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University of Maryland Statement Against Hate and Bias

November 5, 2017
Contacts: 

 Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

 
Statement Against Hate and Bias 
Joel Seligman, AVP for Communications and Marketing - November 5, 2017
 

UMD sincerely regrets the overwhelming misunderstanding resulting in the #UMDNotAHome social media conversation. The statements on social media connected to this hashtag do not reflect the positions of the university or our leaders' mutual commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus and across our nation.

To put it plainly, the UMD administration stands against hate and bias in all of its forms and wants every Terp to feel welcome, safe and at home at the University of Maryland. 

In recent months, there have been instances of intentional provocation by hateful, far-right groups spreading targeted messages that the administration finds despicable. These outside agitators want to divide our campus community into factions that are in conflict with one another from within UMD, rather than see our campus stand together in opposition to the broader forces of hate, white supremacy, anti-immigrant xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and anti-semitism. 

It is understandable that some members of our community are also disturbed by remarks by university officials, even when the comments are quoted entirely out of context and in a manner that misrepresents the meaning. UMD has seen an example of one of our longtime colleagues unfairly criticized for her efforts to provide legal advice to the University Senate Campus Affairs Committee literally at the same time she is working to advance the cause of inclusion.

The administration encourages all members of our community to work together—students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni—to increase respect, inclusiveness, and cohesiveness on our campus. A comprehensive list of efforts underway by UMD administration is available at umd.edu/umdreflects 

 

 

UMD Named a 2017 Best College by MONEY Magazine

July 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  The University of Maryland ranked No. 11 among public universities according to MONEY Magazine’s 2017 list of Best Colleges. UMD ranked No. 20 overall among U.S. institutions. 

To calculate rankings, MONEY assessed more than 700 colleges in the U.S. based on three equally-weighted categories, including educational quality, affordability and alumni success. MONEY measured 27 factors within these categories covering areas such as instructor quality, measuring the study-to-faculty ratio, affordability for low-income students and value-added earnings, which measures if the school is launching students to better paying jobs. 

Earlier this year, UMD was also ranked a Best Value College by ForbesPrinceton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

UMD Capitol Hill Forum Addresses Health Disparities Research & Action for Equity

September 23, 2016
Contacts: 

Contacts: Elise Carbonaro, 301-405-6501

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland, in collaboration with Rep. John P. Sarbanes and the Big Ten Academic Alliance, recently convened more than 100 people for a Research on the Hill forum focused on strategies to achieve health equity at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Moderated by Stephen B. Thomas, Ph.D., professor and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity in the UMD School of Public Health, the panel discussion engaged experts from academia, federal health agencies and the private business sector in a candid conversation about how to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities among vulnerable populations.

“Our exploratory research holds the solutions to many of the most challenging problems of our day,” said UMD Vice President and Chief Research Officer Patrick G. O’Shea, Ph.D. “As a university, it is our mission to create and understand knowledge to develop better ways to house and heal and fuel and feed our people in advanced societies that are just, secure, and free. Achieving health equity touches on the ‘heal’ aspect of that mission.”

The topics ranged from the progress that has been made in access to medical care as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to challenges that still remain in improving quality of care and in making the medical care system incorporate public health and address the social determinants of health that prevent people from acting health promotion and disease prevention recommendations. 

“The state of Maryland has embraced the ACA and there is clear evidence that the new incentives are indeed moving hospital systems away from a fee-for-service business model to one that rewards quality care and positive health outcomes over the volume of procedures,” said Thomas. “While the transition is not perfect, our state is a national leader for what the future of health care will look like.”

Panel members shared examples of effective and innovative community-based health interventions and public-private partnerships that are making a difference through culturally-tailored health promotion and disease prevention services, and highlighted the emergence of social determinants of health such as poverty, discrimination and residential segregation as factors that must be overcome.

 “I’m convinced that if you address racial and ethnic disparities with respect to the delivery of health care and health care coverage in this country, you will build the best health care system we can possibly have because diversity is our country’s hallmark,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who, as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been a tireless advocate for improving healthcare quality and addressing health disparities.
 
To achieve health equity, researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders must address broader issues beyond the traditional biomedical model and build trust between those who control health care delivery system and those who have lost hope in the system, said members of the panel. 

The panelists recommended that health equity be incorporated into all public policies, not just those related to health care, to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities. 

Panel members included:

  • Margo Edmunds, Ph.D., Vice President, Evidence Generation and Translation at Academy Health;
  • J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Julia Huggins, President of Cigna Mid-Atlantic;
  • Kolawole Okuyemi, M.D., MPH, Professor of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research and Inaugural Endowed Chair for Health Equity at the University of Minnesota; and
  • Eliseo Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.

House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District and is a distinguished UMD alumnus, also joined the event and emphasized that as an interconnected community, we should all care about health disparities.
 
“It is unacceptable that in the United States, where all are created equal in the words of our Declaration of Independence, that one’s access to healthcare may be higher or lower as a result of race, gender, or income,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Everybody being healthy is of concern to each and every one of us.”
 
He discussed how we must continue to defend the patient protections that Americans are benefiting from thanks to the ACA, such as the no-cost access to preventive services like mammograms and immunizations, as well as remind people of the dramatic increase in the number of people, particularly people of color, who now have health coverage as a result.

The event was held as part of the University of Maryland’s Research on the Hill series, which is aimed at raising awareness of research with great societal significance.

View the conversation at: https://youtu.be/HPedKr0jZLQ

UMD Study Finds Connecting Uninsured Patients to Primary Care Could Reduce ER Use

May 6, 2015
Contacts: 

Kelly Blake 301-405-9418
Hillery Tsumba 301-628-3425

Montgomery County, Md. Initiative Could Improve Health, Reduce Costs

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – An intervention to connect low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to a reliable source of primary health care shows promise for reducing avoidable use of hospital emergency departments in Maryland. A University of Maryland School of Public Health study evaluating the results of the intervention was published this week in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs

For twenty years, use of hospital emergency departments has been on the rise in the United States, particularly among low-income patients who face barriers to accessing health care outside of hospitals, including not having an identifiable primary health care provider. Almost half of emergency room visits are considered “avoidable.” The Emergency Department-Primary Care Connect Initiative of the Primary Care Coalition, which ran from 2009 through 2011, linked low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to safety-net health clinics. 

“Our study found that uninsured patients with chronic health issues – such as those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure, depression or anxiety – relied less on the emergency department after they were linked to a local health clinic for ongoing care,” says Dr. Karoline Mortensen, assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and senior researcher. “Connecting patients to primary care and expanding the availability of these safety-net clinics could reduce emergency department visits and provide better continuity of care for vulnerable populations.”  

Funded by a grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the initiative engaged all five of the hospitals operating in Montgomery County, Maryland at the time, and four safety-net clinics serving low-income patients. Using “patient navigators,” individuals trained to help patients find the care they need and can afford, these hospitals referred more than 10,000 low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients who visited emergency departments to four local primary care clinics, with the goal of encouraging them to establish an ongoing relationship with the clinic and reduce their reliance on costly emergency department care. 

Two hospitals in Montgomery County who participated in the intervention continued the program after the initial grant period concluded because of the benefits they saw for patients and for reducing emergency department visits and associated costs. These hospitals are currently testing a new version of the intervention specifically deigned to link emergency department patients with behavioral health conditions to appropriate community-based services. 

While hospital administrators and health policy experts throughout the country are recognizing that access to primary care improves continuity of care for patients and reduces avoidable use of emergency departments, the implications of this project are particularly important for hospitals in Maryland, which are now operating under a unique all-payer model for hospital payments. Within this new payment structure, Maryland hospitals will have to meet ambitious spending, quality of care, and population health goals. Reducing avoidable use of emergency departments can help in reaching these goals.

The project provides promise not only for hospitals in Maryland but throughout the nation to improve health care experiences and outcomes for their patients. Shared learning systems were an integral component of the project so participants were learning from each other and sharing best practices throughout the project and that learning has now been documented and can be replicated in other communities.

“This was an incredibly rewarding project to work on,” says Barbara H. Eldridge, Manager of Quality Improvement at the Primary Care Coalition. “We created a learning system that permits us to sustain improved communication between patients and their providers, between hospital discharge planners and community based clinics, and across five hospitals operating in Montgomery County.” The initiative has proven successful in Montgomery County, Maryland and is being replicated in communities in other parts of the country. 

“Linking Uninsured Patients Treated In The Emergency Department To Primary Care Shows Some Promise In Maryland” was written by Theresa Y. Kim, Karoline Mortensen, and Barbara Eldridge and published in the journal Health Affairs

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.

UMD President Joins Big Ten Colleagues in Support of DACA

December 13, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

Today, Big Ten presidents issued the following letter in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy: 


Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer:

On behalf of the Big Ten universities, we urge you to take action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and pass a long-term legislative solution as soon as possible to protect Dreamers, outstanding young people brought to our country as children.

The stories we hear on our campuses are troubling—high achieving young adults with uncertain futures. They are nurses, engineers, and pharmacy students. They are student athletes, leaders in music programs, and active across campus.

These young people are Americans in every way but immigration status. It remains in our country’s best interest to enable them to use their knowledge, skills and energy to continue to make the strongest possible contribution to our communities.

Please let us know what we can do to support you in protecting Dreamers and finding a permanent legislative solution to protect these bright, young Americans.

Sincerely,

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Chancellor Robert J. Jones

Indiana University
President Michael A. McRobbie

University of Iowa
President J. Bruce Harreld

University of Maryland
President Wallace D. Loh

University of Michigan
President Mark Schlissel, MD, Ph.D.

Michigan State University
President Lou Anna K. Simon, Ph.D.

University of Minnesota
President Eric W. Kaler

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Chancellor Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D.

Northwestern University
President Morton Schapiro

Ohio State University
President Michael V. Drake, MD

Penn State University
President Eric J. Barron

Purdue University
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
President Robert L. Barchi

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chancellor Rebecca Blank

UMD’s Discovery District to Host 2018 Association of University Research Parks International Conference

December 13, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland’s Discovery District, an epicenter of academic, research and economic development, will host the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) annual International Conference, Oct. 22- 26, 2018.

“The University of Maryland is very proud to act as the host for AURP’s 2018 International Conference,” said Brian Darmody, associate vice president for corporate and foundation relations at UMD, and past AURP president. “The Baltimore-Washington area is a thriving technology corridor, and the University of Maryland Discovery District is a perfect venue to demonstrate the value of research parks as the true intersections of science and innovation.”

The Discovery District has been widely recognized for its leadership in research. Most recently, UMD was awarded two Innovation & Economic Prosperity University Awards by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for its Greater College Park initiative, of which the Discovery District is a cornerstone. In addition, in 2015, prior to its name change, the University of Maryland Research Park was recognized as AURP’s Research Park of the Year. 

“There’s no better place than Maryland to hold the 2018 AURP International Conference,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “Our network of university research parks – coupled with nearly 75 federal labs – make Maryland a center of science, technology and innovation. In short, our state is the perfect location to explore unparalleled research facilities, expand partnerships at home and abroad, and enjoy all that Maryland has to offer.” 

“Each year our selection committee works hard to find the best locations to showcase our host parks and the incredible innovations happening across the world at university research parks,” said AURP CEO Carol Stewart. “In 2018, the University of Maryland and its Discovery District will provide ample opportunities for some of the most innovative minds in the world to experience a stellar research park and its community.”

UMD debuted the Discovery District in 2017, which encompasses more than 150 acres that stretch from Baltimore Avenue to the research-rich and metro-accessible community along River Road. The Discovery District is home to the research park formerly known as M Square, and features amenities like The Hotel at the University of Maryland and the The Art Walk. 

The Discovery District is part of UMD’s Greater College Park initiative, a $2 billion public-private investment to rapidly revitalize the Baltimore Avenue corridor and academic campus, which includes dynamic academic spaces, a public-private research hub and vibrant downtown community. Earlier this week, the university announced that Capital One will be the first major private sector anchor to join the Discovery District with the launch of an innovation lab, which will give UMD students the opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom—in topics like data science, technology and automation—to real-world problems and experiences.

To learn more about the Discovery District, visit https://greatercollegepark.umd.edu/discovery-district.html

 

University of Maryland, Capital One Partner to Drive Innovation, Fueling Talent Pipeline in Data and Machine Learning

December 12, 2017
Contacts: 

 Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland and Capital One today announced a partnership aimed at developing a talented pipeline of students to join the workforce in areas of key national need, such as machine learning, data analytics and cybersecurity.

A cornerstone of the new partnership will be the launch of an innovation lab in the university’s Discovery District. Situated along Baltimore Avenue, the lab will give UMD students the opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom—in topics like data science, technology and automation—to real-world problems and experiences.

Capital One has also invested $3 million through an endowment gift to help advance machine learning leadership at the university. The gift’s impact includes $2.1 million used to endow a faculty chair in the Department of Computer Science, and $900,000 to help support research and educational initiatives in machine learning, data analytics and cybersecurity. In addition, the university will collaborate with Capital One to develop academic courses offered through its First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) program. 

“The opportunities that this partnership will bring to UMD will have a tremendous impact on our students’ ability to meet urgent workforce needs,” said UMD Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin. “This partnership will not only help attract and retain top faculty and students, but will also propel UMD to national prominence and excellence in these critically important fields.”

“We are thrilled to extend our long-standing partnership with the University of Maryland to this important initiative, which will further position the University as one of the leading academic institutions and talent hubs for machine learning, data analytics, and cyber security not only in the region, but in the nation,” said Adam Wenchel, vice president of AI and data innovation, Capital One. “At Capital One, we are steadfast in our belief that machine learning and data analytics can greatly enhance our customers’ experience, and we are proud to support the next generation of technology innovators from UMD that will continue to harness these opportunities more broadly.”

“Thanks to Capital One and Adam Wenchel, the Computer Science Department will be able to add more outstanding faculty to our machine learning and cyber security groups," said Larry Davis, professor and interim Chair, Department of Computer Science. "This partnership will provide more of our 3200 undergraduates and 250 graduate students opportunities to take specialized classes and work with machine learning and cyber security experts who will make major contributions to the field.” 

In August, the Maryland Department of Commerce, through the state’s Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative, provided the University of Maryland with $2.1 million in matching funds for its Capital One Chair in Machine Learning and Computer Science. These funds will endow an additional two professorships in the field, and will help elevate research, education and entrepreneurship activities. 

“Higher education institutions are significant economic drivers for the entire state of Maryland," said Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. "The research they conduct and the bright young minds they nurture fuel Maryland's economy and keep our state on the cutting edge of technology and discovery. We are proud to partner with the University of Maryland and look forward to seeing the fruits of the professorships for years to come.”

The University of Maryland maintains academically strong programs in data analytics, cybersecurity and machine learning, a subfield of computer science that allows analyses of and conclusions from patterns in data. Through the partnership, UMD will create FIRE research streams that focus on research problems in these fields. Each FIRE stream will be jointly designed by Capital One’s senior scientists and researchers in collaboration with UMD faculty.

“These FIRE streams will allow motivated students to gain valuable experience in tackling relevant challenges in these critical areas early in their academic careers," said FIRE Program Director Patrick Killion, Ph.D. "Capital One's commitment to and use of machine learning in their daily operations provides an opportunity that will greatly improve our program and help us produce the country's best and brightest graduates in these fields.”

The partnership between the university and Capital One is part of the university’s Greater College Park initiative, a $2 billion public-private investment to rapidly revitalize the Baltimore Avenue corridor and academic campus, which includes creating a dynamic public-private research hub. Capital One is the first, major private sector anchor to join UMD’s Discovery District, leasing 7,500 square feet in the “Diamondback Garage”, a mixed-use development located behind The Hotel at UMD that will bring new jobs to Prince George’s County.

“We are taking a major step forward in growing the Discovery District with Capital One’s presence in a new and dynamic facility located in Diamondback Garage,” said Ken Ulman, chief strategy officer for economic development at UMD. “This means more jobs for Greater College Park, more vibrancy in our surrounding communities, and a new model for how the University can engage private sector partners.”  

As a historically data-driven company, Capital One continuously seeks opportunities to create breakthrough consumer experiences through new technologies. The company’s Center for Machine Learning, which is home to several leading machine learning experts, focuses on the hiring and empowering of data scientists and the centralization of knowledge in a rapidly changing business industry. Along with the University of Maryland, the group has developed strategic partnerships with marquee universities across the country to attract and retain the best data science and machine learning talent. This builds on Capital One’s existing partnership with UMD as the university’s banking partner and generous supporter of Maryland Athletics. 

UMD and NASA Join Forces to Improve Global Food Security through Satellite Data

December 8, 2017
Contacts: 

Sara Gavin, 301-405-1733

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- Inbal Becker-Reshef, Ph.D. from the University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Geographical Sciences has been selected by NASA to lead a new multidisciplinary consortium dedicated to enhancing the use of satellite data for improving food security and agriculture around the world. The Earth Observations for Food Security and Agriculture Consortium (EOFSAC) will combine the expertise of more than 40 partners to advance the adoption of Earth observations in informing decisions affecting the global food supply. The consortium will partner with NASA’s Food Security Office at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (GSFC), strengthening the long-standing collaboration between GSFC and the UMD Department of Geographical Sciences (GEOG). 

EOFSAC image“Events such as food price spikes and food shortages related to severe weather illustrate the risks associated with knowledge gaps around food production and supply,” explained Becker-Reshef, Associate Research Professor and co-lead of UMD’s Center for Global Agricultural Monitoring Research (CGAMR). “Satellite data can help identify areas vulnerable to things like drought, flooding and fire, as well as variability in soil, crop conditions and yield status. The goal of this new consortium is to get this data into the hands of more people making decisions about agriculture and food production.”

The EOFSAC’s core objectives are to enhance the use of Earth observations by key decision- and policymakers, which can:

  • increase food security and resilience
  • reduce food price volatility and vulnerability
  • improve awareness and understanding of the applications of NASA’s and other satellite data products by users from a wide range of sectors. 

NASA awarded the EOFSAC a total of $14.5 million over a five-year period through its Research Opportunities in Earth and Space Science (ROSES) grant program. The consortium aligns with NASA’s priority to make its Earth observations freely and openly available to those seeking solutions to important global issues such as food security, changing freshwater availability and human health. It will also constitute NASA’s contribution to the G20-GEOGLAM initiative, with which faculty members from UMD GEOG are significantly involved. 

“NASA’s observations of Earth’s complex natural environment are critical to understanding the global food system. Through this partnership, NASA is interested in how uses of remote sensing data can enhance organizations’ planning and operations, and support broader food security assessments, commodity pricing, risk assessments and policy analysis,” said Dr. Christa Peters-Lidard, Deputy Director for Hydrosphere, Biosphere and Geophysics in the Earth Sciences Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Through this innovative effort, UMD is partnering with top researchers, humanitarian aid organizations, economists, policymakers, agribusiness, defense and intelligence specialists, high-tech companies, financial experts, and other disciplines and sectors. Collaborators include other U.S. institutions such as UC Santa Barbara, Stanford University, University of Wisconsin, Texas A&M University, University of Vermont, USAID, USDA; and a range of international organizations, UN organizations, NGOs, and ministries in countries like Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Argentina, and Canada.

“The UMD Department of Geographical Sciences is uniquely qualified and deeply honored to lead this innovative program that will harness expertise from around the world to develop new solutions to challenges facing the global food supply,” said Dr. Chris Justice, Chair of the UMD Department of Geographical Sciences and scientific lead for the EOFSAC. “Providing decision-makers with access to timely, objective, accurate and actionable information can strengthen food security, market stability and human livelihoods.”

In addition to Becker-Reshef and Justice, members of the UMD Geographical Sciences team leading the EOFSAC include: Alyssa Whitcraft, Alona Bunning, Matt Hansen, Sergii Saskum, Mike Humber, Brian Barker, Christina Justice, Ritvik Sahajpal, Indrani Kommareddy, Belen Franch, Jean Claude Roger, Varaprasad Bandaru, Cesar Izzauralde, Estefania Puricelli, Catherine Nakalembe, and Mark Sullivan.

Learn more about the EOFSAC and the NASA Food Security Initiative.

 

 

UMD Professor Receives $1M from USDA NIFA to Increase Poultry Yield and Advance Animal Well-Being

December 6, 2017
Contacts: 

Samantha Watters, 301-405-2434

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Professor Tom Porter, Ph.D. has been awarded two grants, totaling $1M, from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) to explore ways to increase poultry yield and meat production while improving the lives of the animals. Additionally, Porter will examine the natural growth hormone processes and resistance to heat stress caused by severe weather patterns. 

“By 2050, the world will be in the wake of a large food shortage,” explained Porter, professor in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences. “To meet the demand of a growing population and combat hunger, it is anticipated that meat production alone will have to increase 43 to 47 percent across the board, with little to no new land or space for meat production. This presents a major food crisis.”

Porter has been studying the mechanisms behind natural growth hormone production in poultry for 27 years, with consistent federal funding for his work. His research has explored what controls production of the bird’s own growth hormone, when it begins, how to target the DNA to control growth hormone production, and what cellular mechanisms are involved. Porter will use the grant from USDA NIFA’s Animal Nutrition, Growth, and Lactation Program to continue this research. 

“If there is no new land for meat production, the best way to meet our agricultural and food supply needs is through more efficient and effective growth,” said Dr. Porter. 

By inducing the natural growth hormone production process a little earlier in chick development, critical parameters like body weight, yield, composition and feed efficiency (or the amount of feed needed to produce a pound of meat) may be improved, providing more insight into these mechanisms. 

In addition, funding from USDA NIFA’s Animal Well-Being Program will support a new research project. To improve animal welfare, well-being, and overall poultry production, Porter will use the grant to develop a protocol to easily condition chicks to better handle heat waves as adult birds. Chickens begin to exhibit significant heat stress at sustained temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. With the ever increasing extremes in our global climate, heat waves with prolonged temperatures over 95 degrees are increasingly common. Significant heat stress not only causes the birds to suffer, but often leads to premature death on a large scale. Eggs are normally incubated at 99.5 degrees, and chicks are kept at 92 degrees thereafter. Exposing chicks to 100-degree heat for an additional day when they are young, reduces heat stress and mortality rates by 50 percent.  What is not understood is how this mechanism works, how this affects poultry production and overall yield, and if the protocol can be optimized with more or less conditioning.

“I am a physiologist, and really an endocrinologist, so understanding the mechanisms that regulate hormones and stress is what I enjoy,” said Porter. “But everything we do is to improve the well-being and lives of the animals themselves and to ultimately improve poultry production. That is the key to this work.”  

Pages

UMD Logo
December 14
Congressman Elijah E. Cummings to address winter 2017 graduates at evening commencement ceremony.  Read
December 13
Big Ten presidents issue letter calling for action around DACA. Read
December 13
UMD’s Discovery District is an epicenter of academic, research and economic development. Read
December 12
$3 million from Capital One, $2.1 million from Maryland Department of Commerce, and creation of innovation lab... Read