UM is raising medical research ante
Med school embarks on ambitious recruitment of world’s top scientists
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.
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