Research in the Department of Medicine

Advancing the science of medicine and healthcare delivery are high priorities of the Department of Medicine. Research in the Department of Medicine spans the spectrum from basic biology and disease pathophysiology to translational, clinical and outcomes research. Every division within the Department is heavily involved in research. Additional information regarding the research activities in each Division can be accessed through their respective websites. The Department of Medicine houses the largest research portfolio in the College of Medicine. In spite of increasing competition for grant dollars, the department saw its research funding increase by 66% in the past fiscal year. Department of Medicine faculty are leaders in several cross-campus research initiatives including the Heart and Vascular Institute, Penn State Cancer Institute, Penn State Hershey Diabetes Institute and the pending application for an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award.

Penn State Hershey is one of the top research institutions in the nation. In addition to ranking 11th among all U.S. universities in R&D expenditures, Penn State ranks first in materials science and sociology, second in psychology, third in engineering, seventh in mathematics and earth science, and ninth in physical sciences. Overall, Penn State has 11 top-ten rankings for individual areas of study. Department of Medicine faculty collaborate with scientists in many of these other fields to bring novel perspectives to biomedical research. Collaborative research with investigators at Penn State’s main campus in University Park include such areas as the development of nanosensors for disease detection and nanomaterials for drug delivery, testing and implementation of novel internet-based approaches to healthcare delivery and development of comprehensive living environments to facilitate independent living in the elderly and disabled. 

The Department of Medicine sponsors a monthly Research Conference which highlights research programs of our own faculty as well as faculty from other departments in the College and University. Faculty and residents have the opportunity to showcase their research accomplishments at the annual Department of Medicine Research Day. A Young Investigators Group meets monthly with established investigators and administrators to cover topics helpful to the development of nascent research programs. In addition, junior faculty are encouraged to participate in the Junior Faculty Development Program offered by the College. Housestaff are also active in the Department’s research programs. Assisted by a mentoring program, residents identify faculty-sponsored research projects in an area of their interest. As a result, an increasing number of residents have been invited to present their work at regional, national and international meetings each year. Additional details of the research training and opportunities available to residents can be found on the Residency program website.