Economic Development

UMB’s expertise in community development, bioscience research, and social work has also worked to improve Baltimore’s well-being. These efforts have expanded across Maryland, helping to empower our communities and build a stronger state and beyond.

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Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP

Entrepreneurism

Medical cannabis education

Regulatory affairs

Dr. Eddington became dean of the School of Pharmacy (SOP) in August 2007. An alumna of the school, she was formerly chair of its Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Eddington graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Howard University. She later earned her PhD from SOP and, after working as assistant director of new drug development at Pfizer Inc., joined the faculty in 1991. She was appointed director of SOP’s Pharmacokinetics/Biopharmaceutics Laboratory in 1999 and became chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2003. As chair, she guided the launch of the Bio- and Nano-Technology Center, which brings together scientists to find new and better ways of providing pharmaceutical treatment. It was SOP’s first organized research center. Dr. Eddington is a nationally known expert in drug delivery and pharmacokinetics, the movement of drugs in the body. Her research focuses on cancer therapy and treatments for disorders of the central nervous system. Her work has been supported by funding from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the pharmaceutical industry. In 2014, she was named executive director of University Regional Partnerships at UMB, a position she assumes while maintaining her leadership of SOP. In this role, Dr. Eddington assists UMB’s senior leadership, working collaboratively with the deans on issues related to the expansion of the University’s academic and research programs in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. In 2017, she was appointed co-decanal lead of the Center for Addiction Research, Education, and Service (CARES), UMB’s interprofessional effort to address the adverse impact of addiction on individuals, families, communities, and society. Under Dr. Eddington’s leadership, SOP has established a number of centers and programs including the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions; the Patients, Pharmacists, Partnerships (P3) Program; the Patient-centered Involvement in Evaluating the effectiveness of Treatment (PATIENTS) Program; the Bio- and Nano-Technology Center; the Center for Translational Medicine; the Mass Spectrometry Center; and the FDA-supported Maryland Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation, a collaborative agreement with the FDA to promote innovation in support of the development and evaluation of safe and effective products. She also has envisioned and launched a transformational pharmapreneurism initiative, which seeks to position the school’s world-class faculty, wonderful students, and exceptional staff to achieve their career aspirations and address our nation’s health care, research, policy, and societal needs.

Charles C. Hong, MD, PhD

Cardiovascular Genetics

Inherited Heart Diseases

Stem Cells

Charles (Chaz) Hong is a physician-scientist whose research, which functions at the intersection of developmental biology, chemical biology, stem cell biology, and cardiovascular medicine, has led to new biological insights and therapeutic opportunities. Dr. Hong’s work includes innovative chemical genetic studies in zebrafish as well as the use of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) to better understand human heart diseases at the cellular level. His scientific contributions include the first small molecule inhibitor of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, which has led directly to a clinical stage therapeutic program for devastating human diseases. Additionally, his small molecules are key components of the “Dual Chemical SMAD Inhibition,” the most widely used strategy to generate neurons and neural organoids from human stem cells. Moreover, his chemical genetic studies elucidated the roles of mitogen-activated kinase in artery-vein specification during development. Finally, he has made important contributions toward the utilization of human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) as an in vitro model for the study of human cardiomyocyte physiology. Dr. Hong edited one of the first books focused on the role of chemical biology in stem cell and regenerative medicine, and a book covering the latest methods and protocols in chemical biology. He serves on editorial boards of number of scientific journals and is inaugural Chief Editor of Frontiers in Drug Discovery overseeing Hematologic and Cardiovascular domains. His ongoing basic investigations include the elucidation of the novel role of centrosome proteins in cardiac structure and function, and therapeutic targeting of a novel pro-oncogenic pathway activated downstream of the Warburg Effect. His clinical expertise is in cardiovascular genetics. Finally, Dr. Hong is a key member of the West Baltimore RICH (Reducing Isolation and Inequities in Cardiovascular Health) Collaborative, an interdisciplinary team of community leaders, churches, local charities, 2 local hospitals, the University of Maryland, and federally qualified health centers to develop sustainable strategies to overcome health disparities in West Baltimore.

J Howard Kucher, DPA, MBA

Social entrepreneurship

Dr. Kucher is an internationally recognized thought leader in social entrepreneurship and the lead author of “Social Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach to Social Innovation.” His research interests focus on the practical applications of social enterprise, with a particular interest in faith-based contexts. Before joining UMB, Dr. Kucher led the Baltimore Social Enterprise Collaborative, a program that was nationally recognized for its innovative curriculum and helped more than 60 area nonprofits develop new models for meeting the needs of their constituents while increasing the sustainability of their organizations. He has successfully secured over $70 million in working capital on behalf of mission-oriented enterprises and assisted more than 100 area nonprofits and social enterprises in developing new models for meeting the needs of their constituents while increasing the sustainability of their organizations. He earned a Doctorate in Public Administration with a concentration in social entrepreneurship from the University of Baltimore, where he also earned an MBA with an entrepreneurship specialization. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Kean University, a graduate certificate in urban theology from the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary’s Seminary and University and has earned certification as a project management professional and a new product development professional. He is an advisor, coach, and mentor to several regional social change initiatives including the Boost Program at Innovation Works and the Social Innovation Lab at Johns Hopkins University. Among his many honors, Dr. Kucher has been recognized as a Baltimore Renaissance Seed Scholar, an Unsung Hero of Small Business, and a Fulbright Specialist Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship.

Jenny Owens, ScD, MS

health equity

technology-assisted community support

Dr. Owens has a decade of experience in higher education administration and leads the Graduate Research Innovation District (The Grid), an innovation hub designed to support student entrepreneurial ventures through education, early-stage funding, and programming. Dr. Owens teaches foundational courses in the Master of Science in Health and Social Innovation Program and Capstone courses in the Master of Science in Health Sciences Program. Dr. Owens is Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leader and a Warnock Social Innovation Fellow. She was recognized in the Baltimore Business Journal’s “40 under 40” Class of 2018 and is an alumna of the Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab. Her research interests include health equity, indirect costs of health care, and technology-assisted community support.

Corey Shdaimah, PhD, LLM, LLB

Sex Work

Foster Care

Child Care Policy

Dr. Shdaimah, who has degrees in law and social work, examines the impact of policy as it evolves through implementation, with a focus on child welfare, prostitution policy, and child care. She is an expert on alternative criminal justice responses to prostitution and street-based sex work and has consulted with jurisdictions across the country and internationally on development, implementation, and evaluation of such programs. In the field of child welfare, Dr. Shdaimah studies case processing. She advises the Maryland judiciary and has worked with the state’s Foster Care Improvement Program as well as a number of local jurisdictions on dependency court reforms and the involvement of stakeholders in the court process. She also is a leading voice on U.S. child care policy, speaking in academic venues and to the news media about the struggles faced by families and providers and the range of early education and child care policy responses to address them.