For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

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

Kelly Whelan, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program Alum

Kelly Whelan, Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics Program Alum

"I looked at the role of hypoxia and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) in mammary oncogenesis and morphogenesis. Mauricio had noticed that in the mammary gland, when you have tumors, they express markers of hypoxia, or low oxygen levels. That makes sense because, as a tumor grows and grows, it outstrips the existing resources, so then you might not have enough blood there, which creates a hypoxic area. The question became: 'Is that hypoxia a byproduct of that uncontrolled growth, or is it actually promoting tumor formation?'" Read more about Kelly.

Niyant Shah, Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics Alum

Niyant Shah, Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics Alum

"My thesis work was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Noguchi, which specializes in studying diseases associated with DNA replication and repair. Specifically, I investigated an enzyme called ChlR1, which is involved in ensuring replication occurs smoothly at the replication fork. Through my work, and others, we found that loss of ChlR1 function can lead to improper repair at the replication fork, which may lead to certain disease states." Read more about Niyant.

Meet Our Faculty - Priscila Sato, PhD

"We are interested in cardiac hypertrophy and how that develops into decompensated heart failure. We also have another line of research where we're looking at how diabetes leads to cardiac dysfunction. I have a couple of genetic mouse models. We want to really hone down in understanding potential mechanisms of how changes in the pancreas, particularly in the beta islets, impact the heart."

Learn more about Priscila

Priscila Sato, PhD

Research News & Announcements

Rewriting the Book on Alzheimer's Disease

"We're testing the hypothesis that Alzheimer's disease — which perhaps should be called Fischer's disease — is triggered at least in some cases by infection," says Ehrlich, a professor in the Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Alumni Magazine (Summer 2018)

Baby's Breath

Vineet Bhandari, MD, has successfully triggered a process in which cells engulf their own insides in mice subjects, which could be used to prevent chronic lung disease in premature infants. Drexel EXEL Magazine (2018)

Bug Zapper

A team led by Akhil Vaidya, PhD, has discovered an unusual mechanism that allows two new antimalarial drugs to operate. Drexel EXEL Magazine (2018)

The Chemicals They Carry

Thousands of U.S. soldiers returned from the 1991 Persian Gulf War with a mysterious, incurable illness. To find answers, College of Medicine researchers are reprogramming veterans' cells. Drexel EXEL Magazine (2018)

A Cure for Cancer's Spread?

A drug compound in development at Drexel would give breast cancer patients the gift of precious time, by keeping metastatic cells from seeding deadly new tumors. Drexel EXEL Magazine (2018)

Final Destination

A new study from Drexel researchers sheds light on the parts of the brain that help make a neuron's journey from its birthplace to the brain—and everything that relies on it — possible. Drexel EXEL Magazine (2018)

Healing Sound Waves

A battery-powered applicator developed by Michael Weingarten, MD, and Peter Lewin, PhD — as small and light as a watch — is the first portable device to heal chronic wounds with low-frequency ultrasound. Drexel EXEL Magazine (2018)

Theory of Evolution

Joshua Chang Mell, PhD, and colleagues at the University of British Columbia have made progress in understanding how a common pathogen causes the chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients. Drexel EXEL Magazine (2018)

Youth Movement

Thomas Trojian, MD, and colleagues believe youth coaches should teach young athletes better movement techniques that will reduce lower-body injuries. Drexel EXEL Magazine (2018)

Lab-Grown Neurons Improve Breathing In Rats After Spinal Cord Injury

Researchers from Drexel University College of Medicine and the University of Texas at Austin improved respiratory function in rodents with spinal cord injuries after successfully transplanting a special class of neural cells, called V2a interneurons. Their results, published this week in the Journal of Neurotrauma, indicate that these lab-grown cells have the potential to one day help paralyzed patients breathe without a ventilator. Science Magazine / Drexel News

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)