_John A. Fry

A message from the President.

_Body of Research

Art and Extinction

A 10-foot-long, torpedo-shaped fish lurks in murky freshwater, its body casting a shadow on the creatures below. The opened mouth reveals dagger-like fangs, some two inches long, perfect for lacerating the flesh of fellow stream-dwellers...This fierce prehistoric fish hasn’t lived in many millennia, but art is bringing it to life. by Mary Alice Hartsock

_Culture / Society

Corrections Clarity

The solution to prison recidivism may be to improve communication and consistency in how rules violations are addressed.

Code 101

Do computer algorithms perpetuate built-in biases?

Family Farming

A low-cost, indoor farming system being developed at Drexel promises to introduce fresh, self-sustaining produce gardens to residents living in food deserts.

Pennsylvania's Goin' to Pot

A study of young people in Pennsylvania found that although people are becoming more accepting of marijuana, use has not increased.

The Value of Reputation

A country’s rising or falling reputation has direct economic impact.

Gated Athletes

Are exclusive, player-only villages a good thing? According to Drexel research, these coach-supported “athletic villages” have drawbacks for individual players and universities.


Drexel researchers observed women who announced pregnancy losses on Facebook to study why and how people use social media to share their traumatic experiences.

Sit and Sue

Sitting for long periods has been linked to a number of health negatives; now, a Drexel specialist-authored paper claims employers should be held liable for harms caused to employees.

Work on the Spectrum

Very few adults on the autism spectrum who use developmental disability services are employed in paid jobs in the community.

Marijuana Study Blooms

Now that California has legalized recreational marijuana use and sales, a researcher is examining how the state’s young adults are being impacted by the new laws.

Data for Social Action

Neighborhood-specific data for eastern North Philadelphia has been collected under a single source, to be used for good.

Focus on the Familiar

If you want people to embrace change, don’t preach change’s positive impact.

Signed, Dr. Mister

Researchers found female physicians were underrepresented as authors in high-impact pediatric journals, despite dominating the field.


Shells, Soot and a Shine

Before-and-after images show how decades of coal-powered industry in the city of Philadelphia contaminated the surfaces of shells that were displayed in open-air cases during the Academy’s early years.


The Total Ankle Revolution

Mechanical engineer Sorin Siegler uncovered a decades-old flaw in the medical world’s understanding of the human ankle that explains why so many ankle replacements fail. Now through a startup helmed by alumnus Brian Garvey called Kinos Medical, he’s building an improved artificial ankle that can be perfectly matched to a patient’s anatomy. Tim Hyland _illustrations by Bryan Christie

The Long Shadow of Childhood

Evidence is growing that traumas experienced in childhood can have a lifelong and possibly even multigenerational impact on physical and mental health. by Deborah Shelton _photographs by Jeff Fusco

Burgers, Breads and Spreads

The Drexel Food Lab is an unusual mix of food science, culinary arts and tech transfer, where future chefs work with industry partners to invent delicious new “good” foods in support of sustainability, nutrition and access. by Lini S. Kadaba

The Many Facets of Mxenes

The roster of potential applications for MXenes, the tiny two-dimensional materials invented at Drexel, continues to grow in exciting new directions. by Alissa Falcone

Glow with the Flow

Imagine if doctors could screen for a heart attack before it happens. A team at Drexel is working toward commercializing an invention that would do just that: Electrast is an inexpensive, painless and accurate diagnostic agent that illuminates blood flow problems like a bright warning light. by Wendy Plump _photographs by Nick Cabrera

What Makes Lyme Tick

Ticks carry a multitude of bacteria that can harm human health, and a College of Medicine doctoral student is identifying all of them, in hopes of giving physicians ammunition against Lyme disease. Sonja Sherwood

C’est la Vie_A Public Health Drama in Africa

A group of researchers are investigating the power of a broadcast soap opera to spread health messages to francophone communities in West Africa. by Karyn L. Feiden

Not Your Ordinary Startup Incubator

The Drexel campus incubator ic@3401 mingles entrepreneurs and researchers from campus and city, and acts as concierge to Drexel’s multiple tech-transfer resources. Small wonder its tenants have achieved so much. by Lini S. Kadaba_photos by Jeff Fusco


Atlas of Human Anatomy

This map of the “geography of the human body” helps researchers and clinicians better understand how the immune system works and how infections are controlled throughout the body.

Kidney Transplant Access

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act helped a significant number of minorities get timely access to kidney transplants.

Breathing Free

In a pre-clinical study, College of Medicine neuroscientists showed that lab-grown V2a interneurons contribute to a paralyzed body's ability to self-repair and improve respiratory health.

Physics on the Brain

Physics — an ideal subject to study mental modeling — also engages parts of the brain not traditionally associated with learning science.

Challenging Alzheimer's

A new study challenges widely held assumptions about how Alzheimer's works — and with it, that Alzheimer’s drugs in clinical trials will be effective..

The Flexible Brain

A new study suggests that the extent to which brain signals “stick” to white matter networks is associated with cognitive flexibility, or our ability to switch our focus from one concept to another.

The Right Balance

Researchers were able to reverse symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in insect test subjects by restoring the balance between two epigenetic enzymes that regulate gene expression.

How To Speak CRISPR

When we can edit genes, how do we communicate the true risk of what happens if we don’t?

_Nature / Environment

Natural Defenses

A family of plants preyed on by milkweed and clearwing butterflies may have evolved away from a particular class of defensive chemicals after their predators developed a tolerance to them.

Carbon Cash

An analysis of lobbying data found that the fossil fuels, utilities and transportation sectors far outspent environmental groups and renewable energy corporations on lobbying emissions regulators.

Satan's Bones

A team of researchers is learning more about an unusual catfish known as “Satan” that dwells in deep underground waters below San Antonio, Texas.

Bees in Heat

The bloodline of one bee species may depend on how well mating strategies withstand the rising temperatures of climate change.

Brains Vs. Brawn

Differences in brains between ant workers with specialized behaviors suggests that the brainpower of social animals evolves to suit their role in their colony.

Blasted Chemicals

Researchers are showing that cold plasma can eliminate persistent toxins called “forever chemicals” from food and water supplies.

Scaling up HVAC Power

The Ion Pinch invented at Drexel helps keep large HVAC systems running leaner and lasting longer by preventing harmful mineral deposition.

Solved: The Origin of Neutrinos

It has been long theorized that neutrinos are emitted by blazars, but no one ever saw one occur in the sky — until now.

The Pioneers of Poop

You’ve probably heard about fecal transplants, the latest way for humans to get benevolent bacteria into their intestines. But a group of ants may have been the original poop pill pioneers — 46 million years ago. 

Ice Quakes

Scientists have always believed that Antarctica was unusually seismically quiet. As it turns out, no one was listening closely enough.

_Public Health

Dirty Gurneys

For the first time, researchers are taking a close look at the bacterial ecosystems in ambulances across the country.

Slow and Steady

Shedding consistent pounds each week is linked to long-term weight loss.

Geography is Destiny

Your ZIP code may have a bigger impact than you know on how long and how well you live.

The Masks That Reveal

A study revealed that when asked to make masks, active military service members recovering from traumatic brain injuries created images with visual signals that correlated with the seriousness of their clinical symptoms.

Mom, Take Your Vitamins

One more reason mothers should take a multivitamin during pregnancy.


A new screening process at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia revealed room for improvement in how family services professionals assist families coping with food insecurity.


Trauma support could drastically help the population who receives welfare to succeed.

Ahead of the Game

Two educational mobile games developed by Drexel researchers turn players into microbes, providing new digital tools for teaching medicine.

‘Non-Smoking’ Doesn’t Mean Smoke-Free

Smoking bans may prevent exposure to second-hand smoke but they do nothing to protect the occupants of buildings from the lingering particles of so-called “third-hand” smoke.

_Tech / Science

Wax on, Melt Off

Researchers have discovered that adding paraffin oil to concrete can give surfaces the ability to melt ice and snow.

What Can Snakes Teach Us About Friction?

To improve the design of surfaces that rely on “slip and grip,” such as footwear and prosthetic joints, one researcher is turning to one of nature’s most incredible materials: snake skin.

Fire Proof

A fabric-like material electrode developed at Drexel does not require flammable electrolyte solution — opening the door to safer batteries not at risk for leaks or disastrous meltdowns.

Can You See Me Now?

A team of Drexel researchers created a new camera technology that enables microscopes to present a clearer, more complete and detailed look at their featured presentation.

Living Math

Machine learning and advanced algorithms are allowing researchers to look at the inner-workings of live cells in a new light.

Reconstruction from Ruins

The nearly two-century-old ruins of a home owned by a former slave are being used in a digital history lesson about early Philadelphia society.

Reading Minds on the Fly

A team of researchers has successfully measured the brain activity of pilots in real-time, a potential boon to designing better, safer machines and pilot-machine interactions.

Sparking Plasma Research

A new research center at Drexel will work with industry to uncover early-stage applications for plasma technology.