Areas of Research

Research

Advancing Human Health

Medicine is evolving almost daily. Being on the forefront of new discoveries and new treatments that benefit patients is of the utmost importance. NSU MD faculty members actively participate in innovative research, both in the lab and clinical setting, to further develop discoveries that can benefit patients.

As part of NSU's research-focused M.D. program, students can participate in research that will shape their understanding of medicine.

Areas of Research

Chaired by Julie Jacko, Ph.D., this department is focused on the well-being of large groups of individuals, especially those with chronic and costly illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and lung disease, that are all highly prevalent in South Florida. The current focus is on health IT, health analytics, and underserved minority populations in South Florida.

Learn more about Population Health.

Although much progress has been made over the last several years on bringing new cancer therapies to patients, the need for novel approaches remains. NSU MD is helping to advance molecular fingerprinting of cancers in order to determine the most appropriate treatment course for an individual patient. Focusing on sarcoma, prostate and breast cancers, as model systems, novel genomic tools are being developed in this regard. Further, NSU MD faculty researchers are identifying cancer therapies particularly targeting cancers that are resistant to current drugs. Some of these approaches are evaluating the repurposing of currently approved drugs so that the pathway to the clinic can be shortened significantly.

Housed in the NSU Cell Therapy Institute, researchers are focused on developing treatments that elicit better immune responses to fight cancer. The immune system is the body’s armor against invasion from infection and disease but cancer starts as part of one’s self and therefore often evades this protection. NSU MD is working to modify the immune system to generate an immune response to target cancer much like it does an infection. These new approaches focus on important components of the immune system such as natural killer (NK) cells.
NSU MD is focusing on the nervous system in order to increase our understanding of and clinical approaches to common diseases such as Alzheimer’s and opioid addiction. Opioid addiction is a national healthcare crisis and deciphering the molecular etiology of this addiction will be important to solving the crisis. The NSU MD neuroscience effort is led by Deborah Mash, Ph.D., and NSU is home to one of the nation’s largest brain banks, which researches donated posthumous brains to identify causes of addiction and neurodegenerative diseases. This unique resource positions NSU MD to lead novel approaches to these highly prevalent diseases.