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UM School of Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow Awarded Prestigious AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship

October 21, 2020

Ryan Richardson, PhD

Dr. Ryan Richardson Working with NIH BRAIN Initiative Research Team for AAAS Fellowship

Ryan Richardson, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pharmacology, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) was awarded a highly prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowship (STPF), placing him at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative for a year.

Dr. Richardson, who began the fellowship this month, is among 284 highly trained scientists and engineers who will work for  a year onsite, serving professionally in federal agencies and congressional offices as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow (SPTF). The U.S. government benefits from the contributions of highly trained scientists and engineers like Dr. Richardson, while they in turn learn first-hand about federal policymaking and implementation.

Margaret M. McCarthy, PhDThis is a huge honor for Dr. Richardson, and we know he will provide important contributions to the NIH’s BRAIN initiative,” said Margaret McCarthy, PhD, James & Carolyn Frenkil Dean’s Professor, Chair of the Department of Pharmacology.

Dr. Richardson has been a T32 fellow and cancer biology trainee since 2017 under the mentorship of Alexandros Poulopoulos, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology. His research has included establishing a novel system to enhance the efficacy of genome editing in the brain to ultimately understand and treat psychiatric and neurological disorders. He has also researched engineering methods to track and manipulate tumors at the cellular and sub-cellular level.

Alexandros Poulopoulos, PhDDr. Richardson’s work has been critical in bringing genome editing technology closer to the bedside to treat afflictions of the brain” said Alexandros Poulopoulos, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology.

The AAAS 2020-21 class is comprised of 284 fellows sponsored by AAAS and partner societies. Of these, 30 will serve in Congress, one will serve at the Federal Judicial Center, and 253 in the executive branch among 17 federal agencies or departments.

E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBADr. Richardson’s research with the National Institutes of Health under this prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science fellowship will truly have an impact in understanding the most complex neurological disorders. Importantly, his work will help set the stage for important policy in researching and understanding the most complex neurological issues,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine

About the new AAAS STP Fellowship position

For nearly half a century, the fellowship program has been in place as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) mission to advance science and serve society. The program aims to support evidence-based policymaking by leveraging the knowledge and analytical mindset of science and engineering experts, and foster leaders for a strong U.S. science and technology enterprise. Fellows represent a full spectrum disciplines, backgrounds and career stages.

Through the AAAS Science, Technology & Policy Fellowship, Ryan will be joining the BRAIN Initiative in the NIH Office of the Director, supporting their efforts to foster innovation in neuroscience research and its application to human health.

“Particularly in this age of COVID-19, we are proud and grateful to usher in the 48th class of Science & Technology Policy Fellows in September,” said Jennifer Pearl, Director of the AAAS STPF. “The present state of the world demands a strong link between science and policy.”

Since the program’s inception in 1973, more than 3,400 fellows have supported the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the U.S. government. After the fellowship, many fellows remain in the policy arena working at the federal, state, regional or international level. Others pursue careers in academia, industry or the nonprofit sector, leveraging their fellowship experiences to enhance their contributions and broaden their reach

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 45 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 two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1.2 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 nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has more than $563 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 population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 student trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine 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 of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, see www.aaas.org. Visit www.aaas.org/stpf to learn more about the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships.

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