School of Medicine

The School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest-growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world, with 46 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs, and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals.

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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.

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.

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.

Wendy G. Lane, MD, MPH

Child Maltreatment

Maternal and Child Health

Preventive Medicine

Wendy Lane, MD, MPH is a clinician and researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is board certified in General Pediatrics, Child Abuse Pediatrics, and Preventive Medicine. A Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and the Department of Pediatrics, she serves as Medical Director for the Center for Hope/Baltimore Child Abuse Center (CFH/BCAC) and the Howard County Child Advocacy Center. She is a member of the Child Protection Team at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where she served as Chair from 2004-2011. In 2020, Dr. Lane became Director of the Maryland CHAMP (Child Abuse Medical Professionals) Program, which provides training and peer review to health care professionals throughout Maryland. She and her colleagues have been working to identify and train doctors and nurses to serve all Maryland counties, and to increase their participation in peer review. Since 2008, Dr. Lane has served as Chair of the Child Maltreatment and Foster Care Committee for the Maryland Chapter of the AAP (MDAAP). She collaborated with MDAAP on a national AAP grant to address health care services for children in foster care. Dr. Lane has continued this work as a member and now Chair of Maryland’s State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (SCCAN), one of the three citizen panels mandated by CAPTA. Advocacy by SCCAN helped pass Maryland legislation to create a Medical Director for Child Welfare and to require an electronic health passport for children in foster care. In addition, SCCAN worked with legislators to pass two bills to reduce the likelihood of sexual abuse and misconduct in schools. In addition to her child maltreatment work, Dr. Lane also serves as Director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program and the Principal Investigator for B’more for Healthy Babies Upton/Druid Heights (BHB-U/DH), a community-based and community-engaged intervention to improve birth outcomes. Since its inception 11 years ago, this predominantly low-income, Black community has seen a 75% decrease in infant mortality rates.

Sandra Quesada, MD, MS

academic medicine, hematology, , crohn's, colitis

gastroenterology

diversity, inclusion

Sandra M. Quezada, M.D., M.S. is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She also serves as the Associate Dean for Admissions, and Associate Dean for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. She is Course Director for the Medical Spanish course elective, Co-Chair of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Equity Project, Chair of the Intersociety Group on Diversity in Gastroenterology, and DEI Section Editor for the Gastroenterology journal. She is passionate about equity in academic medicine, and gastroenterology specifically, and has worked locally, regionally, and nationally to amplify physician workforce diversity, and to impact the climate in which future and current physicians train and practice. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, a recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, a Fellow of the Pass and Susel Academy of Educational Excellence, and inaugural recipient of the Dean’s Alumni Award for Diversity and Inclusion. She is past Chair of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Diversity Committee, co-Chair of the AGA Equity Project, and a member of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation National Scientific Advisory Committee Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce. Her health equity work includes establishing the "Eliminate Race in GFR Calculation" taskforce at the SOM that helped catapult the transition to stop using race-based GFR calculation at University of Maryland system hospitals, and she is the 2022 recipient of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Healio Disruptive Innovator Health Equity Award.

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.

William F. Regine, MD, FACR, FASTRO, FACRO

GI and CNS malignancies

Dr. Regine, ranked in the top five in National Institutes of Health research funding, is recognized nationally and internationally in the areas of gastrointestinal and sympathetic nervous system malignancies and in the use of stereotactic radiosurgery. At the Maryland Proton Treatment Center, he leads the first and most advanced facility of its kind in the Baltimore-Washington region, providing nearly 2,000 cancer patients a year with precise “pencil-beam” technology to treat solid tumors. UMB’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year, Dr. Regine has served as principal or co-principal investigator on at least four National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored cooperative group clinical trials. He has also been the Radiation Oncology Principal Investigator/Study Chairman of at least 2 additional Institutional clinical trials published in JAMA and the Lancet which defined new standards of care for patients with brain metastases and malignant spinal cord compression. He is co-editor "Principles and Practices of Stereotactic Radiosurgery," the first comprehensive textbook of its kind. His department ranks top 5 in NIH funding for Radiation Oncology. Dr. Regine was named a "Top Doctor" in the specialty of Radiation Oncology by Baltimore Magazine and "Super Doctor" in Mid-Atlantic by Washington Post Magazine multiple years.

Thomas M. Scalea

Surgery

Critical Care

Dr. Scalea is one of the world’s foremost authorities on trauma research, education, and clinical practice. As physician-in-chief of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, he leads the largest facility of its kind in the nation and the first in the world to treat shock. Since taking over Shock Trauma, he has elevated the center to be one of the premier trauma facilities in the world, treating 8,000 critically injured patients annually with a 96 percent survival rate for gunshot victims, head-on car collisions, and other trauma injuries. Widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the treatment of shock trauma, Dr. Scalea puts in 60 to70 hours a week attending to patients and performing about 600 surgeries a year. His Program in Trauma has expanded clinical services, and his faculty is responsible for the bulk of emergency general surgery patients at the University of Maryland Medical Center. His group has built a regionwide critical care program and is responsible for nine intensive care units and over 100 beds. Several years ago, he established the GO Team, a physician-led rapid response team consisting of an anesthesiologist, surgeon, critical care medicine specialist, and certified registered nurse anesthetist that is available around the clock every day and serves as a specialized component of Maryland’s statewide emergency medical system. Dr. Scalea remains a prolific investigator, and Shock Trauma investigators from his department report at many national meetings.

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.