College of Medicine Research

Investigating significant diseases and regional relevant health issues

The College of Medicine was founded in 2010. 

Our medical research efforts began in 2012, and are young and growing. 

The College is devoting significant resources and effort to continue recent success and expand research activities – with a particular emphasis on issues important to people in our region. 

Our efforts include basic, translational, clinical and public health areas of research to investigate issues with significance to advance scientific discovery and improve community health and wellness. 

Our faculty investigate important aspects of medical research with the potential to contribute to new discoveries in medicine while training medical students and resident physicians in proper research methodology. CMU students and residents develop a strong sense of discovery, which leads to scholastic contributions and improved educational outcomes. 

Research activities are supported by federal funding including the National Institutes of Health, national organizations including the American Heart Association, state sources including the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and foundational support including the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. 

Areas of focus

Some of the key areas our researchers are working on include:

  • Neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's).
  • Diabetes and heart disease.
  • Cancer.
  • Opioid abuse.
  • Women and infant health.
  • Mosquito- and tick-borne disease.
  • Inherited and acquired mitochondrial disease.
  • Regional public health community education and outcomes projects.

Our facilities

The research building in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, a short, long and tan building.In the area of basic and translational research, Central Michigan University constructed a 12,600 square-foot, state-of-the-art research facility for its College of Medicine faculty on its Mt. Pleasant campus. The facility opened in June of 2013 and houses eight College of Medicine faculty. The laboratories are designed to conduct bio-medical research in an open concept environment culture, while pursuing projects that will contribute to groundbreaking discoveries in medicine. They house a shared cell culture facility and a small rodent vivarium, as well as common shared molecular and cellular biology equipment. 

Two of our faculty are collaborators in the neuroscience program and are housed in the Health Professions Brain Research and Integrative Neuroscience (BRAIN) Center. The BRAIN Center is equipped with cell and live animal imaging equipment, and shared resources to study behavior. It is supported by a vivarium. Mosquito work is conducted by a College of Medicine faculty member in the recently opened Biology building. 

Clinical research is conducted by faculty at CMU Health in Saginaw and Mount Pleasant. CMU Health in Saginaw provides a large diverse outpatient population from a largely underserved urban area. 

College of Medicine research symposium

Young woman presenting her research poster to a man and woman.The College of Medicine and Central Michigan University - Medical Education Partners hosts an annual spring symposium in the Saginaw Education Building. This is an opportunity for our faculty, residents, and students to gain valuable experience presenting their research in a local venue. Abstracts are judged and winning abstracts are given oral presentations. The best posters and the best oral presentations win awards. The symposium attracts nearly 100 abstract submissions and it is a great time for sharing our enthusiasm and celebrating our research accomplishments.


Student research forum

Students presenting their research posters to faculty, staff, and other students.The College of Medicine sponsors an annual medical student research forum held at the medical school in the spring. This forum provides an opportunity for medical students to submit an abstract and present their research accomplishments to the medical school faculty, staff and other students. While all medical students are eligible to present, the forum tends to attract our first and second year students. The submitted abstracts are judged and the top six are invited to give an oral presentation, while the others prepare poster presentations. The best poster and oral presentations are judged and awards are given.


Summer Research Scholars Program

A young woman wearing a white lab coat, blue gloves, and safety glasses works with a pipette and test tube in a lab during the Summer Research Scholars Program.The College of Medicine supports a Summer Research Scholars Program. The program is targeted to first year students interested in a summer research experience between their first and second year of education. Interested students identify a faculty mentor and write a short research proposal that is competitively reviewed. Student authors of the top 10 - 12 proposals become College of Medicine Summer Scholars and each receives a $3,000 stipend to complete the described research with their mentor in the summer. Summer scholars are subsequently expected to present their research at the following College of Medicine/CMU Medical Education Partners spring symposium.


Student research opportunities

A medical student looks through a microscope.We offer extensive opportunities for MD program and graduate students to gain real-world, hands-on medical research experience. Students are encouraged to work with faculty members and academic advisors to match interests with opportunities on an individual basis. The College of Medicine collaborates with Central Michigan University's Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS).

Together, we foster the highest quality research, scholarly and creative activities, teaching and service for medical research and graduate studies.