Wayne State University is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching as RU/VH (Research University, Very High research activity), a distinction held by only 3.6 percent of institutions of higher education in the United States. WSU ranks among the nation’s top 50 public universities for total research expenditures ($235 million), according to The National Science Foundation. Much of Wayne State’s research originates in its acclaimed School of Medicine, the nation’s largest single-campus medical school.
- Wayne State is a leader in the nanosciences, the study of matter on a molecular scale. Researchers from the College of Engineering and the departments of chemistry and physics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences work with the School of Medicine investigators to develop new information and therapies for health problems from vision loss and hearing disabilities to Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cancer.
- Wayne State is home to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Perinatology Research Branch, an internationally known source of groundbreaking scientific investigation into maternal and child health, and one of only a few intramural branches located outside NIH’s Maryland campus.
- TechTown, the university’s research and technology park, is an urban community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and corporate partners creating an internationally influential village in Detroit to stimulate the creation of new businesses and jobs. TechTown brings the resources of Wayne State University to high-technology startup companies so as to diversify and strengthen Michigan’s economy in high-growth emerging industries. The park’s signature building, TechOne, has 70 tenants, and houses the Michigan’s Neonatal Biotrust blood spot repository and is developing plans with Wayne County, Henry Ford Health System and WSU investigators to house a stem cell commercialization center. TechTown’s major tenant, NextEnergy, is a nonprofit corporation founded to enable the commercialization of energy technologies that contribute to economic competitiveness, energy security, and the environment. NextEnergy is charged to accelerate research, development and manufacturing of alternative energy technologies to advance the Alternative Energy Technology industry in Michigan.
- The grand opening of the College of Engineering’s new high-tech research facility, the Marvin I. Danto Engineering Development Center, was held in April 2009. It houses space for development of alternative fuel technologies, and laboratories dedicated to advanced propulsion, chemical engineering, and smart sensors.
- The National Institutes of Health is leading the most ambitious nationwide children’s health research project in history — the National Children’s Study — which is designed to follow children from before birth to age 21 to study the impact of the environment, broadly defined, on their health and ultimately to seek out ways to prevent many of the diseases from which children suffer. In 2007, the NIH awarded $18.5 million to the Michigan Alliance for the National Children’s Study (MANCS) for study work in Wayne County, and an additional $57 million in 2008 to study children in Genesee, Grand Traverse, Lenawee and Macomb counties. Through these awards, MANCS will monitor 5,000 children in Michigan to pinpoint the root causes of many of today’s major childhood diseases and disorders and determine what aspects of the environment are harmful, but also what is helpful to children’s health and development. Michigan State University will lead Michigan’s role in the project, which is believed to be the most ambitious children’s health study of its kind in the nation. Project collaborators include the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Department of Community Health and Wayne County and City of Detroit health departments.
- The School of Social Work’s Center for Social Work Practice and Policy Research focuses on the study of high-need areas including violence, criminal and juvenile justice, child welfare, services for older adults, family programs and social and community development.
- Through WSU’s Research Enhancement Program to Support Clinical Translational Science in Urban Health, the university is joining researchers from multiple institutions to bring together expertise from their respective disciplines to analyze problems from many perspectives, with the goal of resolving them across a variety of domains such as biological, psychological and environmental. The study, Linking Geospatial Information with Public Health Outcomes: Modeling Asthma Morbidity across an Urban International Border, is potentially one of the first international studies that is comparing and contrasting environmental indicators with specific health outcomes in cities with shared pollution sources, yet very different healthcare systems. In collaboration with the University of Windsor, University of Toronto, Henry Ford Health System, Air Health Science Division of Health Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Wayne State University is leading this study that is building upon the University of Windsor’s research that developed land use regression and air dispersion models to map key environmental indicators and their relationship to health conditions in Detroit and Windsor.
- Wayne State is a partner in the University Research Corridor (URC), with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. The URC is an alliance designed to leverage the intellectual capital of the state’s three public research universities to transform, strengthen and diversify the state’s economy. URC institutions encourage regional economic development through invention, innovation and technology transfer, by educating a work force prepared for the high-tech knowledge economy, and by attracting intellect and profitable businesses to Michigan.