Research

The research programs in the Department of Internal Medicine are numerous and diverse. It is a research-intensive department within Wayne State University, a Carnegie Level I research institution.

The Department includes 175 full-time faculty members in 9 subspecialty divisions, including a large Division of General Medicine. Among the 175 faculty members are 91 investigators with research grants from agencies including the NIH, Department of Defense, Veterans Administrations, American Heart Associations, other non-profit organizations, and industry.

Currently, the Department has received $20 million per year in external research support. There are extensive facilities for basic, translational and clinical research within the Department and at adjacent buildings of Wayne State University and the Detroit Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Molecular mechanisms, genetics and genomics form the approach to many of the studies conducted by faculty in the Department, regardless if the study is population-based, clinical or basic research. Several of the Department faculty members hold joint appointments in the Center of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and in other basic science departments. It is our view that an understanding of, and facility with molecular mechanisms and genetics is a critical part of training of physicians in the first half of the 21st century. Exposure of trainees to the cutting edge science basic to internal medicine is an important role of the faculty.

Within the Department there are a number of areas of particular research excellence and depth. Almost without exception, the research performed involves collaborations and interactions with the investigators in other departments and related disciplines. Oncology and cancer biology are major areas of research, most of which is based within the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

The Division of Infectious Diseases has extensive clinical and basic research programs, particularly in the area of fungal infections and HIV. In the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, there is very active research in sleep medicine. The Program in Molecular and Cellular Cardiology comprises 6 faculty members and a staff of about 25. Laboratories are investigating fundamental vascular biology, gene regulation, ischemic injury, calcium regulation and the molecular biology of ion channels.

There are numerous investigators in the Department with advanced training in epidemiology and population-based studies that are particularly focused on causes for disparity in health among Americans. Other Divisions within the Department have additional areas of research focus. The Department has enjoyed a growth in research activity and funding continuously for the past 10 years and anticipates further dynamic program growth.