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A.J. Drexel Institutes

Faculty, staff and students from colleges and schools across the University community come together in our A.J. Drexel Research Institutes to create new ideas, knowledge and approaches made possible by the unique combination of intellectual capital and research and innovation infrastructure they represent.

The A.J. Drexel Research Institutes are designed to have lifetimes of 10 to 20 years, and they focus on multidisciplinary areas of science and engineering with important societal implications, a continuous flow of challenging scientific questions and opportunities, and unique intellectual and other assets at the University to create a portfolio of research excellence of international repute.

The University currently supports three AJ Drexel Research Institutes.

  • The A.J. Drexel Autism Institute is the nation’s first autism research center focused on public health science. The Institute is dedicated to discovering preventable causes of autism spectrum disorders; developing approaches that will help children with autism receive services more quickly and efficiently; promoting the spread of effective intervention approaches throughout the community, including underserved areas; providing a better understanding of how adolescents and young adults with autism can be integrated into the community and lead independent and fulfilling lives; and creating new ways to share accurate information about autism that puts scientific accuracy at the forefront but respects community perspectives.
  • The C. & J. Nyheim Plasma Institute is the largest university-based engineering research center focused on plasma science and technology in the United States. The Institute was founded to advance our understanding of plasmas—and to develop and apply plasma-based solutions in areas such as energy, medicine, and environmental remediation and control. In the course of their work, the Plasma Institute’s faculty, staff and students work closely with partners in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. The Plasma Institute houses an extensive suite of R&D instruments and tools that support research in areas such as plasma physics, plasma chemistry, material treatment and processing and plasma medicine.
  • The A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute was established in January 2003 to coordinate interdisciplinary research, education and outreach, and strategic partnerships in nanotechnology. The Institute helped to establish Drexel’s Centralized Research Facility, which hosts a suite of world class materials research instruments. The Nanotechnology Institute launched several externally funded programs for Ph.D. students, master’s students and teachers, and created the Materials and Nanotechnology Consortium, which brings industry funding and co-operative education opportunities to Drexel. Today, Institute faculty are primarily focused on energy and biomedical applications of nanotechnology.