Full Endowment of $2.3 Million Includes Funds from Anonymous Donor and Matching Funds from State to Recruit High-Level Neurosurgeon Scientist
University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that the UMSOM 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 the Howard M. Eisenberg, MD, Distinguished Professorship in Neurosurgery.
Dr. Eisenberg is recognized as one of the nation’s top neurosurgeons and pre-eminent experts on traumatic brain injury before recently stepping down as Chair of the UMSOM Department of Neurosurgery after more than 25 years of service. The new recruit will foster innovation and discovery in the field of neurosurgical and translational neuroscience research with a focus on applications towards clinical use and potential commercialization to bring new intellectual capital to the state of Maryland.
This year, with private donations from an anonymous donor, combined with state matching funds, the UMSOM will be awarded $2,345,000. 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 an endowed professorship to recruit a high-level neurosurgeon-scientist who will continue the legacy of Howard M. Eisenberg, MD.
“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. “We are so proud to be able to do this in the name of one of our most distinguished faculty members – Howard Eisenberg.”
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.
“Words cannot express my appreciation of having the honor of my name on this newly endowed chair,” Dr. Eisenberg said. “I am confident that this new position will be filled by a worthy neurosurgeon-scientist who will bring the department at the School of Medicine to new heights.”
As Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, he led a group of neurosurgeons and scientists in providing innovative programs that result in safer, less intrusive and more effective treatments, particularly for traumatic central nervous system injury, and more recently, for Parkinson’s disease. The research interests of the Department have extended from the mechanisms of traumatic central nervous system injury and stroke, to the biology of brain tumors.
Dr. Eisenberg was also a principal investigator for a pivotal study of Parkinson’s disease. This work has resulted in ground breaking research and a clinical trial on MRI-guided focused ultrasound (FUS) to treat essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease. This research ultimately led the effort for FDA approval of FUS to treat patients with essential tremor.
UMSOM’s Department of Neurosurgery has a proven track record of translating research discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic with successful paths to product commercialization. These efforts have consistently brought new intellectual capital and resources to the state of Maryland. Most recently, the Department, led by Graeme Woodworth, MD, initiated the first United States clinical trial using FUS technology to open the blood brain barrier for therapeutic delivery directly into the brain to combat deadly brain tumors such as glioblastoma.
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Now in its third century, 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 $540 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 more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th highest 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 medschool.umaryland.edu