Eight professors from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), four from each university, have been chosen as the inaugural MPower Professors. This award from the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State (MPower) recognizes, incentivizes, and fosters collaborations between faculty in Baltimore and College Park.
The eight faculty members were carefully chosen from a strong, competitive pool of nominations representing 11 schools and colleges. Each professor will receive $150,000, allocated over three years, to apply to their salary or to support supplemental research activities.
“The eight selected for this first-ever award exemplify a commitment to interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration, which is at the heart of the MPower strategic partnership,” said UMCP President Darryl J. Pines in a statement. “They are bridging research and scholarship between institutions to foster innovation that will impact the citizens of Maryland and beyond. We are extremely proud to recognize the accomplishments of these strong and collaborative leaders, who truly embody the mission of MPower.”
The eight inaugural MPower Professors are:
Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS, is a professor in the department of Pain and Translational Symptom Science at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and the director of the Clinical and Translational Science Award TL1 Pre- and Postdoctoral Training Program. She also chairs the Pain and Placebo Special Interest Group for the International Association for the Study of Pain and serves as treasurer for the Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies. She is considered a world expert in the fields of placebo effects and mechanisms of pain modulation including virtual reality applied to pain management.
Rao P. Gullapalli, PhD, MBA, is a professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) as well as the administrative director for the Center for Advanced Imaging Research within the department. He is the director of the University of Maryland Core for Translational Research in Imaging at Maryland, and the co-director of the Center for Metabolic Imaging and Therapeutics. Dr. Gullapalli has expertise in developing novel magnetic resonance imaging techniques for clinical research and conducts research on developing new imaging biomarkers associated with traumatic brain injury.
Christopher M. Jewell, PhD, is the Minta Martin Professor of Engineering in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at UMCP. He is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UMSOM and a full member of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCC). Dr. Jewell also is a research biologist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has received over 50 awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the White House, and authored more than 100 papers in journals such as ACS Nano, Nature Materials, PNAS, Nature, and Nature Biotechnology . Dr. Jewell is a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
Deanna L. Kelly, PharmD, BCPP, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UMSOM and an affiliate professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP). She also is the director and chief of the Treatment Research Program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. Dr. Kelly has led and been involved in numerous clinical trials involving schizophrenia and severe mental illness and has been active in psychopharmacology research for the past 24 years.
Cheryl L. Knott, PhD, MA, FAAHB, is a professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health in UMCP's School of Public Health and a co-leader of the Population Science Program at UMGCC. She also serves as the associate director of community outreach and engagement at UMGCC. She conducts research in social epidemiology and behavioral interventions aimed at eliminating cancer disparities.
Donald K. Milton, MD, DrPH, is a professor of environmental health at UMCP's School of Public Health, with a secondary appointment in UMSOM's Department of Medicine. An internationally recognized expert on the aerobiology of respiratory viruses, Dr. Milton developed the concept of using indoor CO2 to directly measure rebreathed air and airborne infection risk. He is the principal investigator of the UMD StopCOVID study (investigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission) and the newly National Institutes of Health-funded Evaluating Modes of Influenza Transmission (EMIT-2) study, a five-year, $15 million UMCP-UMB collaboration to perform randomized controlled trials that will define the modes and mechanisms of influenza transmission.
Joseph Richardson, PhD, MA, is the Joel and Kim Feller Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology in UMCP's College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and serves as the executive director of the school's Transformative Research and Applied Violence Intervention Lab. Dr. Richardson also is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UMSOM. His research focuses on gun violence, violence and trauma among African American boys and young men, incarceration as a social determinant of health, and parenting for low-income African American male youth. He utilizes the busiest trauma centers in Maryland as his research labs to investigate gun violence, trauma, and the effectiveness of hospital-based violence intervention programs.
Yihua Bruce Yu, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the director of the Bio- and Nano-Technology Center at UMSOP. Dr. Yu's expertise is in biophysics and bioengineering. In 2019, Dr. Yu joined the joint Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research in Rockville, Md. His lab advances the development of analytical technologies for characterizing complex drugs and vaccines. He holds multiple patents, including noninvasive analytical technologies for biologics production and inspection.
For more information about the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership, visit the MPowering the State website.
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