News : 2014

William J. Whelan, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Honoring a Miller School Giant

Veteran University of Miami scientist William J. Whelan, Ph.D., D.Sc., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, recently celebrated his 90th birthday in the company of colleagues, family and friends.

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From left, Camillo Ricordi, M.D., Cherie Stabler, Ph.D., Ashutosh Agarwal, Ph.D., and Richard J. Cote, M.D.

$4.9 Million NIH Grant Funds “Organ on a Chip” for Diabetes Research

A trio of Miller School of Medicine investigators has received a $4.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a collaborative effort to move the search for novel treatments for diabetes to a new level. The grant, one of only four awarded, is a part of the Consortium on Human Islet Biomimetics, a group under the newly formed Human Islet Research Network.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Aniveny Ayala, strategic accounts manager, Qiagen

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology CORE Hosts Supply Open House

Dozens of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researchers took advantage of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) Core’s first Supply Center Open House to see the latest laboratory products and services. “It was highly successful event with a lot of representation from both vendors and customers,” said Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S.

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Berg President Niven R. Narain and Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., sign research partnership agreement. In back row, from left, David Seo, M.D., associate professor and Chief Medical Informatics Officer; Gary Beecham, Ph.D., assistant professor and Director, Division of Research Informatics; Suzanne Liv Page, J.D., Director, Office of Research Administration; Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S., Professor and Lucille P. Markey Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; James O’Connell, Director, Office of Technology Transfer; Sapna Deo, Ph.D., associate professor, biochemistry and molecular biology; Joaquin J. Jimenez, M.D., research associate professor, dermatology and cutaneous surgery, and biochemistry and molecular biology.

Miller School Signs Agreement for Drug Discovery Partnership

The Miller School and Berg, a Boston-based biopharmaceutical company, have entered into a collaborative research and development agreement to share research and data while seeding critical projects in the areas of cancer, metabolic diseases and diseases of the central nervous system.

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Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D.

Multidisciplinary Researcher-Physician Earns Society’s Highest Honor

Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, received the Wybran Award at the Society of NeuroImmune Pharmacology’s 20th annual meeting in New Orleans. The highest honor bestowed by the Society, the award recognizes Toborek for his scientific contributions that have preserved and expanded the field of neuroimmune pharmacology.

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Eric Hunt, left, receives the Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award from Dean M. Brian Blake, Ph.D., M.S., with his mentor Sapna Deo, Ph.D., who took home the Outstanding Graduate Program Director Award.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Dominates at Graduate School Awards

M. Brian Blake, Ph.D., M.S., Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School, hosted the inaugural University of Miami Graduate School Awards at the Student Center on the Coral Gables Campus, where three members of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology received top honors.

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Jubilation: Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity recipients, from left, Michael Miller, Ph.D., Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S., and Andrew Leone, Ph.D., M.B.A., exchange congratulatory handshakes at last Friday’s ceremony.

Three Stand-Out Scholars Recognized for Their Achievements

The Lucille P. Markey Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Miller School, Sylvia Daunert earned a prestigious Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity for her research in bionanotechnology. She accepted the honor from Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc April 4 at the BankUnited Fieldhouse, sharing the spotlight with two other prominent UM researchers — Andrew Leone and Michael Miller.

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