Rowan University has announced the first grants of the Camden Health Research Initiative, a $50 million pledge by Rowan to fund research in and/or impacting the City of Camden during the next 10 years.
Rowan awarded the initial grants, totaling $3.06 million, to faculty working on 24 projects in 16 departments or divisions at the University at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University including the School of Osteopathic Medicine, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, College of Science & Mathematics, College of Education, College of Communication & Creative Arts, and Cooper University Health Care.
All proposals were externally peer reviewed, according to Rowan University.
The goal of the initiative, approved by Rowan’s Board of Trustees in December 2017, is to stimulate medical and bioscience research at Rowan and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and with partners and to bring more top research and clinical faculty to the city to work on developing breakthrough medical cures and treatments.
“This major investment in research will further advance the emerging health sciences hub in Camden,” Rowan President Ali Houshmand said in a press release. “As we attract top researchers and build more programs we also expect to see the development of more start-ups—and more jobs—in our region, further growing the South Jersey economy.”
The Camden Health Research Initiative is part of a larger investment Rowan has in the City of Camden, where in 2012 it opened the doors to Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, the first new medical school in New Jersey in 35 years.
Rowan is also partnering with Rutgers University-Camden and Camden County College on the Joint Health Sciences Center in downtown Camden. The 125,000-square-foot facility will serve as an advanced research and health sciences education and training facility.
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University began a collaboration in late 2018 with the Coriell Institute for Medical Research and Cooper University Health Care to launch the Camden Opioid Research Initiative to investigate the genetic and biological factors that contribute to the development of opioid use disorder.
Beena Sukumaran, Rowan’s vice president of research, said that the diversity of the projects addresses a broad range of needs, from heart health devices to health communication campaigns.
“The awards reflect the complexity of medical and bioscience research and the impact that research will have on the community,” Sukumaran said in a statement. “Every grant recipient has the potential to further important research and possibly to change health care delivery and outcomes.”