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Maryland Department of Commerce grant will advance biohealth innovation at Loyola

| By Molly Robey
Maren Blohm, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology with student

The Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF), administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce has awarded $500,000 in funding to Loyola University Maryland to establish an endowed professorship in innovation that will help to expand scientific research in biohealth and promote economic and entrepreneurial success in the state of Maryland.

The funding will match $500,000 raised by Loyola to assist with initiatives that foster innovation and entrepreneurship at the University through 2021.

“We are always seeking opportunities to strengthen the education we offer to our students in the natural and applied sciences, and this grant will make it possible for our students to engage in innovative research and study related to the growing field of biohealth,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president. “This grant will put Loyola at the forefront of biohealth research and innovation across the state of Maryland—and will send a message to the broader community that Loyola is contributing to the body of research and scholarship far beyond our campus.”

The faculty member in the new endowed professorship in innovation will work in Loyola’s biology department and be responsible for growing undergraduate biomedical research, providing students with professional skills to work in bioscience industries, create new biotechnology research opportunities that extend undergraduate students’ exposure to scientific careers, and develop community partnerships with private and public health research organizations.

"Receiving this grant enhances the growing innovation ecosystem at Loyola, provides new context for nurturing entrepreneurial mindset of our students, fosters new research and teaching opportunities in biohealth, and boosts the status of the department of biology at Loyola within the state of Maryland’s biohealth and biotechnology network,” said Bahram Roughani, Ph.D., associate dean of natural and applied sciences and professor of physics.

The endowed professor will work with biohealth research firm, Avoneaux Medical Institute, and expand collaboration with Loyola’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship to initiate and complete scientific research at the University and within the community. 

“Maryland is striving to be the third largest biohealth cluster in the nation by 2023,” said David Rivers, Ph.D., professor of biology. “Our goal at Loyola is to become a major contributor as a university to ensure the success of the bioscience industries in Maryland.”
 

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