News : 2016

Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D., left, receiving the doctor honoris causa degree from Adam Zajac, President of the Academy of Physical Education.

Dr. Michal Toborek Receives Honorary Degree from Polish Academy

Michal Toborek, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Vice Chair for Research, received an honorary degree of doctor honoris causa from the Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Poland, on October 7. The degree was awarded by the Senate of the Academy of Physical Education in recognition of Toborek’s scientific achievements.

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The blue dots show amyloid bodies within the cells.

Researchers: Cancer Cells Have Alzheimer’s Disease, Too

A study published by researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine describes that certain proteins playing a role in cancer progression and metastasis are stored as amyloid bodies in dormant cancer cells. Once the amyloid bodies disaggregate, the cancer cells become active again. The findings were published in the journal Developmental Cell.

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Greetings from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS)!

Message from Charles A. Lowman, Director, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
“My name is Charles Lowman. I began as the Director of the Office in March 2016 and have enjoyed opportunities to get to know the students, faculty, and staff in BMB. If we have not yet met, I would like to soon! I bring over a decade of professional experience in higher education administration and student affairs, most recently from Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies in 2003, a Master of Education degree in Higher Education Administration in 2005, and a Master of Business Administration in 2016.”

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Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., has developed a quick and inexpensive diagnostic blood test for Zika.

Zeroing in on Zika

Mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus appeared in South Florida just recently, but UHealth physicians are already busy counseling prospective parents and treating pregnant women, and UM scientists are working overtime to bring diagnostic and therapeutic responses from the laboratory to the clinic — some possibly by the end of this year.

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Howard Hughes High School Scholars began research internships in labs of Drs. Daunert & Dr. Toborek

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology welcomes new Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) High School Scholars.

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Metformin and the BMB

At the May 20 Friday noon seminar, Michael Norenberg, our secondary faculty colleague, talked about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and referred to head injuries suffered by footballers. We reminded him a few days ago about Muhammed Ali, and he replied that he is 100% certain that Ali might have benefited from Metformin. The basis of this story.

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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the 3rd Personalized NanoMedicine Symposium

Congratulations are in order for many graduate students, post-docs, and faculty in our department after the recent Society for Personalized Nanomedicine 3rd Annual Symposium!

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Antoni Barrientos, Ph.D.

Dr. Antoni Barrientos Receives Funding to Study Neurodegenerative Diseases

Antoni Barrientos, Ph.D., professor of neurology, has received two grants that will support his study of mitochondrial and age-related neurodegenerative diseases. The first award is from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Army Research Office for $529,575, and the second grant, of $345,000, is from the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

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BMB Faculty Member Dr. Shanta Dhar’s latest accomplishment

Lead scientist Shanta Dhar and colleagues have created a tiny particle that could be injected into the body to slash the death toll of heart disease, the UK’s biggest killer. The technique has succeeded on cells in the laboratory and hopes to conduct clinical trials within the next two years.

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Brian Deegan, Ph.D., left, with Sylvia Daunert, PharmD, M.S., Ph.D., in Daunert's lab.

Miller School of Medicine Achieves Significant Gains in NIH Research Grant Rankings

The Miller School of Medicine rose one position in the national rankings of medical schools based on research grants received from the National Institutes of Health during the 2015 federal fiscal year. That gain is significant, considering the ongoing reductions in NIH grants that have caused many medical schools to fall in the rankings.

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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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Mingjiang Xu, M.D., Ph.D.

New Study Highlights Role of TET Proteins in Blood Cancers

Some proteins drive the cellular overgrowth that leads to cancer, while others act as cancer suppressors. TET1 and TET2 do both. Research led by scientists at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has uncovered the role these proteins play in cancer development, potentially leading to new treatments.

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From left, Mehrdad Nadji, M.D., David Watkins, Ph.D., Sylvia Daunert, Pharm.D., M.S., Ph.D., Glen N. Barber, Ph.D., Sapna Deo, Ph.D., Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., and Ronald Desrosiers, Ph.D.

Miami CTSI Supports Collaborative Research Team to Study Zika Virus

As the Zika virus outbreak develops as a public health emergency, both internationally and for South Florida, David Watkins, Ph.D., professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Pathology, and a team of top Miller School researchers are rapidly working to develop better diagnostic tests and to understand the virus’s link to neurological complications such as microcephaly.

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From left, Joan J. Guinovart, Ph.D., Peter Libby, M.D., and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.

Renowned Scientists Present Latest Findings on Inflammation at 49th Miami Winter Symposium

The 49th Miami Winter Symposium, organized in part by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Miller School of Medicine, attracted 330 researchers, clinicians and students from 32 countries to address one of the world’s most challenging medical issues, “Inflammation — Causes, Prevention and Cures.”

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