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Office of Research and Graduate Studies

Guiding principles of the research enterprise:

The School of Medicine, Hackensack Meridian Health, and Seton Hall University all recognize research to be essential to advance knowledge and achieve the School of Medicine’s goals. Our research agenda is consistent with the vision and mission of all three of these institutions and is driven specifically by that of the School of Medicine. We will promote and support research which:

  1. Supports and advocates for the mission and vision of the School of Medicine with a focus on advancing the education of our students
  2. Places emphasis on research designed to eradicate disparities in health and wellness outcomes through medical education, behavioral, community, health services, implementation, and innovation research
  3. Identifies areas of strength and opportunity of the School of Medicine, Seton Hall University, and Hackensack Meridian Health on which to build, thereby improving the research capacity of all three institutions
  4. Respects and upholds core values of the institutions including, but not limited to, the Catholic roots of Seton Hall University

Research Overview (first five years):

Our primary focus during the first five years of the School of Medicine will be to meet and exceed the expectations identified as necessary to achieve full Liaison Committee for Medical Education accreditation and more fundamentally, to create a school that in so doing will enable our graduates to truly realize the School of Medicine Vision.

In close collaboration with Hackensack Meridian Health and Seton Hall University, the School of Medicine will focus our primary research efforts as follows:

1. Educational research

a.    Pedagogic principles: Structured analysis of team- and problem-based learning approaches in the context of medical education and the goals of life-long learning and mastery.

b.    Issues associated with implementation of team- and problem-based learning approaches in medical education and their influence on student and patient outcomes.

c.    Interprofessional training: The School of Medicine will be co-located with Seton Hall University’s College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences, providing a unique opportunity to study the effects of varied educational pedagogies and professional cultures on training and identity formation.

2. Behavioral Research

a.    Explore technological options for decreasing disparities among underrepresented minorities and for decreasing/eliminating the possibility of their introduction resulting in increased disproportions.

b.    Pipeline programs for underrepresented minorities and low socioeconomic status families: The effectiveness of current pipeline programs nationwide will be reviewed with the goal of adopting or developing best practice approaches.

3. Community-based research

a.    Foundational work for implementing the Human Dimension: Identifying mechanisms to assure effective working relationships between community residents and students and/or professionals seeking to assist.

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods continue to show great promise in helping to bridge care gaps and overcome the barriers of bringing evidence-based and scientific discovery to underserved minority communities.  CBPR builds on the unique strengths and resources of communities that promote co-learning and capacity building, sharing and dissemination of data and knowledge, and building long-term commitments. CBPR differs from generic community research by stressing true partnerships between the academic institution and the community, equitable distribution of all aspects of the research process, and the shared decision making and ownership of data.  Creation of a community-based, culturally sensitive environment for promotion of research studies among multi-ethnic populations increases representation of underserved underrepresented minority groups into research studies, as well as build community capacity for improving the health and welfare of communities. In fact, a recent systematic review of community-based participatory approaches to conducting randomized clinical trials found that most of these were effective in recruiting and retaining minority populations and resulted in significant health improvements.  

  • Schensul, J.J. and Trickett, E., Introduction to multi-level community based culturally situated interventions. American Journal of Community Psychology, 2009. 43(3-4): p. 232-240.
  • De la Nueces, D., et al., A systematic review of community-based participatory research to enhance clinical trials in racial and ethnic minority groups. Health Services Research, 2012. 47(3): p. 1363-1386.
  • Lumpkins, CY, Cupertino, AP, Young, K, Daley, C, Yeh, H, and Greiner, KA. Ethnic and racial differences in a colon cancer screening intervention: A look at patient response to tailored communication via computer touch screen Technology. Journal of Community Medicine and Community Health, 2013. 3(1):1-4.
  • Fawcett SB, Collie-Akers V, Schultz JA, Cupertino AP. Community-based participatory research within the Latino health for all coalition. J Prev Interv Community, 2013. 41(3):142-54.
  • Greiner KA, Friedman DB, Adams SA, Gwede CK, Cupertino AP, Engelman KK, Meade CD, and Hébert JR. Effective recruitment strategies and community-based participatory research: community networks program centers' recruitment in cancer prevention studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev., 2014. 23(3):416-423.

4. Health Services Research (“big data”)

a.    Health services research is a multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, clinical attributes (including genomics) and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. Its research domains are individuals, families, organizations, institutions, communities, and populations.  Our research tools leverage classic quantitative/qualitative methodology and in addition to the new and innovative approaches of using large data and artificial intelligence.

The Division of Health Systems Science with the Department of Medical Sciences is working to bridge the disciplines of medicine and public health to advance the health of our communities locally, nationally and globally. The partnership between the School of Medicine and the Hackensack Meridian Health system affords the unique opportunity to utilize multiple sources of big data to predict, prevent, diagnose, and manage health and illness.  Partnership with community stakeholders is central to the work of this Division.

Research projects are specifically designed to be embedded within the community such that results are actionable and impactful.

Additional research strengths at the Hackensack Meridian Health system and School of Medicine representing further opportunities for students and faculty:

  1. Basic science
    a.    Organelle biogenesis
    b.    Cellular aging
    c.    Redox balance
  2. Translational research
  3. Clinical trials
  4. Epidemiological studies
  5. Regenerative medicine
  6. Host defense
  7. Multiple myeloma
  8. Cancer
  9. Orphan disease
  10. Infectious disease research
  11. Behavioral research
    a.    Autism
    b.    Complimentary medicine
    c.    Opioid addiction
  12. Clinical care transformation teams