Dear Colleagues-Friends,

From laying the foundation for human-to-human heart transplants to developing a virus-based gene therapy for renal cell carcinoma, our School of Medicine scientists have been on the forefront of research that pushes the boundaries of health care and helps improve the lives of people in our community and around the world.

Scientific discovery lies at the heart of our tripartite mission, and our research enterprise is a major source of pride – and funding – for the university as a whole. This past year, overall funding for the School of Medicine reached $161.3 million – a new milestone, and helped expand VCU’s research portfolio to an unprecedented $310 million. This growth highlights the strength of our basic health sciences departments, as a remarkable 68% of our federal funding supports basic health science research.

Behind these impressive statistics are hardworking, innovative researchers with compelling stories to tell about their quest for knowledge and the significant difference their discoveries at the bench, bedside and beyond can make.

That is why we are launching a new series of articles on our website that focuses on the tremendous research going on in the School of Medicine and the researchers who are dedicated to better understanding and addressing some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

The first installment in this series highlights two researchers from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics who are trying to understand, at a molecular level, how psychedelic compounds induce antidepressant activity to help inform the design of faster acting, longer lasting therapeutic drugs. Look for other monthly installments, which will cover a whole host of topics.

We hope you will continue to follow this series with interest and will recommend your or other colleagues’ work to be highlighted.

With all good wishes,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Interim CEO, VCU Health System, and Senior Vice President, VCU Health Sciences
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System