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Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World

‘Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World’ at HS/HSL

“Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” is an exhibition created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, D.C. This three-year exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the devastating 1918 influenza pandemic. The exhibit, adapted for use by UMB’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL), will be on display in the library’s Frieda O. Weise Gallery from Aug. 24 to Oct. 14.

The main message of the exhibit is “One Health,” which is derived from the understanding that human health, animal health, and environmental health are closely connected. “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary responses to stop outbreaks — and the impact those outbreaks have on communities.

“Outbreak” examines zoonotic emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and their pandemic risks in the 21st century. NMNH collaborated with public health institutions to address these questions: Why do pathogens emerge where they do? How do they “spill over” from animals to people? What causes them to amplify and spread quickly? And finally, what can individuals and communities do to prevent the next outbreak?

The “Outbreak” exhibition project is a collaborative effort between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and global partners to raise awareness of the human, animal, and environmental factors contributing to infectious disease epidemics.

The 1918 Flu Epidemic and Baltimore: 100 years later

In conjunction with the Smithsonian’s “Outbreak” exhibit, the HS/HSL has created a supplementary exhibit remembering the 1918 flu pandemic. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the pandemic that killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide. Baltimore and UMB were not immune to this incredible international natural disaster. This exhibit explains the spread of the disease in Baltimore and at the University while supplying a supporting story to the Smithsonian’s “connected world” message.

Upcoming Events for Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World

  • Thursday, Sept. 13, 11 a.m.: Opening reception, press welcome.
  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Flu shots available to UMB campus employees and students in the first-floor tower of the library. Please bring your insurance information. The flu clinic is provided by Walgreens in collaboration with the School of Pharmacy and the HS/HSL. RSVP with “Flu” as the subject to
  • Friday, Oct. 5, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.: A light lunch will be served, and Philip A. Mackowiak, MD ’70, MBA, emeritus professor of medicine and the Carolyn Frenkil and Selvin Passen History of Medicine Scholar, will present “The ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918, What’s Past is Prologue.”


Everly BrownClinical Care, Community Service, Education, People, ResearchAugust 16, 20180 comments
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Monthly Flow Cytometry Lecture Set for Sept. 12

Want to broaden your knowledge of flow cytometry? The University of Maryland School of Medicine is offering a free lecture Sept. 12.

This lecture is required if you want to become a trained user of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCCC) Flow Cytometry Shared Service (FCSS) Facility. However, it is free and open to everyone.

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • How flow cytometry works​
  • Multi-color design and compensation​
  • Instruments and services​
  • New technology and tools​

The lecture will be held at the Bressler Research Building, Room 7-035, at 10:30 a.m. Click here for more details about the event.

Karen UnderwoodCollaboration, Education, ResearchAugust 9, 20180 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 immigrants’ rights and how Maryland Carey Law is helping secure them; a Q&A with new Police Chief Alice Cary; a preview of Campus Life Services’ Welcome Month; a recap of Project SEARCH’s graduation, and a new alignment for UMB’s overall commencement; stories on UMBrella scholarships and Teaching with Technology Day; a look ahead to Dr. Perman’s Sept. 18 Q&A; and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Click here to read the full message.

Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAAugust 7, 20180 comments
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M-CERSI Medical Devices Workshop

Registration is now open for the Medical Devices – Patient Engagement in Real World Evidence (RWE): Lessons and Best Practices workshop.

The event is scheduled for Sept. 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Pharmacy Hall. The workshop, hosted by the University of Maryland Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (M-CERSI), the Center on Drugs and Public Policy at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), brings together students, patient groups, clinicians, and top leaders in the medical device industry, and the FDA to discuss and evaluate research on medical devices.

For more information and details on how to register, visit the event page on the School of Pharmacy website.

Erin MerinoEducation, ResearchAugust 2, 20180 comments
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People arm in arm

Participants Wanted for Study on Prediabetic Dietary Supplement

Researchers at the University of Maryland are seeking male and female participants to take part in a screening for elevated blood sugar levels. The screenings are the first step in a study to learn about the use of a commercially available dietary supplement for men and women who are prediabetic.

This study may be a good fit if you:

  • Are 18 or older
  • Prediabetic determined by elevated blood glucose or HbA1c
  • Have possible risk factors for prediabetes, including being overweight, inactive, or a family history

If you decide to take part in the screening for this research, you would:

  • Attend one visit to have a fasting blood sample drawn to determine your glucose level
  • Have the opportunity to enroll in the study if eligible
  • After enrollment, attend two 45-minute appointments over 12 weeks
  • Have bloodwork completed at both appointments
  • Participate in a short phone call midway through the study
  • Take four dietary supplement capsules per day for 12 weeks

Participants who take part in the screening will receive $25 for their time.

Contact information:
Mary Bahr-Robertson

Deborah TaberResearchJuly 24, 20180 comments
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Mark Shirtliff, PhD

UMB Memorial Service on July 25 to Celebrate Life of Researcher Shirtliff

Mark Shirtliff, PhDA memorial service to celebrate the life of researcher and entrepreneur Mark E. Shirtliff, PhD, will be held Wednesday, July 25, at 2 p.m. at Leadership Hall, 685 W. Baltimore St.

The ceremony will feature remarks from Shirtliff’s colleagues from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD), the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). There also will be reflections from Shirtliff’s family members, with a reception to follow.

Scheduled to speak from UMSOD are Mark A. Reynolds, DDS ’86, PhD, MA, dean and professor, and Keith W. Groves, DMin, MPC, executive director, communications and public affairs. From UMSOM: James B. Kaper, PhD, senior associate dean for academic affairs, professor, and chair, and Bret A. Hassel, PhD, associate professor, both of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. And from UMB: James L. Hughes, MBA, chief enterprise and economic development officer and vice president.

Shirtliff, who held a primary appointment as professor in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at UMSOD and a secondary appointment as professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UMSOM, lost his life after a raft overturned in the Yellowstone River near Gardiner, Mont., on July 12.

The researcher also was the lead inventor of a vaccine technology that UMB last year licensed to Serenta Biotechnology, LLC, a Gaithersburg, Md.-based startup for which Shirtliff was a co-founder and chief scientific officer. The license is based on technology co-owned by UMB and another university that is the basis for a multivalent vaccine against infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterial strain often resistant to antibiotics.

Shirltiff’s most recent work was aimed at developing a hand-held technology that would be adept at identifying six of the most virulent kinds of bacteria, including Staph aureus. Collectively, these are known as the “ESKAPE” pathogens.

“Mark was a brilliant scientist and professor who pursued innovation and knowledge with seemingly unstoppable energy and enthusiasm,” Reynolds said. “His groundbreaking work in developing a novel way to speed the diagnosis of some of the most virulent kinds of bacteria has great potential to save many lives. Moreover, Mark was a remarkably generous colleague who, whether asked to sit on a committee, collaborate on a project, or launch a new research initiative, could be counted on to give his all.”

Shirtliff was a leading expert in the field of biofilm, which is a dangerous kind of growth of bacteria that can form on many surfaces, including surgically introduced implants such as pacemaker wires. Biofilms also can form along the gumline as a sticky plaque that exacerbates tooth decay.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 65 percent to 80 percent of all infections are biofilm-related. In any one year, there are more than 17 million biofilm infections in the United States, with 550,000 cases resulting in death. Biofilms are especially problematic because they resist clearance by the host’s immune system and are tolerant to antibiotics.

The international training center for biofilm research, the Center for Biofilm Engineering, is located in Montana. During the summers, Shirtliff had continued to return to the center, where he had trained as a postdoctoral fellow after receiving his doctorate in 2001 at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. His thesis was titled “Staphylococcus aureus: Roles in Osteomyelitis.”

Shirtliff became an assistant research professor in 2003 in the Department of Microbiology at Montana State University in Bozeman. Later that year, he accepted an offer to move to Maryland and enter the tenure track at UMB.

“Mark was a leading international biofilm researcher of exceptional productivity,” said Patrik Bavoil, PhD, professor and chair of the UMSOD Department of Microbial Pathogenesis. “He was a prolific author and a very generous colleague. His level of commitment to his research and students was remarkable. And his personality was such that once you met Mark, you didn’t forget him.”

The author of more than 120 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters on pathogenic microbes, Shirtliff explored their biofilm mode of growth and the chronic diseases they cause. He was known for collaboration with colleagues in multidisciplinary research, his entrepreneurism, and his mentorship.

“Mark was an incredibly prolific inventor and entrepreneur,” said Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, chief commercialization officer for UM Ventures Baltimore. “He was a past winner of the prestigious BioMaryland LIFE Award for his work in Staph aureus vaccines, had recently helped launch the UMB startup Serenta Biotechnology, and was actively working with our tech-transfer team to start another new company based on his research.  He was also always positive, upbeat, and just a tremendous person to work with.”

As testimony to his role as a committed mentor, three of Shirtliff’s students won the prestigious Graduate Program in Life Sciences Elaine Miye Otani Memorial Award: Rebecca Brady (2007), Brian Peters (2010), and Jeffrey Freiberg (2017). No other mentor at UMB has had more than one student achieve this recognition.

“Mark was a highly valued member of the microbiology and immunology community at UMB. He contributed in so many ways, as a teacher and mentor, a researcher and an active member of the university community,” said James B. Kaper, PhD, chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at UMSOM. “He was a dedicated teacher and mentor who helped and inspired many of his students to become scientists themselves. He was a good and generous person who was a dear friend to many of us. His tragic death is a heartbreaking loss in so many ways. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family.”

Shirtliff, 49, lived in Ellicott City, Md., with his wife, Birthe Kjellerup, PhD, MSc, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was a father of four.

— Patricia Fanning

Patricia FanningPeople, Research, UMB NewsJuly 24, 20180 comments
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Researcher in lab

Responsible Conduct of Research Training for Staff Starts in September

UMB’s Research Integrity Office is offering responsible conduct of research (RCR) training for staff beginning this fall. The program will run from September to June, and each month we will cover a different topic related to RCR training.

Topics include the following:

  • Authorship and publication
  • Research misconduct
  • Collaboration
  • Human subjects/animal subjects
  • Data acquisition and management
  • Conflict of interest
  • Peer review
  • Mentor/mentee relationships
  • Being a responsible scientist

If you are interested in joining this training or have questions, please email Sarah N. Archibald, research integrity officer, at

Sarah ArchibaldEducation, ResearchJuly 24, 20180 comments
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20th Annual International Meeting of the Institute of Human Virology

20th Annual International Meeting of the Institute of Human Virology

IHV2018 convenes a special joint international meeting with the Global Virus Network (GVN) to address virus threats and cancer with a focus on HTLV, the first discovered human retrovirus by Robert Gallo, MD, and colleagues; translational science shaping diagnosis and treatment of cancer; emerging global health challenges surrounding viruses; the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR) advances in HIV epidemic control; targeting of early infection events, and approaches to eliminate persistent viruses.

The conference will be held Oct. 22-25 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore.

Abstract submissions will be accepted for poster presentations until July 31.

For more information and to register to attend, click here.

Nora SamaranayakeClinical Care, Education, Research, UMB NewsJuly 24, 20180 comments
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Flow Cytometry Shared Services Monthly Lecture Set for Aug. 6

This monthly lecture will provide new users, or anyone interested in flow cytometry, a basic knowledge of the following: how flow works, multi-color design and compensation, instruments and services the core provides, new technology and tools, and how to use iLabs (the online booking system).

The lecture is scheduled for Aug. 6, 10:30 a.m. to noon, in the Bressler Research Building Room 7-035.

The event is free, and you can register here.

Karen UnderwoodEducation, ResearchJuly 18, 20180 comments
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UMB Researchers Can Use ResearchMatch to Find Volunteers

Clinical and translational research cannot occur without volunteers, and connecting volunteers with researchers is often the most limiting factor for moving research discoveries to the community.

UMB has joined ResearchMatch, a network of more than 150 institutions across the United States dedicated to advancing discovery and health for communities now and for future generations.

More than 7,000 volunteers within a 50-mile radius of UMB are registered in ResearchMatch, so UMB researchers now have the opportunity to conduct feasibility searches of the network’s database before listing it as a recruitment strategy in their Institutional Review Board (IRB) application.

You can register for a ResearchMatch webinar to learn more about using this powerful tool. Here are the webinar dates for the next four months (all times 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.):

  • Thursday, July 12
  • Thursday, Aug. 9
  • Thursday, Sept. 13
  • Thursday, Oct. 11

For more information, please email the UMB ResearchMatch liaison at

Wanda FinkResearchJuly 9, 20180 comments
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20-Color Panel Blue Laser Dyes Emission Spectra

A New Age of Spectral Flow Cytometry

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) Flow Cytometry Shared Services has acquired the Cytek Aurora, Spectral Cytometer. A seminar scheduled for July 19 will to help you gain more understanding of spectral flow and its capabilities. Lunch is included, but you need to reserve a spot.

  • When: Thursday, July 19
  • Time: Noon
  • Site: Room 600, Health Sciences Facility II, 20 N. Penn St.
  • Sign up to attend at this link.
Karen UnderwoodCollaboration, Community Service, Education, Research, UMB NewsJuly 5, 20180 comments
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Maggie Ryan speaking to students

Students Begin High School Summer Bioscience Program at UMB

This summer, just like the previous nine, Baltimore City high school students who aspire to careers in research and health care will work with University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) scientists and University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) clinicians in the Summer Bioscience Internship Program (SBIP).

Seventeen students began the program June 25 with a three-day orientation that featured HIPAA training provided by Allison Robinson, MPH, program manager, Maryland AHEC Program in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine (UMSOM); laboratory safety training provided by UMB Environmental Health Services staff member Simone Houng; a presentation about the Meyerhof Scholars Program given by UMB graduate student and SBIP program coordinator Devona Quasie-Woode; surgery by robotics hands-on demonstration in the Maryland Advanced Simulation Training Research and Innovation (MASTRI) Center at UMMC provided by simulation specialist Maggie Ryan MS, RN, and simulation educator Katie Gordon, MS, RN, CNE; and a presentation on lung transplantation and clinic tour provided by June Kim, MD, director of lung transplant, UMSOM Department of Medicine, and her multidisciplinary staff.

After the orientation, SBIP students on June 27 met the mentors they will shadow or work for four weeks. Students are required to journal their experience and will present their reflections to peers and mentors at the end of the program. Participants this year include students from Baltimore City high schools as well as undergraduates who began the program as high school students in previous years.

This year, eight of the students received coveted placement in the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center under the guidance of Laura Buchanan, MD, and nine were placed with faculty researchers in the schools of medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry. The trauma students work varying shifts on the nursing units, with emergency surgery services, or embedded in trauma teams A, B, C, or D.

Quasie-Woode, a master’s student studying cellular and molecular biomedical science, says, “It’s so important to nurture a student’s interests in the early stages, before doubt and fear set in. Young scholars should understand that it’s OK to have big dreams if you’re willing to put in the necessary hard work. SBIP affords students the opportunity to grow professionally while directly experiencing the field of biomedical science.”

The SBIP, directed by UMB Office of Community Engagement and Maryland AHEC Program staff members Brian Sturdivant, MSW, and Robinson and coordinated by Quasie-Woode, is one of four youth employment initiatives operated by UMB on campus and in its surrounding community this summer in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) YouthWorks summer employment program.

Brian SturdivantClinical Care, Community Service, Education, Research, UMB News, University LifeJuly 2, 20180 comments
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Students at Research Day

School of Pharmacy Hosts First Practice-Based Research Day

The Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted its first practice-based Research Day in April to highlight current research endeavors in which its students and trainees are engaged. In addition to allowing participants to showcase their research to the department’s faculty and leadership, the event offered a forum in which students and trainees could receive constructive feedback to help enhance their presentation skills.

“Research Day provided an opportunity to bring faculty, staff, students, and trainees from across the department together to help foster the professional development of some of our profession’s newest researchers,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “The students, residents, and fellows who presented posters at this event received thoughtful feedback that they will be able to use to help strengthen their presentations for future regional, national, and international meetings and conferences. It was a remarkable event, and a truly beneficial experience for all who participated.”

Fostering Up-and-Coming Talent

More than 40 posters highlighting research conducted by student pharmacists, residents, fellows, and their faculty mentors were displayed during the event. The research showcased addressed a number of important issues related to health disparities, medication use, and best practices to prevent and treat a variety of illnesses. Members of the department’s faculty and leadership spoke with students and trainees to learn more about their research, evaluating them based on the quality of their research abstracts, posters, and presentation skills.

The student and trainee who had the highest scoring abstracts were given an opportunity to deliver podium presentations highlighting their research. Shamir Kalaria, PharmD, postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Translational Medicine at the school, received the highest scoring trainee abstract and presented his research titled “A Quantitative Approach to Optimize Levetiracetam Dosing in Critically Ill Patients Undergoing Continuous Venovenous Hemofiltration” at the podium, while third-year student pharmacist Alan Lin received the highest scoring student abstract and presented his research titled “Comorbid Asthma Increases Severity of Anaphylaxis.”

“Faculty in our department are committed to equipping the next generation of pharmacists with the knowledge and skills they will need to be leaders in both pharmacy practice and clinical research,” says Neha S. Pandit, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, associate professor and vice chair for research and scholarship in PPS. “This year’s friendly competition encouraged students and trainees to bring their A-game to Research Day. We congratulate Dr. Kalaria and Mr. Lin on their tremendous achievement. Their research will have a positive impact on countless patients in the future.”

Celebrating Superior Research

Awards also were presented to the students and trainees who had the highest and second-highest scoring abstracts and poster presentations combined.

Sari Freedman, PharmD, resident in the PGY-2 Solid Organ Transplant Pharmacy Residency Program at the School of Pharmacy, and Laetitia N’Dri, third-year student pharmacist, received awards for the highest scoring abstracts and poster presentations for their research projects titled “Cytomegalovirus Prophylaxis Following Alemtuzumab Induction in High Risk Renal Transplant Recipients Experiencing Delayed Graft Function” and “Patient-centered Approach to Developing a Plan to Achieve Blood Pressure Control,” respectively.

In addition, Ana Vega, PharmD, resident in the PGY-2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Residency Program at the school, and Heather Kirwan, fourth-year student pharmacist, received awards for the second highest scoring abstract and poster presentations for their projects titled “Characterizing Variability in Calculated Vancomycin Pharmacokinetic Parameters in Hospitalized Patients” and “Identifying Medication Discrepancies During Medication Reconciliation Utilizing Different Sources for Information,” respectively.

“The breadth of research showcased at this year’s Research Day truly exemplifies the many ways in which pharmacists can impact patient care not only as practitioners, but also as researchers,” Pandit says. “The event was an overwhelming success, and we cannot wait to see the innovative research that these students and trainees are inspired to pursue as they continue to progress in their careers.”

— Malissa Carroll

Malissa CarrollClinical Care, Education, Research, UMB NewsJune 27, 20180 comments
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Close-up photo of a vaccination shot

Volunteers Needed for Experimental Avian Influenza Vaccine Study

The University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health is conducting an experimental avian influenza vaccine study.

You may be eligible if you are 19 years or older and in good health.

Participation is about 13 months, and you will receive two vaccinations. Compensation is up to $1,200. For more information, call 410-706-6156.

Leslie JamkaABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Community Service, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGAJune 21, 20180 comments
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Open book and green pencil

Free Summer Workshops at HS/HSL

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library offers a variety of free workshops to faculty, students, and staff.

Summer topics include:

  • Communicating with patients
  • Copyright rules and guidance for instructors
  • Choosing the right journal for your research
  • Graphic design principles for effective PowerPoint presentations
  • Best practices for managing research data
  • Imaging informatics

See the full schedule and registration information.

Emily GormanBulletin Board, Education, Research, TechnologyJune 20, 20180 comments
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