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2021 News

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Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Three Leading UMSOM Faculty Named Among Maryland's Top 100 Women

The Maryland Daily Record has named three leading faculty members at the University of Maryland School of Medicine to its 2021 listing of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. The three-- Tracy L. Bale, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology; Kimberly Lumpkins, MD, MBA, Associate Professor of Surgery; and Jill RachBeisel, MD, the Dr. Irving J. Taylor Professor and Chair of Psychiatry—were chosen for their “outstanding achievements demonstrated through professional accomplishments, community leadership and mentoring,” according to the publication.


Tuesday, May 04, 2021

“Strength, Resilience, and Partnership”

Marking a previous year unlike any other, the entire University of Maryland School of Medicine community—faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and benefactors—gathered as one online on Saturday, May 1 for a virtual hour-long celebration of the 2021 School of Medicine Gala, which coincides annually with the Medical Alumni Association Reunion Weekend.


Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Primary Care Providers Over-Treat Patients Based on Overestimation of Medical Conditions, UM School of Medicine Study Finds

Primary care practitioners often over-estimate the likelihood of a patient having a medical condition based on reported symptoms and laboratory test results. Such overestimations can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) published in JAMA Internal Medicine.


Friday, April 30, 2021

University of Maryland School of Medicine Begins Pediatric Trial of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

This Phase 2/3 Trial Will Test the Vaccine in Children Ages 6 Months to 11 Years


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Dr. Seemant Chaturvedi, endowed professor of neurology at the University of Maryland, is the recipient of the Association of Indian Neurologists in America (AINA) Lifetime Achievement Award

I am very grateful to the selection committee for the honor of the Lifetime Achievement Award. I have participated in AINA activities for more than 15 years and witnessing the growth of the organization has been very rewarding.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

UM School of Medicine Researchers Map Brain Regions Responsible for Intoxicating Effects of Alcohol

The slurred speech, poor coordination, and sedative effects of drinking too much alcohol may actually be caused by the breakdown of alcohol products produced in the brain, not in the liver as scientists currently think. That is the finding of a new study led by researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It was published recently in the journal Nature Metabolism and provides new insights into how alcohol may affect the brain and the potential for new treatments to treat alcohol misuse.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

UM School of Medicine Researchers Find Habitual Snoring Linked to Significant Brain Changes in Children

Children who regularly snore have structural changes in their brain that may account for the behavioral problems associated with the condition, including lack of focus, hyperactivity, and learning difficulties at school. That is the finding of a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), which was published today in the journal Nature Communications.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

UM School of Medicine Study Shows that Psychedelic Experience May Not be Required for Psilocybin’s Antidepressant-like Benefits

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers have shown that psilocybin—the active chemical in “magic mushrooms”— still works its antidepressant-like actions, at least in mice, even when the psychedelic experience is blocked. The new findings suggest that psychedelic drugs work in multiple ways in the brain, and it may be possible to deliver the fast-acting antidepressant therapeutic benefit without requiring daylong guided-therapy sessions.


Monday, April 12, 2021

University of Maryland School of Medicine Study Identifies New Mechanism that May Cause Blindness in Older Adults

Using laboratory-grown roundworms, as well as human and mouse eye tissue, University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers have identified a new potential mechanism for age-related macular degeneration—the leading cause of blindness among older adults. The UMSOM researchers say that the findings suggest a new and distinct cause that is different from the previous model of a problematic immune system, showing that the structural organization of the eye’s light-detecting cells may be affected by the disease. The discovery offers the potential to identify new molecular targets to treat the disease.


Friday, April 09, 2021

Researchers Link Several Heart Disease Risk Factors to Increased Risk of COVID-19 Infections

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, researchers have found associations between certain lifestyle factors and a person’s risk of getting infected. While it has already been established that those with Type II diabetes and a high body mass index (BMI) are at greater risk of experiencing hospitalizations and other severe complications related to COVID-19, they are also at greater risk of getting symptomatic infection in the first place. That is the finding of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM)that was published in the journal, PLoS ONE.


Friday, April 09, 2021

Lowering Music Volume at Group Spin Classes Does Not Affect Intensity of Workouts, UM School of Medicine Researchers Find

Fitness center instructors often turn up music volumes significantly during classes sometimes loud enough to cause hearing damage -- based on an assumption that participants will work out more intensively when volumes are raised. A new University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) study, however, found that those who attend indoor cycling (“spinning”) classes do not lower the intensity of their workouts when the volume is reduced to a safer decibel level. The findings were published today in the journal Noise & Health.


Thursday, April 08, 2021

UM School of Medicine Genomics Scientist Claire M. Fraser, PhD, Delivers Passionate Address as Capstone to Her Presidency of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Genomic medicine pioneer and leader Claire M. Fraser, PhD, who is the Director of the Institute for Genome Sciences and the Dean’s Endowed Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), recently concluded her year as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) with a stirring lecture at the group’s annual meeting.


Thursday, April 01, 2021

University of Maryland Medicine and the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance Mark One-Year Anniversary of Center for Adults with Neurodevelopmental Disorders and TSC Center of Maryland

Maryland’s only treatment centers for adults with autism, epilepsy, tuberous sclerosis complex, and other neurodevelopmental conditions fill critical need for clinical care and social support. Across Maryland, adults who have aged out of pediatric programs for neurodevelopment disorders such as autism, have found a critical resource in The University of Maryland Clinical Center for Adults with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (UMCCAND) and the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Center of Maryland (TSCCM). Launched one year ago, the two centers provide clinical evaluation, care, and treatment for a range of complex neuro-disabilities including adult autism, epilepsy, tuberous sclerosis, and other neuro-disabilities.


Monday, March 29, 2021

Cancer Drug Lessens the Toxicity of a Protein from the Virus that Causes Covid-19, UM School of Medicine Study Finds

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers have identified the most toxic proteins made by SARS-COV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19 – and then used an FDA-approved cancer drug to blunt the viral protein’s detrimental effects. In their experiments in fruit flies and human cell lines, the team discovered the cell process that the virus hijacks, illuminating new potential candidate drugs that could be tested for treating severe COVID-19 disease patients. Their findings were published in two studies simultaneously on March 25 in Cell & Bioscience, a Springer Nature journal.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Longstanding UM School of Medicine Dean and Widely Recognized Academic and Institutional Leader, Dr. E. Albert Reece, Announces He Will Transition from the Deanship in 2022; His Tenure Continued the UMSOM Upward Trajectory as an Academic Powerhouse

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, a widely recognized visionary leader who elevated the UMSOM into a top-tier biomedical research and patient-focused academic center, announced that he will complete his 16-year tenure as Dean, at the end of the next academic year. He will return to the UMSOM faculty where he will lead a new Center, and continue research and teaching.


Monday, March 22, 2021

University of Maryland School of Medicine Researchers Awarded Funding to Lead National Discussion on Active Surveillance for Men with Low­ Risk Prostate Cancer

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have been awarded $100,000 in funding through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards, an initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The funds will support a national discussion and conference aimed at identifying evidence gaps to guide future research on the use of active surveillance to monitor low-risk prostate cancers. This approach will serve as an alternative to immediate treatment with surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy which all have potentially debilitating side effects.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

UM School of Medicine Helps Maryland Conduct State-Wide Sequencing of Variants in Positive COVID-19 Test Specimens

In an effort to monitor the spread of COVID-19 variants in the State of Maryland, University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced that UMaryland Genomics at UMSOM will perform genome sequencing of variants in at least 10 percent of COVID-19 test samples, reaching an important benchmark set by the federal government to help control the spread of these variants.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

New Study Finds Healthcare Settings Do Not Pose Added Risk Factor for Covid-19 Infection Spread Among U.S. Healthcare Personnel

Healthcare personnel who were infected with COVID-19 faced stronger risk factors outside of the workplace than in their hospital or healthcare settings. That is the finding of a new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical association's JAMA Network Open conducted by University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and three other universities.


Friday, February 26, 2021

Internationally Renowned Neuroscience Researcher and Academic Leader Asaf Keller, PhD, Appointed Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the UM School of Medicine

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that prominent international neuroscientist and academic leader, Asaf Keller, PhD, who is Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at UMSOM, has been appointed to serve as the Chair of the Department Anatomy and Neurobiology, effective immediately. Dr. Keller has served as the Department’s Interim Chair for the past year and a half and is internationally recognized as a leader in the fields of sensory perception, chronic pain and addiction research.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

UM School of Medicine Researchers Participate in Landmark Study Detailing Sequencing of Full Human Genomes to Better Capture Genetic Diversity

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) co-authored a study, published today in the journal Science, that details the sequencing of 64 full human genomes. This reference data includes individuals from around the world and better captures the genetic diversity of the human species. Among other applications, the work will enable population-specific studies on genetic predispositions to human diseases as well as the discovery of more complex forms of genetic variation.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

UM School of Medicine Recruits New Advanced Science Communications Group in the UMSOM Office of Public Affairs & Communications

University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Assistant Dean for Public Affairs & Communications, Christopher J. Hardwick, MA, along with Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that the UMSOM has formed an Advanced Science Communications Group within the Office of Public Affairs & Communications (OPAC). The new Group will focus on broadly communicating the UMSOM faculty’s research and breakthrough discoveries to national and international audiences through a wide range of news media.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

UM School of Medicine Researchers Release Extensive Data on Rare Variants through NHLBI TopMed Grant

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and their colleagues published a new analysis today in the journal Nature from genetic sequencing data of more than 53,000 individuals, primarily from minority populations. The early analysis, part of a large-scale program funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, examines one of the largest and most diverse data sets of high-quality whole genome sequencing, which makes up a person’s DNA. It provides new genetic insights into heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders and how these conditions impact people with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, who are often underrepresented in genetic studies.


Tuesday, February 09, 2021

UM School of Medicine Researchers Find that Misuse of Opioid Drugs During Pregnancy Could Have Lasting Impact on Child’s Development from Infancy Through Teen Years

As the number of pregnant women using opioid drugs continues to rise, questions have been raised about the long-term health effects on children exposed to these drugs in the womb. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine now have preliminary but striking evidence that suggests that such exposure can cause long-lasting impairment in the brain’s ability to process sensory information. These impairments may give rise to autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and substance use disorders during adolescence. The landmark study, recently published in Journal of Neuroscience, used a preclinical model to study the issue and found that newborn mice exposed to the opioid fentanyl in the womb developed withdrawal symptoms and sensory processing disorders that lasted at least until adolescence.


Friday, February 05, 2021

UM School of Medicine Researchers Demonstrate Strong Immune Response for New COVID-19 Vaccine in Pre-Clinical Tests

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have found promising results in pre-clinical studies for a new experimental vaccine against COVID-19 made by Novavax. The vaccine was found to generate a robust immune response in animals exposed to the vaccine with strong data indicating safety and efficacy, according to the study published recently in the journal Nature Communications. The results have been used to begin testing the vaccine in human trials in the U.S. with a Phase 3 trial that recently launched at the UMSOM’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health.


Friday, February 05, 2021

Business Leader and Philanthropist Michael Greenebaum Named Vice Chair of University of Maryland School of Medicine Board of Visitors

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, along with UMSOM Board of Visitors Chair Cynthia Egan, announced today that Michael Greenebaum, a prominent business leader and philanthropist who has served on the UMSOM’s Board since 2012, has been named Vice Chair of the Board of Visitors.


Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Clinical and Academic Leader, Dr. Jill RachBeisel, Appointed Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the UM School of Medicine

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that Jill RachBeisel, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, has been appointed to serve as the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, effective immediately. Dr. RachBeisel has served as the Department’s Interim Chair for the past two years and was previously Acting Chair and Vice Chair of the Department. A prominent leader at UMSOM, she has garnered tremendous support among faculty and staff for her efforts to forge partnerships among various entities in an effort to strengthen mental health services provided to patients and the community at large. Dr. RachBeisel will be named The Dr. Irving J. Taylor Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, when she is invested March 18.


Monday, February 01, 2021

Three Top University of Maryland School of Medicine Physician-Scientists Honored as Distinguished Fellows by AAAS

Three preeminent physician-scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have been named to an elite group of scientists, engineers, and innovators, as 2020 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

COVID-19 Pandemic Led to Decreased School Meal Access for Children in Need Across Maryland, UM School of Medicine Study Finds

School closures during COVID-19 have decreased access to school meals, which is likely to increase the risk for food insecurity among children in Maryland, according to a new report issued by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). The number of meals served to school-age children during the first three months of the pandemic dropped by 58 percent, compared to the number of free or reduced-price meals served the previous spring. As a result, thousands of children across the state were placed at increased risk of food insecurity, with many likely experiencing the health ramifications associated with the abrupt disruption in their access to regular meals.


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Dr. Wilbur Chen, Nationally-Recognized Vaccine Researcher, Selected for Federal Committee that Guides Immunization Policies

Wilbur H. Chen, MD, MS, FIDSA, FACP, Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), has been named a new voting member of the federal government’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the prestigious board of experts that makes recommendations on the safe use of vaccines for Americans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected Dr. Chen for the 15-member advisory committee based on his expertise and national leadership in vaccinology, infectious diseases, public health, and preventive medicine. He will remain in his current role at UMSOM while he serves in his four-year term, which began last month.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

UM School of Medicine Hosted Media Availability for Ensuring Trust in COVID-19 Vaccine Event

On January 22, 2021 at 2 p.m., the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) hosted Black faith-based leaders, COVID-19 research volunteers, and “America’s Doctor,” Anthony Fauci, MD. The event provided straight talk about fears, trust issues, and why we need our Black and Brown community to be a part of COVID-19 vaccine research.