News : 2016

Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D.

Department of Surgery Hosting Research Organ Recovery Workshop

The DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery’s Minimally Invasive Surgical Training & Education Center and Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency are hosting a national Research Organ Recovery Workshop January 24 and 25. The bi-annual workshop is sponsored by the International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine.

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From left, Brazilian liver transplantation pioneer Silvano Raia, M.D., with Rodrigo Vianna, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Rodrigo M. Vianna Inducted into Brazil’s National Academy of Medicine

Rodrigo M. Vianna, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery, Director of Transplant Services and Chief of Liver and GI Transplantation at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, has been inducted into Brazil’s National Academy of Medicine, one of the oldest and most exclusive medical academies in the world. The ceremony took place on November 23.

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Enrique Ginzburg, M.D.

Dr. Enrique Ginzburg Named Chair of Florida Board of Medicine

Enrique Ginzburg, M.D., professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery and Trauma Medical Director at Jackson South Community Hospital, has been named Chair of the Florida Board of Medicine for 2017. Ginzburg was appointed to the board by Florida Governor Rick Scott in 2013. He served as Vice Chair in 2016, and was a member of the rules and legislative, surgical care and credentials committees.

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Sergio G. Litewka, M.D., M.P.H.

UM Bioethics Institute Scholar Addresses Cuban Research Conference

In apparently unprecedented presentations by a U.S. scholar, Sergio G. Litewka, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of surgery and Director of International Programs for the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, delivered two lectures to Cuba’s National Coordination Center for Clinical Trials (CENCEC), the country’s leading organization for human subjects research.

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Amit Patel, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Amit Patel Named Chief of Cardiac Surgery

Amit Patel, M.D., M.S., professor of surgery and director of Clinical Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering at the University of Utah School of Medicine, has been named Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Miami Health System. Patel is a leader in new therapies incorporating the latest advances in open surgical reconstruction, trans-catheter interventions, stem cells, genetic approaches, and matrix therapies.

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From left, Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., and Armando Mendez, Ph.D.

Researchers to Examine Connection between Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers’ Health

An understanding of the connection between cancer patients and their caregiver’s health in relation to mutual stress regulatory patterns is what Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Miami researchers hope to gain with the assistance of a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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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, Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., with Brian L. Strom, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Omaida C. Velazquez Honored as a Rutgers 250th Anniversary Fellow

Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., professor and chair of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the Miller School of Medicine and Surgeon-in-Chief for the University of Miami Health System and Jackson Health, was honored as a Rutgers 250th Anniversary Fellow last Thursday at the culmination of a year-long celebration at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

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Nestor de la Cruz-Muñoz, M.D.

UM Hospital’s Bariatric Surgery Program Recognized Among Top 5 Percent by Healthgrades

The bariatric surgery program at the University of Miami Hospital has received its sixth consecutive Healthgrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award™ and was honored for superior performance. The flagship hospital of UHealth – University of Miami Health System, UMH is the only hospital in Miami-Dade County to receive this top honor, as well as five stars for bariatric surgery for six consecutive years.

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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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In center, Rodrigo M. Vianna, M.D., Ph.D., with judging panel.

Dr. Rodrigo M. Vianna Achieves Perfect Scores in Evaluation for Prestigious Academic Designation

Following several months of preparation and two grueling days of evaluations by some of the world’s top medical academicians, Rodrigo M. Vianna, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery, Director of Transplant Services and Chief of Liver and GI Transplantation at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital, has been granted the prestigious Livre-Docência designation.

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A model for patient care in the future, The Lennar Foundation Medical Center has been carefully designed to meet the needs of patients, their families and staff.

Offering State-of-the-Art Cancer Care

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, is bringing its state-of-the-art multidisciplinary care to the Coral Gables campus. Its sixth satellite facility will be a core component of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, which opens in December.

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Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., speaking at the Vatican.

Dr. Marilyn K. Glassberg Presents Research Findings at Vatican Stem Cell Conference

When Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., professor of medicine, surgery and pediatrics, spoke at an international conference held at the Vatican, she delivered a moving account of the promising early results obtained by investigators at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in a small clinical trial that explored stem cell treatment in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

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Heidi Allespach, Ph.D., left, and Erin N. Marcus, M.D.

Miller School Professors Publish Practical Approach to Guiding Residents in Patient Interactions

Over the course of 18 years, Heidi Allespach, Ph.D., associate professor of clinical family medicine, medicine and surgery, and Director of Behavioral Medicine, identified specific patterns in the interactions between new doctors and their patients. In particular, she saw how the relationships were strained by persistent paperwork, electronic medical records and obstacles to delivery of care by insurance carriers.

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Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., speaking at the Vatican.

Dr. Marilyn K. Glassberg Presents Research Findings at Vatican Stem Cell Conference

When Marilyn K. Glassberg, M.D., professor of medicine, surgery and pediatrics, spoke at an international conference held at the Vatican, she delivered a moving account of the promising early results obtained by investigators at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in a small clinical trial that explored stem cell treatment in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

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Nestor Villamizar, M.D.

Sylvester Earns Lung Cancer Screening Center Designation by the American College of Radiology

The lung cancer screening program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, has been designated an American College of Radiology (ACR) Lung Cancer Screening Center. The voluntary designation signifies that the program and protocol meet the requirements set forth by the ACR lung cancer screening committee.

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Gary I. Kleiner, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Gary I. Kleiner Named to Florida Genetic and Newborn Screening Advisory Council

Gary I. Kleiner, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics and surgery, has received a four-year appointment as the representative from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to the Florida Genetic and Newborn Screening Advisory Council. The goal of newborn screening is to help prevent developmental impairments, delayed physical growth, severe illness, and death through early detection and intervention.

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Front row, from left, Dania Mateu, Emilio Margolles-Clark, Ph.D., and Ana Hernandez, Ph.D. Back row, from left, Jennifer McCue, Ibis Hernandez, Lili Samways, Casiana Fernandez-Bango, Tania Pumariega and Phillip Ruiz, M.D., Ph.D.

UM Transplant Laboratories Among First in U.S. to Offer NGS High-Resolution HLA Typing

The DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery Transplant Laboratories (Immune Monitoring Lab and Histocompatibility Lab) have been awarded accreditation by the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) to perform next-generation sequencing (NGS) on the Ion Torrent S5 platform for high-resolution molecular typing of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) Class I and Class II loci.

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Lee Kaplan, M.D., joins the music-making during the Opening Ceremony in Rio.

UHealth Doctors Return from Rio as Others Depart for the Games

As the Olympics enter week two, the games are already over for some UHealth physicians who served as medical volunteers in Rio. But even as the first doctors to journey to Rio are now home – back with unforgettable memories and stories of amazing medical accomplishments — a second wave of UHealth clinicians has arrived at the games, ready to help the best athletes in the world should they be injured.

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Zika Virus Testing Available at Department of Surgery Transplant Laboratories

The Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery Transplant Laboratories are now offering Zika virus testing. Testing is available for deceased and living donor screenings, recipient screenings and any other patient populations.

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From left, Carolyn Kienstra, M.D., Sheila Conway, M.D., Antonio Marttos, M.D., Gird Pust, M.D., and Lee Kaplan, M.D., at Rio Olympic Arena.

UHealth Trauma Surgeon Leads Rio's Emergency Health Services During the Games

The numbers are staggering – 36 competition and 20 training venues, six hotels, five media villages, one hospital, 306 events, 10,903 athletes, 3,200 referees and assistants, 45,000 volunteers, 25,100 accredited media, 7,000 National Olympic Committee delegates, 5,000 clinicians, 1,000 doctors…and one man responsible for it all.

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From left, Charles Karcutskie, M.D., with Sarah Eidelson, M.D.

Surgical Residents Score Wins as Medical Volunteers in Rio

When Sarah Eidelson, M.D., a general surgery resident at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, first learned other UHealth fellows were volunteering at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she was immediately intrigued. She never imagined, though, that an email to UHealth trauma surgeon Antonio Marttos, M.D., inquiring if she too could be a part of the Olympics would eventually land her on Copacabana Beach.

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Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Night at Marlins Park July 26

Come out to Marlins Park on Tuesday, July 26, and help support National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month. Watch a patient from UHealth’s South Florida Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic throw out the first pitch at 7:10 p.m., as the Miami Marlins, currently the second-place team in the National League East, take on the Philadelphia Phillies in the second game of a three-game series.

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Enrique Ginzburg, M.D.

Dr. Enrique Ginzburg Named Vice Chair of Florida Board of Medicine

Enrique Ginzburg, M.D., professor of surgery, Chief of Surgery at University of Miami Hospital and Trauma Medical Director at Jackson South Community Hospital, has been named Vice Chair of the Florida Board of Medicine. Ginzburg was appointed to the board by Florida Governor Rick Scott in 2013, and the board recently selected Ginzburg to serve as Vice Chair.

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Ashok K. Saluja, Ph.D.

Sylvester Recruits Expert to Head New Pancreatic Cancer Research Institute

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has announced the appointment of Ashok K. Saluja, Ph.D., as the inaugural Director of the new Sylvester Pancreatic Cancer Research Institute at the Miller School of Medicine (SPCRI) and Associate Director for Research Innovation, Senior Associate Dean for Research, as well as professor and vice chair of surgery.

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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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From left, Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., Shari Leonardi, Travis J. Leonardi, Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., Cory Sands, Dana Sands, M.D., and Ryan Sands.

Dr. Laurence R. Sands Receives First Chair in Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery

In a first for the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, a distinguished member of its faculty has been presented with one of academia’s highest honors. Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., Chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery in the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the Miller School of Medicine, was presented with The Dr. Laurence Sands Endowed Chair in Colon and Rectal Surgery.

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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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Keynote speaker, Stanley Dudrick, M.D., left, with Patricia Byers, M.D.

Dr. Patricia Byers Receives Award for Contributions to Florida’s Surgical Care

A long-time advocate for effective trauma care, Patricia Byers, M.D., professor of surgery at the Miller School of Medicine, was honored with the prestigious Raymond Alexander award from the Florida Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). She received the lifetime achievement award at the chapter’s annual recognition ceremony in Tampa.

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Tomas A. Salerno, M.D.

Dr. Tomás A. Salerno Elected to Third Term as President of Faculty Senate

Tomás A. Salerno, M.D., the DeWitt C. Daughtry Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery and professor of surgery at the Miller School of Medicine, was re-elected chair of the University of Miami Faculty Senate for a third one-year term at the governing body’s April 27 election meeting. Salerno, who joined the Miller School in 1999, has served in the Senate since 2008.

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From left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Omaida Velazquez, M.D., Danny Sleeman, M.D., Alan Livingstone, M.D., and Duane Hutson, M.D.

Dr. Danny Sleeman Receives the Duane G. Hutson Endowed Chair in Surgical Education

In a ceremony that highlighted several generations of physicians of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the Duane G. Hutson Endowed Chair in Surgical Education was presented to Danny Sleeman, M.D., professor of surgery, Vice Chairman of Surgical Education and Director of the Surgical Education Program.

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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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Antonio C. Marttos, Jr., M.D.

Brazilian Foundation Names Dr. Antonio C. Marttos, Jr. ‘Person of the Year’

Antonio C. Marttos, Jr., M.D., associate professor of surgery and Director of Global e-Health/Trauma Telemedicine at the William Lehman Injury Research Center, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Person of the Year Award in the 19th Annual Brazilian International Press Awards U.S.A., a recognition program that is part of the Focus Brazil Foundation.

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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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Renee Jones, left, with Donald Anacker.

Life Alliance Hosts Organ Donation Awareness Event

Renee Jones, mother of organ donor Trevin Reddick, leaned in and listened. There, she heard the sound of her son’s heart beating in the chest of recipient Donald Anacker. Having met for the first time the night before and now joining Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency at its first Blue and Green Day awareness event, the two clung to each other while wiping away tears.

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Front row, from left, Delilah Valdez, Julissa Cerda, Jose Garza and Liam Garza. Back row, from left, Rodrigo Vianna, M.D., Jennifer Garcia, M.D., and Alan Tekin, M.D. Photo courtesy of Jackson Health System.

UHealth Surgeons Save Toddler's Life with Florida's First Eight-Organ Transplant

UHealth – University of Miami Health System surgeons saved 1-year-old Liam Garza’s life by performing the first eight-organ multivisceral transplant in Florida. This was just five years after they saved Liam’s sister, Delilah. Both of them were diagnosed with Megacystic Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS) and required multi-organ transplants.

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Felicia Knaul, Ph.D., with Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

American Medical Women’s Association Honors Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, Dr. Felicia Knaul

Two University of Miami leaders — Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Dean of the Miller School, and Felicia Knaul, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences and Director of the Miami Institute for the Americas — were honored with “Local Hero” awards from the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) on Friday, March 11.

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WIAM 2015-16 Advisory Board members: Back row, from left, Wen-Hsiang Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Ivette Motola, M.D., M.P.H., Lilian M. Abbo, M.D., Maria L. Alcaide, M.D., and Yvonne M. Diaz, M.D. Front row, from left, Anne E. Burdick, M.D., Ph.D., Rose Maria Van Zuilen, Ph.D., Michele I. Morris, M.D., Judi M. Woolger, M.D., and JoNell E. Potter, Ph.D.

Women in Academic Medicine Organization Supports Faculty Development

“This is a great time for women and minorities at the Miller School of Medicine,” said Lilian Abbo, M.D., President of Women in Academic Medicine (WIAM), an organization formed in 2008 with the mission of transforming the development, recruitment and retention of women faculty at the Miller School through education, networking and mentoring.

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Sam Salama, M.D.

Dr. Sam Salama Named Executive Director of LAORA

Sam Salama, M.D., assistant professor of clinical surgery, has been named Executive Director of the Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency (LAORA) at the Miller School of Medicine. A division of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, LAORA is one of the nation’s 58 federally designated organ recovery agencies certified and regulated by the United Network for Organ Sharing.

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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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Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., left, and Eugene R. Schiff, M.D.

Senate Taps Two Faculty for Top Honors

Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., a renowned colorectal surgeon at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., one of the world’s leading authorities on liver diseases, have been unanimously selected by the Faculty Senate to receive two of its most prestigious awards, the Outstanding Teaching Award and the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

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From left, Ana Beatriz Viegas Georjutti, Otavio Salerno, Renata Del Bianco Batista, Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., Pedro Del Bianco Batista, James “J.D.” Daughtry, M.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Stuart Miller, Chairman of the UM Board of Trustees, Helen Salerno, Kim Salerno, UM Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D. Seated, Tomas A. Salerno, M.D.

Dr. Tomas A. Salerno Honored with DeWitt C. Daughtry Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery

At a ceremony before his family, friends, colleagues, and the University of Miami and Miller School of Medicine leadership, Tomas A. Salerno, M.D., professor and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, was presented with the DeWitt C. Daughtry Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

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Register for the Miles for Smiles Cleft Lip and Palate 5K Run/Walk April 17

Registration is now open for the Miles for Smiles Cleft Lip and Palate 5K Run/Walk, to be held Sunday, April 17, by the Department of Surgery’s Division of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery Department of Surgery at Charnow Park, 200 Connecticut Street in Hollywood. The event will also include a 1K fun run for children. Refreshments will be provided, and there will be a kid zone and a health fair after the race.

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Multidisciplinary Authors Publish Teaching Atlas of the Pancreas

A group of Miller School of Medicine faculty members, some of whom have worked together for as much as 25 years, have authored the Multidisciplinary Teaching Atlas of the Pancreas: Radiological, Surgical, and Pathological Correlations.

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