Skip to main content

UMSOM Acclaimed Physician-Scientist and Student Mentor, Dr. Miriam Laufer, to Join Academic Affairs Leadership Team as Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research Education

August 05, 2020

Miriam Laufer, MD, MPH

Dr. Laufer Will Play a Key Leadership Role in Enhancing Research Education, Increasing Dual-Degree Enrollment, and Fostering the Next Generation of Medical Researchers

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, James Kaper, PhD, along with UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced that Miriam Laufer, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD), will join the Academic Affairs leadership team as Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research Education.

Donna Parker, MD, FACPDr. Laufer is one of the world’s leading malaria scientists, with more than $6 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health. Much of her work has focused on developing new strategies to prevent malaria and tackling the burden of malaria among school-age children. She is also a highly regarded mentor to students.

In her new role, she will lead the Office of Student Research (OSR), and oversee all aspects of student research and training opportunities with a commitment toward scholarship and discovery in academic medicine and research.  She will report directly to Donna Parker, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. 

Student Research Day“Dr. Laufer’s accomplishments as a leading researcher, educator, and clinician at the University of Maryland School of Medicine make her ideally suited for this position,” said Dr. Kaper, who is also Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. “She has served as an excellent mentor to our medical students, several of whom worked with her on malaria research in Africa.”

James B. Kaper, PhDDr. Laufer will also be tasked with expanding the UMSOM’s dual-degree programs by more than 25 percent. These include the MD/Master’s and MD/PhD programs, known as the MSTP (Medical Science Training Program). MD/Master’s Degree Programs include MD/MS in Epidemiology, MD/MS in Clinical Research, MD/Master’s in Public Health, MD/MS in BioEngineering, MD/Master’s in Public Policy, MD/Master’s in Business Administration, and MD/Master’s in Health Services Administration.

The MSTP combines the MD with a PhD program offered by the Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS). These dual-degree programs aim to train a diverse and creative cadre of physician-scientists who will become leaders in their chosen fields of research, develop new knowledge, and translate it to enhance clinical practice.

A central focus of Dr. Laufer’s lifelong work has been to mentor the next generation of infectious disease researchers both on campus and in global settings. Her mentorship has been the foundation for collaboration with and support of the next generation of global health and infectious disease experts around the world, including providing key expertise to major organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

“Dr. Laufer’s accomplishments as a leading researcher, educator, and clinician at the University of Maryland School of Medicine make her ideally suited for this position,” said Dr. Kaper, who is also Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. “She has served as an excellent mentor to our medical students, several of whom worked with her on malaria research in Africa.”

“We are very excited to have Dr. Laufer join the medical education team and lead the Office of Student Research. She has served as a mentor and role model for our students for many years, and in her new role, they will certainly benefit from her extensive experience as both a physician and scientist. All of us look forward to working with her to improve upon an already successful medical student research program,” said Donna Parker, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. 

Dr. Laufer will work with members of the OSR team to increase the number of students mentored through summer programs, including the MPowering the State Program (MPower), which is a collaboration between the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), as well as the Program for Research Initiated by Students and Mentors (PRISM).

“This position is vital to the research mission of the School of Medicine, as we continue to build a ‘research continuum,’ in which our students, faculty, and staff work together to advance biomedical discovery,” said Dean Reece, who is also Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “With Dr. Laufer’s strong research experience and expertise, we have a tremendous opportunity to increase student commitment to scholarship and discovery, and encourage more of our students to become part of the academic medical community.”

Dr. Laufer is an accomplished physician-scientist who has conducted epidemiological and translational research around the world, with a primary research interest in malaria and global child health, for more than two decades.  She is the world-leading expert on malaria drug resistance and leads an interdisciplinary team of experts that is uncovering the most pathbreaking genetic and epidemiological foundation for understanding diseases that impact the world’s most vulnerable populations.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with our bright and talented medical students and a devoted group of colleagues in OSR to maintain our outstanding track record in research training and grow even more opp0iortunities to prepare our students to excel in medical research,” said Dr. Laufer.

E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBADr. Laufer received her MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her residency in pediatrics at Columbia University. She completed fellowships in pediatric infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University and in malaria research at the UMSOM Center for Vaccine Development. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

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 $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 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

Contact

Office of Public Affairs
655 West Baltimore Street
Bressler Research Building 14-002
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-1559

Contact Media Relations
(410) 706-5260

Related stories

    Sunday, October 28, 2018

    American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Awards Dr. Miriam Laufer the LePrince Medal for Malaria Research

    Miriam Laufer, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Director for Malaria Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s (UMSOM) Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD), was awarded the Joseph Augustin LePrince Medal by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).


    Wednesday, June 06, 2018

    UMSOM Researchers Find that Silent Carriers of Malaria are Unlikely to Develop the Disease

    In regions where malaria illness is widespread, it is common to find many individuals who are infected with malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum), but without symptoms. New research conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) shows that treating these silent malaria cases could help stop the spread of malaria to others.


    Tuesday, May 15, 2018

    Tackling Malaria Transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Two malaria experts in the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine wrote a commentary published in the June Issue of The Lancet Global Health discussing the prevalence of malaria in school-age children in sub-Saharan Africa. Miriam Laufer, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Director for Malaria Research CVD, and Lauren Cohee, MD, Instructor, Pediatrics, noted that often malaria infection is more common in school-age children than younger children and adults.


    Tuesday, June 09, 2015

    University of Maryland School of Medicine Researcher Receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Groundbreaking Research in Global Health and Development

    University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that the school is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Miriam K. Laufer, MD, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the school, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project to to base malaria treatment and prevention activities within schools.