Archive for September, 2017

Learn About Your Own Genome at UMSOM

The Program for Personalized Medicine and the Institute for Genome Sciences plan to hold an Understand Your Genome (UYG) event in September 2018, in coordination with Illumina, a life science instrument company and leading manufacturer of DNA sequencing technologies.

Illumina has been hosting UYG events at leading U.S. educational institutions to help the public understand the role of the genome and its implications in health and disease. Participants can then learn more about interpreting their genomic data and what they might do to make informed lifestyle and health care choices.

We would like to gauge the interest on campus for hosting this event in September 2018, and we ask you to complete our anonymous survey to explore interest from the UMB community. Completing the survey does not obligate you to participating in the program or in sequencing your genome. We simply want to learn more from the UMB community about the interest here.

We look forward to getting your feedback. Thank you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Alan R. Shuldiner, MD
John L. Whitehurst Endowed Professor in Medicine and Associate Dean for Personalized & Genomic Medicine

Claire M. Fraser, PhD
Dean’s Endowed Professor, Director, Institute for Genome Sciences

*Illumina is a CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited genetic testing company that developed UYG to increase public understanding of the power of genomic data and the impact it can have in clinical care. Additional information on UYG symposia offered at other institutions is at http://www.understandyourgenome.com

  
Alan Shuldiner EducationSeptember 21, 20170 comments
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No Pain, No Gain is the Motto for SOP’s McPherson

Since joining the faculty at the School of Pharmacy in 1990, Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and executive director for advanced post-graduate education in palliative care at the school, has gained worldwide recognition for her expertise in the fields of hospice and palliative care pharmacy. Her strong showing at this year’s PAINWeek conference proved once again why her name has become synonymous with the field.

“Dr. McPherson embodies the School of Pharmacy’s mission to lead pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement across the state of Maryland and beyond,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “Despite her extensive teaching commitments in the school’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, PGY-2 Pain and Palliative Care Residency Program, and her recently launched MS in Palliative Care program, Dr. McPherson continues to find time to make an impact in her field through research on both the national and international stage. She is a true powerhouse, and we are fortunate to have her as a member of our department.”

Held Sept. 5-9 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, PAINWeek is the largest pain conference in the United States for front-line clinicians with an interest in pain management. It is attended by more than 2,000 health care professionals each year, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, hospitalists, and psychologists. While many clinicians who attend present posters and deliver talks, few can match the efforts of McPherson and her team. This year, they presented three posters and delivered eight talks highlighting their current research initiatives.

“The slogan for PAINWeek is ‘education is the best analgesic’ – a philosophy that I have embraced and operationalized since the conference’s inception nearly a decade ago,” says McPherson. “I have participated in PAINWeek each year since it was first established, and watched as participation exploded from the first 50 attendees to, now, more than 2,000 participants, all of whom are hungry for information on how to best treat pain while minimizing risk associated with the realities of practice. Pharmacists have much to contribute to the care of patients coping with pain, while upholding our responsibility to protect those individuals, prescribers, other practitioners, and society as a whole – a concept that I emphasize across all of the work that I share at this event.”

The following is a list of the posters and presentations presented by McPherson and her colleagues at this year’s event:

Posters: 

  • Mendoza K, McPherson ML. Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes Regarding Use of Medical Cannabis in the Hospice Population: An Educational Intervention. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  • Williams A, Sera L, McPherson ML. Anticholinergic Burden in Hospice Patients with Dementia. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  • McPherson AL, Costantino R, Sera L, McPherson ML. Non-Prescription Medication Use in Hospice Patients. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.

Presentations: 

  • McPherson ML, Gourlay D. A Comedy of Errors: Methadone, Marijuana, and Buprenorphine. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  • McPherson ML, Ferris F, Geiger-Hayes J. Managing Pain Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Getting the Tough Jobs Done in Serious Illness. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  • McPherson ML, Glick D. Pain Terminology: Knowing the Difference Makes a Difference. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  • McPherson ML. Opioid Conversion Calculations. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  • McPherson ML, Telegadis T, McPherson AL. 3’s Company: COX-2 Inhibitors, Medicinal Marijuana, and Opioid Prescribing. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  • McPherson ML, McPherson AL. New Drug in Pain Management and Palliative Care. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  • McPherson ML, McPherson AL. Speed Dating with the Pharmacy Ladies. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  • McPherson ML, McPherson AL. The 411 on Nonprescription Analgesics: When to Hold ‘Em, When to Fold ‘Em. PAINWeek 2017, Las Vegas, NV, September 2017.
  
Malissa Carroll Clinical Care, PeopleSeptember 21, 20170 comments
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DACA Support

In response to the announcement that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was being rescinded, Campus Life Services organized listening sessions to solicit feedback regarding how to move forward as a University community to support individuals who are affected directly or indirectly by this announcement. The feedback, compassion, and support toward DACA students and their families expressed in those listening sessions was palpable.

A number of excellent suggestions were provided as a result through those listening sessions. A DACA resources page is available here. Please review the information there to learn how to find help and how to get involved. This page will be updated as more information becomes available. University President Jay A. Perman, MD, has expressed his support for DACA students and their families.

Also be aware of several events:
• The Carey School of Law’s Immigration Clinic will provide free, confidential legal services to UMB students, faculty, staff, and family members for DACA renewals on Monday, Sept. 25, from 1 to 7 p.m. Register here. Individuals who currently have work authorization pursuant to the DACA program that will expire between now and March 5, 2018, may apply to renew their DACA work authorization. The deadline for filing the renewal application is Oct. 5, 2017.

Organizing for DREAMers will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 27, from noon to 1 p.m. in the SMC Campus Center Green Room. It will include both bystander and know-your-rights information, presented by CASA.

• The UMB Student Counseling Center stands ready to assist any student who is experiencing distress. Counseling services are free, and information will not be shared with anyone without your written permission. Health Sciences and Human Services Library, 4th floor, Suite 440. 410-328-8404. Contact person: Emilia K. Petrillo

  
Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Education, People, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGASeptember 21, 20170 comments
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RISING Baltimore keynote speaker, Lord John Alderdice

Lord John Alderdice, MB, BCh, is a member of the United Kingdom House of Lords and a University of Maryland School of Medicine clinical professor in psychiatry. His keynote speech, “Building Cohesion in Deeply Divided Societies,” on Oct. 23 will kick off a two-day RISING Baltimore symposium focused on sharing community engagement strategies across communities and professions.

Alderdice has been involved in the Irish peace process for the last 30 years as a political activist, party leader, and negotiator as well as a civil society leader, academic thinker, and analyst. His work challenges deeply held views of the role of law, religion, and culture in community distress and community reconciliation. Alderdice looks forward to returning to Baltimore.

Join us to welcome Lord Alderdice on Monday, Oct. 23, at 5 p.m. in Westminster Hall, Maryland Carey School of Law.

Please register to attend.

 

  
Virginia Rowthorn Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Education, For B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 21, 20170 comments
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PSLI Orientation

Orientation for the President’s Student Leadership Institute (PSLI), a co-curricular certificate program designed to expose students to contemporary issues in leadership and professional development, will be held Sept. 26 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the SMC Campus Center. Attend this session to learn how you can fulfill the requirements and plan out the year through PSLI.

 

View MapMap and Directions | Register

Register

  
Amir ChamsazClinical CareSeptember 21, 20170 comments
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Broadway 101-Brown Bag Lunch Talk

The Hippodrome Theatre welcomes former Baltimore Sun theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck for a Broadway 101-Brown Bag Lunch series talk Sept. 27, noon to 1 p.m., that is open to all UMB students, faculty, and staff.

Rousuck will discuss reviewing plays and covering theater for more than three decades – attending the Tony Awards with John Waters and Hairspray producer Margo Lion; visiting Baltimore’s 34th Street Christmas lights display with Richard Chamberlain; and, at long last, interviewing Stephen Sondheim.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. The lunch series is part of UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture.

  
Alice Powell Bulletin Board, For B'more, People, University LifeSeptember 21, 20170 comments
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Is Your Drinking Out of Control?

A clinical trial is being conducted on an investigational medication for the treatment of heavy drinking. This study is open to men and women ages 18 and older and of European ancestry. Participation is confidential, and you will be compensated for your time and effort. Transportation can be provided.

University of Maryland School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry
Clinical Neurobehavioral Center

For more information:

Clinical Neurobehavioral Center
5900 Waterloo Road
Columbia, MD 21045
667-214-2111

  
Olga Kolesnik ResearchSeptember 19, 20170 comments
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Faculty, Students Assess Antimicrobial Practices in Zambia

Emily Heil, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID, AAHIVP, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and Neha S. Pandit, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, associate professor and vice chair for research and scholarship in PPS, traveled to Zambia in June as part of a new project to assess antibiotic use practices that will contribute to improved antimicrobial stewardship at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health worldwide,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “Health care professionals in developing countries face a myriad of unique challenges in their efforts to manage rates of infection in both inpatient and outpatient care settings. I applaud Drs. Heil and Pandit for their critical work in this field and look forward to following their progress on this new initiative.”

Assessing the threat

Antimicrobial resistance describes a bacteria or virus’ ability to stop interventions such as antibiotic or antiviral medications from working against it, rendering those treatments ineffective and contributing to the spread of infection. Limited national data have revealed that about one-third of E.coli cases diagnosed in Zambia have demonstrated a resistance to even the most advanced antibiotics, as well as a high prevalence of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection among hospitalized patients.

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a global action plan that tasked countries with a responsibility to establish strategies to mitigate antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial stewardship is an evidenced-based strategy to improve prescribing practices for antimicrobials and is essential to the antimicrobial resistance crisis. An antimicrobial stewardship program would monitor and promote the optimization of antimicrobial medications at the University Teaching Hospital by ensuring that patients receive the right medication at the correct dose for the optimal amount of time.

Heil’s and Pandit’s first trip to the University Teaching Hospital was an exploratory visit to assess its antimicrobial use practices and establish a foundation on which to conduct further research and implementation of antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.

“Although all hospitals in the United States are required to have formal antimicrobial stewardship programs, similar efforts are still very much in their infancy in countries with limited resources,”  Heil says. “Our first visit to Zambia provided us with an opportunity to survey the situation in person and understand how health care is delivered in both inpatient and outpatient settings. We also identified potential areas of improvement that we can address during future visits.”

Preparing the next generation

In addition to contributing to antimicrobial stewardship in the hospital, this project establishes new international research and education opportunities for students across the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). For their first visit, Heil and Pandit were joined by two student pharmacists from the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program and a student from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. The students had an opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary rounds with the hospital’s infectious diseases consult team, assist faculty in educating hospital staff about antimicrobial stewardship, and lead a quality improvement project focused on the timing of antibiotic administration in the hospital.

Heil received a $5,000 seed grant from the UMB Center for Global Education Initiatives to help cover travel costs associated with this visit.

“Having the opportunity to observe how health care is delivered in a developing country and witness firsthand the obstacles that health care professionals must overcome to care for their patients is a tremendous learning experience for our students,” Heil says. “Students go into these experiences wanting to have a meaningful impact on the individuals that they serve but often learn much more than they give. I hope the lessons that our students learned during their time in Zambia stay with them forever and influence not only their education, but also their future practice.”

Visit the School of Pharmacy’s blog, Inside SOP, to read reflections from third-year student pharmacist Gloria Rinomhota about her time in Zambia.

Heil and Pandit plan to return in the near future to Zambia, where they will use the results of the students’ quality improvement project to evaluate potential measures for inclusion in the hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship program.

  
Malissa Carroll Clinical Care, Education, UMB NewsSeptember 19, 20170 comments
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AAPS/DDDI Meeting Brings Drug Design and Discovery Experts to School of Pharmacy

 

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted the regional meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Drug Discovery and Development Interface (DDDI) section in August. Designed to provide a forum for drug discovery and preclinical scientists to discuss recent advances in the field of pharmaceutical sciences, the event was attended by more than 50 researchers and featured seven engaging presentations focused on the theme of advancements in drug discovery .

“Faculty across the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School of Pharmacy are involved in a number of professional and scholarly activities through AAPS,” said Andrew Coop, PhD, professor in PSC and associate dean for academic affairs for the school, who helped secure the location for the meeting. “Because the organization and our department share a common goal to advance the field of pharmaceutical sciences through the development of new therapies that improve global health, it was a natural fit for us to host the AAPS/DDDI regional meeting at the school. The turnout was phenomenal. We were truly proud to be part of such a successful event.”

Bringing together drug discovery and drug development

The DDDI section brings together researchers from academia, government, and industry whose work focuses on issues at the critical interface between drug discovery and drug development. Hazem E. Hassan, PhD, MS, RPh, RCDS, assistant professor in the PSC, and Steven Fletcher, PhD, associate professor in the PSC, are actively involved with the section and served as members of the program committee tasked with organizing the meeting.

The event featured three keynote lectures delivered by Mike Hageman, PhD, former executive director of discovery pharmaceutics at Bristol-Myers Squibb; Capt. Edward D. Bashaw, PharmD, director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and Justin Pennington, PhD, executive director of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department: Biopharmaceutics and Specialty Product Development at Merck Research Laboratories. The remaining presentations were divided between two “Hot Topic” forums.

In addition to helping organize the event, Fletcher served as a moderator for the meeting’s keynote presentations and delivered a presentation during the first Hot Topic session, which focused on transforming skill sets in early development to meet the changing landscape in the drug discovery space. Titled “New Therapeutic Modalities,” his presentation focused on his team’s research to develop new therapeutics through the disruption of protein-protein interactions in the cell.

“With protein-protein interactions, we have a much larger interface that we need to target, so the question becomes, ‘How can we do that?’ ” Fletcher said. “Because targeting these interactions presents so many challenges, only a few researchers conducted studies in this area, even as late as the 1990s. However, thanks to recent advances in the field, we now have new treatment modalities aimed at these interactions that can be used to develop new therapeutics for a wide range of illnesses.”

Leveraging academia-industry partnerships

Moderated by Patrice Jackson-Ayotunde, PhD, associate professor in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, the second “Hot Topic” session highlighted academic collaborations and preparing current and future researchers for the drug discovery support role in industry. “When we think about collaborations between academia and industry, it is almost a perfect marriage. Scientists in both areas share the same goal to bring new compounds or drugs to the market for the benefit of patients. It is truly a mutual partnership and can be a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved,” she said.

A speed-networking event also was included in the agenda to provide attendees with a fun way to learn about each other’s research through brief, structured one-on-one exchanges.

“The AAPS/DDDI Regional Meeting hosted by the School of Pharmacy provided attendees with an amazing opportunity to interact with distinguished scientists from across academia, industry, and the FDA as they discussed recent changes in the pharmaceutical landscape,” Hassan said. “The quality of the presentations, the thought-provoking discussions during the ‘Hot Topic’ debates, the speed-networking event, and the participation from students were exceptional. I am thrilled by the positive feedback that we have received.”

  
Malissa Carroll Research, UMB NewsSeptember 19, 20170 comments
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Understanding Health Care Challenges in Zambia

By Gloria Rinomhota, Third-Year Student Pharmacist

During the summer, I participated in a three-week interprofessional global health project in Lusaka, Zambia, through the UMB Center for Global Education Initiatives. Joining me were fourth-year student pharmacist Dana Valentine, nursing student Katie Doyle, and medical student Alexandra Laps. We worked under the leadership of two faculty members from the School of Pharmacy, Emily Heil, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID, AAHIVP, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS), and Neha Pandit, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP, assistant professor and vice chair for research and scholarship in PPS, to evaluate antibiotic administration at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka.

Upon arrival at UTH, I could not wait to get started. Throughout my three weeks there, I participated in hospital ward rounds, afternoon lectures, presentations, and adult and pediatric HIV clinics. My most enjoyable moments came from the afternoon lectures. Although I was familiar with most of the topics presented, it was intriguing to think about those topics in different clinical settings. What drugs are currently available? What interventions should or should not be used in different clinical situations?

The human touch

As scenarios presented themselves, I came to understand what “resource-limited” truly meant. During an adult clinic, a patient showed signs of noncompliance to her HIV medications and was reluctant to accept her medication regimen because of the number of pills. Once the patient left, I asked the doctor about her behavior,  what interventions might be best for her, and if her preference as a patient was prioritized. The doctor said, “We treat patients based on what’s available.” The more time I spent in the clinics, the more evident that statement became.

Another patient I vividly remember was a vibrant 21-year-old  man who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a condition in which your body stops producing new red blood cells. I saw him a couple of times during our morning rounds with the infectious diseases team. The last time I saw him, he was sitting in a chair in his private hospital room listening to music, talking, and looking much better than he had at his previous appointment. His care team had tried administering blood with little to no improvement. There were limited options for him, with the exception of a bone marrow transplant, though I came to learn there was no bone marrow transplant service in Zambia.

When one of our professors asked what could be done, the doctor raised his eyebrows in a way that said, “We just wait.” Although another doctor wanted to prescribe a special medication that might temporarily prolong his life — his body had turned against him and was sucking all the blood he had — we discovered that it would take a week or two for the hospital to have it delivered. He did not make it.

One of the best

While we encountered a number of patients for which few interventions were available, I was highly impressed with how organized the hospital was and the way  different departments operated. UTH is one of the best health care systems I have experienced in Africa. Before traveling to Zambia, I had spent time in several pharmacies at a teaching hospital in Zimbabwe and attended a pediatric clinic at a hospital in Nigeria. Comparing those experiences to my time at UTH, the progress I saw in Zambia was inspiring. I also was happy to learn that the government covered most, if not all, patient medical expenses, with the exception of imaging and laboratory tests. In some instances, the government even covered expenses for citizens to obtain treatment in India if it was not available in Zambia.

A new appreciation

As part of an interprofessional team, I highly appreciated and valued the expertise of my peers. From our student nurse, I learned the importance of preventing pressure ulcers in hospitalized patients. I also learned that pressure ulcers take time to heal, which can cause excruciating pain. To prevent pressure ulcers, nurses occasionally will manually turn patients. Before this experience, I would never have considered this an important issue.

I also gained a lot of exposure to direct patient care in a hospital setting, where I saw and learned about different disease states, including some rare diseases. Although there are challenges that must be overcome in terms of resources and training, I think Zambia is heading in the right direction and making remarkable progress in the field of patient care.

This experience offered me a different perspective on the way health care is delivered in an area with limited resources. As I finish my last two years of pharmacy school, I have started to think more about our local community, especially the residents who don’t have access to the health care that many of us take for granted. This trip and my experiences at home have influenced me to leverage what I have learned as a student pharmacist to become more involved in my community and volunteer to serve those who are underserved in the local area.

  
Gloria Rinomhota Clinical Care, Education, PeopleSeptember 19, 20170 comments
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Welcome Captain Carter

The Department of Public Safety welcomes Capt. Dameon Carter, MS, to the UMB Police Force.

Carter, who became captain on Sept. 5, 2017, is no stranger to UMB, having served as a lieutenant in 2015 before returning to the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).

He joined the BPD in 1994, rising to the rank of detective lieutenant in charge of district investigations for the Western District of Baltimore City. After a brief retirement in 2015, he returned to the BPD late that year as the investigative shift commander (acting captain) for BPD’s Homicide Section.

At UMB, he will be in charge of the Support Services Bureau, which includes the Detective Section, Victim-Witness Services, Evidence Control Section, Quartermasters Section, Crime Prevention Section, Recruitment and Background Investigations Section, Communications Section, and Records Section.

“Capt. Carter has a vast amount of police leadership experience and investigative experience,” said UMB Interim Police Chief Martinez Davenport Sr., MS. “He is dedicated to serving the public and creating crime prevention initiatives geared toward making Baltimore City and our campus a safe place to live, work, and learn. I’m proud to welcome him to the University.”

A Baltimore native, Carter was raised in the Flag House Housing Projects and graduated from Southern High School in 1991. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines and served in Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait, rising to the rank of sergeant. Carter obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in applied behavior science-management at Johns Hopkins University. He currently resides in Cecil County with his wife, Valencia. He also has two children, ages 15 and 18.

Said Carter: “It is an honor to be a part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore family. Serving the community is my passion; it is my goal to make the UMB campus the safest campus in the nation. Thank you for the opportunity.”

  
Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 18, 20170 comments
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Flu Shots

School of Pharmacy Students Hosting Flu Shot Clinic

It’s flu shot time, and members of the School of Pharmacy’s APhA-Academy of Student Pharmacists have their vaccinations ready and will be hosting a flu shot clinic, sponsored by Walgreens, for the campus community Sept. 27, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Balch Gallery in Pharmacy Hall.

Vaccinations cost $25, may be covered by insurance, and can be paid by cash, check, or credit card. Remember to bring a government-issued photo ID and your medical and prescription insurance cards.

Those wishing to participate must RSVP by completing this online form.

  
Erin Merino People, University LifeSeptember 18, 20170 comments
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Multi-Factor Authentication Coming for Office 365

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is being rolled out for Office 365 this fall as a means to provide extra cyber security and guard against phishing attacks.

At UMB, we will be transitioning to an approach that allows you to use a mobile device in addition to your UMID and password to achieve a significantly higher level of security and almost entirely negate the risk associated with phishing and similar attacks.

In the coming weeks, the Center for Information Technology (CITS) will hold a series of demonstrations on how to register your MFA device and how to sign on to and interact with Office 365.

Go to the CITS web page on MFA for a regularly updated schedule of these demonstrations and more information about multi-factor authentication.

  
Joe Dincau TechnologySeptember 18, 20170 comments
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Pills

School of Pharmacy, UCSF Partner on Pediatric Drug Initiative

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) has established a collaborative partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) schools of medicine and pharmacy.

Led by the Center for Translational Medicine (CTM) at the UMSOP, the partnership brings together academic leaders in the fields of pediatrics, pediatric clinical pharmacology, pharmacometrics, and regulatory science for a new initiative focused on advancing pediatric drug and device development and providing expanded research and educational opportunities for faculty, students, and trainees at both institutions.

“The unique challenges of conducting clinical research in children have caused the translation of basic insights into therapeutic advances for children’s health to lag far behind drug development for adults,” says Joga Gobburu, PhD, MBA, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and director of the CTM. “We believe that academic research institutions like the School of Pharmacy and UCSF have a unique opportunity and responsibility to contribute to better pediatric health. Partnerships like this allow us to combine the expertise of faculty at both institutions to provide a first-of-its-kind service that will accelerate the pace of approved pediatric interventions, while also helping to train the next generation of pediatric research and clinical innovators.”

The cost of pediatric health care in the United States continues to rise. In 2012, approximately $429 million was spent on health care for children, compared to $298 million in 2000. Yet, most drugs prescribed for children have not been tested in pediatric populations. Recent advances in the understanding of children’s physiology, combined with advances in pharmacometric modeling and the development of more clinically relevant animal models, have started to shift the focus of pediatric drug development away from protecting children against clinical research to protecting them through research. This initiative will bring together a premier network of pediatric researchers from the UMSOP and UCSF to identify opportunities for the development of new therapeutics for pediatric applications and establish cutting-edge programs to support the preclinical and clinical development of existing and novel therapeutics for pediatric populations, including clinical trials.

“This partnership will not only further advance the academic, scientific, and research programs at both of our institutions, but also maximize our mutual ability to generate and disseminate knowledge and apply that knowledge to solve today’s most challenging health care problems,” Gobburu says. “Both of our universities will become leaders in facilitating efficient pediatric drug and device development by commercial and government organizations.”

The partnership also establishes exchange programs through which faculty, students, and trainees from both institutions can pursue a short- or long-term course of study. The CTM will bring its expertise in the field of pharmacometrics to these programs, showcasing how this multidisciplinary approach to studying therapeutics that integrates the relationships between diseases, drug characteristics, and individual variability across drug development can help health care professionals tailor treatments to individual patients.

“For the students who come to the School of Pharmacy, this is an opportunity for them to learn how to use quantitative methods for dosing,” says Vijay Ivaturi, PhD, research assistant professor in PPS. “That will truly be the biggest gain for them, because they will not learn those methods as part of the regular Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.”

“These exchange programs will be crucial in expanding the knowledge of both current and future pediatric clinical pharmacists and translational pharmacometricians, as well as propelling forward the field of pediatric therapeutics and drug development,” adds Janel R. Long-Boyle, PharmD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Division of Pediatric Allergy/Immunology/Blood and Marrow Transplantation at UCSF.

The UMSOP hosted its first trainee from UCSF under the new partnership this past spring.

“While I understand how science can change practice, I also feel that practice is what truly guides science,” says Danna Chan, PharmD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF, who studied pharmacometrics and its implications for personalized medicine at the school. “My experience studying pharmacometrics at the School of Pharmacy has been phenomenal. The faculty in the CTM are well versed in the field, and I feel that my knowledge in this area has increased exponentially during my time here. I am excited to take the lessons that I have learned and apply them to help the patients that we treat at UCSF.”

  
Malissa Carroll Collaboration, Education, Research, UMB NewsSeptember 18, 20170 comments
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