Miller School Launches First-of-Its Kind Genomic Medicine Master’s Program

August 21, 2012

First-year medical students at the Miller School now have the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Genomic Medicine along with their medical degree, a program unique to the University of Miami.

“This is the first program of its kind in the country,” said William K. Scott, Ph.D., vice chair of education in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics. Scott will direct the program, which will be coordinated by Kayla Czape, M.S., C.G.C., a genetic counselor.

UM Researchers Identify Gene That May Help Protect Human Nerve Cells After Injury

July 7, 2012

Researchers from the Miller School of Medicine collaborated with an international team to identify a gene that could be suppressed to protect a person’s nerve cells after injury. Published online on June 7 in Science, their study, “dSarm/Sarm1 Is Required for Activation of an Injury-Induced Axon Death Pathway,” presents the first gene required for the active self-destruction of nerves following injury.

Miller School Awarded $4M to Expand School Clinics and Create National Model

July 2, 2012

The Miller School, in partnership with a handful of diverse and novel collaborators, has received a highly competitive $4 million federal Health Care Innovation Award to expand the services that 12,000 Miami-Dade County public school students receive through their school-based clinics – and save Medicaid far more than the grant investment.

One of only 107 awarded nationwide by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ new Center for Innovation, the three-year grant will sustain the primary care program and add dental and mental health services to those already offered at nine school clinics originally funded by the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation and staffed by the Miller School in four elementaries, two middle schools and three high schools in North Miami, North Miami Beach and Overtown. The grant program also will extend services to the students’ families.

UM Receives Grant to Provide Free Oral Care to Miami-Dade County Students

March 20, 2012

School-aged children will soon be sporting bright, toothy grins thanks to a generous grant that will help provide free oral health care services to elementary, middle and high school students in Miami-Dade County.

The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation School Health Initiative, a signature program of the Miller School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, has received a $129,000 grant from the Health Foundation of South Florida to provide free preventive oral health services, including fluoride varnishes and dental sealants, to students of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Macdonald Foundation Gift Creates Collaborative Institute in Biomedical Nanotechnology

March 7, 2012

Propelled by a transformative gift from a longtime contributor, the University of Miami announced on March 27 the creation of the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute, a collaboration of key scientific disciplines that will harness the field of nanotechnology for clinical applications.

The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation, a steadfast champion of varied initiatives at the Miller School, has expanded its remarkable support of the University with a Momentum2 leadership gift of $7.5 million to name the collaborative Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute at the University of Miami (BioNIUM).

School Health Initiative Receives Federal Grant for Expansion

July 27, 2011

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has received a $454,500 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation School Health Initiative. The funding is part of last year’s federal health care overhaul to build new school clinics and expand health care into areas with high numbers of uninsured families.

The one-time grant for capital improvements will be used to expand telehealth capabilities at the schools involved in the initiative and to develop electronic medical records for participating students. Consisting of high-definition video conferencing systems and two-way monitors, telehealth equipment allows physicians to quickly and conveniently diagnose students from afar, saving time and money and reducing absences from school.

Miller School and Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Bring Telehealth to Miami-Dade Schools

May 5, 2011

Late Tuesday afternoon, when Anne Burdick, M.D., M.P.H, examined the right foot of a kindergartener with a history of eczema, she could clearly see the girl’s skin was dry and leathery from constant scratching.

While the exam was nothing out of the ordinary for the professor of dermatology, the video-conferencing mode by which Burdick conducted it was – as it ushered in a new era of convenient, cost-reducing, health-promoting telehealth in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation School Health Initiative Celebrates Overtown History

April 11, 2011

Amid the great music and tasty food available at the first Overtown Rhythm & Arts Festival on Saturday, festival goers learned about the free primary and preventive care services that the Miller School’s Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation School Health Initiative offers to all students at nearby Booker T. Washington High School, and seven other area schools.

“Some parents at Booker T. were not aware we offer these services, so it was a great opportunity to spread the word,’’ said M. Denise Simmons, the health initiative’s program manager who manned an info booth at the festival celebrating Overtown’s rich history. “They were very excited to learn about them.’’

UM Researchers Identify New Gene Causing Blindness

February 8, 2011

Work was collaborative effort of several departments at the University of Miami

Researchers led by geneticists at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have identified a new gene that causes retinitis pigmentosa, a form of blindness, ending one South Florida family’s nearly 20-year search for what caused three of their four children to lose their sight.

The Lidsky children, who are now in their 30s, began to lose their sight in their teens. Their parents, Betti and Carlos, had the family’s DNA tested for more than 50 retinitis pigmentosa (RP) genes. No one found the link until they began working with UM researchers in late 2009. By the summer of 2010, researchers had found the cause of their retinitis pigmentosa using exome sequencing and confirmed it with zebrafish studies.