BALTIMORE, March 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean Mark T. Gladwin, MD, announced today that Martine Rothblatt PhD, JD, MBA, Chairperson and CEO of United Therapeutics, and inventor of SiriusXM Satellite Radio, will deliver the keynote address for this year's graduating medical student class. The UMSOM MD graduation ceremony will take place at the Hippodrome Theatre on Thursday, May 16, 2024. The ceremony will begin at 1:00 pm. Details for faculty members are here. Details for students/guests are here.

Dr. Rothblatt is a trailblazing pioneer of several innovations in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and satellite communications. After developing SiriusXM, she founded United Therapeutics, in an effort to find a cure for her daughter's life-threatening illness, pulmonary arterial hypertension. Under Dr. Rothblatt's leadership, United Therapeutics, headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, has become a large biotech company focused on engineering cell biology to develop new therapeutics and manufactured transplantable organs. Its monoclonal antibody has been approved to treat neuroblastoma, and its genetically modified pig hearts and kidneys were the first to be transplants into humans.

The biotech company funded and helped establish the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, which led to the world's first two transplants of genetically-modified pig organs into living patients. Both patients were transplanted with pig hearts to treat their terminal heart failure and lived for more than a month.

The historic procedures were performed at the University of Maryland Medical Center by Bartley Griffith, MD, Professor of Surgery and The Thomas E. and Alice Marie Hales Distinguished Professor in Transplantation at UMSOM and Muhammad M. Mohiuddin, MD, Professor of Surgery and Scientific/Program Director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at UMSOM.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Rothblatt address this distinguished class of up-and-coming physicians," said Dr. Gladwin who is the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of UMSOM, and Vice President for Medical Affairs at University of Maryland, Baltimore. "Her contributions and groundbreaking developments in addressing lung disease, cancer, and the chronic organ shortage have had an immeasurable impact on the field of medicine. She's a role model for our medical students, demonstrating that if you have the will to have a substantial impact, you can make it happen."

An attorney-entrepreneur, Dr. Rothblatt is a tireless advocate for human rights. In 1992, she led the International Bar Association's efforts in drafting the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights and has been a leading advocate for transgender acceptance. For her impacts in satellite communications, she was elected to the International Institute of Space Law and has represented the radio astronomy community's scientific interests before the Federal Communications Commission.

Celebrated as a visionary, thought leader, and published author, Dr. Rothblatt is named "One of 100 Greatest Living Business Minds" by Forbes and "Most Powerful LGBTQ+ People in Tech" by Business Insider. Her pioneering book, Your Life or Mine: How Geoethics Can Resolve the Conflict Between Private and Public Interests in Xenotransplantation, anticipated the need for global virus bio-surveillance and an expanded supply of transplantable organs. She is also the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Maryland Tech Council.

Dr. Rothblatt is currently the inventor and co-inventor on nine U.S. patents, with additional applications pending.

She earned her PhD in Medical Ethics with a thesis in xenotransplantation from the Royal London College of Medicine and Dentistry and earned her JD and MBA from UCLA. She also studied astronomy at the University of Maryland College Park.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 46 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs, and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1.2 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic, and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has more than $500 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity (according to the Association of American Medical Colleges profile) is an innovator in translational medicine, with 606 active patents and 52 start-up companies. In the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the Best Medical Schools, published in 2023, the UM School of Medicine is ranked #10 among the 92 public medical schools in the U.S., and in the top 16 percent (#32) of all 192 public and private U.S. medical schools. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit

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