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Quarterly Q & A with President Perman Set for March 7

The next President’s Q & A will be held March 7 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the School of Pharmacy, Room 103.

Join University of Maryland, Baltimore’s President Jay A. Perman, MD, as he answers questions from students, staff, and faculty. If you have a specific question you would like to ask but never had the opportunity, or if you would just like to know more about what’s happening around campus, please join us. Please print your questions for Perman and bring them with you.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Claire Murphy University LifeFebruary 6, 20180 comments
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10 Reasons Student Pharmacists Should Attend APhA Annual Meeting

The American Pharmacist Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) prides itself on serving as the collective voice for student pharmacists, improving health care, advancing the future of the pharmacy profession, and providing opportunities for its members’ professional growth. Becoming a member as a student pharmacist gives you access to leadership opportunities, scholarship awards, patient care projects, international learning experiences, and professional and career development programs.

It is said that knowledge is key. Continually arming yourself with knowledge will enable you to make well-informed decisions about your future career. As student pharmacists, there are many ways that you can acquire knowledge about your profession. Attending professional meetings is one of the most important one, so here are 10 reasons why student pharmacists should consider attending the APhA Annual Meeting on March 16-19 in Nashville, Tenn.

1. Networking

Meet passionate students and pharmacy practitioners from a wide range of practice settings across the United States. You’ll get to know members of other student chapters and make friendships and connections that will last a lifetime.

2. Exposition

Discover the breadth of pharmaceutical companies and programs available across the country. You’ll have opportunities to network with managers and recruiters and establish relationships that will help you land an internship or future job.

3. House of Delegates

The APhA Annual Meeting is your chance to get involved with the organization’s House of Delegates and take an active role in upholding the responsibilities that student pharmacists have to help advance the pharmacy profession.

4. Leadership Training Series

Take part in this interactive training series that will not only help you grow professionally but also provide you with a certificate that will enhance your CV.

5. Chapter Officers Breakout Sessions

Special sessions are held throughout the conference for current and prospective executive board members and patient care project chairs. These sessions offer an opportunity for student leaders to share ideas and gain knowledge that will help them better serve their communities. First-year student pharmacists are highly encouraged to attend these sessions, especially if they plan to pursue a leadership position with the student organization in the future.

6. Continuing Education

The conference boasts a wide range of continuing education (CE) sessions focused on new developments and challenges that affect the pharmacy profession. Attending one of these sessions is a great way to begin learning about pharmacy practice and current innovations in the profession.

7. Explore the Vastness of Pharmacy Practice

Attend sessions focused on health-system pharmacy, academic pharmacy, industry, and many more areas of interest. You might even discover the area of pharmacy that you want to pursue as a career.

8. Federal Forum

Learn about the many different ways that you can get involved with the pharmacy profession in the federal government, including Veteran Affairs and the Indian Health Service, just to name a few.

9. National Executive Committee Elections

The APhA Annual Meeting offers attendees the opportunity to meet the future leaders of APhA-ASP and become inspired by their ideas and experiences. You will also have the chance to voice your opinion about who should lead the organization and support the members of your chapter who are running for leadership positions.

10. Awards

Being at the meeting as your chapter is recognized for the work its members are doing for the profession and the community is an incredibly fulfilling experience. Be part of this celebration and get inspired to become even more involved in your chapter.

Now that you know how important (and fun!) it is to attend the APhA Annual Meeting, hurry now and register for this year’s conference before the early bird registration period ends Friday, Feb. 2. And, if you are not already a member, l encourage you to join APhA-ASP after attending the conference so that you can continue to enjoy all of the resources that our organization has in store for enthusiastic student pharmacists like you.

To register for the conference, go to the conference website and click on the Register Now! link.

— Elodie Tendoh, second-year student pharmacist

Elodie Tendoh Education, University LifeFebruary 5, 20180 comments
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PSC Researcher Wang Named Finalist in National Toxicity Challenge

Hongbing Wang, PhD, professor and program chair for experimental and translational therapeutics in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been named one of five finalists in the national Transform Toxicity Testing Challenge: Innovating for Metabolism. Wang will receive $100,000 from the National Toxicology Program — a joint program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — to support his continued work to develop a new cell culture model that allows existing high-throughput screening assays to produce physiologically relevant metabolites, accelerating the drug discovery process and decreasing researchers’ reliance on animal studies, which are often costly and time-consuming.

“Our department was thrilled to learn that Dr. Wang would be advancing to the next stage of the national Transform Toxicity Testing Challenge,” says Paul Shapiro, PhD, professor and chair of PSC. “By applying his existing expertise in the field of drug metabolism to this national challenge, which will help improve drug safety for patients around the world, Dr. Wang has demonstrated the true spirit of a pharmapreneur. We applaud his innovation and leadership in this endeavor and wish his team the best as they enter into the challenge’s final stage.”

Advancing Drug Safety

To help evaluate the risk of adverse health effects associated with new drugs, researchers have traditionally relied on animal studies. However, because these studies are often costly and require a significant amount of time to complete, many drugs have yet to undergo a full safety evaluation. To help address this issue, regulatory agencies have a developed a range of high-speed, automated screening technologies — known as high-throughput screening assays — that rely on immortalized cells (mutated cells that are able to undergo division for a prolonged period of time) to measure the toxicity of those compounds. Unfortunately, these assays are not able to test for metabolites, which are altered forms of chemicals produced as the body breaks down the original compound.

In some cases, the metabolites produced by a drug can be more toxic than the drug itself, such as in the common pain reliever acetaminophen, which — when taken by patients in doses that exceed the recommended amount — produces metabolites known to be toxic to the liver.

To help existing high-throughput screening assays test for drug metabolism, Wang and his team developed a new cell culture model that uses human liver cells known as human primary hepatocytes (HPH) and an inverted co-culture system that allows assays to run in an environment that produces physiologically relevant metabolites.

“Lack of metabolic competence is a major limitation of the current high-throughput screening assays used in the evaluation of drug safety,” Wang says. “We know that properly cultured HPH are well-recognized as one of the most relevant and practical models that maintain broad spectrum drug-metabolizing capacity. This new co-culture model offers a simple solution to this challenge that can be applied to existing high-throughput screening assays to determine if compounds and their metabolites interact with the target of interest and allows for improved assessment of chemical toxicities.”

Moving Solutions to Market

Wang notes that the inverted co-culture system developed by his team facilitates the attachment and morphology of HPH, allowing the HPH and target cells to face each other and enhancing the exchange of medium and metabolites in the same chamber. Because of the ease and low cost at which this new experimental procedure can be conducted, it is an efficient approach for the in vitro high-throughput screening of chemical toxicity in a metabolically competent environment.

Wang and his team entered the Transform Toxicity Testing Challenge: Innovating for Metabolism in 2016, when they were selected as one of 10 semifinalists and received $10,000 to help advance their proposed solution. Now, as one of five finalists in the competition, the team has been awarded $100,000 to help gather preliminary data that demonstrate the effectiveness of the new inverted co-culture system they proposed. “This funding will be pivotal in helping us to advance this new and exciting design into a practical solution for the accurate assessment of chemical safety,” Wang says.

As he prepares for the final stage of the challenge, Wang will be partnering with a leading biotechnology firm to patent and translate this new system into a marketable initiative for use in pharmaceutical laboratories around the world.

— Malissa Carroll


Malissa Carroll Research, UMB NewsFebruary 2, 20180 comments
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With Hard Work, Efficiency Efforts, Hines Wins Employee of the Month

Angie Hines, senior academic services specialist in the Office of Academic Deans at the School of Nursing, says that she’s at the school so much, she’s thought of sleeping over some nights.

“I’m trying to get them to give me a bed,” joked Hines, who often works late and devotes hours on weekends and holiday breaks as well. “This way, I don’t even have to go home. I’m kidding, but I am here a lot. It’s part of the job. You have to be willing to dedicate the time.”

For that work ethic and her commitment to teamwork and efficiency, Hines was honored Jan. 31 as the UMB Employee of the Month. Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, led a group of School of Nursing employees who attended the ceremony at the Saratoga Building, where UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, surprised Hines with the award, a plaque, a letter of commendation, and a promise of $250 in her next paycheck.

“I want to tell you what your colleagues say about you,” Perman said. “They talk about you as championing an environment of teamwork. In fact, there are many comments about you being a team player. And you know how much I value that. To have employees who are all about teamwork is special, and you carry my message. I really appreciate you for that.”

Hines, who has worked at the School of Nursing since 2013, described her job as being “the support system” for four associate deans — Shannon Idzik, DNP, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN; Meg Johantgen, PhD, RN; Gail Lemaire, PhD, PMHCNS, BC, CNL; and Nina Trocky, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CNE.

“The term ‘all duties as assigned’ applies to my job,” Hines says. “And I also oversee the staff in the office — the work we do with the students, the programs, coordinating curriculum committee meetings, meeting with the students, talking about how to get certified to become a nurse, and all the steps in between.”

Hines says she has great respect for the four academic deans and considers herself one of the luckiest people on campus because “all of my bosses are amazing.” One of those bosses, Idzik, said the feeling is mutual, describing Hines’ impact on the School of Nursing as “immeasurable.”

“Angie is always going above and beyond the call of duty. She does whatever it takes to get the job done,” Idzik says. “She is not a 9-to-5 employee. When work ramps up, so does she. She is a team player and a leader. Not only does she lead the team in our office, but she has developed relationships with lead department staff to optimize practices throughout the school. She is a role model for efficiency.”

Hines’ commitment to efficiency can be seen in a program she helped to facilitate in which staff members are cross-trained on all job roles, so when someone is out sick or on vacation, the office continues to “run like a well-oiled machine,” according to Idzik.

“When I started here, we had coordinators sitting side by side who didn’t know each other’s programs,” Hines says. “If one of them was out of the office, no one could step in and assist their student if they showed up. As I got into my role, I wanted to learn more about the different programs, and we initiated that everyone needs to know something about all the programs. That way, the office doesn’t stop. It keeps functioning.”

Idzik said Hines also directed an automation initiative that has made the office nearly paperless by moving paper files to electronic files.

“She led the team to organize, scan, and save files in the database, along with working alongside the programmers to create digital filing parameters and saving profiles,” Idzik says. “Her ability to visualize and use forward thinking have been critical components in this automation. Decades of files were scanned and organized. Angie has pioneered many practices in the school and is a go-to person for automation.”

Asked where her commitment to efficiency comes from, Hines pointed to her father, a Marine.

“I grew up on a military base,” she says. “We don’t have time to slow down. We don’t have time to stop and think it out. You have to make sure you’re efficient and you’re on top of it. And then you need to make sure that you’re not only efficient, but you’re also effective in your efficiency. And if you’re not, you need to speak up and tell somebody.”

That attitude is much appreciated at the School of Nursing, says Idzik, who praised Hines’ take-charge personality. “Angie is known for saying it like it is, which can be a breath of fresh air in a world where we are often told that we have to do things one way because that’s how we’ve always done it,” Idzik says.

Hines, who is completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration this spring and will continue her studies into an MBA program at University of Maryland University College, admitted she can be blunt — “I’m very, very, very frank,” she says — but softened when talking about being honored as January Employee of the Month.

“It’s a very nice thing to do for staff members,” Hines says. “It’s nice to spend time with President Perman, so that’s very cool. And you get all this nice stuff like a plaque and a bonus. UMB is a great place to work. I’m very happy here. I’ve found that it’s very fulfilling. And you really have a lot of room to grow.”

— Lou Cortina

Lou CortinaPeople, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 2, 20180 comments
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Celebrate Black History Month at UMB

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month, an  observance of the history of the African Diaspora in a number of countries outside of the continent of Africa. It began as Negro History Week by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926 to educate the American people about African-American history, focusing on African-Americans’ cultural backgrounds and achievements. Since 1976, Black History Month has been observed annually in the United States and Canada in February.

Check out UMB’s Black History Month web page, as well as diversity and inclusion initiatives at the University.


Dana Rampolla University LifeFebruary 1, 20180 comments
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UMB Hosts Emergency Exercise

What would the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) do if a terrorist group released radioactive material in Baltimore City with large-scale contamination and mass casualties? How would UMB’s local, state, and federal partners help in such an emergency?

This scary thought was the basis for the Inner Harbor Thunder emergency exercise held Jan. 17 at the SMC Campus Center.

The all-day tabletop exercise created by the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the FBI “to build an in-depth understanding of responding to a terrorism incident involving radiological, nuclear, or other weapons of mass destruction” drew more than 130 participants.

They represented local, state, and federal law enforcement, the Baltimore City Fire Department, state and federal emergency response and regulatory agencies, UMB and other local universities, the University of Maryland Medical Center, and congressional staff members.

UMB and Yale are the two university sites where such exercises are being held this year.

“I think the exercise was a huge success,” said Steven Deck, DM, MBA, director of UMB’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety, who organized and coordinated the tabletop exercise. “Participants increased their understanding of each agency’s and organization’s role as members of a regional team responding to a radiological incident.”

Added Laura Kozak, MA, associate vice president, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, “The most interesting thing to me was the contacts that I made — these were people we would actually be working with if an emergency of this magnitude occurred — but also the number of agencies that are available to respond.

“Of course, you hope we never confront such an emergency,” said Kozak, one of more than a dozen UMB people who took part in the exercise, “but this kind of preparation and being aware of the expertise of your partners can prove invaluable.”

According to the NNSA, nearly 7,000 people from across the country have participated in such Thunder tabletop exercises. Follow-up discussions are planned in Baltimore to further improve the region’s ability to respond to a radiological incident.

— Chris Zang


Chris Zang Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, Technology, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 1, 20180 comments
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Conference to Focus on Fostering Resilience for Cancer Survivors

Health care providers as well as cancer survivors and their support system/caregivers are invited to a conference titled “Cancer Survivorship: Fostering Resilience for Cancer Survivors” on Wednesday, March 7, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of Maryland School of Nursing Auditorium.

The interprofessional, full-day program will focus on preparing cancer survivors for the challenges of completing treatment and for not only bouncing back but also “bouncing forward” after cancer. Participants will learn from physicians, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, physical therapists, and cancer survivors the ways in which survivors, their support systems, and their health care team can build resilience after a diagnosis of cancer throughout their survivorship journey.

After the program, participants will be able to:

  • Facilitate building resilience as a health care provider, cancer survivor, or family member/caregiver.
  • Apply strategies to foster healthy living during cancer survivorship.
  • Apply ethical strategies in caring for cancer survivors.
  • Discuss their role as part of an interprofessional team in caring for cancer survivors.
  • Define compassion fatigue for families during cancer survivorship.

Learn more about topics, speakers, the schedule, continuing education, and registration on the conference’s web page.

This is a collaboration between the School of Nursing and the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Emily Parks Clinical Care, EducationJanuary 30, 20180 comments
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UMBPACE is New Affinity Group Under UMBrella

UMBPACE (Professional Administratives Committed to Excellence), a new affinity group under the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) UMBrella initiative, is dedicated to empowering administrative professionals at the University.

Please visit the UMBPACE website to read more about its mission, goals, and purpose. Please feel free to contact the members with any questions you might have, and look for much more to come from this group.

The members of UMBPACE are: Janice Flair, Human Resource Services; Mae Hill, Police/Public Safety; Tyra Johnson, Central Administration Support Services; Shelvia McGee-Chavis, Central Administration Support Services; Debra Modlin, Office of Research Development; Peggy Moran, Center for Information Technology Services; Saifa Poole, Office of the Senior Vice President; Freda Richards, Office of the Dean, School of Medicine; Trish Rider, Office of the Dean, School of Law; Eris Smith,  Office of the Dean, School of Dentistry; and Clara Woodly, Office of the President.

Saifa Poole Bulletin Board, Collaboration, PeopleJanuary 30, 20180 comments
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SAFE Center Director Esserman to Speak About Human Trafficking Feb. 27

The UMBrella Group invites you to attend a lunch and discussion with Susan Esserman, JD, founder and director of the University of Maryland Support, Advocacy, Freedom, and Empowerment (SAFE) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors, on Feb. 27, noon, at the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, 31 S. Green St.

Esserman’s presentation is titled “Raising the Curtain on Human Trafficking in the United States.”

To read more about Esserman and register for the event, visit the UMBrella Speaker Series web page.

Sonya Evans Bulletin Board, Community Service, People, UMB News, University LifeJanuary 29, 20180 comments
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School of Dentistry’s Otto Wins MLK Student Award

President Jay. A Perman, MD, is fond of telling new UMB graduates to “go out and change the world.” Tiffany Otto hasn’t graduated yet, but she already is on course toward changing things for the better.

A fourth-year student at the School of Dentistry, Otto has provided meaningful discussions for minority professionals after traumatic local and national incidents with University events such as an open forum on the shooting deaths of unarmed black men with City Councilman Brandon Scott, a post-Freddie Gray meeting where she allowed her colleagues to speak freely and safely, and helped coordinate an event supporting slain Muslim students at colleges in North Carolina with other student groups on the UMB campus.

She has served in organizations such as Healthy Smiles for Baltimore (vice president), the Baltimore Minority Council of Professional and Graduate Students (vice chairman), and the Student National Dental Association (president), which won Chapter of the Year honors for notable programs such as the Taste Bud Tour, where cultural groups shared their cuisines.

For this and much more, Otto will receive a Diversity Recognition Award as Outstanding UMB Student at the University’s Black History Month celebration Feb. 1.

“I truly don’t have many hobbies, thus service and upliftment of others serves me just fine,” Otto said when asked how she finds time for her yeoman organizational efforts. “It is energizing and exhausting, yet empowering at the same time. My commitment to inclusivity, dialogue, support, and service is an integral part of my being.”

This has been demonstrated in her many successful events. The open forum on the shooting of black men provided a safe space for students from all seven UMB schools to discuss their thoughts, feelings, and attitudes without fear or backlash. The goal of this, as well as many of her initiatives and events she has been involved with at the University, was to help students of marginalized ethnic groups and various religious backgrounds attain healing, discussion, and awareness amongst each other.

“I’m incredibly grateful, honored, and thankful that I attend a University that offers such a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. diversity recognition award,” Otto said. “This shows UMB’s commitment to Dr. King’s principles, and that makes me proud to be here. My hope is that this award will inspire students and staff to initiate conversations and spread love to their colleagues, friends, and community members who share different backgrounds than them.”

Some of her best work outside the classroom — it’s easy to forget Otto also maintains a rigorous dental school schedule that includes clinic work with patients several days a week — has come with the Student National Dental Association (SNDA), an organization that strives to uplift minority students.

She was community service chair for SNDA during her second year at UMB and created service events for students, on and off campus. The next year she became president and hosted over triple the community service events. In addition, she led four professional development programs, seven general body meetings, and more.

The school’s SNDA chapter won Chapter of the Year for the second consecutive year, this time with Otto as president. Notable activities were highlighted such as the Taste Bud Tour, during which all cultural groups on campus were invited to share their cuisines; Generation NeXT, which provided opportunities for School of Dentistry students to mentor high school students at the Vivien Thomas Medical Arts Academy; and an Oral Cancer Walk, which raised $19,445.

Otto says all of the SNDA events would not have been possible without the help of her executive board and chapter members who also shared the same vision of service and cultural competence.

“Her impact toward diversity and inclusivity has been monumental over her four years at the school,” said those who nominated her. “She has been a leader every step of the way.”

Otto, who plans to do a dental residency program in New York (and do community projects, of course) after graduating from UMB, credits her parents for putting her on the public service path.

“My character has been shaped by my childhood experiences in a racially diverse small town called South Orange in New Jersey, coupled by a ‘village’ of family and friends who share similar core values,” Otto said. “My parents taught me very early to treat others well, to do good, and to be the change that I wish to see — and it has truly gone a long way. It took a village to get me here, and I owe it to that village to enter spaces at UMB with the same love, energy, and tenacity that they taught me.”

— Chris Zang

Chris ZangClinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJanuary 26, 20180 comments
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Health Information Resources for Culturally Diverse Patients

Do you want to improve your communication with patients whose native language is not English? Attend a workshop to learn about patient education resources, including medical information available in other languages. This workshop also will examine the effect utilizing these resources can have on patient compliance and improved health.

The Health Information Resources for Culturally Diverse Patients workshop will be held Feb. 26, noon-1 p.m., at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL), Classroom LL03.

For details or to register, visit the HS/HSL workshop schedule website.

Everly Brown Clinical Care, Community Service, Education, PeopleJanuary 25, 20180 comments
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SharePoint Will Replace Vibe as Collaboration Software

Vibe, also known as UMVibe, is being replaced by SharePoint. This process began at the end of 2016, and, on May 31, 2018, Vibe will no longer be available for use. SharePoint offers enhanced team collaboration, file storage, and seamless integration with all Office 365 components.

CITS has been in contact with owners of team workspaces to discuss options for data stored in their workspaces. If you have data on Vibe (in a team workspace or a personal workspace) and have not been  contacted concerning this migration, please email to discuss your options.

Sarah Steinberg Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Technology, University LifeJanuary 24, 20180 comments
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