UMBC Professor Ram Hosmane is Maryland Chemist of the Year

UMBC chemistry professor Ramachandra “Ram” Hosmane was named the Maryland Chemist of the Year by the Maryland division of the American Chemical Society in a ceremony on Dec. 11 in Towson.


UMBC chemistry professor Ramachandra “Ram” Hosmane was named the Maryland Chemist of the Year by the Maryland division of the American Chemical Society in a ceremony on Dec. 11 in Towson.

Hosmane, a faculty member at UMBC for 20 years, was honored for his career contributions to biomedical research, including the development of anti-cancer and anti-viral drugs as well as for creation of a powdered, artificial blood mix for use in emergency transfusions.

Hosmane is the third UMBC chemist to be named Chemist of the Year since the Society began giving the award in 1962. “This award is well-deserved recognition for the outstanding contributions that Ram Hosmane has made to synthetic and medicinal chemistry.” said Ralph Pollack, UMBC chemistry department chair and professor.

“I was surprised and shocked to win this honor,” says Hosmane. “I thought had little chance of winning it considering the fact that the nominations come from all over Maryland, including academia, industry and government.”

Hosmane’s recent breakthroughs include development of bulkier and leaner forms of the natural building blocks of genetic material, nucleosides and nucleotides. The compounds have shown potential to fight against cancers including prostate, breast, lung, leukemia, colon, skin, kidney, brain and ovarian. The compounds also show promise against a dozen different viral infection including hepatitis B and C, West Nile and herpes.

Hosmane’s artificial blood invention may one day serve as a universal substitute for whole blood during emergency transfusions. The artificial blood requires no typing or cross-matching, is free of bacteria or viruses, and is storable as a dry powder for indefinite periods of time. It can be carried to the scene of accident and administered as a buffered salt solution in water without having to transport the patient to the nearest hospital.

Since joining the UMBC faculty in 1982, Hosmane has contributed well over a hundred original research articles in peer-reviewed, international scholarly journals and he is also the author of a half-dozen patents and disclosures. He has been continuously funded since 1984 by both federal agencies and industrial partnerships. In addition to his research endeavors, Hosmane has trained in his labs more than 75 scientists from all over the world, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scientists as well as visiting professors.

Two years ago, Hosmane won the “Outstanding Educator of the Year” award from the Maryland Association for Higher Education (MAHE). He was the UMBC Presidential Research Professor during 1998-2001, and has been the Provost’s Exceptional Sponsored Research Fellow ever since that program was initiated at UMBC.

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