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Multiple School of Medicine Faculty Are Recognized With UMB Founders Week Awards

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bartley Griffith, MD
 Bartley Griffith, MD

Research Lecturer of the Year

Bartley P. Griffith, M.D., professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of cardiac surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, has been named the 2010 Research Lecturer of the Year as part of the University's annual Founders Week celebration. Dr. Griffith has spent the past 30 years on a quest to provide biomechanical, transplant, and, recently, regenerative solutions to severe lung disease.

A brilliant clinician, researcher, and teacher who has performed more than 1,200 heart transplants and 600 lung transplants, Dr. Griffith simplified his work for those in attendance at the lecture he presented at Davidge Hall. "Breathing is something you take for granted until you can't do it," he said.

The lecture included developments in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation that have inspired an artificial lung targeted for patients in 2013. With the relatively new field of stem cell and regenerative medicine as a prompt, he also "imagineered" a future for lung repair.

Some of the warmest stories at the lecture were of former patients, including one, Margaret Eckrote, who survived a double lung transplant in 1992 and recently "looked me up" to thank Griffith and to show him a picture of her teenage daughter. With the family picture shown on the big screen behind him, Griffith said simply, "I think we're blessed by the work we do."

Entrepreneur of the Year

A device called the GammaPod System, invented by the University of Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year, Cedric Yu, DSc, could eliminate the traditional surgery and radiation treatment ordeal of women with early-stage breast cancer. The inventor discuss the GammaPod at his award ceremony, held Nov. 11 at the University of Maryland BioPark.

With the GammaPod System, "We could save the whole breast so you don't need surgery," said Yu, who is the Carl M. Mansfield, MD, Endowed Professor in Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Yu's work and leadership have contributed to the international recognition of the School's Department of Radiation Oncology. His pioneering developments in radiation treatment technology have improved the quality and efficiency of cancer treatments using radiation throughout the world.

In 2006, Dr. Yu patented a dedicated breast radiation therapy method, now called the GammaPod System, which was developed with the help of $3.5 million in Small Business Innovation Research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

With support from the University's Office of Research and Development (ORD), he founded Xcision Medical Systems, LLC, to pursue the development of the high-precision, noninvasive system of treating early-stage breast cancer. Xcision, which is based in Maryland, is seeking GammaPod approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

"I was surprised and happy to be named Entrepreneur of the Year, not just for myself but happy that the University encourages entrepreneurship and recognizes the importance of theoretical research that converts into new knowledge and new products," Dr. Yu said.

Public Servant of the Year

Since joining the University faculty more than 12 years ago, Dr. Rooks has been recognized as a gifted physician and a tireless public servant. Her commitment to medicine and public health go beyond the University’s walls into disadvantaged communities that need her knowledge and candor. She spends countless hours volunteering at city schools and community centers to educate both old and young Baltimore citizens about the importance of nutrition and exercise. Additionally, she has helped with the School of Medicine’s Mini-Med School, the National Youth Forum, and the Morgan State University summer camp program. She is the immediate past-president of the Maryland Academy of Family Physicians and is the head primary care team physician for the University of Maryland, College Park.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine

 Cedric Yu, DSc

 Yvette Rooks, MD

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