The Human Health Initiative
Professor Dan Cavanagh and Laura Even ‘14
A new partnership teams the liberal arts with healthcare
Our undergraduates conduct research, devise novel technologies to transform medicine and present at national conferences alongside faculty, enjoying a depth of experience usually reserved for graduate students at larger universities.
Now our offerings to undergraduates are becoming even more exceptional. A new and groundbreaking partnership with nearby Geisinger Health System (GHS), a national leader in healthcare delivery and research, gives Bucknell the potential to become a global draw for students and scholars interested in the health sciences.
This partnership offers our undergraduates opportunities available at few universities: to conduct research in numerous healthcare-oriented disciplines, including healthcare technologies, bioinformatics, biostatistics and neuroscience.
More than that, because of the culture of collaboration among science, engineering, social science and management fields, our students and researchers will be able to explore some of the most pressing challenges in healthcare from multiple perspectives, and likewise at a depth rarely offered to undergraduates.
Opportunities in the Human Health Initiative
Endowed Human Health Learning and Research Fund
This endowment would fuel our undergraduates’ engagement in the most critical questions facing the medical and health industries. Such experience will make our graduates knowledge leaders specially prepared to make an impact from the start of their careers, and long beyond.
A gift to this fund would provide funding for student-faculty projects, innovation seed grants and technology-transfer programs, and could also provide support for any of the items listed below.
Funding for student inventors
Since 2006, collaborations with Geisinger have made it possible for our biomedical engineering students to develop medical devices for use in such areas as general surgery, orthopedics, DNA research and urology. The teams have designed, fabricated and tested prototypes, and Bucknell and GHS have pursued patents on several resulting projects.
With the necessary support, we will expand such collaborations through multidisciplinary student design projects, faculty-physician research, intensive interdisciplinary summer internships and modern prototyping facilities.
Neuroscience research advancement
Both Bucknell and GHS are strong in neuroscience, psychology and education. As partners, we already have initiated a new autism education and research center three miles from campus that promises to make major contributions to understanding autism and helping affected patients and families.
With new funding, we will capitalize on collaborative prospects in studying neurodevelopmental processes of brain development, abnormal development associated with autism, and cancers affecting the brain and nervous system. These studies will be more fully developed as we add new electrophysiological equipment and high-power computing at Bucknell.
Data and high-speed computing
Geisinger is a data-rich healthcare system, with advanced health-information resources on patient care and financial, clinical and genomics data. Analyzing these complex data to extract meaningful information presents enormous computational, mathematical and statistical challenges.
With donor support, Bucknell can add new high-speed computing and imaging facilities and take advantage of this tremendous learning opportunity. These facilities, which are rare at liberal arts institution, will enable our faculty and students to research, design and implement the powerful analytical approaches required for translating immense data sets into valuable healthcare practices
Community and regional healthcare research
As healthcare has evolved, the economic, social and cultural dimensions of individual and community habits have become increasingly important to understand.
With donor support, students and faculty will be able to capitalize on the Bucknell-GHS partnership and deploy an exceptional combination of economic, sociological and epidemiological data to research critical health and community issues, such as the socioeconomic factors of diabetes and obesity.