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2019 News Releases

Research and Faculty Highlights

HEALing Initiative Project to Develop Opioid Use Disorder Prevention Strategies for At-Risk Adolescents as They Transition into Adulthood 

The Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative is a National Institutes of Health research effort that is focused on improving prevention and treatment for opioid misuse and addiction, as well as for enhancing pain management. One of its programs, called “Preventing At-Risk Adolescents Transitioning into Adulthood from Developing Opioid Use Disorder”, is supporting a myriad of studies that will develop and test effective strategies to prevent opioid misuse and opioid use disorder among at-risk adolescents.  

December 11, 2019
Researchers Investigate the Epidemiology and Etiology of Leukemia and Lymphoma 

Leukemia and lymphoma occur in humans sporadically, but the specific cause of the diseases remain elusive. To help direct prevention measures, Ms. Jordan Baeker Bispo, a Ph.D. in epidemiology candidate, Paulo Pinheiro, Ph.D., M.D., and Erin K. Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., researchers at the Miller School of Medicine, co-authored a paper published in the Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine that analyzed the etiology and epidemiology of the diseases. 

December 11, 2019 
‘Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness Study’ Reveals Key Characteristics Comparable with NHANES for Future Policy Decision in Diabetes Management

‘Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness Study’, also known as GRADE, is a multicenter, parallel-group clinical trial that is designed to compare the major drug classes that are currently used to treat type 2 diabetes. GRADE, which began in 2013, aims to provide better guidance to practitioners in the choice of medications when combined with metformin, the primary medication used to treat the condition. 

December 11, 2019 
Allergenic and Irritating Environmental Exposures Affect Tear Levels in Individuals with Dry Eye, Study Finds

Dry eye – a condition in which a person does not have enough quality tears to nourish and lubricate the eye – affects more than 16 million Americans and up to 30 percent of people worldwide who are over 50 years of age. A study, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, evaluated which factors were associated with high total tear immunoglobin levels, focusing on environmental conditions and exposures associated with allergy.

December 11, 2019
The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Announces New Ancillary Eye Study

Investigators from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), recently announced SOL Ojos – a new 9.7 million dollar National Eye Institute (NEI)-funded ancillary project, that that will assess the prevalence of chronic eye disease and its associations with risk factors across participants of diverse Hispanic/Latino backgrounds. 

December 10, 2019
David J. Lee and Dr. Nicole L. Marrone Approved for a $250,000 PCORI Engagement Award for Project on Building Research Capacity on Hearing Loss Interventions in Hispanic/Latinx Communities

A team at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the University of Arizona has been approved for a $250,000 funding award through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards programs, an initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The funds will support a project on building research capacity on hearing loss interventions in Hispanic/Latinx communities.

November 5, 2019
The Florida Education Fund Awards Dr. Guillermo "Willy" Prado with Presidential Award

The Florida Education Fund (FEF), an organization that provides an avenue to ensure that educational advancement is possible for minorities, honored Guillermo "Willy" Prado, Ph.D., dean of the University of Miami Graduate School and professor of public health at the Miller School of Medicine, with a presidential award at their annual conference this year.

November 5, 2019
Office-Based Addiction Program is Treating Opioid Use Disorders in UHealth Primary Care Clinics

UHealth — the University of Miami Health System — is one of six health systems in the United States to house an office-based addiction treatment (OBAT) program in its primary care clinics. At the clinics, opiate use disorder is managed in the same way other chronic health conditions are – with confidentiality, medication-assisted treatment, and counseling. Patients also receive help with linkage to other providers, health and social service resources.

November 5, 2019
Dr. Roderick King Named Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement for the Miller School of Medicine

Roderick K. King, M.D., M.P.H., assistant dean of public health education and director of the M.D./M.P.H. program, was appointed as senior associate dean for diversity, inclusion and community engagement, where he will introduce innovative strategic initiatives to advance the diversity and inclusion programs and goals at the Miller School of Medicine.

November 5, 2019
Public Health Researchers Present at the 19th Annual National Hispanic Science Network International Conference

The National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN), in partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has made significant advances in the field of drug abuse research. Each year, NHSN hosts an annual conference to introduce new topics within the field, while building the necessary network and mentoring opportunities for members. This year, NHSN hosted its 19th annual international conference in Louisiana State University's Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

November 5, 2019
Study Finds that Urbanization Creates Diverse Aquatic Habitats for Immature Mosquitoes

According to a study published in Scientific Reports, global increases in temperatures and urbanization are impacting the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases. Urbanization processes, for instance, create ideal habitats for vector mosquitoes, as there are a reduced number of predators and a large number of human hosts.

November 5, 2019
Breastfeeding Mothers Use Online Forum to Solicit and Provide Information From Each Other, Study Finds

A study recently found that women are using an online support group where they are seeking logistical information on how to successfully breastfeed, as well as sharing their own knowledge and experience. Babycenter.com – a parenting website with widespread users – hosts a breastfeeding support and help community with over 140,000 users and more than one million conversation threads.

November 5, 2019
Dr. Mariano Kanamori to Develop a HIV Protection, Diagnoses and Treatment Pharmacy and Parks Network for Latinos

The University of Miami Developmental HIV/AIDS Mental Health Research Center, an AIDS Research Center program that is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, recently received awards to support various projects. Mariano Kanamori, Ph.D., professor of public health at the Department of Public Health Sciences, will serve as project investigator for one those projects, which will use a pharmacy and parks network to increase awareness and utilization of HIV protection, diagnosis, and treatment services by three distinct Latino subgroups in Miami-Dade County. 

October 2, 2019
Public Health’s Dr. Adam Carrico to begin a National Institute on Drug Abuse-Funded Project on a mHealth Intervention

The project will determine the efficacy of Supporting Treatment Adherence for Resilience and Thriving (START), a six-month mHealth intervention for men who have sex with men who are HIV positive and use stimulants. START will integrate two theoretically grounded, evidence-based interventions, in order to optimize the effectiveness of treatment as prevention.

October 2, 2019
Study Finds Association Between C-reactive Protein and Radiotherapy-Related Pain in Breast Cancer Patients

Adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) has significantly reduced recurrences of breast cancer, but it does have adverse responses that negatively affect the overall quality of life of patients. To help guide the decision of RT, as well as with the development of targeted interventions to improve the quality of life patients, a pilot study, published in Breast Cancer Research, examined the C-reactive Protein and its association with pain before and after RT.

October 2, 2019
Public Health Researchers to Study Neighborhood Greenness and Cancer Risk in Medicare Beneficiaries in Miami-Dade County

Scott Brown, Ph.D., research associate professor of public health, and Jose Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor of public health, will investigate the relationship of block-level greenness to cancer diagnosis, including for breast, colorectal, endometrial, lung, and prostate cancers, in a project sponsored by the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

October 2, 2019 
Public Health Researchers to Launch a Trauma-Informed and Responsive Care Initiative

Roderick King, M.D., MPH, and Joseph West, Sc.D., two researchers from the Miller School's Department of Public Health Sciences, were recently awarded a two-year grant from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to address gaps in health equity, responsive care needs related to trauma, and adaptive lifestyle behaviors in young men.

October 2, 2019 
Dr. J. Sunil Rao to Begin a National Science Foundation Project on Subject-level Prediction and Application

The goal of the project is to make methodological advances to the classified mixed model prediction method (CMMP). CMMP is the first to lay out the framework to determine predictions using precision medicine. For example, the method can look for matches in an electronic health record that might provide clues about potential drugs for patients who have not responded to standard therapies.

October 2, 2019
Dr. Taghrid Asfar Awarded for Best Poster at the 19th Annual Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Conference

The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Europe (SRNT-E), the first formal chapter of SRNT, hosted the 19th Annual Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Conference in Oslo, Norway this year. Taghrid Asfar, M.D., MSPH, assistant professor at the Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences, presented findings on five research projects at the annual meeting, including one that was distinguished as one of the best posters.

October 2, 2019
Researchers Find Low Colorectal Cancer Survival in Nevada

People that are diagnosed with colorectal cancer – the third greatest cancer burden in the United States – have the lowest survival rates in Nevada when compared to those diagnosed in other Western states, according to a study published in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal.

October 2, 2019
Public Health Researchers to Participate in the HEALing Communities Study

Kathryn McCollister, Ph.D., director of the Division of Health Service and Policy, and Daniel Feaster, Ph.D., associate professor of public health sciences, will participate in the HEALing Communities Study, one of the four areas within the Helping End Addiction Long-term (HEAL), an initiative taking place to halt the national opioid public health crisis.

September 10, 2019
Dr. Guillermo "Willy" Prado Presents at the First Career Development Meeting held by the Collaborative Research on Addiction at the National Institutes of Health

Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., dean of the University of Miami Graduate School and professor of public health at the Miller School of Medicine, was selected to be one of four professors to speak at a career development meeting. The meeting was held by the Collaborative Research on Addiction at the National Institute of Health (NIH).

September 10, 2019
Dr. Seth Schwartz to Serve as Co-Principal Investigator on a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Project on Puerto Rican Hurricane Maria Survivors in Florida

Seth Schwartz, Ph.D., professor of public health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, will conduct a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)-funded study that will investigate the effects of stress and trauma on families and their adolescent children after Hurricane Maria, such as alcohol misuse and mental health conditions, like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. Dr. Schwartz and his research team will also examine the effects of unplanned relocation, and of culturally related stress on youth and their parents. 

August 28, 2019
Liver Cancer is the Leading Cause of Cancer Death Among Mexican American Males in the United States, Researchers Find

A study published in JHEP Reports, a brand new hepatology journal sponsored by the prestigious European Association of Liver Disease, found that liver cancer is a major cause of death among all U.S. male groups and that it is also the leading cause of cancer death in Mexican American men. The terminology “Mexican American” refers to US-born Mexicans, as opposed to foreign-born Mexicans, regardless of actual nationality.

August 27, 2019
National Institute of Health Selects Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez as an LRP Awardee

The National Institute of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) selected Alberto Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of public health and deputy director of the Firefighter Cancer Initiative, as one of this year’s eight awardees. Each year, the NIH awards eight extramural LRP awards for researchers who are not employed by the NIH and three intramural awards for researchers who are.  

August 19, 2019
Tire Shops in Miami-Dade County Produce Vector Mosquitoes, Researchers Find

A study published in Plos One found that tire shops in Miami-Dade County are highly favorable breeding environments for the production of vector mosquitoes. This study used a cross-sectional design to survey the production of vector mosquitoes in 12 tire shops, where mosquitoes were found in all but one of the shops. Researchers collected 1,110 mosquitoes at the sites.

August 14, 2019
Hispanics in South Florida Have Higher Mortality Rates for Most Cancers Than Their National Counterparts

Hispanics in South Florida – mostly driven by Cubans – have higher cancer death rates than their national counterparts, according to a study published in Preventing Chronic Disease, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal. Given the results of this study, surveillance, minority participation in clinical trials and community-based, culturally-specific cancer prevention and control efforts are needed.

August 14, 2019
Researchers Find Association Between Extra Weight in 60s and Brain Thinning

According to a study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, having a high body mass index (BMI) and a bigger waistline in your 60s may be associated with brain thinning in later life. Brain thinning affects the cortex, which is the area in the brain that determines intelligence, personality, motor function, the process of sensation, as well as language processing.

August 6, 2019
Dr. Adam Carrico Presents at the 10th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science

Adam Carrico, Ph.D., associate professor of public health sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was a lead author on a five-year study that found that a counseling intervention reduced the HIV viral load in men who have sex with men and use methamphetamine. The intervention also reduced their substance use and improved their mood. 

August 5, 2019
Dr. Naresh Kumar Awarded Grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Naresh Kumar, Ph.D., will be the principal investigator on a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-funded project that will assess levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) – chemicals that can cause cancer and can have negative effects on the immune, nervous, and endocrine system –  in the Guanica Bay in Puerto Rico. Dr. Kumar will collect and examine PCB samples, including air, fish, seafood, and sediment, conduct a comprehensive survey to assess Hurricane Maria's post-impact on community infrastructure and the community's reliance on the bay for seafood and fish.

July 31, 2019
Waterpipe Smoking Is Increasing Globally, but Health Warning Labels Reduces Satisfaction in Users, Researchers Find

Taghrid Asfar, M.D., MSPH, research assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, and Wasim Maziak, MD, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Florida International University, initiated a five-year project funded by the National Institute of Health and the Fogarty International Center in 2017. The goal of the project is to develop and test waterpipe-specific health-warning labels in Tunisia and Lebanon, two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and equip them with the means to implement them successfully.

July 30, 2019
Dr. Hermes Florez Presents at the American Diabetes Association’s 79th Scientific Session

Hermes Florez, MD, Ph.D., MPH, professor of public health sciences at the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, gave various presentations at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 79th Scientific Session, where there were over 15,000 attendees from 115 different countries. One of the presentations was on a study that examined if metformin was associated with lower mortality rates in frail older Veterans.

July 23, 2019
Syringe Service Program Increases Proper Syringe Disposal in Miami-Dade County

A study published online in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal found that the IDEA (Infectious Disease Elimination Act) Exchange, a syringe service program in Miami-Dade County, improved proper syringe disposal in the community. The study was co-authored by students and researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, RTI International, Columbia University, and the Florida Department of Health. 

July 19, 2019
Miami-Dade County is Most Vulnerable to Mosquito-Spreading Viruses, Researchers Find

According to a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, the community composition and year-round abundance of vector species of mosquitoes in Miami-Dade make the county one of the most vulnerable for arbovirus transmission, which are viruses that can be transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or arthropods. The study was co-authored by researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences and Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control Division. 

July 16, 2019
Public Health Professor Receives Grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

Dr. Seth Schwartz, professor of public health sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, is currently a co-principal investigator on a project funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD). The project focuses on developing a self-report measure to capture the effects of acculturation-related stress on Hispanic youth. The measure will provide a tool that can be used for evaluating prevention programs.

July 9, 2019
Researchers Find Relationship Between Neighborhood Greenness and Depression

“Neighbourhood greenness and depression among older adults,” a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, found that higher levels of greenness, or vegetative presence such as tree canopy, were associated with lower odds of depression.

July 9, 2019
Dr. Viviana Horigian Receives Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to Launch an Opioid Treatment Program

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only 15.3 percent of people with opioid-use disorder sought medication-assisted treatment in 2018. While the treatment has been the most effective for treating the disorder, primary care clinics, for instance, did not offer it – health system leaders and clinicians were hesitant about treating OUDs in primary care settings. Now, thanks to an implementation grant supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are six health systems throughout the United States that do, including the University of Miami Health System (UHealth).

July 2, 2019
Miller School Public Health Researchers to Participate in the HEALing Communities Study

Kathryn McCollister, Ph.D., director of the Division of Health Service and Policy, and Daniel Feaster, Ph.D., associate professor of public health sciences, will participate in the HEALing Communities Study, one of the four areas within the Helping End Addiction Long-term (HEAL), an initiative taking place to halt the national opioid public health crisis.

July 1, 2019
Public Health Researchers Begin a Collaboration between the University of Miami and Universidad Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil

John Beier, Sc.D., professor of public health, and Andre B. B. Wilke, Ph.D., a post-doctorate associate, both from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador to begin a collaboration between the University of Miami and the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil (UCSG), a private, Catholic, higher education center.

June 28, 2019
Dr. Mariano Kanamori Selected as a Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar 

The HDRI, hosted by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), will take place on August 12 to 16, 2019 in Bethesda, Md. The goal of the HDRI is to support the career development of promising minority health and health disparities research scientists, as well as to stimulate research in the disciplines supported by health disparities science.

 June 27, 2019
Dr. Guillermo “Willy” Prado Named President of the Society for Prevention Research

Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., dean of the University of Miami graduate school and professor of public health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was announced president of the Society of Preventative Research (SPR) – an organization that he has been a member of for 17 years.

 June 12, 2019
Public Health Experts Working with MedGlobal, Inc.

Hermes Florez, MD, Ph.D., MPH,  professor of public health sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Denisse Pareja, Ph.D., research assistant for Dr. Florez and a graduate from the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences, are working on a partnership with MedGlobal, Inc., a medical nonprofit based in Chicago that works to provide health care for vulnerable populations.

June 12, 2019
Department of Public Health Sciences Host the Third Climate and Health Symposium

The Miller School's Department of Public Health Sciences, in collaboration with the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS), hosted the Third Climate and Health Symposium on Saturday, May 11 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Scientists, researchers, managers, and policymakers came together to discuss the direct and indirect effects of climate on health.

May 29, 2019
Study Shows Association Between Neighborhood Greenness and Heart Disease

Public Health researchers find that neighborhood greenness may be associated with reducing four specific types of heart disease.

March 5, 2019
Public health researchers find an association between fluctuating incomes and heart disease

According to a study published in Circulation, income volatility, a sudden and unpredictable change in income, has a strong association with cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, proposing new clinical implications for individuals experiencing the disease.

January 10, 2019