UM is rais­ing med­i­cal re­search ante

Med school em­barks on am­bi­tious re­cruit­ment of world’s top sci­en­tists

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By An­drea K. McDaniels

The Univer­sity of Mary­land School of Medicine has em­barked on the most am­bi­tious re­cruit­ing drive of its 210-year his­tory — an ef­fort to hire top sci­en­tists with the goal of mak­ing its bio­med­i­cal re­search pro­grams the best in the coun­try.

The mis­sion, Dean E. Al­bert Reece said, is to at­tract by 2020 scores of re­searchers who will fo­cus on find­ing new cures and treat­ments with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on three key ar­eas — brain dis­or­ders, cancer, and car­dio­vas­cu­lar and meta­bolic dis­eases — which are among the lead­ing causes of death.

The med­i­cal school has hired a pro­fes­sional re­cruit­ing firm to help — some­thing it does for se­nior po­si­tions, but never on such a large scale. It has al­ready brought in four sci­en­tists from other in­sti­tu­tions, Reece said. An­other 12 are at var­i­ous stages of the re­cruit­ing process; some are to visit in Oc­to­ber, and oth­ers are near­ing de­ci­sions.

Ev­ery sci­en­tist who is hired will likely bring along a “mini team” of re­searchers who are al­ready in­volved in the work, Reece said.

“We are not just re­cruit­ing hap­haz­ardly,” Reece said. “We have iden­ti­fied sci­en­tific gaps and cre­ated a pro­file of who we will be look­ing for. It is a tar­geted re­cruit­ment of in­ves­ti­ga­tors of a high cal­iber.”

The new hires are to move into a 450,000-square-foot re­search lab sched­uled to open in Bal­ti­more next year. The school is us­ing the $300 mil­lion state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity on West Bal­ti­more Street as a key re­cruit­ing tool.

High-cal­iber staff can go a long way to­ward rais­ing the pres­tige of a med­i­cal re­search school, pro­fes­sion­als say. That, in turn, can help at­tract pa­tients, other med­i­cal staff and re­search dol­lars.

Such staff also in­crease the po­ten­tial for the school to be­come known for great med­i­cal dis­cov­er­ies.

“Pa­tients want to go to a place where UM ex­pands ties to Jerusalem univer­sity. NEWS PG 11

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