UMD: A Globally Connected University

Global Spotlight Program

Global Spotlight Program


What is the Global Spotlight Program?

Global Spotlight gives visiting international scholars at UMD the chance to give a short (~20 minute) presentation about your research to UMD students, staff, and faculty. The program is designed to give our diverse international scholar community an opportunity to practice presenting in front of non-specialist audiences their complex research. Participants receive one-on-one coaching and constructive feedback both in advance of and following their presentation.

OK. You’re interested in learning more but you're not ready to commit? No problem! We would love to discuss this opportunity in greater detail, and can also put you in touch with past participants to learn more about their experiences.  

“Having spent more than three decades in academia, I know how much I benefited from opportunities early in my career to present my work for constructive advice from my peers.  I was particularly lucky to be able to do so as a visiting international scholar, first in Greece and later in Germany.  We hope that you will find this opportunity equally welcome and valuable.   We look forward to your response!”
- Dr. Joseph Scholten, Global Spotlight Mentor


Spring 2022 Presenters

(If you’re interested in presenting your research please fill out this google form ).

Former Global Spotlight Presenters

Accelerating Antiviral Discovery: Structure Guided Antivirals Could be the Key to Preventing Another Pandemic 
Presented by Sharanbasappa Shrimant Karade
Thursday, April 21, 12:00pm

View the recording

Sharan's Research: The development of antivirals is the most focused research in today’s world. Existing antivirals are not effective in the fight against COVID-19 and it was also understood that the antiviral drug discovery process needed to be expedited. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to pose a significant global public health risk. Most antivirals developed until now were focused on the viral proteins; main protease and polymerases, however, the risk of drug resistance is high due to selective pressure during viral replication. Since viruses depend on host machinery for replication, host proteins can be a target for the development of a new broad-spectrum antiviral. We targeted endoplasmic reticulum glycosylation machinery to design broad-spectrum antivirals. This study involves the synthesis of inhibitors, which act as broad-spectrum antivirals. Determination of the 3D- complex crystal structures and Invitro, In vivo inhibition of dengue and SARS Cov-2.

Sharanbasappa Karade received his M.Sc. in Bio-technology (2010) from RTM Nagpur University and Ph.D. in structural biology (2017) from JNU, Delhi, India. In Ph.D. he worked on the hypothetical protein from mycobacterium tuberculosis, for which he determined the 3-D crystal structure and did biophysical characterization. Currently working as, a postdoctoral associate at IBBR-University of Maryland (since 2018). The area of research is Medicinal Structural biology.

During his research tenure till now, he published his work in international journals like the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the Journal of Structural Biology, BBA-proteins and Proteomics.


Behind the Banhammer: An Ethnographic Exploration of Online Community Moderation
Presented by Sarah Gilbert, November 17, 12 pm

View the recording

As we've turned online to work, socialize, and access information, we find ourselves grappling with issues that now feel endemic to online life, such as discrimination and abuse, mis/disinformation, polarization and extremism. To contend with (and sometimes exacerbate) issues such as these, platforms are increasingly relying on content moderation. My work provides an in-depth exploration of people who do moderation work voluntarily and highlights impacts of this work on individuals, communities, and (hopefully!) platforms. 

Dr. Sarah Gilbert (she/her/hers) is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Maryland College Park and holds a PhD in Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia. She studies policies and practices that make online communities healthier, including topics like what influences participation, how people learn in online communities, and how volunteer moderators’ labor impacts community governance. 

Quantum Computing and Its Value In Multiple Disciplines
Presented by Niklas Mueller, May 5th, 2021

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Quantum technology is rapidly advancing, providing us with new paradigms to solve problems that could not be solved before, with UMD being a world leader in these efforts. In this short presentation, I will explain what quantum computing actually is and why much of the progress is actually driven by fundamental science research in physics, chemistry, computer science and mathematics.

Snow in the Context of Climate Change
Presented by Lisa Milani, April 14th, 2021

Precipitation represents the first important component of the Earth's water cycle. Accurately estimating rainfall and snowfall is crucial to understand the availability of water resources and ultimately to help decision makers. Within a changing climate it is important to be able to globally quantify the amount of precipitation reaching the ground to provide reliable inputs for numerical weather prediction models as well as hydrological models. Within the remote sensing of precipitation, I specifically work on snowfall and its variety of systems to help improve precipitation algorithms. From synoptic scale events to lake effect snowfall, each system shows its own signature from space sensors and my job is to help understand this signature and its uncertainties to improve snowfall retrievals.
(No Recording)