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CTSI: UM Institutes & Centers

One of the major strengths of the University of Maryland Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute - CTSI,  is the culture of collegiality and collaboration within the University, which has resulted in the emergence of multidisciplinary research initiatives. These initiatives have created unprecedented synergies among the faculty at the various schools and campuses and are responsible for our recent impressive growth and success. One approach to producing these multidisciplinary synergies has been the formation of Centers, Programs and Institutes that cut across departmental boundaries.

Centers, Programs and Institutes  Multidisciplinary Translational Research Activity 
Baltimore Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC) The Baltimore Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC), led by Alan Shuldiner, MD, at UM and Fredric Wondisford, MD, at the Johns Hopkins University, was recently funded and is one of only 6 NIH-funded DRTCs. The mission of the center is to foster collaborative, multidisciplinary diabetes and endocrinology research and translate that research into programs to train health care professionals to diagnose and manage diabetes.
Center on Drugs and Public Policy The UM Center on Drugs and Public Policy conducts research on major drug policy issues, organizes conferences and workshops, and consults on drug issues to organizations in the public and private sectors.
Center for Health Disparities The mission of the Center for Health Disparities is to identify and eliminate ethnic, racial, geographic and socioeconomic differences in the diagnosis and treatment of illness and to promote equal access to health care. The Center coordinates patient care, research, education, and outreach initiatives in Maryland’s underserved urban and rural communities, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and low-income whites. The Center is funded by NIH and the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund program.
Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) The mission of the CHHS, directed by Michael Greenberger, JD, is to develop, coordinate, and expand scientific research, policy development, training, legal analysis, government consulting, and scholarly programs within the UM professional schools, relating to counterterrorism crisis and consequence management issues. UM’s 6 professional schools, the graduate science program on the UM campus, and UM’s acclaimed Health Sciences and Human Services Library form the core of CHHS's significant work.
Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) The UM CIM was founded in 1991 by Brian Berman, MD, Director and Professor of Family and Community Medicine. Its major area of focus is in complementary and alternative medicine, including traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and mind–body interventions for chronic conditions. Center faculty have received more than $30 million in NIH funding and published 250 peer-reviewed articles. The UM CIM is one of NIH's National Centers of Excellence for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, focused on arthritis.
Center for Nanomedicine and Cellular Delivery (CNCD) The UM CNCD provides expertise and fosters collaborations for the design, development, and translation of nanoscale technologies for therapeutics and diagnostics in the clinical environment. The center is the hub of nanotechnology research at the UM SOP, SOM, SOD, UM GCC, and UM CP Colleges of Life Science and Engineering and is the focal point on campus for state-of-the-art advances in drug delivery and diagnostic medicine. Research grants from the National Science Foundation, NIH, and other sponsors provide scientific support to the Center’s faculty, whose expertise fuses knowledge of nanotechnology, cellular biology, material science and engineering, clinical medicine, diagnostic radiology, and regulatory affairs. Research includes targeted cancer therapies, localized bioactive agent delivery, improved cell–material interactions, scaffolds for tissue engineering, and gene delivery systems. CNCD faculty generate substantial new intellectual property; the Center holds several patents and is in the process of disclosing several new inventions.
Center for Pain Studies Supported by a new P30 award, Susan G. Dorsey, PhD, RN conducts translational pain studies focusing on cancer treatment-related pain. The Center is a collaboration between the SON, SOM (including the Greenebaum Cancer Center), and SOD.
Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine  Under the leadership of founding director Curt Civin, MD, the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine was founded in 2009. Dr. Civin’s team includes 15 postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and research technicians. The Center explores ways to manipulate stem cells to allow for safer and more effective transplantation and transfusion therapies.
Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) The CVD, established in 1972 and directed by Myron Levine, MD, DTPH, has an international reputation for designing and testing vaccines against cholera, typhoid, malaria, influenza, agents of bioterror, and others. The center is one of the first facilities to evaluate vaccines in community volunteers and is the only university vaccine center in the world engaged in the full range of vaccinology, from basic science through vaccine development, clinical evaluation, and field studies. Last winter, the CVD was the lead institution for clinical studies of novel H1N1 flu and H5N1 avian flu vaccines. The CVD leads the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease Research, with $42 million from NIAID. New bacterial vaccines developed at the laboratory benches of the CVD and brought to clinical trials include a series of cholera, Shigella, and diarrheagenic E. coli vaccine strains. CVD faculty are involved in training medical students, graduate students, fellows, and infectious disease experts from the U.S. and abroad. The CVD is funded by multiple NIH contracts and grants and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Multiple interactions connect the CVD to other groups at UMB in infectious diseases, microbiology, epidemiology, immunology, and clinical trials.
Center for Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases (CVID) Led by Dudley K. Strickland, Professor, Surgery and Physiology, the mission of the CVID is to better understand and ultimately treat vascular and inflammatory diseases, including myocardial infarction, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. The CVID is a catalyst for enhanced interaction among basic researchers and physician-scientists at UM who are involved in fields related to cardiovascular biology, with the goal of using new knowledge to develop novel therapies for disease prevention and treatment. The center’s 3 scientific core programs––vascular biology and stroke, vascular physiology and hypertension, and immunity and inflammation– facilitate translation of laboratory research into clinical applications. CVID research is multi-disciplinary and integrates molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, immunology, and genetics with applied and clinical cardiology. The CVID is located in the new UM BioPark, a joint project of the UMB and industrial partners.
Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) Center The UM CADD Center was created to facilitate the discovery of novel therapeutic agents via rational drug design in combination with structural biology. By fostering collaborations among biologists, biophysicists, structural biologists, and computational scientists at UM and beyond, the CADD is the home for research leading to the discovery of novel chemical entities with the potential to be developed into novel therapeutic agents. The rapid identification of novel therapeutic agents for specific disease states is largely predicated by the availability of the human genome, along with the genomes of other organisms, including pathogenic species. The fields of genomics and proteomics will allow this information to be used to identify novel molecular targets for the treatment of a wide variety of disease states.
Exercise and Robotics Rehabilitation Program & Maryland Exercise and Robotics Center of Excellence The Exercise and Robotics Program includes numerous faculty from UM and beyond with expertise in developing and applying robotics for clinical use. The many participating members of this program include the Human Performance and Motor Control Core, Gait and Balance Labs; Brain Plasticity Core and Labs; UM and Baltimore VA Cortical Electrophysiology Labs; Neuroimaging–Johns Hopkins–Kennedy Kreiger fMRI Research Center; MIT Arm and Lower Extremity Robotics Stations; Howard County Senior Centers–Community Training Sites for Chronic Stroke (Ellicott City, Glenwood); Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation, Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT; University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute – Lokomat Robotics Exercise Program and Satellite Exercise Training Site; and Exercise and Robotics Research and Therapy Program.
Human Microbiome Project Data Analysis and Coordinating Center Awarded by NIH in 2009, this center analyzes, organizes, and disseminates the genomic information gathered at various sites as part of the Human Microbiome Project. All information from this Project are made freely available to investigators in the U.S. The initiative uses metagenomic analysis to characterize the complexity of microbial communities at individual body sites and to determine whether there is a core microbiome at each site. Pilot studies will implement shallow and then deep 16S rRNA sequencing, progressing into deep metagenomic sequencing. Several body sites will be studied, including the gastrointestinal and female urogenital tracts, oral cavity, nasopharyngeal tract, and skin. The project also includes a set of studies to determine the relationship between human health and changes in the human microbiome.
Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) The UM IGS, created in 2007, is an interdisciplinary, multidepartmental team of collaborative investigators led by Claire M. Fraser-Liggett, PhD, one of the world’s preeminent genome scientists. The IGS utilizes large-scale experimental and computational genomics-based approaches to the study of the complex molecular networks that regulate cell and organism functions. The institute’s work focuses on the study of animal, microbial, and plant systems, and the goal is to rapidly provide the results of research and the software tools and databases that are developed at the institute to the international scientific community. In addition to carrying out its own research activities, IGS faculty and staff collaborate with investigators across UM to provide state-of-the-art genomics expertise for the study of the most important biomedical questions of the 21st century. Embedded in all of the IGS activities is a commitment to educate the next generation of scientists and physicians, as well as established investigators in the field of genome science. The availability of genome sequence data from more than 500 different species, together with the development of sophisticated tools for comparative and functional genomics, have had a profound effect on our understanding of species evolution and the relationship between DNA sequence variation and phenotype in organisms across the phylogenetic tree of life. This information has accelerated the development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics for today’s most serious illnesses, and provides the foundation for a more predictive and preventive approach to medical care in the future.
Institute of Human Virology The UM IHV, led by Robert Gallo, MD, is the first center in the United States to combine the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology, and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders, most notably the HIV virus. Formed in 1996 as a partnership between the State of Maryland, City of Baltimore, University of Maryland System, and UMMS, the IHV is home to world-renowned experts in virology. Originally conceived as a combination enterprise including large laboratories for basic research and a patient care facility for medical care and clinical research, the IHV has created an environment in which multidisciplinary research, education, and clinical programs work closely together to expedite scientific understanding of HIV/AIDS pathogenesis and to develop therapeutic interventions to make AIDS and cancers with viral etiologies manageable, if not curable. More than 75% of the institute's clinical and research effort is currently targeted at HIV infection, but other foci include the hepatitis C virus, herpes viruses, and cancer research. As part of the NIH-sponsored HIV Vaccine Trials Network and Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group, the IHV has been heavily involved in clinical research, and several IHV protocols have been conducted in the UM GCRC.
Joslin Diabetes Center The UM Joslin Diabetes Center, led by Kristi Silver, MD, is one of an elite group of centers affiliated with the internationally recognized Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA. In addition to providing the highest standard of care for people with diabetes, the Joslin Center also focuses on multidisciplinary diabetes-related research. Areas of specific interest include studies of the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes and obesity and the development of new therapeutic and preventive strategies; pharmacogenetics; investigation of the long-term effects of blood glucose control on prevention and delay of diabetic complications; determining optimal pre- and postoperative care for patients undergoing kidney and pancreas transplantation; clinical trials of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of diabetes and obesity; and studies of relatives of people with type 1 diabetes to determine the genetics of the disease.
Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center
The UM Cancer Center was established in 1982, and, under the direction of Kevin Cullen, MD, this Center was recently designated an NCI Cancer Center. The UM GCC is a matrix cancer center comprising more than 170 faculty members from 2 universities, 5 campuses, 4 schools, and 15 departments. Together, UM GCC investigators have well over $50 million in cancer research funding and in the past year enrolled more than 1,100 cancer patients in clinical trials, of whom 36% were underrepresented minorities. Activities of the GCC include basic and clinical cancer research, student and house officer teaching, and a strong focus on aggressive treatment with intense patient care in the 44-bed inpatient and outpatient centers. Virtually every important drug in use in oncology today has been tested in the GCC, and the center has contracts in both the public and private sectors with a commitment to clinical and laboratory research. Phase I and II clinical trials are conducted through and supported by the GCRC. An example of the critical partnership between the proposed ICTS and the UM GCC is the recent reorganization of the biostatistics and bioinformatics efforts in a new Division of Biostatistics within the Department of Epidemiology, under the leadership of Ming Tan, PhD. This is an example of synergistic interactions between the ICTS and Cancer Center that enhance the clinical and translational research capabilities of all departments and UMB faculty. The ICTS will also be the home for critical training efforts with the Cancer Center, including the recently awarded K12 under the direction of Edward Sausville, MD, PhD.
Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC) The MPRC is located on the campus of the Spring Grove Hospital (Catonsville, MD), a 15-minute drive from the UM campus. The MPRC focuses on schizophrenia and related psychoses in 4 separate, but closely interdependent programs: the Outpatient Research Program, the Inpatient Research Program, the Neuroscience Program, and the Schizophrenia-Related Disorders Program. MPRC clinical and basic research faculty and staff (psychiatrists, psychologists, scientists, social workers, nurses, research assistants, and others), led by William Carpenter, MD, participate in research, clinical, and diagnostic work. The GCRC provides several types of support to MPRC investigators, including rater and tester personnel, nursing, and the resources of the Genomics Core. The MPRC is funded by multiple NIH grants. Translational research is an important component. Drug withdrawal, drug craving, cognitive and affective disturbances associated with drug use and withdrawal, and the effective treatment of craving and withdrawal have been extensively studied in animal models.
Maryland Center for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and VA Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence The Maryland Center for Multiple Sclerosis and the VA Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence have, for more than 2 decades, focused on clinical and basic science studies aimed at developing effective therapies to prevent disease progression and alleviate symptoms. Projects include: (1) studies involving bone marrow–derived stem cells genetically engineered to secrete therapeutic molecules, under the control of an inducible promoter; (2) collaborative studies with pharmaceutical companies, either working with the company to move “pipeline” drugs into phase I and phase II clinical trials or facilitating the National Multiple Sclerosis Society collaborative effort with private industry to identify and develop promising therapies being investigated by individual researchers; (3) efforts to enhance participation of African Americans and other minority groups in MS treatment trials; (4) testing of potential biomarkers for diagnosing MS or for identifying patients at the earliest stages of a relapse; and (4) applications of teleneurology to enhance management of MS-associated conditions and complications.
Mid-Atlantic Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC) The mission of this NIH funded P30 Center is (1) to foster multidisciplinary research that leads to discoveries about the role of nutrition in risk for chronic disease, including obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), hypertension (HTN), hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease (CVD), sleep disordered breathing, and osteoporosis; and (2) to translate this knowledge into effective clinical treatments and prevention . The Mid-Atlantic NORC brings together resources at the UMB, UMCP, Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Beltsville), and the Geisinger Health System; and cross-cutting expertise in molecular genetic and genomics, genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics, functional genomics, basic adipose cell biology, and applied physiology and clinical investigation into the basic mechanisms that determine individual responses to nutrient intake and energy imbalance. Major themes include nutrigenomics and gene x environment interactions, adipose biology, aging, and exercise and muscle physiology. The Research Base now includes 76 funded members. Mid-Atlantic NORC investigators have made seminal discoveries published in high-profile journals, successfully garnered new research support, and initiated efforts to translate their findings into new treatment and prevention paradigms for chronic nutrition related diseases. The Mid-Atlantic NORC has helped launch careers of young Investigators in obesity and nutrition science through its Pilot and Feasibility (P/F) Program. The Enrichment Program has improved education in nutrition science in the medical and graduate school and promoted community outreach.
Organized Research Center on Persistent Pain The Organized Research Center on Persistent Pain focuses on understanding deep-tissue persistent pain and its impact on diagnosis and treatment. The Center includes a dedicated team of basic, clinical and translational researchers and clinicians from the UM SOD and SOM, UMMC, and BVAMC. The program includes a major Program Project on Plasticity and Modulation in Models of Persistent Pain; the Research Center for Neuroendocrine Influences on Pain; and a multicenter grant involving 3 other national pain centers focusing on genetic and physiological characteristics associated with temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction.
Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center The Parkinson`s Disease and Movement Disorders Center focuses on multidisciplinary clinical and basic research on neurodegenerative diseases. The Center’s goals are to: (1) complete preclinical development of our federally funded research to develop tetanus toxin as a therapeutic agent for enhancing strength and muscle tone in neurologically disabled patients and begin clinical trials; (2) move forward with preparing human hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation into humans with Parkinson's disease; (3) conduct trials of new therapeutic agents for neuroprotection and symptom relief in Parkinson`s disease (through participation in both the NET-PD network and the SAD-PD trial, both federally funded); (4) conduct protocols requiring videotaping patients in an appropriate setting using the GCRC for long-stay clinical trial visits; (5) conduct federally funded, observational trials in progressive supranuclear palsy and multiple system atrophy, and (6) conduct and participate in pharmacokinetic studies on the GCRC.
Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging            The UM Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging, established in 1999, serves as a focal point for geriatric research, education, and service and is dedicated to improving drug therapy for the elderly through innovative educational, clinical, and research initiatives.
Pharmacokinetics–Biopharmaceutics Laboratory (PBL) The director of the UM PBL, Natalie Eddington, PhD, is expert in preclinical and clinical pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, human drug metabolism, and clinical efficacy evaluations. Over the last 15 years, the PBL has performed more than 50 clinical pharmacology studies, including bioavailability, bioequivalency, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and special populations (e.g., renal dysfunction, women, menstrual cycles, genetic polymorphism). Dr. Eddington holds grants and/or contracts that focus on mechanisms of drug delivery, disposition, drug efficacy, and surrogate biomarker assessments. The PBL performed studies that have shaped FDA Regulatory Guidances and streamlined drug approvals, including: Scale-Up and Post-Approval Changes for Modified Release Formulations, Scale-Up and Post-Approval Changes for Immediate Release Dosage Forms, and In Vitro–In Vivo Correlation. The PBL and Clinical Pharmacology Unit share equipment to perform cell culture, animal studies, bioanalytical analysis, and mathematical modeling. The laboratory is skilled in data analysis techniques, including pharmacokinetic modeling, physiological-based pharmacokinetic modeling, linked and indirect PK-PD modeling, and population analysis. PBL faculty have the analytical equipment required for analysis of drugs in biological matrices. Analytical methods are developed and validated based on FDA guidance and GLP principles.
Pharmaceutical Research Computing (PRC) Center Founded in 1998, the UM PRC Center is a group of highly skilled professionals in the fields of IT, statistics, and pharmacy who provide quality research support via data warehousing and analysis needs. PRC has partnered with numerous researchers on projects funded by the NIH, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, FDA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, University of Massachusetts, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Commonwealth Foundation, and pharmaceutical companies. The PRC has extensive experience working with large administrative claims and encounter data (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, HMO), secondary data (e.g., Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, U.S. Renal Data System, Marketscan, Area Resource Files, Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys), and primary data, including pharmacy and medical information.
P3 Project: Patients/Pharmacists/Partnerships Founded in 2005, the P3 is a model outreach and translational research program directed by Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD. The program aims to improve disease management and clinical outcomes for patients with chronic conditions. P3 plans include outreach for chronic diseases such as asthma, hypertension, and depression. SOP trainees engage in evidence-based disease management training in the classroom and are supervised by licensed pharmacists in the field. The P3 team translates research into practical knowledge for individuals with chronic disease––an important step in improving health outcomes.
Program in Genetic and Genomic Medicine (PGGM) The mission of the UM PGGM is to accelerate the pace of discovery in genetics and genomics, facilitate the translation of these new discoveries to improve patient care, and enhance the training and education of future generations of physicians and scientists in genomic medicine and science. The unveiling of the complete sequence of the human genome is providing exciting new insights into human biology and disease. Coupled with advances occurring in areas such as high-throughput technologies and computing, exceptional opportunities exist to uncover the molecular bases of many medical conditions, from rare monogenic diseases to common diseases of complex inheritance––discoveries that will translate into exciting new strategies for prevention and treatment. The PGGM is an interdepartmental program that emphasizes a multidisciplinary team approach to research training and discovery. Faculty have expertise across a wide range of disciplines, including clinical investigation, molecular genetics, cytogenetics, cancer genetics, biochemical genetics, functional genomics, molecular and cell biology, genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, and bioinformatics. PGGM supports the Amish Research Clinic, a free-standing clinical and translational research center supporting more than a dozen NIH funded scientists studying genetics of complex diseases and traits.
Program in Neuroscience (PIN) The UM PIN is a PhD-granting program founded in 1997 to meet the need for a formal neuroscience program. Directed by Michael Shipley, PhD, the program fosters interdisciplinary neuroscience research across the UM campus. Previously existing expertise combined with new recruitments has brought together a cadre of faculty dedicated to the training and mentoring of graduate students in neuroscience. The PIN faculty consist of approximately 84 PIs from the UM SOM, SOD, and SOP whose research strengths are organized into 9 research areas: Chemical Senses, Development, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Neuroendocrinology, Neuroprotection, Pain, Schizophrenia, Synapses, and Circuits and Clinical Neuroscience.
Shock, Trauma, and Anesthesiology Research (STAR) Center Shock, Trauma and Anesthesiology Research (STAR) is a recently developed Organized Research Center dedicated to injury prevention and care. The STAR-ORC focuses on translational research related to trauma, shock, and resuscitation and aims to promote interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and interaction among faculty with complementary clinical and basic science interests. STAR sets the benchmark for national and international trauma research addressing fundamental issues related to injury, including prevention, delivery of care, and public policy. The research program centers on clinical trials, serving as a test site for emerging technologies and a collaboration with the U.S. Air Force through its Center for the Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills program. UM has recently been named a Core Center in the Transfusion Medicine/Hemostasis Research Network by the NHLBI. In a multidisciplinary collaboration with the UM Department of Pathology, the Shock Trauma Center conducts research projects aimed at reducing mortality from acute hemorrhage in trauma.
Stroke and Neurocritical Care Program The Stroke and Neurocritical Care Program has a long-standing interest in the genetic risk factors for stroke, especially stroke in the young. Federally funded stroke epidemiology and genetics studies span more than 2 decades. Recently, a consortium of centers led by Steven Kittner, MD, submitted a proposal to NINDS for a genome-wide association study of some 7,000 cases and 23,000 controls. Collaboration with the ICTS could leverage our gene discovery efforts, accelerate the investigation of the physiologic role of candidate genes, and promote translational efforts towards novel treatments based on genetic discoveries
Women’s Health Research Group (WHRG)        Founded in 1997, the UM WHRG is a multidisciplinary campus-wide organization created to examine women's health concerns from the perspectives of dentistry, medicine, law, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social work. The mission of the WHRG is to provide an intellectual community for the study of women's health, and to build a collaborative framework for future research. WHRG faculty oversee many research projects and clinical trials on women's health issues. The Group has a K12 grant to train faculty-level scholars in interdisciplinary research in women’s health. The program, called Maryland’s Organized Research Effort in Women’s Health, provides opportunities for young investigators to work with experienced faculty scientists from a variety of disciplines. Led by Patricia Langenberg, PhD, the group includes strong basic, clinical, and epidemiologic research in women’s health involving investigators in the UM SOM, SON, SOD, and SOP.