The University of Maryland School of Medicine is one of the country's fastest growing research institutions, with total awards of $344 million in FY07. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (2003-2004) we ranked 5th among all 125 US medical schools in research grant expenditures per clinical faculty and ranked 25th among all 125 US medical schools in National Institutes of Health funding (FY2005).
That funding, combined with our faculty's expertise and cutting-edge research, has produced some remarkable breakthroughs:
2004: Discovered the precise timing code used by brain cells to process sensory information. This information about brain language can be used to develop new interventions for neurologic diseases and injuries.
2004: Established the mechanism of masculinization of the brain, whereby signaling in molecules called protaglandins is necessary just before and after birth to hard wire the brain so that there is responsiveness to testosterone as adults.
2004: Showed that a special kind of heart pacemaker combined with a defibrillator significantly reduced the risk of death and hospitalization in patients with severe heart failure.
2004: Described the structure of anti-proliferative factor, a protein found in the urine of 95% of Interstitial Cystitis patients, which may cause the disease. The disease affects about 1 million people in the United State and causes bladder pain, frequent urination and other urinary tract symptoms.
2004: Uncovered the mechanism whereby excess salt stimulates high blood pressure. The excess salt stiumulates the hormone ouabain, which disables the sodium pump, causing sodium to accumulate in blood artery cells.
2003: Discovered that Celiac Disease is much more common than previously thought and affects 1 in 133 Americans. Affected individuals make an autoimmune response to the protein gluten, which in turn causes gastrointestinal symptoms and nutritional problems.
2003: Identified the molecular mechanism of the inherited human cardiac arrhythmia disease called long Q-T Syndrome Type 4.
2003: Showed that 30-year old smallpox vaccine can be diluted manyfold and still be effective, providing an immediate supply to be used in case of bioterrorist attack(s).
2003: Determined that blood levels of the proteins troponin T and C-reactive protein measure the risk of silent heart disease in patients on kidney dialysis awaiting kidney transplantation.
2003: University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development is the first to advocate the safety of a new genetically engineered vaccine for anthrax.
2003: School of Medicine physicians are among the first in the country to perform a new procedure involving a stent to treat brain aneurysms.
2003: University of Maryland Medical Center physicians perform more kidney transplants than any other medical center in the United States.
2002: University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development research confirms the effectiveness of existing supply of smallpox vaccine, assuring protection for millions.
2001: The School of Medicine receives a $20 million grant from The Bill & Milinda Gates Foundation to develop a safe and effective measles vaccine for children in developing nations.
2001: The University of Maryland School of Medicine launches Mini-Med School, an annual series of free health classes for the community.
2001: A leader in telemedicine, The University of Maryland is the first in the nation to use sophisticated video and computer technology to assess a stroke patient in real time during an ambulance ride.
2000: Discovered genetic biomarker for earlier diagnosis of esophageal cancer that may lead to better, more effective treatment.
2000: Introduced Intensity Modulated Arc Therapy (IMAT), which delivers a higher, more uniform concentration of radiation that attacks tumors while sparing surrounding organs and tissues.
2000: First to offer new treatment for inoperable liver cancer, TheraSphere, a therapy that uses microscopic glass beads to deliver radiation directly to tumors.
2000: Discovered receptor in the brain that is key to understanding the blood-brain barrier, the nearly impenetrable interface between the bloodstream and the brain.
1999: Performed more kidney transplants than any other medical center in the U.S., and became the second largest center for pancreas transplants.
1996-2000: Performed the most laparoscopic kidney removals from living kidney donors in the world.
1999: Developed first blood test to detect the enzyme telomerase, which can indicate the early spread of lung cancer.
1999: Developed a successful blood cleansing procedure to enable people on kidney dialysis to receive a kidney transplant without fear of immediate rejection.
1999: Discovered first clear link between autism and gastrointestinal disorders.
In the last seven years the School has consistently produced more than 50 invention disclosures annually and over 115 patents since 1999, establishing Maryland as a hub for life sciences activity in the region. Technologies developed at the School of Medicine have formed the basis for at least five Baltimore-area companies.
Other research projects are examining how intervention can make a difference for inner-city youngsters trying to avoid the perils of HIV infection, drug use and street violence and tracking how intensive outreach can keep trauma victims from becoming repeat Shock Trauma patients.