Archive for December, 2018

Photographer, writer and artist

Submissions Are Open for ‘1807’: An Art and Literary Journal

UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture is pleased to announce that the inaugural edition of its art and literary journal, 1807, will launch in spring 2019.

Are you passionate about your art? Do you love to share your art with the public? Then submit your best work to 1807. We accept writing, photography, and/or photos of high-caliber art.

The Council for the Arts & Culture strives to encourage members of the UMB community to express themselves creatively through art and the written word. The annual journal will showcase the talents of our faculty, staff, students, and the broader UMB community in the visual arts (painting, drawing, photography), other art mediums (sculpture, clay, metal, glass, wood), and the written word (short story, essay, poetry). 1807 seeks high-caliber, unpublished works that broadly and creatively relate to the Council for the Arts & Culture’s themes of social justice, health, healing, the mind, and the body.

Submissions are being accepted online only until Jan 31, 2019.

Learn more.

Dana RampollaUMB News, University LifeDecember 20, 20180 comments
Read More
Dr. Perman speaking at TEDx UMB

TEDx UMB Videos Now Available Online

Videos from the 10-speaker lineup at TEDx University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) are now available to view on YouTube.

UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, was among the speakers at the Nov. 9 event, which had “Improving the Human Condition” as its theme and was held at the SMC Campus Center.

To see the videos, go to this TEDx UMB webpage and click on each speaker’s “Watch on YouTube” link.

To read about the event, go to this UMB News page.

To see a photo gallery, go to this UMB Facebook page.

 

Communications and Public AffairsEducation, People, UMB News, University LifeDecember 18, 20180 comments
Read More
Cup of coffee next to notepad

Free Coffee Breaks for Students on Dec. 18-19

We know finals are here and they’re stressing you out, so the Health Sciences and Human Services Library is offering free coffee to students on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 18-19, in  the first-floor Weise Gallery.

Come and grab a cup while it lasts!

Evening Coffee Break
Tuesday, Dec. 18
7 p.m., Weise Gallery

Morning Coffee Break
Wednesday, Dec. 19
8 a.m., Weise Gallery

Everly BrownEducation, People, University LifeDecember 17, 20180 comments
Read More
Snowman in snow

HS/HSL Winter Holiday Hours

Early Morning Study

Between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., Monday through Friday, enter through the SMC Campus Center with your UMB ID or UMMC ID. Library services and access to classrooms begin at 8 a.m.

Regular Hours

Monday–Thursday
6 a.m. – 1 a.m.*

Friday
6 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday
8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Winter Holiday Exceptions to Regular Hours

Saturday, Dec. 22
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 23, to Tuesday, Jan. 1
Closed

*Floors 3, 4, and 5 and library services close at 10 p.m. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., floors 1 and 2 are open for those with a current UMB ID, UMMC ID, or USM campus ID.  Visitors and those with library memberships may not enter the building after 8 p.m. and must leave the building by 10 p.m.

lcortinaEducation, University LifeDecember 13, 20180 comments
Read More
Woman talking at table

Building a Learning Health Care Community

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.

Medically underserved populations have traditionally faced poor health care system experiences and lack of trust in the medical system, which has contributed to poor health outcomes. To tackle these problems, the PATIENTS Program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has developed the Learning Health Care Community model, envisioning a community where health care systems and providers learn directly from patients what issues actually matter in their communities, and where patients learn from providers how to live a healthy lifestyle.

What is a Learning Health Care Community?

In 2015, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) — now the National Academy of Medicine — released a new model for health care delivery termed the Learning Healthcare System, a health system where data and knowledge are used to improve patient care and patient care contributes to data and knowledge.

The Learning Health Care Community model aims to bring the Learning Healthcare System concept more authentically into the community. In a Learning Health Care Community, there is bi-directional learning and partnership between community members and health care systems and providers — they learn to speak each other’s language. Providers are culturally competent, and patients are health literate.  A Learning Health Care Community addresses the diverse needs of all patients and families. In particular, neighborhoods that historically have been medically underserved become part of a Learning Health Care Community where medical needs and patient preferences are addressed more effectively through lasting relationships built on trust.

West Baltimore as a National Model for Success

Health disparities in West Baltimore are widely recognized on the state and national level. To tackle these disparities and bridge the gap between health care providers/systems and communities, the PATIENTS Program set out to engage members of the West Baltimore community and elicit their perspectives on how to develop a culturally sensitive, competent, and sustainable Learning Health Care Community.

We conducted 15 focus group sessions and 21 interviews, with a total of 109 participants representing patients, community members and leaders, health care professionals and administrators, and others who have a personal stake in health care delivery in West Baltimore.

What Did We Find?

The focus groups and interviews were very informative in a number of ways. It was clear that health is the No. 1 priority for the vast majority of people. They want to stay healthy not only for themselves, but also for their families. Community members acknowledged that they learn about their health needs mostly through their providers, but expressed frustration with the limited time and attention they are given when they visit their providers. Another key finding was surrounding what questions providers should be asking patients. While providers mainly focused on questions related to medical care, such as their medical history or symptoms, patients expressed the desire to be asked about broader determinants of health — their thoughts and feelings, mental health, social support and barriers to care, their understanding of and questions related to personal diagnoses. By addressing these aspects of health care, we will start to establish the rapport needed for bi-directional learning and care.

Participants provided great ideas on how to operationalize the Learning Health Care Community model. When asked what the Learning Health Care Community should look like, many themes arose, some of which included individualizing the model to each community and making it sustainable and community-based. They also suggested that there should be a collaborative portal for community members to provide ideas and an integrated data system to combine and track information. Many participants thought that a Learning Health Care Community should incorporate social determinants of health, and that providers should go into the community and meet patients where they are, instead of waiting for patients to come to them. Specifically, participants want to see a return to home visits and office visits that do not feel rushed because the provider has a 15-minute time limit to meet with them.

Where Do We Go from Here?

Our participants described the Learning Health Care Community as “an integration of the community and health care systems,” which is exactly what we had envisioned. We are very excited to have taken the first step toward building a Learning Health Care Community and are grateful to the community members, providers, and others who collaborated with us on this effort to ultimately reduce health disparities and improve the health of medically underserved communities.

Now that the study has been completed, the PATIENTS Program is beginning to disseminate its findings to stakeholders through community gatherings, conferences, and other media. If you are interested in learning more about the project, please visit the Learning Health Care Community webpage on the PATIENTS Program website.

— Yoon Duk Hong, PHSR graduate student, and Gail Graham, patient partner/LHCC Stakeholder Advisory Board member

Yoon Duk HongEducation, ResearchDecember 13, 20180 comments
Read More
Center for Interprofessional Education logo

2019 IPE Faculty Development Day Set for Jan. 30

President Jay A. Perman, MD, has made interprofessional education (IPE) a priority at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). On Wednesday, Jan. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the School of Pharmacy, UMB’s Center for Interprofessional Education will be holding an IPE Faculty Development Day featuring three breakout learning sessions from which to choose. These sessions will help faculty improve their IPE knowledge and skills and learn how to integrate IPE in the classroom.

Breakout Learning Sessions

  • Introductory Session: Development of a Classroom or Experiential IPE Activity
  • Intermediate Session: Assessment of IPE
  • Advanced Session: Sustainability of IPE (including funding sources)

Agenda

8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Registration and light refreshments

9 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.
Welcome: Jay A. Perman, MD, and Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN

9:15 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Keynote Presentation: “What’s New in IPE at UMB: A Panel Discussion”

10 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.
Break

10:10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Breakout learning sessions

11:30 a.m. – noon
Debriefing and networking opportunity

The registration deadline is Jan. 18. Register here.

 

lcortinaCollaboration, Education, UMB NewsDecember 13, 20180 comments
Read More
Connective Issues, Volume 13, Issue 1

Check Out the Latest ‘Connective Issues’ Newsletter

The December 2018 issue of the Connective Issues newsletter from the Health Sciences and Human Services Library is now available.

Included in this issue:

  • A Celebration of 21 Years at the HS/HSL – “21@601”
  • Celebrating 21 Years of Art at the HS/HSL
  • The New Booths Are Here! The New Booths Are Here!
  • VisualDx is available at the HS/HSL
  • HSHSL Hosts DaSH 8 Hackathon
  • Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon at HS/HSL
  • Library Genie 2018 Survey Results
  • Data Catalog Collaboration Project Receives CTSA Great Team Science Award
  • Innovation Space Adds Specialized 3D Printer for Research
  • Google Dataset Search (Beta)
  • The James Carroll, Yellow Fever Commission Letters
Everly BrownCollaboration, Education, People, Research, Technology, University LifeDecember 13, 20180 comments
Read More
Dean's office staff at Ronald McDonald House

Bringing Breakfast to Families at the Ronald McDonald House

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.

To encourage employees to offer their time and talents in service of the local community, Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), recently launched the UMB Employee Volunteer Initiative. This initiative offers eligible employees four hours of paid leave to volunteer at a local charitable organization during a normal work day. Inspired by this effort to support and encourage UMB employees to give back to the community, seven staff members from the School of Pharmacy’s Offices of Communications and Marketing and Development and Alumni Affairs volunteered to make and serve breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of Baltimore on Dec. 10.

Serving Families in Need

Located within walking distance of Pharmacy Hall on the UMB campus, RMH provides an affordable “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children while they receive treatment at Baltimore’s world-renowned hospitals, including the University of Maryland Medical Center and R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Up to 36 families stay at the house each night, and more than 1,400 families stay each year.

When President Perman announced the UMB Volunteer Initiative in November, he remarked, “I hope this small gesture reinforces just how valuable your service is, and how much it contributes to the strength and vitality of Maryland.” I took this offer to heart and decided to rally my co-workers and coordinate our team’s service at RMH. As someone who previously volunteered with RMH, I had seen firsthand just how appreciative the families were of the service that volunteers provided. You know that you are making a difference.

Bringing the Comforts of Home

Breakfast and dinner at RMH are often prepared by volunteers, with the former providing much-needed energy before families head to the hospital each morning. Staying in a new city can be a bit uncomfortable, so we hoped that by cooking breakfast we could make it feel a little more like home for the families.

We arrived bright and early to serve egg casseroles, mini muffins, and yogurt parfaits to the families staying at RMH. Once the food was ready and the holiday decorations were in place, an announcement was made over the loudspeaker and families began trickling into the dining area. Some were more awake than others, but all were smiling when they saw the freshly made coffee and a hot meal waiting for them. We were humbled that, despite the circumstances, every single person made it a point to thank us for coming.

Encouraging Others to Serve

Dr. Perman’s offer of paid leave time to encourage employees across the University to volunteer in service to the local community is very generous, and just one of the reasons why UMB is such a great place to work. Our team was honored to have this opportunity to serve others, especially during the holiday season, when a hospital stay can take an extraordinary toll on a family. We hope other employees across the University will be as inspired by our experience as we were by Dr. Perman’s words and find time to give back to the local community this year.

— Kate Robinson, development associate

Kate RobinsonCommunity Service, People, University LifeDecember 12, 20180 comments
Read More
Email Security: Magnifying glass

Don’t Fall For Fake Student Job Postings

Jobs that sound too good to be true should raise a red flag for any college student. Fake job postings abound in unsolicited emails sent to your student account and in online job listing sites.

Fake jobs can be attempts to steal personal information about you or steal money or bank account information from you. You also could get entangled in criminal activity, so be cautious.

Here are some tips to help you identify fake jobs. You should always carefully research the legitimacy of employers before applying.

Common Job Scams Targeting College Students

  • Mystery shoppers
  • Envelope stuffing from home
  • Repackaging or shipping from home
  • Issuing checks/check processing from home
  • Model/talent agencies
  • Pyramid sales schemes
  • A variety of scams in which a student is asked to pay for certification, training materials, or equipment with promise of reimbursement

Overpayment Scams

Watch out for overpayment scams. These are often posted as a bookkeeper, personal assistant, administrative assistant, etc., to assist in processing checks or mystery/secret shoppers. The “company” sends a check to the “assistant” (student), who is then responsible for taking their “salary” out of the check and wiring the remainder of the money back to the “company.” These checks are fraudulent and can leave you out thousands of dollars and facing criminal charges.

Beware If the Email or Job Posting:

  • Does not indicate the company name
  • Comes from an email address that doesn’t match the company name
  • Does not give the employer contact information — title of person sending the email, company address, phone number, etc.
  • Offers to pay a large amount for almost no work
  • Offers you a job without ever interacting with you
  • Asks you to pay an application fee
  • Wants you to transfer money from one account to another
  • Offers to send you a check before you do any work
  • Asks you to give your credit card or bank account numbers
  • Asks for copies of personal documents
  • Says you must send payment by wire service or courier
  • Offers you a large payment for allowing the use of your bank account — often for depositing checks or transferring money
  • Sends you an unexpectedly large check

No legitimate employer will send payment in advance and ask the employee to send a portion of it back. DO NOT provide any personal information, especially Social Security numbers or financial information! 

Examples of Suspicious Ads

The following job posting was rejected by the Student Employment Program Job Board:

“Agile and Responsible individual is needed to fill the vacant position of a Personal Assistant (Part time) Someone who can offer these services: *Mail services (Receive mails and drop them off at UPS) *Shop for Gifts *Sit for delivery (at your home) or pick items up at nearby post office at your convenience. (You will be notified when delivery would be made).”

A student notified the Student Employment Program that she received the following email:

“If you are resourceful, organized, good with paperwork and honest, you can make three hundred dollars ($300) a week, as a business assistant. This flexible but formal position would only take at most two hours of your time daily, or even less, depending on your work-speed. You would be needed Mondays through Fridays, but the job’s flexibility lies in the fact that your duties are clear-cut and would take little of your time to be executed daily. Kindly get back to me ASAP if you are interested and wish to know more about this opportunity.”

Another student received an email offering them a “New, interesting, and respectable job” as a typist.

A recent actual email to UMB students:

Dear The University of Maryland, Baltimore Students…

At Market Force Information Company. Get paid $185- $250 Twice a week and we offer Survey Evaluation Services to various shopping outlets and Organizations. We want all Survey  Evaluation to take complete pride in their work, writing intelligent surveys that are clear, honest and observant.

The information collected by Market Force Information  Compliance Services reaches clients, but will always conceal individual identity. Survey results are aggregated by combining responses with those provided by other participants who have also completed the online survey. This data is stored in a database that can be analyzed by clients, but personal data will never be revealed, sold or traded without your permission.

You are providing input for the development of a product or service.

Market Force Information Compliance Services Is one of the most popular paid survey panels in  America. My survey provides a variety of interesting surveys, including product reviews, service reviews buyers opinion, general opinion, Survey Evaluation just to name a few. Find below Job description (available survey).\The recruitment is restricted to US and Canada residents only.

JOB DESCRIPTION (AVAILABLE SURVEY):

Survey Evaluation services are to be carried out in your location in which you will carry out a survey on the performance and effectiveness of the stores with which you will be directed to carry out a Survey Evaluation on and we would like you to become our Survey Evaluation. Salary/Wage: – $185-$250 per survey assignment.

 Your employment packet includes businesses/stores evaluation (Macy-Stores, Banks, Wal-Mart, CVS, McDonald’s, Best Buy and many more). Assignment instructions will be sent to you via email after you must have received the payment for the Survey assignment.

 Payment for the assignment/wages would be sent to you by Certified Check. No experience required and no upfront payment needed from you (Application is Free).

If you would like to be considered for this survey assignment, please fill out the application below and kindly send the requested details to the email above. 

    Name:

    Current Address:

    City:

    State:

    Zip Code:

    Home Phone:

    Cell Phone:

    Alternative email address:

    Preferred Time to Call:

    Occupation: none

    Can you check email at least twice daily?

Report Suspicious Ads

If you feel that you’ve been the victim of a scam, please contact University Police at 410-706-6882.

Researching Ads and Employers

Why is it important to research every opportunity?

  • To find out if the job and the company are legitimate
  • To gather information to help you determine whether the company or job is a good fit for you
  • To find data to help you write targeted resumes and cover letters
  • To find facts to help you answer interview questions such as: Why do you want to work for this company?

Visit the organization website

If the organization in question doesn’t have a website or the website doesn’t seem to match the advertised job, there may be cause for concern. Note the professionalism of the website. Is there specific contact information? Are jobs and career information actually posted on the site? Lack of pertinent information is a red flag.

Use personal contacts, Linked-In, or other networking sites

Do you have any connections to help you find inside information? If you belong to a professional association, they may be able to put you in touch with people who can advise you. Search Linked-In by “People” and the advanced search fields for “Company Name.” Click the “Current Companies Only” checkbox to receive information on people currently listed as employed by this company.

Use Google

Search by the name of the organization to gather information and recent news. You also can search by “scam” to look for signs the company has been reported in any type of fraudulent activity.

Check with consumer services

Two organizations to utilize are the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission to see if any complaints have been lodged against the company.

Investigate the company’s references

If you aren’t sure a company is legitimate, request a list of employees or contractors. Then contact the references to see how satisfied they are. If a company isn’t willing to share references (names, email addresses, and phone numbers), this is a red flag. You may want to research the references a bit as well, to be sure they are legitimate.

Be suspicious of poor communication skills

Be careful when an employer cannot communicate accurately or effectively on the website, by email, over the telephone, etc. If communications are sloppy, how professional is the organization?

Exercise caution when asked to pay any fees

Most legitimate employers will not charge to hire you! Don’t send money for work-at-home directories, advice on getting hired, company information, or for anything else related to the job. There are some well-known internship programs that do require payment to place you in internships, but check with your department’s internship coordinator to determine if the program is legitimate.

Review payment information

When information about salary isn’t listed on a job posting, try to find out if you will receive a salary or be paid on commission. Find out how much you’re paid, how often you are paid, and how you are paid. If the company doesn’t pay an hourly rate or a salary, be cautious and investigate further.

Beware: Scam ads can be found in legitimate publications

Read all information carefully. If the opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Just because a job lead appears in a legitimate publication, it doesn’t mean that the job or company is necessarily legitimate. Forget about getting rich quick.

Additional information about job scams

Federal Trade Commission video about job scams

Sarah SteinbergTechnologyDecember 11, 20180 comments
Read More
School of Medicine logo

Hugh Arthur Pritchard Memorial Lecture for Graduate Students on Jan. 10

The Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine invites you to join us as P. Jeffrey Conn, PhD, the Lee E. Limbird Professor of Pharmacology and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery at Vanderbilt University, presents the 5th Hugh Arthur Pritchard Memorial Lecture for Graduate Students.

The lecture is titled “Positive Allosteric Modulators of GPCRs as a Novel Treatment for Schizophrenia” and will be held Thursday, Jan. 10, at 3 p.m. in the Health Science Research Facility II Auditorium, with a reception to follow.

Previous clinical studies as well as a large number of cellular and animal behavioral studies suggest that selective activators of M1 and/or M4 subtypes of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) could provide a novel approach to treatment of schizophrenia. Especially exciting is the possibility that such agents could have efficacy in treatment of positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia patients. Unfortunately, previous efforts to develop selective agonists of individual mAChR subtypes have not been successful and previous compounds have failed in development because of adverse effects due to activation of multiple mAChR subtypes.

Furthermore, the relative roles of M1 and M4 in mediating the overall therapeutic effects of less-selective mACh agonists are not understood. We have developed highly selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of both M1 and M4 that have excellent properties for in vivo studies and as drug candidates. Electrophysiology and genetic studies are providing important new insights into the mechanisms by which M1 and M4 PAMs act in specific cortical and midbrain circuits that are relevant for treatment of different symptom domains in schizophrenia patients. Interestingly, selective M1 PAMs have specific effects in forebrain circuits that are relevant for cognitive deficits and negative symptoms and have robust efficacy in animal models of these symptom domains. In contrast, selective M4 PAMs have novel cellular actions in the basal ganglia relevant for positive symptoms and have robust antipsychotic-like effects in animal models. Also we have now advanced highly optimized M1 and M4 PAMs into preclinical and clinical development to evaluate their potential utility in treatment of schizophrenia.

More recently, we have built on recent human genetic studies that implicate two specific subtypes of metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors, mGlu1 and mGlu3, in schizophrenia. Optimized mGlu1 and mGlu3 PAMs were used along with mouse genetic studies to evaluate the roles of these receptors in specific basal ganglia and forebrain circuits that have been implicated in schizophrenia. These studies are providing exciting new evidence that highly selective activators of these two glutamate receptors have potential utility in treatment of positive (mGlu1), negative (mGlu1), and cognitive (mGlu3) symptoms of schizophrenia patients. Furthermore, the novel mGlu1 and mGlu3 PAMs discovered in these studies provide excellent drug leads for further optimization and ultimate clinical testing. Collectively, these studies are providing insights that could lead to exciting new approaches for treatment of multiple symptom clusters in schizophrenia patients.

Shalon EdwardsBulletin Board, Research, UMB NewsDecember 11, 20180 comments
Read More
Dr. Perman and Erika Pixley

Employee of the Month Pixley Is ‘The Glue’ to Palliative Care Program

Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, program director of the School of Pharmacy’s Master of Science and Graduate Certificates in Palliative Care, jokes that she sometimes feels superfluous in her role because of one person: Erika Pixley, MBA.

“Everyone calls Erika,” McPherson says of Pixley, senior academic program specialist. “In fact, when someone calls in, both of our lines ring on both of our phones. I’ll answer it and say, ‘Lynn McPherson.’ And someone will say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, is Erika there?’ And I’ll say, ‘Well, this is Dr. McPherson, can I help you?’ And they say, ‘No, I really need to speak to Erika.’

“She’s indispensable to this program. She’s the glue.”

Helping to manage the program since its inception in spring 2017, Pixley was rewarded for her efforts Dec. 7 with the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Employee of the Month Award for December. UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, presented Pixley with the award at the Saratoga Building, praising her professionalism, work ethic, and ability to meet the needs of students.

“Your colleagues have said a lot of great things about you,” said Perman, who gave Pixley a plaque, a letter of commendation, and news that an extra $250 would be in her next paycheck. “You’ve helped to build up a whole new program and you serve the students exceptionally well. This award is well-deserved, and on behalf of the University, I want you to know that your work is very much appreciated.”

The online program, which is open to other UMB disciplines such as medicine and nursing, is designed to meet the educational needs of those who already work or wish to work in hospice or palliative care environments and want to gain deeper understanding of the physical, psychological, spiritual, and social needs of patients and families involved in end-of-life care.

McPherson describes the program as “a university within a university” and says of Pixley: “Erika is the welcoming committee and the admissions committee and the student affairs committee and the graduation committee. She’s everything. And people adore her.

“She is extraordinarily professional in all her dealings — with faculty, students in the program, pharmacy students, and any other interested parties. She helps the students apply, enroll, develop their plan of study, pay their tuition, resolve technology issues, request graduate certificates, and does many, many more tasks.”

Pixley, an employee of the school’s Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science who came to UMB in 2016 to help launch the palliative care program, takes great pride in its success, with the first cohort set to graduate next spring.

“I’m with the students from Day 1 through graduation,” she says. “We are not even 2 years old yet and we have over 150 students, so I think that’s pretty successful. And we have great retention, because everyone who has started in the program is on their way to completion.”

Pixley says she learned more in the first few months in this role than in seven years in her previous jobs in education enrollment and admissions, adding that she appreciates the creative freedom she’s given with tasks such as managing social media, producing the program’s newsletter, and assisting with marketing materials.

“I’ve been given the flexibility to utilize my own resources and the freedom to try different things,” she says. “If I have an idea that will aid students or the program, I can actually go to somebody with the idea, instead of just sitting in my cubicle.”

Pixley collaborates with faculty, too, of course, but says the best part of her job is being in constant contact with the students.

“In previous positions I’ve held, students are handed off to other departments after their initial enrollment has ended,” she says. “Here, I like that I’m our students’ main go-to person and that they know they’re with me from beginning to end, through thick and thin. They know I have their backs, that I’ll handle all issues or changes that arise, and that they can come to me with any type of question.

“Our students feel comfortable with me, and many of them have said the students in this program and the support staff feel like a family. I’m very proud of that.”

And McPherson is clearly proud of Pixley.

“Erika is an asset and friend to our program, the School of Pharmacy, and UMB,” she says. “The program is an enormous success, and we cannot imagine that it would have been doing as well under anyone else’s care.”

— Lou Cortina

Lou CortinaEducation, People, UMB News, University LifeDecember 10, 20180 comments
Read More
The President's Message - December 2018

The President’s Message

Check out the December issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on our record-shattering year in extramural funding — $667.4 million in grants and contracts. Also, a holiday greeting; TEDx UMB showcases our big ideas; ceremonial opening for HSRF III; Project Feast serves Thanksgiving meals to those in need; Nursing, Social Work win HEED awards for diversity; students prevail in national public health interprofessional challenge; informatics pioneer saluted at UMB; University takes the fight against opioid addiction on the road; be merry, and wary, around the holidays; and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Back issues of the newsletter can be found in the archives.
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGADecember 10, 20180 comments
Read More
Pharmacy student doing an experiment

School of Pharmacy Launches New Master’s in Pharmaceutical Sciences

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has launched a new Master of Science (MS) in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) to provide students with the advanced education and cutting-edge training needed to obtain high-level research and leadership positions in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as in the federal government. The 16-month, full-time program is based at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Md., and integrates basic and applied pharmaceutical sciences with hands-on laboratory research experience.

“The School of Pharmacy is incredibly excited to offer the new MS in PSC,” says Sarah Michel, PhD, professor in PSC and director of the PSC Graduate Program. “We believe this degree fills a critical gap that many students encounter after completing a bachelor’s degree. While students might know that they want to pursue a career in research, they are not sure if a career in an industry, government, or academic setting is the best fit for them. Our program allows students to ‘test the waters,’ and equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue careers in the biopharmaceutical industry or federal government labs, or to take the next step in their education by completing a doctoral degree.”

Setting the Standard for Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Education

The MS in PSC is a full-time academic program designed for students who are interested in pursuing careers in scientific research. It builds on the School of Pharmacy’s more than 175-year reputation of advancing scientific knowledge across the spectrum of drug discovery and development, allowing students the opportunity to learn from faculty and other researchers who are widely recognized for their contributions to the field of pharmaceutical sciences, as well as pursue research in the areas of chemical and biology discovery, translational therapeutics, and pharmacometrics.

A hallmark of the MS in PSC is the completion of a biopharmaceutical research internship — an experience facilitated by the program’s prime location at the Universities at Shady Grove, which is just a short drive from several premier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, research laboratories, and federal agencies that offer potential internships for students.

“The completion of a biopharmaceutical research internship truly sets apart the School of Pharmacy’s MS in PSC from other programs across the country,” Michel says. “Students are able to take the lead in designing and developing a unique research project, which they complete during their internship with a local pharmaceutical company, government agency, or faculty member at the school. This internship not only provides students with hands-on experience in a real laboratory setting, but also helps them better understand what to expect if they choose to pursue a career in that particular setting.

“This experience also helps students begin to build their professional network by introducing them to potential future employers.”

Preparing Students for Success Outside of the Classroom

The MS in PSC does not require the completion of a thesis. Instead, students complete and present a capstone project based on the research conducted during their biopharmaceutical research internship.

“The MS in PSC is a holistic program that provides students with the tools to both design a research project and disseminate the results of that projects,” Michel says. “We want to ensure that our graduates have all of the skills they will need to be successful pharmaceutical scientists.”

The MS in PSC welcomes students with degrees in a variety of different science disciplines, including chemistry, biology, and engineering. Students whose degrees are not in a scientific discipline, but who have completed specific prerequisite science classes are also invited to apply.

The application deadline for this program is March 15. To learn more, view this video or visit the program’s website.

— Malissa Carroll

Malissa CarrollEducation, UMB NewsDecember 6, 20180 comments
Read More
Dr. Mackowiak discusses his new book

Mackowiak’s New Book Offers Intersection of Art, Medicine, and Science

Philip A. Mackowiak, MD ’70, MBA, is more medical historian than art aficionado, but in researching and writing his latest book, Patients As Art: Forty Thousand Years of Medical History in Drawings, Paintings, and Sculptures, he learned a few things along the way.

“Before doing this book, I couldn’t even spell the word ‘art’ — but now I’m an expert, thanks to the internet,” Mackowiak joked before launching a presentation about his new book to a crowd of 60 that included members of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) community and his family and friends on Dec. 4 at Davidge Hall.

Mackowiak, professor emeritus of medicine and the Carolyn Frenkil and Selvin Passen History of Medicine Scholar at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), delivered background and insight on the book during his half-hour lecture, which was sponsored by the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture. He displayed slides of 10 of the 160 pieces he analyzed from a medical and scientific perspective, ranging from Rembrandt’s famed The Raising of Lazarus to a watercolor titled Pollution, painted by a Canadian artist named Catherine Hennessey.

The watercolor, in fact, is featured on the cover of the book, which spans 244 pages and 10 chapters relating to medical subjects such as nutrition, surgery, mental health, genetics, and death and dying. Pollution is included in the chapter on public health. In the book, Mackowiak describes it, writing, “Hennessey’s image is arresting, shocking, yet strangely beautiful, like the vibrant colors of a sunset viewed through sickening urban smog.” (See photo, above)

“This artist has done a number of really captivating watercolors, but this is the opus magnum,” Mackowiak told the crowd, adding that he was so taken with the painting that he bought it from Hennessey.

Mackowiak continued the lecture with more art analyses and medical diagnoses, including:

  • The Dissection of a Cadaver, 15th century: Mackowiak noted that the procedure illustrated probably wasn’t a dissection at all, because a close inspection shows that three of the men standing over the body seem to be holding him down, an insight first noted by his former UMSOM colleague Frank M. Calia, MD, MACP. “And you see a fellow on the far right of the painting who’s holding something in his hand. So based on Dr. Calia’s observations and doing another consideration of the painting, I suggest that this is not the dissection of a cadaver. In fact, it’s a lithotomy — the removal of a bladder stone, and that stone is being held by the person at the far right.”
  • The Beggars, 1568: This painting depicts beggars with missing legs, but Mackowiak surmises that there was no medical reason for amputation. Studying the expressions on their faces led him to believe they were mentally retarded. “There was no disorder at that time that could have destroyed the lower legs in a symmetrical fashion without killing them,” he said. “So I suggest these were strategic amputations done by the family to make these poor souls more pitiable and therefore more effective as beggars. That sounds bizarre, and it’s hard to believe. But I saw exactly this same thing in Bangladesh when I was there as a medical student at this institution.”
  • Battle of Issus, 100 B.C.: From this mosaic, Mackowiak blew up an inset of Alexander the Great and takes a keen focus on Alexander’s eyes, which seem to show concern rather than confidence. “Does that look like an all-conquering warrior?” Mackowiak said. “To my way of thinking, it looks like a warrior who wonders, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ The artist who produced this might well have realized the existence not only of post-traumatic stress disorder in the common soldier, but also that this sort of thing can happen to commanders, too.”

Mackowiak’s presentation clearly showed his expertise as one of the most accomplished medical historians in the country, and Patients As Art follows his first two books, Post Mortem: Solving History’s Great Medical Mysteries, and Diagnosing Giants: Solving the Medical Mysteries of Thirteen Patients Who Changed the World.  

Since the mid-1990s, he and the University of Maryland Medical Alumni Association have organized the Historical Clinicopathological Conference, which has examined the illnesses or deaths of figures such as Edgar Allan Poe, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Christopher Columbus, Beethoven, and Mozart. The 2007 conference, for instance, determined that President Lincoln would have survived an assassin’s bullet if the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center existed in 1865. The 26th conference will be held in May 2019. 

Larry Pitrof, the alumni association’s executive director, noted that when Mackowiak talked about retiring five years ago, two benefactors — Carolyn Frenkil and Selvin Passen, MD — stepped up to fund the doctor’s endowed scholar position. Pitrof thanked Frenkil, who was in attendance, for her support, as well as the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture for its sponsorship of the lecture.

“We’re celebrating an awful lot of history on the UMB campus right now,” Pitrof said, “and it’s our belief that programs like this truly separate the great institutions from the good ones.”

— Lou Cortina

Learn more about the book.

 

Lou CortinaEducation, People, UMB News, University LifeDecember 6, 20180 comments
Read More