Baltimore, MD, United States
Baltimore, MD, United States

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is an American public research university, located in Baltimore County, Maryland, United States, mostly in the community of Catonsville, approximately 10 minutes from downtown Baltimore City and 30 minutes from Washington, D.C. With a fall 2014 enrollment of about 14,000 students, over 50 undergraduate majors, over 60 graduate programs, and the first university research park in Maryland, UMBC has been named the #1 up-and-coming university for six years in a row, since 2009, by US News & World Report. In addition, US News & World Report has placed UMBC in the top ten for best undergraduate teaching six years in a row, being placed at #5, the second highest-ranked public university.Established as a part of the University System of Maryland in 1966, the university specializes in the natural science and engineering, while also offering programs in the liberal arts. Athletically, the UMBC Retrievers have 19 NCAA Division I teams that participate in the America East Conference. Wikipedia.

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Zandberg D.P.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
CA: a cancer journal for clinicians | Year: 2013

Human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases worldwide, has an established role in the pathogenesis of genital malignancies such as cervical cancer. The virus has also been implicated in the oncogenesis of nongenital cancers including head and neck malignancies (specifically oropharyngeal cancers) as well as anal cancer. There is less clarity regarding its role in lung and esophageal cancers. Worldwide, the incidence and prevalence of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer has been increasing over time. These patients have improved outcomes compared with those with HPV-negative oropharyngeal cancers, and there is continued interest in designing treatments specifically for this HPV-positive subgroup. Clinicians continue to gain an understanding of HPV in anal cancers and the risk factors associated with infection and progression to malignancy. This has potential implications for the eventual screening of high-risk groups. While HPV vaccination is currently approved for the prevention of cervical cancer, it also has potential in the prevention of all HPV-associated malignancies. In this review, current understanding of the role of HPV in nongenital cancers is discussed, as well as future implications for treatment and prevention. Copyright © 2012 American Cancer Society, Inc.

O'Donnell P.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2011

Schizophrenia and related mental disorders are common and devastating conditions for which we have a limited understanding of their origin and mechanisms. Although this apparent lack of progress despite vast research efforts could be due to difficulties in reproducing the disease in animals, animal work is now providing important insight onto possible pathophysiological changes in the brain. Postmortem studies of human brains have provided data indicating altered local inhibitory circuits in the cerebral cortex in schizophrenia and different developmental, pharmacological, and genetic animal models converge in revealing deficits in cortical interneuron function that can be associated with neurophysiological and behavioral alterations resembling aspects of the disease. Schizophrenia pathophysiology has a complex developmental trajectory because overt symptoms become evident during late adolescence despite earlier events contributing to the disease. The late incidence of schizophrenia can be explained by the protracted maturation of brain circuits implicated in the disease, particularly during adolescence. Excitatory and inhibitory processes in cortical circuits are tightly modulated by dopamine (DA), and many aspects of DA function in cortical regions acquire their adult profile during adolescence. This maturation fails to occur or is abnormal in several different rodent models of schizophrenia, yielding a number of functional and behavioral deficits relevant to the disease. Thus, periadolescent changes in cortical inhibitory circuits are a critical developmental stage likely implicated in the transition to schizophrenia. These observations provide the foundation for novel research-based therapeutic approaches and perhaps will even lead to ways to prevent the progression of the disease in predisposed subjects. © The Author 2009.

Liggett S.B.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Science Signaling | Year: 2011

A unifying mechanism by which G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) signal in cell type-dependent and G protein-independent ways has developed over the past decade. GPCR kinases (GRKs) are mediators of homologous desensitization: GRK phosphorylation of the receptors leads to the subsequent binding of β-arrestins, which partially quenches receptor coupling to G proteins. For some receptors, this GRK-mediated phosphorylation stimulates additional signaling through the scaffolding action of β-arrestin. These downstream signals are configured by β-arrestin conformation, which is dictated by the GRK phosphoacceptors on the receptors in a barcode-like fashion. Furthermore, each of the GRKs can potentially phosphorylate different serine and threonine residues on a given receptor, and the phosphorylation pattern can be biased by the receptor conformation established by bound ligand. Finally, the arrangement of potential GRK phosphorylation sites - and thus the conformation of β-arrestin and its effect on downstream signaling - can differ substantially between even closely related GPCRs stimulated by the same agonist. The diversity of the barcoding to flexible β-arrestin explains the multidimensional nature of signaling in the superfamily and represents new opportunities for drug discovery.

Fasano A.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Physiological Reviews | Year: 2011

The primary functions of the gastrointestinal tract have traditionally been perceived to be limited to the digestion and absorption of nutrients and to electrolytes and water homeostasis. A more attentive analysis of the anatomic and functional arrangement of the gastrointestinal tract, however, suggests that another extremely important function of this organ is its ability to regulate the trafficking of macromolecules between the environment and the host through a barrier mechanism. Together with the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and the neuroendocrine network, the intestinal epithelial barrier, with its intercellular tight junctions, controls the equilibrium between tolerance and immunity to non-self antigens. Zonulin is the only physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders can occur. This new paradigm subverts traditional theories underlying the development of these diseases and suggests that these processes can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by reestablishing the zonulin-dependent intestinal barrier function. This review is timely given the increased interest in the role of a "leaky gut" in the pathogenesis of several pathological conditions targeting both the intestine and extraintestinal organs. Copyright © 2011 the American Physiological Society.

Dunning Hotopp J.C.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2011

Horizontal gene transfer is increasingly described between bacteria and animals. Such transfers that are vertically inherited have the potential to influence the evolution of animals. One classic example is the transfer of DNA from mitochondria and chloroplasts to the nucleus after the acquisition of these organelles by eukaryotes. Even today, many of the described instances of bacteria-to-animal transfer occur as part of intimate relationships such as those of endosymbionts and their invertebrate hosts, particularly insects and nematodes, while numerous transfers are also found in asexual animals. Both of these observations are consistent with modern evolutionary theory, in particular the serial endosymbiotic theory and Muller's ratchet. Although it is tempting to suggest that these particular lifestyles promote horizontal gene transfer, it is difficult to ascertain given the nonrandom sampling of animal genome sequencing projects and the lack of a systematic analysis of animal genomes for such transfers. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Belas R.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Trends in Microbiology | Year: 2014

Formation of a bacterial biofilm is a developmental process that begins when a cell attaches to a surface, but how does a bacterial cell know it is on or near a surface in the first place? The phase of this 'swim-or-stick' switch is determined by a sensory transduction mechanism referred to as surface sensing, which involves the rotating bacterial flagellum. This review explores six bacterial species as models of flagellar mechanosensing of surfaces to understand the current state of our knowledge and the challenges that lie ahead. A common link between these bacteria is a requirement for the proper function of the flagellar motor stators that channel ions into the cell to drive flagellar rotation. Conditions that affect ion flow act as a signal that, ultimately, controls the master transcriptional regulatory circuits controlling the flagellar hierarchy and biofilm formation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Florian Fricke W.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Rasko D.A.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2014

The potential of bacterial whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to complement existing diagnostic infrastructures in clinical microbiology has been shown in proof-of-principle examples and extensively discussed. However, less attention has been drawn to bioinformatic challenges that are associated with the clinical adoption of WGS-based molecular diagnostics. This Perspective article discusses questions that are related to standard operating procedures, computational resource management, and data storage and integration in the context of recent developments in the sequencing and bioinformatics service markets. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Takacs L.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

This paper reviews the history of mechanochemistry. It begins with prehistoric times, when reactions could be initiated during grinding and rubbing accidentally, and follows the main developments until recent results and current trends. There are very few records on mechanochemistry until the first systematic investigations by Spring and Lea at the end of the 19th century. For the next decades, mechanochemistry developed slowly; minerals, inorganic compounds, and polymers were the main subjects of investigation. The area became more organized in the 1960s, when several large groups were established and the first dedicated conferences were held. Mechanical alloying was invented in 1966 independently and it became a subject of intense research. Interaction between the two topics was established in the 1990s. In recent years, the mechanochemical synthesis of organic compounds was added to the main subjects and the invention of the atomic force microscope provided new ways to manipulate atoms and molecules by direct mechanical action. The theoretical explanation of mechanochemical phenomena is difficult, as the mechanism is system specific and several length and time scales are involved. Thiessen proposed the first theory, the magma-plasma model, in 1967, and deeper insight is being obtained by computer modelling combined with empirical work. Practical applications have been an important motivation throughout the history of mechanochemistry. It is used alone or in combination with other steps in an increasing number of technologies. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCED TECH EDUCATION PROG | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2016

This project will establish and evaluate a program to support community college transfer students in their quest for a 4-year STEM (computing and engineering) degree. Determining how to reduce the loss of STEM community college students from 4-year programs attacks a significant problem in producing a STEM workforce. The project will also create and evaluate a more formal structure for collaboration between a 4-year institution and six community colleges. The project will accomplish its goals with an experienced interdisciplinary research team complemented by two consultants who are experts on diverse community college transfer students, especially women in STEM.

The project will generate empirical evidence about the impact of innovative models of transfer success coaching and a first year seminar on the transition as well as academic success and retention of transfer students majoring in computing and engineering from community colleges to research universities. It will also generate new knowledge about the use of inter-institutional collaboration structures and their impact on two and four-year institutions efforts to improve the experiences and success of transfer students in computing and engineering majors.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ALLIANCES-MINORITY PARTICIPAT. | Award Amount: 1.96M | Year: 2016

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program assists universities and colleges in their efforts to significantly increase the numbers of students matriculating into and successfully completing high quality degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in order to diversify the STEM workforce. Particular emphasis is placed on transforming undergraduate STEM education through innovative, evidence-based recruitment and retention strategies, and relevant educational experiences in support of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders. These strategies facilitate the production of well-prepared students highly-qualified and motivated to pursue graduate education or careers in STEM.

The need for cultivating STEM talent has been well established. For the United States (U.S.) to remain globally competitive, it is vital that it taps into the talent of all its citizens and provides exceptional educational preparedness in STEM areas that underpin the knowledge-based economy. American students from diverse ethnic groups are underrepresented in STEM fields, and represent an untapped resource for the STEM workforce in the U.S. The University System of Maryland (USM) LSAMP, which began in 1995, will use STEM training as a conduit for mutual benefit of U.S. citizens: a program that at a basic level makes tomorrow better than today for as many students as possible, and a program that facilitates the conscious development of large numbers of underrepresented students with STEM skills who will contribute to Americas innovation and competitiveness. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), lead institution of the USM LSAMP, in partnership with long-time alliance members the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), seeks to expand the alliance by adding new Associate Members from Towson University and Frostburg University, and Community College Collaborators from the STEM tracks of Prince Georges Community College, Anne Arundel Community College, and the Community College of Baltimore County. The USM LSAMP will continue to build foundations for cultivating and mentoring the next generation of leaders through four pillars of STEM: (1) STEM Identity, (2) Sense of Community, (3) Strength-based Approaches, and (4) Institutional Culture Shift. The four pillars will be operationalized via four programmatic focus areas that are (1) Participation, (2) Performance, (3) Preparation, and (4) Presentation. Participation consists of a book-ended support structure. On the front end, bridge programming will be utilized for both incoming freshmen and community college transfer students. On the back end, preparation for graduate school will be integrated into the undergraduate experience to pave the way for STEM graduate degrees. Performance will focus on bolstering students math performance. In addition to tutorial support throughout the year, USM LSAMP students will also have the opportunity to participate in the USM Winter Mathematics Institute. Preparation will emphasize undergraduate research as a pathway to the Ph.D. USM LSAMP students will have opportunities to conduct research during the academic year on each of the USM LSAMP campuses. The alliance will use presentation as a means to foster both professional and leadership development. Participants will have opportunities to present their research domestically and internationally. The leadership of USM LSAMP who are STEM professionals endeavor to change lives, families, and society by helping the next generation of STEM leaders pursue the path of STEM excellence.

The knowledge-generating research study, entitled ?Invoking STEM Identity through Purpose-Driven Research Preparation and Sense of Community?, will test a theory-driven model that positions racial/ethnic climate, science self-efficacy, sense of belonging, academic/social integration, and science identity as mediators to explain pathways to persistence and success in STEM. The model will be examined using both quantitative and qualitative data for the USM LSAMP program as a whole as well as for each program component. Whether the pathways differ by ethnicity, gender, and transfer status will also be explored.

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