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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

Microbiology and Immunology PhD candidate Jacqueline Schneider Eacret recently won the 3 Minute Thesis competition for her presentation on "Anti-Malaria Vaccines: Multiple Proteins, One Formulation." Learn more about the Three Minute Thesis competition.

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.

Chelsea Weldie, Drexel Drug Discovery and Development Program Student

Chelsea Weldie, Drug Discovery & Development Student
"I'm in Dr. Michele Kutzler's lab. She researches HIV and C. diff, and I'm working in the C. diff portion. I was initially brought on to get some bench work time in because I didn't have any of that in my undergraduate experience. However, I am getting to use my health care administration background. I'm a data manager, so I look over the REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture), and I manage the program that we put all of our research data into. I work a lot with patient records, and I'm also starting to work in the epidemiology portion of the research. We're submitting a new grant in a couple of months, and I'm helping to write part of it." Read more about Chelsea.

Caitlyn Rice, Drug Discovery and Development Student

Caitlyn Rice, Drug Discovery and Development Student
"I work with dopamine transporters. Previously, my lab worked with dopamine transporters to see how it interacts with cocaine. They were looking at different compounds to see whether they can decrease the affinity of cocaine from the binding area. They successfully found and identified one of these compounds. Right now, I’m looking at where those compounds are specifically binding to cocaine and how it is interacting with it. In the next few months, I’m going to be looking at this compound within animal models and see whether or not it decreases cocaine seeking." Read more about Caitlyn.

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

Kenny Simansky, PhD - Vice Dean for Research

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

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