Nationally known leukemia expert comes from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.
Maria R. Baer, M.D., a nationally recognized leader in leukemia treatment and research, has been named head of the hematologic malignancies program at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore. Dr. Baer will also join the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She will assume her new duties in April.
Dr. Baer, a hematologist and medical oncologist, comes to the University of Maryland from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., where she was appointed chief of the leukemia section in the Department of Medicine in 1998. She was also a professor of medicine at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (formerly the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences), professor of oncology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and associate professor of molecular pharmacology and cancer therapeutics, Roswell Park Graduate Division, University at Buffalo.
“Dr. Baer has a long and distinguished career as a clinical investigator in the study of hematologic cancers and is nationally recognized for her work with leukemia patients,” says Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center and professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We are very excited that Dr. Baer will join our faculty and help us fulfill our vision for the hematologic malignancies program.”
Hematologic malignancies are cancers of the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system. They include chronic and acute forms of leukemia, lymphomas such as Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.
Dr. Baer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in medicine and received additional training in hematology at Vanderbilt University before joining the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in 1986.
She is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology, and has written more than 100 articles in professional journals. Dr. Baer is on the editorial board of Leukemia and is a reviewer for the Annals of Internal Medicine, Blood, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Journal of Clinical Oncology and many other journals.
Dr. Baer’s research interests include molecular mechanisms that make some leukemia cells resistant to chemotherapy, in particular, certain proteins that prevent the cancer-fighting drugs from entering cells. Her laboratory is trying to identify molecules that may block the action of these proteins and ultimately improve patients’ response to treatment.
“The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center has a long history of excellence in treating patients with hematologic malignancies and has been at the forefront of developing and testing new therapies. I am very pleased to have been selected to head this well-established program,” Dr. Baer says. “I look forward to working with other members of the faculty, treating patients and contributing to the cancer center’s outstanding translational research program.”
The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center is a major referral center for patients throughout the state and region and offers comprehensive treatment programs for all types of cancer. It is recognized for its multidisciplinary approach to cancer care, with teams of specialists working together to evaluate and treat patients. The cancer center has a blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) program, which offers bone marrow and stem cell transplantation to treat cancers such as leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.