UM News
Research associate honored for research on sickle cell disease

Dr. Astrid K. Mack, research associate professor of medicine and associate dean for minority affairs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, accepted the Clay Hamilton Memorial Hope Award for his research on sickle cell disease.

Mack accepted the award on Sept. 29 during the Human Services Coalition (HSC) Blueprint for Prosperity dinner.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award, especially since it is now named in honor and memory of my good friend Clayton Hamilton, who actually submitted my name for this award,” Mack said in his acceptance speech, The Miami Herald reported on Oct. 4. “I learned I would be receiving this honor just a day or two before Clayton’s untimely death, and I accept it in his memory.”

Hamilton was the first president of the Dade County Sickle Cell Foundation, which Mack launched as an outgrowth of UM’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center. Hamilton was also a board member of the HSC, the Miami-based nonprofit organization that aims to create a more just, equitable and caring society.

The Clay Hamilton Memorial Hope Award represents the goals of the HSC, which was founded over a decade ago. Since then the HSC has championed progress in the minority community, which Mack achieved through his groundbreaking work on sickle cell disease and his contributions to Miami’s African-American community. Sickle cell disease, which is characterized by misshapen blood cells, most commonly affects people of African-American descent.

Mack joined the faculty of the Miller School of Medicine to help lead the Sickle Cell Center. Mack has been associate dean for minority affairs since 1988, and he currently directs programs intended to support minority students as they pursue careers in the health sciences.

“Astrid Mack is a valuable asset to the Miller School of Medicine and just as important to the community he calls home,” said Dr. Pascal J. Goldschmidt, senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the medical school, The Herald reported. “His success has been remarkable. Sixty percent of participants in his programs have gone on to receive medical degrees and, overall, about 90 percent have entered health professions and the biomedical sciences.”

Web site ranking ‘tenacious’ women: Shalala has ‘moxie’

LifeMoxie! Enterprises ranked University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala No. 22 on its annual list of 25 women with the most “moxie,” a slang word meaning the ability to face difficulties with spirit and courage.

The Web site describes these women as “unstoppable, tenacious, determined, adventurous and bold.” Shalala was listed along with well-known women including Madonna, Hillary Clinton, J.K. Rowling and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as lesser-known women such as journalist Lisa Ling and environmental activist Laurie David.

“I picked these particular women not because they were the most well-known, but because each one of them demonstrated an extraordinary amount of moxie, often in the face of incredible opposition,” said Ann Tardy, founder and CEO of LifeMoxie! Enterprises, in a press release. “They serve as models to the rest of us and show how to bounce back, say ‘yes’ to opportunities, ask for what they want and walk forward in the face of fear.”

After her career as a lawyer in Silicon Valley, Tardy began the company to provide tools, programs and mentoring geared towards gaining professional skills. Tardy has presented the LifeMoxie! program at prestigious institutions such as NASA and Harvard.

Tardy said she launched the annual award to honor women who demonstrate an abundance of moxie in how they live and work, as well as in the contributions they make to both the local and international community.

To view the complete list of the 25 women with the most moxie, follow the link from this article on


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