New era for CMSRU: Event advances innovative research and collaboration in the region

New era for CMSRU: Event advances innovative research and collaboration in the region


Research Day at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) kicked off a new era for the school and researchers in the region.

The October event featured nationally noted speakers at two plenary sessions and research performed on Rowan’s campuses in Camden, Stratford and Glassboro.

More than 350 attendees browsed 130 poster presentations, displaying investigations ranging from basic research on cell models to clinical research on patient populations.

“It’s the first time our fledgling medical school is hosting this on behalf of the University,” said Dean Annette Reboli, MD. “It coincides with the announcement by Rowan President Ali Houshmand, approved by the Rowan University Board of Trustees, of a $50 million investment in research at Rowan University.”

“The president committed $50 million over 10 years, roughly $5 million a year, to drive research endeavors,” said Rowan Provost James Newell, Ph.D. It is anticipated funds will help enhance startup packages for new researchers, attract better researchers and draw existing research groups to jumpstart research. “But we see a large chunk of that money going to fund collaborative research in health and health sciences between Camden, Glassboro and Stratford as really helping those programs leverage each other,” he said.

Advancing Biomedical Research

“The research symposium draws all of the colleges from Rowan together here in Camden at CMSRU to talk about biomedical research and make connections,”  Reboli said.

The event, titled “Advancing Research in Camden,” featured plenary speakers Ross McKinney, MD, chief scientific officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, who presented “The Challenge of Anticipating the Future in Biomedical Research,” and Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD, Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut, who presented “Regenerative Engineering: A New Convergence Field.”

The event not only promotes collaboration across campuses, but between clinicians and scientists.

“This is a defining moment for our campus because we are taking a major step toward the creation of new knowledge,” said Stephen Trzeciak, MD, MPH, CMSRU professor of medicine and interim chair of the Department of Medicine. He presented research on the association between elevated mean arterial blood pressure and neurologic outcome after resuscitation from cardiac arrest, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“We believe that launching our research mission will lead to meaningful discoveries that will benefit the lives of the people we serve,” he said.

Sangita Phadtare, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences of CMSRU, described research addressing challenges clinicians face in treating Helicobacter pylori gastrointestinal infections, which can lead to peptic ulcers, chronic gastritis and gastric cancer.

Studying characteristics associated with antibiotic resistance in H. pylori, researchers developed an algorithm that would allow clinicians to predict which patients have infection resistant to certain antibiotics and develop a personalized therapeutic approach.

 “I’m really proud of our school. This is a really important milestone,” said Phadtare regarding the significance of this event. “Not only does this event  give us a foundation for showcasing our work, but it also  provides  a great networking opportunity. There are basic scientists involved, there are clinical faculty involved, there are biostatisticians involved and there are faculty from the Glassboro campus. It’s a three-campus collaboration.”

“Rowan University will always be known for excellence in disseminating new knowledge to learners, and over the last several years Rowan has also made a gigantic leap forward in generating new knowledge through research,”  Trzeciak said. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recently recognized Rowan University’s research activity by designating Rowan as a research university.

“We want to be able to leverage collaborations between our expert clinicians who see what important problems need to be solved at the bedside in taking care of patients and those who can help us find solutions,” he continued. “We want to bring in the expertise of basic scientists, biomedical engineers and others in the Rowan University community to help us solve those important problems so we can impact the lives of patients in meaningful ways.”