Maryland Commerce Supports Research Professorships at Four Colleges, Universities

University of Maryland, Baltimore; Hood College; Washington College; and Stevenson University

raise matching funds to promote research and technology

BALTIMORE, MD (February 15, 2017) – The Maryland Department of Commerce; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; Hood College; Washington College; and Stevenson University have endowed a total of $8.3 million in four new research professorships. The endowments were made through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative (MEI), a state program created to spur basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields at the colleges and universities. The schools raised $4.3 million in private funding for each chair and Maryland Commerce approved matching grants of $4 million to support the endowments.

“The groundbreaking research coming out of these colleges and universities is addressing key issues impacting our communities today, from cancer research to sustainable food systems and biofuels,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We are proud to partner with these world-class institutions to keep our state on the cutting edge of technology and discovery.”

Hood College received $944,000 for the Endowed Chair in Advanced Bioproducts Research and Education, which will allow Hood to attract and hire faculty with expertise in the area of biofuels research. The faculty member would lead efforts within the college’s Department of Biology for teaching and program development, as well as develop additional collaborations and research opportunities. Hood’s effort will seek to catalyze new collaborative initiatives with industry, government, and other academic partners while integrating ongoing efforts to form an advanced bioproducts cluster of research, education, and economic enhancement for the region and the state as a whole.

“Endowed chairs make a foundational difference for an institution; they support research, teaching and service, and allow us to compete with the best schools for the best faculty,” said Andrea Chapdelaine, president of Hood College. “This support from the State of Maryland, matched by the Hodson Trust, will catalyze biofuels research to the benefit of our faculty, students and community.”

Stevenson University received $1.18 million for the Stevenson University Distinguished Professorship in Nursing Research to further examine risk reduction practices for fatigue in registered nurses. Stevenson will also look at increasing the state’s nursing workforce and the number of nursing educators holding master’s degrees at Maryland’s universities, community colleges, and private nonprofit schools. Stevenson will also utilize the MEI funds to create Dean’s Research Scholar positions for undergraduate students.

“Stevenson University is grateful to the Maryland Department of Commerce for the opportunity to endow a research professorship in nursing that will support the scholarly agenda of our Founding Dean of the Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions, Dr. Jeanne Geiger-Brown,” said Dr. Susan T. Gorman, executive vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost. “As a researcher contributing to the body of knowledge surrounding fatigue, Dr. Geiger-Brown is working to improve nursing practice while simultaneously building the culture of research in the nursing and health professions at Stevenson. The award will make possible the engagement of undergraduate students as research scholars, thereby contributing to the pipeline of nurse scholars. Stevenson is also grateful to Malcolm and Sandra Berman and the estate of Elizabeth Christhilf for the private donation of funds that were used to match the funds awarded by the state.”

The University of Maryland, Baltimore received $944,000 for the Drs. Angela and Harry Brodie Distinguished Professorship in Translational Cancer Research, which will support groundbreaking biomedical research. The discoveries made by the Brodie Distinguished Professor will be pursued for commercialization, helping to bring new treatments to the clinical setting and creating new revenue opportunities for the institution and the state.

“We are very pleased to have state matching funds for this award made in the name of Drs. Angela and Harry Brodie,” said Bruce Jarrell, MD., senior vice president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. “Dr. Brodie discovered a new class of breast cancer drugs used world-wide. Her discovery is a glowing example of making a basic science finding at the bench and then transforming it into a life-saving treatment. This added state support will allow us to attract a new investigator to Maryland who can follow Dr. Brodie’s innovative path.”

Washington College received $944,000 for the Chair in Sustainable Food Systems to oversee the creation, development, and management of an Eastern Shore Food Lab. The lab will study sustainable food systems and serve as a hub for innovation and knowledge sharing around food systems. The goal of the lab would be to position the Eastern Shore region as a place where sustainable food growers, fishers, food artisans, and farm-to-fork restaurants locate their business and help grow Maryland’s economy.

“Problem-solving and analytical skills are the heart of the liberal arts education. When our students bring those skills to bear on innovative opportunities like the Eastern Shore Food Lab, creative solutions to complex problems are the result,” said Washington College President Sheila Bair. “The funds from our generous donors and the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative will help Washington College propel new thinking and action toward creating more sustainable food systems on the Eastern Shore and well beyond.”

The Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative was created by the General Assembly during the 2014 legislative session and has provided $16.5 million in funding to leverage $18 million in private donations. The funding can be used to pay salaries of newly endowed department chairs, staff, and support personnel in designated scientific and technical fields of study; fund related research fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students; and purchase lab equipment and other basic infrastructure and equipment.

About Maryland Commerce

The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit commerce.maryland.gov.