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MS in Health and Social Innovation

Earn a Master’s in Health and Social Innovation

The University of Maryland Graduate School is launching an MS in Health and Social Innovation program to challenge students to explore and apply principles of innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking to solve complex health and social challenges.

An online info session will be held Dec. 10 from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sign up here.

Interested students can apply now at this webpage.

lcortinaEducation, Research, UMB News, University LifeNovember 13, 20180 comments
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University of Maryland School of Medicine and Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health logo

Female Volunteers Needed for Cytomegalovirus Vaccine Study

The Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD) at the School of Medicine is recruiting healthy females for a study on human cytomegalovirus (CMV). To learn more, go to this webpage.

You may be eligible if you are:

  • A female
  • 16 to 35 years old
  • In good health
  • Have exposure to young children

Participation lasts about three years. You will receive three investigational vaccinations. You will be compensated for your time and transportation. For more information, call 410-706-6156 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Human CMV also is known as human herpesvirus 5 (HHV-5). Contracting CMV appears to require close or intimate contact with persons who are releasing CMV in their urine, saliva, or other secretions. CMV also can be transmitted via blood transfusion, breast milk, sexual intercourse, and transplanted organs.

In most healthy individuals, CMV infection is symptom-free. When symptoms are present, they are often mild, can be confused with other illnesses, and include fever, sore throat, fatigue, and/or swollen glands. After infection, the virus remains in the body. Healthy individuals with latent CMV infection can reactivate to shed the virus in their saliva or urine, which also is predominantly symptom-free. It is known that CMV can cause serious disease in newborns who are exposed during the pregnancy and in immuno-compromised individuals. The range of disease in newborns with CMV infection includes fetal/infant death to neurological and sensory impairments, which are diagnosed later in childhood.

Linda WadsworthBulletin Board, ResearchNovember 13, 20180 comments
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The President's Message-November

The President’s Message

Check out the November issue of The President’s Message. It includes:

  • Dr. Perman’s column on UMB leadership’s 10-day trip to Asia
  • A look back at Founders Week
  • UMB Police launch COAST outreach team
  • A new cohort of CURE Scholars dons white coats
  • First piece of public art at UMB unveiled
  • Then-Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith joins White Paper discussion on gun violence
  • A look ahead to the UMB TEDx event (Nov. 9) and Barbara Mikulski’s visit (Nov. 27)
  • A roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements and a call for Board of Regents’ Staff Award nominations
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGANovember 9, 20180 comments
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Sunscreen

UMSOP Researchers Present on Absorption of Common Sunscreen Ingredient

With the growing awareness of ultraviolet (UV) exposure resulting in an increased risk of photoaging and skin cancers, consumers are using higher sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreens with frequent reapplication. However, new research conducted by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) demonstrates that heat and reapplication influences different sunscreen products containing the same amount of a key ingredient, oxybenzone, potentially affecting safety and toxicity of the UV filters included in sunscreens.

Titled “Evaluation of Reapplication and Controlled Heat Exposure on Oxybenzone Permeation from Commercial Sunscreen Using Excised Human Abdominal Skin,” this research was presented at the 2018 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) PharmSci 360 Meeting in November in Washington, D.C.

“What our research shows is that current safety testing procedures may be underestimating the amount of oxybenzone being absorbed into the skin considering heat and reapplication, such as someone sunbathing on the beach,” said presenting author Paige Zambrana, a pharmaceutical sciences student at UMSOP. “Although sunscreens are intended for the entire body under higher temperatures with reapplication every 80 minutes, safety testing for setting UV filter limits only require single dose testing under baseline skin temperature of 32 degrees Celsius.”

The researchers performed in vitro permeation tests, which indicated that oxybenzone, using lotion and spray sunscreen formulations, was able to permeate human skin with significantly higher cumulative permeation occurring from the lotion. With the addition of 24-hour heat exposure on the lotion, there was a 2.1-fold increase in cumulative permeation of oxybenzone when comparing sunscreen reapplication at 80 min and 160 min, to a single application and a 1.2-fold increase in permeation when comparing 24-hour heat application to 24-hour baseline temperature sunscreen reapplication studies. When comparing formulations, applying lotion with 24-hour heat and reapplication significantly increased the cumulative oxybenzone permeation 3.1-fold more than the spray reapplication.

“Although sunscreen use is important and generally safe, our work suggests that some additional preclinical and clinical safety testing parameters should be considered before maximum UV filter levels are established,” noted Audra Stinchcomb, PhD, principal investigator and professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UMSOP.  “Also, given oxybenzone’s potential environmental hazards and recently being banned in Hawaii, we are focused on how different factors affect people to provide accurate predictions of total oxybenzone absorption.”

The next stage of this work will examine sunscreen use through controlled in vitro and in vivo testing procedures with the eventual aim of establishing an in vitro-in vivo correlation between the two tests. In addition, clinical trials with currently marketed sunscreen products will be performed to assess sunscreen use conditions allowing for a better understanding of the current maximum absorption of oxybenzone.

— Stacey May

(Note: Photo  from www.pixabay.com)

Malissa CarrollResearch, UMB NewsNovember 9, 20180 comments
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TEDx at UMB: Improving the Human Condition

Coming Friday: TEDx UMB on ‘Improving the Human Condition’

The TEDx University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) event will be held Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, at the SMC Campus Center Elm Ballrooms.

Tickets are sold out, but you can still watch the TEDx University of Maryland, Baltimore event and its lineup of 10 speakers on a livestream at the TEDxUMB website Friday. The theme of the daylong event is “Improving the Human Condition.” The speakers will begin at 10 a.m. and the event closes at 3 p.m. For a schedule, go to this webpage.

Here are the speakers in order, with TED Talk videos interspersed (read about the speakers on the TEDxUMB website.)

Jay A. Perman, MD
No Money, No Mission

Jeff Johnson
Disruptive Communication: Killing the Echo Chamber to Save the Ecosystem

TED Talk Video by Derek Sivers
How to Start a Movement

Sarah Murthi, MD
Seeing Into the Future: Augmented and Virtual Reality in Medicine

Russell McClain, JD ’95
Invisible Influences in Education: Implicit Bias, Stereotype Threat, and the Achievement Gap

TED Talk Video by Joseph Ravenell
How Barbershops Can Keep Men Healthy

Julie Gilliam, ScD, MS
Finding the Middle Ground in Gender

TED Talk Video by Dave Troy
Social Maps That Reveal a City’s Intersections – and Separations

Frank Pasquale, JD, MPhil
From Cost Disease to Cost Cure: Revitalizing Economic Growth with Renewed Commitment to the Caring Professions

Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS
Are Placebos the Solution? Tackling the Opioid Epidemic in the Decades Ahead

Nadine M. Finigan-Carr, PhD, MS
Child Prostitutes Don’t Exist

TED Talk Video by Erricka Bridgeford
How Baltimore Called a Ceasefire

Samuel A. Tisherman, MD, FACS, FCCM
A Cool Way to Save Dying Trauma Patients

Jenny Owens, ScD, MS
Hosts for Humanity: Tapping Into the Collective Compassion of Volunteers to House Patient-Families Traveling for Care

 

Communications and Public AffairsCollaboration, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeNovember 8, 20180 comments
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National Library of Medicine Director Patricia Brennan stands with event organizers.

Libraries Help to Provide New Pathways to Precision Health

Patricia Brennan, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, a pioneer in the development of information systems for patients, was ready to enjoy retirement when she was asked to join the National Library of Medicine (NLM) as its director two years ago, and she has not looked back since.

“I was well on my way to the lounge chair and the knitting club and then I took this job,” Brennan said during her keynote lecture Oct. 11 at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) titled, “Precision Health and the National Library of Medicine: From Accelerating Discovery to Improving Health and Well-Being.”

“Now, why would someone who was well on her way to nirvana move to Washington?” she asked. “Well, it’s a fabulous job. It’s an amazing place. But I control the biomedical knowledge of the world. So, by shaping the way we index, curate, distribute research … I am able to broaden the conversation from medicine to health.”

The NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library and the producer of digital information services used by scientists, health professionals, and members of the public worldwide. Brennan became its 19th director in August 2016.

Mary J. Tooey, MLS, AHIP, FMLA, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, executive director of the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL), and director of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region, was excited about welcoming Brennan, calling her the HS/HSL’s unofficial “captain.”

“As a health sciences library, and a health sciences librarian, we think of the National Library of Medicine as the ‘mothership,’ and so I guess that means that Dr. Brennan is our leader, Captain Patty T. Kirk,” Tooey quipped. “I can’t underscore the importance and great fortune of having the National Library of Medicine as the leader and partner of the important work of collecting, organizing, and making biomedical information available in whatever the format, print, digital, and certainly, data. The NLM articulates and sets strategic directions for our profession.”

For more than 35 years, the HS/HSL has been designated as the regional headquarters for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern/Atlantic region, one of eight regional headquarters in the United States, Tooey said. As a regional headquarters, the HS/HSL serves 1,600 network members throughout the region, working as a field office for the NLM.

“Patti Brennan came to the NLM a little more than two years ago, developed a new strategic plan with a cast of thousands, and has health sciences librarians and libraries casting themselves forward into new and exciting places — to boldly go where many had never considered going before. So, you can see why our library community is excited to have her here,” Tooey said.

Joining Tooey in her excitement about Brennan’s visit to UMSON was Eun-Shin Nahm, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, program director, Nursing Informatics, and co-director of the Center of Excellence in Biology and Behavior Across the Life Span. She introduced Brennan, calling her “a visionary leader in health care informatics and my esteemed mentor.”

Since assuming her directorship, Brennan has positioned the NLM to be the hub of data science at the National Institutes of Health and a national and international leader in the field, Nahm said. “She spearheaded the development of a new strategic plan that envisions NLM as a platform for biomedical discovery and data-powered health.”

The NLM is a strong and robust library, Brennan said, committed to a national network of libraries of medicine made up of 7,000 institutions around the country that provide NLM’s reach “into everywhere and most importantly into the homes of those who need the health information that we have.” It began as a small bookshelf in a hospital in the 1830s, she noted.

“It has grown to touch every corner of the world and has shaped every biomedical discovery that has happened in the last 50 years,” Brennan said. “You can’t innovate, discover or peer [review] without us.”

The lecture centered around the concept of precision medicine, which Brennan described as an approach to patient care that allows doctors to select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on the genetic understanding of their disease.

“I would submit to you that this definition of precision medicine is not complete. It is accurate but not complete,” she said. “To make precision medicine work, we have to know the person in context. Precision medicine is a new era of health care that will enable treatment to be tailored and prevention to be aligned with people’s unique structure, their characteristics, their gene sequence, how they live, where they grew up.”

Nurses play a unique role in broadening the conversation from precision medicine to precision health, said Brennan, a nurse herself.

“What is it that nurses know that others might not know? Nurses know about the human response,” she said. “Nursing is about the diagnosis and treatment of human response to disease, disability, and developmental crisis. We understand pathology. We understand cellular structure. We understand social engagement, but we know about the human response. Nurses also know about the care between the care, what happens between visits. Because people live health every day, and if the NLM is only available at the point of encounter with our health care system, we are failing our patients.

“To transform precision medicine to precision health, we have to have patients as partners. We’re not going make them partners by giving them research papers to read,” she said.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the following entities:

“This is an impressive array of institutions and it symbolizes the power of the many ongoing collaborations not only among entities within the University of Maryland, Baltimore but also with our colleagues across the street at the University of Maryland Medical Center and with our colleagues throughout the entire University of Maryland Medical System,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, who provided welcoming remarks to the estimated 100 attendees.

“It also reflects our authentic commitment to interprofessional research, education, and practice. Given our commitment to the research enterprise, clinical excellence in public health, and to the education of the next generation of health professionals … we are precisely the configuration of institutions that can support the National Library of Medicine in realizing its inspiring mission of advancing human health and discovery.”

— Mary T. Phelan

 

Mary PhelanClinical Care, Collaboration, Education, Research, Technology, UMB News, University LifeNovember 8, 20180 comments
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School of Social Work logo

Alliance of Anti-Racist Social Work Practitioners to Meet on Nov. 16

The first meeting of the Alliance of Anti-Racist Social Work Practitioners will take place on Friday, Nov. 16, at 12:15 p.m. in Room 2W11 of the School of Social Work at 525 W. Redwood St.

Social workers, other students, and Baltimore community members are welcome to join us.

Come hungry! There will be sticky wings, salad, drinks, and cake, provided by Breaking Bread LLC.

The Alliance is a student-led community organization dedicated to racial justice.

For more information and questions, email Katie Golden or follow the group on Facebook.

Kaitlyn GoldenBulletin Board, Community Service, Education, For B'more, Research, University Life, USGANovember 2, 20180 comments
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Flow Cytometry Graphic

Next UMGCCC Flow Cytometry Lecture Moved to Nov. 12

The next Flow Cytometry Monthly Lecture will be held Monday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Bressler Research Building, Room 7-035. This is a one-week delay and new time from the original schedule.

This course — led by Xiaoxuan Fan, PhD, director, Flow Cytometry Shared Service — is needed  to become a trained user at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) Flow Cytometry Shared Services. However, all are welcome to attend.

This lecture will cover:

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

To RSVP, go to this link.

Karen UnderwoodBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Education, ResearchOctober 29, 20180 comments
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Dr. Thomas Scalea delivering his presentation

Scalea Recalls the Journey to MARS in Entrepreneurs of the Year Presentation

Like a preschool teacher gathering his young students around him, Thomas Scalea had his own form of “story time.” But instead of Thomas the Tank Engine, Scalea’s topic was “Supporting Failing Organs” at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Entrepreneurs of the Year Presentation on Oct. 15.

His “very cool story” took place not in a cozy classroom but in the auditorium of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, which is regarded as the world’s most advanced trauma center under physician-in-chief Scalea, MD, FACS, FCCM, and his colleagues.

Scalea mixed history, humor, and humility into a riveting hourlong presentation enjoyed by over 100 people.

“Anyone who has heard me knows I tell stories. It’s the only thing I’m good at,” said Scalea, the Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor in Trauma Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “And this is a pretty good story. It’s a story not only about MARS. It’s about the development of support for failing organs. It’s a story about a whole bunch of entrepreneurs and their spirit that allowed us to accumulate the knowledge that has brought us to this point.

“It starts with the advent of critical care: When I finished my residency back in the Middle Ages, say around 1983, there was a single fellowship program in critical care for surgeons — one. My surgical critical care certificate number is 069. There weren’t that many,” said Scalea, who arrived at Shock Trauma in 1997. “So it’s a story of critical care that traces its maturation, it’s a story of innovation and determination. It’s a story that covers a long time, it’s not just about MARS, so indulge me.”

Later called a “Pied Piper” by 2017 UMB Entrepreneur of the Year Bartley Griffith, MD, Scalea led the crowd on a journey of organ failure through the ages. Heart failure in World War I. Kidney failure in World War II and the Korean War “because helicopters and blood banking made injured soldiers live who used to die from heart failure.” Lung failure in Vietnam.

Scalea dropped many names of pioneers in the fight against organ failure up to modern days. Florence Nightingale. Peter Safar. Tom Petty “without the Heartbreakers.” Dave Ashbaugh. Bruce Jarrell. Rolf Barth. Art Baue. Berry Fowler. And his mentor, Louis Del Guercio. “I had no right to that fellowship, but he took pity on me, so I dedicate this to his memory,” Scalea said.

Among the historical tidbits was that Safar in 1958 set up the first ICU in the United States. “Where?” Scalea asked the assembled physicians, researchers, students, and staff. “Eight miles from here, Baltimore City Hospital, now known as Bayview. The home of critical care in trauma in the United States is Baltimore.”

Next Stop: MARS

Eventually Scalea got around to his greatest story of the day, the one that garnered him, Deborah Stein, MD, MPH, FACS, FCCM, chief of trauma at Shock Trauma, and Steven Hanish, MD, FACS, a former liver surgeon at Shock Trauma who is now director of liver transplants at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the UMB Entrepreneurs of the Year award.

Their innovative application of the Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System (MARS) led to a study that found this “dialysis machine for the liver” can remove toxins, improve clotting, and reduce brain swelling — allowing acute liver failure sufferers time for spontaneous recovery or transplantation.

“Usually as the senior member of the team I would have assigned this talk to Deb or Steve,” Scalea said early in his presentation. “But he is in Dallas [at his new job] and she is in England [on vacation], so you’ll just have to put up with me.”

How the MARS machine came to Shock Trauma combined knowledge, quick thinking, a tight-knit team, and good old-fashioned luck.

“This guy comes in with a devastating liver injury from a gunshot wound,” Scalea recalls. “Deb calls me, we get him through the first operation, but he goes into liver failure. Deb says, ‘What about this MARS machine?’ We’ve heard about it, we don’t own one, few did. She says, ‘Hey, Dad, you think we could get one?’ ” Scalea recalled to the audience’s amusement.

“I say ‘Sure!’ I don’t know where the hell we are going to get one. So I call the company. They say, ‘You’re not going to believe this. Somebody bought it. They decided they didn’t want it. It’s on the truck, in Maryland, coming back to the factory. Do you want it?’

“I said, ‘Absolutely, turn the truck around and bring it down,’ ” Scalea recalled. “Then I hung up and I asked myself, ‘I wonder how much this thing costs?’ [more laughter] So I called Karen [Doyle, senior vice president at Shock Trauma] and said, ‘Hey, Mom, can we have a dialysis machine?’ God love her, she said. ‘I don’t care what it costs, if you need it, you’ve got it.’ They deliver it and just like Petty [the pioneering lung specialist], we sit on the floor. We open the instructions. We say, ‘How hard can it be? It’s just a machine.’ The patient gets well.”

And so did more and more patients. After 27 patients, Scalea, Stein, and Hanish reported their findings to the American Surgical Association. Now the nearly 14,000 Americans on the liver transplant waiting list have renewed hope. And as James L. Hughes, MBA, chief enterprise and economic development officer and vice president at UMB, who hosted the event, said, “Through persistence and meticulous research, the MARS team is on the path to turn inspiration to save one life into a new standard of care for thousands of patients.”

Scalea sees it more as being in the right place at the right time. “We had modern technology next to the patients,” he said. “We controlled the technology ourselves. We noticed what was different, we weren’t bound by conventional thinking. We challenged dogma, we flew by the seat of our pants, and as physicians and surgeons we were together. This story is far from told. There are a zillion careers for those who want to take this on. But it’s a cool story. A very cool story.”

Record-Breaking Research

After Scalea took questions from the audience, Hughes, UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, and Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, assistant vice president of research and development, presented plaques to some of the 99 UMB researchers who had U.S. and international patents approved in the past year.

“We’ve had an incredible year in extramural funding,” Hughes said. “We had big growth two years ago and this year we grew the biggest we have ever had and the biggest of any University System of Maryland institution with $667.4 million. There is a lot of great research being done here, and that’s the foundation of much of the great entrepreneur work we are seeing.”

— Chris Zang

Read more about Scalea and the MARS Team.

Chris ZangClinical Care, Collaboration, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeOctober 19, 20180 comments
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UMB Researcher of the Year Karen Kotloff, MD

UMB Researcher of the Year Kotloff’s Talk Turns Into Celebration

Karen L. Kotloff, MD, has made many friends and many contributions during her 35 years at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. So her 2018 UMB Researcher of the Year presentation on Oct. 16 turned into quite the celebration with plenty of praise to go around.

What began with glowing words from the University president and Kotloff’s supervisor ended nearly an hour later with a standing ovation from the 100-plus people who crammed into Health Sciences Research Facility II auditorium to pay homage to Kotloff.

“I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of working with Dr. Kotloff for close to three decades,” said Jay A. Perman, MD, who was her department chair in Pediatrics long before he became president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). “You have focused on saving the lives of children in some of the world’s poorest countries and I can’t think of a more worthy recipient of this honor.”

Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, director of the School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD), where Kotloff is associate director of clinical studies, called the professor and head of pediatric infectious diseases “a superb scientist, an international leader in the field of vaccinology, and a tireless champion for access to vaccines in children’s health around the globe. Her impact has been multiplied by the dozens of physicians and scientists whom she has mentored.”

Then Kotloff took the podium and recapped her career with stories, slides, and passion.

A leading authority in human controlled infection models for shigellosis, a major cause of diarrhea morbidity and mortality in children, Kotloff mixed in some humor as well. She thanked former CVD Director Myron “Mike”  Levine, MD, DTPH, for involving her in an early project that was a study of diarrheal diseases. “That was the start — and I know it’s hard to understand — of my love of diarrheal diseases,” Kotloff said, drawing laughter from the overflow crowd.

She was known as “the bag lady” for putting red bags on babies’ cribs from whom she needed stool samples. And when early pictures showed a pregnant Kotloff with several other soon-to-be mom researchers, she joked it was “an epidemic of pregnancy.”

But most of the work Kotloff has performed so well for so long is deadly serious. In the beginning it was babies with HIV and diarrhea in Baltimore. STDs and the papillomavirus. HPV and cervical dysplasia in college students.

“To summarize those early years, I think you can say it took a village to launch my career,” she said. “It took mentors to provide the context and the opportunities. It took the resources of the CVD to determine the etiology of diarrheal diseases. It took institutional processes to provide seed funds so that I could generate preliminary data and strong collaborators. I felt I was in a very rich environment to really grow as a faculty member.”

It was the “second part” of Kotloff’s career where she really fell in love with public health, she said. In 2001, her work took her to Mali, a poor country in West Africa with one of the world’s highest childhood mortality rates. Many haven’t heard of Mali. “My husband’s aunt is constantly asking me if I’ve been to Maui [the Hawaiian island] lately,” Kotloff said with a smile.

Levine had the vision of starting a field site in Mali, which was named CVD-Mali, Kotloff recalled. It is a center for infectious disease research teaching and public health in order to generate data to accelerate public health and to save lives.

There Kotloff met CVD-Mali’s first employee and “one of the most influential people in my life — Dr. Samba Sow,” who was the coordinator of the field site and is now the Malian Minister of Health. “Since 2001 when we had two employees we now have over 250 employees and it’s just a site that’s been able to do amazing things,” Kotloff said.

A series of epidemiologic studies followed to understand the causes and consequences of fever, pneumonia, diarrheal diseases, and tonsillitis from group A streptococcus. Whenever possible, Kotloff, an advisor to the World Health Organization whose present research portfolio totals over $50 million, helped to introduce vaccines and other interventions to curb the disease burden and then measure the impact of that intervention.

During her talk she pointed out how the CVD paradigm of “Evidence/Impact/Action” had been used in each case.

“We’ve come a long way,” she said, pointing out that basic tools like blood cultures and bacterial labs didn’t exist when the CVD first arrived in Mali. “But we have a long way to go.”

UNICEF reports a 50 percent reduction in under-age 5 mortality since 1990. “That’s the good news,” Kotloff said. The bad? “There are 5.4 million children who die each year before reaching their fifth birthday; 14,800 of them die every day; 10 die every minute, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. So what we have  been able to access and improve — here we call it the tip of the iceberg, in Mali it’s the eyes of the hippo, as my mentor and friend Samba always says.”

Kotloff summed up her talk with a montage of pictures giving thanks and some words of advice.

“Public health opens your eyes to how the rest of the world lives,” she said. “It touches your heart, it inspires you. When you see what people do and how resourceful and energetic they are … it shows you what happiness means. People are resilient and they make the best of what they have been given. And public health needs you. So I hope that maybe there is something in this talk  that interested someone in the room enough so that they will begin a career in public health.”

Read more about Dr. Kotloff and the Founders Week award winners.

Watch a video about Dr. Kotloff.

Chris ZangClinical Care, Collaboration, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeOctober 19, 20180 comments
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CERSI logo

Nov. 16 M-CERSI Workshop: Advancing Drug Development in Pediatric IBD

An M-CERSI workshop titled “Advancing Drug Development in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)” will be held Nov. 16 at the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Md.

This collaborative workshop, hosted by the Centers of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) and the FDA, is open to the public with no cost to attend, but registration is required.

The aim of the workshop will be to discuss current barriers to expeditious pediatric IBD drug development and steps to overcome them. Specific topics will include a review of the legislation relevant to pediatric trials, extrapolation, trial design considerations, dose selection, and the level of evidence required to establish safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients with IBD.

  • Date: Friday, Nov. 16
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: FDA’s White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Building No. 31, Room 1503A, Silver Spring, MD 20903
  • Registration: Go to this link.
  • More information: Visit this webpage.
  • Note: Remote viewing will be available, but registration is required.
Erin MerinoClinical Care, Education, People, Research, UMB NewsOctober 19, 20180 comments
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Open Access logo

Scholarly Publishing Workshop Series at HS/HSL: Oct. 23-25

As part of this year’s Open Access Week, the Health Sciences and Human services Library will be hosting a Scholarly Publishing Workshop Series. All workshops will be held in Room LL03 on the library’s lower level.

Walk-ins are welcome, but you also may register at this link.

Tuesday, Oct. 23

Noon to 12:30 p.m.
“Choosing the Right Journal for Your Research”

  • Key factors to consider when choosing a journal
  • Tools to help you identify potential journals that match your research

12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
“Open Access and Predatory Publishing”

  • What is open access and why should you publish in OA journals?
  • Red flags and evaluating journal quality

Wednesday, Oct. 24

Noon to 12:30 p.m.
“Author IDs”

  • Author IDs in ORCID, Google Scholar, and Scopus
  • How author IDs can enhance your impact

12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Drop-in session for individual help with your author ID

Thursday, Oct. 25

Noon to 12:30 p.m.
“Enhancing Your Research Impact”

  • Establishing your scholarly identity
  • Making strategic publishing decisions

12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Drop-in session for individual help with enhancing your impact

Everly BrownCollaboration, Education, People, ResearchOctober 16, 20180 comments
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Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions

New Exhibit at HS/HSL: ‘Pick Your Poison’

From the National Library of Medicine, produced in cooperation with the National Museum of American History, “Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures & Medical Prescriptions” will be on display in the Health Sciences and Human Services Library’s Weise Gallery through Nov. 24.

Mind-altering drugs have been used throughout the history of America. While some remain socially acceptable, others are outlawed because of their toxic, and intoxicating, characteristics. These classifications have shifted at different times in history and will continue to change. The exhibition explores the factors that have shaped the changing definitions of some of our most potent drugs, from medical miracle to social menace.

For more information, go to this HS/HSL webpage.

Everly BrownClinical Care, Education, People, ResearchOctober 16, 20180 comments
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Nobel Peace Prize

2018 Nobel Prize Winner Shares Connection to School of Pharmacy

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is home to nearly 100 world-class faculty — researchers and practitioners who have gained national and international recognition for their tremendous accomplishments in their diverse fields of study.

Yet there was a time when these sought-after experts were students as well, learning from and being shaped by some of the foremost leaders in their fields.

For Patrick Wintrode, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School of Pharmacy, it was a pivotal postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology that not only helped shape his career, but also introduced him to one of his most trusted mentors who, nearly 20 years later, would become the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Meeting His Mentor

From 1997 to 2001, Wintrode worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Frances Arnold, PhD, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry and director of the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at the California Institute of Technology, where he used directed evolution — the technique for which Arnold would be recognized with the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry — to evolve enzymes for efficient activity and stability at high and low temperatures.

“My time in the Arnold Lab was critical in helping me to expand my scientific horizons,” Wintrode recalls. “As a graduate student, my research had focused on protein biophysics, and while I knew that proteins were products of evolution, I had not really thought about it in a deep way. Working alongside Dr. Arnold and her colleagues was a great experience for me intellectually and broadened my understanding of proteins.”

Pioneering the Field

Directed evolution is a specialized technique through which researchers are able to speed the evolution of enzymes by introducing mutations in the underlying sequences of proteins and testing the effect of those mutations on the function of the enzyme. Arnold first demonstrated the technique in 1993, using subtilisin E, evolving the enzyme to a variant that was able to maintain its activity in a highly unnatural environment.

Since that time, Arnold and her team — of which Wintrode was previously a member, authoring six publications with her during his time as a postdoctoral fellow — have repeatedly demonstrated that it is possible to evolve enzymes for use under a variety of new conditions, creating new enzymes that have been used in a wide range of products, including biofuels and medications, and earning her the title of the “mother of directed evolution.”

“Dr. Arnold never hesitated to ask whether enzymes can be evolved to perform functions that no one believed them capable of performing,” says Wintrode, whose research in the Arnold Lab focused on making enzymes function in unnatural environments, such as high fractions of organic solvents.

Cementing Her Legacy

Directed evolution is now commonly used in academic and industrial laboratories around the world, earning Arnold the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry as well as some well-deserved kudos from colleagues and peers like Wintrode.

“I was thrilled to learn that Dr. Arnold had won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, though not totally surprised, given her remarkable accomplishments and reputation,” Wintrode says. “Directed evolution was a fringe subject in the 1990s, but today it is a standard tool in industry and academic laboratories all over the world. In fact, almost any enzyme used in an industrial chemistry process today has likely been optimized using directed evolution, cementing Dr. Arnold’s legacy in the field.”

— Malissa Carroll

Malissa CarrollPeople, Research, UMB NewsOctober 12, 20180 comments
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Researcher of the Year: Karen Kotloff

Founders Week-Researcher of the Year: Karen Kotloff

Every fall, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) commemorates our rich history and celebrates the future we’re building together during Founders Week, which this year runs Oct. 13 to 18. Among the highlights is recognizing the extraordinary work of UMB’s faculty and staff with four awards, each signifying outstanding accomplishment in one facet of our mission. Leading up to Founders Week, we will highlight the award winners every Tuesday on The Elm. For more information on UMB’s annual celebration and associated events, please check out the Founders Week website.

Sign up to attend the Researcher of the Year presentation and reception.

Today: Researcher of the Year

Karen L. Kotloff, MD
School of Medicine
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Head, Division of Infectious Disease and Tropical Pediatrics
Associate Director, Clinical Studies, Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health

When Karen Kotloff accepted a fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s (UMSOM) Department of Pediatrics and Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) in 1983, she didn’t realize she was signing on for a lifetime commitment. That’s just the way it turned out.

“During my fellowship at the CVD, I was exposed to the field of global health,” says Kotloff, a professor in UMSOM’s Department of Pediatrics and associate director of clinical studies for the CVD. “I learned that in addition to treating children one-by-one as a clinician, I could help to introduce public health interventions like vaccines that improve the lives of millions of children at once.

“I began traveling to amazing places, seeing things I never imagined, working next to incredible, dedicated people to solve some of the toughest problems. But what plagued me was that in countries of Africa and Asia, one in every 10 children did not survive until their fifth birthday. Trying to change that became my life’s work and I never looked back.”

Today, Kotloff is an international figure in the field of vaccinology and a leading authority in human controlled infection models for shigellosis, a major cause of diarrhea morbidity and mortality in children.

CVD Director Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, is one of Kotloff’s biggest supporters. “Karen is a pioneer and has performed more Shigella challenge studies than anyone in the world,” Neuzil says. “She modified an earlier challenge model to make it more standardized, reproducible, and safe for participants. The model that she developed is the one currently used throughout the world. She’s a tireless champion for access to vaccines and children’s health around the globe.”

In addition to conducting large epidemiologic studies to understand the causes and health outcomes associated with infectious diseases in children, Kotloff has tested numerous vaccines in adults and children, including for influenza and group A streptococcus. An advisor to the World Health Organization, and author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, Kotloff’s research portfolio totals over $50 million.

“My career has really evolved in two intertwined tracks: studying the epidemiology of infectious diseases to understand what causes disease and death in children and conducting clinical trials to test new and improved vaccines to prevent these infections,” Kotloff says. “I have been fortunate to receive funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NIH to pursue both tracks.”

One of her favorite projects took place in Mali, a poor country in West Africa with one of the world’s highest childhood mortality rates. Kotloff has worked there steadily since 2001, conducting a series of epidemiologic studies to understand the causes and consequences of fever, pneumonia, diarrheal diseases, and tonsillitis from group A streptococcus. Whenever possible, she helped to introduce vaccines and other interventions to curb the disease burden and then measure the impact of that intervention.

“I received the Legion of Honor in Mali for our initial work,” Kotloff recalls. “As a result of this project, I met Dr. Samba Sow, who was the coordinator of our field site and is now the Malian Minister of Health. Working with Dr. Sow and his incredible team of dedicated epidemiologists and doctors has been one of the greatest joys of my career.”

“Enormously honored” to be named the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Researcher of the Year, Kotloff says she shares the award with colleagues like Sow, Neuzil, former CVD Director Myron “Mike”  Levine, MD, DTPH, and others. “This award really goes to the group of dedicated, talented physicians, scientists, and health professionals with whom I work every day both here and at the international sites where my projects are conducted,” Kotloff says. “And of course those who have mentored and supported me.”

Kotloff is returning the favor, mentoring hundreds of investigators internationally in performing rigorous trials and field studies, conducting research to international regulatory standards, and preparing papers, abstracts, and presentations. James Campbell, MD, MS, Milagritos Tapia, MD, and Wilbur Chen, MD, MS, are just three at UMSOM who have developed their own independent research careers under Kotloff’s tutelage.

Asked about the satisfaction she derives from mentoring students, fellows, and junior faculty, Kotloff says, “The Center for Vaccine Development is a very special place with a legacy, extending over 40 years, of one generation of researchers training the next. Because of the stellar reputation of the CVD, we have been able to attract highly qualified fellows and I have had the pleasure of watching these talented individuals grow into highly successful senior faculty. It is extremely gratifying to me to see that they will carry on the work that I find so important.”

Kotloff also is grateful to her family. “I am married with two wonderful grown children, a fantastic daughter-in-law, and two adorable dogs,” she says. “My husband and children have always been very supportive and enthusiastic about my work, occasionally even joining me on a trip. My favorite activity of all is to spend time with my family. I enjoy hiking and kayaking in my spare time. Believe it or not, I also enjoy traveling.”

That’s a good thing, because she has done a lot of it since her first trip — to Somalia in 1993 during a refugee crisis. “It was an experience I will never forget,” Kotloff says. “I saw firsthand the tireless, impeccably organized efforts of a courageous team of Doctors Without Borders providing life-saving vaccines, treatment, and nutritional support to a devastated population and the gratitude that they received in return.”

Saying “it breaks my heart to see a sick child — it is always better to prevent a disease than treat it,” Kotloff also has focused on infections that affect infants and children in the United States. For example, she led a recent study that showed that an antibacterial ointment could be applied to the nose and skin of infants in the Intensive Care Unit to prevent severe staph infections.

After 35 years at UMSOM, Kotloff says there are more challenges to tackle.

“During my career, I have worked to lay the groundwork for introduction of new and underused vaccines in poor countries in Africa and Asia. Now that there are vaccines for many of the major infectious diseases affecting children, those that remain each make up a small piece of the pie. We need to rethink our approach to preventing deaths,” she says. “My current work has turned to strategies that we hope will improve the underlying health and nutrition of young children in these settings so that the children will be stronger and more able to handle the infectious assaults that they face.”

E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, executive vice president for medical affairs at UMB and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean at UMSOM, points out that as of mid-2018, 60 percent of countries in Africa have introduced rotavirus vaccines nationally thanks in part to Kotloff’s efforts. She also has consistently ranked among the top-funded UMSOM researchers for the past five years, he says.

“Dr. Kotloff’s research contributions as well as her mentoring have proven critical in advancing our vaccinology research to the best program worldwide,” Reece says. “She is dedicated to serving the world’s most vulnerable populations and is recognized by her peers as a leader in vaccinology and pediatric infectious disease research.”

—  Chris Zang

Chris ZangEducation, People, Research, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeOctober 9, 20180 comments
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