Research posts displayed by category

Women In Bio (WIB) Baltimore Pop Up Meetings

Women in Bio is a networking group that on Sept. 14 will host “Beyond SBIR — The Wide World of Non-Dilutive Funding for Innovative Researchers and Startup.” Speakers include Michael McGinnis and Joshua Seidel of the Latham BioPharm Group.

The event will take place from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the UM BioPark Discover Auditorium, 801 W. Baltimore St., 21202. The seminar is free.

RSVP Now

  
Karen Underwood Collaboration, Education, For B'more, Research, Technology, University Life, USGAAugust 9, 20170 comments
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Cole Field House Ribbon Cutting

UMB, UMCP Collaborate to Launch New Cole Field House

The air around the newly installed turf was charged with excitement on Aug. 2, in anticipation of the dedication of the completed indoor practice field at the new Cole Field House. Proud partners and alumni discussed the first phase in construction while observing the redesigned and barely recognizable building that has long been a foundation of the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). At the same event, officials participated in the groundbreaking of a second phase that makes the site a part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

A result of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership, MPowering the State, the new Cole Field House is truly multifaceted. It will be the home of the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance, a project that showcases the collaboration between UMB and UMCP. It combines UMB’s success in the field of medical research with UMCP’s strengths in science and engineering in addition to the revered Terrapins athletic program. The center will make possible research to transform the science of sport while providing a superior facility for athletes who will pass through Cole Field House every day.

The history of this iconic building was brought alive during the event not only through alumni in attendance but in remarks by UMCP President Wallace D. Loh, PhD, JD, who paid tribute to the building’s memorable past.

UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, said the collaboration strives “to answer the most important questions of human performance and to solve our most urgent challenges of injury prevention and recovery.” The goal is to transform sports medicine and pursue research that will create “hope [for] millions of Americans suffering from debilitating injury [and] a home for everyone who is serious about cutting-edge leadership in the science of sports,” he said.

State Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, JD, LLB, elaborated upon the concept of one building serving multiple purposes, stating that the reimagined Cole Field House is “more than just a football field.” Terps football coach D.J. Durkin called the project a literal “game-changer.” The center has the opportunity to lift athletes’ performance and change lives. To those who may suffer from sports-related injuries and debilitations, including conditions such as traumatic brain injury and damage requiring orthopaedic care, the building is a symbol of optimism. Researchers will be able to work together in ways once considered unimaginable in a groundbreaking setting in pursuit of groundbreaking treatment.

For athletes, it is a sign of the security afforded to them by the knowledge that students, staff members, clinicians, and researchers are working together to innovate sports medicine. Furthermore the second phase of Cole Field House will include a space for the University of Maryland Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Joining Perman, Loh, Miller, and Durkin at the ceremony were UMCP Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, former basketball coach Gary Williams, Terrapin Club President Mike Freeman, UMB Chief Academic and Research Officer and Senior Vice President Bruce Jarrell, MD, FACS, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret, PhD, and Chancellor Emeritus William “Brit” Kirwan, PhD. Kirwan moderated a scientific panel that included the center’s clinical director, Andrew N. Pollak, MD, the James Lawrence Kernan Professor and Chair, Department of Orthopaedics, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM); as well as the center’s scientific co-directors, Elizabeth Quinlan, PhD, professor, Department of Biology, UMCP, and Alan I. Faden, MD, professor, Department of Anesthesiology, and associate dean, Trans-Campus Research Advancement, UMSOM.

Officials cut a real streamer during the ribbon-cutting for the indoor field. They wielded mallets to virtually demolish a wall during the groundbreaking for the center, opening the way for unprecedented collaboration by the two universities.

— Kayla Kozak

  
Kayla Kozak Collaboration, Education, Research, University LifeAugust 3, 20170 comments
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Supporting Future Breast Cancer Research

On Aug. 27, breast cancer survivor, Carolyn Choate, and her daughter Sydney Turnbull will paddle in to Baltimore Harbor near the amphitheater at 8:30 a.m., completing their 300-mile kayaking journey to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM).

Choate, 59, a 14-year breast cancer survivor, credits the work of the late UM SOM scientist Angela Brodie, PhD for saving her life. Dr. Brodie developed the use of aromatase inhibitors to fight estrogen-driven breast cancer, a common form of cancer. The mother-daughter team on Aug. 10, will begin their journey on the Delaware River, making several stops along the way for media events and to share their survivor story. They will be raising funds for a special endowment in honor of Dr. Brodie.

As Carolyn and Sydney finish their journey in Baltimore Harbor, representatives from the University of Maryland and the School of Medicine, Baltimore City, and Maryland State officials will be there to greet them and highlight the impact UM SOM’s breast cancer research has had on millions of survivors worldwide.

Carolyn will also be honored by the Orioles at their home game in Oriole Park on Aug. 28. Please come and show your support.

As you follow Carolyn and Sydney on their journey, be sure to share your thoughts and photos using the hashtag #cancerkayakers.

Visit the UM SOM website to learn more about their trip and how to support future breast cancer research in honor of Dr. Brodie, so more individuals like Carolyn and Sydney can experience the positive impact of this research.

  
Sarah Bradley Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, Research, University LifeAugust 2, 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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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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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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kayaking_in_portugal

Welcome Mother-Daughter Cancer Fundraising Team

On Aug. 27, breast cancer survivor Carolyn Choate and her daughter Sydney Turnbull will paddle in to Baltimore Harbor near the Science Center at 8:30 a.m., completing their 300-mile kayaking journey to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM).

Choate, 59, a 14-year breast cancer survivor, credits the work of the late UM SOM scientist Angela Brodie, PhD, for saving her life. Brodie developed the use of aromatase inhibitors to fight estrogen-driven breast cancer, a common form of cancer. On Aug. 10, the mother-daughter team will begin their journey on the Delaware River, making several stops along the way for media events and to share their survivor stories. They will be raising funds for a special endowment in honor of Brodie.

As Choate and Turnbull finish their journey in Baltimore Harbor, representatives from the University of Maryland and the School of Medicine, Baltimore City and Maryland State officials will be there to greet them and highlight the impact UM SOM’s breast cancer research has had on millions of survivors worldwide.

Choate also will be honored by the Orioles at their home game in Oriole Park on Aug. 28. Please come and show your support.

As you follow Choate and Turnbull on their journey be sure to share your thoughts and photos using the hashtag #cancerkayakers.

Visit the UM SOM website to learn more about their trip and how to support future breast cancer research in honor of Angela Brodie so that more individuals like Choate and Turnbull can experience the positive impact of this research.

  
Joanne Morrison BikeUMB, Bulletin Board, Global & Community Engagement, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeJuly 20, 20170 comments
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Integrative Medicine Offers Non-Pharmacologic Solutions for Pain Management

The Joint Commission, the largest US accrediting body for health care facilities, recently announced revised hospital performance measures for pain management, which includes the provision of non-pharmacologic pain treatment modalities.  This is important as more than half of all US adults reported to the National Institutes of Health that they had suffered from pain within the past 3 months; and 11% reported they suffered from pain every day in the past 3 months!  Some of the evidence-based non-pharmacologic strategies most commonly prescribed are integrative therapies, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, mediation, yoga, breathing and others.  The Joint Commission also recommends that healthcare providers prescribe their treatments using a patient-centered approach, a concept that is key in integrative medicine.

Additionally, one-third of US adults already use complementary and integrative therapies as part of their healthcare, according to a National Institutes of Health survey, and 12% of children age 4 to 17 use complementary approaches.  The most commonly used complementary approach is natural products, including dietary supplements (other than vitamins and minerals) such as fish oil, probiotics, prebiotics and melatonin.  Ten percent of US adults practice yoga, most report reduced stress and increased motivation to exercise regularly as a direct result of practicing yoga.  And studies have shown that many people find relief from or reduction in pain when they use acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, therapeutic music, mindfulness-based interventions, massage, hypnosis, chiropractic, and some herbal products like devil’s claw, white willow bark, cayenne, comfrey, Brazilian arnica, and lavender essential oil, just to name a few.

As a healthcare professional, you know the importance of effective communication with your patients or clients, especially when it comes to healthcare decisions.  Many healthcare providers wish they had more practical, evidence-based knowledge about integrative medicine.  If you feel that way too, you might be interested in the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine’s new Applied Integrative Medicine Training for Health Care Professionals.  It will consist of four three-day in-person intensives (two in the fall and two in the spring) and online learning, designed to give health care professionals not just the fundamentals of Integrative Medicine, but hands-on experience and real-life applications that can be immediately applied to your practice.  It is evidence-based and will be taught by the Center for Integrative Medicine’s experienced team.

In addition to being a more well-rounded practitioner, you will learn self-care techniques to help fight burnout and help you cope with stress.  You will learn tools that you can teach your patients, and you will be better able to be a role model for their health as well. CME/CEUs available.

To learn more about it, visit our website or email.

Hurry – registration for the 2017/2018 session closes August 31, 2017!  Discounts are available for UMB/UMMS employees.

__________________

For more information:

Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

CIM’s Health & Wellness Blog

Commentary on The Joint Commission’s Pain Standards

NIH/NCCIH Statistics on CAM Use

NIH/NCCIH CAM for Pain

  
Rebekah Owens Clinical Care, Collaboration, Education, People, Research, University LifeJuly 16, 20170 comments
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SOP’s Mullins Named Recipient of International Professional Leadership Award

 

By: Malissa Carroll

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Presented by the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, the Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership to the organization.

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR), has been named the recipient of the 2017 Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award by the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Named for the founding executive director of ISPOR, the Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership to the organization.

“Leading a department often places exceptional demands on a faculty member’s time,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy. “A two-time chair of PHSR, Dr. Mullins’ has managed to not only balance the needs of his students with those of his department, but also to seek additional leadership opportunities outside of the School that reaffirm his passion for the field of health economics and outcomes research. I am thrilled that he has been selected as the recipient of this year’s ISPOR Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award.”

A Leader in the Field

ISPOR is a nonprofit, international, educational, and scientific organization that strives to promote health economics and outcomes research excellence to improve decision making for health globally. Mullins has been a member of ISPOR for nearly 15 years and has served in a number of leadership roles within the organization, chairing and co-chairing several task forces and committees, including the organizing committee for its 13th Annual International Meeting in 2008, and its Faculty Advisors Council. He also currently serves as co-editor-in-chief for Value in Health, ISPOR’s professional journal.

The Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award is part of the ISPOR Awards Program, which is designed to foster and recognize excellence and outstanding technical achievement in health economics and outcomes research.

“When we select a recipient for this award, our committee looks beyond the basic award criteria for those individuals who bring vision to the organization and go the ‘extra mile’ in their efforts,” says Scott Ramsey, MD, PhD, member of the Cancer Prevention Program in the Division of Public Health Science at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash., who chaired the committee tasked with selecting the award recipient. “Dr. Mullins is a fantastic choice for this award. His level of service and commitment to ISPOR spans more than a decade, and given the demands of his ‘day job’ as professor and chair of PHSR, what he has done for ISPOR is nothing short of extraordinary. We are truly fortunate to have him as part of the ISPOR family.”

“Dr. Mullins has held numerous roles within ISPOR, all of which have contributed to his esteemed and proven reputation of outstanding leadership and continued service to the organization,” adds Karen Rascati, PhD, professor in the Division of Health Outcomes and Pharmacy Practice at the University of Texas College of Pharmacy and the first recipient of the Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award, who nominated Mullins for the award. “His leadership, commitment, enthusiasm, and vision for the organization are unquestionable. It was my pleasure to nominate him for this honor, and I am delighted that he was selected as this year’s recipient.”

A Lasting Impact at the School (and Beyond)

Mullins joined the faculty at the School of Pharmacy in 1995. His research and teaching have focused on the areas of pharmacoeconomics, comparative effectiveness research, patient-centered outcomes research, and health disparities research. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, and has received funding as a principal investigator from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; National Institute on Aging; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, as well as from various pharmaceutical manufacturers, patient advocacy organizations, and the insurance industry. He also directs the Patient-Centered Involvement in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Treatments (PATIENTS) program at the School, which aims to reduce health disparities by leveraging relationships with patient communities and health care systems to ensure that patients, health care providers, and other partners are actively engaged in research.

“It is an amazing honor to be named this year’s recipient of ISPOR’s Marilyn Dix Smith Leadership Award,” says Mullins. “I have been fortunate to have been involved with this wonderful organization for so many years, helping to improve the way in which pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research is conducted and creating opportunities for the next generation of researchers to become more involved with the organization. However, this award is about recognition of being a leader within ISPOR, and with it comes a responsibility not only for me to continue to dedicate my time to ISPOR and to continue being a leader, but also to make room for future leaders to have opportunities to volunteer with ISPOR.”

Mullins received the award during ISPOR’s 22nd Annual International Meeting in May.

  
Malissa Carroll People, Research, UMB NewsJuly 5, 20170 comments
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SSW’s Parkent Is June Employee of Month

When Patricia Parkent, director of sponsored projects at the School of Social Work, was named UMB’s June Employee of the Month by President Jay A. Perman, MD, she was asked to sit at the head of the table for the ceremony.

It’s a well-deserved place of honor, say her colleagues in the School of Social Work, where Parkent began the Office of Research Administration in 2006 with just an administrative assistant for support and now boasts 12 employees with research funding exceeding every school on campus except for the School of Medicine.

“It really could be Employee of the Decade from the School of Social Work’s perspective,” said Dean Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, one of 16 Parkent supporters on hand for the ceremony June 21. “I did a little bit of calculating to figure out just how much you have done in this decade in addition to hiring the complete staff and building an office from scratch. Looks to me like it’s around 1,500 proposals that have gone out for about $500 million from across your desk. So, thank you for doing all that and doing it with such humanity.”

Indeed, the way Parkent goes about her job is as impressive as the results she achieves. When Perman praised her for being “the major piece” in creating the platform “so that these research grants can be properly presented, properly received, properly expedited, properly monitored,” Parkent gently corrected him, saying, “Well, me and my team.”

“The mark of a true leader,” Perman replied. “You know what they taught me a while ago? A leader gives credit, takes blame,” eliciting laughter from those assembled.

After Parkent received her plaque and was told there would be an extra $250 in her next paycheck, supervisor Gene Severance, MS, associate dean for administration, thanked her for her investment in her colleagues.

“Pat continually works hard at developing the capabilities of her staff and has been outspoken in the need for staff development for both exempt and non-exempt employees,” said Severance, who in his nomination also mentioned the late nights and weekends sometimes asked of Parkent. “You have really invested in them and almost all of them have advanced in their professional careers, have taken on more responsibility because of your leadership. That’s what has impressed me the most.”

Later, after the celebration had ended, Parkent said supporting colleagues is a win-win for both sides.

“Well, the more knowledgeable the staff are the better job they can do,” she said. “It’s important to know all of the laws that we need to deal with, and abide by. If you don’t have them memorized that’s OK, but you need to know where to go to look them up. And then be aware that they exist. I think every one of my staff now has had a promotion,” she said, smiling proudly. “The promotions have been well-deserved, and the staff has been able to move forward as the school’s moved forward. They are great people.”

Parkent couldn’t be prouder of the School of Social Work in general, especially the “warm and fuzzy” projects that cross her desk as signatory for the school. “The stories have to touch your heart,” she said. “A few years back I’m reading a Family Connections proposal where they wanted to purchase a dinette set because the family did not have any furniture. They needed somewhere just to eat their meals. Kids were sitting on the floor.

“This touched me so much that I got ahold of the social worker who was on this case and I said I want to do something for this family. We went to a secondhand shop and I bought them a living room set and told the social worker to give this to them for Christmas. I just wanted them to have furniture. Anybody should have furniture. Those are the stories you come in contact with at this school. With the kind of work we do, it’s so rewarding to serve behind the scenes because you see the good that comes out of it. It’s just amazing.”

And Parkent, who came to UMB in 2001, originally working at the School of Medicine, also thinks it’s amazing she is UMB’s June Employee of the Month. She recalled the little handwritten list of six grants and projects that then-associate dean Jennie Bloom, MSW, gave her when she started. At present, Parkent is responsible for the administration of over 200 active grants.

“We’ve come so far and it’s really nice to feel appreciated,” she said. “There are a few things that I feel like I need in my job, and, of course, money keeps you going. But you want to feel like you’re respected and appreciated and I do feel those things, so that makes this award very worthwhile and meaningful to me.”

Visit the website for other Employee of the Month stories.

— Chris Zang

  
Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJuly 5, 20170 comments
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July 4 Fireworks

HS/HSL’s July 4 Holiday Schedule

Saturday, July 1, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 2, CLOSED
Monday, July 3, 6 a.m.* – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 4, CLOSED

If our hours change we will notify you on the library’s homepage and voicemail – 410-706-7995.

*Hours between 6 and 8 a.m. are limited to those with UMMC and UMB ID badges who enter through the Campus Center.

  
Everly BrownBulletin Board, Education, Research, Technology, University Administration, University LifeJune 30, 20170 comments
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