Research is a vital part of the mission of the School of Medicine. Basic, clinical and population research within the School of Medicine responds to the needs of the State by addressing key health disparities such as obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke, and cancers of the lung and head/neck. Novel exploration into the functioning of the human body and the causes of disease not only improves human health and understanding human behavior and health habits are essential for providing efficacious interventions. Together the research efforts in the School of Medicine generate a stimulating intellectual environment that facilitates teaching of the most up-to-date and relevant material to our students. The excellent contributions of our faculty through high quality publications, national and international presentations, and service on key national committees bring important stature and recognition to the University.
The research enterprise in the School of Medicine takes many forms.
Key to its success is the investigator-initiated research that reflects both the critical thinking and creativity of the faculty. The research interests and accomplishments of the faculty are highlighted on the departmental pages.
Linking laboratory research to real health issues of West Virginia citizens is a high priority for WVU.
Our newest initiative is to strengthen and enhance translational research within the school of medicine.
The West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute
This institute is based at the WVU Health Science Center but partners with all of West Virginia's medical school as well as the Universities of Kentucky and Ohio State University and Indiana University. It was formed to address the health disparities of West Virginians and Appalachians; transform new knowledge into practice and cultivate the next generation of clinical and translational scientists for the region. The goal of translational research is to bring the discoveries in the laboratory to the development of new and better treatment strategies to address health needs. The goal of the institute is to hasten this process by the development of an infrastructure for basic science and clinical collaboration and to provide seed money for the development of new research projects to hasten the process of research translation.
Several active research centers bring together scientists and clinicians along common themes.
Center for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences
Recently, the CCRS has targeted its research mission around three major themes:
- Xenobiotic Toxicology
- Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
- Chronic Stress, Depression and Cardiovascular Disease
In addition, we are actively working with the Center for Neuroscience and Dr. James Simpkins, Director of the Center for Basic and Translational Stroke Research, to help develop and establish the 'cardiovascular' components underlying stroke research.
Center for Neuroscience
The Center for Neuroscience's mission is to advance knowledge in basic and translational neuroscience through team-based interdisciplinary research.
The Center functions to integrate all neuroscience research activities across a collaborative enterprise of 40 laboratories throughout the WVU campus and the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI), a unique, independent, non-profit institute dedicated to the study of memory and finding solutions to memory disorders. Our faculty members are highly interactive and participate with trainees in regular scientific and social events where we explore recent breakthroughs and discuss the major topics in neuroscience research.
Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center
The Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center (MBRCC) is West Virginia's premier cancer facility with a national reputation of excellence in cancer treatment, prevention and research. The scientific Programs within the MBRCC are organized to nurture interactions between basic, clinical and population scientists and are designed to impact on specific health disparities and populations with unique needs within our state.
MBRCC Programs include Molecular Mechanisms of EMT and Metastasis, Breast Cancer, Osborn Hematopoietic Malignancy and Transplantation, and Allen Lung Cancer. Members in these Programs include over 100 faculty from eight schools and 33 department across campus. This interdisciplinary environment helps further cancer research by understanding the biological mechanisms and progression of cancer, translating these discoveries into therapeutic targets to treat and prevent the diseases, and engaging high risk and underserved communities to reduce the burden of cancer among West Virginians.
Researchers at MBRCC are supported by Shared Resources, or Core Facilities, including Animal Models and Imaging, Biospecimen Processing, Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, Flow Cytometry, Microscope Imaging, and others. In addition, the Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU) provides services and expertise to MBRCC Members to support clinical and translational research. The goal is to provide access for cancer patients throughout the State of West Virginia to state-of-the-art clinical trials, develop new anticancer therapies, and contribute to the clinical science of advancing therapeutics for the cancer patient.
Prevention Research Center
The West Virginia Prevention Research Center (WV PRC) is one of 37 Prevention Research Centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These PRCs are housed in universities across the country and share a focus on public health in community settings. WV PRC researchers and public health specialists are committed to conducting culturally-appropriate research that benefits the health of the people of Appalachia.
Our research focuses on examining the underlying behaviors and social conditions related to tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, and poor nutrition. We strive to reduce health disparities related to race/ethnicity, geography, and socioeconomic status in West Virginia.
Center for Advanced Imaging
The Center for Advanced Imaging (CAI) at WVU was established to provide superior radiological services via a rare integration of clinical imaging with research and development.
Based in the Health Sciences Center, the CAI is a 20,000 square-foot clinical and research imaging facility. The Center currently scans both clinical patients and research subjects.
Shared Research Resources
Multiple modern core facilities support institution-wide research at WVU.
Each facility is overseen by a member of the faculty and many facilities are managed by doctorate-level personnel. Our goal is to provide to users cutting-edge technology and expertise in design and interpretation of experimental data in support of innovative research ideas.