The six 2022 honorary degree recipients speaking at UMBC’s commencement ceremonies next week have a lot in common. They are each doing amazing things in their respective fields. And they also all happen to be UMBC alumni. “These honorary degree recipients are wonderful examples of the best of UMBC,” said Greg Simmons, M.P.P., ’04, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “They are brilliant individuals at the top of their fields, who care deeply about making the world a better place, each in their own way.”
A new study that tested thousands of fruit flies may eventually give doctors the ability to make better-informed decisions about which medications to prescribe for older adults. “Our genetics matters,” says Mariann Gabrawy. “Humans don’t all react the same to various prescription medications. So it’s really important to be able to look at an individual patient and figure out if some particular medication is going to work for them or not.”
Baltimore-based tech company Fearless and a team of UMBC alumni led the development of the the Searchable Museum to complement the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s “Slavery and Freedom” exhibition. The Fearless and NMAAHC teams worked together to reimagine this exhibit specifically for online audiences.
Kafui Dzirasa ‘01, M8, chemical engineering, recently earned two highly prestigious honors distinctive even among leaders in the medical and life sciences: an HHMI Investigator award and election to the National Academy of Medicine. His work examines the role of the brain’s electrical activity in psychiatric illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, and addiction, with the goal of creating mechanisms to disrupt these disorders.
UMBC and Georgia State University have received a $3 million five-year grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for research supporting the diagnosis of mood disorders. Tulay Adali, professor of computer science and electrical engineering and distinguished university professor, will lead UMBC’s portion of the research. She says, “We hope this will enable us to better define subtypes of mental disorders, and will help inform effective and personalized forms of therapy.”