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  • Group photo of recent GPILS PhD graduates

    Congratulations to our 2018 Graduates!

    Some of our recent graduates attending the 3rd annual GPILS Graduation Luncheon. Graduates pictured from left to right: Dr. Haiwen Chen, Dr. Stephanie Lehman, Dr. Danielle Abraham, Dr. Jimena Dancy, Dr. Megan Moorer, Dr. Paige Studlack, and Dr. Alex Meltzer

Graduate Program In Life Sciences (GPILS)

The Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS) offers cutting edge research training in basic, biomedical, clinical and population sciences. We offer seven Ph.D. granting graduate programs and four M.S. level programs.

Our graduate programs cover the entire range of biomedical research, from the basics of protein structure and molecular biology, through integrative systems physiology, virology and vaccine development up to behavior, cognition, population based genetics, and the impact of the environment on human health. Our programs place a special emphasis on the importance of translational research.

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4:00 PM | Health Science Facility II Auditorium Speaker: Olve Peersen, PhD from Colorado State University Topic: "RNA Virus Polymerase Structure and Replication Fidelity Control"
3:30 PM | HSFII Auditorium, 20 S Penn Street SPEAKER: Frances Northington, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine TOPIC: What are Biomarkers Teaching Us About Brain Injury in the Newborn?
10:00 AM | 685 W. Baltimore Street, MSTF Building, Room 316 this workshop is to help faculty in composing and clearly describing their underlying research question, hypothesis, and specific aims.
4:00 PM | Health Science Facility II Auditorium Speaker: Morgan Huse, PhD from Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center Topic: "Architectural Control of Cytotoxic Function"
4:00 PM | Health Science Facility II Auditorium Speaker: Liise-anne Pirofski, M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine Topic: “Rethinking Microbial Pathogenesis: Drilling Down on Damage�
4:00 PM | Health Science Facility II Auditorium Speaker: Kimberly Davis, PhD from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Topic: "Heterogeneity and Community Behavior in Pathogenic Bacterial Populations"
9:00 AM | 621 W. Lombard Street, SMC Campus Center, Room 351 This session focuses on how to write an interesting and informative title and abstract, including tips on writing style.
9:00 AM | 621 W. Lombard Street, SMC Campus Center, Room 351 This session focuses on making the best hiring decisions, beginning with tips on how to attract postdocs and techs to your lab, which can be challenging if you are an early stage investigator.
1:00 PM | 660 W. Redwood Street, Howard Hall, Room 224 This seminar will provide an overview of the range of SOM’s corporate funding projects and describe state programs that help pay for collaborations with Maryland companies.

Current News

June 21, 2018
Epidemiology and Human Genetics PhD Candidate, Basant Motawi, awarded Senesh Fellowship

June 15, 2018
Christian Kinney, Molecular Medicine PhD Candidate, pitches his drug platform, "Therapy X"

March 1, 2018
Our own Biochemistry and Molecular Biology student, Anicca Harriot, interviewed by ABC 7 WJLA DC, wants to walk on Mars

February 28, 2018
"Fuel the Kids," co-founded by Biochemistry and Molecular Biology student, Geraldine Ezeka, donates books to Baltimore schools

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Contact Us

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Graduate Program in Life Sciences
655 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

School of Medicine

January Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Recurs every Never until

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
BRB 10-033

Our research combines immunology and biomaterials to i) understand the interactions between synthetic materials and immune tissues, and ii) to design more selective therapeutic vaccines for cancer and autoimmunity. This presentation will highlight our most recent efforts toward these goals using materials science tools, primary cell culture, animal models, and samples from human patients. Recent studies confirm many biomaterials exhibit intrinsic physiochemical features that activate, suppress, or modulate immune pathways, even in the absence of other immune signals. I will discuss our work to characterize how these immunological interactions change as common polymeric vaccine carriers degrade in immune cells and in lymph nodes - tissues that coordinate immune response. Understanding how the immunological profile of biomaterials evolves during delivery could enable design of carriers that also help actively direct immune response. Toward this goal, I will highlight our lab's efforts to self-assemble immune signals into modular nanostructures. This approach allows programmable activation of the combination and relative levels of immune pathways triggered by these constructs. Controlling these pathways could improve the efficacy and efficiency of new immunotherapies. Last, I will discuss our work to understand how the local concentrations of drugs in lymph nodes impacts the development of immune cells expanding and differentiation in these sites. In particular, our data reveal that different types of T cell responses – effector, memory, regulatory – can be produced against the same antigen by locally altering metabolism in lymph nodes during T cell expansion. As translational examples, I will discuss our work to exploit this idea using immune-modulatory small molecules to enhance responses for cancer vaccination, or conversely, to combat autoimmunity by regulating T cell function. 

Organized by Dr. Xuefang Cao

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Alumni Highlights

Student Spotlight:

Meet Christian Kinney

In May, Molecular Medicine Ph.D. student, Christian Kinney, participated in The Grid Pitch where he presented his drug platform, "Therapy X."  "Therapy X" is a ground-breaking drug platform for the treatment of chronic illnesses that typically require multiple injections.  Find out more about "Therapy X" and Kinney's entrepreneurial experiences here on the UMB campus.

Dissertation Announcements

Kendra Seckinger
Program in Toxicology
Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm
Howard Hall, Room 450

Marniker Wijesinha
Program in Epidemiology & Human Genetics
Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm
Medical School Teaching Facility, Room 354


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