Archive for July, 2017

UMBrella Caregivers

UMBrella Caregivers Affinity Group

UMBrella hosts Caregivers, a support group for members of the UMB community who care for elderly loved ones. Open to all faculty, staff, and students, we meet once a month to socialize, learn from each other, share resources and information, and hear from different experts on a wide range of topics.

The program is sponsored by UMBrella and will be facilitated by Reba Cornman, MSW, director, Geriatrics & Gerontology Education and Research Program.

Next Meeting

Monday, Aug. 14
Noon
SMC Campus Center, Room 203

REGISTER NOW

  
Sonya EvansBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, People, University LifeJuly 28, 20170 comments
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Pharmaceutical Sciences Takes Center Stage for University’s CURE Scholars

Local middle school students gain hands-on experience conducting fun-filled science experiments under supervision of faculty at the School of Pharmacy.

Students from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) CURE Scholars Program visited the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy throughout the month of July to gain hands-on experience conducting research in the field of pharmaceutical sciences. The visits were organized by Lisa Jones, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School of Pharmacy, as part of her $1.1 million CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, which supports her ongoing work to develop a new method to study the structure of cell membrane proteins in the cellular environment.

“One of the key components of the CAREER Award is that the awardee not only conducts his or her own research, but also creates an education plan aimed at fostering the development of young researchers,” says Jones. “I was thrilled to have an opportunity to collaborate with the UMB CURE Scholars Program for my education plan, and offer local middle school students a chance to conduct hands-on research in a laboratory setting at the School. I hope their time with us helped them uncover a love of science as well as a desire to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).”

Training the Next Generation of STEM Leaders

Established in 2015, the UMB CURE Scholars Program prepares middle and high school students in Baltimore for competitive, lucrative, and rewarding research and health care careers at UMB and other health institutions in the region. The program is a partnership with three public schools in West Baltimore – Franklin Square Elementary and Middle School, Green Street Academy, and Southwest Baltimore Charter School – that provides career navigation, workforce training, and mentorship to underrepresented scholars at all stages or academic and career development.

More than 20 middle school students participating in the UMB CURE Scholars Programs visited the School of Pharmacy on July 6-7 and July 13-14, where they attended brief lectures and participated in hands-on experiments related to the lecture topics in one of the School’s state-of-the-art laboratories. Topics covered during the lectures included the role of DNA in cancer, the incidence of obesity in the United States, recombinant DNA technology, and protein-based drugs. In the lab, students had an opportunity to extract DNA from strawberries and kiwis, test calories in foods such as marshmallows and popcorn, and express and purify a protein in E. coli.

“Studies have indicated that middle school is the best time to capture students’ interest in STEM,” says Jones. “However, you will be hard-pressed to capture much interest by sitting students at a desk all day. The hands-on experiments that students conducted in our lab not only reinforced lessons from our lectures, but were also fun and gave them opportunities to engage with the material and learn from each other – opportunities that they might not have in a typical middle school science classroom.”

Bringing Lessons Learned Home

Students visiting the School on July 7 also had a chance to participate in a special activity hosted by Sarah Michel, PhD, professor in PSC. Inspired by the water crisis in Flint, Mich., Michel asked students to bring a sample of tap water from their homes to test for metal ions using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) – the same method used by researchers who tested the water in Flint – in the School’s Mass Spectrometry Center. With assistance from a postdoctoral fellow and two summer interns in Michel’s laboratory, the students tested and analyzed the levels of toxic metals such as lead and cadmium, as well as non-toxic metals such as iron, zinc, and copper, in their water samples.

“Most individuals likely assume that drinking water in the U.S. is safe regardless of where one lives,” says Michel. “The Flint water crisis was an eye-opening experience for many of us, but I hope that it can serve as an example to these students of how science can help solve real life problems. The scientists who brought to light the drinking water crisis in Flint used their expertise in analytical chemistry to help uncover the lead contamination in the water and, as a result, the city, state, and country took notice. Scientists helped solve this big problem, and I want to inspire the CURE scholars to pursue science and solve other big problems.”

After speaking with students in the program, it appears that both Jones and Michel’s messages are resonating.

“Before I joined the UMB CURE Scholars Program, I thought science was mostly about reading books,” says Tyler McKinsey, a soon-to-be eighth grader at Green Street Academy. “Now, I understand that there are a lot of opportunities for me in science. I like working with my partners on the different projects and knowing that, if my ideas aren’t working, they will have other ideas that we can test, since we’re all contributing to the same project. I’m also looking forward to becoming a surgeon.”

  
Malissa Carroll Community Service, Education, UMB NewsJuly 28, 20170 comments
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Lexington Street Garage Renovations

Beginning Monday, July 31, the basement, level one, and level two of Lexington Garage will be closed to parkers due to renovations. Spaces reserved for Ronald McDonald parkers will be temporarily moved to level three and clearly marked with wall signage. Spaces for all other Lexington Garage parkers will be available in designated areas above level three.

This renovation project is expected to continue until the end of August. Once these renovations are complete, all affected parkers will be notified. We appreciate your patience during this time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Brian Simmons or Stacy Holmes in the PTS office at 410-706-6603.

  
Dana Rampolla University LifeJuly 28, 20170 comments
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Farewell to UMB 2017 Youthworks Students

This year, UMB hosted more than 50 youth workers that who were placed in administrative, research, clinical care and community development roles across the UMB campus. On Thursday July 27th, the Office for Community Engagement brought all youth workers on the UMB campus together at the School of Pharmacy for an ice cream social to thank them for spending their summer with our faculty, staff, students, and neighbors and to wish them the best in their future endeavors.

  
Brian Sturdivant Community Service, Education, For B'moreJuly 28, 20170 comments
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July-August President’s Message

Check out the July-August issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on the Facilities Master Plan, congratulations on UMB being named a great place to work, a look ahead to Welcome Month and UMB Night at Oriole Park, a story about dental students and faculty offering care at the Special Olympics, results of the Campus Climate Survey, which were discussed at Dr. Perman’s quarterly Q&A, stories about Project SEARCH’s graduation and security guard William Groh celebrating 53 years at UMB, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

  
mmooreBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJuly 28, 20170 comments
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Great College to Work For

UMB Named ‘Great College to Work For’

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has been selected as one of “The Great Colleges to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The results of its national survey, which were released in the magazine’s Academic Workplace supplement that came out July 21, lauded UMB in the categories of collaborative governance, compensation and benefits, and confidence in senior leadership.

The national award is based on information UMB’s Office of Human Resources submitted about the University’s policies and practices and responses from an employee survey administered by a third party.

UMB joins the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as the only institutions in the University System of Maryland recognized as a “Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle. Every accredited college or university in the United States with at least 500 students was invited to participate at no cost. About 45,000 people at 232 institutions responded with 79 colleges and universities being recognized.

“I am proud that The Chronicle shares my opinion that UMB is one of The Great Colleges and Universities to Work For,” said UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD. “On behalf of my leadership team, I am especially humbled that confidence in senior leadership was one of the three categories in which we received exceptional marks.

“We are justly proud of our collaborative governance, with groups like the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and University Student Government Association, and I share this award with their many members. And though our compensation is controlled by the state, we are happy that our generous benefits package also emphasizes work/life balance with flexible scheduling, programs for parents, support for elder caregivers, alternative transportation options, private lactation rooms for new moms, and much more.”

Congratulations to all who make UMB deserving of such recognition!

By Chris Zang

  
Chris Zang Clinical Care, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJuly 25, 20170 comments
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School of Dentistry

Healthy People Needed for a Brain Imaging Study

Are you 35 years or older? No history of chronic pain?

If you answered “yes” to these questions then you may be eligible to participate in our study.

As a volunteer you will participate in three sessions of about two hours.

Each visit will include:

  • An MRI of your brain
  • Performance of a computerized attention task
  • Perceptual testing including thresholds for warm, cool, and pain

If interested, please call (410) 706-4049 or email us at daslab@umaryland.edu.

PI: David A. Seminowicz, PhD
HP-00053524

  
Shana Burrowes Bulletin Board, People, ResearchJuly 25, 20170 comments
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Feng

Research Professor Wins Entrepreneurial Award

In 2007, Hanping Feng, PhD, then a research assistant professor at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, decided to transition from basic research to translational research. “I wanted to do something that had a direct impact on human health,” he says.

A decade later, he hasn’t changed his mind. Now a professor in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD), he is a co-founder of Fzata, Inc., an antibody technology startup company, which in June was named “Best Life Sciences Company” at the Maryland Incubator Company of the Year awards ceremony. Now in its 16th year, the honor is presented annually by a committee of regional leaders and early-stage investors in recognition of promising fledgling technology companies in Maryland.

Feng’s research is focused on the development of novel diagnostics, vaccines, and antibody-based immunotherapies for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). More than 29,000 deaths in the United States are caused annually by antibiotic-resistant C. difficile; globally the infection is considered an urgent public health threat.

“It’s a huge problem particularly in westernized countries,” says Feng. “It develops frequently in hospitals where antibiotics are administered. Patients expose spores and then develop an infection. The problem is that currently there’s no prevention nor good treatment strategy.”

Feng’s team has developed a highly innovative and multi-specific antitoxin antibody that has been shown to be effective in neutralizing both clostridial toxins and blocking the disease. Based on this research, Feng and FZata team is developing two candidate drug products: an intravenous, fully humanized, tetra-specific, antibody product (FZ001) designed to treat ongoing infection and to prevent recurrence, and an oral, probiotic, yeast product (FZ002) that secretes the antitoxin at the site of infection.

Both drug candidates have been evaluated in animal models of human infection and reveal superior efficacy against the infection than competitors.

In 2015, Feng and co-founder Zhiyong Yang, PhD, a former research scientist, formed FZata to fast track drug candidates by creating a viable pathway toward clinical trials, and ultimately commercial production. “There’s a big gap between University bench work and clinical study for biologics,” Feng says. “The process is expensive and the large pharmaceutical companies don’t want to invest at an early stage because it’s risky.”

The early success of Fzata gives Feng hope that his model can be successful. “We’ve been able to get support because it’s innovative, and it’s centered on a major public health issue.”

Since 2011, when he came to UMSOD from Tufts University, Feng’s research has been supported by 14 grants or contracts totaling $15 million. Most recently, FZata received a $5.6 million National Institutes of Health grant to enable development of lead therapeutics against CDI.

  
Scott Hesel Bulletin Board, Contests, People, Research, TechnologyJuly 24, 20170 comments
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moving grooving feature

The Anatomy of a Community Health Fair – Lessons Learned

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

In the early hours of May 31, 2017, a team of faculty and students from the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the School of Pharmacy arrived at Patterson Park in Baltimore to take part in the “Movin’ and Groovin’ for Good Health” health fair organized by the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. Each member of the team had a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff) handy, and by 10 a.m., a long line of individuals waiting to receive a blood pressure assessment and speak with trusted members of the Lamy Center team had formed under the merciless sun.

With the formation of a second line, all visitors had an opportunity to engage in deep conversations with members of the team about the many challenges associated with living with their specific illnesses and the best way to optimize their use of medications. The event did not pass without several lessons learned:

Never Forget That the Challenges of Older Adults Residing in the Community are Very Real

While music, dancing, and a jolly atmosphere saturated the surroundings, many of the older adult participants took time from their day to talk with us about their prescribed medications; recent hospitalizations and diagnoses; falls; challenges of living with hypertension, heart failure, diabetes, overactive bladder, and depression; issues with polypharmacy; and medication adherence – to name a few. They were seeking answers!

Building Strong, Meaningful Relationships with Community Partners Was Never More Fun

After having her blood pressure assessed at our table, the division chief of the Special Populations Unit for the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, posed for a picture and later shared these kind words, “Thank you so much for bringing your pharmacy students to our fitness event yesterday in Patterson Park. What an enthusiastic and knowledgeable group of young people! The weather cooperated and the event was very successful. The participation of [The Peter Lamy Center at the] University of Maryland School of Pharmacy always adds greatly to our senior health education and promotion efforts and is greatly appreciated. I truly find it a pleasure to work with both you [Dr. Mansour] and Dr. Brandt. On behalf of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, the Baltimore City Health Department, and Baltimore’s older adults, thank you again.”

To Have the Greatest Impact on the Health Education of the Community, Attend a Health Fair

Health fairs are a well-received intervention for community health programs, and their success can be traced back to 19th century county and state fairs. One will continue to learn many lessons about the needs of the communities and residents that they serve by attending these events – lessons that cannot be taught in a classroom or auditorium.

  
Daniel Mansour Clinical Care, Community ServiceJuly 24, 20170 comments
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Shark Tank Feature

Shark Tank Competition Celebrates Pharmapreneurial Innovation

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted a Shark Tank-style competition on June 15 to showcase the pharmapreneurial talent of faculty across its Departments of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR), Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS), and Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC). The competition celebrated the School’s recently launched pharmapreneurism initiative, which describes its commitment to supporting and best positioning faculty, staff, and students to achieve their career aspirations and address the nation’s health care, research, policy, and societal needs, and awarded $50,000 to three winning teams – one team from each department – to help support their pioneering projects.

“Pharmapreneurism provides the School of Pharmacy with a mechanism through which we can capitalize on our entrepreneurial spirit to improve pharmaceutical research, practice, and education in the state of Maryland, the nation, and the world,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School. “I was awestruck by the amount of time, thought, and dedication that our faculty members put into their presentations for this Shark Tank-style competition. The innovative thinking demonstrated by our winning teams will undoubtedly drive additional pharmapreneurial endeavors across the School and help position us as the premier entrepreneurial pharmacy school in the nation.”

Access to Information

Wendy Camelo Castillo, MD, MSc, PhD, assistant professor in PHSR; Danya Qato, PharmD, MPH, PhD, assistant professor in PHSR; and Linda Simoni-Wastila, BSPharm, MSPH, PhD, the Parke-Davis Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy and professor in PHSR, were the first to take a bite out of the competition with their proposal for a project that would link two national health and pharmaceutical claims datasets – Medicare and Medicaid – to help researchers better understand the course of pharmaceutical access, health care utilization patterns, and health outcomes among people with disabilities.

Their ultimate goal is to use the data to establish a multidisciplinary, patient-centered research collaborative within PHSR to identify disparities in access to and quality of care in patients with disabilities and design novel approaches to overcome those disparities.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as the winning team for our department in the School’s Shark Tank competition,” says Simoni-Wastila. “Our project truly embraces the spirit of pharmapreneurism and situates us to take the lead in informing policies and programs that support the hypervulnerable population of patients with disabilities. The unique linkage of Medicare and Medicaid datasets on the national scale will allow us to map the tremendous, yet neglected needs of this population and empower us to advocate for unified efforts to bridge the gaps in their care. We will establish the School of Pharmacy as a trailblazer in disabilities research.”

Interactive Learning

Kimberly Claeys, PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor in PPS; Emily Heil, PharmD, BCPS AQ-ID, AAHIVP, assistant professor in PPS; and Neha Sheth Pandit, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, associate professor and vice chair for research and scholarship in PPS, also made a splash during the competition with their proposal to develop novel, engaging training tools for students studying the spectrum of antimicrobial activity and antimicrobial stewardship using an interactive app-based platform.

Antimicrobials include any substance that kills or stops the growth of microorganisms, but causes little or no damage to the host.

In their presentation, the team noted that although digital learning tools are currently in-demand, no such tools specific to the spectrum of antimicrobial activity exist. They suggested that once these tools are developed, they could be used as educational supplements at schools of pharmacy, medicine, and nursing nationwide, with the ultimate goal of increasing student knowledge.

“All of the proposals presented at the Shark Tank competition were phenomenal, so it is truly an honor to be named the winning team for our department,” says Claeys. “With bacteria continuing to develop resistance to even the strongest antibiotics available, antimicrobial stewardship is urgently needed to help guide appropriate antimicrobial use and prescribing in all health care settings. By developing a visual-based, interactive tool to serve students across all health professions who are studying the antimicrobial spectrum, we hope to position the School of Pharmacy as an innovator in the development of app-based learning tools.”

A New Center for Research

Lastly, Angela Wilks, PhD, and Sarah Michel, PhD, professors in PSC, proved they did not have to fish for compliments with their proposal to establish a new research center at the School of Pharmacy focused on metalloprotein (proteins that require a metal ion) and metallotherapeutics research. Aptly named the Metallotherapeutics Research Center (METRC), the center would aim to improve human health and welfare locally, nationally, and internationally by identifying new metalloprotein drug targets, developing new metal therapeutics, and improving current metal-based medications.

Presenting their proposal to the audience, Wilks and Michel noted that, although metalloproteins have been implicated in a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, their function and role in these illnesses remains largely unknown. METRC brings together the expertise of numerous faculty members from PSC to not only develop new metallotherapeutics, but also to train future scientists to meet the needs of industry and government agencies in this critical field.

“Having this opportunity to share an idea that has been on our minds for some time, and to discover that others find it just as exciting as we do was tremendously gratifying,” says Wilks. “Oftentimes, expertise in metalloproteins and metallotherapeutics is siloed in traditional chemistry and biochemistry departments, where there is no access to pharmacologists, toxicologists, and pharmaceutical scientists. By disrupting this discipline-centric approach to academic departments and centers, METRC not only addresses a gap in the area of drug development and regulatory sciences, but will also position the School of Pharmacy as a nationally and internationally recognized leader in research on metals in medicine and the environment.”

Each winning team received $50,000 to help fund its proposed pharmapreneurial project. Other faculty members who participated in the competition included Susan dosReis, BSPharm, PhD, professor in PHSR; Ebere Onukwugha, MS, PhD, associate professor in PHSR; Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, BCPS, FAPhA, professor in PPS; Vijay Ivaturi, MS, PhD, assistant professor in PPS; Joey Mattingly, PharmD, MBA, assistant professor in PPS; Brent Reed, PharmD, BCPS-AQ Cardiology, FAHA, associate professor in PPS; Bruce Yu, PhD, professor in PSC; and James Polli, PhD, the Shangraw/Noxell Endowed Chair in Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics in PSC.

  
Malissa Carroll Education, Research, Technology, UMB NewsJuly 21, 20170 comments
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Orioles Night

UMB Night at the Ballpark

Mark your calendar to join us for the annual UMB Night at the Ballpark! It’s fan appreciation night, too – everyone receives an Orioles knit cap!

Discounted tickets are available in many sections while tickets last and $5 from every ticket will support the UMB CURE Scholars Program.

SEVEN SEATING OPTIONS AVAILABLE!

Terrace Box Outside Bases
Sections 1-17, 55-65: $39*

Lower Reserve Between Bases
Sections 19-53: $39*

Left Field Lower Box
Sections 66-86: $39*

Lower Reserve
Sections 7-17, 55-87: $24*

Eutaw Street Bleachers
Sections 90-98: $24*

Upper Reserve
Sections 306-364: $20*

Left Field Upper Reserve
Sections 368-388: $15*

*There is an additional 10 percent service charge per ticket.

ORDERING TICKETS

  • Click the ordering link.
  • Select a seating location and quantity of tickets.
  • Create a Baltimore Orioles ticket account.
  • Purchase and print your tickets.

For any questions or accessible seating, please call 888.848.BIRD (2473) and ask for the Ticket Services team. Tickets posted for re-sale are subject to cancellation. Offer is NOT valid at the Box Office.

  
Alice Powell Bulletin Board, For B'more, University LifeJuly 21, 20170 comments
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