Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center


Joyce M. Slingerland, M.D., Ph.D.

Stopping VEGF, a Cancer Super-Villain


For years, a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been known for its ability to generate new blood vessels. As tumors grow, and need more oxygen and nutrients, they secrete VEGF to increase their blood supply. That was a radical discovery 20 years ago, and some believed it would create many therapeutic opportunities against cancer.

Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

Using Epigenetics to Fight Blood Cancers


Researchers are trying to figure out why changes in the interactions of proteins can cause cancer. Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, was co-senior author on a paper, published in the journal PNAS, that describes how the protein DPF2 regulates blood production. High levels of DPF2 are seen in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

J. William Harbour, M.D.

Sylvester Associate Director Receives $2.5 Million Grant for Predictive Testing of Ocular Melanoma


J. William Harbour, M.D., associate director for basic research at Sylvester, and the Mark J. Daily Chair and vice chairman for translational research at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to study predictive testing of ocular (or uveal) melanoma, one of the deadliest types of cancer.

From left, medical student Owen Tan with Nagi G. Ayad, Ph.D.

Student Researcher Owen Tan Named 2017 St. Baldrick’s Summer Fellow


To support his research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Owen Tan, a student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been awarded a $5,000 summer fellowship grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The Miller School is one of only 21 institutions in the U.S. — and the only one in Florida — to receive a grant. Tan plans to use his to support his research into pediatric brain tumors.

Fluorescence microscopy of islets in the omentum transplanted within the biologic scaffold. Shown in red (insulin staining) and blue (DAPI nuclear staining).

Research Findings Show Tissue-Engineered Islet Transplant Achieves Insulin Independence


Scientists from the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have produced the first clinical results demonstrating that pancreatic islet cells transplanted within a tissue-engineered platform can successfully engraft and achieve insulin independence in type 1 diabetes. The findings were published in the May 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.