Kofinas, Muro Honored for Research

Clark School Dean Darryll Pines has announced the 2012 winners of the Clark School's Junior Faculty Outstanding Research Award and Senior Faculty Outstanding Research Award.

Senior Faculty Oustanding Research Award

Peter Kofinas, professor in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and associate dean for faculty affairs and graduate programs focuses on the synthesis, characterization and processing of novel polymer-based nanostructured systems that have a variety of uses across medicine, energy storage and microelectronics. Presently, he focuses on novel blood coagulation-inducing polymer hydrogels, sensors for the detection of chemical and biological threats, nanocomposites for flexible antennae and design of shape-conforming nanostructured polymeric battery energy storage systems.

After 15 years at the Clark School, Kofinas and his students have published 57 peer-reviewed publications, which have been cited 966 times, with a steep climb in citations over the past 5 years. He has filed nine patent applications, speaks extensively at other academic institutions and serves annually on review panels for several federal agencies.

Kofinas has earned more than $11 million in federal research grants. He is a CAREER Award winner and a two-time recipient of the UMD Outstanding Invention award. He is a Keystone Professor and received the Clark School’s Junior Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award in 1999.

Junior Faculty Outstanding Research Award

Associate Professor Associate Professor Silvia Muro, the only molecular and cell biologist in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, has established herself as an innovator in the field of targeted therapeutic and drug delivery, particularly for the treatment of rare lysosomal diseases such as Fabry, Pompe, and Niemann-Pick. Muro and her group members have won numerous grants and awards for their work, including a $1.72 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grant to develop new treatments for genetic diseases affecting lungs and brain; the Controlled Release Society's 2011 Outstanding Consumer and Diversified Products Paper Award for the design of safe, efficient and noninvasive strategies to transport drugs across the blood/brain barrier; and the 2010 University of Maryland Life Sciences Invention of the Year award and first place in the 2012 Professor Venture Fair for the development of a novel drug delivery strategy that uses targeted carriers capable of crossing the gastrointestinal epithelium via natural vesicular transport mechanisms. She has published close to 50 high quality manuscripts in top-tier journals. The members of her research group have also received numerous accolades, including best paper and best poster awards, graduate research awards, and articles featured on the covers of high-impact publications. Prior to joining the Clark School and the Institute for Bioscience & Biotechnology Research (IBBR), Muro's efforts to understand diseases such as propionic acidemia, a life-threatening metabolic disorder affecting newborns, led to the world’s first genetic pre-natal diagnosis and multiple awards from the European and Spanish Societies for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism.

Published December 14, 2012