Research posts displayed by category

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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Mark Shirtliff, PhD

UMB Mourns Researcher, Entrepreneur Mark Shirtliff

Mark Shirtliff, PhDThe University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) community was saddened to learn that researcher and entrepreneur Mark E. Shirtliff, PhD, lost his life after a raft overturned in the Yellowstone River near Gardiner, Mont., on July 12.

Shirtliff held a primary appointment as professor in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis in the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) and a secondary appointment as professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM).

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,” said Mark A. Reynolds, DDS, PhD, MA, dean and professor of UMSOD. “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.

Services are being held Wednesday in Bozeman. A memorial service to be held at UMB is being planned for next week.

— Patricia Fanning

Patricia FanningPeople, Research, UMB NewsJuly 17, 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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The President's Message-June

The President’s Message

Check out the June issue of The President’s Message.

It includes:

  • Dr. Perman’s column on last month’s State of the University Address
  • A recap of commencement, UMB’s Neighborhood Spring Festival, Glendening and Ehrlich’s political discussion, and the CURE Scholars’ end-of-year celebration
  • A look ahead to Dr. Perman’s June 19 Q&A
  • Stories on philanthropic gifts to the schools of medicine and nursing
  • Two more employees benefit from the Live Near Your Work Program
  • UMB police start active shooter response training
  • A roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJune 11, 20180 comments
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Alexander MacKerell at the CADD Symposium

CADD Symposium Shows Collaboration is Key in Drug Discovery

The Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) Center — an organized research center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) that is housed within and led by faculty at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy — welcomed researchers from across academia, government, and industry to its biennial CADD Symposium on May 23. Designed to facilitate collaborations between the CADD Center and researchers across the University System of Maryland and beyond, the symposium presented recent developments in the fields of drug design and development and offered opportunities for researchers to network and discuss potential collaborations.

“As researchers, we know that collaboration is key not only to the success of our individual projects, but also to the advancement of science as a whole,” says Peter Swaan, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) and associate dean for research and graduate education at the School of Pharmacy, who offered opening remarks to attendees. “For nearly 20 years, the CADD Center has been phenomenally successful in its efforts to foster collaborative research between biologists, biophysicists, structural biologists, and computational scientists. In addition to highlighting the latest advances in computational chemistry, this symposium explores how the research being conducted in this field can be applied to solve important biological and clinical problems in other areas.”

Bringing Experimentalists and Computational Chemists Together

The symposium was organized by Alexander MacKerell, PhD, the Grollman-Glick Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and director of the CADD Center at the School of Pharmacy, who kicked off the event alongside David Weber, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and director of the Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The two researchers presented an overview of the drug discovery initiatives being pursued by scientists across UMB.

“By combining experimental methods with computational methods, we can help expedite the drug design process,” MacKerell said. “On their own, experimental and computational methods are very useful. However, when you combine the information, it works in a synergistic fashion to move the science ahead. Each problem is unique, and selecting the appropriate methodology to apply can be challenging. That is why researchers at the CADD Center regularly interact with experimentalists to take the idea from the basic science stage and identify compounds that can be molded into new drug candidates and brought to the market.”

Pioneering the Development of Biologic Drugs

Sponsored by the School of Pharmacy, SilcsBio LLC, and Early Charm Ventures, this year’s symposium focused on biologics. Unlike most medications that are developed through chemical syntheses, biologics — which include vaccines, certain medications for cancer and autoimmune diseases, as well as emerging drugs for cell and gene therapies — are made with living cells and represent the cutting edge of biomedical research, often succeeding where traditional drug treatments have failed.

The symposium featured presentations from a number of faculty members at the School of Pharmacy, including Bruce Yu, PhD, professor in PSC and director of the school’s Bio- and Nano-technology Center, who presented his work to develop a water proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology that uses a benchtop device to perform non-invasive chemical analyses to help ensure the quality of biologics throughout the manufacturing process. Explaining that there are a number of errors that can occur during the pharmaceutical manufacturing process, Yu noted that his benchtop device would allow manufacturers and health care practitioners, such as pharmacists and doctors, to detect these rare but serious product defects before the drug is dispensed to a patient.

“Think about weather forecasting,” Yu said. “Meteorologists use large supercomputers to help formulate their predictions for the week’s upcoming forecast. However, the average individual also has access to an app on his or her smartphone that can display that same forecast whenever it is opened. That is how we think about our work — this benchtop device will be the app equivalent of the large NMR spectrometers with which many of us are already familiar.”

Showcasing Regional Research

Additional presenters from the School of Pharmacy included Jana Shen, PhD, associate professor of PSC and co-director of the CADD Center, who presented her work on incorporating pH in structure-based drug design; Stephen Hoag, PhD, professor of PSC and director of the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Facility at the school, who spoke about the formulation of therapeutic antibodies for colonic delivery; and Lisa Jones, PhD, assistant professor in PSC, who highlighted her efforts to examine protein structure in vivo (within living organisms).

Embracing the CADD Center’s pharmapreneurial spirit, the symposium also included a presentation by the Office of Technology Transfer at UMB, which spotlighted the University’s commitment to helping faculty bring their new technologies into commercial development.

Other presentations were delivered by Jeffrey J. Gray, PhD, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University; Sandeep Somani, PhD, senior scientist at Janssen Pharmaceuticals; Joseph Curtis, PhD, research chemist at the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST); Luke Arbogast, PhD, research chemist at NIST; Eric Sundberg, PhD, professor of medicine and co-director for the Basic Science Division with the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; Alex Drohot, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the School of Medicine; and Suresh Singh, PhD, vice president of HotSpot Therapeutics.

“I attended the CADD Symposium because I was interested in learning more about computer-aided drug design,” said Ben Nkapbela, an undergraduate student at York College of Pennsylvania. “I truly value all of the connections that I have made with other researchers during my time at the symposium as well as all of the information that I have gained from listening to the presentations.”

The symposium concluded with a poster session that offered attendees the opportunity to learn more about the cutting-edge research being conducted across the regions.

To watch a video about the symposium, go to YouTube.

Malissa CarrollCollaboration, Research, UMB NewsJune 8, 20180 comments
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Dr. Noel Wilkin

Pumpian Lecture Explores Meaning in Pharmacy Profession

Chasing innovation — being an entrepreneur — is not an easy task, especially when creative or financial resources are limited. So why would an individual willingly choose to pursue such a difficult endeavor?

This was the question Noel E. Wilkin, RPh, BSP ’89, PhD ’97, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of pharmacy administration at the University of Mississippi, sought to answer as he delivered the annual Paul A. Pumpian Memorial Lecture at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy on April 11.

More than Money

Titled “Innovation and Meaning: The Building Blocks of Entrepreneurship and Professional Satisfaction,” Wilkin’s lecture focused on a grant he received from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) that aimed to encourage pharmacists to implement more innovative approaches in their practices by demonstrating how profitable such innovations could be for the pharmacy.

However, Wilkin was quick to explain that the results of his research did not quite match his funders’ original hypothesis.

“NCPA was convinced that pharmacies would innovate if we could demonstrate how profitable it was for pharmacists,” said Wilkin, who also serves as a research professor for the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Mississippi. “But our team quickly recognized that there was no profitability source. We had 300 pharmacists coming to a sponsored breakfast to learn about how to innovate and how to be profitable, and we had nothing to tell them. We were panicking.”

Do What Makes You Happy

Wilkin and his team conducted interviews at 14 pharmacies across the country to learn about the factors that motivated those pharmacists to innovate in their practices. Although none of the pharmacists reported increased profits as a motivator or result of incorporating their innovations into their practice, they explained that their innovations left them feeling a high level of personal and professional satisfaction. One pharmacist interviewed by Wilkin even described his motivation to rearrange his practice by saying, “My lawn service calls me before I need my lawn serviced. Why can’t my pharmacist call and talk to me about my medications before I need my prescriptions refilled?”

Although Wilkin appreciated the honesty with which the pharmacists responded to his questions, he struggled to frame the results in a way that would encourage other pharmacists to pursue innovation in their own practices. It was an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart that led Wilkin to his greatest epiphany surrounding the reasons that pharmacists might still choose to pursue innovation even in the face of constrained resources.

“I’m lying awake thinking about this problem, and Jon Stewart began interviewing a man named Tal Ben-Shahar, a faculty member at Harvard who had just written a book titled Happier,” Wilkin recalled. “And, as I laid there listening to him talk about people who are pursuing meaning in their lives and how it made them happier, it clicked. Pharmacists were not innovating because they were motivated by money. They were not innovating because the pharmacy profession told them it was what they ought to do. Instead, they were doing it because it made them happy.”

Find Meaning in Your Work

Wilkin then further examined personal motivators, such as identity and purpose, as potential drivers behind pharmacists’ desire to innovate in their practices.

“We know that identity drives actions,” he said. “Our purpose is manifested in our roles; it gives us a sense of direction. Accepting the role of being health care professionals affects our actions and outlines our purpose. It is our reason for being, and success in this role is then knowing our purpose, growing to reach our potential, and sowing those seeds to help others.”

He also explored the concept of “meaning,” noting that if pharmacists have accepted their role as health care professionals, pharmacies can further energize their performance by ensuring that the activities in which they are engaged relate to their purpose and have significant value or an impact on others — or, in other words, are meaningful.

“Meaning is self-generated,” Wilkin said. “It’s based on your experiences and linked to the circumstances that you accept in your life and that define your purpose. It’s also linked to, I believe, happiness. It’s the pursuit of meaning on an everyday basis and on a long-term basis that helps you to appreciate and understand happiness.”

Strive for Lasting Happiness

Wilkin argued that happiness is not a dichotomy in which a person is or is not happy at a given time, as many people think. Instead, he posited that all individuals, including pharmacists, can achieve sustained happiness by engaging in activities that offer both an immediate, present benefit as well as goals that they can strive to achieve in the future (or future benefit). “If you get in touch with what you believe is your meaning and it brings you present benefit and future benefit, then it’s going to result in greater happiness and, ultimately, it will help you find direction as you engage in activities that are connected to your roles in society,” he said.

To conclude his lecture, Wilkin revisited the pharmacists he interviewed during his NCPA-funded study.

“Pharmacists have incredible opportunities to find purpose and meaning in their work,” he said. “For the pharmacists that we interviewed, the purpose and meaning that they found wasn’t a function of profitability; it wasn’t a function of them making more money. Instead, it was a function of them finding incredible meaning in their life — taking daily pleasure in their work and the benefit they found in interacting with patients on a day-to-day basis, while also keeping sight of their overall goal and drive to improve the health of their patients.”

Malissa CarrollPeople, Research, UMB NewsJune 7, 20180 comments
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SOP’s Hollenbeck Honored with Distinguished Alumnus Award

The Purdue University College of Pharmacy has named R. Gary Hollenbeck, PhD, affiliate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) and research fellow in the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, one of its 2018 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni. Established in 1984, the award celebrates the outstanding achievements in professional and scientific endeavors of the college’s most prominent alumni.

Hollenbeck is one of four alumni from the college to be recognized with the award this year.

“Our department was thrilled to hear about Dr. Hollenbeck’s recognition as one of Purdue University College of Pharmacy’s distinguished pharmacy alumni,” says Paul Shapiro, PhD, professor and chair of PSC. “During his time at the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Hollenbeck has had an indelible impact on the advancement of pharmacy education and pharmaceutical research, spearheading the launch of both the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program and GMP facility. His alma mater certainly chose well in selecting him to receive this prestigious honor, and we congratulate him on this award.”

Advancing Pharmacy Education

Hollenbeck received his Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Albany College of Pharmacy in 1972 and completed his doctorate in industrial and physical pharmacy at Purdue University in 1977. He joined the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in 1977, rising through the ranks to become a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and associate dean for academic programs. During his service as associate dean for academic programs from 1991 to 1996, Hollenbeck played a key role in the transition from the school’s Bachelor of Science program to its now nationally recognized PharmD program.

“The School of Pharmacy was the first pharmacy school on the East Coast to transition to the entry-level PharmD program,” Hollenbeck says. “I worked alongside our faculty to establish an unprecedented curriculum that was focused on instructional design, student abilities, and outcomes. In fact, many of the elements that we incorporated into our initial program still exist in the curriculum today.”

Pioneering New Research Collaborations

In addition to his numerous achievements as an educator — which include receiving the school’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1980 and 1984, being named the school’s Teacher of the Year in 1991, and being selected as the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Founders Week Teacher of the Year in 2002 — Hollenbeck was instrumental in securing  a multimillion-dollar collaborative agreement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which aimed to establish a scientific basis for the review of new and amended drug applications. This collaborative agreement also provided the initial funding to establish a GMP facility at the School of Pharmacy.

“What began as a conceptual document ultimately led to one of the most successful collaborations between the FDA, industry, and academia ever,” says Hollenbeck, who, along with his associates, received a Special Recognition Award from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA to recognize of their work on the project in 1996.

In 1997, Hollenbeck became a principal figure in the formation and development of UPM Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an independent contract development and manufacturing organization serving the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He later joined the company as its chief scientific officer, before returning to the School of Pharmacy in 2016, where he participates in early-stage pharmaceutical research and development and directs clinical supplies production in the GMP facility.

Recognizing Where It All Began

Though most of his career accomplishments have been associated with the School of Pharmacy, Hollenbeck emphasizes that it was the knowledge and training that he received from the Purdue University College of Pharmacy that helped put him on the path to success.

“It would in no way be an overstatement to say that the Purdue educational experience transformed my life,” Hollenbeck says. “Small-town boy on a Big Ten campus — I discovered myself. I was fortunate to find the perfect program for me and to matriculate with such a wonderful group of faculty and graduate students. The degree I earned at Purdue opened the door to an incredibly rewarding professional career.”

Hollenbeck received his award during a ceremony held at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy on April 6.

— Malissa Carroll


Malissa CarrollPeople, Research, UMB NewsMay 22, 20180 comments
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Discover and Share Data with New UMB Data Catalog

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) is proud to introduce the UMB Data Catalog, a searchable and browsable collection of records describing datasets generated by UMB researchers.

The UMB Data Catalog promotes research collaboration and data sharing by facilitating the discovery of data sets that may be otherwise hard to find or unavailable from data repositories. Rather than functioning as a repository to store data, the Data Catalog provides information about data sets, including a description of the data set, keywords,  file format and size, access rights, and links to associated articles. With the UMB Data Catalog, researchers can describe their data and make it discoverable, but they are not required to share their data. Instead, the catalog allows users to request data access through an author, an administrator, or a repository. By allowing researchers to identify common research interests and by supporting the sharing and reuse of research data, the UMB Data Catalog has the capacity to promote interdisciplinary collaboration.

The HS/HSL is a member of the Data Catalog Collaboration Project (DCCP) along with New York University (NYU); the University of Pittsburgh; the University of Virginia; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Duke University. Members run their own installations of the data catalog, developed by NYU, but work together to share and improve system design, content curation, and outreach efforts.

The HS/HSL thanks the researchers who have contributed to the UMB Data Catalog during its initial development phase.

  • Sergei P. Atamas, MD, PhD, School of Medicine
  • Peter Doshi, PhD, School of Pharmacy
  • Corey Shdaimah, LLM, PhD, School of Social Work
  • Jay Unick, MSW, PhD, School of Social Work

Help us build the UMB Data Catalog! If you are interested in submitting a data set, have a suggestion for additional data sets to add, or need more information about the project, please contact us.

Everly BrownCollaboration, Education, Research, TechnologyMay 22, 20180 comments
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UMMC Schwartz Rounds: ‘When Tragedy Strikes and Compassion Wanes’

The University of Maryland Medical Center will host a Schwartz Rounds forum May 29 that is open to all employees. The topic: “Amidst Embers: When Tragedy Strikes and Compassion Wanes.”

Join our monthly multidisciplinary forum and engage with caregivers in a conversation about the emotional and social issues associated with caring for patients. Panelists will present case studies and facilitate an interactive discussion in which participants can share their experiences.

Here are the details:

  • When: Tuesday, May 29
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Where: UMMC Auditorium, 22 S. Greene St., Baltimore, MD 21201
  • Registration: Go to this link.
  • Note: Lunch will be provided.
  • Continuing education: Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and social workers who attend will be eligible to earn one AMA PRA Category 1 credit, one Nursing Continuing Education Hour, or one SW Category 1 CEU.
Briana MathisClinical Care, Education, Research, UMB News, University LifeMay 22, 20180 comments
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Seeking Participants to Screen for Elevated Blood Sugar Levels

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine want 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:

  • Male or female, 18 years of age or older
  • Prediabetic determined by elevated blood glucose or HbA1c (possible risk factors for prediabetes include being overweight, inactive, and family history)

Participants who take part in the screening will receive $25 for their time (additional payment if eligible and enrolled in the research study).

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
  • Once enrolled, 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

Contact information

Mary Bahr-Robertson
Phone: 410-706-6155

The principal investigator for this study is Chris D’Adamo, PhD

Deborah TaberResearch, University LifeMay 16, 20180 comments
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