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Monday, December 29, 2014

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University Launches Dynamic, Interactive Information Website UMD Right Now

December 4, 2012
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown 301-405-4618 crystalb@umd.edu

College Park, Md. – Today, the University of Maryland launched a brand-new multimedia news and information portal, UMD Right Now, which provides members of the media and the public with real-time information on the university and its extended community.

UMD Right Now replaces Newsdesk, which previously served as the university’s news hub and central resource for members of the media. The new site is aimed at reaching broader audiences and allows visitors to keep up with the latest Maryland news and events, view photos and videos and connect with the university across all of its social media platforms.

“We designed UMD Right Now to be a comprehensive, vibrant site where visitors can find new and exciting things happening at Maryland,” said Linda Martin, executive director, Web and New Media Strategies. “Through social media, video, photos and news information, we hope to engage visitors and compel the community to explore all that Maryland has to offer.”

The new website, umdrightnow.umd.edu, contains up-to-date news releases and announcements, facts and figures about the university, a searchable database of faculty and staff experts, information highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship at UMD, additional resources for news media and other campus and athletics news.

“UMD RightNow is the place to go to find out all the things happening on and around campus on any given day,” said Crystal Brown, chief communications officer. “This website brings real-time news, events and information right to your fingertips.”

For more information and contact information for the Office of University Communications, please visit umdrightnow.umd.edu.

Pulsing Magnetic Fields Could Push Drugs to Deep Targets

December 22, 2014
Contacts: 

Alyssa Wolice 301-405-2057

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland (UMD) researchers working with Bethesda-based Weinberg Medical Physics LLC  have developed a new technique to magnetically deliver drug-carrying particles to cancer tumors or other hard-to-reach targets deep in the body. The method has the potential to transform the way deep-tissue tumors and diseases are treated.

UMD Professor Benjamin Shapiro, Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BioE) and the Institute for Systems Research, and UMD alum Aleksandar Nacev (Aerospace B.S. ’09, BioE Ph.D. ’13)  teamed up with Weinberg Medical Physics to exploit fast pulsed magnetic fields to focus nano-therapeutic magnetic particles to deep targets. Their advances in this area were recently published in the journal Nano Letters.

For years, researchers have worked with magnetic nano-particles loaded with therapies – such as drugs or genes – to develop noninvasive techniques to direct therapies and diagnostics to targets in the body. Magnetic nanoparticle research garnered media attention in October, when Google X (Google’s innovation lab dedicated to furthering major technological advancements) announced its interest in the use of magnetic nano-particles for diagnostic applications. 

Instead of surgery or systemically administered treatments, such as chemotherapy, the use of magnetic particles as drug carriers could potentially allow clinicians to use external electromagnets to focus therapy to the precise locations of a disease within a patient. However, until now, particles could only be attracted to a magnet, and thus could not be concentrated to points away from the magnet face. As a result, in prior clinical trials magnets held outside the body had only been able to concentrate treatment to targets at or just below the skin surface. 

"What we have shown experimentally is that by exploiting the physics of nanorods we can use fast pulsed magnetic fields to focus the particles to a deep target between the magnets," Shapiro said. 

These pulsed magnetic fields allowed the team to reverse the usual behavior of magnetic nano-particles. Instead of a magnet attracting the particles, they showed that an initial magnetic pulse can orient the rod-shaped particles without pulling them, and then a subsequent pulse can push the particles before the particles can reorient. By repeating the pulses in sequence, the particles were focused to locations deep between the electromagnets. 

"The Holy Grail of magnetic drug targeting is the dream of using magnets outside the body to minimally-invasively direct drug therapy to anywhere inside the body, for example, to inoperable deep tumors or to sections of the brain that have been damaged by trauma, vascular or degenerative diseases,” said Dr. Irving Weinberg, a practicing physician and president of Weinberg Medical Physics. “We have shown that fast pulsing of external electromagnetic fields may be able to achieve this goal."

Their study in Nano Letters, “Dynamic Inversion Enables External Magnets to Concentrate Ferromagnetic Rods to a Central Target,” shows that, with appropriate external magnetic pulses, ferromagnetic particles carrying drugs or molecules could be concentrated to arbitrary deep locations between magnets. Nacev, Weinberg, Shapiro and their fellow researchers are now working to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of this method in a project funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Small Business Innovation Research program and featured at the NCI-sponsored Investor Conference in San Francisco. Additionally, the research team recently launched IronFocus Medical, Inc., a startup company established to commercialize their invention. A video showing the magnetic focusing can be seen at http://ter.ps/magnetic.  

"This technology could enable a new therapeutic modality that combines the spatial precision of traditional image-guided radiation with the biochemical specificity of molecular medicine," said Dr. John R. Adler, Vice President and Chief of New Clinical Applications for Varian Medical Systems.

 

Support for the Research

In addition to Nacev, Weinberg, and Shapiro, research team members and co-authors include: Pavel Y. Stepanov, Lamar Mair, Mario Urdaneta, and Mika Shimoji of Weinberg Medical Physics LLC; and Dr. Stanley Fricke of Children’s National Medical Center. Sam Kupfer, a summer student intern at Weinberg Medical Physics, built the electromagnetic apparatus used in the experiment. The fast magnetic fields were developed with funding from Small Business Innovation Research grants awarded by the National Cancer Institute, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Funding to develop the correct sequence of magnetic pulses was provided by the National Science Foundation.

 

UMD Partners with Ken Ulman to Boost Economic Development

December 22, 2014
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson
 301-405-4622

Focus on Route 1 Revitalization and University Research Park Is Pivotal to Economic Impact

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Through an agreement with the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has been tapped to serve as a strategist for economic development and growth at the University of Maryland and its surrounding communities.

Ulman has formed a consulting firm, Margrave Strategies LLC, which will provide strategic planning and visioning services to institutions and businesses throughout Maryland and the mid-Atlantic. Through this contract, the firm will be charged with enhancing the University of Maryland’s role as a catalyst for the innovation economy in the state of Maryland.

“I have often said the future of this university is tied to the future of the surrounding community, and we must make investments that spark economic development in College Park and across Maryland,” said UMD President Wallace D. Loh. “We are pleased Ken is bringing his expertise from smart economic growth in Howard County here to our university and community.”

Ulman will work to diversify revenue streams and foster investment by businesses, philanthropies and venture capital firms in start-ups, incubators and programs at the University that can create jobs and spark growth.  A key piece of work will be bringing investment to the University Research Park and further developing the Route 1 corridor into a vibrant college and commercial community.

"The nearly $1 billion in private and state supported construction expected around College Park in the next five years make the University an ideal location for innovation and economic development in Maryland," said Peter Weiler, Vice President of University Relations at UMD and President, University of Maryland College Park Foundation. “This is a great opportunity to link university inventiveness and resources with Ken Ulman’s vision for the State of Maryland."

Ulman has a long track record of driving economic success. During his tenure as County Executive, Howard County added more private sector jobs than any other jurisdiction in Maryland. He has been named Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine; an Innovator of the Year by the Greater Baltimore Committee; and a Doer, Dreamer and Driver by Government Technology magazine, among numerous other honors.

The University of Maryland College Park Foundation made this partnership possible. It is an entity that was established in support of the University's goal to become one of the top research universities in the nation, and it has played a leadership role in real estate projects to drive economic development within the surrounding community.

UMD Reveals New Predictors for Teen Anxiety

December 18, 2014
Contacts: 

Graham Binder 301-405-4076

Combined quality of parent-infant relationships and early childhood shyness are key factors

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Researchers at the University of Maryland’s Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM) in the College of Education have produced a new longitudinal study demonstrating that behavioral inhibition persistent across early childhood is associated with social anxiety in adolescence, but only among youth who were insecurely attached to their parents as infants. Previous studies have examined either infant attachment or behavioral inhibition as risk factors for anxiety separately, but not both risk factors together. The study was done in collaboration with researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health and the University of Waterloo. It appears in Child Development, the journal of the Society for Research in Child Development.   

Researchers studied 165 European-American, middle- to upper-middle-class adolescents (ages 14-17 years) who were recruited as infants (at 4 months). At 14 months, infants and their parents were observed in the lab to see how the babies responded to brief separations from their parents. Infants were classified as having a secure or insecure attachment to their parent based on this in-depth observation.

To test the second risk factor, children’s behavioral inhibition and social reticence was observed in the lab as they encountered new situations and new peers several times across early childhood (at 14, 24, 48, and 84 months). Parents also completed questionnaires about their children’s behavior in new situations and with unfamiliar peers. Based on the lab observations and results from parents’ questionnaires, the researchers classified children according to how inhibited or shy they were over time. 

Years later (when the children were 14 to 17 years old), participants and their parents completed questionnaires about the adolescents’ anxiety. Youths who said that they often felt nervous going to parties, dances, or other places where there would be people they didn’t know well, and often felt nervous when they had to do something in front of an audience like read, speak, or play a game or sport, scored higher on social anxiety than youth who said they had such feelings less frequently.

The study concluded that children who were both insecurely attached to their parents as infants and who were inhibited throughout their childhoods went on to have higher levels of anxiety as adolescents, specifically social anxiety. Teen males who were insecurely attached to their parents as infants and who were inhibited across early childhood were at the most risk for social anxiety. In addition, the association between childhood inhibition and adolescent social anxiety was strongest for children who reacted angrily and weren’t able to calm down when reunited with their parents (during the lab task at 14 months), compared to children who showed other types of attachment patterns as infants.

"Our study suggests that it is the combination of both early risk factors that predicts anxiety in adolescence, particularly social anxiety," said Erin Lewis-Morrartypostdoctoral research fellow at HDQM's Child Development Lab, who was involved with the study. "The findings can inform the prevention and treatment of adolescent social anxiety by identifying specific factors that increase risk for this outcome among children who are persistently shy." 

 

Caret to Return to Maryland as USM Chancellor

December 17, 2014
Contacts: 

Anne Moultrie 301-445-2722

Mike Lurie 301-445-2719

Caret to bring 20 years of successful higher education leadership

ADELPHI, Md. - After a successful tenure as president of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system, Robert L. Caret will return to Maryland as chancellor of the University System of Maryland. James L. Shea, chairman of the USM Board of Regents, today announced the board's appointment of Caret, effective July 1, 2015. Caret served as president of Towson University, one of USM's 12 institutions, from 2003 to 2011.

"The Board of Regents is very pleased that Bob Caret will take the helm as USM's fourth chancellor," said Shea. "He brings years of experience as the outstanding leader of two public universities and a public system of higher education. He is adept at building partnerships that benefit institutions and the surrounding communities. And he is very familiar with USM and the state of Maryland. We are confident that he will provide the visionary and innovative leadership the University System of Maryland needs to continue to enhance opportunities for our students and our state."

Details follow at the end of this news release regarding an introductory news conference in Baltimore at 2:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 19.

"I am extending my heartiest congratulations to Robert Caret as the next Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, and I ask the entire campus community to join me in welcoming him back home to Maryland," said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh.

As president of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) since July 2011, Caret has become a major spokesperson on the pressing issues of college affordability and student debt. Throughout his UMass tenure, he has emphasized efficiency, rolling out several cost-saving initiatives, and established productive working relationships with Massachusetts government and business leaders. His successful pursuit of a 50-50 funding formula for UMass resulted in the state and students contributing equally to the university's general education program and a 22 percent increase in the base budget for two years. He also secured additional state funding, allowing UMass to freeze tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students for two consecutive years.

Before joining UMass, Caret was president of Towson University (TU) for eight years, where he also served as a faculty member, dean, executive vice president and provost during his more than 25-year tenure there. At Towson, he created partnerships with regional business, non-profit and civic organizations; raised student graduation rates; and undertook a capital fundraising and building campaign to support campus infrastructure improvements. He oversaw an increase in the university's online courses and expanded the availability of TU courses at regional higher education centers. He was instrumental in establishing Towson University in Northeaster Maryland, which offers transfer students the flexibility to pursue a four-year degree after completing an associate's degree at a community college. The facility is located on the grounds of Harford Community College. 

From 1995 to 2003, Caret served as president of San Jose State University (SJSU), part of the California State University System. He is credited with bringing a vision for SJSU as the metropolitan university of Silicon Valley.

"I am excited and energized to return to Maryland and the University System of Maryland," said Caret. "I have dedicated 29 years of my professional career to the system and the state and to two primary goals: to ensure we provide high-quality, affordable education and that we continue to build a research-based economic engine.  I look forward to working to ensure those two goals remain central to all that we do."

Active in the national higher education community, Caret serves on the National Association of System Heads and American Council on Education boards. He also is a member of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board and the Government University Industry Research Roundtable.

In Massachusetts, Caret has served on the boards of several organizations, including the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and Edward M. Kennedy Institute.

Caret holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Suffolk University in Boston.

When Caret joins the USM next year, he will succeed William E. Kirwan, who in May announced his plans to step down from the chancellor's position after a career of more than 50 years in public higher education. Kirwan will remain in the position until Caret is on board.

"I've known Bob Caret for several years," said Kirwan. "He has had significant positive impact on each institution he has led. The University System of Maryland and the state will benefit greatly from his leadership in the years ahead."

Caret's appointment follows a six-month, extensive national search led by Rick Berndt, chair of the search-and-screening committee; managing partner of Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP, a Baltimore law firm; and a former USM regent.

"We deeply appreciate the diligent work of the search committee," said Chairman Shea on behalf of the USM Board of Regents. "Under Rick Berndt's excellent leadership, the committee carefully reviewed the applicants and nominees, and forwarded highly qualified finalists to the board for consideration."

The University System of Maryland comprises 12 institutions:  Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; University of Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland Eastern Shore; University of Maryland University College; and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies. USM also includes two regional centers:  Universities at Shady Grove and University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, at which USM universities offer upper-division (undergraduate junior- and senior-levels) and graduate courses.

Systemwide, student enrollment exceeds 162,000. USM and its institutions compete successfully for more than $1 billion in external grants and contracts annually. USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit www.usmd.edu. 

 ___

WHAT: James L. Shea, chair of the USM Board of Regents, will introduce Robert L. Caret 

WHEN: 2:30 p.m., Friday, December 19, 2014

WHERE: Christopher Columbus Center, 701 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD, in the Multi-Purpose Room. (Members of the Columbus Center building staff are available to indicate location.)

WHO: Chairman Shea; Chancellor Kirwan; and other distinguished leaders of the University System of Maryland. Parking is available in a number of public garages near the Center, all visible from Pratt Street.

 

UMD Maintains Spot on Kiplinger's Top 10 Best Values in Public Colleges

December 17, 2014
Contacts: 

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Maryland has ranked in the top 10 in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s annual ranking of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges. UMD took the 9th spot on the list for in-state tuition and 14th for out-of-state.

"The University of Maryland is honored for the recognition it has received from Kiplinger in this year’s list," said Shannon Gundy, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment at the University of Maryland. "Our inclusion in the top 10 for the seventh consecutive year is a true testament to the consistent academic excellence and outstanding value we provide students and their families."

Each year, Kiplinger’s collects data from hundreds of public four-year institutions and determines the top 100 by analyzing several measurable standards, such as academic quality – including SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- year graduation rates – financial aid, cost, and average student debt at graduation.

"We salute this year’s top schools," says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. "Balancing top-quality education with affordable cost is a challenge for families in today’s economy, which is why Kiplinger’s rankings are such a valuable resource. The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds."

Full rankings can be found at www.kiplinger.com/links/college. The rankings will also appear in the February 2015 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 6, 2015. 

Pages

December 23
Two UMD research teams will launch new federally-funded research projects designed to create personal technologies for... Read
December 22
UMD researchers working with Weinberg Medical Physics LLC have developed a new technique to magnetically deliver drug-... Read
December 22
Through an agreement with the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman... Read
December 18
Researchers at the University of Maryland’s Department of Human Development in the College of Education have produced a... Read