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2022-2023 Academic Year Annual Report

Message from the EVPRI

Aleister SaundersDrexel’s research and innovation ecosystem continued its upward trajectory the 2022-2023 academic year. We achieved near record highs in externally sponsored research spending and in licensing revenue. The impact of our research enterprise cannot be measured by numbers alone. Most importantly, our community is addressing societal problems to develop impactful solutions. The key to our successes has been and will always be the people who are engaged in these noble efforts. Research never stops at Drexel, and it is our amazing community that makes these metrics a reality. Congratulations to the students, staff, and faculty whose passion, dedication, and intellect are engaged in research across our campuses.

This annual report offers a glimpse into some of the highlights and activities of this past academic year for the Office of Research & Innovation.

Aleister Saunders' Signature
Aleister Saunders
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Research & Innovation


Facts & Figures

ORI Milestones

ORI Teams

Drexel Applied Innovation

As the University’s tech transfer office, Drexel Applied Innovation’s mission is to expand the impact of Drexel research through comprehensive tech transfer. FY23 was an important milestone year for the team, which became fully staffed in all three core functions of academic tech transfer (Intellectual Property & Agreements, Industry Engagement and Entrepreneurial Advancement) for the first time since embarking on a journey to re-imagine Drexel’s tech transfer program in FY20.

For FY23, Drexel Applied Innovation executed 10 licenses, was issued 26 US patents, and generated $727K in revenue. They also had a number of highlights during FY23 across their key success drivers which are (1) increasing faculty engagement, (2) strengthening their value proposition, (3) increasing synergies through coordination and collaboration and (4) improving transparency and enabling scale.

Faculty Engagement: Drexel Applied Innovation cannot achieve its mission without faculty engagement and buy-in, and that is why being a visible and actively contributing member of the Drexel research community is of the highest priority at Drexel Applied Innovation. They are grateful for the opportunities given to their team to participate in events, committees, and research retreats, such as the 2022 Pharmacology & Physiology Research Retreat, DUCOM Research Committee meetings, and other gatherings with faculty and academic leadership. Through these interactions, they are not only able to communicate to faculty about what they do but learn where and how they can best assist them in their research and innovation endeavors.

Value Proposition: Innovation is hard, and that is why the team strives to assemble services, programs, and resources to increase the chances of success for their innovators. In January 2023, Drexel became a partner institution in the 5-year, $15M NSF I-Corps Hub Northeast Region, joining nine other institutions including Princeton, Yale, Rutgers, and University of Delaware, to help deliver entrepreneurial training for faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in the Northeast region. The I-Corps program is a great way to increase the competitiveness of research proposals, find opportunities for industry collaboration and funding, and to explore the formation of a startup company. As Drexel’s PI on the grant, Shintaro Kaido, Vice Provost for Innovation and Executive Director of Drexel Applied Innovation, is grateful for the I-Corps Faculty Lead, Dr. Caroline Schauer, and her support which enabled them to meet or exceed their commitments to NSF this year. They are also very grateful for DUCOM Research Committee members and their help to make I-Corps more relevant and accessible for their researchers.

Also in January, Drexel Applied Innovation launched the Drexel University Innovation Fund (DUIF), which invests in early-stage student, alumni, and tech transfer startups coming out of Drexel. DUIF invests $150,000 per startup in up to five startups per year, making it one of the largest programs of its kind nationally, but perhaps the most compelling feature of DUIF is that the University aspires to play the role of a “family and friends investor” and come in before most professional capital. As President Fry said in the program announcement, “We want to double down on our innovators and problem solvers.” DUIF’s primary aim is to enable founders to commit to the venture and shorten the time to professional capital.

In FY22, the Industry Engagement team was formed with the mission to connect Drexel intellectual property and their inventors to unmet industry needs and innovation challenges. In FY23, the first full year of operations, the Industry Engagement team connected 12 faculty members in the College of Engineering, College of Medicine, and School of Biomedical Engineering to over 1,400 companies through targeted marketing campaigns. Drexel Applied Innovation is excited to report that one of those connections made in FY23 has resulted in a 2-year $2.6M grant award from a private foundation.

Coordination and Collaboration: FY23 was a year of new partnerships as well as forging of the old. The Charles D. Close School for Entrepreneurship and Drexel Applied Innovation worked together to launch the Drexel University Innovation Fund (DUIF) and co-designed a credit-bearing course titled ENTP T380 “The Venture Capital Experience,” where Drexel students work with the DUIF Investment Advisory Committee to review potential investments. They also collaborated on Drexel Startup Fest, Drexel Startups Fund, and the Raynier Seed Fund for Underserved Startup Founders in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

Drexel Applied Innovation played a key role in the launch of Drexel Medicine Diagnostics (DMD), a clinical diagnostic business launched by DUCOM in FY23, by working closely with DUCOM and University leadership to construct the business case and operational plan. DMD offers a range of testing services from microbiology, toxicology screens, viral and bacterial testing including tick-borne diseases.

The Drexel Coulter Translational Research Program awards up to $700K per year in translational research efforts of Drexel innovation, which has the potential to improve patient care. Starting in FY24, Drexel Applied Innovation will provide 50% salary support for the Coulter Project Director as well as the Assistant Director. With this new partnership, Drexel Applied Innovation and the Coulter Program will work together to create a greater impact.

Lastly, the team is very excited about teaming up with the Graduate College and sponsoring the annual “Excellence in Expanding the Impact of Research” award.

Transparency for Scale: In FY23, the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) launched the Clarity Project to improve transparency by defining processes, roles, and responsibilities so that the ORI can maintain its Carnegie R1 status and grow. The Clarity Project covers the entire scope of ORI and its intersections with faculty, schools and colleges, and administrative units. As part of the Clarity Project, Drexel Applied Innovation’s key processes for IP development, transactions such as licenses, and marketing campaigns are now formally defined and implemented as weekly meetings. This will break down the silos and increase team synergies.

The Drexel Applied Innovation team is filled with a sense of gratitude for its innovators, partners, and collaborators. They look forward to expanding their partnerships and collaboration in FY24 and also taking on new challenges, such as going for institutional funding opportunities to enhance their innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Core Facilities

Research Core Facilities at Drexel University promote discovery, creativity, and impact by providing access to advanced instrumentation and services, expertise on experimental design and data analysis, and technical training to Drexel students, researchers, faculty, and external academic and industry partners. The Materials Characterization Core, Cell Imaging Center, and University Research Computing Facility host some of the most cutting-edge instrumental and technical capabilities on campus and are hubs of high-impact research, innovation, collaboration, and learning. This year these centrally-reporting core facilities served over 150 Drexel faculty and over 400 researchers including undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral students, and research scientists from 10 of Drexel’s Colleges and Schools. Researchers using the ORI Cores authored over 500 peer-reviewed publications this year – almost 40% of Drexel’s total research output. Research expenditures for those same investigators was $48M – over 30% of Drexel’s total research expenditures in FY2023.

Drexel Philadelphia Materials Science Day Apreo scanning electron microscope demonstration. As part of Drexel’s commitment to community engagement, the Materials Characterization Core and Cell Imaging Center provided hands-on research experiences to participants in the University City Science Center’s Building an Understanding of Laboratory Basics (BULB) program. Cores hosted tours for visitors to Drexel’s Philly Materials Day (right image) and partnered with the Philadelphia Society for Microscopy to host an in-person Joint Symposium on Interdisciplinary Microscopy Studies that included invited presentations from Drexel, the Academy of Natural Sciences, UPenn, and the Naval Research Laboratory. Cores continues to be critical for recruitment of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

Materials Characterization Core (MCC) – The MCC is a multi-user facility that provides technical expertise and instrumentation for research in variety of areas including nanoscience and engineering, polymer research, biomedical engineering, and chemistry and physics of solid materials. The MCC occupies a 3,500 square foot laboratory in the Bossone Research Enterprise Building on Drexel's main campus that houses several electron microscopes, X-ray diffractometers, an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, and a suite of sample preparation tools.

Zeiss Xradia 620 Versa 3D X-ray Microscope installed in the Drexel Materials Characterization Core in February 2023.In AY 2022-2023, 160 MCC users clocked 8,188 instrument hours. Users represented 40 faculty research groups from 5 Drexel Colleges and Schools.

Additional highlights include:

  • Acquired Zeiss Xradia Versa 620 3D X-ray Microscope ($1.2M NSF MRI Award and $526K ORI Cost Share).
  • Acquired critically important upgrade for X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer ($330K direct investment).
  • Development of in situ electrochemical testing holder for scanning electron microscope. Funded by NSF MRI award and Scholarly Materials Research Award (Chris Li – MSE).
  • Provided support for several Drexel courses including demos for 83 incoming freshmen participating in the MSE 2-Day Materials Course.
  • Provided demos for 24 high school students participating in the ASM Materials Camp.

Cell Imaging Center (CIC) – The CIC is a multi-user facility housed in purpose-built imaging suites in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building and in the Bossone Research Center. The CIC serves the light microscopy needs of Drexel researchers from a variety of academic colleges and departments including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the School of Biomedical Engineering, and the College of Medicine.

BD FACS Symphony A1 Flow CytometerIn AY 2022-2023, 83 CIC users clocked 3,629 instrument hours. Users represented 28 faculty research groups from 4 Drexel Colleges and Schools.

Additional highlights include:

  • Acquired new BD FACS Symphony A1 Flow Cytometer to replace an aging system.
  • Established the CIC Advisory Committee under the leadership of Prof. Catherine von Reyn from Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences.
  • CIC organized demo and hands – on activity for fifteen BMES 421/621: Medical Imaging systems class students.
  • CIC organized tours for the biology graduate student recruitment and orientation events.

Core Facilities

University Research Computing Facility (URCF) – The URCF provides high-performance scientific computing and secure storage of protected health information to both the Drexel community and other universities in the Philadelphia area. The URCF’s 1,600 square-foot data center houses the Picotte cluster, which consists of Standard CPU Nodes, Large Memory Nodes, GPU Nodes and storage, and was acquired through a combined $1.2 million investment funded by Drexel and an award from the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation program. Picotte was named in honor of Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American to earn a medical degree and a Drexel alum.

In AY 2022-2023, 229 URCF users clocked 8,138,026 core-hours on Picotte. Users represented 98 faculty research groups from 9 Drexel Colleges and Schools.

Additional highlights include:

  • Reorganization of the URCF including new Director level position in the ORI Research Core Facilities org and reconstitution of the URCF Governance Board as an Advisory Committee to align with other ORI core facilities.
  • Hired Dr. Linh Ngo as Director of High-Performance Computing to lead the URCF.
  • Launched a Research Computing Workshop Series in the Fall 2023 quarter. The series includes two core workshops on Linux and Research Computing on Picotte, and one two-session introduction to Python programming. URCF hopes to introduce users to basic concepts in advanced research computing through regular workshops in Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. They plan to offer the series as a concentrated one-week bootcamp during Summer quarter 2024.
  • Awarded NSF MRI grant (Lead PI Joshua Agar – MEM) for $3.9M to develop Storage and Compute Resources for Data Intensive Science and Engineering (DISE). The DISE system is anticipated to provide a data storage solution to most of Drexel’s research community and high-speed compute capabilities for artificial intelligence and machine learning applications.

University Laboratory Animal Resources (ULAR) – In AY ‘22-23, University Laboratory Animal Resources (ULAR) provided animal husbandry, medical assistance, research assistance and guidance to 49 PIs and research laboratories at three Drexel campuses, including an average daily census of 2217 enclosures housing 5160 mice and rats. The animal care and use program received Continued Full Accreditation from AAALAC, International and inspections from the USDA were successful with no findings. ULAR management worked with the RBOT team to continue to utilize InfoEd and to evaluate vendors for COEUS replacement software including the animal care module. Additionally, ULAR staff received continuing education at local and national AALAS meetings; Carlton Reed, Floor Leader received the AALAS Purina Laboratory Animal Technician Award and Alex Middlebrook, Animal Care Technician, passed the AALAS Exam and is a certified Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician. Furthermore, Dr. Huneke continues to serve as an AAALAC, International Council member, is a member of the BOD for the Pennsylvania Society of Biomedical Research and Americans for Medical Progress, and was chosen to serve as the National AALAS representative to ICLAS (International Council for Laboratory Animal Science), where he was elected as a member of the governing board and vice chair of the Americas committee.

Research Business Operations & Technology (RBOT)

COEUS Replacement Project

While COEUS has served the university and carried it through 10+ years of proposal and protocol management, improvements in software over the last decade brings a host of new system options that have the capability to vastly improve efficiency and transparency across the many administrative processes associated with the work of the ORI.

In preparation, the ORI spent the second half of the academic year engaged in a process to find the right research administration system for Drexel. A committee of 50 from across the university, including faculty, administrators, ORI business owners, and central administrative teams (think IT, HR, etc.) engaged deeply in evaluation of 8 vendor offerings that encompass all functional areas the ORI manages, including sponsored programs, research compliance, and innovation. What has been seen to date in terms of improvements in these systems coupled with the CLARITY project work described above to inform how the new software will be used is exceptional. These systems and process improvements will provide the power to shift the way the ORI works to an efficient, transparent environment with the ability to think even more strategically about collective work through data-informed discussions and decision-making.

Operations Teams Merger

To improve operations and reduce administrative burden within the Office of Research & Innovation, the Finance & Operations and Research Systems & Analytics teams, operating as separate sub-functional teams, were merged into the singular Research Business Operations & Technology (RBOT) team in May 2023.

The team was created to improve business processes, communications, data management, and access to services by aligning several interrelated functions under a single umbrella. The new RBOT team, comprised of 8 ORI colleagues, has been hard at work documenting while improving processes and working to refine service delivery with the goal of significantly reducing ORI’s level of administrative burden.

RBOT Activity Highlights

  • Welcomed 17 new hires during AY ’22-23 powered by a streamlined hiring process.
  • Implemented Concourse, a new, more efficient payment system for Community Advisory Board members.
  • Delivered timely quarterly and ad hoc research metric reports to track performance and drive strategic planning and decision-making.
  • Designed and delivered an improved quarterly newsletter.
  • Successfully launched the first ORI LinkedIn page.

Regulatory Affairs & Research Compliance

The Regulatory Affairs & Research Compliance team comprises several programs, including HRPP-IRB, IACUC, Radiation Safety, IBC, Quality Assurance, and Research Compliance (Export Control, COI, and Research Integrity). These programs ensure Drexel University’s research is conducted ethically and with integrity while adhering to the regulations, requirements, and best practice standards.

The 2022-2023 year for the team was primarily a transition year with new leadership in each of the programmatic areas to transition the programs from emerging to evolving through the following:

  1. Implemented team and programmatic level strategic planning to identify future improvements while utilizing project management tools to ensure consistent implementation and communication.
  2. Integrated with other operational units within ORI, faculty, staff, departments, and other functional stakeholders across Drexel University (e.g., HR, Provost Office, OGC, Procurement/Tax).
  3. Conducted several education sessions with our ORI partners across campus on varying topics (e.g., Research Blood Draw, Community Advisory Board, Data Management & Sharing, IRB and IACUC overviews, Research Compliance, COI, and Principal Investigator Responsibilities).
  4. The IRB and IACUC were inspected over the last 18th months by the FDA and USDA, respectively, and resulted in clean reports with no adverse findings.


Turn-Around Times and Volumes
Over the last year, the HRPP-IRB has been focused on improving turn-around time and submission responsiveness. This has led to over a 61% improvement in response time, from, on average, 29 days to 11 days for initial feedback. For expedited amendments, on average, submissions are completed within 2 business days. The HRPP-IRB has observed a 2% growth in submissions compared to 2021-2022.

Over the last year, the HRPP-IRB has created or revised several resources, including but not limited to: “Quick Tips for Exempt Submissions,” a revised information sheet for exempt research, and human subjects study closure guidance.

Animal Welfare, IACUC, and IBC

Reviews and Meetings
During the 2022-2023 year, the IACUC and IBC reviewed the following submissions:

  • IACUC - Total Approved Protocols: 62
  • IACUC - Total Meetings Held: 12
  • IBC - Total Approved Protocols: 32 (30 of which had corresponding IACUC protocols)
  • IBC Total Approved Meetings: 10

Over the last year, the Animal Welfare Office, in coordination with the IACUC, has created or revised several resources, including but not limited to: “Policy on the Use of Image or Sound Recordings in Animal Facilities,” “Research or Teaching Laboratories,” “Policy for Animal Number Justifications,” “Rodent Breeding Policy,” and “Policy for Surgery and Post Surgery Care in Rodents.” The Animal Welfare Office also implemented an updated Post-Approval-Monitoring program, with educational sessions and guidance to our research community.

Quality Assurance
The Research Quality Assurance program is a recent development and implementation for ORI, In addition to monitoring as required per federal requirements and the institution, this program is also critical to the CLARITY project and ensuring that the team has developed transparent guidelines, standard operating procedures, and other tools that will help ensure effective compliance that is value-added to our research community. As part of this work, processes, templates, and communication plans have been established, and the team is grateful to all who have participated.

Guidelines and SOPs
The following guidelines and SOPs have been finalized over the last year:

In addition to guideline and SOP training commencing with each document's release, ORI also has established an in-person training for Research Blood Draws that provides individuals with a certificate and is sponsored by the Office of Research and Innovation. During the last 12 months, over 20 Drexel University Staff, Students, and Faculty have completed the training and received their certificate as part of career development for research personnel.

Research Compliance


  • Export Control/Research Security:
    • 189 Restricted party screenings (88 required detailed review/further action)
    • 407 Travel Registrations reviewed (15 requiring detailed review to sanctioned countries)
    • 93 International Visitor/Visa Reviews
    • 2 Research Security Facility site audits
  • COI:
    • 380 COI reviews (standard COEUS routing)
    • 15 COI reviews (updated Smartsheet process)
    • 16 Comprehensive Management plans
  • Research Integrity:
    • 5 Research Integrity/misconduct investigations

Over the last year, several new processes and improvements have occurred, including implementing an electronic COI form and international travel registration review process in conjunction with Global Engagement.

Overall, the Regulatory Affairs and Research Compliance Team's future goals will be centered on continuing to evolve its programs into mature programs that serve their research participants, faculty, staff, students, and the University. By continuing to fulfill these purposes, these programs help maintain the integrity of the research enterprise, protect participants' rights and welfare, and uphold Drexel University’s high standard for research outcomes.

Sponsored Programs

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is responsible for all pre-award and non-financial post-award management of sponsored activities that have resulted from a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement. In AY 22-23, OSP comprised of a Grants Team, Contracts Team, and a newly developed Subawards Team. In addition, the Research Businesses Shared Services (RBSS) unit was moved from ORI’s Finance & Administration team and joined OSP. Having grants, contracts, subawards, and shared services within the same unit strengthens OSP’s ability to provide best practices and strong support to the research community throughout the lifecycle of awards.

During the AY 22-23 year, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) focused internally to review, assess, and streamline processes and standard operating procedures to enhance their customer service to Drexel’s research community. OSP also worked with other units within ORI and other central offices to review and revise processes to ensure best practices in compliance as well as conformance to regulations and policies to establish best practices in research administration. Moreover, OSP has identified key areas to improve and prioritized the need for written guidance in order to provide clarity and transparency to Drexel’s research community. In addition, OSP has provided the opportunity to view NCURA webinars on key topics in research administration to provide ongoing professional development.

Highlights for each unit with the Office of Sponsored Programs Include:


  • OSP attended regional and national conferences for professional development to improve best practices at Drexel
  • Mapped internal processes and SOPs in preparation of a new eRA system implementation
  • Developed roles and responsibilities matrix for clarity between teams

Grants Team 

  • Coordinated processes with Research Accounting Services (RAS) for award set-ups, financial documentation, and fund assignments
  • Developed internal process for requirement by many federal agencies
  • Streamlined hand-off process to the Contracts Team for various types of agreements and contracts

Contracts Team 

  • Developed a Visiting Scientist Agreement template with the Office of General Counsel (OGC)
  • Worked with the OGC to develop a process for all independent contractor and consulting agreements for sponsored activities to flow through OSP to provide better compliance and clarity of who is engaged in research
  • Received training and guidance from Research Compliance and Applied Innovation to streamline processes and ensure compliance on contracts and agreements, especially in the areas of FCOI, export control, and intellectual property

Subawards Team

  • Reviewed current process and identify areas for improvement
  • Improved turnaround times while catching up with a backlog of outstanding agreements
  • Ensured subrecipient monitoring procedures are in place to follow Uniform Guidance compliance

Research Business Shared Services 

  • Improved communication, collaboration, and trust with units supported by RBSS to better understand processes and how to do research at Drexel
  • Reviewed terms and conditions with PIs at the proposal and award stages for better understanding and clarity of roles and responsibilities
  • Supported community collaborators by providing guidance and assistance on how to complete required documents at the proposal and award stages

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Investing in Research Resources & Tools

Scholar Support

Access to data:

  • ICPSR, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
    Drexel University has a subscription to Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR): an international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community.

    ICPSR maintains a data archive of more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioral sciences. It hosts 21 specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism, and other fields.

    ICPSR collaborates with a number of funders, including U.S. statistical agencies and foundations, to create thematic data collections and data stewardship and research projects.

    ICPSR's educational activities include the Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research, a comprehensive curriculum of intensive courses in research design, statistics, data analysis, and social methodology. ICPSR also leads several initiatives that encourage use of data in teaching, particularly in undergraduate instruction.

    ICPSR-sponsored research focuses on the emerging challenges of digital curation and data science. ICPSR leads or takes part in many policy initiatives and grant-funded activities that result in publications that address issues related to data stewardship. ICPSR researchers also examine substantive issues related to their collections, with an emphasis on historical demography and the environment.
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  • Philadelphia Federal Research Statistical Data Center
    FSRDCs are partnerships between federal statistical agencies and leading research institutions that allow qualified researchers to conduct research on a wide range of non- public micro-data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The datasets that you can find through FSRDCs are among the greatest and most extensive sources of statistical information in the U.S. for researchers in economics, business, demography, sociology, medicine, statistics, criminology, and many other disciplines. For more information, please visit FSRDC’s website at or email Dr. André Kurmann, Professor of Economics, at
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Data Management:

  • LabArchives
    Drexel University has an enterprise license for LabArchives electronic research notebook (ERN) services for use by its faculty, researchers, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students in performing or learning research activities. The LabArchives will assist researchers in managing the results of research efforts, record and document research processes and procedures, and manage digital research data in ways that increase reproducibility, efficiency, collaboration, searchability, and security. 
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  • Labarchives Logo

    LabArchives Activity Count Chart
    LabArchives Session Count
    LabArchives User Count Chart

Core Facilities:

The Office of Research and Innovation operates four University Core Facilities that help drive innovation and discovery in a variety of high-impact research areas and provide access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, expert technical staff, and advanced laboratory space. These shared resources are available to all Drexel faculty and student researchers.

Investments in Advanced Research Instruments

  • Materials Characterization Core – The Apreo 2S Scanning Electron Microscope, acquired through a 2021 NSF Major Research Instrumentation award, was made broadly available to the research community over the last year and already has 30 fully trained users. The final step in this project is the development of a novel SEM stage for electrochemical to help better understand the microscopic evolution of advanced battery materials. The NanoCT 3D X-ray microscope acquired through a 2022 MRI award was installed in February and is fully operational. 
  • Cell Imaging Center – The CIC acquired a new Flow Cytometer that will be brought online this fall. Flow Cytometry enables rapid analysis of single cells and is critical to Cell and Gene Therapy research. 
  • University Research Computing Facility – Dr. Linh Ngo joined the Research Core Facilities team in August as Director of High-Performance Computing. Dr. Ngo will lead the University Research Computing Facility.
  • Discovering Shared Research Resources
    We continue to add instruments and other shared resources to The Instrument Search Tool on the Research Core Facilities website. The Instrument Search Tool helps connect researcher with shared instrumentation and services across campus through keyword search and filtering. The University research community is invited to add to the list of discoverable resources. For more information, please contact Craig Johnson at

For additional details, please see the Core Facilities section under Milestones above.

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Reducing Administrative Burden:

  • Office of Sponsored Programs
    The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is responsible for the central coordination and administrative oversight of Drexel University's sponsored activities. OSP reviews all proposal submissions and negotiates the awarded grants and contracts on behalf the University. In addition, OSP provides all non-financial post-award support. As part of the Office of Research & Innovation's Clarity Project, OSP is working to improve efficiencies in the proposal and award process as well as develop procedures and guidelines for the lifecycle of awards management, increase transparency on research administration, and develop clear communication to faculty and staff.
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Academic, industry and government are working together to solve societies most pressing current and future challenges. Through memberships and affiliations, we are facilitating collaborative research and development opportunities for faculty and students.

  • Manufacturing USA Institutes
    Drexel is a member of the Manufacturing USA® network focused on large scale public-private collaboration on technology, supply chain and workforce development in advanced manufacturing. The national network of diverse manufacturing institutes, sponsored by either the U.S. Department of Commerce, Defense or Energy, all have the same goal of accelerating U.S. manufacturing in each of their designated fields. Drexel is a member of 4 of the 16 institutes: AFFOA, MxD, ARM, and America Makes. Advanced Technology International is a consortium management group that is dedicated to solving the most challenging technological problems the world faces today. More specifically, Drexel partners MTEC, which is a biomedical technology consortium that focuses on preventing injuries and speeding up the development of life by changing medical technology.  
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  • Advanced Technology International (ATI)
    Focusing on small and emerging companies that have traditionally not worked with the federal government, Drexel joined the Advanced Technology International (ATI) consortia. As a member, our researchers have access to a host of potential collaborators, support to form technology development teams, and access to federal funding opportunities to support projects.
    Learn More

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Supporting & Recognizing Research Excellence

Research News

Research activities are heavily featured in Drexel News, highlights include:

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Internal Committees:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Committee

SSHRC scholars engage in activities that support different aspects of the research process, including writing retreats to support grant and publication writing, quarterly social events to support interdisciplinary networking, travel award scholarships to support dissemination, speaker series to spark dialogue and new research ideas, interdisciplinary meet-ups to support conversations across disciplines that lead to new collaborations, ‘how-to’ grant writing seminars to gain skills in grant submissions, and participate in SIGS (special interest group) to learn new research methods in partnership with their Drexel colleagues.
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The Office of Research & Innovation financially supports a variety of seed funding opportunity that stimulate and support the development of new research projects, the expansion of existing projects, as well as recognition of outstanding research performance. Below is a list of approaches we utilize.

  • Community Driven Research Day
    In 2023, Drexel University served as the host institution for the 13th Annual Community Driven Research Day. This annual event was co-sponsored by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple University College of Public Health, Thomas Jefferson University, The University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University. Each participating institution awards small grants to promising community partner-researcher collaborations through a competitive submission process post this event.

    This year’s awarded project was CornerJawn Community Health Hub. The goal of this project is to build a sustainable interdisciplinary community-academic partnership between FarmerJawn & Friends Foundation Fund, a Black-founded, Black-run urban agriculture and food justice organization and health researchers. Annette Gadegbeku, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Family, Community & Preventative Medicine, College of Medicine is the project lead.

Community Driven Research Day Community Driven Research Day


As a means of supporting the ongoing development of our research, scholarship, and creative activities, as well as recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional service, the Office of Research & Innovation and the Office of Faculty Advancement manage numerous awards for research, scholarship, creativity, teaching, and professional service. The ORI distributed approximately $283,568 in research or scholarly career awards last year. The Awards Reception took place on May 31, 2023. Congratulations to the below awardees!

Faculty Awards 2023  Faculty Awards 2023  Faculty Awards 2023




2023 Provost Awards for Outstanding Scholarly Productivity
Early-Career Scholarly Productivity
Ahmad Najafi
College of Engineering
2023 Provost Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Scholarly Achievement
Jessica Barson
College of Medicine
Provost’s Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Scholarly Productivity
Girija Kaimal
College of Nursing and Health Professions
Mid-Career Provost Scholarly Productivity Award
Matthew Stamm
College of Engineering
2023 Career Outstanding Scholarly Productivity
Masoud Soroush
College of Engineering
2023 Faculty Bridge Funding Award
Catalyzing Stem Gender Equity at Drexel: Building a Foundation for Systemic Transformation
Leslie McClure
Dornsife School of Public Health
2023 Faculty Summer Research Awards for Faculty
Strategic Representations of Ancient Architecture in British- and French-Occupied Cyprus and Tunisia: A Comparative Study Daniel Coslett Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
Exacting and Linklater William (Bill) Fennelly Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
Linking social policy to health: A qualitative examination of Philadelphia’s Right to Council Program and its implications for housing and health
Allison Groves Dornsife School of Public Health
No Faculty Left Behind: ADVANCEing Intersectional Gender Equity and Inclusion at Drexel Kristy Kelly School of Education
Undercut Research Joseph Larnerd Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
Nature Rx2: A mixed methods study exploring the relationships among interactions with nature, dietary quality and sustainable eating behaviors Brandy-Joe Milliron College of Nursing and Health Professions
Exploring Substance Use Trends among Older Adults: Considering the Role of Family and Social Support Rikki Patton College of Nursing and Health Professions
Understanding the Role of Conversational Agents for Online Safety of Youth
Afsaneh Razi College of Computing & Informatics
Robust testing of a novel strategy for identifying antiviral activity: using toxicity metrics Karl Sohlberg College of Arts and Sciences
2023 Freddie Reisman Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Awards
Jen Blazina: Invited International Fellowships and Exhibitions in Israel Jennifer Blazina Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
The Flood VR: An immersive experience of artistic expression as a call to action on climate change James McKinney Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
Creating a culture of research and assessment to support sustainability Karen Nulton College of Arts and Sciences
Cornell Farm Project Tom Quinn Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
Uncertain Illnesses: Honey Bee Health and Medical Meaning
Chloe Silverman College of Arts and Sciences
2023 Scholarly Materials & Research Equipment Awards for Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty
DataFed Searchable Scientific Data Management System Using Globus Joshua Agar & Jane Greenberg College of Engineering/College of Computing & Informatics
MRI-Compatible EEG System for Studies of Brain Network Dynamics and Mental Health Aaron Kucyi & Evangelia Chrysikou College of Arts and Sciences
In Operando Electrochemical Analysis of Next Generation Energy Storage Materials Christopher Li & Kathleen Vanderburgh College of Engineering/Research Core Facilities

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Discovery & Innovation

NSF I-Corps at Drexel

2023 marked Drexel's first year as an official partner school in the $15M NSF I-Corps Hubs Northeast region. NSF I-Corps trains faculty, postdocs, and PhD students to explore the question, "given the innovation, who outside of academia cares about it the most, why and by how much,” so that they can best expand the impact of their research for societal benefit.  

Please see below for some metrics from this year’s activities related to Drexel’s NSF I-Corps Alumni: 

  • 20 individuals trained in 2023 regional cohorts, as part of six teams 
  • Two teams trained in 2023 national cohort 
  • 38 patents granted or licensed by all NSF I-Corps alumni in 2023 
  • $230,000 in 2023 private funding secured by all NSF I-Corps alumni 
  • $3,115,000 in 2023 public funding secured by all NSF I-Corps alumni 
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Drexel University Innovation Fund completes successful inaugural cohort

The Drexel University Innovation Fund (DUIF), launched in early 2023, has concluded a successful inaugural cohort, investing in two early-stage, Drexel-affiliated startups: GrowFlux, an agricultural lighting technology startup, and SusMax, which produces lightweight aggregate construction material. 

GrowFlux is an agricultural lighting technology startup founded by College of Engineering alumni Eric Eisele (’09) and Alex Roscoe (’13). The startup builds and deploys energy efficient horticultural lighting controls to reduce energy cost and improve crop performance for farmers. The startup has installed more than 400 systems in 16 countries and continues to scale.  

SusMax recycles waste coal ash through a patented process into an aggregate used in various construction applications, including as lightweight concrete. Co-founded by CEO Mo Balapour (’19, ’21), a College of Engineering alumnus, and Amir Farnam, PhD, an associate professor in the College, the aggregate can increase the lifetime of concrete by 20% and reduce the carbon emissions associated with manufacturing and transporting construction lightweight aggregate by up to 50%.  

DUIF plays the role of a friends and family investor, providing “first check” investments of $150,000 per startup to powerfully back Drexel innovators, making up to four investments per year. This includes startups founded by students, alumni, postgraduates, and faculty members, as well as startups founded to commercialize Drexel scientific research.  

In collaboration with the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, DUIF runs in parallel to a unique immersive undergraduate student learning experience about innovation investing. Throughout the course, undergraduate students communicate directly with the four finalist startups, playing the role of due diligence analysts. The course concludes with both the finalist startups and undergraduate students presenting separately to an Investment Advisory Committee, comprised of a diverse panel of primarily Drexel alumni, bringing together the full breadth of the Drexel community.
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Drexel’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship is the nation’s first dedicated and Independent school of entrepreneurship to offer degrees. Nationally ranked and accredited, the Close School provides all Drexel students with the opportunity to learn and practice entrepreneurship. Inside the classroom, students learn how to develop their entrepreneurial mindset through an innovative curriculum taught by faculty with deep entrepreneurial experience. Outside the classroom, Drexel students develop their entrepreneurial skills by launching new businesses and incubating them in Drexel’s student startup lab - the Laurence A. Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship.
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Drexel Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program

The Drexel Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program promotes, develops, and supports innovations to improve patient care. The program provides mentoring, project management, and funding to promising translational projects with the goal of moving innovative technologies to clinical application through commercialization. The ultimate goal of this partnership is to develop health care solutions that address unmet or underserved clinical needs and lead to improvements in patient health care.
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ORI Team & Partners

Sponsored Programs
The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for reviewing and approving proposals for submission to external sponsors.

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The Office of Research & Innovation is devoted to advocating for the highest standards of ethics, integrity and applicable laws for all research endeavors.

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Applied Innovation
Drexel Applied Innovation provides technology licensing, industry sponsored research support, entrepreneurial training and venture creation services to support the impact endeavors of Drexel faculty, postdocs and graduate students.

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Welcoming New ORI Team Members

Please join in welcoming our new colleagues to the following teams: 

Drexel Applied Innovation team: 

Tanvi Muni, Licensing Manager

In October 2022, Tanvi became a member of the Intellectual Property & Agreements team in Drexel Applied Innovation, reporting to Senior Associate Vice Provost for IP & Agreements Robert McGrath. Tanvi’s efforts will focus on the commercialization of new inventions developed by Drexel innovators, securing intellectual property protection, communicating to potential partners, and negotiating licensing agreements.

Lillian Rukenstein, Entrepreneurial Development Program Manager

Lillie joined Drexel Applied Innovation in January 2023 to collaborate with department heads, faculty, and personnel across the University as we strengthen our partnerships and engagements, support to the entrepreneurial community, and develop our capital initiatives.

Chelsea Samuelson, Director of Startup Funding Programs

Chelsea joined ORI on July 31, leading the Startup Funding Program and reporting to Vice Provost for Innovation, Shintaro Kaido. In this role, she manages the Drexel University Innovation Fund, Drexel Angels, and the Raynier Seed Fund for Underserved Entrepreneurs as a member of the Entrepreneurial Advancement team.

Research Compliance & Regulatory Affairs team: 

Marisa Corbett, Executive Director for Research Quality Assurance.

Marisa joined Drexel on July 31 and oversees research quality assurance that includes monitoring, support, trainings, policies, and procedures for ORI units.

Heidi Mitchel, IRB Analyst

Heidi joined the IRB Team in February 2023, bringing 10 years of compliance experience in Institutional Review Board at the University of Missouri. Heidi provides compliance expertise to assist and support investigators and the IRB.

Elan Mitchell-Gee, PhD, Director, Export Control and Research Security

ORI would like to welcome Dr. Elan Mitchell-Gee who joined Drexel University as the Director of Export Control and Research Security. Elan joins us with expansive knowledge and experience in the area of Export Control. Her previous experience includes working as Senior Export Policy Analyst with the U.S. Department of Commerce on human landing systems, nuclear technology controls, foreign policy, and exporter outreach and education. Elan holds a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies from Spelman College and a PhD in International Relations from Howard University.

Cassandra Myers, Associate Vice Provost for Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs

Having joined Drexel in October 2022, Cassie leads the Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs team and oversees human research protections, animal welfare, research integrity, export controls, research security, and research conflicts of interests.

Research Development team: 

Charlie Fraioli, Research Intelligence Analyst

Charlie joined the Research Development team in October 2022. He is a former Senior Standards Management Analyst who conducted research, data analysis, and stakeholder interviews to inform minimum standards for B Corp Certification. Charlie has experience as a Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in Spreadsheet Modeling for Management and Economics.

Jennifer Gregory, Research Events Manager

Jennifer joined the Research Development team in January 2023. As an accomplished senior administrator and operations director in secondary education, she brings experience in planning and managing complex in person, virtual and hybrid events, and programs for multiple stakeholders. Prior this role, Jennifer was a secondary school English teacher.

Cecelia Macera, Proposal Development Manager

Celia is the newest member of the Research Development. She brings experience as a grant writing and project consultant for a nationwide grants firm. Celia is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). Her past roles include Assistant Director of Development and Major Gifts, and Director of Development, both in the non-profit social and educational services sectors.

Sarah Schwartz, Research Design Manager

Sarah joined the Research Development team in October 2022 as Graphic Designer. She brings more than 8 years of educational media product and materials development including websites, videos, graphics, poster events, press briefs and writing copy that utilize visual literacy and hierarchy tools. Most recently, Sarah served as project manager for Drexel’s participation in the AAAS 2023 Annual meeting.

Sponsored Programs team: 

Sue Elkins, Grants Administrator

Sue joined the Office of Sponsored Programs’ Grants team in October 2022, bringing over 10 years of research administration experience in both higher education and hospital settings.

Ekin Garzon, Contract Administrator

Ekin joined the Sponsored Programs team in March 2023 and provides support for the administration and processing of contracts and agreements for sponsored research projects across the University. Ekin drafts, reviews, and negotiates various types of contracts, cooperative agreements, sponsored research agreements and sub-recipient agreements with private, industry, and federal partners on behalf of the University.

Finance and Administration team

Jeannine Reed-Heil, Finance Coordinator

Jeannine joined ORI in January 2023, bringing over 15 years of financial experience. Jeannine provides administrative aid to business and financial operations in support of the activities and functions of the Office of Research.

University Research Computing Facility Team

Linh Ngo, Director of High Performance Computing (HPC)

Linh joined ORI on August 14, leading the monitoring of the computing hardware/networking for the various HPC systems and reporting to Operations Director for Research Core Facilities and URCF Faculty Director, Dr. Craig Johnson. In this role, he will manage the design, installation, monitoring and maintenance of hardware, software and networking equipment for HPC systems in the URCF.

One Drexel:Dragon Statue

Drexel’s diverse committees, offices and colleges work together to support and guide researchers of all levels and expertise. During any step of the research process, our committed partners will be able to assist and advise the researcher on any obstacle they may face. These partners are the University Research Council, Research Administration Advisory Committee (RAAC), University Advisory Committee (UACs), Senate Committee on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (SCRSCA), Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), Drexel Libraries, Drexel Solutions Institutes, Graduate College, Office of Global Engagement, and the Office of Faculty Affairs.

Partners in Research: University Research Council

The Academy of Natural Sciences

Mariangeles Arce H., PhD

Mariangeles Arce H.
(215) 299-1128

Meghan Bucci

Meghan Bucci
(215) 299-1037

AJ Drexel Autism Institute

Lindsay Shea

Lindsay Shea, DRPH, MS
(215) 571-3440
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Ken Munroe

Kenneth J. Munroe, MBA, MSOD, SHRM-CP, GPHR
(215) 571-4686
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College of Arts and Sciences

Evangelia Chrysikou

Evangelia Chrysikou, PhD
(215) 895-1895
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Colleen Terrell

Colleen Terrell
(215) 895-1809


Colleen Terrell holds an undergraduate degree in Values, Technology, Science, & Society from Stanford University and received her MA and PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a postdoc at the University of California, Los Angeles, and served as Assistant Professor of Literature, Communication, & Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology for four years before deciding she did not want a tenured academic position. Prior to joining Drexel as a research administrator in spring 2022, she spent 15 years working in institutional giving at various Philadelphia educational and cultural organizations, as grant writer, manager of foundation giving, and director of foundation and government relations, and she acquired an MA in Decorative Arts and Design History from Bard Graduate Center. She has published several articles and reviews, received awards and fellowships for her work, and taught grant writing classes at the Fels Institute of Government at UPenn.

College of Computing & Informatics 

Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass, PhD
(215) 571-4416
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Melissa Ayers

Melissa Ayers
(215) 895-5979
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College of Engineering

Jin Wen

Jin Wen, PhD
(215) 895-4911
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Chad Morris

Chad Morris
(215) 895-6630

College of Medicine 

Kenny Simansky

Kenny Simansky, PhD
(215) 762-8141
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Noreen Robertson

Noreen Robertson, DMD
(215) 762-4889
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College of Nursing and Health Professions

RoseAnn DeMaria Gellilli

Rose Ann DiMaria-Ghalili, PhD, RN, FASPEN, FAAN, FGSA
(215) 359-5829
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Michelle Doyle

Michelle Doyle, MS, MBA

Dornsife School of Public Health

Brisa Sanchez

Brisa N. Sánchez, PhD
(215) 359-6128
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Kline School of Law

Amy L. Landers

Amy L. Landers, JD
(215) 571-4795
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LeBow College of Business

Elea Feit

Elea Feit, PhD
(215) 571-4054
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Kimberly Williams

Kimberly Williams
(215) 895-2145

Salus University

Mitchell Scheiman

Mitchell Scheiman, OD, PhD, FAAO, FCOVD
(215) 571-4054
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Wendy F. Woodward
(215) 780-1429

School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

Kenneth A. Barbee

Kenneth A. Barbee, PhD
(215) 895-1335
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Claire King

Claire King
(215) 895-1650

School of Education

Jason Silverman

Jason Silverman, PhD
(215) 895-6087
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Tammy DelleFave
(215) 571-3891

Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Neville Vakharia

Neville Vakharia, PhD
(215) 571-4439
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Research Administration Advisory Committee

Article XIII, University Advisory Committees

Senate Committee on Research Scholarship & Creative Activity

Environmental Health & Safety

Drexel University Libraries

Solutions Institute

Graduate College

Office of Global Engagement

Office of Faculty Awards

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