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UMBC celebrates research partnership with local university

UMBC held the first in a series of research symposiums with UMB

A grant for research and development encourages cross campus collaboration between UMBC and UMB. The program has generated new advancements in medicine, technology and science.

In January 2013, UMBC and University of Maryland, Baltimore established a Research and Innovation Partnership Seed Grant Program to encourage faculty from both universities to collaborate. The program allows faculty from both institutions to work across the campuses to advance research in medicine, technology and science.

Over $150,000 is available as grant money. Faculty from both UMBC and UMB can use it purchase equipment, conduct surveys and fund new improvements related to research.

Many faculty are also opting to use the grant money to train and mentor students in their respective areas of research, providing a unique opportunity for students to collaborate across campuses.

On Jan. 30 the first Research and Innovation Partnership Symposium was held at the Albin O. Kuhn library. With UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and UMB President Jay Perman in attendance, the symposium celebrated the relationship between both universities.

During the event, recipients of the Research and Innovation Partnership Grant Program were also recognized for their innovative research and collaboration across campus boundaries.

Yvonne Maddox, acting director of the National Institute of Health on Minority Health and Health Disparities, was the keynote speaker during the symposium. Maddox emphasized the importance of the union, noting that UMBC and UMB are setting a precedent for the future.

Karl V. Steiner, vice president of research for UMBC said, “it serves as an important milestone for us to take stock of how far we have come with our relationship,” in reference to the affiliation with UMB. Steiner noted the symposium was a reminder of, “how much work and opportunities still [lie] ahead,” in fields of science and technological research.

The event also celebrated previous successful pairings that have benefitted from the grant money and the union occurring between the two institutions. Charles Biebrich, a UMBC Professor of Biological Sciences and Paul Shapiro, a UMB Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences were previous recipients of the grant award to fund their research.

Through collaboration, Biebrich and Shapiro combined their knowledge within their specialized fields to develop a new innovation in medical research.

Shapiro conducted research and developed a new drug designed to target cancer cells resistant to treatment, while Biebrich structured a plan to successfully test the effectiveness of the new drug.

As recipients of the Research and Innovation Partnership Grant Program, Biebrich stated, “We were able to show, using the support of our seed grant, that this actually does work.”

During the Research and Innovation Symposium, UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski captured the spirit of the event stating the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, you go together.”

This pact between UMBC and UMB is proof that cross-collaboration improves the quality of research, allowing both universities the opportunity to excel in innovation.