Current Competitively Awarded Grants

Women in Agriculture: Diversity Initiative Award.
Funding Source: Faculty Support Award (FSA), University of Maryland

Sustainable Maryland Forestry Using Medicinal Plants.
Funding Source: McIntire-Stennis Federal Grant 

Professional Positions Held: 

1992 - 2016 Professor, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park
2008 - 2009 Director, University of Maryland Arboretum and Botanical Garden, University of Maryland, College Park
2006 - 2007 Visiting Scientist, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture
2003 - 2005 Coordinator, Urban Forestry Program
1995 - 2000 Associate Dean of Academic Programs, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland, College Park
1992 - 1995 Acting Associate Dean of Academic Programs, College of Agriculture, University of Maryland, College Park
1984 - 1992 Associate Professor, College of Agriculture, University of Maryland, College Park
1979 - 1984 Assistant Professor, College of Agriculture, University of Maryland, College Park

Professional Service: 

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
American Society of Agronomy (ASA)
Crop Science Society of America (CSSA)
Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)
Ecological Society of America (ESA)
Society of American Foresters (SAF)

Dr. Tom McGinn currently serves as Senior Health Advisor with the Office of Health Affairs (OHA), National Biosurveillance Integration Center. As such he is also the Program Manager for a $21 million systems development project in a collaborative with the University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill. NC.  This system is developing a comprehensive statewide analysis of public health trends and reducing national homeland security threats.

Maneesh Sharma, M.D.

Dr. Paul Lyons, MD Ph.D

Board Certified in Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, Sleep Medicine, Specializing in Pediatric Epilepsy 

Chief Medical Officer, Interventional Pain Institute

Dr. Sharma leads the medical team at Interventional Pain Institute (IPI), which offers Baltimore's most advanced pain management treatments. Patients from across the country and world turn to IPI for pain relief from a variety of common and complex pain conditions. Dr. Sharma received his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin focusing in Chemical Engineering with research on oxygen radicals.  He received a Doctorate of Medicine with Honors from the Medical College of Wisconsin, with extension of his research in

Before this, Dr. McGinn was the Chief Veterinarian for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Director of the Food, Agriculture and Veterinary Defense Division. In this role, he served as the primary veterinary medical advisor to the Secretary of DHS, the Assistant Secretary of OHA, and the Administrator of FEMA. He has testified before Congress numerous times. He maintains a the security clearance necessary to advise and work on our nation’s health security programs.

Prior to arriving at the Office of Health Affairs, Dr. McGinn provided subject matter expertise to the public health, food and agriculture critical infrastructure in the Infrastructure Partnership Division of DHS.  Before that he was a Medical Advisor for the Response Division of FEMA. He has served as the head of the selection committee for the director of the highest security lab for agriculture in our nation. He has also taught at the high security lab at Plum Island, NY.   He has been on the selection and review boards of numerous Homeland Security laboratories.  Dr. McGinn has conducted research projects at the Veterans Administration Research Facility at Duke University.

A native of North Carolina, Dr. McGinn received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from North Carolina State University in 1979 and 1987, respectively, where he has been an adjunct professor for many years.  He received the Outstanding Alumni Award from NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the distinguished award of Veterinarian of the Year from the NC Veterinary Medical Association in 2003, the James F. Buffalo Award through the NC Division of Emergency Management, the State Animal Response Team Leader Award, The State Animal Response Team Founder Award, the US Department of Agriculture Certificate of Appreciation, as well as the American Veterinary Medical Association Certificate of Outstanding Achievement. Dr. McGinn was a founder of Habitat for Humanity in Raleigh, NC.  He was also a founder of Raleigh Bible Church in Raleigh NC. Dr. McGinn has also served terms in the positions of Fleet Surgeon and Chaplin of the Capitol Yacht Club in Washington, DC.  He is the founder of the One Health Academy of Washington, DC.

As a veterinarian, Dr. McGinn was the founder and president of a venture backed startup company located on NC State Centennial Campus. He also advised other medical research development companies working on diabetes, advanced knee surgical techniques and wound healing. He has been instrumental in working with companies in their development with NIH research funds advancing embryological tools.  He has also worked with startup companies to obtain FDA approval. He has worked with most research species and been involved in drug testing procedures. Dr. McGinn was also the Deputy Commander for the National Disaster Medical Systems (NDMS) Veterinary Medicine Assistance Team (VMAT), through which he served at ground zero of the World Trade Center site after the attack on September 11, 2001. In this position he was also a member of the Advanced Emergency Health Planning Team for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.   

Dr. McGinn also has many years of agriculture experience in crop and livestock production. This experience includes raising corn, soybeans, small grains and silage for beef and dairy cattle, horses, and swine. He has been a manager of a N.C. State University research farm and a beef and crop farm. He is a resident of Maryland and lives on a farm in Frederick County.

Dr. McGinn is nationally recognized for founding the National State Animal Response Team (SART). Dr. McGinn has also served as the Director of Emergency Programs and Assistant State Veterinarian to the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  In this position, he provided subject matter expertise on matters concerning the reduction of vulnerabilities produced by natural or man-made disasters, disease outbreak and/or terrorist attacks; served as a member of the Governor’s Terrorism Task Force; and the Governor’s appointment to the State Emergency Management Commission.

Dr. McGinn has served as the chairman of the Presidential Executive Order of Import Safety for DHS, NC Multi-Hazard Task Force, and US Animal Health Ass. Feed Safety Committee. He has served on the Board of Directors for the USAHA and the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.  He has served on the Executive Branch Policy Coordinating Committees for Pandemic Influenza and HSPD-9, and has been a World Health Organization Expert Consultant.

Dr. McGinn has the personal experience of having lost his brother to pain related drug and alcohol abuse complications. Combine this with his extensive experience in agricultural, academic, health security and medical research development, as well as his security clearance and work with secure laboratories with the Federal government, Dr. McGinn possesses the expertise to assist Green Leaf Medical in the development of procedures that ensure  safe, contaminant free manufacturing and distribution of medical cannabis products.

Damon Hughes

Director of Minority Diversity, Inclusion and Workforce Development

Lieutenant Thomas V. Chase (Ret.)

Frederick Police Department​​

Dr. Tom McGinn

Quality Control Specialist

Tom is uniquely prepared to provide thorough, competent investigative services.

Lieutenant Chase will provide employee and corporate background investigations to ensure that Green Leaf Medical engages only the highest caliber partners.

Additional Grants:

2010 - 2012         PD Lyons, Principal investigator, “SP902: A Lacosamide exchange to monotherapy trial” UCB Inc.

7/2005 - 6/2006   PD Lyons. Project title: “Epileptiform Discharges in Autistic Spectrum Disorder.” National                                               EpiFellows Foundation.

9/2002 - 7/2007   Principal Investigator: Rodney C.P. Go (Consultant: Paul D. Lyons)  NIMH Grant Number: 1                                           R01 MH66181-01.  Project Title:  “Schizophrenia Liability Genes among African Americans.”                                           University of Alabama School at Birmingham.  NIMH Schizophrenia Genetics Initiative, Linked R01.

12/2000 - 6/2003 CE Munoz, PD Lyons & LS Dure, IV. “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the

                             efficacy of olanzapine in the treatment of motor, psychological and cognitive abnormalities in

                             outpatients with Huntington’s Disease.”  Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, Grant Number F1D-US-X191

                  1996   National Multiple Sclerosis Society,  Grant Number: FG-1207-A-1

Johns Hopkins Health System as the Manager for Supplier Diversity and Inclusion, Damon spent the last 13 years as the Minority Business Enterprise Officer for Baltimore County Government.  Damon holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Morgan State University and a Master Compliance Administrator Certificate from the American Contract and Compliance Association.

Damon helped Green Leaf Medical establish a world class Diversity Plan and will ensure we exceed our diversity goals. 

Spencer Kirson

Director of Genetics

Philip has provided both written as well as oral testimony before the Cannabis Commission, on topics that are important to the industry and to patients suffering from a variety of medical conditions that can be treated with medical Cannabis. Philip holds a ASA/CTI certificate in Core Cannabis Training.

Philip Goldberg is a Montgomery County native and has built several successful businesses in Maryland. He has expertise in business development, operations, sales, marketing, and website development. Philip graduated from the University of Arizona in 1998 with degrees in Psychology, Sociology and History. 

Philip is a Founding Member of the Maryland Cannabis Industry Association and currently serves as the President-elect. and has been actively involved in the formulation of the regulations adopted by the Maryland Cannabis Commission.

Philip Goldberg


The company includes 3 cultivation facilities, a processing lab and a dispensary. While many of his competitors have migrated to the recreational cannabis market, Spencer has remained focused on the production of Medical Cannabis products that serve patients suffering from a variety of ailments. Spencer takes tremendous pride in his products, several of which have won awards throughout the United States over the past 6 years. His facility produces 32 strains of Medical Cannabis, some of which are high in CBD, a non-psychoactive Cannabinoid and low in THC, a psychoactive Cannabinoid.  These strains are extremely useful to patients suffering from epilepsy. Spencer has valuable experience in facility design and build out, as well as operations.

Dr. Marla McIntosh

Ph.D., Agronomy (Plant Breeding), University of Illinois

In 2008, Dr. Njar was appointed Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Oncopharmacology at Jefferson School of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Finally, in January 2012, he returned to UMB as Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology and Head, Medicinal Chemistry Section of the newly established Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics (CBT).

Dr. Njar actively participates in several drug discovery and development grant review committees and he is a Charter Member of NIH/NCI’s Drug Discovery and Molecular Pharmacology (DMP) Grant Review Study Section; NIH/NCI’s Small Business Cancer Drug Development and Therapeutics (CDDT) Study Section and Scientific Reviewer for US Department of Defense (DOD) Prostate and Breast Cancer Research Programs; and AACR-Millennium Fellowship in Prostate Cancer. He is also grant reviewer for several foreign agencies in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Qatar. His research is currently supported by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and US Veteran Administration (VA)..

Research Interests:

Dr. Vincent Njar has a long standing interest in the rational discovery and development of small molecules as anti-cancer agents. The major objective of his current research is to design, synthesize, and evaluate novel patentable compounds in suitable model systems with potentials to prevent and/or treat breast and prostate cancers. He is also interested in understanding mechanisms of anti-cancer actions of the novel agents. Dr. Njar's research is at the interface of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology/oncology. His research is interdisciplinary and has strong therapeutics translational potentials. 

Selected Patents & Intellectual Properties (Inventions and Licenses)

Dr. Vincent Njar holds fourteen patents from the US and several other countries and has forty one active Intellectual Property and Licensing Activities as of January 3, 2014 with University of Maryland, Baltimore Office of Research and Development.


Dr. Vincent Njar completed his B. Sc. in Chemistry at University of Ibadan (Nigeria) in 1976 and went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1980 from University College London (UK) under the supervision of Derek V. Banthorpe. Following two years of postdoctoral research with the late Eliahu Caspi at Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, Shrewsbury, Mass. (USA), he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) as Lecturer II. He was promoted through the ranks and became Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1996.

​Dr. Vincent Njar

Ph.D Pharmacology, University of Maryland

​Academic Title: Professor
Primary Appointment: Pharmacology
Additional Title(s): Head, Medicinal Chemistry Section, Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics (CBT); Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR)

Lieutenant Thomas V. Chase (Ret.) served with the Frederick Police Department for thirty years; twenty as a detective, the last twelve simultaneously as primary media representative. 

slowing aging processes by reducing radical reactions.  He was selected in his senior year to train in Integrative and Complementary Medicine in India.  Dr. Sharma then joined Johns Hopkins University, where he completed his Residency in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine.  He was then appointed as the Perdue Fellow further subspecializing in Interventional Pain Medicine.  Dr. Sharma also served on the prestigious American College of Graduate Medical Education Residency Review Committee (ACGME-RRC) during his tenure.

​Dr. Sharma is a leader in the field of Pain Management.  He is the Chief Medical Officer of the Interventional Pain Institute.  Dr. Sharma trains physicians and teaches across the world, with ongoing research at the Johns Hopkins University.  He has extensive experience in medical and surgical treatment of complex pain conditions, with interest in Integrative, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 

Dr. Sharma will conduct Medical Cannabis research trials that will help Green Leaf Medical design future strains to best treat patients suffering from chronic pain and other conditions.

Achievements in Teaching:

Fellow, Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Maryland, 2002
Outstanding Teacher, Honors Program, University of Maryland, 2000.
Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, University of Maryland, 1993
Teaching Excellence Award, Agriculture Alumni, 1985
Outstanding Teacher, American Society of Agronomy N.E. Branch, 1984

Spencer Kirson is a Maryland native who has been living in Colorado for the past 8 years. Spencer operates Standing Akimbo, a Denver based Medical Cannabis company. 

Damon has over 16 years of experience in Supplier Diversity and Inclusion, Compliance, Reporting and Workforce Development.   Prior to joining

Academic history:

7/04-7/2006              Epilepsy & Clinical neurophysiology fellowship, Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Department of              

                                  Neurology, University of Virginia School of Medicine. (Program Director: Nathan B. Fountain, M.D.).
7/2001-6/2004          Residency, Department of Neurology, University of Virginia School of Medicine.
7/2000-6/2001          Internship, UAB Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine.
7/1996-5/2000          University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, Alabama. School of Medicine (M.D., 5/2000).   
10/1995-3/1997        Postdoctoral fellowship, University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Department of Cell Biology, (Mentor: Etty                                      N. Benveniste, Ph.D.) Department of Physiology & Biophysics , Doctoral program,   (Mentor: J.E. Blalock,                                    Ph.D.) (Ph.D., 12/1995).
 8/1980-5/1984         University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts.  Microbiology/ Chemistry, (B.S., 1984)

Academic honors, awards and memberships :

April 2015       UCB-Atlanta “Hackathon”. First place award-BIOMARKep
2012-present  International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR)
2011-present  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Computational Intelligence Section and EMBS
2010-present  Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Medicine (SNMMI)
2010-present  Applied psychophysiology& biofeedback (AAPB)
2008-present  Professional Advisory Board, Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia
2008-present  National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC)
2008-present  American Epilepsy Society (AES)
2007-present  American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)

American Academy of Neurology, Neurology Elective in Clinical Ethics Program. Recipient. Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University,  Intensive Bioethics Course

Professional Examinations/ Prof. License:

Virginia State Board of Medicine License
New York State Board of Medicine License, #263936
Washington State Board of Medicine License, # MD 60264849
USMLE I, II & III  passed

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (passed part I & II).
Board certification in Neurology.    Certificate # 53165:  2005
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology,
Board certification in Clinical Neurophysiology.    Certificate #1725:   2007
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology,
Board certification in Sleep Medicine   Certificate # 1019:    2011
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology,
Board certification in Epilepsy.           Certificate # 264:    2013
DEA Schedule 1 License                      Registration number RL040738
VA Board of Pharmacy               Controlled Substance Registration #: 0220001586

Dr. Lyons received a schedule one license from the FDA and is currently using Cannabis in human trials:

2014-present   PD Lyons, FDA IND 122596. “Pure Cannabinoids for Drug Resistant Epilepsy”