Shawn Monti, left, discusses his surgery with Ricardo Komotar, M.D., as a video of the operation plays in the background.

Glowing Tumor Surgery Offers New Hope to Brain Cancer Patient


A Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center neurosurgeon has used new visualization technology that makes a brain tumor glow, enabling a safer resection with less damage to normal brain tissue that surrounds it, offering hope to a seriously ill patient and his family.

Dolphins Cycling Challenge V to Include First 5K Walk/Run


For the first time since its inception, the Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC) will include a 5K walk/run, providing something for everyone interested in supporting lifesaving cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The walk/run will be held at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, February 8, the second day of the two-day ride that spans three counties.

From left, Jason Fox, Diane Philbin, Richard Ballard, Michael Mandich and Brandon Gibson with patients at alex's place..

Miami Dolphins Visit Families at alex’s place


Patients, their families and staff of alex’s place — Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s pediatric oncology clinic — received a special treat Monday morning when Miami Dolphins players paid a surprise visit.

Adrian S. Ishkanian, M.D.

Researchers Develop More Accurate Test for Predicting Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk


Researchers at cancer centers in Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S., including the Miller School of Medicine’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, have developed a breakthrough diagnostic test to identify which men are most likely to have a recurrence of prostate cancer after localized treatment with surgery or radiotherapy.

Stephen Nimer, M.D., receives the Life Raft Humanitarian of the Year Award from Breelyn Wilky, M.D., assistant professor of medicine.

Dr. Stephen Nimer Receives Humanitarian of the Year Award


The Life Raft Group has named Stephen Nimer, M.D., Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, its Humanitarian of the Year. Dr. Nimer was presented the award at the 7th anniversary of the biennial Life Fest convention, a unique event where hundreds of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) patients and caregivers gather for a weekend of camaraderie.

From left, Paolo Serafini, Ph.D., Adriana de la Fuente, research assistant, and Donald T. Weed, M.D.

Cialis Shown to Benefit Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer Patients


Researchers at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, have found that Tadalafil, commonly known as Cialis, can be therapeutic for certain types of cancer. When used before surgery, Tadalafil can reduce certain cells that are detrimental to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients’ prognoses.

Erin N. Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

UM Researcher is Awarded GE Foundation Grant


Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Director for Disparities and Community Outreach for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been awarded a grant from the GE Foundation to help improve the prevention of cervical cancer in women living in medically underserved areas.

WellBeingWell Keynote Speaker Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D., third from left, stands with Charles Vogel, M.D., professor of medicine and Director of the Women’s Center at Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, Krishna Komanduri, M.D., professor of medicine and Medical Director of the Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, John Goldberg, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Oncology Early Phase Clinical Trials Program, and Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., professor of medicine and Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

Sylvester’s WellBeingWell Conference Provides Message of Hope


More than 400 guests who attended Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s WellBeingWell conference were asked to imagine a day when cancer is no longer the scourge of our time, but a chronic condition that can be treated. That message of hope was delivered at the conference held Thursday at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami Hotel.

Alessandro Gardini, Ph.D., left, and Ramin Shiekhattar, Ph.D.

Team Targets Novel Pathway in Cancer


A team of scientists led by Ramin Shiekhattar, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and human genetics, has identified an important mechanism that could be deregulated in cancer.

Division of Continuing Medical Education to host Synergy 2014 November 14-16


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 provides a review of a variety of oncological diseases, combined with the latest developments in medical, interventional and surgical therapeutic options across multiple disciplines.

John Goldberg, M.D.

Pediatric Cancer Research Grant Awarded to Dr. John Goldberg


The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, has awarded a one-year infrastructure grant of $50,000 to John Goldberg, M.D., Director of the Pediatric Oncology Early Phase Clinical Trials Program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Miller School of Medicine.

From left, Megan Baker, UM President Donna E. Shalala, Ronan T. Swords, M.D., Ph.D., Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Dr. Ronan T. Swords Receives Pap Corps Endowed Professorship in Leukemia


Ronan T. Swords, M.D., Ph.D., 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.

UM held a ceremonial groundbreaking last Thursday for The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, scheduled to open on the Coral Gables campus in 2016. From left to right are Lennar Foundation trustees Waynewright Malcolm; Allan Pekor; Marshall Ames, who also serves as chairman of the foundation; and Shelly Rubin; UM President Donna E. Shalala; Lennar Foundation trustee Stuart A. Miller, who chairs the UM Board of Trustees; Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs, Dean of the Miller School of Medicine, and CEO of UHealth; Joe Natoli, UM Senior Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer; and Thomas J. LeBlanc, UM Executive Vice President and Provost.

Gift of $50 Million to Name UHealth's New Coral Gables Medical Center


The Lennar Foundation, the charitable arm of The Lennar Corporation, one of the nation’s largest builders of quality homes, has given a lead gift of $50 million to name the UHealth at Coral Gables ambulatory center. A ceremonial groundbreaking event for The Lennar Foundation Medical Center took place last Thursday afternoon.

Suzanne Lechner, Ph.D.

Community-Based Programs Reduce Stress for Black Breast Cancer Survivors


A team of researchers at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that a community-based stress management intervention program improved the psychological adaptation of underserved black breast cancer survivors. They also found that an educational program providing post-treatment breast cancer health and wellness information had a similar effect.

Scientist and Pulitzer prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D.

Registration Open for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s WellBeingWell Conference


Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is proud to present the third WellBeingWell conference sponsored by Chico’sFAS. The one-day event will take place Thursday, November 6, at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami Hotel from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Among the highlights are keynote speakers including Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D.

Charles Vogel, M.D., accepts the proclamation from Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief recognizing October as “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and October 14 as “UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Day.”

Dr. Charles Vogel Receives Breast Cancer Proclamation from Broward Commissioners


In an afternoon ceremony at the Broward County Government Center in Fort Lauderdale on October 14, Charles Vogel, M.D., professor of medicine and Director of the Women’s Center at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at Deerfield Beach, received a proclamation recognizing Sylvester as one of three centers that diagnose and treat the vast majority of breast cancer patients in Broward County each year.

UM sophomore CC Schieffelin, right, with her mother Barb, who lost her battle with cancer.

Bittersweet Success


The video Celia’s Ride, which was produced by David Sutta Photography and chronicles UM sophomore Celia Schieffelin’s bittersweet success at raising more than $40,000 for the fourth Dolphins Cycling Challenge, has been nominated for a Suncoast Emmy, in the Community Service Announcement category.

Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., and Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Sylvester Wins Supplemental NCI Award for Regional Cancer Disparities Research


A National Cancer Institute supplemental award will make the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center the coordinating center for the NCI’s Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program–Region 3 (GMaP3) — a research consortium of 11 institutions in seven southeastern states and Puerto Rico. The project is part of the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities’ Community Networks Program Centers.

Marc E. Lippman, M.D.

Sylvester Physicians to Investigate Breast Cancer and Depression Connection


Armed with a $200,000 grant from the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, Marc E. Lippman, M.D., Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and several colleagues have started new research to more closely examine how depression plays a role in the development of breast cancer.

Lan Wang, Ph.D.

Armed with New Grants, Sylvester Researcher Hopes to Develop Leukemia Therapies


Lan Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, has received three grants this year for her research studies in the field of blood cancers. “My research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of hematological malignancies and stem cell studies,” said Wang. “I am interested in identifying the genes that are disrupted and developing new therapeutic strategies for patients with these diseases.”

Steve Cawley, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, far left, Richard Ballard, Hospital Administrator and CEO of Sylvester/UMHC, second from left, and David Seo, M.D., kneeling, far right, celebrate the Sylvester/UMHC UChart integration with fellow implementation team members.

UChart Implementation at Sylvester Marks Milestone in Patient Care


In the next phase of the University’s electronic medical record (EMR) implementation to transform patient care, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UHealth have launched the EMR system UChart at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center/University of Miami Hospital and Clinics (UMHC).

From left, FTRP grant recipients Glen Barber, Ph.D.; Shaun Brothers, Ph.D.; Claes Wahlestedt, M.D., Ph.D.; Seung-Uon Shin, Ph.D.; and Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D.

Miller School Researchers Receive State Funding for Drug-Discovery Projects


Miller School of Medicine researchers have received three grants in the latest round of funding from the Florida Translational Research Program (FTRP), a state-funded initiative to advance drug discovery. All of the projects receiving awards focus on the discovery and development of novel small molecules for the treatment of disease, specifically cancer.

Revolutionary Radiation Therapy System Coming to Sylvester


Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is making a new state-of-the-art weapon available to its patients, becoming only the fourth facility in the U.S. and the first on the east coast to acquire an MRI-guided radiation therapy system from ViewRay Inc.

Member Anne Auguste brightens her day in a body-sculpting class.

The UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center: Transforming Lives


At 4:45 a.m., the sun isn’t up yet. Nonetheless, when Michael Montero, first-shift receptionist, and Miguel Figueroa, first-shift wellness instructor, arrive each weekday morning to open the recently renamed UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center, located on the 9th floor of the Clinical Research Building, the same group of guys is already waiting to get in and get started.

Theresa DiNardo Brown Named AVP and Executive Director of Marketing and Communications


Theresa DiNardo Brown, Chief Communications Officer of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, has been named Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Miller School of Medicine and UHealth, and Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D.

Research Describes Novel Tumor-Promoting Adaptation in Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma


A collaborative Miller School study led by Priyamvada Rai, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, describes a novel therapeutic target in RAS-driven lung cancer, a common but untreatable carcinoma. The study, published in Oncogene, describes a critical role for MTH1, a protein which sanitizes oxidized DNA precursors, in facilitating tumor formation by activated KRAS.

Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D.

Dr. Mohammad Jahanzeb Appointed Chair-Elect of ASCO Quality Program


Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D., Medical Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at Deerfield Beach, has been appointed Chair-Elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Steering Group Committee.

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Bascom Palmer Ranked No. 1 in Ophthalmology for 11th Consecutive Year


For the 11th consecutive year, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has been ranked the nation’s best in ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report. Bascom Palmer has received the No. 1 ranking a total of 13 times and has been in the top two since the annual rankings began 25 years ago.

Breast Cancer Foundation Funds UM Study on Managing Stress


Can psychological intervention help women adapt to the stresses of breast cancer? It appears that a brief, five-week psychological intervention can have beneficial effects for women who are dealing with the stresses of breast cancer diagnosis and surgery. Intervening during the early period after surgery may reduce women’s distress, and providing cognitive or relaxation skills for stress management may help them adapt to treat

The TOOL team includes Monica Webb Hooper, Ph.D., seated, and, standing from left, Victoria A. Rodriguez, M.S.W., Stephanie Kolar, Ph.D., Marcia McNutt, M.P.H., Brooke Genkin Rogers, M.P.H., Chelsea Greaves, M.P.H., Alyssa Vazquez, and Shaneisha Allen.

UQuit Helps Diverse Smokers Kick the Habit


For nearly 30 years, cigarettes ruled Jerome Hicks’ life, robbing him of his health, his money, and his time. But one Monday morning in 2013, the disabled concrete finisher woke up with the determination, the support system, and most importantly, the tools to conquer the deadly addiction that disproportionally harms African Americans like himself.

Penelope S. Fisher, M.S., R.N., C.O.R.L.N.

“Penny the Nurse” Honored with Ultimate Symbol of Gratitude


Penelope S. Fisher, M.S., R.N., C.O.R.L.N., Faculty Clinical Instructor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, is an unsung hero for many. And now, her legacy has been memorialized with the ultimate symbol of gratitude – The Penelope S. Fisher Award for Outstanding Humanism in Clinical Care and Clinical Education. Fisher is the first recipient of the new award named in her honor.

From left, Michael Dodard, M.D., associate professor of family medicine and community health and Director of Community Health Affairs; Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.; and Executive Director Laurinus Pierre, M.D., M.P.H., at the Center for Haitian Studies, Health and Human Services, the only community clinic where women living in Little Haiti can receive free cervical cancer screenings. <em>Photo courtesy of Moris Moreno</em>

Public Health Advocate Receives $2 Million NIH Grant to Address Cervical Cancer Disparities


To further combat cervical cancer in South Florida and beyond, the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health has awarded Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of public health sciences and Director of the Community Engagement Program at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), a $2 million, four-year grant.

Team CTU Miami with “Mr. Sylvester.” Front row, from left: Lauren Gjolaj, M.B.A., B.S.N.; Angela Olier-Pino, D.N.P., M.B.A., RN; Rohanmi Perez, RN, ONC. Back row, from left: Gloria Gari, M.S.I.E.; Melissa Martinez; Debra Lewis, RN, ONC; Gustavo Fernandez, M.D.; Isaac Castro; Juan Garcia, M.B.A., B.S.M.T.; Danillo Lopez; and Ruthy Tascon.

Sylvester Outpatient Unit Team Wins Prestigious State Award for Efficiency Improvements


A multidisciplinary project team from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center won first prize at the 2014 Annual Sterling Conference Team Showcase Award Banquet, held May 30 in Orlando. “Team CTU Miami” won the statewide competition over five other finalists for a project entitled “Systematically Decreasing Wait Time in an Outpatient Oncology Treatment Unit.”

Honored at the Health Care Heroes award luncheon, from left, Bernard J. Fogel, M.D.; Mary Bartlett Bunge, Ph.D.; Carlos A. Migoya; and Robert J. Myerburg, M.D.

Dean Emeritus Bernard J. Fogel, M.D., Receives Lifetime Achievement Award


An audience of more than 500 healthcare and business leaders cheered as Miller School Dean Emeritus Bernard J. Fogel, M.D., received the AXA Advisors Lifetime Achievement Award at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Health Care Heroes Awards Luncheon, held on May 20 in Jungle Island’s Treetop Ballroom. In addition, Mary Bartlett Bunge, Ph.D., won the Health Care Hero Award in the Bio-Medical category.

The Pap Corps President Joanne Goldberg, center, holds a check for $4.5 million, surrounded by, from left, Stan Scheff, CFO of The Pap Corps; Barbara Pessel, Past President of The Pap Corps; Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.; Bill Kingston, Executive Director of Development at Sylvester; Jayne Sylvester Malfitano, Vice Chair of the Sylvester Board of Governors; W. Jarrard Goodwin, M.D.; and Naomi Prever, Past President of The Pap Corps.

Pap Corps Makes Historic Gift to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center


The Pap Corps, Champions for Cancer Research has presented its largest annual gift ever, a check for $4.5 million, to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School of Medicine. Presented at The Pap Corps President’s Meeting at the Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton on Thursday, May 15, the check is part of the group’s $25 million commitment to Momentum2.

Tissue culture shows mesenchymal stem cells, in green, interacting with cardiac stem cells, in red/orange, through gap junctions, displayed as white dots.

UM Leads in the Field of Regenerative Medicine: Moving from Treatments to Cures


Driven by a commitment to move from treatments to cures, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is a leader in the field of regenerative medicine. Researchers and clinicians are collaborating in a wide range of disciplines to develop new strategies that use the body’s own cells to fight cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic problems, as well as repair damaged nerve fibers.

The audience of nurses gave Watson a standing ovation after her remarks.

Caring Visionary Jean Watson Gives National Nurses Week an Energetic Start


The Miller School’s observance of National Nurses Week got off to a high-energy start with a presentation by internationally renowned nursing visionary Jean Watson, Ph.D., RN, founder and director of the Watson Caring Science Institute. Watson has developed a theory of caring that takes a holistic approach to the relationship between nurse and patient.

UM Trustee Paul J. DiMare celebrates the unveiling of the da Vinci Xi Surgical System at University of Miami Hospital, with Dipen Parekh, M.D., patient Keith McKerrow, and his business associate and partner, Donald Rabideau.

UHealth is the First Academic Medical Center to Use New da Vinci Surgical System


Building on its growing reputation as a leader in the use of breakthrough technology, UHealth - University of Miami Health System has become the first academic medical center in the world to use the new da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System. The procedure, a prostatectomy, was performed by Dipen Parekh, M.D., at University of Miami Hospital, the flagship hospital of UHealth.

James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D.

Sylvester Study Provides New Insights on Melanomas


A new Miller School study led by James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, provides new insights into the genetic mutations that can lead to melanomas. "Mutations driving melanoma growth have diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic implications," said Grichnik.

Gov. Rick Scott is given a symbolic white lab coat during his visit to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Applauding his efforts are, from left, Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Donna E. Shalala, Stuart Miller, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., and far right, patient Billy Thies.

Governor Scott Visits Sylvester to Promote 2014 State Cancer Budget


Florida Governor Rick Scott visited the Miller School’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center on Friday, March 14, to tout the $80 million earmarked for cancer treatment and research in his proposed $1.4 billion 2014 state budget, and to support Sylvester’s efforts to receive official designation from the National Cancer Institute.

Dolphins Cycling Challenge partners, from left, Stuart Miller, Joe Natoli, W. Jarrard Goodwin, M.D., Stephen Nimer, M.D., Richard Berkowitz, Michael Mandich and Tom Garfinkel.

Dolphins Cycling Challenge Donates $3.1 Million to Tackle Cancer


Executives from the Dolphins Cycling Challenge presented Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, with a check for $3.1 million to tackle cancer. Launched in 2010 as a partnership between Sylvester and the Miami Dolphins, the Dolphins Cycling Challenge is a two-day, tri-county cycling event, from which 100 percent of rider-raised funds are donated to Sylvester.

Enrique A. Mesri, Ph.D.

Sylvester/AIDS Researcher Unifies Theory on Human Viral Oncogenesis


Despite prevalence, public health importance, and the fact that virus-induced cancers are the most preventable through vaccination or anti-viral therapy, this group remains among the least understood of all cancers. A study led by Enrique A. Mesri, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology, sheds light on this group of cancers and may help develop new targeted therapies.

Mark Soloway, M.D., third from left, received an award for his lifetime service to urologic oncology. Congratulating him were, from left, conference organizers Balakrishna Lokeshwar, Ph.D., and  Vinata Lokeshwar, Ph.D., conference sponsor Edwin Cevallos, M.D., Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

Inaugural Cancer Symposium Shares Research Findings


Three of the nation’s top cancer researchers — each targeting a different form of the disease — were the keynote speakers at the University of Miami Cancer Symposium “Cancer Prevention and Treatment,” held January 24 at the Lois Pope LIFE Center Auditorium. The symposium was organized under the auspices of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Urology.

Tan A. Ince, M.D., Ph.D.

Researchers Discover New Hormone Receptors to Target When Treating Breast Cancer


In a new study directed by Tan A. Ince, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology at the Miller School of Medicine and member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, researchers have developed a new breast cancer classification system that shifts the focus away from genetic mutations, a common approach of mainstream cancer research, but one that has been less effective than first imagined.

Karina Galoian, Ph.D., and H. Thomas Temple, M.D.

Study Identifies Novel Highlights for Sarcoma Research


Researchers at the Miller School, led by Karina Galoian, Ph.D., research associate professor of orthopaedics, have uncovered pathways linked to the genesis of chondrosarcoma, cancer of the cells that produce cartilage. The study, “Lost miRNA surveillance of Notch, IGFR pathway -- road to sarcomagenesis,” was published in the January issue of Tumor Biology.