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New UMD Research Tracks Global IT’s Shift from Cost-Cutting to Revenue-Boosting

July 26, 2017
Contacts: 

Greg Muraski301-892-0973

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Information technology is often credited for its role in helping companies cut costs. However, new research by University of Maryland Professor Sunil Mithas shows that information technology actually creates increased global profits through increased revenue, not through cost cuts. The findings add perspective to the recent Gartner forecast for global spending on IT to reach $3.5 trillion by the end of 2017.

Firms can use either a revenue-focused or a cost-focused strategy to do business in foreign markets, explains Mithas, professor in UMD’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The former is driven by investments to enhance competitive agility – to sense and respond to unique preferences and tastes of foreign customers and markets. The latter is driven by efficient supply chains. IT spending can power both strategies, but the key question facing executives, particularly when deciding how to allocate IT spending, is "which side is a greater profit-driver?"

The study, "Information Technology, Revenues, and Profits: Exploring the Role of Foreign and Domestic Operations," appears in the June 2017 issue of Information Systems Research.

Mithas and coauthors Jonathan Whitaker (University of Richmond) and Ali Tafti (University of Illinois-Chicago) studied approximately 300 U.S. publicly traded multinational firms and found that a $1 million increase in IT spending led to a $570,000 increase in foreign revenues and a $200,000 increase in foreign profits (these increases do not include the increases in domestic revenues and profits). Surprisingly, the increase in IT spending did not lead to a reduction in foreign costs.

"This finding suggests that foreign responsiveness plays a more important role in generating foreign profits than does value chain restructuring, even though the latter may look more tempting," Mithas says. Revenue-focused strategies pay off because they may be harder for competitors to copy, he and his coauthors say.

Mithas and his co-authors say global staffing firm Manpower also sought to improve revenue by becoming more responsive. In 2015, Manpower generated 78 percent of its total revenue in 80 countries outside the Americas. And although its IT-driven operating systems were 90 percent uniform, Manpower's director of information systems governance explained that the ability to customize the final 10 percent gave Manpower a competitive advantage in each geography.

The study also notes Mithas' related research, which lays out how a robust IT infrastructure boosts customer satisfaction and organizational capabilities that can contribute to revenue growth.

 

UMD Engineers Invent the First Bio-Compatible, Ion Current Battery

July 24, 2017
Contacts: 

Martha Heil, 626-354-5613

COLLEGE PARK, Md, -- Engineers at the University of Maryland have invented an entirely new kind of battery. It is bio-compatible because it produces the same kind of ion-based electrical energy used by humans and all living things. 

In our bodies, flowing ions (sodium, potassium and other electrolytes) are the electrical signals that power the brain and control the rhythm of the heart, the movement of muscles, and much more.

In traditional batteries, the electrical energy, or current, flows in form of moving electrons. This current of electrons out of the battery is generated within the battery by moving positive ions from one end (electrode) of a battery to the other.   The new UMD battery does the opposite. It moves electrons around in the device to deliver energy that is a flow of ions. This is the first time that an ionic current-generating battery has been invented. 

“My intention is for ionic systems to interface with human systems,” said Liangbing Hu, the head of the group that developed that battery. Hu is a professor of materials science at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also a member of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center and a principal investigator of the Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage Energy Frontier Research Center, sponsored by the Department of Energy, which funded the study.

“So I came up with the reverse design of a battery,” Hu said. “In a typical battery, electrons flow through wires to interface electronics, and ions flow through the battery separator. In our reverse design, a traditional battery is electronically shorted (that means electrons are flowing through the metal wires). Then ions have to flow through the outside ionic cables. In this case, the ions in the ionic cable – here, grass fibers -- can interface with living systems.”

The work of Hu and his colleagues was published in the July 24 issue of Nature Communications.

“Potential applications might include the development of the next generation of devices to micro-manipulate neuronal activities and interactions that can prevent and/or treat such medical problems as Alzheimer’s disease and depression,” said group member Jianhua Zhang, PhD, a staff scientist at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

“The battery could be used to develop medical devices for the disabled, or for more efficient drug and gene delivery tools in both research and clinical settings, as a way to more precisely treat cancers and other medical diseases, said Zhang, who performed biological experiments to test that the new battery successfully transmitted current to livingcells. 

“Looking far ahead on the scientific horizon, one hopes also that this invention may help to establish the possibility of direct machine and human communication,” he said.

Bio-compatible, bio-material batteries

Because living cells work on ionic current and existing batteries provide an electronic current, scientists have previously tried to figure out how to create biocompatibility between these two by patching an electronic current into an ionic current. The problem with this approach is that electronic current needs to reach a certain voltage to jump the gap between electronic systems and ionic systems. However, in living systems ionic currents flow at a very low voltage.  Thus, with an electronic-to-ionic patch the induced current would be too high to run, say, a brain or a muscle.  This problem could be eliminated by using ionic current batteries, which could be run at any voltage.

The new UMD battery also has another unusual feature – it uses grass to store its energy. To make the battery, the team soaked blades of Kentucky bluegrass in lithium salt solution. The channels that once moved nutrients up and down the grass blade were ideal conduits to hold the solution.

The demonstration battery the research team created looks like two glass tubes with a blade of grass inside, each connected by a thin metal wire at the top. The wire is where the electrons flow through to move from one end of the battery to the other as the stored energy slowly discharges. At the other end of each glass tube is a metal tip through which the ionic current flows.

The researchers proved that the ionic current is flowing by touching the ends of the battery to either end of a lithium-soaked cotton string, with a dot of blue-dyed copper ions in the middle. Caught up in the ionic current, the copper moved along the string toward the negatively charged pole, just as the researchers predicted.

“The microchannels in the grass can hold the salt solution, making them a stable ionic conductor,” said Chengwei Wang, first author of the paper and a graduate student in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the University of Maryland in College Park. 

However, the team plans to diversify the types of ionic current electron batteries they can produce. “We are developing multiple ionic conductors with cellulose, hydrogels and polymers,” said Wang

This is not the first time UMD scientists have tested natural materials in new uses. Hu and his team previously have been studying cellulose and plant materials for electronic batteries, creating a battery and a supercapacitor out of wood and a battery from a leaf.  They also have created transparent wood as a potentially more energy-efficient replacement for glass windows.

Creative Work

Ping Liu, an associate professor in nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved with the study, said:  “The work is very creative and its main value is in delivering ionic flow to bio systems without posing other dangers to them. Eventually, the impact of the work really resides in whether smaller and more biocompatible junction materials can be found that then interface with cells and organisms more directly and efficiently.”

The research was funded by Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage, a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center, and by Intramural Research Program of the NIDDK (DK043304).

Flying Dog Brewery and University of Maryland Partner on Hops Production Initiative

July 21, 2017
Contacts: 

Graham Binder301-405-9235

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland (UMD) and Maryland's largest brewery are committed to developing the highest quality ingredients for Maryland beer.

Photo of Hops Trial at Western Maryland Research CenterFlying Dog Brewery and UMD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources have engaged in a partnership that will allow them to work side-by-side on the future of beer-centric agriculture in the region. To start, the focus is on hops.

“Hop farming in the state of Maryland continues to grow, and what we appreciate most about the program is the practical approach to the business of beer agriculture,” Matt Brophy, chief operating officer for Flying Dog, said. “It’s equal parts commitment to the development of our existing farms and providing local breweries with the highest quality ingredients.”

Hops used in craft beer production need to meet the same quality standards that are achieved in traditional hop growing regions of the world. Understanding this dynamic, UMD has established a replicated variety trial using 24 varieties of hops at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center (WMREC) in Keedysville, Maryland. The trials will collect critical information on how Maryland’s unique climate affects harvest date, levels of acids and oil in the hops, and any special aspects of profile.

“I am thrilled to be part of a partnership with a business leader in the state that has the foresight to help an entire industry grow using research-based information,” Bryan Butler, extension agent for UMD, said.

The current planting consists of 24 varieties of hops with each variety replicated three times. The first 12 varieties – planted in 2016  – were selected from discussions with academic and industry experts on what might perform well in this area and what was being used by brewers. The second 12 varieties were selected based on an informal survey of Maryland growers and brewers to establish what might be most marketable in this region.

As a land grant institution, the University of Maryland aims to provide information to producers on the viability and marketability of these varieties, as producers will need research-based details on not only varieties, but also disease, insect and fertility management specific to the mid-Atlantic, quality analysis of harvested hops and economic viability of hops as a crop.

To compliment the program, Flying Dog will help fund hop processing equipment for UMD and provide resources to analyze and evaluate each test crop the program harvests. Flying Dog will also develop beers using those hops, eliciting feedback from and exposing craft beer fans to the full potential of local hops.

“One of the most critical components of data collection for this trial is the timing of harvest because it directly affects the value of the crop,” Butler said. “Harvesting must be done consistently, and within a narrow window of time, to ensure maximum production, quality, and comparison of varieties. Flying Dog’s partnership will allow us to invest in a harvester, which will ensure that hops are harvested properly, and that data on each yield is realistic and relevant to growers.”

A culmination of these hop trials will be an annual guide that both UMD and Flying Dog will produce on growing hops in the mid-Atlantic, which will summarize best management practices specific to this region, something Brophy thinks is crucial to the continued growth and development of local hop farms.

UMD will also work with Flying Dog on the East Coast Hop Project, a limited-edition variety pack slated for release in the spring of 2018. It will feature three different beers, each one highlighting a different East Coast hop farm and regionally-viable hop varieties. Black Locust Hops, located in northern Baltimore County, and Pleasant Valley Hops, located in Rohrersville, Maryland, have already signed onto the project.

“By promoting and engaging East Coast hop farms, Flying Dog and UMD hope to accelerate both supply and demand for quality local hops,” Brophy said.

 

UMD’s “It Takes Just One” Student Team Wins National Competition to Curb Violent Extremism Online

July 21, 2017
Contacts: 

Jessica Stark Rivinius, 301-405-6632

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- A student team from the University of Maryland won first place in the Peer to Peer: Challenging Extremism competition on July 18 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the competition challenged students from across the nation to develop and execute campaigns and social media strategies to combat violent extremism online.

Photo of It Takes Just One team

The competition team, which included students from UMD’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Tayler Schmidt, Victoria Challenger, Brittni Fine, Marcella Goldring and Elizabeth Streit, competed against 49 other teams, winning $5,000 and the opportunity to work with potential partners from the DHS and EdVenture on their  “It Takes Just One” campaign.

The team’s campaign, aimed at empowering bystanders to intervene and help steer individuals away from radicalization, is derived from the idea that “it takes just one person to care, just one choice to make a difference, and just one action to save a life.” To actualize this idea, the students started a social media campaign, interviewed family members and friends of radicalized individuals and created a “choose your own adventure” style video game.

“We worked hard to give a platform to people who never had a chance to share their stories, and to use those stories to help change the world,” said Fine, a recently graduated psychology major.

“From here we hope to create a network of bystanders of violent extremism, current and past, who are willing to help normalize and destigmatize the conversation surrounding the bystander effect,” Schmidt added.

The idea for the project began in a course offered through the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at UMD. Taught by START Center’s Education Director Katherine Izsak and Executive Director William Braniff, the course challenges global terrorism minor students to develop solutions to issues of radicalization through communities.

“Combining the unique expertise of our START Center professionals with the passion of our students is clearly a winning strategy for combating complex issues such as violent extremism,” said Gregory Ball, Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. “These are exactly the kinds of opportunities we want our students to be involved in—developing innovative solutions to problems in the real world.”

The team hopes to improve their educational video game, which will require outside funding and increasing their bystander outreach efforts. Through additional real stories, the “It Takes Just One” team will to continue to encourage those in similar situations to step in and say something to individuals at risk. The idea is that those who did not intervene can offer answers that can be integrated into the video game’s curriculum and future messages.

 

*UMD student, Zane Moses, contributed to this article. 

University of Maryland Welcomes Jacqueline Lewis as Vice President of University Relations

July 18, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has named Jacqueline (Jackie) Lewis as Vice President of University Relations, effective August 28, 2017. In this role, Lewis will collaborate with the president and key academic and administrative leaders across campus to build upon existing momentum of the university’s fundraising and philanthropic efforts. 

“Ms. Lewis has demonstrated great success in leading major development programs,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “She'll play a key role in the advancement of UMD, building upon the record fundraising of recent years.” 

Lewis will be responsible for leading the development, alumni association, communications and marketing teams, and will play a key role in increasing engagement across the university and country with alumni, prospective and existing donors, trustees and volunteers. 

“I’m pleased to be joining a university with such a strong alumni base and fundraising program, and a top-tier academic and research reputation,” said Lewis. “I look forward to working with the University Relations team to build upon their incredible work and to ensure that the university is positioned for success in its future efforts.”  

Lewis joins the University of Maryland from The University of Iowa Foundation, where she currently serves as Senior Vice President for Development. In this role, she leads a team of 160 fundraising, donor relations, marketing and communications professionals. As Senior VP, Lewis led the design and implementation of a five-year strategic plan and helped oversee the completion of a nearly $2 billion comprehensive campaign. 

Previously, she served as Vice President for Development for the University of Iowa’s health sciences colleges and medical center, where she led a team of 40 development professionals through the successful completion of a $525 million campaign to support research, education, facilities and patient care.

Prior to that, Lewis was at The Ohio State University, where she rose from Assistant Vice President to Interim Associate Vice President for development and alumni affairs at the OSU Medical Center. A member of Ohio State's senior management team, she helped oversee all fundraising units on campus, and set goals and metrics for raising $300 million to $400 million annually in private support.

Lewis has also held senior development positions at Arizona State University and medical centers in Illinois and Iowa. She began her career in the political arena, serving as press secretary, deputy campaign director and finance director in presidential, congressional and gubernatorial campaigns in Iowa.

Lewis received a B.S. in journalism and mass communications from Iowa State University. 

 

University of Maryland Taps Joel Seligman as Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications

July 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has named Joel Seligman as its new Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications. In this role, he will guide the vision and execution of major external outreach efforts and marketing campaigns, advise university 

Photo of Joel Seligman

leadership on national positioning opportunities, and collaborate with the university's schools and colleges, fundraising division, athletics, and other university programs.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Seligman to the University of Maryland and look forward to the leadership and creativity he will bring to this role," said Barbara Quinn, acting Vice President of University Relations. "He will be an asset in steering our brand forward, and highlighting UMD's outstanding service to the state and innovative research as an academic leader."

As AVP, Seligman will oversee all areas of the Office of Marketing and Communications, including marketing, strategic communications, publications, digital experience, video production, advancement marketing and trademark licensing for the university.

“UMD projects a world-class brand,” said Seligman. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to build on all of the superb work underway. I look forward to collaborating with the marketing and communications team as well as partners and leadership across the university to develop even greater awareness of UMD’s academic and research excellence.”

Seligman will join UMD from the University of New Hampshire, where he serves as Associate Vice President and Chief Communications Officer. At UNH, his work has focused on building connections between the State’s flagship public research university and its various stakeholders. During his tenure at UNH, Joel spearheaded the launch of the University’s new brand identity, two new publications and a redesign of UNH’s signature magazine. He also led efforts to enhance UNH’s digital and social media programs while playing a key role in working with academic units across campus to better align campus-wide communications.

With a long track record in higher education, Seligman has held senior communications positions at Cornell University, Boston University and the University of Chicago, where he led teams in strategic communications, marketing, state and federal government relations, digital media, alumni relations, development communications, public information, event planning and recruitment marketing.

Seligman has served on and chaired alumni advisory boards at Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania, and he is a member of the executive board of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universites' Council on Strategic Communications. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cornell University and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.

Seligman will assume his new position at UMD in August 2017. 

15 University of Maryland Students and Alumni Receive Fulbright Grants

July 7, 2017

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Fourteen University of Maryland students and recent graduates were awarded Fulbright grants to study, conduct research or teach English abroad during the 2017-2018 academic year. The students and alumni will travel to 10 different countries to serve as English teaching assistants or to work on projects in academic fields such as energy policy, history and public health.

UMD students will join over 1,900 students and young professionals who received the prestigious award for their academic accomplishments and leadership potential. 

"The University of Maryland is very fortunate to be represented by an outstanding group of students who believe in Fulbright’s mission to promote mutual understandings between the U.S. and other countries,” says James Gilbert, UMD’s Fulbright program advisor. “The Fulbright is a fitting award for their hard work, intelligence and spirit of adventure."

This year’s recipients include:  

English Teaching Assistant Awards

Photo of Soophia Ansari

 

Soophia Ansari, who recently graduated with a major in mechanical engineering and minor in international development and conflict resolution, will teach English in Malaysia with a focus on STEM related subjects. 

   

Photo of Sarah Blumberg

 

Sarah Blumberg, a 2016 alumna with majors in Spanish and biological sciences, will teach English in Spain. She plans to volunteer as a yoga instructor and hopes to implement an after-school mindfulness meditation program for students and teachers. 

 

Photo of Ann Lieberman

  

Anna Lieberman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 2016, will teach English in Taiwan and plans to volunteer at a local community center and with an organization that assists children with autism. 

 

Photo of Leanne Rohrback

 

Leanne Rohrbach, a 2016 alumna with majors in psychology and German, will teach English in Germany. She will also volunteer with local community organizations that address mental health. 

 

Photo of Hirbod Sajjadi

 

Hirbod Sajjadi, a 2015 alumnus with a major in government and politics and a minor in philosophy, will teach English in the Czech Republic, participate in Sokal, a form of gymnastics that has played an important role in the creation of Czech identity, and volunteer with a local organization that helps people with disabilities.  

Photo of Gavriel Schreiber

 

Gavriel Schreiber, who recently graduated with a major in philosophy and minor in Chinese, will teach English in Taiwan and work with an after-school baseball program aimed at building camaraderie and trust with local youth.

 

Photo of Nageen Shearani

 

Nageen Sherani, who recently graduated with a major in biochemistry, will teach English in Indonesia, with a focus on STEM subjects. She plans to volunteer at a local health clinic to improve her understanding of cultural sensitivities in patient care. 

 

Photo of Shelly Spence

 

 Shelly Spence, a 2011 alumna and kinesiology major, will teach English in Thailand and volunteer as a coach for extra-curricular activities that help students learn leadership, accountability and gain self-esteem. 

 

Photo of Abigail Trozenski

  

Abigail Trozenski, who recently graduated with a master’s degree in German, will teach English in Germany and volunteer with organizations that serve refugees and asylum seekers. She also plans to coach a local swim team.  

 

Photo of Colleen Toohey

 

Colleen Toohey, a 2016 alumna with a major in journalism and minor in Spanish, has been offered a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to Colombia. She has declined the award in favor of another opportunity. 

 

Open Study/Research Awards

Photo of Sana Haider

 

Sana Haider, a 2016 alumna with a major in community health and minor in general business, will conduct research in the Philippines. She will explore the various perspectives of stakeholders involved in the school-based human papillomavirus vaccination program.  

Photo of Theresa Kim

 

Theresa Kim, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Health Services Administration, will research the role of health care professionals in Senegalese family planning use, specifically evaluating how health care workers influence long acting reversible contraception utilization (LARC). 

Photo of Josh Klein

 

Joshua Klein, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, will explore the concept of Europe and the transformation of radical German conservatism from the 1930s to 1950s. His research will examine a wide range of Nazi propaganda and postwar periodicals located in the federal archives of Berlin.

 

Meghan Murphy, a 2015 alumna with a major in biological sciences and minor in global poverty, will conduct research in Botswana. She will examine the impact of substance abuse on HIV treatment adherence and failure.

 

Photo of Monammad Zia

 

Mohammad Zia, a 2015 alumnus with a major in global diplomacy and development through the Individual Studies Program, will conduct research in Morocco. He will examine public policy and institutional frameworks that encourage solar energy uptake in Morocco. 

 

Since 2012, 68 UMD students and alumni have been awarded Fulbright grants to conduct research or teach overseas.

Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. 

 

 

 

 

University of Maryland Appoints Roger L. Worthington to Lead Diversity Initiatives

July 6, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has named Professor Roger L. Worthington, Ph.D., a national leader in diversity education, as Chief Diversity Officer and Interim Associate Provost. In this role, Worthington will work closely with senior leaders, faculty, staff, students and external constituencies to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and respect as core institutional values. He will be a member of the President's Cabinet, the Provost’s senior staff and the Council of Deans.

Photo of Roger Worthington"We are very pleased that Dr. Worthington will serve as our Chief Diversity Officer," said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. "He is an exceptional scholar-practitioner and leader to guide our University's efforts to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all."

Since 2014, Worthington has served as professor and chair of the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education in UMD’s College of Education. Prior to arriving at UMD, he rose through the ranks at the University of Missouri from assistant to full professor, and served for nearly six years as the chief diversity officer and assistant deputy chancellor.

“I have dedicated my life’s work to advancing difficult dialogues and creating a culture of inclusion in higher education,” said Worthington. “The University of Maryland was once a national leader for diversity in higher education. In the face of tremendous tragedy, we can come together as a community to achieve transformational change and return to being a model of equity and social justice. I am honored to serve in the role of CDO at UMD.”

Worthington is a leading scholar in the fields of diversity, multicultural counseling and education. He is the editor of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. A founding member of the board of directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, he is the principal author of the “Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers.” In addition, the Governor of Missouri appointed Worthington to the state’s Commission on Human Rights.

He is the recipient of three prestigious grants from the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues Initiative, and was the founding chair of the board of directors for the emerging Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center. 

A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Worthington has authored and co-authored research and scholarship regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious identity, social class and political ideology. He is a nationally recognized higher education consultant on diversity planning, campus climate research and intercultural student services, and has won numerous awards for academic, service and teaching excellence.

He received his B.A from California State University, Fullerton in psychology, and both his M.A. and Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara in counseling psychology.

The university will also begin the work of elevating the Chief Diversity Officer position to a Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, indicating a major institutional commitment of effort and resources in areas such as campus climate; recruitment and retention; scholarship and creative work on diversity; and educational programs.  

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UMD, UMB Strategic Partnership Announces Expansion of Interdisciplinary Research at Cole Field House

June 30, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) are expanding the research and clinical scope at Cole Field House. The new Cole Field House will be a state-of-the art facility designed to integrate research, innovation, athletics and orthopedics, serving to promote and accelerate the translation of research discoveries in sports medicine and traumatic brain injury into clinical practice. 

The expansion will enhance the mission of the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance at Cole Field House, a signature MPowering the State program, and fulfill the promise envisioned by the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act: MPowering the State (SB 1052). Private financial support for Cole Field House remains high, with the project nearly two thirds toward its fundraising goal and raising over $57 million to date.

The Center will capitalize on complementary strengths of UMD and UMB, including neuroscience, engineering, neurology, orthopedics and public health, for an interdisciplinary approach to sports medicine and occupational health.

As part of the Center’s expansion, the University of Maryland School of Medicine has established a Program in Sports Medicine, to be launched in July. The program, based at UMB, but with a significant geographical presence in College Park, will be led by Andrew Pollak, M.D., the James Lawrence Kernan Professor and Chair in the Department of Orthopedics, and David Stewart, M.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Family & Community Medicine.  “The primary goal of the Program is to improve interdisciplinary collaboration in research, clinical care and education among those involved in the science and care of sports-associated injury and illness,” says Dr. Pollak.

The interdisciplinary approach combined with additional resources and powerful analytic tools will enable novel and groundbreaking work in nervous system injury and neuroscience.

“Neural Imaging is an exciting and rapidly changing discipline in neuroscience. The ability to image the brain at high resolution, across different spatial scales, is key to understanding the human brain, including the response to injury,” says Elizabeth Quinlan, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biology at UMD and scientific co-director of the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance. “The expanded technology and resources in Cole Field House will allow analysis from molecules and cells to circuits and systems, leading to a more complete insight into how the brain reacts to and recovers from trauma.”

“With cutting-edge imaging technology, researchers will transform the way we approach the study of brain behavior, which will allow clinicians to identify new windows of opportunity to more effectively intervene to repair brain injuries,” said Alan Faden, M.D., Professor, Department of Anesthesiology at UMB and scientific co-director of the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance. “Enhanced research facilities will allow UMD and UMB researchers and clinicians to take advantage of the latest technologies and address the latest areas of research, enhancing our ability to compete for research funds and make even greater impact.”

Research activity for the Center and Cole Field House is already underway, including a $3 million investment from MPowering the State used to implement a Challenge Grant program.  The challenge grants fund cross-university, multi-disciplinary pilot studies in nervous system injury and neuroscience. Criteria for funding include the significance of the proposed work and the potential for breakthrough discovery. One Challenge Grant team is working to transform the way we evaluate neuronal function and damage. To learn how neurons act within circuits, including during recovery from injury, researchers propose to develop the use of multi-photon cameras that can create three-dimensional reconstructions of neuronal activity. 

The work at Cole Field House will complement research being done at the Maryland Neuroimaging Center (MNC). The MNC already houses a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner, ideal for mapping brain structures, and a Magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanner, which measures the magnetic fields generated by neuronal activity in the brain. The collaboration with Cole Field House will allow access by both research scientists and clinical scientists. Other imaging modalities are also planned, including a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner, which images metabolic activity in the brain. This multi-modal imaging capacity will allow Cole Field House to become a national leader in brain imaging. 

UMD also plans to expand the athletic functions to position Cole Field House as the premier facility of its type, and best meet the needs of UMD’s coaches and student-athletes.  

As the scope has evolved, so has the size and vision for the use of the space. The athletic change in scope will be covered by $19 million from athletics. The costs associated with the expanded research enterprise at Cole Field House will be covered by $7.5 million pre-authorized in the FY18 capital budget for the state of Maryland, as well as $14 million expected to come from a combination of state and institutional resources.

The dedication for Phase I and the groundbreaking for Phase II of Cole Field House will be held on August 2 in College Park. 

 

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