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Loyola adds endowed professor in innovation to advance scientific research in biohealth

Michael Tangrea, ’96, Ph.D., as an endowed professor in innovation

Loyola University Maryland has named Michael Tangrea, Ph.D., '96, as an endowed professor in innovation to expand research in biohealth and promote economic and entrepreneurial success in the state of Maryland. The endowed professorship, which is the first in Loyola’s department of Natural and Applied Sciences, is funded in part by the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF), which is administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce.

“I’m excited to be back at Loyola to share my experiences with the students,” said Tangrea. “My Loyola education was the foundation for my career.  I look forward to teaching new courses in biotechnology, continuing my research efforts, and having the opportunity to work with the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.”

Tangrea, who started at Loyola on Aug. 1, 2020, taught first-year students Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology during the Fall 2020 semester. 

“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. Through this endowed professorship and continuous research, we believe we are on the right path.”

During his time at Loyola, Tangrea will establish a translational research program involving Loyola students, develop courses alongside Bill Romani, Ph.D., entrepreneur in residence of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and teach Loyola’s Haig Scholars. In addition, Tangrea and Christopher Thompson, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, plan to launch the BioNavigators program to raise awareness in undergraduate students of biotechnology and biohealth career opportunities throughout the BioHealth Capital Region. Their intent is to strengthen the talent pipeline supporting the bioscience industries in Maryland.

Tangrea, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola in 1996 and went on to earn his doctoral degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Maryland, has been involved with biotechnology and cancer research for more than 20 years, spending the majority of that time at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. More recently, Tangrea launched the LifeBridge Health BioIncubator and served as the Senior Scientific Director at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. 

“Our students are well-served by Dr. Tangrea's research expertise and his mentorship,” said Bahram Roughani, Ph.D., associate dean for the natural and applied sciences. “With years of engagement in and commitment to Maryland's biotechnology community, Dr. Tangrea has the expertise and skills to help prepare Loyola students to become productive members of the Maryland's thriving biotechnology industry. Furthermore, Dr. Tangrea has considerable business acumen in context of biotechnology startups. He is a teacher and scholar who can foster the future expansion of the innovation ecosystem in our campus while nurturing the entrepreneurial mindset of our students.”