_John A. Fry

A message from the President.

_Body of Research

Natural History, Illustrated

The Academy Library and Archives of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University contains rare and historically significant books with exquisitely detailed scientific illustrations documenting the natural history of life.

_Culture / Society

Uniformity Cues

Is there a business case for requiring sales team workers to dress and behave similarly? A Drexel and University of British Columbia study proves that uniformity increases customer satisfaction…but not for allgoods.

Nothing Wasted

The Drexel Food Lab partnered with a popular restaurant on a “whole food” menu experiment that was part industry partnership, part sustainability experiment, part virtual co-op and 100 percent delicious.

Social on the Spectrum

Social connections may be even more vital for young adults on the autism spectrum than for others, but are also often even harder to make.

Do Sanctions Work?

Researchers were curious to know how impactful sanctions had been in recent history, but no such comprehensive catalogue existed. So they created it.

When Data Gets Loose

Researchers have proposed a new methodology to shuffle survey data so individuals aren’t identifiable even if datasets accidentally go public.

When Nike Takes the Knee

As the nation’s political divide continues to widen, companies have stepped away from neutral positions and become increasingly outspoken. What does this mean for marketing?

School Suspension

Juvenile offenders who seek to earn academic credit for their studies while in detention find the odds stacked against them.

Natural Hair? Don't Care

A law professor has helped draft a federal bill that will prevent employers from discriminating against Black employees who wear natural ethnic hair styles.

A License to be Trans

Simply reducing barriers to changing one’s gender state-issued ID could have dramatic mental health benefits for transgender adults.


How to Catch a Fish

The study of unknown fish species and habitats sometimes means you have to get your feet wet.


Spotting Invisible Injuries

A medical device startup housed within Drexel’s School of Biomedical Engineering has spent years perfecting a brain injury scanner that is saving lives around the world as it travels a long but rewarding road toward commercial success. _by Christina Hernandez Sherwood

A Stitch in Time

Drexel’s Center for Functional Fabrics had just settled into its new state-of-the-art research facility on Drexel’s campus when the pandemic arrived. In a rapid pivot, the center’s 3D knitting machines and cutting-edge textiles became a lifeline to frontline workers in need of protective masks. _by Britt Faulstick _photographs by Jeff Fusco and Maria Kim

The Ever-Expanding Applications of MXenes

A decade after Drexel researchers invented a tiny 2D material called MXene, its potential for engineering novel materials and applications has only increased — even in a pandemic. _by Alissa Falcone

Quick Studies on Racial Injustice

Outrage over police killings of Black citizens in the summer of 2020 spurred researchers and the University to respond with a novel fund for “rapid response” scholarship. _by Jen A. Miller

Pandemic Problem Solving

The pandemic arrived at the world’s doorstep in 2020 demanding our immediate attention; there was no immunity, no treatment, no time to lose. Drexel researchers acted fast, setting to work on new diagnostics, life-saving equipment and a vaccine — all funded by the University’s “rapid-response” approach to research. _story by Alissa Falcone _illustrations by Daniel Lievano

HIV _ The Next Generation

What’s next for HIV research? While the dream of a cure remains, scientists are also studying ways to address the health impacts endured by those living longer lives with HIV. _by Elisa Ludwig

Drexel’s Play on the Business of Research

A neuroscience study on gaming with esports booster Comcast is the latest project orchestrated by the Drexel Solutions Institute as it remakes how higher education collaborates with external partners _by Lini Kadaba _photos by Jeff Fusco


The COVID-19 Response

Why does the SARS­-Cov-­2 coronavirus cause some people mild or no symptoms, yet ravage others? Medical researchers in Drexel’s College of Medicine and Tower Health are part of a national patient study to better understand how the disease impacts people differently.

The Gender Myth in Medicine

Gender bias and discrimination against women are still pervasive in female-dominated medical specialties like pediatrics, and common explanations don’t hold water.

Big Data in the Biome

Microbes are busily at work in the human body, both for good and ill. Researchers are using computer algorithms to sift through their genes and better understand their roles.

An Overdose Alert System

Can an app alert save a life? The UnityPhilly app from the Dornsife School of Public Health empowers community members to respond to opioid overdoses in less time than it takes an ambulance to arrive.

Stopping Symmetry

Drexel researchers have discovered a way to initiate and pause the self-assembly of crystals from solution — a finding that could one day be attributed to medicine for targeted drug therapies.

Therapy via Screen

Is virtual reality the next big thing in art therapy?

Speaking About Symptoms

Doctors and their patients both benefit from using a range of diagnostic labels to discuss patients’ experiences with autoimmune conditions.

Surgery Teamwork Matters

Surgical teams can reduce patient post-surgery stays by paying attention to surgery complexity and surgeon time in the operating room.

_Nature / Environment

Stop Ozone Before It Starts

Atmospheric researchers believe hundreds of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in crops could be saved with a minimal reduction of the key emissions that form ozone.

Bacterial Prevention

Tiny bacteria could soon be chipping in to keep roads from chipping away in the winter.

Green Fees

As the Rocky Mountain region plans its energy future, one study suggests that shifting power production from fossil fuels to renewable sources could save society at least $1 billion.

An Outpost for Equatorial Guinea

Drexel is expanding a unique conservation, research and visitor outpost it operates on the island of Bioko in partnership with the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial.

A Rock-Solid Rarity

An unusual species of shipworm has a taste for rock that sets it apart from thousands of others.

Purely a Myth

The notion that potted plants can improve air quality in homes and offices simply doesn’t hold up outside of the lab.

Machines Modeled After Man

The complex network of veins that keeps us cool during summer are the inspiration for a novel thermal management system created at Drexel.

Creatures, Great and Small

Scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences are continually identifying new species and expanding our knowledge of biodiversity with their discoveries.

Murky Watershed Outcomes

More public and private resources than ever are being directed to protecting and preserving aquatic ecosystems and watersheds — but are they truly having an impact?

Orientation, Explained

Researchers are learning how insects use individual directional cues and search movements to find food.

Something in the Water?

April showers bring May flowers, but they may also mean more gastrointestinal illness — such as diarrhea or vomiting — for Philadelphia’s inhabitants.

Encroaching on the Endangered

Researchers traveled to China to study the risk that free-roaming dogs continue to pose to giant pandas even though they are in protected habitats.

Ashes to Concrete

A new process developed at Drexel can convert tons of coal-fired power plant waste into a customizable and durable construction material.

Blasted Chemicals

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

_Public Health

Autism and Financial Hardship

For American families with children on the autism spectrum, financial challenges often go hand in hand with the diagnosis.

Lifespans in Latin America

A study of life expectancy in Latin America highlights the need for policies that improve circumstances for the region's poorest neighborhoods.

Safe, Walkable…Healthy

More proof that where we live and how the built environment is designed matters for human health.

The Blood Boils

A lifetime of discrimination is associated with a greater risk of high blood pressure among African Americans, statistics show.

Cancer by Community

A first-of-its-kind report evaluates cancer incidence, screening and mortality data citywide by cancer type.

Li'l Eats

Healthy eating advice for children is just a video call away thanks to the new program from Drexel's Center for Weight, Eating, and Lifestyle Science.

Soda Tax, Shmoda Tax

A year after Philadelphia’s tax on sugary beverages, Drexel researchers found the law had minimal to no influence on the average person’s consumption.

Vax Tales on the Internet

Want to convince the public about the safety of vaccinations? Consider storytelling.

Care for Caregivers

An online platform could help support and educate those taking care of people living with dementia.

Screen Time & Autism

Babies with exposure to high amounts of electronic entertainment and less in-person play were found to have a higher risk of autism-like symptoms later in childhood.

_Tech / Science

If You Ran the City...

A new SimCity-style game uses public data to inform residents about the impact that real estate development can have on urban neighborhoods.

Aha! & Ahhhh Moments

By monitoring subjects completing word puzzles, researchers found that creative insight triggers a neural reward signal.

X-Rays of Atomic Bonds

Researchers are taking a closer look at atomic bonds between materials to understand how electrons behave at interfaces, which is critical for the design of future electronic technologies.

Liquid Plasma Fuels a Breakthrough

Drexel’s C&J Nyheim Plasma Institute is the first research center to use liquid plasma to synthesize a new clean fuel.

Getting Real Virtual

The Immersive Research Lab opened in 2019 with an ensemble of virtual and augmented technology found at few universities. When the pandemic arrived, it became indispensable.

Right Brain v Left Brain

A brain-imaging study of jazz guitarists during improvisation sheds light on where creatively resides in the mind.

AI Needs Sleep, Too

Just like humans need a good night's rest, computerized neural networks benefit from periods of downtime, too.

A Serious Play on the Refugee Crisis

“Resilience,” a socially conscious city-builder video game set on an alien moon, blends game play with research and realism to bring the global refugee crisis home.