Maryland Commerce Supports Research Professorships at Three Universities

College of Southern Maryland; Johns Hopkins University; and University of Maryland, College Park raise matching funds to promote research and technology

BALTIMORE, MD (August 2, 2017) – Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford today announced that the College of Southern Maryland (CSM); Johns Hopkins University; and the University of Maryland, College Park, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Commerce, have endowed a total of $8.6 million in three new research professorships. The endowments were made through the state’s 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 a total of $5 million in private funding for each chair and Maryland Commerce approved matching grants of $3.6 million to support the endowments. The announcement took place during Lt. Governor Rutherford’s visit to CSM’s Leonardtown campus today.

“Maryland boasts some of the top academic institutions in the world,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “We are proud to support the groundbreaking work these schools are doing, from drug discovery research to cybersecurity, to ensure both our local businesses and our residents are the first to benefit from these inspiring academic achievements.”

“The College of Southern Maryland, Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, College Park are significant economic drivers for the entire state of Maryland,” said Commerce Secretary Mike Gill said. “The research they conduct and the bright young minds they nurture fuel Maryland’s economy and keep our state on the cutting edge of technology and discovery. We are proud to partner with these institutions and look forward to seeing the fruits of the professorships for years to come.”

The College of Southern Maryland received $500,000 to support the Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute (EII) and the expertise required to expand CSM’s technology transfer curriculum; research and identify regional technology transfer opportunities; instill entrepreneurial skills among students, government scientists and businesses; and, expand the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and workforce.

“The College of Southern Maryland is honored to be among the three institutions in Maryland to be awarded this endowed matching fund,” said Dr. Maureen Murphy, president of the College of Southern Maryland. “These funds will allow the college to create a more sustainable and vibrant innovation ecosystem through public-private partnerships that support and impact the critical and innovative research being conducted at the Navy research labs in Southern Maryland.  The Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute will not only support technology transfer initiatives, but will also enhance the regional and state economic and workforce development expansion.”

Johns Hopkins University received $1 million for the Charles Glenn Grover Estate for Advanced Muscular Degeneration to further explore drug therapies for advanced muscular degeneration. This highly collaborative drug discovery focused program’s central component is a unique core facility providing powerful new screening technology that places living disease models at the start of the delivery process. It addresses a key bottleneck in modern drug development and could become the new standard for research and development initiatives in Maryland’s pharmaceutical industry.

“Once again, Johns Hopkins is tremendously grateful for the State of Maryland’s visionary MEI program,” said Denis Wirtz, vice provost for research at The Johns Hopkins University. “With inaugural chair Dr. Jeff Mumm, The Helen Larson and Charles Glenn Grover Endowed Fund for Basic Science Research into Macular Degeneration will expedite drug discovery, bringing the benefits of research to our community and beyond. Through Dr. Mumm’s cutting-edge research in developing in-vivo platforms, he is revolutionizing our ability to identify and translate new treatments for ophthalmological diseases.”

The University of Maryland, College Park received $2.1 million for the Capital One Chair in Machine Learning and Computer Science, which will support cybersecurity, machine learning, and data analytics research. Capital One has become a significant global investor in such work in an effort to keep sensitive customer information protected and secure. These technical fields represent a critical area for 21st century technology investment. This grant will elevate research, education, and entrepreneurship activities in the areas of machine learning and predictive analytics, allowing companies to use data to make better management and manufacturing decisions, and enable precisely tailored products and services.

“Developing a pipeline of graduates who meet the demands of our state and nation’s workforce is central to our land-grant mission,” said Mary Ann Rankin, UMD’s senior vice president and provost. “I am grateful for the investment that the state of Maryland and Capital One are making in our faculty and students to spur innovation in these areas of critical unmet need. Through these generous gifts, UMD will become a hub for research and innovation in machine learning and data science.”

The Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative was created by the General Assembly during the 2014 legislative session and has provided $20.1 million in funding to leverage $23 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


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