Thursday, November 29, 2012
State officials came to the University of Maryland School of Medicine for a very special tour and educational conference.“Research Transforming Medicine Day” focused on the importance of research funding to advance the innovation and discovery that lead to new treatments and cures and drive economic development throughout the region.
Policymakers and state economic development leaders were invited into School of Medicine laboratories for interactive sessions designed to help them better understand how basic science research can lead to new therapies and surgical techniques. Guests could choose one of five research tracks that "told a story" of discovery. For example, the extraordinary decade long basic science and clinical research journey that led to the most extensive full face transplant to date was explained by Stephen T. Bartlett, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Surgery, Eduardo Rodriguez, MD, DDS, associate professor of Surgery, and Rolf Barth, MD, associate professor of Surgery.
Another exciting research tour was led by Steven Munger, PhD, professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Nanette Steinle, MD, assistant professor of Medicine,who are collaborating on basic science and clinical research that could lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes.
“There is this huge curiosity in the public about medical research, but there is not a great deal of understanding of exactly what we do, and how it translates from a very basic experiments to a new treatment or a new diagnosis,” said Dr. Munger.“Through this kind of education, we can educate the public, make them more interested, and help them to understand how their tax dollars will help to contribute to better health,” said Dr. Munger. “It’s a whole community of researchers who bring this work forward and ultimately help improve the health of the nation,” added Dr. Steinle.
A key priority for progress is continued state support for the construction of the $284 million Health Sciences Facility III (HSF III) Research Building, which will transform medicine by supporting “bench to bedside” translational research in such cutting edge fields as human virology, genome sciences and personalized medicine.“In order for the School of Medicine to remain a top tier institution for groundbreaking biomedical research, innovative medical education, and advanced clinical care, it must strengthen and upgrade its physical infrastructure,” said E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
HSF III remains the highest priority for all capital projects with the University System of Maryland. The 300,000 square foot facility will create more than 300 new jobs, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenue. “It’s not only about transforming the lives of patients who are suffering from diseases that research is going to benefit, it is also about making an economic engine that fuels the economy of this region,” said presenter and participant Dominick Murray, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development.
Other Research Track Tours included:
Harnessing Radiation Therapy: Intensifying and Enhancing Treatment Options for Cancer Patients
William F. Regine, MD
Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology
Cedric X. Yu, D.Sc.
Clinical Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Stem Cells: The Future of Drug Discovery and Development
Curt Civin, MD
Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology
Director, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Associate Dean for Research
Marco Chacon, PhD
Founder, CEO, President
Paragon Bioservices, Inc.
Saving Your Injured Brain: It’s About Research, Timing and Lives Saved
Alan Faden, MD
Professor, Department of Anesthesiology
J. Marc Simard, MD
Professor of Neurosurgery, Pathology and Physiology
Deborah Stein, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery