News : 2016

From left, Jonathan R. Wolpaw, M.D., W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., Ozcan Ozdamar, Ph.D., and Daniel S. Rizzuto, Ph.D.

University of Miami Hosts First Neural Engineering Symposium

The University of Miami hosted its first Neural Engineering Symposium on October 13 to promote collaborations among research, educational, and industry programs for this rapidly growing discipline. Ozcan Ozdamar, Ph.D., professor and chair of the College of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, and W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., Scientific Director of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis were Co-Directors.

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This unique CBD and NMDA antagonist compound will impact the CB2 and NMDA cell receptors (pictured), reversing the effects of concussion through a reduction of immune response, decreasing brain inflammation.

Could a Pill Treat Concussion?

The goal of finding a treatment for concussion may be one step closer due to a new study being launched by University of Miami researchers. As part of a $16 million research grant from Scythian Biosciences, researchers at the University’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Miller School of Medicine will begin studying whether a simple pill could someday be a solution to the growing concussion epidemic.

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From left, Lina Shehadeh, Ph.D., Ashutosh Agarwal, Ph.D., Jae K. Lee, Ph.D., and Emmanuel Thomas, M.D., Ph.D.

Request for Applications for Internal Competition to Attend Eureka Institute Certificate Program

The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is requesting applications for an internal competition to sponsor up to four faculty to attend the Eureka Institute 9th International Certificate Program in Translational Medicine, April 23-29 in Siracusa, Italy.

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Noam Alperin, Ph.D.

Ongoing Study Improves Predictions of Which Chiari Malformation Patients Will Benefit from Surgery

A research team led by Noam Alperin, Ph.D., professor of radiology and biomedical engineering, and Director of the Physiologic Imaging and Modeling Lab, has continued to refine the means of determining which patients with a neurological disorder known as Chiari Malformation Type I (CMI) will benefit from surgery.

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From left, Vance Lemmon, Ph.D., Kevin Park, Ph.D., and Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Research Team Awarded $2 Million by NIH to Study Targets to Promote Axon Regeneration

A team of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine investigators has been awarded a three-year $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study biological treatments for blindness — specifically factors that affect neural regeneration in the retina. The Miller School team was one of only six nationwide to receive funding.

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Back row, from left, Cathy Rosenberg, Ricardo J. Komotar, M.D., Macarena de la Fuente, M.D., Suzy Selby and Allan D. Levi, M.D. Front row, from left, Nancy and Stanley Engle.

Pledge Will Provide Advocate for Brain Tumor Patients

Spurred on by first-hand experience, Stanley and Nancy Engle recently made a generous commitment to help ease the difficulties facing brain tumor patients. The couple announced a $400,000 gift for a joint initiative of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine known as the UM Brain Tumor Initiative.

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Noriyuki Kasahara, M.D., Ph.D.

Ingenious Brain Tumor Therapy Found Safe and Effective in Early Trial

A Phase I dose-escalation trial, conducted at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and multiple sites nationwide, has shown that a new gene therapy treatment for high-grade gliomas — the most aggressive brain tumors — is safe and improves patient survival. Having passed this milestone, the treatment will move on to more advanced trials.

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Miller School of Medicine, Schoninger Research Quadrangle

Miller School of Medicine Has Record-Breaking Fundraising Year

Continuing an upward trend, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reached a record-breaking fundraising total for the fiscal year 2016. According to standards set by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Miller School raised an unprecedented $159.8 million for the fiscal year, which ended May 31.

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Nicole Wilson

Neuroscience Ph.D. Candidate Nicole M. Wilson Wins Women in Neurotrauma Research Award

Nicole M. Wilson, a neuroscience Ph.D. candidate, won the Women in Neurotrauma Research (WiNTR) Award after competing in the trainee poster competition at the 2016 National Neurotrauma Society Symposium. The WiNTR award is given annually to recognize the top poster presentation by a woman. The trainee poster competition consisted of the top 22 (out of 377) graduate students and post-doctoral associates.

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From left, Coleen M. Atkins, Ph.D., with W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.

Novel Drug Shows Potential for Aiding Memory and Learning after Traumatic Brain Injury

Treating rats with an experimental drug at three months following a traumatic brain injury improves their memory and learning ability, as reported in a new study published in the The Journal of Neuroscience. The drug is currently under development, and is being tested as a potential therapy for TBI by researchers at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

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Christine Thomas, Ph.D.

Dr. Christine Thomas Delivers Commencement Speech to Her Alma Mater

Christine Thomas, Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, has been researching neuromuscular weakness, fatigue, spasms and regeneration at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for 26 years. She was recently recognized for her research contributions by her alma mater, the University of Otago in New Zealand, where she gave the commencement speech.

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Neurological surgeons from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Neurological Surgery give the “U” after winning the J. Lawrence Pool Neurosurgery Softball Tournament in New York City's Central Park.

Surgeons Take to the Field to Raise Research Funds

Neurological surgeons at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center traded in their scrubs for softball gear to raise money for pediatric brain tumor research, raising more than $100,000 at the J. Lawrence Pool Neurosurgery Softball Tournament held in Central Park in New York City on June 11.

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W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.

Miami Project Researchers Receive $1.6 Million Grant to Study Brain Temperature Effect on Concussion

W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., Scientific Director of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and Senior Associate Dean for Discovery Science, and colleagues have received a $1.6 million National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke award to study the importance of brain temperature on mild traumatic brain injury or concussion.

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Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D.

UM Neurologists and Neurointerventionalists Revolutionize Standard of Care for Acute Ischemic Stroke

When treating a patient experiencing an acute ischemic stroke, time is the enemy. The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology has one of the largest stroke centers in the country, and its physicians, part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, were among the first to introduce a rapid new procedure known as mechanical thrombectomy in South Florida.

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Standing, from left, Barth Green, M.D., Damien D. Pearse, Ph.D., and W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D. Seated, Jocelyn H.K. Watkins.

Dr. Damien D. Pearse Receives the John M. and Jocelyn H.K. Watkins Distinguished Chair

Damien D. Pearse, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, has been installed as the John M. and Jocelyn H.K. Watkins Distinguished Chair in Cell Therapies. Pearse’s research focuses on the investigation of novel strategies to protect and repair the injured spinal cord.

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Kevin Park, Ph.D.

Researchers Find Transcription Factor Promotes Axon Regrowth in Central Nervous System Injuries

Researchers at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have found that a classical transcription factor known as STAT3 locates to different cellular regions and promotes axon regeneration in an injured adult central nervous system. Data developed by Kevin Park, Ph.D., and fellow investigators provide mechanistic insights into the mode of actions of STAT3 in the mature central ne

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From left, Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D., Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., UM President Julio Frenk, Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, and W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.

Miller School Faculty Members Receive Scholarly Activity and Funding Awards

Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Otolaryngology, who has identified new genes for different forms of hearing loss, is one of three winners of the 2016 Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity.

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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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Save the Date: Miami Brain Fair, March 12

Save the date for the Miami Brain Fair, March 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the BankUnited Center Fieldhouse. The Brain Fair is a community education event designed to teach adults and children how the brain works and about the neuroscience research at the University of Miami.

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Martin Oudega, Ph.D., left, with Monica A. Perez, P.T., Ph.D.

Miami Project Researchers Receive $1.1 Million Grant to Study Neuroplasticity

Martin Oudega, Ph.D., and Monica A. Perez, P.T., Ph.D., both associate professors of neurological surgery and researchers at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, have received a $1.1 million Veterans Administration grant to study neuroplasticity.

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Brian Noga, Ph.D.

Miami Project Researchers Receive $2.2 Million DOD Grant to Study Movement Disorders

Brian Noga, Ph.D., research associate professor of neurological surgery, and a team of researchers at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis have received a $2.2 million Department of Defense Translational Research Award for their upcoming study, “Gait Ignition Using Deep Brain Stimulation Following Spinal Cord Injury.”

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