The nature of research activity in a medical school defines the intellectual climate of the institution. Experimental investigation of the mechanisms and consequences of disease and trauma provides insight for developing novel strategies to maintain wellness and treat sickness. Systematic evaluation of those strategies—changes in lifestyle; new pharmacological, molecular and other manipulations of cellular targets; new implanted sensors, artificial tissues and devices—establishes which to adopt for clinical practice and which to discard. This entire research enterprise should and must create the culture in which students are taught medicine as a rational, evidence-based approach to improving human health. We are proud of the internationally recognized research programs conducted by our basic scientists and of the many complementary efforts in clinical science and clinical care conducted by our faculty. Our Clinical Research Group provides the foundation for testing new treatments in carefully supervised trials in our patients. Translating biomedical discoveries from the wet laboratory to the bedside defines a great academic medical center and is the primary emphasis of the National Institutes of Health. Thus, Drexel University College of Medicine will be investing significant resources in expanding our translational and clinical research programs during the next five years.
Drexel Medicine’s Strategic Plan includes initiatives that emerged from existing strengths in research on the mechanisms, prevention and treatment of chronic pain; viral, protozoal (malarial) and other infectious diseases; and inflammation and its relationship to the development of cancer. Of course, our strengths and successes in research extend beyond those areas, and I invite you to explore the web pages of our departments, institutes and centers. In addition, interactions with faculty from other schools and colleges of Drexel University will continue strategic developments in neuroengineering and other areas of bioengineering. These initiatives will apply our leadership in technology to assisting recovery of patients suffering from trauma and diseases of the nervous system and to the healing promised by emerging methods of regenerative medicine. Our institution has a special history of educating women physicians and scientists for more than 150 years. This tradition is highlighted now in the form of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership.
Thus, we are particularly excited by our plans to expand our scientific efforts in women’s health and in gender-based biomedical research. In collaboration with our colleagues from Information Science and Technology, Nursing, and Public Health, we will be applying biomedical informatics, health informatics and epidemiology to identifying new areas for scientific investigation and for optimizing clinical care. Overall, we look forward enthusiastically to continuing to grow and diversify our programs of scientific discovery towards better serving our patients in the future.