Office of the President
Campus Messages

Congratulations to the New MPower Professors

Message from President Darryll J. Pines, UMCP & President Bruce E. Jarrell, UMB

Dear UMD Community,

We are pleased to announce that six professors from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) have been named MPower Professors. Three professors from each university received this distinction form the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State (MPower), which recognizes, incentivizes, and fosters collaborations between our faculty.

Please join us in congratulation these innovative researchers and outstanding leaders who were carefully chosen from a strong and competitive pool of nominations spanning both universities. The six selected for this honor are working across disciplines to address the most complex challenges facing society today. These new MPower Professors are bridging research and scholarship between institutions to foster innovation that will impact people in Maryland, across the country, and around the world. Each professor will receive $150,000, allocated over three years, to apply to their salary or support supplemental research activities.

The 2023 MPower Professors:

Lisa Berlin, PhD

Lisa Berlin, PhD, MS, is the Alison L. Richman Professor for Children, Youth, and Families at the University of Maryland School of Social Work at UMB whose research focuses on early child-caregiver attachment as well as programs and policies to support early parenting and child development. Dr. Berlin directs Compañeros en la Salud de los Niños/Partners in Children’s Health, a five-year randomized trial testing a parent coaching program with low-income Latino families in East Baltimore. Dr. Berlin also is editor of the Society for Research in Child Development Social Policy Report, a journal dedicated to leveraging child and family research to support evidence-based policy development.

Wolfgang Losert, PhD

Wolfgang Losert, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Physics in UMCP’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. He is a member of the school’s Institute for Physical Science and Technology, holds an affiliate appointment in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, and has an adjunct appointment with the University of Maryland Medical System’s Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also is co-director of the National Cancer Institute-University of Maryland Partnership for Integrative Cancer Research. Dr. Losert’s research — supported by $2 million-plus a year in funding for the past seven years — is at the convergence of physics, biology, and artificial intelligence and focuses on the nonlinear dynamics of living systems.

Jessica Magidson, PhD

Jessica Magidson, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at UMCP and director of the Center for Substance Use, Addiction & Health Research in the school’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She also is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). Dr. Magidson is an internationally recognized expert on adapting peer-delivered behavioral interventions for substance use and health outcomes globally. Her prolific research and commitment to addressing two of the state’s and nation’s most pressing health issues — substance use and mental health — have made her a rising star in her field.

James Polli, PhD

James Polli, PhD, is a professor and the Ralph F. Shangraw/Noxell Endowed chair in Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy at UMB. He is co-director of the University of Maryland Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation and the Center for Research on Complex Generics, both funded by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Polli’s research is focused on oral drug absorption, specifically maximizing oral bioavailability through formulation and chemical approaches and developing public quality standards for oral dosage forms. He is a fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and has been an editor for its Pharmaceutical Research journal for 12 years.

Steven Prior, PhD, MA

Steven Prior, PhD, MA, is an associate professor and associate chair for research in the Department of Kinesiology at UMCP’s School of Public Health. He holds a joint appointment in the UMSOM Department of Medicine and at the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center at Baltimore Veteran Affairs Medical Center. His research is focused on conducting translational exercise intervention studies to determine mechanisms by which the risk for aging-associated vascular and functional impairments may be reduced in older adults. He has extensive experience in implementing exercise training interventions in older adults with cardiometabolic disorders, as well as studying molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole-body contributors to these disorders.

Osamah Saeedi, MD, MS

Osamah Saeedi, MD, MS, is a professor and vice chair in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the School of Medicine at UMB who also serves as chief of the department’s glaucoma service and director of clinical research. At UMCP, he is an adjunct associate professor in the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering. Dr. Saeedi is a National Institutes of Health-funded investigator whose research focuses on the development of novel methods of single-cell imaging in the eye. His innovative translational work connects the worlds of engineering and clinical care and aims to address the need for new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for blinding and neurodegenerative diseases.

We are extremely proud to recognize this talented group of MPower Professors, who truly embody MPowering the State's mission to foster innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration.


Darryll J. Pines, PhD, MSPresidentUniversity of Maryland, College Park

Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACSPresidentUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore