Research at University of Rochester
At Rochester, we recognize the value of collaboration in moving research forward. We push boundaries to ask and answer some of humankind’s toughest questions. Rochester students conduct research in the lab and in the field, independently and with industry partners, in our local communities and all over the world. In doing so, they help us better understand and radically reimagine the world while building their academic portfolios.
School of Medicine and Dentistry
New Grant Unlock Workings of Brain’s Waste Removal System
Rochester is playing an important role in The BRAIN Initiative, a massive research program supported by NIH and several other federal agencies that aims to fill gaps in our knowledge of the brain’s organization and function. Scientists in our Center for Translational Neuromedicine received a $15 million grant to accelerate our understanding of the glymphatic system to support the development of new therapies for diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Experimental Gene Therapy Targets Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
This year, children in Rochester were among the first in the nation to receive an experimental gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Physician researchers from the department of Neurology and Golisano Children’s Hospital launched the trial, putting Rochester at the front of an accelerating trend of trials involving gene therapies that could transform how we treat many childhood neurological disorders.
Examining How COVID-19 Deepened the Opioid Crisis
A new $3.5 million grant will help researchers examine how the economic, social, and health care disruptions caused by COVID-19 worsened the nation’s opioid epidemic. Co-led by Elaine Hill, an associate professor of public health sciences, of obstetrics and gynecology, and of economics, the study will seek to determine how the response to the pandemic impacted opioid use disorder in different communities and whether the progress made in recent years can be recovered.
Major Grant Funds Research to Understand Key Features of OCD
A team of scientists from across the country, led by our department of Pharmacology & Physiology, will use a $15 million award from the National Institute of Mental Health to investigate the brain networks central to obsessive compulsive disorder. The five-year grant funds a Silvio O. Conte Center for Basic and Translational Mental Health Research at the University of Rochester; we’re one of only 15 Conte Centers in the U.S.
School of Arts, Sciences and Engineering
The Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) is one of the leading research facilities in the world for investigating fusion energy and several areas of high-energy-density-physics (HEDP) such as plasma physics, high-energy-density materials, and astrophysics. In 2022 the lab secured $83 million dollars for their OMEGA laser facility which is one of the most powerful lasers in the world. This grant is supporting cutting-edge nuclear fusion research that is being done by the U of R faculty, students, staff and their partners.
University of Rochester leads the way in audio engineering - The TEAMuP project is a partnership between researchers from across four schools at the University of Rochester and Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering. The project, which recently received a $1.8 million grant from the National Research Foundation (NSF), is aimed at leveraging artificial intelligence to help musicians disseminate their art more effectively and independently. The team is working together to create an open-access framework that will facilitate collaboration between musicians and AI researchers to develop innovative solutions to some of the challenges faced in music production.
Project to Create Rapid Breakdown Biodegradable Plastics
Associate Professor Anne S. Meyer from the Biology department is a part of the Nereid Group, a collaboration of researchers from institutions and labs across the United States working to create biodegradable plastics that will break down faster and easier in our world’s oceans. Meyer recently secured $1 million of a $5 million grant awarded to the group that will support the work being done in her lab at the University of Rochester. Meyer and the members of her lab have created an original 3D printer, which enables them to print living bacteria that can be used on plastics to facilitate the rate at which the biopolymer degrades.
A Culture of Collaboration & Support
At University of Rochester, collaboration is much more than a buzzword. With clinical, research and education resources all connected across a single campus, physical and institutional barriers that may be typical elsewhere dissolve in an endless flow of multi-disciplinary research opportunities. Basic scientists and clinicians from a variety of fields and specialties work side-by-side to translate discoveries into cures.
Our researchers also share their expertise and learn from colleagues through numerous prestigious national and global networks, connecting our faculty and students with other leading research institutions to share ideas and resources.
At URCS I’ve been able to pursue bold, risky research projects in collaboration with professors that have provided the tools and support to succeed. The tight-knit URCS community fosters collaboration with other professors and students. I’ve even found it easy to have inter-departmental collaboration with the linguistics department. The departmental graduate student community is vibrant and engaging and so I’ve served in the events committee and am now serving as the graduate student representative.
Gene Kim - Ph.D. Student, Computer Science
Both the University and the department value interdisciplinary collaborations, which opens up many opportunities. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention in Canandaigua, and the Wilmot Cancer Institute, as well as multiple departments on both campuses.
Julie Kittel-Moseley - Ph.D. Student, Epidemiology
Cutting-Edge Research Technology, Footsteps Away
Scientists, clinicians, trainees and staff have the full resources of the University of Rochester at their fingertips or a short walk away, including 60 research centers across the Medical Center, School of Nursing, College of Arts, Sciences & Engineering, Simon Business School, Eastman School of Music and Warner School of Education.
Supported by more than $250 million in annual research funding, URMC provides trainees access to the tools and technologies of advanced scientific discovery.
Core Lab Facilities
The Shared Resource Labs at the Medical Center provide researchers with access to state-of-the-art microscopy, genomic, imaging, BSL, and bio-manufacturing instrumentation, facilities, and trained personnel.
The graduate programs within Arts, Sciences, and Engineering also have access to shared instrumentation in chemistry, nanoparticles, fabrication, optics and more.
The Center for Integrated Research Computing, the Georgen Institute for Data Science, and Health Sciences Center for Computation Innovation are at the cutting edge of developing new tools and methods to curate, analyze, visualize, and make discoveries from large-scale biomedical data.
The URMC Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides funding, training, and resources to help researchers rapidly translate discoveries into therapies. Since its inception in 2006, the Institute has received more than $132 million in funding from NIH.