6 Researchers from UMCP, UMB Announced as MPower Professors

University of Maryland, College Park President Darryll J. Pines and University of Maryland, Baltimore President Bruce E. Jarrell sent the following email to the campus community on November 4, 2022:

Dear University of Maryland community,

We are pleased to announce that six professors from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and
University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) have been named MPower Professors. Three professors from
each university received this distinction from the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership:
MPowering the State (MPower), which recognizes, incentivizes, and fosters collaborations between
faculty in Baltimore and College Park.

Please join us in congratulating these innovative researchers and outstanding leaders who were carefully
chosen from a strong, competitive pool of nominations spanning both universities. The six selected for
this honor are each working across disciplines to address the most complex challenges facing society
today. They are utilizing the latest advancements in computer science, machine learning and augmented
reality to revolutionize medical care, linguistics and neuroscience; developing enhanced understanding
and treatment for cancers, fungal infections, and a range of diseases; investigating cutting-edge
approaches and new materials to regenerate human tissue; and examining the relationship between
agriculture, energy and water to create a safer and sustainable global food supply.

These new MPower Professors are bridging research and scholarship between institutions to foster
innovation that will impact citizens in Maryland, across the country and around the world. Each professor
will receive $150,000, allocated over three years, to apply to their salary or to support supplemental
research activities.

The 2022 MPower Professors:

John P. Fisher, PhD, is the Fischell Family Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, and
Chair of the Fischell Department of Bioengineering in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at UMCP.
Dr. Fisher is also the Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering/ NIH
Center for Engineering Complex Tissue that aims to create a broad community focusing on 3D printing
and bioprinting for regenerative medicine applications. As the Director of the Tissue Engineering and
Biomaterials Laboratory, Dr. Fisher’s group investigates biomaterials, stem cells, bioprinting, and
bioreactors for the regeneration of lost tissues, particularly orthopedic and soft tissues.

Mary Ann Jabra-Rizk, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences at the
University of Maryland School of Dentistry. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of
Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She has a broad
background in investigating the virulence factors in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans,
and the host and pathogen factors that play a role in the transition between colonization and infection.

Sarah B. Murthi, MD
, is a Professor of Surgery, in the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and an
attending physician at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, and Director of the Critical Care
Ultrasound Program. She is Director of the new Center for Medical Innovations in Extended Reality
known as MIXR, located at UMB. The Center is developing virtual reality, augmented reality, and other
immersive media technologies for use in clinical trials and eventually, for widespread use in medical care.
Dr. Murthi’s research includes implementing innovative extended reality medical displays that could
improve how bedside procedures are done.

Philip S. Resnik, is a Professor of Linguistics in the UMCP College of Arts & Humanities and holds a joint
appointment as Professor in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies
(UMIACS). He is also an affiliate professor in the Department of Computer Science in UMCP’s College of
Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. Dr. Resnik’s research focuses on computational modeling
of language that brings together linguistic knowledge, domain expertise, and machine learning methods.
His current work emphasizes applications in computational social science and scientific research
questions in computational cognitive neuroscience.

Amy R. Sapkota, PhD, is a Professor of Environmental Health Science, in the Maryland Institute for
Applied Environmental Health at the UMCP School of Public Health. She also serves as Director of the
CONSERVE Center of Excellence, and Director of the UMD Global Stewards Research Traineeship
program funded by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Sapkota’s research focuses on ensuring the
safety of agricultural and municipal water reuse and understanding the impact of environmental
microbial exposures on the human microbiome.

David J. Weber, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the
University of Maryland School of Medicine, with a joint appointment as Professor of Chemistry and
Biochemistry in the UMCP College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. He is Co-Director of
the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, based at the Universities of Shady Grove, and
the Director of the Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics and Director of the Maryland Center for
Advanced Molecular Analysis. His research examines the structure, function, and inhibition of potential
therapeutic targets in cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and infectious disease.

We are extremely proud to recognize a second talented group of MPower Professors, who truly embody
the MPower mission of fostering innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration.