorship is one of the top accolades in a physician-scientist’s career,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth. “This funding will surely allow Dr. Swords to take his work to the next level. His multidisciplinary approach to clinical challenges demonstrates an inventive and very curious mind that will continue to uncover and develop new strategies.”

To commemorate the occasion, Swords was presented with a plaque and a new white coat embroidered with the title of his endowed professorship. In his acceptance remarks, he thanked The Pap Corps for its support of his work, calling the endowed professorship “a great privilege and honor. The Leukemia Program now has a nucleus of really talented people in the laboratory and the clinic,” Swords said, “and it is going to be nationally and internationally competitive.”

Despite the praise for her organization’s giving, JoAnne Goldberg, President of The Pap Corps kept Sylvester’s achievements in the spotlight.

“Thank you for all that you do,” she said. “It is our pleasure to work for you.”

Nimer repaid the compliment, saying that The Pap Corps’ consistently high level of funding has enabled Sylvester’s physicians and researchers to directly impact the lives of patients.

“Because of you, we have had the funding necessary to encourage early research, open clinical trials and increase our community outreach and education,” he said. “The money you raise helps us recruit top-notch physicians and scientists, and now your support is taking us another step forward.”

Swords also acknowledged Nimer and another Sylvester colleague who was present, Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology in the Department of Medicine, as invaluable mentors.

“This endowment is a wonderful opportunity for me to really focus my efforts almost entirely on research,” he said. “We have a very large, diverse patient population, and this will help us get more patients into more clinical trials. It will enable us to establish large tissue banks and learn much more about the biology of the disease, which hopefully will lead to new treatments.”

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Melissa Institute Conference Focuses on Preventing Bullying

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Melissa Institute Conference Focuses on Preventing Bullying

By Richard Westlund
Special to UM News

In his remarks, Isaac Prilleltensky, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, emphasized the importance of justice and fairness in developing healthy children.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 9, 2015)–Strengthening peer relationships, conducting genetic research, limiting access to firearms, and developing more effective family-centered interventions are important steps to reducing childhood violence, according to several counseling and clinical professionals at the University of Miami.

Debra J. Pepler, distinguished research professor of psychology at York University, Toronto, Ontario, also provided her insights and recommendations as the keynote speaker for “Preventing Aggression and Bullying in School and Community: Multi-Systemic Approaches,” an October 3 conference at the Newman Alumni Center.
The conference was presented by The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment and the School of Education and Human Development, which is the new home of the nonprofit institute. Etiony Aldarondo, associate dean for research and director of the school’s Dunspaugh-Dalton Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center, welcomed attendees and moderated the panel discussion.
In her talk, Pepler outlined the connections between “Childhood Aggression and the Developing Brain.”  She said that positive or negative relationships leave a chemical signature on a child’s genes that can be temporary or permanent.
“If a child has a stressful experience, the brain adapts negatively,” she added. “For instance, peer victimization leads to high levels of stress hormones and is linked to depressive symptoms.”
Emphasizing the importance of warm, coaching, and positive relationships for troubled children, she said, “Aggressive children are not just bad kids. They just have missed important developmental opportunities in relationships. We need to focus on their individual strengths, help them control anger and anxiety, and build a sense of empathy and respect for others.”
In his presentation, “Promoting Wellness and Fairness in Schools and the Community,” Isaac Prilleltensky, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, emphasized the importance of justice and fairness in developing healthy children. “Children are very sensitive to injustice and react in a healthy way,” he said. “That creates problems if a child feels an injustice has been perpetrated and he or she is the victim.”
Prilleltensky also focused on this issue of “mattering,” a sense that children are recognized by their parents, teachers, and peers and feel they can make a difference in the world.  “When children feel invisible, they often react in aggressive ways,” he said. “We don’t want them to start dominating other children, nor do we want them to feel helpless. We have to find the sweet spot in the middle, focus on their strengths, and teach skills to promote positive behaviors, emotions, and thoughts.”
As associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Miller School of Medicine, Judy Schaechter, M.D., has seen many children who have been critically injured by firearms. “It is our job to ask questions about firearms before these tragic events take place,” she said. “Then, we need to use this information to prevent violence.”
In her talk, “Family-Centered Screening for Violence and Weapon Injury Risk,” Schaechter said firearms are involved in half of teenage suicides and in numerous deaths of children of all ages. Since studies show that locking and unloading a gun reduces the risk of a shooting in the home, health professionals need to educate parents on taking steps to safeguard their weapons, she said.
However, the Florida Firearms Owners Privacy Act—which is being challenged in the courts—prohibits providers from recording firearm ownership information in a patient’s medical record. “We need the courage to talk to children, adolescents, and parents about firearms,” she said.
Clinical psychologist and SEHD professor Daniel Santisteban outlined his research on “Intervention Strategies and Prevention Resources for Family Aggression.”  He focused on the importance of developing and testing family-based interventions, particularly for minority and Hispanic families.
“Early intervention is particularly important with adolescents,” he said. “Since aggression, drug use, and risky behaviors are often linked to severe depression, ADHD, or other behavior disorders, we need to treat the individual while providing support and education to the other members of the family.”
Santisteban also believes that technology, such as online videos, can help make family-centered therapy more convenient and successful. “Our goal is to help parents provide effective guidance, promote attachment, and bring stability and safety to the home environment.”


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