Eight professors from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park awarded $150,000 each over three years.

Published 11/11/21 on UMDRightNow

COLLEGE PARK, Md – The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State (MPower) announces the appointment of eight professors, four from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and four from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), as MPower Professors. The MPower Professorship recognizes, incentivizes, and fosters collaborations between faculty who are working together on the most pressing issues of our time.

To be considered for the MPower Professorship, faculty must demonstrate collaboration on strategic research that would be unattainable or difficult to achieve by UMB or UMCP acting independent of one another and must embrace the mission of MPower — to collaboratively strengthen and serve the state of Maryland and its citizens.

Each professor will receive $150,000, allocated over three years, to apply to their salary or to support supplemental research activities. These funds recognize, enable, and support strong collaborations between faculty in the joint research enterprise between UMCP and UMB.

“With this investment, we are accelerating the pace of our research and the pace of our impact on the lives of Marylanders,” says UMB President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS. “By supporting these MPower Professors, we are recognizing the commitment and drive they’ve already shown, and we are opening up new possibilities for their work, giving them the freedom to think big, tackle new problems and achieve results much quicker than ever before.”

“This inaugural cohort of MPower Professors includes stellar leaders who have created significant collaborations across the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and each received extraordinary support in the nomination process,” says UMCP President Darryll J. Pines, Ph.D., NAE. “Our two campuses are strengthened by interdisciplinary research, and I congratulate and commend these faculty members for their initiative and dedication.”

The inaugural MPower Professors are:

Luana Colloca, MD, Ph.D., MS, is a professor in the Department of Pain and Translational Symptom Science at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and the director of the Clinical and Translational Science Award TL1 Pre- and Postdoctoral Training Program. She also chairs the Pain and Placebo Special Interest Group for the International Association for the Study of Pain and serves as treasurer for the Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies. She is considered a world expert in the fields of placebo effects and mechanisms of pain modulation, including virtual reality applied to pain management.

Dr. Colloca received her Doctor of Medicine degree summa cum laude from the University of Catanzaro Medical School in Italy. She earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and a master’s degree in Bioethics, both summa cum laude, from the University of Turin Medical School in Italy. Afterward, she completed postdoctoral training at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and a senior research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Rao P. Gullapalli, Ph.D., MBA, MS, is a professor and the vice-chair for research in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) as well as the administrative director of the Center for Advanced Imaging Research within the department. He is the director of the University of Maryland Core for Translational Research in Imaging at Maryland and the co-director of the Center for Metabolic Imaging and Therapeutics. Dr. Gullapalli has expertise in developing novel magnetic resonance imaging techniques for clinical research and conducts research on developing new imaging biomarkers associated with traumatic brain injury. 

Dr. Gullapalli earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University in India in 1981 and a postgraduate Minerals Engineering diploma from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1982. He earned a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Instrumental Sciences from the University of Arkansas in 1986 and 1991, respectively. He went on to earn an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in 2000.

Christopher M. Jewell, Ph.D.is the Minta Martin Professor of Engineering in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at UMCP. He is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UMSOM and a full member of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCC). Dr. Jewell also is a research biologist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has received over 50 awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the White House, and authored more than 100 papers in journals such as ACS Nano, Nature MaterialsPNASNature, and Nature Biotechnology. Dr. Jewell is a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Jewell graduated from Lehigh University with high honors in 2003, earning bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and Molecular Biology. He completed his master’s degree and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, then joined the Boston Consulting Group as a health care practice consultant. Dr. Jewell completed his postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, jointly appointed as a Ragon Fellow.

Deanna L. Kelly, PharmD, BCPP, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UMSOM and an affiliate professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP). She also is the director and chief of the Treatment Research Program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. Dr. Kelly has led and been involved in numerous clinical trials involving schizophrenia and severe mental illness and has been active in psychopharmacology research for the past 24 years.

Dr. Kelly graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Duquesne University’s Mylan School of Pharmacy, and she completed a residency at UMSOP in 1997. She is board-certified in psychiatric pharmacy practice.

Cheryl L. Knott, Ph.D., MA, FAAHB, is a professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health in UMCP’s School of Public Health and a co-leader of the Population Science Program at UMGCC. She also serves as the associate director of community outreach and engagement at UMGCC. She conducts research in social epidemiology and behavioral interventions aimed at eliminating cancer disparities.

Dr. Knott graduated cum laude from the State University of New York at Brockport with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1995. She attended graduate school at East Tennessee University, obtained a master’s degree in general psychology in 1997, and completed her Ph.D. in 2001 at Saint Louis University.

Donald K. Milton, MD, DrPH, is a professor of environmental health at UMCP’s School of Public Health, with a secondary appointment in UMSOM’s Department of Medicine. An internationally recognized expert on the aerobiology of respiratory viruses, Dr. Milton developed the concept of using indoor CO2 to directly measure rebreathed air and airborne infection risk. He is the principal investigator of the UMD StopCOVID study (investigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission) and the new National Institutes of Health-funded Evaluating Modes of Influenza Transmission (EMIT-2) study, a five-year, $15 million UMCP-UMB collaboration to perform randomized controlled trials that will define the modes and mechanisms of influenza transmission.

Dr. Milton graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1976 and obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1980. He went on to obtain his Master of Occupational Health and Doctor of Public Health degrees from the Harvard University School of Public Health in 1985 and 1989, respectively.

Joseph Richardson, Ph.D., MA, is the Joel and Kim Feller Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology in UMCP’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and serves as the executive director of the school’s Transformative Research and Applied Violence Intervention Lab. Dr. Richardson also is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UMSOM. His research focuses on gun violence, violence and trauma among African American boys and young men, incarceration as a social determinant of health, and parenting for low-income African American male youth. He utilizes the busiest trauma centers in Maryland as his research labs to investigate gun violence, trauma, and the effectiveness of hospital-based violence intervention programs.

Dr. Richardson earned a bachelor’s degree in African and African American Studies in 1990 from the University of Virginia. He obtained a master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice in 1992 and 2003, respectively.

Yihua Bruce Yu, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the director of the Bio- and Nano-Technology Center at UMSOP. Dr. Yu’s expertise is in biophysics and bioengineering. In 2019, Dr. Yu joined the joint Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research in Rockville, Md. His lab advances the development of analytical technologies for characterizing complex drugs and vaccines. He holds multiple patents, including noninvasive analytical technologies for biologics production and inspection. 

Dr. Yu received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Peking University in 1987 and his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University in 1996. His postdoctoral training was in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy at the State University of New York at Buffalo and protein engineering at the University of Alberta. In 2007, he received a U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

About the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State
The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State is a collaboration between the state of Maryland’s two most powerful public research institutions: the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). It leverages the sizable strengths and complementary missions of both institutions to strengthen Maryland’s innovation economy, advance interdisciplinary research, create opportunities for students, and solve important problems for the people of Maryland and the nation. Working together, UMB and UMCP achieve innovation and impact through collaboration.

The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act of 2016 strengthened and formalized the structured relationship between UMB and UMCP, which began in 2012. The law deepens the alliance and enables UMB and UMCP to pursue even greater transformative change and impact, far surpassing what each institution could do independently of the other.

About the University of Maryland, Baltimore

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was founded in 1807 as the Maryland College of Medicine, which now stands as the nation’s oldest public medical school. In response to growing social and cultural needs, UMB’s mission has evolved and grown tremendously. Widely recognized as a preeminent institution, UMB serves as the academic health, law, and social work university of the University System of Maryland and is guided by a mission of excellence in education, research, clinical care, and public service.

UMB is a thriving academic health center combining cutting-edge biomedical research, exceptional patient care, and nationally ranked academic programs. With extramural funding totaling $682 million in Fiscal Year 2021, each tenured/tenure-track faculty member generates an average of $1.5 million in research grants each year. The 3,123 faculty members conduct leading-edge research and develop solutions and technologies that impact human health locally and around the world. World-class facilities and cores, as well as interprofessional centers and institutes, allow faculty to investigate pressing questions in a highly collaborative fashion. As a result, the more than 7,200 students, postdocs, and trainees directly benefit from working and learning alongside leading experts as they push the boundaries of their fields. For a listing of the organized research centers and institutes, visit www.umaryland.edu/research/umb- research-profile/research-centers-and-institutions/.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,000 students, 10,000 faculty and staff, and 300 academic programs. As one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright scholars, its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, four Pulitzer Prize winners and 59 members of the national academies. The institution has a $2.2 billion operating budget and secures more than $1 billion annually in research funding together with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. For more information about the University of Maryland, College Park, visit www.umd.edu.