Matthew O. Diggs III Laboratory for Life Science Research

Nationally recognized research centers of excellence

The Boonshoft School of Medicine houses several research centers of excellence that are nationally recognized, as well as two University System of Ohio Centers of Excellence. Currently, the medical school employs 132 research faculty and staff. Over the past five years, the Boonshoft School of Medicine received a total of $110,402,178 in research and sponsored program funding. Medical students have ample opportunities to participate in this vibrant research community, and many present their work at the school’s annual Medical Student Research Symposium.

The school’s key facilities include the Matthew O. Diggs III Laboratory for Life Science Research completed in 2007, which was the first university research laboratory in Ohio to be awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-New Construction (LEED-NC) Gold status by the U.S. Green Building Council. In addition, the school is home to a fully accredited laboratory animal resources facility, a Biosafety Level 3 Facility, a chemical surety facility (XCSM), a genomics core facility with advanced gene array systems, proteomics analysis and nuclear magnetic resonance laboratories with multiple mass spectrometers and related equipment and a confocal and electron microscopy imaging core facility.

Designated as an Ohio Center of Excellence,  the new Wright State University & Premier Health Neuroscience Institute, represents a groundbreaking public-private partnership that unites the Dayton region’s most advanced biomedical research institution with the clinical resources of its largest hospital system. The research component of the institute will be located on the WSU campus, and it will also have facilities dedicated to patient care and clinical research within Miami Valley Hospital. In addition, the partners have created a new clinical Department of Neurology within the Boonshoft School of Medicine. The institute already has a core cadre of NIH-funded neuroscientists, including a team of Wright State researchers awarded a prestigious Program Project Grant of nearly $5 million in 2007 and renewed in 2012 by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Another collaboration between the Boonshoft School of Medicine and Premier Health will open the door to clinical trials. The medical school and Premier recently announced the creation of a Clinical Trials Research Alliance to increase medical research opportunities for physicians and clinicians at the medical school and Premier hospitals. The Alliance is expected to build a $5 million to $7 million clinical research portfolio over five years, roughly doubling the total of what the medical school and Premier have today.

In 2009, the medical school broke ground for the National Center for Medical Readiness Tactical Laboratory at Calamityville®. Developed by the Department of Emergency Medicine, NCMR is a community-wide effort to better prepare our community for large-scale emergencies, such as a weather disaster, terrorist attack or hazmat situation. Its vision is to be the international center of excellence in medical readiness education, training, research and operations by integrating medical readiness into all aspects of health care, public safety, public health and homeland security systems. Designated a University System of Ohio Center of Excellence, NCMR provides training and education, research, product development and testing and commercialization opportunities and strongly emphasizes collaboration among individuals and organizations within the military, the private sector and government at the local, state and federal levels.

A broad range of investigation

The Lifespan Health Research Center (LHRC) is comprised of two divisions — the Division of Epidemiology and the Division of Morphological Sciences and Biostatistics. LHRC is home to the Fels Longitudinal Study, the world's largest and longest running study of human development, growth, body composition and aging. Research in the Division of Epidemiology focuses on examining risk factors and health consequences for a number of common diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, sarcopenia and osteoporosis.  Research in the Division of Morphological Sciences and Biostatistics focuses on determinants of craniofacial morphology, genetics of bone and joint health, longitudinal modeling of growth and assessment of skeletal maturity.  Current Center funding from NIH exceeds $13 million in support of multi-year studies.

The Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research (CITAR) advances the production, dissemination and utilization of scientific knowledge and professional technology regarding the epidemiology, consequences, prevention and treatment of substance abuse.  It conducts wide-ranging research through programs such as the Weekend Intervention Program (WIP); Substance Abuse Resources & Disability Issues (SARDI) and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Drugs and Disability (RRTC); the Dayton Area Drug Survey (DADS); the Opioid Use Trajectories and HIV Risk Among Young Adults in Ohio study; and the Wright Health Study. In 2010, Public Health–Dayton & Montgomery County awarded CITAR a contract, funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Health, to investigate the high rate of unintentional prescription drug overdoses in Montgomery County.

Wright State’s Center for Genomics Research (CGR) provides state-of-the-art technical assistance and facilities for both basic and clinical science projects in the areas of gene expression, flow cytometry and genotyping. CGR supports Wright State researchers, as well as industry partners and collaborations with the 711th Human Performance Wing at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The Center for Global Health provides education, conducts research and promotes service towards improving and sustaining the health of populations and individuals worldwide. The center provides educational opportunities for all health providers — physicians, hospital administrators, managers, insurers and employers — in areas of management and health economics. Through grants and contracts, the center analyzes and develops programs and systems of care. It focuses on preventive and community-based health care and works to prevent disease, disability and lost quality of life.

The Proteome Analysis Laboratory (PAL) is a Wright State University facility for the analysis of protein/peptide expression in cells, tissues and body fluids. Proteomics is the study of the intricate structure and function of thousands of proteins in cells and tissues. Diseases result when proteins, which are encoded by our genes, are defective or malfunctioning. Like the study of genetic defects, the in-depth study of proteins will produce medical advances. Current investigations involve the proteome and genome of the hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal, pancreatic-axis (HPAP-Axis) under normal, disease or chemically challenged conditions. One goal of the PAL is to provide high-quality proteomic services to the faculty and staff of Wright State University, to researchers outside Wright State University and to provide support for intramural and extramural grants.

Through a collaborative partnership with Premier Health and the Dayton VA Medical Center, the Boonshoft School of Medicine established a Department of Geriatrics to enhance geriatrics education for the next generation of physicians and expand geriatric research. Researchers are studying macular degeneration, a form of age-related vision loss that most often strikes individuals over 65. Other elder issues — such as sleep disorders, Alzheimer's disease and bone thinning — are also under study.

Research Lab