Investiture Program for Matthew B. Frieman, PhD

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<strong>Matthew</strong> <strong>Frieman</strong>, <strong>PhD</strong> is a Professor in the<br />

Department of Microbiology and Immunology<br />

at the University of Maryland School of<br />

Medicine. His research focuses on highly<br />

pathogenic coronaviruses including the Severe<br />

Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus<br />

(SARS-CoV), the Middle East Respiratory<br />

Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and now<br />

SARS-CoV-2. Throughout his work he has<br />

balanced the study of the biology of these<br />

viruses with developing therapeutics against<br />

them. His work has been funded by NIH,<br />

BARDA, DARPA, The Bill and Melinda Gates<br />

Foundation and many industry partners,<br />

especially as SARS-CoV-2 emerged.<br />

Dr. <strong>Frieman</strong> grew up in Owings Mills, MD where he graduated Owings Mills High<br />

School in 1994 be<strong>for</strong>e attending Washington University in St. Louis where he<br />

majored in Biology. There he had the privilege to work all four years of college in<br />

the lab of Dr. Craig Pikaard working on ribosomal RNA silencing. It was there that<br />

he learned to love working in a lab, figuring out how to answer scientific questions<br />

and messing up countless experiments. It was there that he met Dr. Jill Fahrner,<br />

whom he would marry in 2003.<br />

He returned to Baltimore in 1998 and received his <strong>PhD</strong> at the Johns Hopkins School<br />

of Medicine where he worked in the lab of Dr. Brendan Cormack on yeast cell wall<br />

proteins. He was Dr. Cormack’s first graduate student and was able to see how to run<br />

a lab from the early stages of its development. Here he built his molecular biology<br />

skills and developed a love <strong>for</strong> yeast, which he uses in his laboratory today.<br />

After his <strong>PhD</strong>, Dr. <strong>Frieman</strong> followed his wife to North Carolina where she was<br />

finishing her MD/<strong>PhD</strong>, and he started a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of<br />

North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004 to study coronaviruses in the laboratory of Dr.<br />

Ralph Baric. SARS-CoV had emerged in 2003 and Dr. Baric was a longtime<br />

coronavirus researcher at the <strong>for</strong>efront of studying this new virus. His postdoctoral<br />

work focused on the identification of several SARS-CoV proteins that helped the<br />

virus block the immune response during infection, and how the host responded to<br />

SARS-CoV infection.<br />

In 2009, Dr. <strong>Frieman</strong> returned to Baltimore as an Assistant Professor in the<br />

Department of Microbiology and Immunology to start his laboratory continuing his<br />

work on coronaviruses. Since then, he has studied SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV (which<br />

emerged in 2012) and now SARS-CoV-2 with a focus on understanding the basic<br />

biology of these viruses, how they cause disease and developing therapeutics to fight<br />

them. Early in his research on coronaviruses, he focused on building animal models<br />

to study how the host responds to infection, and what pathways and proteins the<br />

viruses need to replicate and cause disease. These models laid the groundwork <strong>for</strong><br />

research on coronavirus therapeutics, initially <strong>for</strong> SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, but<br />

rapidly expanded to the study of SARS-CoV-2 in 2020. His lab has collaborated<br />

with many researchers and companies over the years including Regeneron, Novavax,<br />

AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Eli Lilly on SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics.


Mary Pooton<br />

Associate Dean <strong>for</strong> Development<br />

University of Maryland School of Medicine<br />

James B. Kaper, <strong>PhD</strong><br />

Vice Dean <strong>for</strong> Academic Affairs<br />

James and Carolyn Frenkil Distinguished Dean’s Professor and Chair<br />

Department of Microbiology & Immunology<br />

Distinguished University Professor<br />

University of Maryland School of Medicine<br />


Mark T. Gladwin, MD<br />

Vice President <strong>for</strong> Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore<br />

John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and<br />

Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine<br />


Mark T. Gladwin, MD<br />


Marco and Debbie Chacón<br />

Donors<br />


Brendan Cormack, <strong>PhD</strong><br />

Professor<br />

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics<br />

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine<br />

Ralph S. Baric, <strong>PhD</strong><br />

William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor<br />

Department of Epidemiology<br />

Professor<br />

Department of Microbiology and Immunology<br />

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill<br />

Gillings School of Global Public Health<br />

Vineet D. Menachery, <strong>PhD</strong><br />

Assistant Professor<br />

Department of Microbiology and Immunology<br />

University of Texas Medical Branch<br />


Mark T. Gladwin, MD<br />


<strong>Matthew</strong> B. <strong>Frieman</strong>, <strong>PhD</strong><br />

The Alicia and Yaya Viral Pathogen Research Professor of Microbiology & Immunology<br />


James B. Kaper, <strong>PhD</strong>

T<br />

he first endowed professorships were established more than<br />

500 years ago with the creation of the Lady Margaret chairs<br />

in divinity at Ox<strong>for</strong>d and Cambridge Universities. The<br />

original endowed chairs were sponsored by Lady Margaret,<br />

countess of Richmond, and grandmother of Henry VIII in 1502.<br />

Subsequently, private individuals began making financial contributions<br />

to establish other endowed professorships and chairs such as the<br />

Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, which Sir Isaac Newton held beginning<br />

in 1669. Professor Stephen Hawking, the internationally renowned<br />

physicist and recipient of the 2010 US Medal of Freedom, was another<br />

prominent holder of this endowed chair.<br />

The honor associated with appointment to an endowed position has<br />

remained unchanged <strong>for</strong> the last 500 years and is recognized as one of<br />

the highest tributes that an academic institution can bestow upon its<br />

most distinguished faculty. These endowed professorships and chairs<br />

continue to reward exceptional scholars uninterrupted to the present<br />

time.<br />

The Office of Development is charged with securing private gifts to<br />

ensure the School’s tradition of excellence is sustained through robust<br />

research, clinical, and educational programs and initiatives. The<br />

University of Maryland School of Medicine is <strong>for</strong>tunate to have nearly<br />

85 endowed chairs & professorships in various stages of completion<br />

and held by esteemed faculty members.


Marco and Debbie Chacón have been valued members of the University of<br />

Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) community <strong>for</strong> many years, generously supporting<br />

entrepreneurial, philanthropic, and educational initiatives.<br />

Marco A. Chacón, <strong>PhD</strong>, is an accomplished biotech industry and community<br />

leader who came to the United States in 1967 as a 17-year-old <strong>for</strong>eign exchange<br />

student. Following his return to the United States, the Chacón’s were married in<br />

1972 and put themselves through school. In 1990, following graduate studies,<br />

together they decided to start Paragon Bioservices—a pharma services<br />

company. Over the years, Paragon became a leading CDMO specializing in<br />

GMP manufacturing of viral vectors <strong>for</strong> gene therapy and vaccines. In 2019,<br />

with 200 employees and 220K square feet of labs and manufacturing suites,<br />

Paragon was acquired by Catalent Pharma <strong>for</strong> $1.2B. Catalent currently<br />

employs approximately 2,000 scientists, bioprocess engineers and skilled staff<br />

at three sites in Maryland—including the UMB BioPark.<br />

Following his calling as an entrepreneur, in 2019 Marco founded Irazu Bio (an<br />

early-stage technology development company) and in 2022 spun off Irazu<br />

Oncology, LLC—a company that is developing cancer vaccines, in<br />

collaboration with the University of Maryland SOM’s Center <strong>for</strong> Vaccine<br />

Development. Marco also serves as CSO of Wex<strong>for</strong>d Science & Technology.<br />

Marco’s Board activities include: UM’s School of Medicine and the Center <strong>for</strong><br />

Breakthrough Medicines (King of Prussia, PA.) He also served as Trustee of<br />

the UMB Foundation and was appointed in 2016 to the Maryland Life Sciences<br />

Advisory Board by Governor Hogan.<br />

Be<strong>for</strong>e co-founding Paragon Bioservices, Debbie worked as a copywriter and<br />

was a songwriter <strong>for</strong> SONY Music Entertainment. She has songs on several<br />

albums, including Julio Iglesias and Vikki Carr.<br />

After their successful Paragon exit, the Chacón’s wanted to give something<br />

back to society. They founded The Alicia and Yaya Foundation—which<br />

supports science, education, children and the less <strong>for</strong>tunate—to help create a<br />

better world.

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