_Life-saving Ideas

_about the cover

Up close, the fabric worn by U.S. soldiers in the first Gulf War almost resembles the shape of cells. In Drexel’s College of Medicine, researchers hope that the genetically modified cells of military veterans hold the key to treating the debilitating symptoms of Gulf War Illness.

With so many challenges facing society, it is reaffirming to see how research across Drexel University continues to benefit the public good.

This annual edition of EXEL Magazine details several promising research initiatives that share a common theme we all can appreciate: Saving lives.

For example, biomedical engineer Sriram Balasubramanian has created an innovative crash sled to test automotive vehicle restraints for children, an area in which few data currently exist. Balasubramanian’s research will be used to build better, safer seatbelts and seats to protect children.

College of Medicine professors Olimpia Meucci and Alessandro Fatatis have developed a cancer drug that studies show not only blocks new tumors from forming, but also stops initial metastases from growing. This could be a breakthrough treatment for breast cancer, which often spreads to other parts of the body.

Thousands of U.S. soldiers returned from the 1991 Persian Gulf War with a mysterious, incurable illness. But a team of researchers at the College of Medicine are examining the neurological underpinnings of Gulf War Illness to develop treatments that would reverse it.

Drexel alumnus Mihir Shah developed a low-cost, portable breast cancer screening device based on technology pioneered by Drexel faculty. In his native India and throughout the developing world, breast cancer survival rates are low because poor access to screenings results in diagnoses that come too late. Last year, Shah’s company partnered with GE Healthcare to distribute the iBreastExam to millions of women who wouldn’t otherwise have access to early detection.

These stories and others in this edition of EXEL show how the hallmarks of Drexel University — research, innovation and entrepreneurship — are advancing society by literally saving lives. I am so proud of the work we do at Drexel and the critical role we play through our research, scholarship and education.

John A. Fry / President