June Department Highlights

UF’s Neonatology Division Welcomes Catalina Bazacliu, M.D.

Catalina Bazacliu, M.D., joined us from the Medical College of Georgia where she was an Assistant Professor since 2011.

She attended  medical school at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania, then completed a neonatal residency in Bucharest.

She then moved to New York where she  completed a pediatric residency at St. Barnabas Hospital and also served as a Chief Resident.

Dr. Bazacliu completed her training in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the University of Buffalo.

During fellowship, she performed research in fetal programming of cardiovascular disease. She is currently exploring the new TRACTS Program offered by the CTSI.

Michael Haller, M.D., Awarded The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant

Michael Haller, M.D.
Michael Haller, M.D.

Dr. Haller was awarded a $2,142,910 grant from the The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust for his proposal titled, “Phase II Clinical Trial in New Onset Type I Diabetes Patients.”

The Helmsley real estate empire began in the 1930s. Harry and Leona Helmsley left a tremendous philanthropic legacy during their lifetimes, donating millions of dollars to a wide range of causes, focusing primarily on health-related institutions and efforts.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust began active awarding grants in 2008 after the passing of Leona Helmsley in 2007. She left nearly all of the Helmsleys’ estate to the Trust, giving its trustees the responsibility to decide which charitable purposes to support

Learn more about Dr. Haller

Pediatric Pulmonary division Participates in International Conference

Ellen Bowser, RN, RD, LD, and Angela Miney in UF’s pediatric pulmonary division have been selected to present at the 6th International Conference on Patient- and Family-Centered Care: Partnerships for Safety and Quality in August.

They will present: ”The Family Partner – A Person for All Seasons,” highlighting best practices in patient- and family-centered care. It is indeed an honor to have been selected to be a presenter from the nearly 400 abstracts submitted.

33 Oral and Poster Presentations at ASGCT Annual Meeting by Powell Gene Therapy Center

The University of Florida’s Powell Gene Therapy Center had a great showing at the 17th Annual American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy  Meeting. The group conducted 33 oral and poster presentations at the meeting at the end of May.

Read summary of the sessions.

UF Pediatric Researchers Testing Gene Therapy to Thwart Effects of Multiple Sclerosis

In patients with multiple sclerosis, the body turns on itself, launching an immune system attack that destroys the coating around nerve fibers in the central nervous system, leaving them exposed like bare wires. Similar to exposed electrical lines, the unprotected fibers touch and short out, leading to the neurodegenerative effects that are a hallmark of multiple sclerosis.

But what if doctors could stop the immune response that destroys the protective coating before the disease becomes debilitating?

Read the full article by April Frawley.

Florida Neonatal Neurological Network holds 1st “Cool Kids Reunion”

Patient family at the reunion (Dalton Cox)
Patient family at the reunion (Dalton Cox)

The Florida Neonatal Neurological Network held its first “Cool Kids Reunion” on Saturday, June 8, for children treated in the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Approximately 150-200 people attended the north pole-themed event, which reunited children with their doctors and staff.

Albert socializes with event attendees
Albert socializes with event attendees

The  former patients were diagnosed with Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), a non-specific term for brain dysfunction caused by lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. They were treated in the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital NICU using a cooling treatment. This process involves cooling their bodies for a period of 72 hours and then slowly re-warming to normal temperature to prevent further brain damage.

The Florida Neonatal Neurological Network’s (FN3) mission is to provide state-of-the-art care for newborn babies with brain injuries and to collect research and develop future therapies to improve long-term outcomes.