2 uni­ver­si­ties in Md. join to form sports medicine hub

UM Bal­ti­more, Col­lege Park to use Cole Field House

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Tim Pru­dente

Cole Field House, the sto­ried bas­ket­ball arena at the Univer­sity of Mary­land, hosted hun­dreds of games dur­ing its half-cen­tury as home to Ter­rap­ins hoops.

Now it will house a state-of-the-art cen­ter ded­i­cated to cut­ting-edge re­search into con­cus­sions and other sports in­juries.

Of­fi­cials from the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Col­lege Park and the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more un­veiled plans Wed­nes­day for the new Cen­ter for Sports Medicine, Health and Hu­man Per­for­mance. The cen­ter will com­bine re­search into trau­matic brain in­jury and other mal­adies with treat­ment of stu­dent athletes and the pub­lic.

With re­searchers ex­plor­ing neu­ro­science, biome­chan­ics and ge­nomics, of­fi­cials say, Cole Field House will be­come a na­tional hub for the study and treat­ment of sports in­juries.

“Bring­ing the re­search sci­en­tists and the

“The fact that we’re go­ing to be housed in the same build­ing gives th­ese clin­i­cians and sci­en­tists ac­cess to the athletes and the athletes ac­cess to the clin­i­cians.”

clin­i­cal sci­en­tists to­gether un­der one roof is re­ally good news for the pa­tients,” said Col­lege Park bi­ol­ogy Pro­fes­sor El­iz­a­beth Quin­lan, co-di­rec­tor of the cen­ter. “The new find­ings that are com­ing out of the re­search can be trans­lated very quickly to the pa­tient.”

Quin­lan said the cen­ter will serve fam­i­lies from Prince Ge­orge’s County and beyond.

“If you live within a cer­tain ra­dius,” she said, “your pri­mary care physi­cian might send you down to Cole be­cause we have the best or­tho­pe­dic clinic and the best neu­roimag­ing.”

It’s the lat­est in a trend of cen­ters that bring to­gether re­searchers who study in­juries with physi­cians who treat them, said Dr. Robert Cantu, pro­fes­sor of neu­ro­surgery at Boston Univer­sity School of Medicine.

Cantu has ad­vised the Na­tional Foot­ball League on brain in­juries.

“You’re re­ally in a very unique sit­u­a­tion where you’re not only pro­vid­ing state-ofthe-art care, but you’re ac­tu­ally see­ing if it’s mak­ing a dif­fer­ence,” he said. “That’s why th­ese mar­riages be­tween the clin­i­cal end of things and the re­search univer­sity can be so per­fect.”

The cen­ter will be part of the $155 mil­lion trans­for­ma­tion of Cole Field House into a foot­ball and aca­demic com­plex. Un­der Ar­mour founder and CEO Kevin Plank, a for­mer Mary­land foot­ball player, has pledged $25 mil­lion to the project. Other fund­ing is com­ing from do­na­tions, the univer­sity and the state.

Of­fi­cials have say the first phase of the com­plex, an in­door prac­tice fa­cil­ity, will open in late spring.

The sports medicine cen­ter could open in 2018.

The state has pledged an ini­tial $3 mil­lion in re­search fund­ing. Re­searchers are plan­ning to study ways in which trau­matic brain in­juries af­fect the body far from the head. A skull frac­ture can cause shifts in the pop­u­la­tions of micro­organ­isms in the gut, for ex­am­ple. And some­one who suf­fers a con­cus­sion be­tween the ages 35 and 40 has an el­e­vated chance of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing symp­toms such as emo­tional changes three months after the in­jury.

“We want to fo­cus on those pop­u­la­tions and un­der­stand the ag­ing brain — not aged, but ag­ing,” said Univer­sity of Mary­land med­i­cal school trauma Pro­fes­sor Dr. Alan Faden, co-di­rec­tor of the cen­ter.

Quin­lan said stu­dent athletes and re­searchers both will ben­e­fit from the work.

“The fact that we’re go­ing to be housed in the same build­ing gives th­ese clin­i­cians and sci­en­tists ac­cess to the athletes and the athletes ac­cess to the clin­i­cians,” she said. “The athletes are go­ing to be at the cut­ting edge of ther­a­pies.”

More than 2.5 mil­lion emer­gency room vis­its, hos­pi­tal­iza­tions and deaths each year are as­so­ci­ated with trau­matic brain in­jury, of­fi­cials said.

“Bring­ing to­gether clin­i­cians and scien- tists from the state’s two big­gest pub­lic re­search uni­ver­si­ties un­der one roof cre­ates con­nec­tions that will con­trib­ute to break­throughs in hu­man health,” said Wal­lace Loh, pres­i­dent of the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Col­lege Park.

Jay Per­man, pres­i­dent of the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more, said the $3 mil­lion in re­search fund­ing “will lead to mil­lion­dol­lar, mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary grants in crit­i­cal ar­eas of neu­ro­science and trau­matic brain in­jury.”

The cen­ter is the lat­est in a se­ries of joint projects be­tween the two uni­ver­si­ties. They an­nounced plans last month to es­tab­lish a na­tional se­cu­rity academy, in part to help lure new FBI head­quar­ters to Mary­land.

The Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more is home to pro­fes­sional schools for medicine, den­tistry, nurs­ing, phar­macy, law and so­cial work. Col­lege Park, the state’s flag­ship univer­sity, of­fers a broad range of un­der­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate pro­grams.

The two in­sti­tu­tions have shared re­sources through MPower, a col­lab­o­ra­tion agree­ment ap­proved in 2012. The Gen­eral Assembly passed leg­is­la­tion this year aimed at strength­en­ing their part­ner­ship.

Univer­sity of Mary­land, Col­lege Park bi­ol­ogy Pro­fes­sor El­iz­a­beth Quin­lan, co-di­rec­tor of the cen­ter

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