Archive for August, 2018

Students at orientation

School of Pharmacy Orientation Sets Expectations for New Students

To help prepare incoming students for the academic year, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy recently hosted new student orientation for members of its Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Class of 2022 as well as first-year graduate students in its PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) and PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) programs.

Activities for students in the PharmD program began Aug. 22, and introduced students to the School of Pharmacy while setting expectations for the next four years. Students in the PhD in PSC program had an opportunity to attend presentations that showcased the wide range of research conducted in the department, while those in the PhD in PHSR programs attended informative sessions that outlined expectations for coursework, teaching assistantships, and research rotations.

— Malissa Carroll

View this video to see highlights from this exciting time.

Malissa CarrollEducation, UMB News, University LifeAugust 31, 20180 comments
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Bruce Yu, PhD, of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

SOP’s Yu Awarded $600K Grant to Develop Biomanufacturing Analytical Technologies

Bruce Yu, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the National Institute for Innovation in Biopharmaceuticals Manufacturing (NIIMBL) to develop new analytical technologies for use in the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. The grant is among the first group of awards to be issued by NIIMBL – a national institute established in 2016 to advance leadership in pharmaceutical manufacturing across the United States.

“Being one of the first institutions to receive grant funding from NIIMBL truly cements our school’s reputation as a leader in scientific discovery and the development of safer and more effective drugs in the state of Maryland and beyond,” says Paul Shapiro, PhD, professor and chair of PSC. “Dr. Yu’s work in the development of non-destructive analytical technologies for the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals is breaking new ground in the field of drug manufacturing, and this new grant plays a key role in allowing him to continue this promising research. We are very excited about the new developments that will result from this project and how they will improve the production new drugs.”

While most medications are produced using traditional chemical manufacturing processes, biopharmaceuticals — which include vaccines, certain medications for cancer and autoimmune diseases, as well as emerging drugs for cell and gene therapies — are made with living cells and can be complex to manufacture on a large scale. Biopharmaceutical manufacturers rely on a wide range of process analytical technologies (PAT) — systems that take timely measurements of critical quality and performance attributes of raw and in-process materials and processes – to help ensure the quality of their drugs.

However, Yu notes that the technologies currently available are prone to a number of limitations. “Current technologies often require manufacturers to manipulate their samples through dilution, separation, labeling, or the use of special cuvettes (tubes). There is a clear need for new technologies that allow manufacturers to quickly assess the quality of their products without the need for additional manipulation of the sample,” he says.

Titled “Flow Water Proton NMR as Contact-Free Real-Time In-Line PAT for Continuous Biomanufacturing,” the project that Yu’s grant supports aims to leverage water proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, which relies on the water proton transverse relaxation rate to measure protein aggregation in a biopharmaceutical drug, to develop a PAT that can be used by biopharmaceutical manufacturers to help ensure the quality of the drugs that they manufacture without the need to manipulate the sample or remove it from the production line.

If Yu’s efforts are successful, this will be the first PAT of its kind available on the market, resulting in reduced costs and improved product quality for biopharmaceutical manufacturers.

“The goal of our research is to determine whether flow water NMR can serve as an in-line PAT for the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals,” says Yu. “There really are no other technologies similar to the one that we aim to develop available at this time. In fact, all existing in-line analytical technologies require physical contact between the process stream and the sensor. The success of our research could truly transform the field.”

Yu and his team plan to collaborate with researchers from ChromaTan Corporation, a biotechnology company based in Pennsylvania, to conduct their study, which began in early March and will conclude in August 2019.

— Malissa Carroll

Malissa CarrollPeople, Research, UMB NewsAugust 31, 20180 comments
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Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World

Upcoming Events Associated with ‘Outbreak’ Exhibit at HS/HSL

Join the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) for several events complementing the “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” exhibit, which marks the 100th anniversary of the devastating 1918 influenza pandemic and is on display in the library’s Frieda O. Weise Gallery through Oct. 14.

An opening reception, flu shot clinic and luncheon/lecture will be held in coming weeks.

Opening Reception

Thursday, Sept. 13, 10:30 a.m., Frieda O. Weise Gallery, HS/HSL

In conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution’s “Outbreak” exhibit, the HS/HSL has created a supplementary exhibit remembering the 1918 flu pandemic. Please join us for our exhibit grand opening reception in the Weise Gallery on the first floor. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served.

To RSVP: Go to this link.

Flu Shot Clinic

Thursday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., HS/HSL

Help protect yourself, family, friends, and colleagues at this clinic provided by Walgreens in collaboration by the HS/HSL and the School of Pharmacy. Flu shots will be available to UMB campus employees and students in the first-floor tower of the Library (entrance to the left of the guard’s desk as you enter the library). Flu clinic provided by Walgreens in collaboration with the School of Pharmacy and the HS/HSL.

To RSVP: Go to this link. Also remember to bring your insurance information and ID.

Luncheon/Lecture with Dr. Philip A. Mackowiak

Friday, Oct. 5, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Gladhill Board Room, HS/HSL

A light lunch will be served and Philip A. Mackowiak, MD ’70, MBA, emeritus professor of medicine and the Carolyn Frenkil and Selvin Passen History of Medicine Scholar-in-Residence, will present “The ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918, What’s Past is Prologue.”

To RSVP: Send an email to

Everly BrownClinical Care, Education, People, Research, University LifeAugust 31, 20180 comments
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Cersi-University of Maryland logo

M-CERSI, FDA to Host Workshop on Predictive Immunogenicity

“Predictive Immunogenicity for Better Clinical Outcomes” is a collaborative workshop hosted by the University of Maryland Centers of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (M-CERSI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that will be held Oct. 3-4, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, at the FDA’s White Oak campus in Silver Spring, Md. (10903 New Hampshire Ave., Building 31-The Great Room).

Protein therapeutics have continued to gain an increasing share of the pharmaceutical market and provide medical interventions for some of the most complex and intractable diseases. Immunogenicity, the propensity of a therapeutic protein to induce immune responses, principally by development of antibodies, may affect safety and/or efficacy and is thus an important concern in the development and regulation of protein therapeutics. Patients, regulators and the biopharmaceutical industry are affected by immunogenicity. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have released guidance documents for industry focusing on immunogenicity.

This timely public workshop will present advances in the development of technological tools for predictions of immunogenicity and discussions on how to engage relevant stakeholders in application of these tools during drug development.

For more information, visit this webpage.

Erin MerinoEducation, ResearchAugust 31, 20180 comments
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Peter Lamy Center of Drug Therapy and Aging

Peter Lamy Center to Celebrate 40th Anniversary on Sept. 28

Please join faculty and staff from the Peter T. Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging for its 40th anniversary celebration on Friday, Sept. 28, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Pharmacy Hall (20 N. Pine St.) as we share memories of the past, reflect on current accomplishments, and discuss the strategic goals for the future.

There are many exciting changes and initiatives taking place to improve medication safety in older adults, so come and join the celebration. Visit this webpage for more information and to register.

Here is a schedule of events.

  • 12:30-1 p.m.: Registration and light refreshments
  • 1-1:15 p.m.: Overview and opening remarks
  • 1:15-2 p.m.: Panel: Remembering the Legacy of the Lamy Center
  • 2:15-3:15 p.m.: Panel: Present Work and Future Initiatives of the Lamy Center
  • 3:15-3:30 p.m.: Closing remarks and reception to immediately follow
Erin MerinoPeople, University LifeAugust 31, 20180 comments
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Men's hand holding modern mobile phone with customer service survey form on a screen. Red tick on excellent choice showing customer satisfaction.

Improved UMB Mobile App Launches

Just in time for the fall semester, the Office of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA) has launched improvements to UMB’s mobile app.

The app, created in 2013 to “put UMB in your pocket,” has evolved over time. But Amir Chamsaz, ScD, MS, managing director of web development and interactive media in CPA, says this upgrade is the best one yet. In addition to a redesign that increases user engagement and retention, the app offers a wide range of improvements.

  • Interactive experience: Latest news, social media stories, and more display on the landing page and users can flip through them without having to open the modules
  • Ease of use: Most used functionality is moved to the top to help users access what they need faster
  • Accessibility: Using large tile icons, sufficient color contrast, and other measures to help impaired users, the app meets ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility requirements
  • Incorporates URecFit live and Blackboard that are popular destinations for users

“By studying quantitative data from Google Analytics as well as conversations with users, we put together a group of suggestions that are addressed in the redesigned UMB mobile app,” says Chamsaz, who adds the app is available by free download from the Apple App Store or Google Play. “In addition to being more functional, it is user-centered, beautiful, and easy to use.”

Learn more about the app at this CPA web page, and you can read more about it next month in the September issue of Dr. Perman’s President’s Message.

Chris ZangBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAAugust 29, 20180 comments
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Graphic of two people talking to each other at a desk

Women in Bio Baltimore Meet-Up: ‘An Insider’s View of the Interview’

The first Women in Bio Baltimore Meet-Up for 2018-2019 will be held Sept. 26 featuring a three-person panel discussing the topic “An Insider’s View of the Interview.”

Here are the details:

  • What: Women in Bio Baltimore Meet-Up
  • When: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Where: UM BioPark Auditorium, 801 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201
  • Registration: All are welcome, but you need to reserve a spot on this web page.


  • Matt Lasecki, SPHR, associate vice president, Human Resource Services, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Ruby Hofmann, senior vice president of human resources and organizational development, Paragon Bioservices
  • Francesca Santini, scientific recruiter lead, Life Sciences, Aerotek
lcortinaClinical CareAugust 29, 20180 comments
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Pen and calendar

UMB Garages: Labor Day Holiday Notice

Here is the schedule for UMB garages for the Labor Day holiday weekend:

  • Grand, Plaza, Pratt, and Lexington: Open normal business hours
  • Pearl, Penn, and Saratoga: Closed Monday, Sept. 3 (hospital parkers should use Pratt Garage)
  • BioPark: Closed Monday, Sept. 3 (access card holders can still enter)
  • Lexington Market: Closed Monday, Sept. 3 (UMB parkers will need to use a campus garage using your UMB One Card)
  • Admin Lot: Closed Monday, Sept. 3
  • Parking Office at Pearl Garage: Closed Monday, Sept. 3
  • Parking Cashier’s Office at SMC Campus Center: Closed Monday, Sept. 3
Angela HallUMB News, University Life, USGAAugust 29, 20180 comments
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Parent Conference graphic

School of Social Work Hosting ‘Stronger Parenting’ Conference

The University of Maryland School of Social Work will host the Strengthening Society through Stronger Parenting Conference on Friday, Sept. 28, at the SMC Campus Center. The conference will include four main presentations about evidence-based parenting interventions that are being provided in the context of public health services such as pediatrics and substance abuse treatment. Several local initiatives will also be presented. Participants will become familiar with nine novel service models and their effects on parenting and early child development.

  • When: Friday, Sept. 28
  • Time:  8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: SMC Campus Center, 621 W. Lombard St., Baltimore, MD 21201
  • Registration: Please go to this link.
  • Note: Continuing Education Credits are available.

Presentations include:

  • Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up Program: Mary Dozier, PhD
  • Chicago Parent Program: Deborah Gross, DNSc, RN, FAAN
  • Family Check-Up Program: Daniel Shaw, PhD
  • Mothers and Toddlers Program: Nancy Suchman, PhD, MS
Matt ConnUniversity LifeAugust 29, 20180 comments
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Cars in a parking lot

With School Back in Session, Allow Extra Time for Commuting, Parking

This week has brought  an influx of students and staff returning to the UMB campus as the fall semester begins. After the Labor Day holiday, with students returning to school throughout the city of Baltimore and Baltimore County, arriving on campus and finding available parking in your designated facility could  become a little more time-consuming. Those with arrival times after 9 a.m. might be redirected to an alternate facility and should allow an extra 15 minutes of commute time to avoid delays.

Commuting students are encouraged to park on campus (Lexington Street Garage) or utilize other parking options such as the Lexington Market Garage. Contact the Parking Office at 410-706-5518 for information regarding these off-campus options.

The UM shuttle also is recommended as a form of alternative transportation for students and staff living along a shuttle route.

On behalf of UMB, the Parking and Transportation Services staff would like to wish everyone a happy and successful school year.

Angela HallUMB News, University Life, USGAAugust 29, 20180 comments
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Students sitting in front of United States Pharmacopeia

USP: Setting the Standards for a Meaningful Internship

Editor’s Note: This post is the third in a series of Summer Reflections authored by students at the School of Pharmacy who participated in study abroad experiences during their summer breaks. This post is co-authored by second-year student pharmacist Michelle Nguyen and third-year student pharmacist Khang Nong.

Before this summer, neither of us knew much about the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Many questions spiraled through our minds as we stepped into what would later prove to be eye-opening internships at an incredibly impactful institution. Headquartered in Rockville, Md., the USP, we learned, is a nonprofit, standards-setting organization that promotes global public health to ensure the quality and safety of food and medicine. Though other countries have their own pharmacopeias, many refer to the USP as the pillar of standards. As student pharmacists, we had an amazing opportunity to intern in the pharmacists’ hub of the USP — the Healthcare Quality and Safety (HQS) Division.

An Exploration of Non-Traditional Pharmacy Careers

As told by Michelle Nguyen:

Interning with the USP was one of the most valuable experiences that I’ve had in my early career: challenging, yet eye-opening. I discovered a whole new side of pharmacy that extends beyond the dispensing counter, working for an institution that’s continually developing innovative solutions to the world’s public health issues. As a first-year student applying to summer internships, I wanted to explore new and diverse pharmacy experiences, especially those in the non-traditional sector. Living in Montgomery County, I’ve driven past the USP countless times and joked that I would someday work there. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon its internship program and found myself as an intern in the HQS Division this summer.

What surprised me the most during my time at the USP was how interns were immediately immersed in the HQS Division. Everyone was so friendly and accessible, willing to help acclimate this young and naive pharmacy student to her new environment. The culture at the USP is very mission-driven, with hardworking professionals who have a true passion for promoting public health. Beginning on the first day of my internship, I dove into the Allergies and Intolerances Non-Compendial Standard. I worked to develop a comprehensive, standardized value set for documenting and encoding adverse events in an allergy module of an electronic health record to ultimately establish any potential drug cross-reactivity. During my time at the USP, I had numerous opportunities to work on novel and acute assignments, such as the General Chapter <17> Prescription Container Labeling Report Card, allowing me to fully soak in the culture at the USP. It was eye-opening to see all of the simultaneous projects that the HQS Division worked on, from parenteral nutrition and compounding to opioids and allergies.

Outside of my main project, I found myself immersed in a number of meetings with corporate chain pharmacies, national pharmacy organizations, and even U.S. senators and health care professionals from other countries. It was incredible to see pharmacy from this new angle and discover the global impact of USP standards. As an intern, I had the chance to network with other pharmacy interns at organizations such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), allowing me to establish valuable professional relationships. I’ve always heard that there was a wide range of opportunities in the pharmacy realm, but interning at the USP really opened my eyes to all that this field has to offer. 

An Opportunity to Grow a Strong Professional Network

As told by Khang Nong:

I first learned about the opportunity to intern with the USP when I met another student at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s (AMCP) Annual Conference in 2017 who was preparing to start her internship at the organization. I expressed an interest, and earlier this year she followed up to let me know that she had recommended me to her preceptor.

Fast forward to now, and I have just finished my internship with the HQS Division, working with the Strategic Marketing and Program Operations Division. My specific projects included identifying key stakeholders to whom new standards and general chapters would be targeted, collaborating with companies and businesses to discover market compatibility, and conducting health economics research to analyze the cost-benefit of implementing these new standards. As an intern, I also was given the opportunity to attend career development/professionalism workshops and expert committee meetings where new standards were being developed. I also participated in site visits where we were engaged in networking events with pharmaceutical associations, such as AMCP and the Pharmacy Quality Alliance.

My biggest takeaway from this experience was how important it is to meet everyone, practice networking, and develop meaningful professional relationships. There are so many personal connections to be made from internships like this, where students can meet professionals from all different backgrounds and disciplines — from clinical pharmacists to former chief science officers of major pharmaceutical companies. It is important to leverage these opportunities to promote ourselves and stay connected with those in the field. If I had not networked at the conference where I met the previous intern, I probably would not have had the opportunity to complete this internship. It was an amazing opportunity that I would recommend to anyone in any health care discipline. Whether you are interested in providing clinical care at a hospital or working in the business side of the pharmaceutical industry, there is so much to be learned and gained from interning with the USP.

(Note: Photo courtesy of Michelle Nguyen)

SOP Communications and MarketingEducation, PeopleAugust 27, 20180 comments
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Open book and green pencil

Free Fall Workshops at HS/HSL

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) offers a variety of free workshops to faculty, students, and staff.

Topics for Fall 2018 include:

  • Communicating with patients
  • Which citation manager is right for me?
  • Managing citations using EndNote/Zotero/Mendeley
  • Graphic design principles in PowerPoint presentations
  • Health information resources for culturally diverse patients
  • Imaging informatics

See the full schedule and registration information.

Emily GormanBulletin Board, Education, Research, TechnologyAugust 27, 20180 comments
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