Key research areas

Translational Neurosciences

​​​Wayne State University is inspiring a new generation of biomedical investigators highly-trained in interdisciplinary science that focuses on improving the health and care of individuals affected by psychiatric or neurological disorders, or injuries in the nervous system through an understanding of disease mechanisms. Our translational neurosciences program offers access to world-class neuroimaging facilities for both animal and human research, and highly-experienced scientists with expertise in brain disorders, diseases and injuries, pre-clinical animal research, transgenic and knockout models, substance abuse, neuropharmacological treatments, brain network and computational modeling, and brain development and aging.

Cancer

The Department of Oncology at Wayne State University is a unique, urban-based integrated center of research, patient care and education, dedicated to the prevention, early detection, treatment and eventual eradication of cancer. The department works closely with the Karmanos Cancer Institute to lead the way in cancer research and treatments. The Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University is one of the leading cancer research institutes in the nation. Karmanos offers patients access to innovative treatments and clinical trials that are not available elsewhere. More than $60 million is invested each year into cancer research, offering patients the best in developing treatment options.

Perinatology Research Branch

Wayne State is home to the Perinatology Research Branch of the NIH. The PRB conducts research to understand the mechanisms of disease for obstetrical complications and develop diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies to reduce infant and maternal death. PRB researchers have made impactful discoveries that are leading to prevention of preterm birth, unexplained fetal death, and more.

Water

Healthy Urban Waters (HUW) is a program at Wayne State University that promotes and delivers research, education, technology development and public engagement on water resources in the urban environment. The focus area is the Huron to Erie corridor, although WSU's expertise and application extends throughout the Great Lakes watershed. HUW aims to engage and empower the public, faculty and students in creating a sustainable urban environment based on sound science.

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Environmental

Wayne State’s Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is advancing research approaches to understand and mitigate the effects of the urban industrial environment on human health. Their efforts will help prevent or detect environmentally-induced diseases. The Institute is home to the Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES), one of a few select environmental health sciences core centers in the nation funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. CURES researchers and community partners work together to understand how exposures to chemical and non-chemical stressors in the urban environment can influence the development of environmentally-linked diseases and are working together to improve living and working in Detroit.

Metabolic

Researchers at Wayne State University are studying metabolic abnormalities that are associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and many other disorders.  Research studies include areas such as environmental modulators of metabolism and metabolic disease, circadian stress mechanisms in metabolic disorders, adipose tissue cell and molecular biology, novel obesity and diabetes therapeutics, metabolic genetics and inherited metabolic disorders, insulin resistance and diabetes, energy homeostasis, biolipid metabolism and inflammation, and more.

Cardiovascular

Wayne State University researchers are recognized experts in cardiovascular research. They are leading research in cardiac biomarkers, clinical trials operations and management related to heart disease, animal models of cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology, understanding the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular development and so much more. Their work is critical in developing new therapeutic strategies to improve treatment of human vascular diseases.

Imaging

Researchers across WSU's campus are developing new techniques to improve health through the use of imaging technology. Engineering faculty are working with physicians to reduce venous reflux diseases by incoporating photoacoustic imaging technology in their research. Researchers in the Department of Psychiatry are exploring the mechanism of impaired learning and memory in schizophrenia using funcational MRI and functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Through the MR Core Research facility, faculty are working to better understand brain diseases and injuries in hope of developing new treatments.

Arts and Humanities

Wayne State University faculty are engaged in  collaborative research that engages the arts, design and humanities. Through their work, they are transforming cultural, economics and social attitudes through creative projects and advanced technology.

Fundamental Sciences

Wayne State has a long tradition of excellence in fundamental sciences research. From developing an understanding of nanomaterials to advance technologies such as information storage, sensors energy conversion and more, to studying fundamental particles in detail to understand the universe at a fundamental level, our faculty are engaged in research that will improve scientific theories and fuel future innovations.

Big Data

Big data is the bridge to the next wave of innovation and growth. At Wayne State, researchers are using big data science and business analytics with a strong focus on solving real-life business problems in active collaboration with regional industry while leveraging core strengths and research interests. Big data management and big data analytics require a slew of advanced concepts, tools, and technologies and a close collaboration among an interdisciplinary team of subject matter experts. Wayne State researchers have extensive experience in successfully delivering and leading a variety of big data and business analytics projects and initiatives across several industries such as healthcare, manufacturing and automotive, retail and government.