$3 Million Will Establish the Dr. Richard and Kathryn Taylor Professorship in Neurology and the Charles Gordon Smith Endowed Professorship for HIV Research
University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that the school has been awarded $1.5 million in matching funds from the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF), administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce. The funds, when combined with private philanthropy, has allowed the creation of two new endowed professorships – one in the Department of Neurology and one in at the Institute of Human Virology (IHV). As part of its goal to attract and retain top faculty and foster the development of new technologies and therapies, the School of Medicine had requested that the funds be used to establish these two new endowed professorships.
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.
The Dr. Richard and Kathryn Taylor Endowed Professorship in Neurology
A private donation of $750,000 from Richard L. Taylor, MD '75 and Kathryn A. Taylor, matched by MEIF, has created the Dr. Richard and Kathryn Taylor Endowed Professorship in Neurology, has been awarded to Peter B. Crino, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the UMSOM.
Dr. Taylor, President and Co-Founder of Taylor Medical Group, is an alumnus and member of the UMSOM Board of Visitors. “We’re so excited and pleased about this incredible development!” said Dr. Taylor. “Dr. Crino is truly a valuable asset for our remarkable Department of Neurology, and we are honored to be able to help support his important work.”
Dr. Crino is a world-renowned physician-scientist who is an expert in the field of translational neuroscience research and has a long history of federal NIH and Department of Defense funding, as well as entrepreneurial endeavors. He directs a six-person basic science laboratory that is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health, and focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of epilepsy and autism in a number of genetic neuro-developmental disorders. Dr. Crino is also the principal investigator of a number of collaborative multi-investigator grant applications that thematically link basic and translational UMSOM scientists who are studying the genetics of epilepsy and autism. His leadership and international reputation allow for large grant applications to be considered by the NIH.
Dr. Crino has been a highly attractive physician-scientist to numerous academic medical institutions. The Taylor Professorship will allow UMSOM to retain him, while providing Dr. Crino with the dedicated time and resources to foster innovation and discovery in the field of translational neurosciences. He will focus on new applications toward clinical use and potential commercialization to bring new intellectual capital to the state of Maryland.
The Charles Gordon Smith Endowed Professorship for HIV Research
A bequest of $750,000 from the Estate of Charles G. Smith, matched by MEIF, has created the Charles Gordon Smith Endowed Professorship for HIV Research, which has been awarded to Lishan Su, PhD of UMSOM’s Department of Pharmacology and the Institute of Human Virology.
Smith, who was a staff accountant at Price Waterhouse, had read an article in 2001 about Robert C. Gallo, MD, the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and co-founder and director of Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the UMSOM. This article sparked Mr. Smith’s growing interest in Gallo’s work and eventually, his desire to fund HIV research at the IHV through his bequest. “Charlie was a philanthropist and wanted to help so many,” noted a close friend of Mr. Smith, who requested anonymity. “Dr. Gallo had made an impact for Charlie, as much as Charlie is now making an impact for Dr. Gallo.”
As the inaugural Smith Endowed Professor, Dr. Su will join the IHV to become its director of the Division of Virology, Pathogenesis, and Cancer (VPC), leading basic and applied research in HIV/AIDS and other virally linked diseases, as well as in vaccine development. He has conducted extensive research experience in human immunology, virology, and stem cell biology. He has made important contributions to several areas of human immunology and infectious diseases, particularly in developing humanized pre-clinical models to study human immuno-pathology of chronic virus infections. In recent years, Dr. Su has discovered and focused on the pDC-interferon axis in the pathogenesis and therapy of chronic HIV & HBV/HCV infections, autoimmune diseases, and cancers.
“The E-Nnovation Fund has played such a valuable role in helping us retain, attract, and advance some of the leading physicians and scientists in the nation,” said Dean Reece, who is also the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “We are grateful to the MEIF and the Maryland Department of Commerce for helping to provide these outstanding faculty members in neuroscience and infectious disease with the critical resources they need to sustain and expand their research and discovery well into the future.”
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 nearly 50 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, 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.