Research

UMBC researchers discover genes linked to medication response, laying foundation for precision medicine

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.”

UMBC’s Deepa Madan develops bendable zinc-based batteries

Rechargeable alkaline batteries are readily available at many stores and pharmacies, but they are rigid and cannot be used in slim or small devices that require batteries. Deepa Madan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and her research team are working to develop zinc-chitosan gel-based batteries that are enclosed in flexible plastic. This would revolutionize how consumers power devices they use every day.

Ten million reads: UMBC researchers hit milestone in sharing knowledge through The Conversation

Articles on The Conversation offer context to current events, explain natural phenomena, introduce new research in an accessible way, and more. “The Conversation helps us contribute to our public service mission as a public university,” says Vice President for Research Karl Steiner. “This milestone underscores the importance of academic researchers actively participating in the public discourse of complex issues.”

Four students gather around monitors, with a professor and student sitting in the background.

UMBC ascends to the nation’s highest level as a research university

UMBC has officially reached the nation’s highest level of research performance. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education today announced that UMBC has been placed into the category of doctoral universities with very high research activity, popularly known as Research 1 (or R1). “This is an amazing accomplishment by faculty, staff, and administrative leaders who have built a research culture that nurtures undergraduate and graduate students,” says President Freeman Hrabowski. “This milestone reflects our commitment to excellence across the disciplines, from the humanities to the sciences.”

UMBC’s Top 12 Stories of 2021

While we can’t wait to see what memories we will make in 2022, let’s first take a look back at the milestones, breakthroughs, and student stories that shaped our UMBC community in 2021.

UMBC research group tackles ongoing hurdles to efficient solar power tech

Two new papers from Can Ataca’s research group at UMBC set the stage for further advances in solar power and other renewable energy technologies. Graduate students Daniel Wines and Gracie Chaney led the projects. Ataca’s group’s work is theory- and computation-based, but these projects took advantage of collaboration with experimental researchers. As work in this field develops from theory to implementation in devices, “There’s a need for both kinds of research at every stage,” Wines says.

UMBC and Israeli Ministry of Agriculture establish aquaculture research partnership

The partnership will center on addressing challenges to the aquaculture industry that, once overcome, will make aquaculture more efficient and sustainable, and expand it to more seafood species. “There is an urgent need to promote agriculture in a sustainable way in the U.S.,” said Russell Hill, “and we hope to contribute as much as possible to that effort.”

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