Research and Innovation

Spanning across all of our schools, our experts have worked to bring an end to conditions impacting the most vulnerable communities in Maryland and beyond. This includes expertise in a wide range of research such as genomics, transplantation, diabetes and obesity, cardiovascular health, opioid disorders, brain injury, obstetrics, oral health technologies, sports medicine, and trauma surgery.

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Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, CGP, FASCP

Geriatrics

Since joining the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Brandt has expanded available geriatric training opportunities, including the geriatrics/palliative care pathway, ASHP-accredited geriatrics residency, and two-year post-PharmD fellowship. She was named the 2019 recipient of the American Geriatrics Society’s (AGS) Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award for her leadership in geriatrics education. She has worked on interdisciplinary teams across numerous practice settings and leads initiatives to integrate sustainable pharmacist-directed services to help older adults with multiple co-morbidities at the MedStar Center for Successful Aging. Dr. Brandt is active in promoting optimal care for older adults through her educational, clinical, and health care policy work. She co-led an initiative that led to the University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, Baltimore County being the first universities in Maryland to receive Age-Friendly University distinction. She has directed projects focused on Medicare Part D Medication Therapy Management programs, high risk medications, and medication stewardship. She is an author of the 2012, 2015, and 2018-2019 the AGS Beer’s Criteria and past president and board chair of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. She co-chaired a task force convened by the Lamy Center with assistance from the US Deprescribing Research Network to develop an Implementation Guide for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wendy Camelo Castillo, MD, MSc, PhD

Health disparities

Pharmacoepidemiology

Comparative effectiveness and patient centered outcomes research

Dr. Camelo Castillo is an assistant professor in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research, where she has been a faculty member since 2017. Dr. Camelo Castillo trained as a physician at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where she also obtained an MSc degree in physiology. Her PhD training in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focused on pharmacoepidemiology, after which she joined the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research at the School of Pharmacy as a postdoctoral fellow in patient centered outcomes and comparative effectiveness research. Her research integrates methods in pharmacoepidemiology and patient preferences to develop evidence for populations in whom best practices of care are limited, such as women, youth, and minority communities. Her goal is to inform and improve clinical and policy decision making by providing evidence of benefits or harm of interventions used in real world settings in these populations. She brings an innovative approach into this work by integrating the patient perspective into pharmacoepidemiology and health services research. Her research agenda focuses on improving methods to assess effectiveness of treatments in the context of multimorbidity, and development and implementation of patient-centered methods to address health disparities in minority communities.

Kimberly Claeys, PharmD,

Infectious Diseases

Antimicrobial Stewardship

Dr. Claeys completed her PharmD at Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Detroit, Michigan. She then completed her Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy and University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital and Health Sciences System. After residency, she completed a two-year Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy and Health Outcomes Fellowship at the Anti-Infective Research Laboratory at Wayne State University. She is currently completing a PhD in Epidemiology with a focus on Health-Care Associated Infections and Diagnostic Stewardship at University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her research interests include: infectious diseases epidemiology; antimicrobial and diagnostic stewardship, translation research involving rapid diagnostic testing; optimization of pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of antibacterial agents; and development of predictive/prognostic models and decision analysis to improve antimicrobial stewardship and patient outcomes.

Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS

Pain Research

Pain Modulation

Dr. Colloca has conducted groundbreaking studies that have advanced scientific knowledge of the psychoneurobiological bases of endogenous pain modulation systems, including the discovery that the vasopressin system is involved in the enhancement of placebo (and nocebo) effects with a dimorphic effect. Her current line of research focuses on basic and translational aspects of orofacial chronic pain, translational mechanisms of expectancy, observationally induced hypoalgesia, genomics, brain mapping, and immersive virtual reality. As a result, Dr. Colloca has developed an international reputation as a leading scientist in advancing knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms of descending pain modulation and placebo and nocebo effects with an integrative approach that includes psychopharmacological, neurobiological, and behavioral approaches.

Heather Congdon, PharmD, BCPS, CDE

Interprofessional education

Ambulatory Care

Dr. Congdon received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed a pharmacy practice residency with emphasis in community care from the University of Maryland. Her teaching focuses on interprofessional education, diabetes, and the abilities lab series. She has a clinical practice at Mercy Health Clinic, providing care for underserved, uninsured patients on multiple medications and with various chronic conditions. Dr. Congdon’s research interests relate to her practice at Mercy Health Clinic. She has evaluated the impact of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) on clinical outcomes, such as hemoglobin A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Furthermore, her team has demonstrated the importance of interprofessional, coordinated care on clinical outcomes for patients with poorly controlled diabetes.

Catherine Cooke, PharmD, BCPS, PAHM

Outpatient medication management of chronic diseases

Geriatrics

Health technology

Dr. Cooke is a board-certified pharmacist with experience in the clinical, business, and research arenas of different health care settings. She has provided direct patient care in ambulatory care environments for patients with chronic medically managed diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and other prevalent conditions found in primary care populations. She has also provided medication therapy management, completing comprehensive medication reviews (CMR) for eligible Medicare beneficiaries. In addition to direct patient care, she has published research on primary non-adherence and continues to study ways to improve patient-centered outcomes. Her work with the School’s Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging focuses on the quality of medication-related care for older adults. In collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we were able to refine the Standardized Format (i.e., summary document that a patient receives after a CMR), and evaluate it in real-world settings after it was mandated for use in January 2013. Additional quality initiatives at the Lamy Center include the integration of medication-related information within healthcare practices through the use of health information technology standards and systems and assisting with the development and implementation of metrics to improve medication-use for older adults.

Andrew Coop, PhD

Drug Design

Dr. Coop received his PhD from the University of Bristol (England) in the area of chemistry of drugs of abuse, followed by a Fogarty postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has been a School of Pharmacy faculty member since 1999, serving as a department chair from 2007 to 2015. His NIH-funded research focuses on the design and synthesis of new opioid analgesics with reduced tolerance and the development of novel antidepressants. He has developed the compound UMB 425 preclinically as an opioid analgesic with attenuated tolerance development. He has published 130 manuscripts and was the recipient of the 2003 Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD). In 2014, he was named a fellow of CPDD and presented CPDD’s President’s Lecture. In 2014, he received the inaugural Dr. James E. Wynn Memorial Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Chemistry Section. As associate dean for academic affairs, Dr. Coop oversees the school’s educational programs including assessment and accreditation, instructional design, electronic learning resources and training, pathways and dual degrees, and academic scheduling.

Richard Dalby, PhD

Translational Therapeutics

Dr. Dalby received his BPharm from the University of Nottingham and his PhD from the University of Kentucky. In addition to serving as a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC), he is a fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. His research interests include the formulation and evaluation of pressurized metered dose inhaler, dry powder, nebulizer, and nasal spray products; the development and evaluation of existing and proposed test methods for inhalation products; laboratory testing and patient evaluation of novel pulmonary and nasal delivery devices; and the design of patient education aids. He has more than 25 years experience as an independent consultant working with both national and international companies, and has served as an expert witness and advisor for pharmaceutical companies engaged in intellectual property and other disputes associated with inhaled and nasal medications and devices.

Daniel J. Deredge, PhD

Chemical and Biological Discovery

Dr. Deredge received his PhD in biochemistry from Louisiana State University, studying DNA binding properties of bacterial DNA polymerases. His postdoctoral training was in structural mass spectrometry at Case Western Reserve University, applying Hydrogen-Deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) to HIV reverse transcriptase. At the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Deredge expanded the application of HDX-MS and other structural MS methods to a multitude of systems, including viral RNA polymerases, bacterial heme uptake protein or neurotransmitter:sodium symporter, and integrating it with computational methods.

Sandeep Devabhakthuni, PharmD, BCPS

Cardiology

Critical Care

Dr. Sandeep Devabhakthuni received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. He then completed a pharmacy practice residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He returned to Pittsburgh to complete a specialty residency in cardiology and critical care at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist with a clinical practice on the inpatient cardiology and medical intensive care services at the University of Maryland Medical Center. His current research interests involve evaluation of appropriate use of cardiovascular medications and sedation in mechanically ventilated patients.

Kelly Doran, PhD, RN, FAAN

Health Disparities

Worksite Wellness

Cardiovascular Health

Dr. Doran runs the health suite at the UMB Community Engagement Center (CEC), which has been serving West Baltimore residents for five years. Dr. Doran and other School of Nursing faculty serve as clinical instructors and preceptors to graduate and undergraduate nursing students who are joined by medical, social work, and pharmacy students in the CEC’s health suite. Students gain community-based experience and opportunities to interact with neighbors outside the hospital. Dr. Doran’s expertise is in interprofessional education and nurse-run clinics to improve social determinants of health and health outcomes with underserved populations. Her research focuses on worksite wellness programs with health care workers, health promotion interventions to improve cardiovascular health, and interventions to improve health outcomes with populations experiencing health disparities.

Susan G. Dorsey, PhD, RN, FAAN

Chronic Pain

Pain Research

Dr. Dorsey is a multiple principal investigator for UMB’s P30-funded Center for Pain Studies (focusing on cancer treatment-related pain) and its Center to Advance Chronic Pain Research. Her group studies the molecular, cellular, and genetic factors associated with the development and persistence of chronic pain. More people suffer from chronic pain than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. Although people who suffer from chronic pain cost the United States more than $600 billion annually, there are few effective treatments that can reduce or eliminate chronic pain without significantly disrupting a person’s quality of life. Dr. Dorsey’s team seeks to solve this problem.

Peter Doshi, PhD

Credible evidence synthesis

Drug safety and regulation

Evidence based medicine

Peter Doshi, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and senior editor at The BMJ. His research focuses on the drug approval process, how the risks and benefits of medical products are communicated, and improving the credibility and accuracy of evidence synthesis and biomedical publications. Dr. Doshi campaigns for greater transparency of clinical trial data and has received wide recognition for his work. In 2013, the New York Times reported on his work to increase public access to clinical study reports. The same year he was also chosen for The Wired “Smart List.” In 2015, he received a New Investigator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Dr. Doshi has presented on the topic of clinical trial data sharing to the Institute of Medicine in 2013 and 2014, and served on advisory panels to the European Medicines Agency regarding its policy on proactive publication of clinical trial data. Much of Dr. Doshi’s research has examined the science and politics of influenza policy. His most cited publication is a Cochrane systematic review of neuraminidase inhibitors for influenza. This review—the first Cochrane review to be based exclusively on clinical study reports and other regulatory documents—challenged previous understandings of the drugs’ effectiveness, raised new questions about their safety, and led to governmental inquiries in the United Kingdom. It is cited as a milestone in the James Lind Library, which chronicles the evolution of fair tests and research synthesis. Dr. Doshi leads the RIAT Support Center. The Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (RIAT) initiative enables researchers everywhere to address two long-standing problems in the biomedical literature: non-publication and misreporting of trials. The RIAT Support Center aims to accelerate the correction of the scientific record of clinical trials by making publications more accurate and more complete, addressing these problems of publication bias and reporting bias. Dr. Doshi earned an AB in anthropology from Brown University, an AM in East Asian Studies from Harvard University and PhD in history, anthropology, and science, technology and society from MIT. During his PhD, he was an intern at the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, a research student at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, and studied as visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law. Dr. Doshi completed a fellowship in comparative effectiveness research at Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

Susan dosReis, BSPharm, PhD

Pediatric Mental Health

Pharmacoepidemiology

Dr. dosReis is professor and co-vice chair for research in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She received a bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island School of Pharmacy and a doctorate in pharmacoepidemiology from the University of Maryland Graduate School. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in child mental health services from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was previously on faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. dosReis works closely with the state Mental Hygiene Administration on policies and programs that impact child mental health services. She is a core faculty of the Maryland Child Mental Health Advisory group within the Center for Child Mental Health Innovations at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In this role, she advises the state on child psychopharmacologic treatment of youth in the public mental health system with a specific focus on psychotropic medication use among youth in the child welfare system. Through several federally-funded research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dr. dosReis has developed a profile of research on psychotropic medication use among children and adolescents, examining disparities in psychotropic use by age, race, and foster care involvement, characterizing psychotropic treatment by combined use with psychotherapy for ADHD, and use of multiple psychotropic medications, and assessing longitudinal patterns in antipsychotic treatment for adults with schizophrenia. She developed two surveys - the ASK-ME survey, which assesses parental perceptions of stimulant treatment for their child’s ADHD, and a survey to assess pediatricians’ identification and screening of autism spectrum disorders in young children. Using qualitative research methods, she has investigated parental perspectives of their child’s ADHD and developed a conceptual model of how parents approach mental health care for their children.

Allison Dunn, PharmD, MS

Clinical pharmacology

Applications of pharmacometrics in clinical practice and clinical development

Allision Dunn received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a MS in Pharmacometrics degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She holds a BS in bioengineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests are precision medicine, pharmacometrics, and the utilization of real-world data for treatment optimization. Dr. Dunn's current project include evaluation of the indotecan-neutropenia relationship in patients with solid tumors using population pharmacokinetic modeling and Bayesian regressions and quantifying the effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetic disposition of belinostat and its five metabolites using population pharmacokinetic modeling.

Megan Ehret, PharmD, MS, BCPP

Psychiatric Psychopharmacology, Neurology, Substance Abuse

Neurology

Substance Abuse

Dr. Ehret completed her BS and PharmD degrees at the University of Toledo. She then completed an ASHP-accredited residency in psychiatric pharmacotherapy at the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center, after which she completed a Psychopharmacology and Pharmacogenomics Fellowship at Nova Southeastern University. After training, she received her initial faculty appointment at the University of Connecticut and gained tenure there. While at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Ehret served as vice-chair of the Institutional Review Board, Director of Practices for the Center for Correctional Health Networks, and a faculty member for Project ECHO: Buprenorphine. Additionally, Dr. Ehret received her Masters in Clinical and Translational Research from the University of Connecticut Health Center. Dr. Ehret is a board certified psychiatric pharmacist. She most recently practiced at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital as its behavioral health clinical pharmacy specialist. She has experience in treating the spectrum of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Additionally, she is a past president of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) and a senior editor on the Psychiatric Pharmacotherapy Review Course. Her research interests are precision medicine, including utilization of guideline based treatment and pharmacogenomics, utilization of long-acting injectables, psychotropic medication adherence, and the role of the psychiatric pharmacist on the treatment team

Robert K. Ernst, PhD

Bacterial and fungal pathogens

Sepsis

The Ernst laboratory been at the forefront of innovative research studying the molecular basis and adaptive significance of modifications to the structure of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Its focus is on the elucidation of the molecular basis by which Gram-negative bacteria modify the lipid A component of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and how these alterations affect or circumvent normal host innate immune system responses. LPS is the major surface molecule and pathogenic factor of Gram-negative bacteria. Host immune detection of LPS is extremely sensitive -- such that bloodstream infections can cause a severe complication called endotoxic shock, a major clinical problem leading to about 200,000 deaths in the United States per year. The lab also developed a practical method, bacterial enzymatic combinatorial chemistry (BECC) that can be used to engineer functionally diverse lipid A molecules for use as vaccine adjuvant. This project is supported through a $6.2M NIH NIAID contract to bring one of our BECC molecules to pre-investigational drug status. The work is important given the urgent need for new and more effective vaccines against infectious diseases worldwide. Finally, the Ernst laboratory focuses on the development of new antimicrobials that enhance innate immunity or inhibit bacterial resistance and the establishment of a clinical diagnostic platform for the rapid identification of bacterial and fungal pathogens directly from complex biological fluids. Our diagnostic work led to the establishment in 2016 of Pataigin LLC, which is developing a low-cost, rapid identification platform (BACLIB) that can identify a wide range of bacteria and fungi directly from clinically relevant samples, including blood and urine. In total, since moving his lab from the University of Washington in 2008, he has received more than $20 million in research funding. This work has resulted in over 190 peer-reviewed manuscripts with 17,000 citations. In recognition of his work, Dr. Ernst was named UMB’s 2017 Founders Week Researcher of the Year, as well as UMB’s 2019 Founders Week Entrepreneur of the Year. He was the recipient 2017 UMB Researcher of the Year, 2018 Dr. Mark E. Shirtliff PhD Student Mentor Award (UMB Graduate Program) winner, and 2019 UMB Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2020, he was awarded the inaugural Dr. Paul and Mrs. Jean Corcoran Professorship, and, in 2021, he earned a University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, the highest honor presented by the board to exemplary faculty members. Additionally, in 2014, he won the Maryland-John Hopkins Alliance Ventures award for his lipid-based bacterial diagnostic platform and 2016 he again won the Maryland-John Hopkins Alliance Ventures award for his anti-sepsis therapeutic platform and Pataigin won the Maryland Department of Commerce Life at the same competition for their advancements in the development of a lipid-based microbial diagnostic platform.

Steven Fletcher, PhD

Chemical and Biological Discovery

Dr. Fletcher conducted his second post-doctoral position at the University of Toronto, where he worked with Patrick T. Gunning primarily on the synthesis of small-molecule inhibitors of the oncogenic Stat3-Stat3 protein dimer complex. His first post-doctoral position was carried out in the labs of Andrew D. Hamilton at Yale University on the design and synthesis of farnesyltransferase (FTase) inhibitors as novel antimalarial and anticancer agents. Dr. Fletcher received his PhD in organic/medicinal chemistry at Imperial College London (UK) with Andrew. D Miller, where he was involved in the design and synthesis of temperature- and pH-triggerable lipids for incorporation into liposomes for non-viral gene therapy.

Matthew Frieman

Virology

Coronaviruses

Therapeutics

I am the Alicia and Yaya Professor of Viral Pathogen Research in The Department of Microbiology and Immunology in The University of Maryland School of Medicine. My laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of Coronaviruses to better understand how they cause disease. For the past 17 years, I have studied the highly pathogenic SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 via genetic, molecular, virological, immunological, and cell biological techniques. We focus on identifying viral proteins that control replication and host protein pathways as well as assessing those viral proteins and host proteins in animal model systems. In addition, we have investigated other human respiratory viruses including seasonal coronaviruses, rhinovirus, influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus. We have used the combination of in vitro (air-liquid-interface, Lung Chip, human immortalized lung cells) and in vivo models (mouse models of SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, Influenza virus) to identify host factors that affect multiple viruses and for the development and evaluation of therapeutics for these important respiratory viruses.

Elizabeth Galik, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP

Care of Dementia Patients

Dr. Galik is a nurse practitioner who specializes in improving care practices for older adults with dementia and their caregivers. Her externally funded research tests the impact of non-pharmacological interventions designed to optimize function and physical activity, improve mood, and manage behavioral symptoms among longterm care residents living with dementia. She also has expertise in the recruitment, retention, and measurement of cognitively impaired research participants, particularly involving the measurement of physical activity, using actigraphy. She has served as an expert advisor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s national initiative to improve behavioral health and minimize the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications among nursing home residents and hospitalized older adults with dementia.

Joga Gobburu, PhD

Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Research

Pediatrics

Pharmacometrics

Dr. Gobburu is a world-renowned scientific leader in the area of quantitative disease models and their applications to decisions. He is best known for transforming the field of pharmacometrics into a decision-supporting science. His experience as a senior biomedical research scientist and director of pharmacometrics at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives him unique insight into the technical, regulatory, and decision-making aspects in all phases of drug development. He obtained his BPharm and MSc in chemistry from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from North Dakota State University, and his MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gobburu’s research interests include pediatrics, clinical pharmacology and translational research, comparative effectiveness, and pharmacometrics.

Mathangi Gopalakrishnan, MS, PhD

Pharmacometrics

Bayesian Applications in Drug Development

Innovative Clinical Trial Designs

Dr. Gopalkrishnan earned a MS and PhD in statistics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She holds a BPharmacy and a MPharm from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, Rajasthan, India Her research focuses on pharmacometrics, precision therapeutics, predictive analytics, real world data, and drug development. She utilizes fundamental principles of clinical pharmacology (pharmacokinetics (PK)/pharmacodynamics (PD)), advanced statistical (frequentist and Bayesian) methods (modeling and simulation), and artificial intelligence (AI/ML) techniques to improve clinical and therapeutic outcomes for patients, especially vulnerable populations. Dr. Gopalakrishnan's lab has designed and conducted prospective, real-world clinical pharmacokinetic trials for anti-epileptics/anti-microbials in continuous renal replacement therapy patients with the goal to develop individualized antiepileptic regimens. She has worked on using real world data (electronic health records, prospective pragmatic clinical trials) in the areas of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, and anti-coagulants in pediatrics to inform optimal dosing. She is involved in design and analysis of pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic studies for nutritional supplements and low-calorie artificial sweeteners in pregnant and postpartum women to answer questions on optimal dosing of the nutritional supplements. Her additional areas of research include models for disease progression (e.g: schizophrenia, binge-eating disorders), AI/ML approaches to identify biomarker-endpoint relationship in medical countermeasure development, innovative quantitative methods for trial design/analysis, and predictive analytics in transfusion decision making. Her lab works collaboratively with academic medical institutions across the country.

Mojdeh Heavner, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP

Critical care

Medication safety

Dr. Heavner received a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Maryland College Park and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Subsequently, she completed a pharmacy practice residency and critical care and solid organ transplant specialty residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. She is board certified in pharmacotherapy and critical care. Following her residency training, Dr. Heavner practiced as a clinical pharmacy specialist in the medical intensive care unit, served as the residency director of the critical care pharmacy specialty program, and spent several years as the supervisor of clinical pharmacy services at Yale-New Haven Hospital before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Heavner is active in professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels, including the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She served as secretary on the board of the Connecticut Society of Health-System Pharmacists for several years and was recognized as Pharmacist of the Year by that organization in 2016. Dr. Heavner’s practice and research interests include performance management and quality improvement, delirium, medication safety, and antibiotic pharmacokinetics and stewardship in the intensive care unit.

Emily Heil, PharmD, MS

Infectious Diseases

HIV

Antimicrobial Stewardship

Emily Heil, PharmD, MS, BCIDP, AAHIVP is an Associate Professor in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She is the Pharmacy Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center and provides direct patient care on inpatient and outpatient infectious diseases teams. She completed her undergraduate and PharmD at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and subsequently completed her pharmacy practice and infectious diseases pharmacy residency training at the University of North Carolina Hospitals. She is an Associate Editor for Clinical Infectious Diseases and is professionally active in the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists. Her research interests include individualization of antimicrobial dosing, particularly in critically ill patients, antibiotic allergies, gram-negative resistance, and antimicrobial stewardship (domestic and international).

Stephen W. Hoag, PhD

Tablet formulation and process development

Dr. Hoag received his PhD in pharmaceutics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a BS in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin Madison. His two main areas of research interests include developing systematic methods for formulating controlled and immediate release tablets, as well as the use of mathematical models to understand the mass transport processes in hydrogels. Dr. Hoag is also the director of the Applied Pharmaceutics Lab.

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.

Lauren Hynicka, PharmD, BCPS

Internal Medicine

Hepatology

Dr. Hynicka received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. She went on to complete both a PGY-1 general practice and PGY-2 internal medicine residency at the Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia Health System. She served as a clinical pharmacy specialist on a general internal medicine team at the University of Maryland Medical Center for six years before transitioning into her current role, where she manages treatment of HCV infected patients enrolled in Maryland Medicaid. Her teaching, research, and patient care activities focus on the care of patients with chronic liver diseases including chronic HCV infection. Recent areas of research include streamlining the prior authorization process for HCV medications at a large academic health system and evaluating HCV treatment interruptions. Dr. Hynicka has a variety of research interests including transitions of care, infectious diseases, viral hepatitis C, chronic liver disease, provision of care to underserved patients, and global health.

Vijay Ivaturi, PhD

Methods and Tools for Quantitative Clinical Pharmacology

Informed Decision Making in Clinical Therapeutics and Drug Development

Dr. Ivaturi is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, where he is involved in the research and implementation of quantitative clinical pharmacology to address challenges in drug development and clinical therapeutics. He is an applied pharmacometrician with a focus on clinical therapeutics to facilitate better clinical dosing decisions. His primary research interest is in pediatric clinical pharmacology where he uses technology to bridge the gap between the complex systems of pharmacology and providers who use this information to make treatment decisions. Further, he is also involved in the development of methods and tools for quantitative clinical pharmacology in drug development. His scholarly contributions include over 20 peer-reviewed publications and one book chapter, numerous posters, and presentations, as well as nearly 30 reports used as supporting documents for Food and Drug Administration approvals. Dr. Ivaturi served as the chair of the Education Committee of the International Society of Pharmacometrics (ISoP) for three years where he advocated, evangelized, and implemented platforms for open and collaborative learning environments accessible to all. Some of these platforms include The Pharmacometrics Study Group – a self-managed online webinar platform to host tutorials/workshops/lectures with more than 12,000 YouTube views in one year; modern discussion forum for the drug development community – discuss.go-isop.org with approximately 800 members and thousands of discussion posts; drug development and clinical therapeutics (#ddct) channel in the popular biorxiv platform that is the first pre-print server for pharmacometrics and clinical pharmacology; coordinated and kicked off the first session on open-source and open-science in pharmacometrics at ACoP7. These efforts have begun to show their impact as we see many more members of the community start to think, discuss and contribute to open-source tools and open-science in pharmacometrics. Dr. Ivaturi is currently working with co-enthusiasts in the pharmacometrics community via OsMoSiS to provide open source tools and freely accessible education material to everyone involved in pharmaceutical drug development.

Chad Johnson, PhD

Medical Cannabis

Drug Addiction

Dr. Johnson received his PhD and completed his post-doctoral research in medicinal chemistry/pharmacology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. His research interests include the synthesis of novel, fast-acting antidepressants targeting the muscarinic receptors (mAChRs) for major depressive disorder and opioid analgesics with reduced reinforcement for treatment of drug addiction. Dr. Johnson is the co-director of the MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program.

Jace W. Jones, PhD

Mass Spectrometry

Drug Development

Dr. Jones received his PhD in analytical chemistry at the University of Washington where he did his thesis research under the supervision of František Tureček. The focus of his thesis was developing gas-phase ion chemistry strategies to gain structural insight into peptides and glycolipids. Dr. Jones then further developed tandem mass spectrometry platforms for structural elucidation of bacterial glycolipids in the laboratory of David R. Goodlett at the University of Washington, School of Pharmacy. At this time, he moved to industry and was the Technical Director at an Analytical Laboratory (Jones Environmental, Inc.) in Fullerton, CA. He made my way back to academic research as a research scientist followed by research assistant professor in the laboratory of Maureen A. Kane at the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy.

Maureen A. Kane, PhD

Mass Spectrometry

Dr. Kane received a BS degree in chemistry from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., and a PhD in analytical chemistry from the University at Buffalo-State University of New York. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received a National Institutes of Health-Kirschstein Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her areas of research interest include mass spectrometry to interrogate biological problems; retinoid (vitamin A) metabolism and active metabolite (retinoic acid) signaling; biomarker discovery, quantification, and validation; mass spectrometry imaging; bioanalysis for pharmacokinetic studies; quantitative mass spectrometry assay development and validation; collaborations pertaining to metabolism, metabolite signaling, lipid profiling, and lipid signaling; and biomarkers, drugs, and drug metabolites. As executive director of the School of Pharmacy’s Mass Spectrometry Center, Dr. Kane heads the areas of metabolite quantification, metabolomics, and mass spectrometry imaging. She also leads several collaborative efforts focused on biomarker discovery, quantification, and validation in drug development efforts.

Gerald Kayingo, PhD, MMSC, PA-C

education leadership

clinical practice

global health

Professor Kayingo has extensive experience in scholarship, education, leadership, clinical practice, and global health. As assistant dean of research, Dr. Kayingo seeks to advance the research mission by nurturing scholarship and the growth of extramural research funding for physician assistant education and practice. His research interests relate to health professions education, health care delivery science, and the intersection of infectious diseases and substance use disorders/addiction. His clinical interests are in primary care settings as well as advancing rural health. Nationally, Professor Kayingo has served as a board member for various organizations and as associate editor of BMC Health Services Research. He has co-authored three books on health professions education and published extensively on health systems science and infectious diseases in peer-reviewed journals. He is a recipient of several awards, including a university book prize, the 2016 American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) PA Student Academy Mentor Award, the 2015 AAPA Research Publishing Award, and the 2014 Jack Cole Society Award from Yale University.

Asaf Keller, PhD

Chronic pain

Addiction

Early exposure to drugs

Dr. Keller is a leading scientist in the fields of addiction, chronic pain, and affective disorders. His lab, which receives funding from the National Institutes of Health with multiple grants, focuses on how brain circuits responsible for sensory perception are affected by drug exposure and pain conditions. His team described changes in brain circuits that lead to chronic pain, as well as brain circuits that can modulate the perception of pain. Dr. Keller's team is working on harnessing this knowledge to relieve chronic pain conditions. They also demonstrated that exposure to drugs, such as marijuana or opioids, in the womb or in adolescence—both critical periods for brain development—can lead to lasting, irreversible changes in brain function and behavior. The work focuses on learning how to prevent these devastating, lasting neurological and psychiatric deficits. Dr. Keller's research has been and continues to be funded by the National Instituted of Health.

Raya E. Kherbek , MD, MPH, FGSA

Geriatrics

Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Internal Medicine

I am a board-certified internist, fellowship trained Geriatrician, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine physician with 20 years of experience in quality improvement development and implementation in older adults with serious and advanced multiple chronic illness. I am currently head of the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at UMSOM. I joined the Washington DC VA Department of Geriatrics and Extended Care in 1999 as a Medical Director of Long-Term Care and immediately became active in developing several patient centered programs and leading several large multidisciplinary teams. In 2011, I was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff at the DC VAMC, while maintaining a joint appointment as an Associate Professor of Medicine and Health Care Services with George Washington University School of Medicine. During my tenure at the VA, I have been awarded several VA-funded grants, addressing health care education, telemedicine, chronic disease in special populations, and Narrative Medicine. My involvement in every project is hands-on and pragmatic, where I become involved in project details from preparation to execution and analysis. These research endeavors and my experiences in chronic care have produced extensive publications examining the role of comorbidities in vulnerable populations, cardiovascular health in older adults and medical education.

Flavius Lilly, PhD, MA

Gerontology

In the Graduate School, Dr. Lilly leads professional master’s degree development and online learning as well as strategic initiatives in entrepreneurial education. Dr. Lilly also is responsible for providing executive leadership to a broad range of student affairs services. Before coming to UMB, he worked in the health care industry for more than a decade in senior leadership roles with a focus on community health improvement, quality care, and organizational development. His primary research interests are in the realm of health care improvement for individuals with severe mental illnesses and innovation to support aging communities.

Raymond Love, PharmD, BCCP, FAShP

Mental health

Dr. Love was the 2015-16 president of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP), chair of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Expert Panel on Drug Allergy and Intolerance, and is a member of the USP Expert Committee for Health Care Quality Standards. He oversees pharmacy services for the Maryland Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration, directs the state’s Clozapine Authorization and Monitoring Program, and is the principal investigator for the Peer Review Program for Mental Health Drugs for the Maryland Medicaid Pharmacy Program. He serves as co-principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health-funded R01 grant titled “Biomarker and Safety Study of Clozapine in Benign Ethnic Neutropenia.” Dr. Love has an extensive research and service record in psychiatric pharmacotherapy with numerous publications and presentations. As principal or co-principal investigator, he is the recipient of over $80 million in grants and contracts. His past professional service includes chair of the Mental Health Workgroup for the Pharmacy Quality Alliance; membership on the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties, Specialty Council on Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice; commissioner of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy; member of the Depression/Behavioral Health Technical Advisory Panel, National Quality Forum; and chair of the Ethics Special Interest Group, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Dr. Love is a board-certified psychiatric pharmacist, fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice. He is a recipient of the W. Arthur Purdum Award, the highest recognition of the Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacists; the Elan Award for Innovative Pharmacy Practice; the Alma Troccoli Award for Excellence in Advocating for the Mental Health Needs of Young Children and Families; and CPNP’s Judith Saklad Award.

Alexander MacKerell, PhD

Chemical and Biological Discovery

Drug Design

Research in the MacKerell lab involves the development and application of computational methods to investigate the relationships of structure and dynamics to function in a range of biological and chemical systems. These efforts range from empirical force field development, including the CHARMM36 and classical Drude polarizable force fields, development of novel solute and conformational sampling methodologies, understanding the physical forces driving the structure and dynamics of proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates and computer-aided drug design (CADD) studies including development of novel methods such as the Site Identification by Ligand Competitive Saturation approach.

Diane Martin, PhD, MA

Gerontology

Quality-of-later-life

Dr. Martin has been committed throughout her career to developing high-quality, impactful, and engaging academic and non-academic activities designed to increase the knowledge and skill sets of professionals and paraprofessionals employed in the senior service and care industry. As an applied gerontologist, her research has centered on quality-of-later-life initiatives, including person-centered care and aging in place. Dr. Martin is a member of the Gerontological Society of America and the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education. She earned her doctorate in psychology with a concentration in aging from Northcentral University, her master’s degree in experimental psychology from Towson University, and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Radi Masri, DDS, MS, PhD,

Prosthodontics

Oral health Technologies

Advanced Education - Prosthodontics

Dr. Masri received his first dental degree from the University of Jordan Dental School in 1997 and completed a prosthodontic residency at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 2001. He also holds a master's degree in oral biology and a PhD in biomedical sciences/pain. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics, a fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists, and a member of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics. In addition to expertise in fixed, removable, and implant dentistry, Dr. Masri is a dedicated academician and researcher. He is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Masri lectures nationally and internationally and serves as an external examiner for international dental schools in the field of prosthodontics. He is the editor in chief of the Journal of Prosthodontics, a past president of the American Board of Prosthodontics, and a past president of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics. Dr. Masri currently supervises a federally funded research laboratory that studies the etiology and treatment of chronic pain.

Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, BCPS, CPE

Pain and palliative care

Primary care

Dr. McPherson has maintained a practice in both hospice and palliative care throughout her career. She teaches extensively in the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program on pain management and end-of-life care, including didactic and experiential content. She also developed one of the first palliative care pharmacy residency programs in the United States and is executive program director of the School’s online graduate studies in palliative care, including a Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and graduate certificates. Dr. McPherson currently serves as the first pharmacist selected for the board of the American Association of Hospice and Palliative Care and is a founding trustee and board member of the Society of Pain Management and Palliative Care Pharmacists. She has received many honors for her work, including the American Pharmacists Association Distinguished Achievement Award in Specialized Practice, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching, the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Founders Week Teacher of the Year Award, the Maryland Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists W. Purdum Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Robert K. Chalmers Distinguished Pharmacy Educator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. She has written five books, including the best-selling Demystifying Opioid Conversion Calculations, A Guide to Effective Dosing, 2nd ed.

Sarah Michel, PhD

Metallotherapeutics

Dr. Michel, who joined the School of Pharmacy in 2004, focuses her research on investigating the role that metals such as iron, zinc, and copper play in the human body. Her research has increased the understanding of how metals regulate proteins involved in chronic inflammation, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. She also is investigating whether metal ions and other potentially harmful toxins produced in e-cigarettes are toxic to cells in the oral cavity and upper-respiratory system. Her work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Army Research Laboratories. As associate dean for graduate programs, Dr. Michel is responsible for identifying and responding to workforce needs, working with faculty to develop new programs and obtain necessary approvals, and expanding the school’s programs into global markets.

Jill Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, FNAP

Pediatrics

Dr. Jill A. Morgan is professor and chair of the Department of Practice, Sciences and Health Outcomes Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.  She practices at the Interprofessional Pediatric GI Clinic at the University of Maryland Midtown in Baltimore.  She received her PharmD from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed pharmacy practice and pediatric pharmacy specialty residencies at the University of Maryland Medical Center. For a number of years, Dr. Morgan has been teaching pediatric and neonatal pharmacotherapy to nursing and pharmacy students as well as medical residents. Dr. Morgan served as director for the PGY2 Pediatric Pharmacy Residency program for several years. She is also board certified in pharmacotherapy and pediatric pharmacy. In, 2017, Dr. Morgan became a fellow of the National Academies of Practice (NAP). Dr. Morgan has been involved with several professional organizations. She served as chair of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Administrative Services Section and the Student Services Special Interest Group, as president of the Maryland Society of Health System Pharmacists (MSHP), as chair of the Research Committee for the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA), and chair of the NAP's Pharmacy Academy. Dr. Morgan serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. She is the co-advisor for the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Pediatric Pharmacy Association.  Dr. Morgan received the AACP Administrative Services Section Award for Sustained Contribution to Administrative Practice in Pharmacy Education, the Excellence in Innovation Award and the Mentor of the Year Award from the Maryland Pharmacists Association, the Purdum Award from MSHP, and the University of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Mentoring. In 2021, Dr. Morgan received the State of Maryland Governor’s Citation for her teamwork in the University of Maryland, Baltimore's Community Mass Vaccination Site. Her research interests include asthma, constipation, care of pediatric patients in community pharmacy, taste and flavoring of liquid medications for children, nutrition, immunizations, pediatric dermatology, transitions of care for pediatric patients, and interprofessional education.

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD

Pharmacoeconomics

Comparative Effectiveness Research

Health Disparities

Dr. Mullins’ research and teaching focus on community-engaged, patient-centered comparative effectiveness research to advance health equity. He has received funding as principal investigator from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Food and Drug Administration (through its CERSI initiative), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), various pharmaceutical manufacturers, patient advocacy organizations, and the insurance industry. In addition to his faculty appointment, Dr. Mullins is executive director of The PATIENTS Program at the School of Pharmacy and director of the Community & Collaboration Core for the UMB Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, as well as editor-in-chief for the journal Value in Health.

Eun-Shim Nahm, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA

Informatics

Care Coordination

Dr. Nahm’s research focuses on the use of technology-based interventions to engage patients, caregivers, and community-dwelling older adults in their care and to promote the management of chronic conditions. She has conducted numerous studies in the nursing informatics field, including qualitative, measurement, theory testing, usability studies, and longitudinal intervention trials. In her most recent R21 study, Dr. Nahm and her team investigated the effects of a theory-based patient portal e-learning program on selected health-related outcomes in older adults with chronic illnesses. She also leads online cancer survivorship studies in collaboration with oncologists and oncology nurses. Dr. Nahm has published more than 65 peer-reviewed journal articles and seven book chapters in her area

Zachary Noel, PharmD, BCCP

Cardiology

Dr. Zachary Noel obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. He completed both his pharmacy practice and cardiology specialty residencies at UK HealthCare in Lexington. He is a board-certified cardiology pharmacist. Currently, he is a Doctorate of Philosophy candidate in Health Professions Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Noel’s clinical research interests include arrhythmias, antiarrhythmic drugs, and anticoagulation. His educational research interests include team-based learning in pharmacy education and cognitive load theory.

Amanda Oglesby, PhD

Bacterial Pathogenesis

Dr. Oglesby has investigated the role of iron in bacterial pathogenesis for over 20 years. In 2005, she completed her doctoral training at The University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, where she studied iron and sRNA regulation in Shigella species, the causative agents of bacillary dysentery. Following her graduate training, her postdoctoral studies at the University of Colorado School of Medicine focused on iron and small RNA regulation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Mandy joined the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2012, and in 2018 she was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Her laboratory employs a variety of approaches to understand the mechanism and impact of iron regulatory pathways of P. aeruginosa. A primary focus of her research program is the development of more biologically relevant in vitro growth systems, which have revealed novel impacts in bacterial iron regulation on virulence trait expression.

Ebere Onukwugha, MS, PhD

Pharmacoeconomics

Health Care Resource Utilization

Health Disparities

Dr. Onukwugha is a professor in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and executive director of the School's Pharmaceutical Research Computing center. She received a Bachelor of Science in economics and French from the University at Albany, State University of New York, a Master of Science in agricultural and applied economics, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in economics (concentration: econometrics) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Dr. Onukwugha completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Onukwugha’s research interests are in pharmacoeconomic analysis, health disparities, and medical decision-making by individuals and institutions. She examines the costs and health outcomes associated with health-related decisions as well as the institutional and environmental context framing individuals’ health-related decisions. The health-related decisions of interest include the decision to receive guideline-recommended treatment, self-care following a hospital discharge, and health care resource utilization in the oncology and cardiovascular disease settings. Her research on cost-effectiveness and regression modeling has received Contributed Research Awards at international conferences sponsored by the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. Dr. Onukwugha’s research has been published in journals such as Cancer, Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations, Journal of General Internal Medicine, JCO: Clinical Cancer Informatics, PharmacoEconomics, Journal of Geriatric Oncology, Value in Health, Ethnicity & Disease, Medical Care, Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, Journal of Oncology Practice, and Medical Decision Making. She is an editorial board member for PharmacoEconomics and an associate editor for Ethnicity & Disease.

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.

Ryan M. Pearson, PhD

Nanotechnology

Immune Engineering

Dr. Pearson is an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and molecular microbiology & immunology at the University of Maryland. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy and was a postdoc at the University of Michigan prior to starting his independent career in 2018. Dr. Pearson’s laboratory focuses on developing nanotechnology-based strategies for treating dysregulated immune responses specifically focusing on infectious disease, autoimmunity, and cancer. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles on his research in top journals including Biomaterials, Journal of Controlled Release, ACS Nano, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Advanced Functional Materials. Dr. Pearson’s significant scientific contributions relate to his development of nanoparticle-based inverse vaccines to induce antigen-specific immune tolerance and his studies evaluating the inherent immunomodulatory properties of polymeric nanomaterials. Dr. Pearson been recognized with several awards and recently received the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy New Investigator Award, American Association of Immunologists Early Career Travel Award, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education Rising Star Award, and the Shock Society Faculty Research Award. Dr. Pearson is an active member of the Bio- and Nano-technology center and the Computer-Aided Drug Design Center at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and a member of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Pearson serves on the editorial board of Pharmaceutical Research, as faculty advisor for the AAPS UMB Student Chapter, and as the Chair of the Immuno Delivery Focus Group for the Controlled Release Society.

James E. Polli, PhD

Regulatory Affairs

Bioequivalence of brand and generic drugs

Dr. Polli’s research focus is oral drug absorption. His two main research interests are 1) maximizing oral bioavailability through formulation and chemical approaches and 2) developing public quality standards for oral dosage forms. He has served as advisor to 24 Ph.D. graduates. He is co-Director of the University of Maryland Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (M-CERSI) and the Center for Research on Complex Generics (CRCG), each an FDA-funded collaborative agreement with the Agency. He is Director of the online MS in Regulatory Science program. He is a fellow of the American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and served as an editor of its flagship journal Pharmaceutical Research for 12 years. He was the recipient of the 2022 AAPS Global Leadership Award and 2021 TOPRA Education Award.

Judy L. Postmus, PhD, ACSW

Domestic Violence

Intimate Partner Violence

Dating Violence

Dean Postmus’ research has focused on the physical, sexual, and economic victimization of women. She was the founder and director (2007-2018) of the Rutgers University Center on Violence Against Women and Children, which works to eliminate physical, sexual, and other forms of violence against women and children — and the power imbalances that permit them — through multidisciplinary research, education, and community engagement. In 2016, Dean Postmus received a grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), within the U.S. Department of Justice, to create the Rutgers Violence Against Women Research Consortium. The consortium works collaboratively with interdisciplinary researchers and NIJ scientists to identify, implement, and disseminate research and evaluation projects that fill the gaps in our current knowledge of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, and teen dating violence.

Danya Qato, PhD, PharmD, MPH

High Risk Medications in Vulnerable Populations

Health Disparities

Pharmacovigilance

Dr. Danya M. Qato is a practicing pharmacist, epidemiologist, and health services researcher. She holds a PhD in health and pharmaceutical services research from the Brown University School of Public Health, a PharmD from the University of Illinois, and a MPH with a concentration in international health and humanitarian studies from Harvard University. In 2020, she was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader. Her research is currently funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. At Brown, Dr. Qato was funded as an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and National Institutes of Health doctoral and postdoctoral research fellow in comparative effectiveness research. Dr. Qato’s substantive areas of research pertain to improving regulatory and policy tools to reduce use of high risk medications in vulnerable populations, substance use and women’s health, risk management and post-marketing surveillance, drug pricing and access to essential medicines, environmental and global health systems development, pharmacovigilance, and global health equity. She was previously a Schweitzer Fellow, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow (for support of her MPH at Harvard), and a U.S. research fellow of the Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences funded by the Swedish International Development Agency. In the 2015-2016 academic year, Dr. Qato was based at the Institute for Community and Public Health at Birzeit University in Palestine, where she was a Fulbright Scholar and served as an expert consultant to the World Health Organization. In addition to her role as an associate professor at the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Qato holds a secondary appointment in the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, is a faculty affiliate at the University of Maryland Institute for Global Health, and a faculty member of the joint UMB/UMBC PhD Program in Gerontology. She is former chair of the Drug Policy and Pharmaceutical Services Committee of the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association and is a member of the Public Health subcommittee of the Maryland State Taskforce on Reconciliation and Equity.

CS Raman, PhD

Chemical and Biological Discovery

CS Raman is an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. His research interests include multifaceted structural and biological studies that combine high-resolution X-ray crystallography with biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, and evolutionary and phylogenetic analyses.

Jacques Ravel

Microbiome

Women health

Bacterial genomics

Over the past 18 years, he has developed a research program focused on applying modern genomics technologies and ecological principles to characterize the role and dynamics of the vaginal microbiome in women's health. He uses clinical genomics and systems biology approaches to develop improved strategies to manage gynecological and obstetrics conditions. His foundational research has led to the development of innovative live microbiome-based live biotherapeutic drugs to restore vaginal health, and treat conditions such as bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections. These interventions are being evaluated in several clinical trials in the US and Africa. He previously was an investigator at the Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Md., where the first microbial genome was sequenced in 1995. He was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2012 and was awarded the Blaise Pascal International Research Chair in 2015. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed publications and is among the most highly cited scientists worldwide. Dr. Ravel is the current and founding editor-in-chief of the journal Microbiome and an associate editor of the journal mBio. He received his PhD in environmental molecular microbiology and ecology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and performed his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Chemistry, working on microbial natural product chemistry.

Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP

Gerontology/Aging

Functional Status

An internationally recognized expert in gerontology, Dr. Resnick focuses on developing innovative interventions to motivate older adults to engage in healthy behaviors, particularly with regard to function and physical activity as well as other behaviors such as adhering to recommended immunizations and to managing pain and other symptoms commonly noted in aging, and to implement these in real-world settings. These interventions are designed to optimize recovery, health, function, and physical activity regardless of age or underlying co-morbidities. Examples include helping individuals recover from orthopedic events or, for individuals with and without dementia, to optimize their participation in personal care activities and ambulation and engage in physical activity.

Scott J. Riley, PhD

Drug Discovery

Machine Learning

Dr. Riley serves as an instructor and MS internship coordinator in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He earned his PhD in bioinspired materials engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and completed his postdoc with the APHL-CDC Ronald H. Laessig Newborn Screening Fellowship. His research interests include development of machine learning algorithms focused on predictive models for drug discovery/delivery and microelectronic control of drug delivery using biocompatible platforms.

Charmaine Rochester-Eyeguokan, PharmD, CDE, BCACP

Diabetes Management

Dr. Rochester-Eyeguokan graduated from Howard University College of Pharmacy in 1996 and subsequently received her Pharmacy Practice Residency (PGY1) training at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1997 and her Post graduate Year 2 (PGY2) Primary Care Residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1998. She is associate director of clinical services at the School of Pharmacy's P3 eHealth Services. She also serves as an ambulatory care preceptor for the Ambulatory Care Residency Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She is a board certified ambulatory care pharmacist and a certified diabetes educator.

Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, FAPhA

Chronic Disease Management

Diabetes

Cultural Competency

In addition to serving as the Felix Gyi Endowed Memorial Professor in Pharmapreneurship and associate dean for clinical services and practice transformation at the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner is the director of the Maryland P3 Program — a patient-centered comprehensive medication therapy and chronic disease management program provided by pharmacists throughout the Mid-Atlantic region — and executive director of the School’s Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions (CIPS). She engages in legislative advocacy and state and national leadership to expand the role of pharmacists in chronic disease management. She is an innovator who has implemented many new health care delivery models particularly in community pharmacies and received many grants and contracts to develop innovative programs. She is a member of the Maryland Health Care Reform Council Health Care Delivery Reform Subcommittee, subcommittee of the Maryland Patient-Centered Medical Home pilot, a past-president of the Maryland Pharmacists Association (MPhA), past board member and president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation, and member of the Pan-American Commission for Pharmaceutical Education. She has provided presentations and authored/co-authored many publications. She has received numerous awards including: the APhA Pinnacle Award and its Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award; the Distinguished Achievement in Pharmacotherapeutic Practice Award; the LKS/Merck Vanguard Leadership Award; the MPhA Bowl of Hygeia Award; the APhA Merit Award; MPhA's Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award; Baltimore’s Magazine Best of Baltimore Pharmacist of the Year, and the APPM Merit Award. Her research interests include chronic disease management; clinical outcomes in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; medication therapy management and practice-based research; vulnerable populations; collaborative practice; cultural competence

Leah Sera, PharmD, MA, BCPS

Palliative Care

Medical Cannabis

Dr. Sera received her PharmD from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2010. She completed a pharmacy practice residency at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and a specialty residency in pain management and palliative care at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. She earned a master’s in instructional systems development at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2017. Dr. Sera's clinical specialties are pain management and palliative care. Dr. Sera is co-director for the nation’s first MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics (MCST) program at the School of Pharmacy. She teaches in several courses in the MCST program, including an introduction to medical cannabis history, culture, and policy; a course introducing students to patient care and the clinical uses of medical cannabis; she also mentors students in their capstone projects. In the Doctor of Pharmacy program, Dr. Sera teaches a variety of topics in required and elective courses. Additionally, she holds an associate faculty position at the University of Maryland Graduate School. Dr. Sera maintains an active clinical practice in the Transitional Care Center at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, Md. Dr. Sera has been invited to speak on pain management, palliative medicine, and cannabis therapeutics topics at professional pharmacy conferences and at medical centers such as the National Institutes of Health. She received a Leader in Healthcare Award in the category of medical cannabis from the Baltimore Business Journal in 2020.

Paul Shapiro, PhD

Chemical and Biological Discovery

Dr. Shapiro received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987, and his doctorate in molecular physiology and biophysics from the University of Vermont in 1995. He completed post-doctoral training from 1995-1999 in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Dr. Shapiro’s research focuses on protein kinases and their role in regulating signaling pathways that control cellular functions and dysregulation of protein kinases during disease. Specific areas of research focus on the discovery and development of novel small molecules that inhibit the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) and p38 MAP kinases and provide the rationale for clinical applications of these molecules in treating cancer or inflammatory disease.

Fadia Shaya, PhD, MPH

Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepidemiology

Health Disparities and Social Determents of Health

Health Policy and Regulatory Science

Dr. Shaya directs the Informatics Core in the UMB Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and is executive director of the School of Pharmacy's Behavioral Health Research and Resource Team (BHRT). She serves on the Faculty Advisory Council of the Maryland Higher Education Commission and on the Board of AcademyHealth, and is the regional director of the Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Association. She is a member of HIMSS, AMIA, AcademyHealth, AACP, APHA, ISPE and ISPOR. Dr. Shaya’s work focuses on building strategic partnerships, taking into account the social determinants of health, to optimize the effectiveness and reduce the risk of prescription drugs and medical devices. Her implementation/dissemination research is based in human data science and uses artificial intelligence and machine learning methods. With multidisciplinary collaborations, she develops and applies new methods in pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, public health, and clinical informatics to inform practice and policy.

Jana Shen, PhD

Chemical and Biological Discovery

Data Science

Dr. Shen earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities before completing her postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute. Her current research areas include the development of molecular simulation and data science tools; molecular mechanisms of kinases, proteases, proton-coupled transmembrane channels/transporters, GPCRs; and pH-responsive materials based on polysaccharides. Among her honors and awards are a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in 2011.

Yan Shu, MD, PhD

Drug Transport and Metabolism

Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics

Dr. Yan Shu is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He received his medical degrees (MB/MD) from Hunan Medical University (now Xiang Yia Medical School, Central South University) in China. He then completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship between 2000 and 2002 in the University of California San Francisco, where he later received his PhD degree in pharmaceutical sciences & pharmacogenomics in 2006. He worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at Los Angeles as a faculty scientist in 2007. He joined the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2008. Research in Dr. Shu’s group is to understand the genetic mechanisms of drug response and the roles of membrane transporters in pharmacokinetics and clinical drug response. In particular, research is focused on genetics and epigenetics of drug effects on body metabolic homeostasis. Research is also specifically directed to explore the regulatory mechanisms of drug transporters and their clinical implication. The key aspect of the group’s effort is to translate laboratory findings to clinical outcomes by integrating research approaches of molecular, cellular, animal, and human studies.

Julia Slejko, PhD

Medication Adherence and Decision-analytic Modeling

Cost effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Research

Dr. Slejko’s research is focused on innovative approaches for decision-analytic modeling for economic and health outcomes assessments. She has applied these methods to modeling medication adherence and translating pharmacometric findings to cost-effectiveness analyses. She holds a BA in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her PhD training at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy Center for Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research was focused on pharmacoeconomics. Her postdoctoral training was completed at the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program in the University of Washington School of Pharmacy. Prior to her PhD training, she had a seven-year career in drug discovery at Array BioPharma. Dr. Slejko is very active in the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and maintains close connections with industry and academic partners. Her research focuses on assessing economic and comparative value of medications and health care. Current efforts include informing decision-analytic models with real-world evidence on effectiveness, in particular patients’ adherence to medications as a determinant of value, how adherence affects economic evaluations and how predicting and improving adherence may increase value. As co-director of the School of Pharmacy's Patient-Driven Values in Healthcare Evaluation (PAVE) Center, she leads research on incorporating patient-driven value elements into cost-effectiveness analyses and other components of value assessments.

Audra Stinchcomb, PhD

Drug Delivery

Translational Research

Dr. Audra Stinchcomb’s research is focused on transdermal prodrugs, microneedle-enhanced delivery, and translational research models for public-private partnerships. She has developed a research program in transdermal drug delivery in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy that revolves around the examination of the mechanisms and optimization of prodrug skin permeation and microneedle-enhanced skin permeation. This research has studied the influence of prodrug physicochemical properties on skin flux, distribution, and metabolism. The results of this prodrug knowledge fueled the genesis of F6 Pharma, LLC, a transdermal specialty pharmaceutical company. Transdermal prodrugs are in development for treatment of cancer chemotherapy nausea and vomiting, alcoholism, drug addiction, and pain. Transdermal cannabinoid delivery has also been a major research focus, with new prodrugs developed to improve aqueous solubility, chemical stability, as well as skin permeation. The microneedle research focus has been on formulations for improved permeation rate and micropore lifetime, utilizing animal studies translated to human subject studies.

Marc Taraban, PhD

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Chemical and Biological Discovery

Dr. Taraban received his MS in physical chemistry from Novosibirsk State University and PhD in chemical physics from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Chemical Kinetics & Combustion. His pioneering research in the Laboratory of Magnetic Phenomena used methods of Chemically Induced Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (CIDNP) to observe organometallic intermediate species and magnetic field effects on enzymatic reactions for the first time. As a visiting assistant professor at the University of Utah, Dr. Taraban continued his research of mechanisms of enzymatic processes using spin chemistry techniques, and expanded his focus to structural determination of biomacromolecules and polymers using Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS). At the University of Maryland, College Park, he created new force-sensitive nano-networks (FSNNs) from soft and wet viscoelastic materials assembled from peptides and other biopolymers in order to construct injectable and biodegradable mechanosensors and drug release matrices to aid the repair and rehabilitation of damaged musculoskeletal tissues. Dr. Taraban holds an issued patent for noninvasive analytical technologies.

Alison Trinkoff, ScD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Musculoskeletal Injuries

Long-Term Care

Dr. Trinkoff’s longitudinal study of more than 2,600 registered nurses examined the relationship among long work hours, needlestick injuries, and musculoskeletal disorders. More recently, her research has focused on the implications of nurses’ work environments on patient outcomes. She has been studying long-term care settings, including certified nursing assistant preparation and training, nursing home leadership, and their impact on resident care outcomes.

Kathryn Walker, PharmD, BCPS, CPE

Pain and Palliative Care

Dr. Walker is an associate professor at the School of Pharmacy and assistant vice president for palliative care at MedStar Health, where she creates palliative care strategy, demonstrates its value within the health system, and leads and collaborates on interdisciplinary research focused on health services related to telehealth and appropriate medication use. She teaches in both the School’s PharmD program and its MS in Palliative Care program. She also serves as site director for the pain/palliative care residency program that is shared between the University of Maryland and MedStar Health. At MedStar, she serves as the clinical co-leader for the health system and oversees inpatient palliative care consultation teams at nine hospitals as well as the community-based Palliative Telehealth Connecting to Home (PATCH) program, which she started in 2015. Dr. Walker completed one of the only specialty residencies at the time in palliative care at University of Maryland after completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She is the past president of the Maryland Pain Initiative (MPI) and served on the Board of Directors for MPI and the Maryland Society of Health System Pharmacists.

Hongbing Wang, PhD

Genomics and Personalized Medicine

Dr. Wang’s research interests focus primarily on the influence of drugs and genetic factors on the expression of metabolizing and detoxifying enzymes and drug transporters in humans as well as the early prediction of metabolism-associated drug interactions. Dr. Wang joined the School of Pharmacy in 2006 after receiving his doctorate in toxicology from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and working at the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy. As chair of Experimental and Translational Therapeutics, he leads a program that aims to optimize drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, and therapeutic efficacy of drugs through a combined strategy that integrates experimental and translational therapeutic approaches.

Linda Wastila, BSPharm, MSPH, PhD

Health Services Research in Mental Health

Substance Use Disorders in Geriatrics

Dr. Linda Wastila is professor and Parke-Davis Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research and director of research for the Peter Lamy Center for Drug Therapy and Aging. For more than two decades, she has conducted research focusing on prescription drug policy, quality, and outcomes. She received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also completed a Master of Science in Public Health. In 1993, she received her doctorate in health policy from Brandeis University, where she served as a Pew Health Policy Fellow. From 1994–2001, she served as senior scientist at the Schneider Institute for Health Policy and was a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. With a focus on older adults and other vulnerable populations, Dr. Wastila examines issues such as: prescription drug use, abuse, and diversion; intended and unintended policy impacts on prescription drug utilization and outcomes; psychopharmacological medication use, quality, and outcomes in community- and residential-residing older adults; innovative methods addressing multi-morbidity and poly-pharmacy; mental health disorders and impact on medication use, adherence, and outcomes; and medication quality and falls prevention. Dr. Wastila’s current research portfolio includes papers on psychopharmacological treatment and quality of treatment in long-term care beneficiaries, substance use disorders epidemiology, and co-morbidity of psychiatric and physical health conditions. She has received grants and contracts from the National Institute of Aging, National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Agency for Health Research and Quality, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Research Retirement Foundation, the Maryland Department of Health, and other sources.

Kristin Watson, PharmD, BCCP

Cardiology

Heart Failure

Dr. Kristin Watson received her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. She completed pharmacy practice and cardiology specialty residencies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research and teaching focus is in cardiology, primarily in the management of heart failure and the appropriate use of cardiovascular medications. She is the director of the University of Maryland’s postgraduate year 2 cardiology pharmacy residency. Dr. Watson is a board-certified cardiology specialist with an ambulatory care heart failure practice at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Baltimore. Dr. Watson conducts research related to the management of patients with heart failure. Her scholarship is also in the area of residency training. Dr. Watson is a co-founder of the Applied Therapeutics, Research, and Instruction at the University of Maryland (ATRIUM) collaborative, which focuses on the advancement of care provided to patients with cardiovascular disease.

Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, FASCP

Geriatrics

Nephrology

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Dr. Chanel Whittaker received her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Rutgers University. She completed a managed care pharmacy practice residency with Kaiser Permanente, Mid-Atlantic States and a primary care specialty residency at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, focused on chronic disease state management. Dr. Whittaker is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist and certified geriatric pharmacist. She is residency program director for the PGY2 – Geriatrics Residency Program. Her practice and teaching specialties include geriatric pharmacotherapy and chronic kidney disease. She has practiced in a number of ambulatory and community settings providing services to older adults in the Baltimore area. Her current practice sites include the Geriatric Education and Medication Management Clinic and the ambulatory nephrology clinic at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Whittaker’s research interests include health literacy, health communication, interprofessional education, and improving medication related outcomes in diverse older adults. She completed an interprofessional faculty development program in ethnogeriatrics with the Stanford Geriatric Education Center to develop educational programs to equip health care professionals to address the health care needs of culturally diverse older adults. She is currently conducting research in the community to evaluate knowledge of medication safety and poison prevention in culturally diverse older adults with low health literacy. In 2022, she was named the School of Pharmacy's inaugural assistant dean of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). In this role, Dr. Whittaker oversees the development and implementation of the School's EDI strategic plan and initiatives.

Angela Wilks, PhD

Antibiotic Resistance

Metallotherapeutics

Dr. Wilks’ research interests focus on mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens acquire and utilize heme as an iron source. Her research spans disciplines employing bacterial genetics and metabolomics alongside biochemical and biophysical approaches to understand the molecular mechanisms by which pathogenic bacteria acquire heme. These studies have led to the structural characterization of several proteins involved in heme uptake and degradation and to the rational design of potential therapeutic agents that reduce virulence through global effects on iron metabolism. Dr. Wilks received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Lancaster, England. She received her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Leeds, where she worked on the mechanism of heme degradation with Professor Stanley B. Brown. After a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Paul Ortiz de Montellano, she took an appointment as a research assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco. In 1998, she joined the faculty at the School of Pharmacy.

Patrick Wintrode, PhD

Chemical and Biological Discovery

Dr. Wintrode's research is focused on protein folding and misfolding, and the role of protein dynamics in function and allosteric regulation. His primary research tools are hydrogen/deuterium exchange, radiolytic footprinting, mass spectrometry, molecular dynamics simulation and small angle x-ray scattering. The biological systems he currently focuses on are 1) serpins: a class of metastable protease inhibitors whose unusual biophysical properties render them susceptible to misfolding and polymerization. Serpin misfolding is implicated in a number of inherited diseases including emphysema, thrombosis and early onset dementia. 2) HIV-1 reverse transcriptase: the role of conformational dynamics in inhibition and drug resistance. 3) AAA+ proteases: mechanisms of action and regulation. Additionally, he is part of a collaboration applying novel advanced computational techniques to simulate large conformational changes in all atom detail.

Graeme Woodworth

Neurosurgery

As the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and Director of the Brain Tumor Treatment and Research Center at the University of Maryland, I provide leadership and surgical care within a multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and pathologists, treating brain cancer patients. These clinical and administrative roles enable the cross-disciplinary group of engineers, cancer biologists, and clinician-scientists within the Translational Therapeutics Research Group (TTRG) to address key challenges in counteracting the patho-biology and improving the treatment of brain tumors. Much of this work is centered on the concept of using the operating room as a portal for discovery and opportunity to improve our understanding of and therapeutic delivery for brain tumors. Our team studies and utilizes advanced brain tumor models, including genetically-engineered and patient-derived versions directly from the operating room where the tumor tissue is rapidly passaged in vivo to avoid ischemia and biological transformation during extended manipulations or culturing conditions. We have developed a nestin-TV-A transgenic rat model to enhance investigations into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the glioblastoma margin and enable surgery-, local delivery-, focused ultrasound, and targeted radiation-based studies. Our team is leading the first-in-human clinical trials of MRI-guided focused ultrasound-mediated blood brain barrier disruption (MRgFUS-BBBD) in the United States. These studies are designed to establish the safety and feasibility of MRgFUS BBBD, with the goal of using this technology to improve therapeutic delivery and effects against infiltrating brain tumors. We have optimized reproducible and safe FUS treatments in small animals and humans, in particular treating areas within the non-enhancing regions of infiltrating gliomas. Information from these studies is informing the timing and parameters for FUS BBBD applications in clinical trials and future applications. A long-standing goal in treating patients with glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and deadly primary brain cancer in adults, is linking tumor specific features with effective anti-tumor therapies to generate long-term treatment responses. I believe that following the principles of (1) maximal, safe tumor removal, (2) use of intra-operative access to better understand the disease and deliver therapies, and (3) targeting therapeutics to residual/unresectable invading cancer elements, we will turn GBM from a uniformly fatal cancer into a chronic disease with the potential for cure.

Fengtian Xue, PhD

Chemical and Biological Discovery

Dr. Xue is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He completed his PhD in chemistry at Brown University before completing his postdoc in medicinal chemistry at Northwestern University. His research interests include pre-clinical development of small molecule therapeutics for bacterial infections, alcohol use disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.

Bruce Yu, PhD

Nanomedicine

Translational Therapeutics

In his independent research career at the University of Utah and the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Yu has worked on developing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agents and on biomaterials engineering. In the imaging area, the focus was to synthesize dendrimer imaging agents for multicolor F-19 MRI and advanced MRI technology to evaluate the mechanical properties of soft materials and biological tissues. In biomaterials engineering, he has explored the link between molecular chirality and material mechanical properties, exploiting chirality to create biomaterials with novel mechanical properties for cell growth and differentiation. Current research in Dr. Yu’s lab involves regulatory science for biologics and nano-drugs, particularly nondestructive analytical technologies that are being developed for pharmaceutical solutions of drug substances and drug products and for product inspection, using a variety of physicochemical techniques. Dr. Yu received the Kimmel Scholar Award in 2004 for his work on imaging agent development and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists for Engineers in 2005 for his work on biomaterials. He holds several issued patents for dendrimer synthesis, biomaterials engineering, and noninvasive analytical technologies. Dr. Yu received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Peking University and a PhD in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. His postdoctoral training was in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy at the State University of New York-Buffalo and in peptide chemistry at the University of Alberta.

Wenbo Yu, PhD

Drug Design

Dr. Yu is a research assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. His research interests include computer-aided drug design (CADD) targeting cancer and other diseases; new CADD methods development and coding; force field development; and molecular level simulation for phenomenon of biological and medicinal interests.