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University of Maryland School of Medicine Establishes Two Endowed Professorships Through Private Gifts and Matching State Funds

July 31, 2018

Carolyn Frenkil

$4 Million Will Establish the James and Carolyn Frenkil Dean’s Professorship Fund

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that the school has been awarded matching funds from the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF), administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce. The funds, when combined with private philanthropy, will enable UMSOM to establish two new endowed professorships – one in Microbiology and Immunology, and one in Pharmacology.

This year, with private donations from the James and Carolyn Frenkil Philanthropic Foundation, combined with state matching funds, the UMSOM will be awarded $4 million. As part of its goal to attract and retain top faculty and foster the development of new technologies and therapies, the School requested that the funds be used to establish the two new endowed professorships.

“As a board member, I understand there are many needs at the School of Medicine, and each donation impacts in a different way. Providing support for these professorships is a way to impact many lives through the discoveries of these outstanding scientists” said Carolyn Frenkil, President of City Center Inc. and a member of the UMSOM Board of Visitors.

The two UMSOM senior scientists who will be appointed as the James and Carolyn Frenkil Dean’s Endowed Professors are James Kaper, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Margaret McCarthy, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology.

Discoveries made by the James and Carolyn Frenkil Dean’s Professors will bring increased grant funding to translational research programs at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and will provide opportunities for commercialization and new therapies that create even more new revenue sources for the institution.

“Endowed professorships provide our outstanding faculty members with the critical resources they need to sustain and expand the promising research they endeavor to carry out, while at the same time enabling them to launch new initiatives to educate and train future physicians, said Dean Reece, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Professorships are an exceptionally effective tool in retaining and recruiting the best and the brightest.”

The E-Nnovation program, which was created as an economic stimulus in 2014, is a special non-lapsing fund designed to help the state’s research universities recruit and retain top scientists and investigators. Under the fund, approximately $8.5 million will be appropriated by the governor each year from fiscal years 2016 through 2021.

James B. Kaper, PhDAbout Dr. Kaper’s Research

Dr. Kaper has served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology since February 2007. He has completed $21 million in past NIH funding since 1981 and has almost $7 million in current NIH grants. He has five U.S. patents and numerous international patents for cholera vaccines and has developed the first live oral cholera vaccine approved by the FDA.

Dr. Kaper is an internationally-recognized microbiologist with specific expertise in the molecular pathogenesis of diarrheal disease pathogens, specifically Vibrio cholerae and diarrheagenic Escherichia coli. He has constructed many live attenuated V. cholerae vaccine strains, which his long-time clinical collaborator, Dr. Myron Levine, tested in numerous volunteer and field trials for clinical safety and efficacy.

Dr. Kaper’s current research activities concern the mechanisms by which pathogenic Escherichia coli cause disease, with the ultimate goal of developing new vaccines for the prevention of disease due to these organisms.  These studies use a novel method of culturing human intestinal cells in an NIH-funded project being conducted in collaboration with investigators at the Johns Hopkins University.

Margaret M. McCarthy, PhD
About Dr. McCarthy’s Research

Dr. McCarthy has served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology since November of 2011, after serving one year as interim chair. Dr. McCarthy has been awarded nearly $19 million in federal funding since 1994, currently has $6.75 million in NIH grants, and has had close to $4 million awarded to trainees under her immediate supervision.

Dr. McCarthy is a leading neuroscientist who has made significant discoveries related to gender differences and the brain. Her seminal research focuses on the influence of steroid hormones on the developing brain with a special emphasis on understanding the cellular mechanisms that establish sex differences—that is, the numerous, novel mechanisms (including roles for prostaglandins, endocannabinoids, amino acid transmitters, and multiple enzymes) by which steroids permanently organize the developing brain differently in males and females. With increasing emphasis on personalized medicine, one of the most relevant biological variables for health is gender, yet our understanding of the impact of sex on how our bodies process medications, manifest illness and respond to insult and injury remains woefully poor.

The work conducted by Dr. McCarthy is leading to new innovations in policies by the NIH and the FDA mandating that preclinical research and drug dosing take into account the potential influence of sex and gender on outcomes. The impact of these policy shifts will be new guidelines for the treatment of men versus women.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Commemorating its 211th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and more than $520 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact in excess of $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8thhighest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit


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