Photograph by Jeffery Salter
Dear Alumni, Colleagues, and Friends of the Miller School Family,
Following a tumultuous summer punctuated by another surge in COVID-19 cases, the recent increase in vaccination rates in the U.S. fuels our optimism that we may return to a semblance of normalcy sooner rather than later. We recognize, however, that the global pandemic will not subside until close to 70% of the world’s population is fully vaccinated. UHealth and the Miller School of Medicine remain at the forefront of the struggle to combat COVID-19 through the development of rapid diagnostic tests, novel therapeutic modalities and impeccable patient care that has resulted in the lowest mortality rate for COVID-19 in the state.
One of the overarching priorities of the Miller School is to champion fundamental discoveries that can ultimately be translated into clinical interventions to improve the health of humanity. This issue of University of Miami Medicine highlights the success of our researchers in translating their discoveries into clinical interventions by turning their intellectual property into commercial companies. The lead article chronicles the journey from ideation to commercialization.
Another article describes how our Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has become a leader in bringing diversity to clinical trials. Our geographic location gives us a unique perspective on the challenge of health equity — and what we are doing about it.
You will also discover how UHealth and Miller School personnel played a pivotal role in the rescue efforts following the tragic Surfside building collapse in June. Our Emergency Preparedness and Firefighter Cancer Initiative teams responded immediately to try to rescue victims and protect our first responders and firefighters from potentially toxic exposure.
On the education front, we welcomed the second cohort of NextGenMD students. These exceptional students boast the highest average GPA and MCAT scores in the history of the Miller School. Although the surge in COVID-19 cases precluded parents from attending the John G. Clarkson White Coat and Pinning Ceremony in person, they nevertheless witnessed the magic of this momentous occasion virtually. We have made great progress in moving toward construction of the new Miller Center for Medical Education and a new cancer research building.
Let me also take this opportunity to remind you about our Ever Brighter capital campaign. Through philanthropic support we will continue to build on the exciting things that are happening and ultimately usher the Miller School of Medicine into the pantheon of great research medical schools.
Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A.
DEAN & CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER
University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine