_John A. Fry

A message from the President.

_Body of Research

New Dimension

Last year, Drexel acquired one of only a few DeltaVision OMX microscopes in existence. This uniquely powerful instrument is able to photograph live organisms, in real-time, across three dimensions — all in super-high resolution. Sonja Sherwood


Invisible World

Diatoms are single-celled organisms that reside in water at the bottom of the food chain. They are tiny and virtually invisible to the naked eye. But what a story they can spin. Katie Clark


Ripe for Study

As more states legalize marijuana for medical use, a Drexel researcher is among the first to conduct a large-scale, federally funded investigation of the drug’s role — good or bad — in public health Brian M. Schleter

Killing Them Sweetly

Two Drexel researchers propose that an ingredient in a popular artificial sweetener could be used as a novel human-safe pesticide. Katie Clark

The Legacy of Ruth Patrick

Through her long career, the late pioneering freshwater ecologist and Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University scientist Ruth Patrick set the stage for the modern environmental movement. Her legacy lives on in the research she continues to influence at the Academy. Katie Clark

Your Brain on 55,000 Volts

In a first-of-its-kind human study, volunteers were subjected to Taser shocks and tested for cognitive impairment. Some showed short-term signs of impairment comparable to dementia — raising serious questions about the ability of police suspects to understand their rights at the point of arrest. _by Isaiah Thompson / illustration by Tavis Coburn

A New Collaboration

Drexel is assembling an ambitious translational research institute to bring novel medical discoveries to market, faster. Brian M. Schleter

The Seed of an Idea

Engineering professor Alex Moseson is coming to the rescue of rice farmers in Thailand with simple tools for better harvests. Mike Unger

Killer Instinct

A designer molecule created at Drexel beats HIV at its own game, rendering it harmless before it can hijack healthy cells — and bringing researchers closer to understanding and defeating the virus. Lini S. Kadaba / illustrations by Joe Lertola, Bryan Christie Design

Hot Couture

Kristy Jost’s research interweaves textile design and materials science to create garments capable of storing energy and powering small electronics. Lini S. Kadaba / illustration by Kristy Jost

_Health / Medicine

Getting Teens to Talk

One Drexel professor developed an online questionnaire to get teens to open up with their doctors about risk factors for suicide.

Calorie Counters

Diners order foods with fewer calories when the menu includes nutritional labels, researchers found.

Heart Troubles

A School of Public Health researcher and his team are calling an increase in heart failure over the past 20 years a new epidemic of cardiovascular disease.

The Itch That Rashes

It's now known what causes the itchy skin condition known as eczema.

No More Paper Trail

A centrally accessible display of a patient’s medical information promises to bring order to the chaos of treating severely injured patients.

A New Twist on Ankles

Sorin Siegler’s research corrects a flaw in the conventional understanding of ankle morphology and could result in better artificial ankles.

A Cup That Counts

An interdisciplinary team of health care researchers at Drexel have invented a new way of monitoring patients' consumption of liquid supplements in the hospital.

Risky Biz

Anneclaire De Roos is studying potential risk factors, including exposure to solvents on the job, for multiple myeloma, an aggressive cancer.

Safety for Those Who Save

Jennifer Taylor is developing a comprehensive database that can be used to reduce firefighter injuries nationwide.

_Inside the Brain

Halting Brain Tumor Invasion

Researchers studying a therapeutically challenging class of lethal childhood brain tumors are proposing ways to stop their spread.

Mind Readers

Drexel is a leader in brain-imaging technology with its development of a simple, portable device that’s finding new uses across campus and across the globe.

Addiction and Stress

Chronic use of opioid drugs tampers with neuropeptides in the brain, leading to drug addiction.

The Wiring of Addiction

Investigators in Drexel's College of Medicine are exploring psychostimulant action on cognitive enhancement and the mechanisms of addiction.

_Nature / Environment

Prehistoric Puzzle

Two matching turtle bones discovered at least 162 years apart are forcing paleontologists to revise their understanding of how exposed fossils deteriorate over time.

Hive Mind

The sensory regions of the brains of wasps develop differently based on their social function within the hive.

Tracking Tiny Twisters

GPS tracking and radio transmitters give researchers a peek inside the world of newborn pine snakes.

Stomach Bugs

Ants’ stomachs, and the tiny organisms living there, may provide tiny models of what goes on inside our own bodies.

Crowdsourced Beetles

To collect data about an elusive beetle, one researcher turned to the Internet.

Harvesting Energy's Future

Researchers are working to turn grasses that grow in areas unfit for farming into a new source of fuel and energy.

Building on Human Behavior

“Human factors” — how people individually adapt to office temperatures — play into the design and operation of sustainable architecture.

Solar Energy Breakthrough

Researchers have identified a compound that could make solar cells less expensive, easier to manufacture and more efficient.

Fish n' Hips

Newly described pelvic bone fossils from an ancient fish species challenge the existing theory of the evolution of walking in vertebrates.

Deadliest Catch

A new Drexel study shows that Costa Rica’s longline fisheries threaten the survival of eastern Pacific sea turtles and other marine life.

Training Days

A World Bank project in Mongolia is filling the country’s top ecological ranks with Western-trained climate scientists.

Lake Lab

Imagine a pristine, glacial lake serving as a unique living laboratory for studying water quality and climate change.

Who's Funding the Climate Change Debate?

The first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis of the donors funding the climate change countermovement has documented a rise in “dark money.”


MXene: A 2D Star is Born

Since inventing a new conductive material three years ago, researchers at Drexel and around the world are finding new ways to adapt and apply it.

Should Fed Prevent Bubbles?

Marco Airaudo makes the case for intervention in the markets.

New Public Assistance Approach

A new microfinance project has evolved out of a program created five years ago by Drexel’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities to prevent hunger and promote self-sufficiency.

A Place to Talk Code

Drexel’s new APP Lab is the official headquarters for students interested in creating the next great app.

Ethics of Algorithms

Two Drexel researchers are examining how computer scientists’ personal values and cultural influences shape the content of algorithms.

CSR in the Workplace

Do corporate social responsibility programs improve employee performance? Yes, they do.

What's in a Game?

An interdisciplinary team is trying to better understand how to facilitate game-based learning using artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Circle of (Dis)trust

Computer science professor Rachel Greenstadt is using authorship-recognition tools to identify cybercriminals and assess the level of trust present in Web-based hacker forums.

_Special Report: Autism Research Update

Fine Line

Where is the ethical line between keeping the public informed about new developments in autism science and causing needless anxiety? Researchers are working on guidelines. Lini S. Kadaba

By the Numbers

Lindsay Lawer Shea is leading an effort to get a comprehensive count of the size of Pennsylvania's population on the autism spectrum.

Aging Out

Paul T. Shattuck’s research is putting numbers to the problem of the “services cliff” that families face when their autistic children reach adulthood. Lini S. Kadaba

Autism Outreach on Wheels

The A.J. Drexel Autism Institute is taking its clinical research work to the streets to extend autism outreach.

Age Matters

Large population samples indicate that autism risk rises with the age of both parents — especially the mother’s. Lini S. Kadaba

A Search for the Source

While most autism research focuses on diagnosis in early childhood, Drexel and its partners have taken an ambitious, alternative approach. Lini S. Kadaba

Exploring the Spectrum

When does autism start? What causes it? How best can parents, educators and policymakers respond to the unique needs of this population? As the rate of diagnoses rapidly rises, investigators struggle to find answers. At Drexel, researchers across multiple disciplines are searching for the roots of the disorder in utero and early infancy and through epidemiological genetic studies of large populations. They’re also involved in the everyday policy concerns of how to measure the population, how to communicate with families who are affected and how to secure new services for those who need it. This special report shares some of their work. Lini S. Kadaba / illustrations by Brett Ryder