Catalyzing biomedical innovations will solidify our future.

Catalyzing biomedical innovations will solidify our future.


In hopes of informing new antiviral and immune-stimulating strategies, Schuyler van Engelenburg is researching human immunodeficiency virus type 1, known as HIV-1.


With their research, Dinah Loerke of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Todd Blankenship of the Department of Biological Sciences are exploring cell intercalation. Their work promises to have a major impact within the cancer-research community.


John Latham of the chemistry and biochemistry faculty is studying what is known as the mycofactocin biosynthetic pathway. This work could prove crucial for the development of therapeutics for the infectious disease that most commonly occurs in the lungs.

IN THE 1950s AND 1960s, the world-renowned Bell Labs conducted research considered vital to the American economy, the national defense and telecommunications infrastructure.

That model drives the biomedical research enterprise at DU’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “DU’s faculty are laying the foundation for tomorrow’s explosive developments in applied biomedical research,” said Dean Andrei Kutateladze. 

If work at the Bell Labs paved the way for spectacular developments in everything from computational technology to smartphones and the Internet of things, DU’s work, Kutateladze said, “is likely to produce smart cures and personalized medicine, improving health outcomes and contributing to public good.  And working alongside of our faculty on all these global challenges are our graduate and undergraduate students, who learn firsthand how to apply their formal knowledge—acquired in academic classrooms—to real-world problems. They are discovering how to approach the unknown.”

With new grants totaling more than $4 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), DU researchers are focused on biomedical breakthroughs that could lead to new treatments and therapies for diseases that affect untold millions worldwide. 

Faculty members from the natural sciences are also at work at DU’s Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging (KIHA), where they join their counterparts from other disciplines—including engineering and law—on research teams designed to address the many health, social and economic issues associated with changing demographics. 

KIHA’s various research groups are working to solve the mysteries of such debilitating diseases as Alzheimer’s. A group led by world-renowned Down syndrome expert David Patterson tackles the biology of the aging process and the various neurodegenerative diseases associated with aging. Another group is examining the biomarkers for dementia, and still another looks at movement disorders and neurochemistry.