Championing Research Partnerships

Program participants

Dr. Maddox (r) joins Dr. Jay Perman, president of the University of Maryland (l) Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (c)

On January 30, Dr. Yvonne T. Maddox, NIMHD acting director, presented to a standing-room-only audience at the Inaugural University of Maryland, Baltimore—University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMB-UMBC) Research and Innovation Partnership Symposium. Medical researchers, faculty and students from UMBC's Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program came together to launch this event, marking a new opportunity to develop meaningful and sustainable research collaborations between the two university partners.

A key element of the partnership is the Meyerhoff scholars, who represent a variety of future biomedical and behavioral researchers. Students who attended the lecture are studying in areas such as genomics, neuroscience, psychology, microbiology, nutrition, and others in the context of minority health and health disparities research. The Meyerhoff Scholarship program, which was founded at UMBC in 1988 by then future UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, who also spoke at the lecture, aims to increase underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines.

Dr. William LaCourse, dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at UMBC, introduced Dr. Maddox, stating, "It's most fitting to have Dr. Maddox kick off our new lecture series as she is the champion of research partnerships."

Program participants meeting

Dr. Maddox (seated at the head the table) meets with Meyerhoff scholars to discuss biomedical and behavioral research careers.

In her presentation, Dr. Maddox shared NIMHD's new science vision for health disparities research, highlighted NIH's new diversity workforce program Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce, and shared grant programs of interest to the audience. After the general session, she met with Meyerhoff scholars to learn about their career interests and share insights on how to navigate their careers in biomedical research.

"Meeting with the Meyerhoff scholars was invigorating for me," said Dr. Maddox. "This program is building leaders for advancing biomedical and behavioral research, and these students represent some of the brightest minds ready to join the research enterprise."

For more information about the UMBC Meyerhoff Scholars Program, visit