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University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Unveils Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance

October 20, 2016

New Center will be signature program of Cole Field House project

Today, the University of Maryland in College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) unveiled ambitious plans for the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance. The new Center, a signature component of the Cole Field House project, will serve as a treatment facility for a wide spectrum of sports-related injuries, and will also serve as a research center for investigation into the treatment of sports related conditions, including the effects and consequences of traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are commonly sustained in athletes, and can cause depression, sleep disorders and cognitive decline and adversely impact a victim’s ability to function.

The effort will include faculty from University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM), and other schools at the UMB. Faculty from the School of Medicine – including faculty scientists, physicians and surgeons from several UM SOM departments will include Orthopaedics, Anesthesiology, Physical Therapy, Family Medicine and others. The team will play a central role in providing on-site clinical care and in conducting groundbreaking research at the center.

Through state support of the MPowering the State initiative, an initial $3 million will be invested in collaborative research that joins the strengths of both universities, by integrating the basic science disciplines in College Park with the front-line pre-clinical investigators and clinicians in Baltimore. A new outpatient faculty practice by UM SOM faculty physicians will be at the core of the facility, and will serve the community by providing access to high-level primary care for sports-related conditions, and care for general orthopaedic injuries throughout the region. The faculty practice will also be devoted to concussion evaluation and care. In addition, researchers at UM SOM and University of Maryland, College Park, have already begun to work together in research efforts to better understand brain injury and repair.

Pollak_AndrewPollak, MD

“I am incredibly excited by this project,” said Andrew N. Pollack, MD, the James Lawrence Kernan Professor & Chair, Department of Orthopaedics at UM SOM, as well as Chief of Orthopaedics at the University of Maryland Medical System. “It is a truly unique opportunity for researchers and clinicians from both campuses to work together. Through this partnership, we can work explore new areas of sports medicine and brain science, and help more patients, in more effective ways.”

The Center will be a signature component of the Cole Field House project in College Park, which also includes the Terrapin Performance Center and space for the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Center is projected to open in Winter 2019.

"The Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance is a model for collaboration between the two of the state’s research powerhouse institutions,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “Bringing clinicians and scientists together under one roof at Cole Field House creates connections that will lead to very real breakthroughs in human health.”

Jay A. Perman, MD“We envision an ambitious research enterprise at the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance,” said Dr. Jay ‌, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. “We believe our initial $3 million investment will lead to million dollar, multi-disciplinary grants in critical areas of neuroscience and traumatic brain injury.”

The Center will be co-directed by University of Maryland, College Park biology professor Elizabeth Quinlan and Alan Faden, MD, the David S. Brown Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the UM SOM. “The collection of experts from diverse fields will allow us to approach problems in an exciting and highly interdisciplinary way,” said Prof. Quinlan.

The Center will have more than 40,000 square feet of research and clinical space for experts in neuroimaging, genomics and biomechanics, and the orthopedic outpatient facility will provide the entire Prince George’s and greater DC metropolitan communities with access to the same world class sports medicine clinical care enjoyed by the student athletes of the University of Maryland Terrapin intercollegiate athletic teams. “The breadth and scope of this center is well beyond what currently exists in other sports performance centers,” said Dr. Faden_Alan. “It is intended to harness unique and complementary capabilities across the two campuses.”

Researchers at UM SOM and University of Maryland, College Park, have already begun to collaborate on projects relating to brain injury. Rao P. Gullapalli, PhD, MBA, a professor in the UM SOM Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, is working with Luiz Pessoa, director of University of Maryland, College Park Neuroimaging Center, to develop and apply advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques to brain injury. Dr. Faden’s research group is collaborating with several researchers at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Sciences (UMIACS), including Amitabh Varshney, Mihai Pop and Hector Bravo, to study mechanisms of brain injury using transcriptomics and imaging approaches.


“We are delighted to contribute the research and clinical care resources of the School of Medicine to this exciting collaboration between our two institutions,” said UM SOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “This innovative partnership will yield impressive benefits for everyone involved – researchers, clinicians, athletes, students and patients in the community.”

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 37,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 56 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.9 billion operating budget, and secures $550 million annually in external research funding. The University of Maryland is ranked No. 20 among public universities and No. 21 for most innovative schools by U.S. News & World Report, as well as No. 16 among public universities by Forbes. According to The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine, UMD is ranked No. 10 overall for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-fourth of the student population. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit

About the University of Maryland, Baltimore

Founded in 1807 along a ridge in what was then called Baltimore Town, the University of Maryland, Baltimore is now a 71-acre research and technology complex encompasses 67 buildings in West Baltimore near the Inner Harbor. UMB is Maryland's only public health, law, and human services university. Six professional schools and a Graduate School confer the majority of health care, human services, and law professional degrees in Maryland each year. Under the leadership of President Jay A. MD, the University is a leading partner in the redevelopment of Baltimore’s Westside. The University of Maryland BioPark, which opened in October 2005, promotes collaborative research opportunities and bioscience innovation. Sponsored research totaled $499.6 million in Fiscal Year 2015. With 6,329 students and 7,119 faculty members and staff, the University is an economic engine that returns more than $15 in economic activity for every $1 of state general funds appropriation. The University community gives more than 2 million hours a year in service to the public.

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