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Research

From the origins of diseases to their impact on public health, our scientists are making discoveries that move medicine forward.

Washington University School of Medicine has an outstanding history of biomedical research in an environment that cultivates the best minds in science and medicine.

Global force in research

As one of the largest recipients of NIH funding for research and training, Washington University School of Medicine is among the nation’s most dynamic and robust research enterprises. Research in aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, genomics, infectious disease and neuroscience made up the majority of NIH awards in FY2019. More than $686.4 million in grants and contracts supported faculty research in the 2019 fiscal year.

Our scientists have pushed their fields to new discoveries, including developments in genomics and genetic testing, personalized medicine, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease, imaging, brain mapping, organ transplants and more. In addition, nineteen Nobel Laureates are associated with the medical school.

Explore faculty research and profiles »

Student and training opportunities

Our medical students have the opportunity to work with world-renowned faculty, who mentor students during summer and year-long research projects. Though research is not required, 95% of our medical students – most of whom are preparing for specialties in clinical practice – complete a research project while working on their MD. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranks Washington University School of Medicine among the nation’s top medical schools for research.

In addition to research opportunities for medical students, many students choose WashU for the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) or one of eleven PhD programs in biology and biomedical sciences.

See research training programs »

Life-saving discoveries

We are committed to investing in basic science research, the driving force for most medical breakthroughs. Our physicians and scientists collaborate to quickly and effectively translate new research discoveries into tools, methods and treatments that will start benefitting patients.

“Answers can’t be found in a single day, overnight, when the problem happens. Scientists are working day and night, for years, all together, to gain understanding about our bodies and about our health.”

Indira Mysorekar, PhD, Ob/Gyn researcher
Watch the series: Why science matters »

The newly established Division of Physician-Scientists will further nurture the career development of physicians who treat patients and also want to conduct scientific research, addressing a nationwide shortage of physician-scientists. The division is committed to being broadly inclusive and to endeavor to enhance recruitment, training and retention of people who are underrepresented in the physician-scientist pool, including women and people of color.

At this a critical moment in science and medicine, you can make a difference. Washington University seeks diverse students, scientists and practitioners who will join us in seizing opportunities and overcoming challenges to improve the health and lives of people around the world.