Message from Dr. Crawford, Vice Provost for Research
Drexel University now claims a leadership role in creating technological solutions to solve societal problems in the 21st Century. This bold statement reflects not only the accomplishments of our faculty and leadership during the recent past, but more importantly, their collective vision going forward. In barely more than a decade, Drexel's research enterprise increased expenditures for sponsored projects more than seven-fold, from $15M in FY1996 to approximately $110M today. Drexel is committed to "use-inspired" research and is poised to respond to novel opportunities for research, scholarship and technological development. Clear examples come from interdisciplinary efforts to meet emerging national imperatives to upgrade the transportation infrastructure, to move "alternative" energy sources into the mainstream and to invent the means to improve medical care while reducing its costs. The Office of Research is committed to facilitating research activities across the institution. Our achievements, however, are driven by our faculty.
The synergies provided by bringing the health sciences of medicine, nursing and public health together with the technological prowess of the engineering units have yielded dramatic successes in translating the questions of clinical care and epidemiology into new answers for our community. Such advances led to major, new programs funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and other sponsors from government, foundations and industry. Our competitiveness at the NIH and NSF – the gold standards for rigorous peer review – has demonstrated the quality of our faculty, students, and facilities. Our gains, however, in commercializing technologies in partnership with industry, through the efforts of the Office of Technology Commercialization, reveal the real ethic of Drexel to rapidly translate discoveries to improve the quality of life for our citizens. We have already made outstanding progress in creating biomedical devices and biotechnology (including the incorporation of nanotechnology), in engineering solutions for communications, and from the myriad applications of plasma physics to needs for energy sources, environmental cleanliness and medicine. Outside partners also seek our expertise in evaluating ideas and products. For example, we have a strong clinical research unit that organizes clinical trials by our physicians to test pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
In order to create technological applications, a university must have a solid foundation of discoveries in basic science and engineering. We have great strengths in many areas of the physical, biological, behavioral, social and information sciences. As a result of our Strategic Plan, we have established Major Research Initiatives in engineering cities, plasma medicine and biology, and neuroengineering; these reveal the convergence of underlying fundamental disciplines with applied science and engineering. Drexel's ascent to prominence in research and development comes in a nation that now happily embraces the views of many cultures. Thus, we are fortunate to have academic colleagues in law and business to help shape our interface with a highly competitive, diverse and globalized economy. Similarly, our faculty members in education and media arts and design are creating the best means for training the scientists, engineers and clinicians of the future. Indeed, the interdisciplinary nature of our work provides a rich environment for research and also for educating our undergraduate, graduate and professional students. I encourage you to visit the websites for our Major Research Initiatives and for each of our academic units to learn more about the exciting research at Drexel University.
Deborah Crawford, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Research
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