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University of Maryland SOD Establishes Endowed Professorship

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The University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) was recently awarded $750,000 by the Maryland Department of Commerce E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF), which in combination with matching funds from private philanthropy, will establish The Dr. Paul & Mrs. Jean Corcoran Endowed Professorship.

Dr. Robert Ernst
Courtesy of UMSOD

The professorship will support the work of Robert K. Ernst, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair of UMSOD’s Department of Microbial Pathogenesis. Dr. Ernst’s work focuses on the interplay between a bacterial pathogen and the host defense mechanism and has led to the development of a diagnostic test to more rapidly identify bacteria- and fungi-caused infections. He is also co-founder of a company, Pataigin, aimed at developing a method to quickly identify disease-producing agents.

“Endowed professorships empower universities to recruit, retain and recognize outstanding faculty members, helping support and foster enduring academic excellence. Such professorships provide distinguished faculty with resources vital to building upon their successes, expanding their impact and enabling them to pursue innovative solutions for health care problems,” says Mark A. Reynolds, D.D.S., Ph.D., Dean and Professor of UMSOD.

“I am deeply appreciative of the role that the MEIF and the Maryland Department of Commerce has played in helping to create The Dr. Paul & Mrs. Jean Corcoran Endowed Professorship, which will support one of our outstanding faculty members whose pioneering research with novel diagnostics and therapies is translating into significant federal grant support, unique educational opportunities, and new start-up businesses within Maryland.”

The Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative was created by the General Assembly during the 2014 legislative session and has provided more than $49.3 million in funding to leverage more than $59.6 million in private donations. The funding can be used to pay salaries of newly endowed department chairs, staff and support personnel in designated scientific and technical fields of study; fund related research fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students; and purchase lab equipment and other basic infrastructure and materials.

Courtesy of Laura Lee, Senior Media Relations Specialist, University of Maryland Baltimore 

Published on November 11, 2020

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