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Research Opportunities for Medical Students

The Office of Student Affairs & Career Advising and the Associate Dean for Medical Student Research facilitates students in identifying and coordinating research opportunities.

It's our goal to make it as simple as possible for students to connect with faculty members and get involved in research projects. We also help our medical students find information on summer externships, international research and award opportunities.

Drexel University College of Medicine is at the forefront of health care technology and innovation. Our faculty members participate in nationally recognized cutting-edge research right here in Philadelphia. Working alongside our faculty mentors, our students are at a distinct advantage, and we encourage them to get involved in research as early as possible. This type of hands-on experience enhances what students are learning in the classroom and makes them more appealing for residencies and other occupations in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, should they choose those career paths.

Types of Research Opportunities for MD Students

The Office of Student Affairs & Career Advising helps students to identify research opportunities appropriate for their interests. Students typically choose one (or several) research experiences based on their schedule and availability. In addition to the formal opportunities listed below, students often do research during medical school concurrent with their courses and/or clerkships. Many students do research at a location other than Drexel or at one of its affiliated clinical sites.

From summer programs to those that are integrated with a current course load, Drexel University College of Medicine aims to provide every student with the opportunity to participate in research.

The formal research opportunities that are currently offered include:

The research electives and the Research Pathway can be done at a Drexel affiliated site or at an away site.

In addition to these opportunities, here are some helpful links to College of Medicine events and programs associated with medical student research.

Key Areas of Research

While the College of Medicine strives to provide research opportunities in all areas of study, there are some that consistently take place year after year. These are areas of study where we have made significant progress and are nationally recognized for our efforts.

Here are some of the key areas of medical student research:

  • Cancer biology
  • Drug discovery
  • Infectious diseases–HIV and other viral diseases
  • Malaria
  • Neuroscience
  • Spinal cord injury

How to Get Started

When students decide they want to participate in research, there are a few things they need to do.

  • Decide which research opportunity will work best (summer program, the EDGE program, elective course, the research pathway, etc.)
  • Pick an area of study for the project
  • Choose a faculty member who can serve as a mentor
  • Contact that faculty member or the Office of Student Affairs & Career Advising to check availability

To help students locate specific areas of research that may be of interest, here's a list of faculty who have active research programs and are willing to mentor a medical student, as well as a list of those in clinical departments at Hahnemann University Hospital, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, or at affiliate sites who have mentored students in the past and may be willing to do so again in the future.