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CTSI: University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP)

UMCP is among the largest and most prestigious public universities in the US. It ranks 11th among all public U.S. universities and 37th worldwide in a recent international survey. Its 1,250 acre campus in College Park educates 26,542 undergraduate and 10,653 graduate students. UMCP plays a leadership role in Maryland's growth as one of the premier centers for research and technology in the nation. In 2010, UMCP received approximately $545 million in research funding, a 37% increase from FY 2008. Interdisciplinary research centers provide opportunities for collaboration. Examples include the Maryland Nanocenter, Genetics with Eukaryotic Model Systems, Institute for Systems Research, Center for Bioinformatics and Computer Biology, Center for Health Information and Decisions Systems, Center on Aging, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Addictions, Personality and Emotion Research, Maryland Pathogen Research Institute, and the Maryland Population Research Center. The UMCP’s close proximity to Washington, D.C., provides a unique opportunity to work closely with government researchers and the policy-makers who initiate and guide research initiatives including the NIH, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Energy (DOE). The University of Maryland Enterprise Campus is a new 128-acre research park that provides a fertile environment for collaboration between industry and University researchers. Following, are additional details of specific UMCP programs that will be integral to the UM ICTS.

The University of Maryland School of Public Health

The University of Maryland School of Public Health (www.sph.umd.edu) is one of 13 Colleges and Schools at the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP). The School’s mission is the pursuit of knowledge related to healthful living and, toward that end, its faculty and students conduct research, develop programs, engage in evaluation studies, teach studies and seminars, and participate in community service activities.

The accredited School of Public Health houses over 100 academic faculty and research staff organized into six academic  units (Public and Community Health, Family Science, Kinesiology, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health Services Administration, and Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health) which offer Bachelor’s of Science, Master’s of Science, Master of Public Health and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The School of Public Health ranks among the very best of its kind in the world. In various national polls, the Department of Public and Community Health has been ranked 12th in U.S. News and World Report rankings of Graduate MPH Programs in Community Health outside of Schools of Public Health, the Center on Aging has been ranked in the top 8% nationally, and the Departments of Kinesiology and Family Science have each been ranked in the top 10% nationally in their disciplines.  The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics is a new program (2 years) which offers Masters of Public Health degrees (epidemiology, biostatistics) and doctoral degrees (epidemiology).

In addition to its academic programs, the School houses several special programs and services conducted by the School which include the Center for Healthy Families. The SPH also houses several research centers and laboratories which will be called on as needed for the current project. Among them are the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center, the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, the Maryland Population Research Center, and the Consortium on Race, Gender & Ethnicity.  Through her affiliations with these entities, Dr. Carter-Pokras and the project team can benefit from the intellectual input of other faculty regarding technical aspects of this project.  Computer and library support are also available for the project.

UM Fischell Department of Biomedical Engineering (FDBE)

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering, part of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, is a forward thinking academic organization dedicated to utilizing engineering and scientific knowledge and methods to assist the citizens of Maryland and the nation. The Department intends to develop biologically based knowledge and products to promote ecological, human, and animal health, and to improve the quality of life while maintaining a healthy environment. The Department aims to quickly assume a leadership role in the field of bioengineering through educating an innovative student body and pioneering groundbreaking technologies.

The University of Maryland Prevention Research Center

The University of Maryland Prevention Research Center (UMD-PRC - http://www.sph.umd.edu/umdprc/) is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the UMD-PRC.  Led by Dr. Brad Boekeloo, Professor in the Department of Public and Community Health, the UMD-PRC aims to develop ways of improving the health of communities neighboring the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park and supports community based participatory research and service learning.  Dr. Carter-Pokras serves as the research director.

Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy

Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy (http://www.healthliteracy.umd.edu/)  has been established to address the major public health problem of limited health literacy and its effect on health outcomes. Led by Dr. Bonnie Braun, this is the nation’s first academic based health literacy center and is devoted to improving health through the lifespan with emphasis on closing the health disparities gap.  Research is needed to establish the nature of the causal relationships between and among the various factors including culture and society, education systems, health systems and health outcomes and costs and to develop effective interventions and health policy.

Maryland Center on Health Equity The University of Maryland

Maryland Center on Health Equity The University of Maryland (http://www.healthequity.umd.edu/) College Park has recently established a Maryland Center on Health Equity with the help of five new faculty members from the School of Public Health: Drs. Stephen Thomas, Sandra Crouse Quinn, James Butler, Craig Fryer and Mary Garza. These experts will build upon the school’s ongoing effort to bring equal opportunities for healthy living to all residents of the surrounding area. The center will focus on community-based participatory to address disparities. They will be partnering with health professionals, community leaders, media members, and experts in bioethics, engineering, and policy.  The center will be lead by Stephen Thomas, Ph.D. as Director. He was recently director of the Center for Minority Health (CMH) at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), whose research focuses on the translation of evidence-based science on chronic disease into community-based interventions designed to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health.  Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD, research interests include community engagement and health and risk communication.  Craig Fryer, DrPH, research interests are the study of the sociocultural context of health and health disparities, and the translation of research to public health practice.

The Biostatistics and Risk Assessment Center

The Biostatistics and Risk Assessment Center (BRAC - http://brac.umd.edu/) is located in the School of Public Health of the University of Maryland at College Park. Our mission is to foster and conduct statistical analysis, data mining, and quantitative risk assessments in areas of public health and biomedical research. The primary goal of BRAC is to collaborate with investigators and research institutions in undertaking statistical analysis, bioinformatic procedures and quantitative risk assessment.

The University of Maryland Center on Aging

The University of Maryland Center on Aging (http://www.sph.umd.edu/hlsa/aging/about.cfm) Founded in 1974, the University of Maryland Center on Aging is an all-university, interdisciplinary institution designed to foster basic, applied and policy research, education and public service in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention and human aging. Philosophically, the Center is dedicated to "healthy and productive" aging. The Center utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to improve the quality of life and health status of America's elderly population.

The Center for Health Behavior Research

The Center for Health Behavior Research (http://www.sph.umd.edu/bch/chbr/)  The Center for Health Behavior Research (CHBR) is located in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. The Center contributes to the departmental vision of applying the science, theory and practice of public health towards the enhancement of the population health status. The Center fosters a team of investigators crossing disciplinary boundaries (genetics, exposure assessment, neuro-cognitive science, drug dependence, health behavior, epidemiology, medicine and pharmacology) to solve complex public health problems.

The Center for Healthy Families

The Center for Healthy Families (http://www.sph.umd.edu/fmsc/chf/service_center.html)  The Center for Healthy Families is the couple and family therapy clinic housed in the Department of Family Science. The Center provides family therapy to residents of surrounding communities, training for the Department's clinical graduate students, and a site for clinical research. The Center for Healthy Families serves approximately 500 area families and couples each year. The Center for Healthy Families is operated as a non-profit clinic. Services include: couples therapy, marriage therapy, family therapy, parent education, family therapy conferences, and continuing education for professionals. The Center also conducts research on family relationships, interpersonal communication, treatment for domestic violence, and varied problems facing today's families.

The Center for Young Adult Health and Development

The Center for Young Adult Health and Development (http://www.sph.umd.edu/fmsc/cyahd/index.html)  In 2009, the Center on Young Adult Health and Development (CYAHD) was established at the School of Public Health on the College Park campus of the University of Maryland. This research center is the first such center in the United States specifically dedicated to understanding the health and development of young adults. The rationale for its creation stemmed from the recognition that young adulthood is a neglected developmental period in the health sciences, relative to childhood, adolescence and older adulthood. This disparity is unfortunate because several important health issues affect young adults disproportionately. For instance, many health risk behaviors are more prevalent in young adulthood than in any other developmental period. Also, the onset of several chronic health conditions--including substance use disorders, depression, and obesity--is likely to occur in adolescence or young adulthood.

The Maryland Population Research Center

The Maryland Population Research Center (http://www.popcenter.umd.edu/) is a multidisciplinary center dedicated to population-related research and housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland College Park. The Center now supports the research mission of more than 50 Faculty Associates and Affiliates from seven departments in BSOS and from the schools of Education, Public Policy, and Agricultural Economics, and Maryland’s new School of Public Health. The Center draws together leading scholars from diverse disciplines to support, produce and promote population related research of the highest scientific merit. The Center’s research focuses on four key areas: a) family and fertility—including marriage, parenting and intergenerational relationships, b) social and economic inequality, c) health processes and aging, and d) data and methods for population research. Dr. Carter-Pokras is a faculty associate.

The Consortium on Race, Gender & Ethnicity

The Consortium on Race, Gender & Ethnicity (http://www.crge.umd.edu/)  is an association of academic units and individual faculty on the University of Maryland campus whose mission is to promote, advance, and conduct research, scholarship, and faculty development that examines the intersections of race, gender and ethnicity with other dimensions of difference.    Established in 1998 with support from the Colleges of Arts and Humanities, Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Graduate School, and the Office of the Provost, the Consortium seeks to support, coordinate and facilitate the activities of the many outstanding faculty and academic units at Maryland engaged in scholarship that focuses on intersections of race, gender, and ethnicity, and to build visibility both on and off campus for our exceptional wealth of resources.

University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies

University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS - http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/).  The mission of UMIACS is to catalyze research in computing and interdisciplinary applications of computing. UMIACS has fostered and enhanced strong interdisciplinary research programs that have greatly facilitated a national and international leadership role in multidisciplinary computing. The synergistic environment provided by UMIACS is currently enabling innovative collaborations between faculty from Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Linguistics, Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, Aerospace Engineering, the Smith School of Business, and the iSchool. UMIACS includes 15 specialty research computing center and laboratories that are advancing culling-edge informatics research in the domains of bioinformatics, natural language processing, cybersecurity, and human computer interactions.

The Center for Health Information and Decision Systems

The Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS - http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/chids/) at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business CHIDS is an academic research center with collaboration from industry and government affiliates, and is designed to research, analyze, and recommend solutions to challenges surrounding the introduction and integration of information and decision technologies into the health care system. CHIDS offers the benefit of a world-class research staff and renowned scholars in technology implementation, adoption, assimilation, decision sciences and information technology. CHIDS serves as a focal point for thought leadership around the topic of health information and decision systems.