Research revolutionizes patient care, creating new means to diagnose, to treat and to cure. Research is the foundation of medicine and research is a cornerstone of the medical education experience at OU-HCOM.

Faculty research innovations are advancing diagnostics, treatments and cures for pervasive health care issues both here and abroad, including diabetes, obesity, cancer, neuromusculoskeletal disorders and cardiovascular disease. One of the only drugs on the market that effectively treats a physically and emotionally devastating metabolic disorder called acromegaly was developed here by one of our faculty members, Dr. John Kopchick.

Studies at OU-HCOM are shedding light on the role of growth hormones in obesity, aging and cancer; discovering new species of Arctic fish and dinosaurs; examining the socio-cultural influences in choosing obstetric anesthesia; and studying the effect of osteopathic manipulation on skin sympathetic nerve activity, among many other topics and initiatives.

Our emphasis on research in medical education is intended to improve patient outcomes and inspire new generations of physicians and surgeons to pursue careers as physician scientists, taking clinical observations into the laboratory for study, then putting those results to work in medical practice.

For students the research experience begins with OU-HCOM faculty members. Often with the assistance of medical students and graduate students in related fields, Heritage College faculty members conduct:

  • basic, clinical and translational research;
  • community-based, participatory research;
  • social sciences and humanities research that improves medical practice, treatment and health care policies;
  • and comparative biology and paleontology research.

Within our Department of Biomedical Sciences, our faculty members are widely published scientists from diverse biomedical and biological disciplines, dedicated to basic research in the life sciences, applied biomedical research and research in medical education. Our Department of Social Medicine comprises social scientists, humanities scholars and physicians who study the dynamic interplay of people, culture, and the environment, and its impact on health care delivery and health outcomes. In addition to teaching students and providing care for patients in their clinical practices, faculty members within our clinical departments, such as the Departments of Family Medicine and Specialty Medicine, also conduct research, including clinical trials.

The college supports three research institutes that are advancing interdisciplinary initiatives:

   Appalachian Rural Health Institute
   The Diabetes Institute at Ohio University
   Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute
   Tropical Disease Institute

Faculty research efforts have earned national and state recognition, including the following:

  • In 2010, Ohio University was named the top public school in the state for licensing revenue generated from its research discoveries. It also was ranked fourth in the nation for research return on investment based on royalty income. Those rankings are thanks in large part to the growth hormone antagonist developed here at the Heritage College and marketed worldwide by Pfizer Inc.
  • In 2010, Ohio University was named a “Center of Excellence for Health and Wellness,” recognizing the university’s—and the college’s—state and national reputation for research in diabetes, cancer and biosciences, its commitment to rural health care and its track record in generating revenue and jobs through the development of drugs and biotechnology start-up firms.
  • Our research efforts earned a recent commendation from the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, which praised several of our programs and facilities as well as our financial and administrative support for research.
  • In fiscal year 2009-2010, Heritage College faculty and staff secured more than $3.1 million in revenue from 56 research grants and clinical trials.
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Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Grosvenor Hall | Athens, Ohio 45701
Tel: 740-593-3333
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Last updated: 02/05/2013