Miller School Alumni Awarded for Their Excellence
Two University of Miami Miller School of Medicine alumni were honored recently for their contributions to medicine.
Jerry Nadler, M.D. ’78, an expert in the pathogenesis of diabetes, and Maria Abreu, B.S. ’87, M.D. ’90, nationally renowned for her inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research, were both recognized at the Miller School’s Medical Alumni Association (MAA) award ceremony held in April.
“The Hall of Fame Award is the highest honor bestowed by the MAA,” said Alex J. Mechaber, M.D. ’94, president of the MAA. “We are so proud of these distinguished alumni.”
The Hall of Fame honor is presented to alumni who have achieved national or international recognition for their positive impact on the medical profession. With their selections, Dr. Nadler and Dr. Abreu became the 29th and 30th alumni to hold the honor.
“These two incredible physicians epitomize the vibrant and thriving culture of excellence at the Miller School,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School.
Dr. Jerry Nadler
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Dr. Nadler is associate chief of staff for research and development at the VA Northern California Health System, and he served as dean at the New York Medical College School of Medicine, where he retains his professorship and continues his research.
Dr. Nadler served on the special advisory committee for type 1 diabetes with the director of the National Institutes of Health; was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation; and was honored by the Mastership American College of Physicians for his leadership in internal medicine. He has guided the next generation by mentoring fellows and junior faculty.
His most significant work has been to understand complications of diabetes and obesity, concentrating on the inflammatory pathways leading to pancreatic beta cell damage, insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. His work has produced 16 patents, including one that is now in clinical development for possible future use in type 1 diabetes prevention and treatment.
Dr. Nadler credits his success to his Miller School education.
“My experience at the Miller School prepared me well for my career in academic research, and reinforced the importance of becoming a mentor and leader,” said Dr. Nadler.
Dr. Maria Abreu
After faculty appointments at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Abreu returned to Miami to become the first woman to serve as chief of gastroenterology at UM. She is the director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at the Miller School, where she also serves as vice chair for research and professor in the Department of Medicine and the diabetes Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
“The Miller School helped me discover how much I love gastroenterology and gave me the tools I needed to build a successful career,” said Dr. Abreu. “I am thrilled to be back at my alma mater.”
Dr. Abreu has spent most of her academic career focused on advancing IBD research, with an emphasis on identifying novel therapeutic targets with potential to treat patients with IBD. Thanks to her research among Hispanics, the Miller School has the largest database of Hispanic patients with IBD in the U.S.
She is the incoming president of the American Gastroenterological Association and a recipient of the 2019 Sherman Prize, which recognizes outstanding achievements in IBD. She also received the Mentoring Award from the AGA and the Healio’s Lifetime Disruptor Award for consistently pushing the field of gastroenterology forward.
“The MAA is privileged to induct both of these Miller School alumni into the Hall of Fame,” said Alberto A. Mitrani, M.D. ’84, chair of the Medical Alumni Awards selection committee. “Their outstanding achievements have made the future brighter for patients with diabetes and IBD.”
For more on the MAA, visit https://med.miami.edu/alumni.