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Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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Research Update from Steve Dewhurst

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Dear colleagues,  

Twice a year—in February and in March—the Office of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) at the School of Medicine Dentistry (SMD) hosts "Discover UR SMD Weekend" for applicants to our PhD programs. The event provides an opportunity both to showcase research at the Medical Center, and to reflect on what makes UR a special place.

Highlights of SMD’s research activities in 2023 include a total of $265 million in research funding, and some 382 newly funded clinical trials (315 of them industry-supported)—underscoring the impact of the CTSI’s Office of Clinical Research, which is led by newly recruited director, Ashlee Lang. A related highlight is the growth of cancer-related funding at the Wilmot Cancer Institute to a record high of $30.3 million, including $13.1 million in support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

While funding is essential for the conduct of research, it is not what makes SMD special. Our special sauce, to use a signature phrase of one of my favorite people at UR, lies in the combination of our unique resources, our institutional culture, and above all, our people.

In that regard, new SMD Dean and URMC CEO, David Linehan, sets the tone. I’m excited that my new boss is an accomplished physician-scientist with a two-decade history of continuous research support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But, I’m even more excited that—in the words of my colleague, Calvin Cole (assistant professor of Surgery)"he is a very caring individual" who "leads with his heart." If you haven’t already, check out Dr. Linehan’s message to all of our learners.

One of the best parts of Discover UR SMD Weekends are the dinners that faculty members host in their homes. Nathan Smith, associate dean for Equity and Inclusion in Research and Research Education regularly gathers students and faculty in his home because "it creates an environment that is warm and inviting, making it easier for visiting students, current students, and faculty to connect with one another." That experience was borne out in the words of one applicant who emailed Nate to say that "I was genuinely impressed by the sense of camaraderie and inclusivity within the program's group. The conversations I had with faculty and fellow applicants left me with a strong sense of community and belonging."

Finally, Discover UR SMD Weekends also provide an opportunity to put the spotlight on our amazing learners. A few examples include:

Steve Dewhurst, PhD 
Vice Dean for Research, SMD 
Vice President for Research, UR   

* To report a concern about improper or unethical behavior, please call the Integrity Hotline at (585) 756-8888. You may also report concerns online.

2023 SMD Research in Review
Download: Highlights of SMD’s Research Activities in 2023