The Office of the Vice Dean for Research serves to support clinical and basic research activities, works with departments and interdisciplinary programs to develop and implement research, facilitates translational research and promotes mentoring to advance the training of physicians/scientists.
The vice dean for research steers and supports faculty research efforts, influencing opportunities for discovery by our medical and biomedical graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, medical residents and medical fellows. Noreen Robertson, DMD, associate vice dean for research, and Richard Huneke, DVM, MPH, executive director of University Laboratory Animal Resources, serve complementary missions within the Office of the Vice Dean to foster pre-clinical and clinical research within the institution. We are committed to bridging the superb clinical expertise and world-class research and educational capabilities of the medical school to enhance our progressive, high-quality medical education, scientific research and patient care.
The purpose of these web pages is to serve as a focal point for research at Drexel University College of Medicine. We are dedicated to providing research support to investigators. The links to the left will provide you with information and resources. Note that Drexel University's Office of Research provides certain administrative services for the Drexel University College of Medicine research program.
Q&A: Kenny Simansky, PhD, Vice Dean for Research, Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Physiology
Featured Student Research
Drug Discovery and Development Student Jennifer Green
"I'm in Dr. Andréia Mortensen's lab in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology. We're working with a transporter in the brain and the glutamate system called EAAT2 - excitatory amino acid transporter 2. When you have too much extracellular glutamate, it sends too much excitatory signaling, which downstream can cause cell death. EAAT2 removes the extracellular glutamate to prevent this from happening in normal conditions. Dysfunction of EAAT2 is implicated in a lot of different diseases; right now, the lab is looking at stroke models, and we also have a student who's working in traumatic brain injury models with another lab over at the Queen Lane campus. It's also implicated in pain, epilepsy and a lot of other neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders." Read more about Jennifer.
Drug Discovery & Development Student Tyler Bernadyn
"The lab looks at these receptors called G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) and their relevance within the cardiovascular system. More specifically, I'm looking at unravelling the novel mechanisms whereby regulation and dysregulation of G-protein signaling by regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins are involved in normal functions and diseases of the cardiovascular systems. We use various methods, such as electrical pacing and pharmacological stimulation of heart muscle cells to do such." Read more about Tyler.
Drug Discovery & Development Alum Renee Jean-Toussaint
"The Drug Discovery and Development core courses bring lectures from both faculty and industry with a broad range of expertise in various aspects of drug discovery and development. This also allowed us to become familiar with the most current and up-to-date information. The curriculum also promotes teamwork. The course projects require participating in teams to develop strategies to solve real problems--similar to what we would experience in the real world." Read more about Renee.
Research News & Announcements
Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics PhD Maya Rao recently published "Interaction between the AAA+ ATPase p97 and its cofactor ataxin3 in health and disease: Nucleotide-induced conformational changes regulate cofactor binding" in the November issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. (February 2018)
A $25,000 grant for an HIV Cancer Pilot Award from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center will support a collaborative investigation into the severity of anal dysplasia, which can lead to anal cancer, and its association with inflammation in HIV infection. (November 2017)
With topics ranging from HIV/AIDS to spinal cord injury and neuroengineering, more than 380 Drexel University College of Medicine students and scientists showcased original research at Discovery Day 2017 on Thursday, Oct. 12.
STAT — a Boston-based national publication focused on science and health news — has named Halley Oyer, PhD, one of the "brightest young minds in life science." Oyer is a College of Medicine postdoc working in the laboratory of Felix Kim, PhD. (October 2017)
Austin Coley, a neurobiology PhD student in the laboratory of Wen-Jun Gao, PhD, is the recipient of the first ever F99/K00 fellowship from the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (September 2017)
The obesity epidemic is a notoriously complex problem that has confounded researchers for decades, but Nicholas V. DiPatrizio, PhD '08, has uncovered a promising new connection. His findings suggest that the body's lipid messengers in the gut, known as the endocannabinoids, signal the brain to seek out fat-rich foods — and that too much of this signaling results in the addiction-like behavior of compulsive overeating. Drexel University College of Medicine Alumni Magazine (Spring/Summer 2017)
Max Brodsky, a 2018 MD candidate at the College of Medicine, was recently selected by the American Society of Hematology as one of two students nationwide to receive the 2017-2018 ASH Physician-Scientist Career Development Award. (June 29, 2017)
A College of Medicine study reveals an unexpected function of the homologous recombination protein Rad52 and may help to identify new therapeutic targets for cancer. (June 8, 2017)