Drexel’s underrated research reputation | The Triangle

Drexel’s underrated research reputation

Photo by Colston Raroha | The Triangle

Philadelphia is a hub for innovation and research, with giants like the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Jefferson University constantly pushing out groundbreaking research in both the sciences and humanities. These institutions generally take the limelight, getting (well-deserved) recognition for their contributions to research. Drexel University is not one of these institutions. Drexel is usually overshadowed by its more famous peers, namely UPenn. Despite its modest reputation, Drexel has made very important contributions to decades of research and development across the country and world at large. 

More recently, Drexel College of Engineering researcher Michel Barsoum, and other researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences may have found an innovative solution to the potentially toxic and carcinogenic components of wastewater using a tiny nanofilament. This research is an incredible contribution to the treatment of wastewater, a prominent topic in science and public health, but received little recognition compared to the Nobel Peace Prize winning duo from UPenn. It is very important to recognize Drexel for its consistent efforts and contributions to research and innovation. Drexel research has been innovative in a variety of fields, from therapeutics developed to combat cancer, to research on smart textiles and other products to improve human life. 

Being categorized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as an R1 research institution recently in 2018, Drexel is “one of 146 institutions out of approximately 3,900 to receive this prestigious classification.” Drexel being one of the select few schools to receive this distinction speaks volumes about its standing in research and innovation. 

Drexel has had to overcome incredible obstacles to become the research powerhouse that it is today. The closure of the Hahnemann University Hospital that occurred during the review period for the distinction proved to be a serious blow to the research and healthcare activities of the school. While research may not be the first thing that comes to mind for a school that is heavily advertised for its undergraduate cooperative education (co-op) program, make no mistake, Drexel is no slacker in this regard.

On top of that, Drexel has consistently participated in national research studies like the POWERS study run by the National Institute of Health along with other research giants like the University of Pennsylvania. Drexel has been widely contributing to research that has truly impacted society for the better. 

While there is always room for improvement and more innovation, Drexel’s research has been at the forefront of work committed to advancing society as a whole and promoting sustainable development and progress.