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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

Michael Brinton, Drexel Medical Science Program Student

Medical Science Student Michael Brinton
"I'm working at Jefferson in Angelo Lepore's lab, where we're doing spinal cord injury (SCI) research. For my particular project, we're working on a gene therapy approach to help regrow injured axons and allow for functional recovery of the diaphragm, or breathing function, after an injury. About half a million spinal cord injuries occur every year worldwide, and half of those happen in the cervical region, which is where the mechanisms for breathing are housed. It's very clinically relevant, especially since breathing dysfunction actually leads to some of the most consequential morbidities and mortalities associated with SCI. Hopefully, we'll get to the point where we can eventually, years down the road, make this an actual treatment." Read more about Michael.

Ahsun Bajwa, Drexel Medical Science Program Alumn

Medical Science Alumnus Ahsun Bajwa
"My project focused on a protein known as HBXIP (hepatitis-B-virus X-protein interacting protein) which interacts with a viral protein of HBV. It has been shown to inhibit HBV replication, but the mechanism by which this inhibition occurs is unknown. My research hypothesizes that this inhibition may occur through a complex known as mTORC1, and it is what I am currently investigating." Read more about Ahsun.

Drexel Medical Science Alumnus Michael Branham

Medical Science Alumnus Michael Branham
"I worked at Queen Lane for Dr. Raghupathi in the Neurobiology and Anatomy Department. I did traumatic brain injury research with a fellow MMS student, which is a little against the norm. Typically, you have your own project in your own lab and you're working under post-docs or PhD students. However, this was our own project with a lot of moving parts. We were responsible for everything, from surgeries, to behavioral testing, tissue collection, and histology. I learned so much through this." Read more about Michael's research.

Meet Our Faculty - Jacqueline Barker, PhD

"The focus of my lab is on the neural circuits underlying learning and memory, so the normal processes by which we learn about contexts and contingencies and how we use and integrate that information to guide us through our day-to-day lives, as well as how those normal processes are dysregulated or disrupted in neuropsychiatric illness."

Learn more about Jacqueline

Jacqueline Barker, PhD

Research News & Announcements

Maya Rao, PhD, Publishes Article in Journal of Biological Chemistry

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)

Co-investigators to Study Anal Dysplasia Among HIV-Infected Individuals

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)

Discovery Day 2017 Winners

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.

Drexel Researcher Wins STAT News Wunderkind Award

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 Receives First Ever F99/K00 Fellowship from NIH/NINDS

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)

Gut Instincts in Obesity Research: The Promising Work of Nicholas V. DiPatrizio, PhD '08

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)

Medical Student Selected for National Physician-Scientist Career Development Award

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)

Researchers Uncover New Instruction Manual to Repair Broken DNA

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)

Kenny Simansky, PhD - Vice Dean for Research

Kenny J. Simansky, PhD
Vice Dean for Research; Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology

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