Research Annual Report
Lifespan’s research mission is to attract and support scientists and clinicians who work at the leading edge of their fields and who have the scientific vision to transform patient care. We encourage a culture of discovery and continuous innovation, attracting and retaining scientists, clinicians, medical students, and residents. As teachers, we also provide training for the next generation of biomedical researchers.
During the most recent fiscal year, Lifespan’s external research funding reached an impressive total of more than $86 million in grants and contracts, which demonstrates the creativity, ingenuity and importance of the biomedical and behavioral research conducted at Lifespan. Our research activities support approximately 357 faculty who are engaged in research and 610 staff employed in our research sector.
Approximately 1,500 current clinical research studies are underway, including tests of new drugs, devices, and diagnostics for people with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and brain injury. We are also nationally recognized for our research in psychiatry, preventive medicine, and behavioral medicine, including our studies on depression, sleep disorders, weight control, and substance abuse.
In addition, Lifespan researchers collaborate locally with academic institutions such as Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Women & Infants Hospital, as well as Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Melbourne, and many others. All of Rhode Island’s major research hospitals and labs are located within a five-mile radius of one another and Brown University. Rhode Island research institutions share core facilities in genomics, proteomics, high-performance computing, and scientific visualization. Rhode Island’s diverse, stable population and its compact size make it an ideal environment for large-scale, longitudinal research studies.
Lifespan researchers hold patents for:
Lifespan Research Groups
- Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center
- CardioPulmonary Vascular Biology Center of Biomedical Research Excellence
- Cancer Research and Clinical Trials
- Cardiovascular Institute Research and Clinical Trials
- Cardiovascular Research Center
- Centers for AIDS Research
- Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine
- Center for International Health Research
- Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Skeletal Health and Repair
- Childhood Asthma Research Program
- COBRE Center for Cancer Research Development
- Division of Imaging Research
- Emergency Medicine Research Laboratory
- Internal Medicine Research
- Lifespan Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center
- MIDAS Project
- Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute
- Ocean State Clinical Coordinating Center
- Pediatric Anxiety Research Center
- Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine (SGEM)
- Vascular Disease Research Center
Lifespan hospitals sponsor many clinical trials, which provide valuable research information as well as cutting edge treatment for patients in the region. Eligible participants receive free exams, screenings and medications, depending on the type of study. Ask your physician or other clinical provider if you are a candidate for one of the many clinical trials currently underway at Lifespan.
Lifespan research facilities and assets include:
- Core facilities for electron microscopy, digital imaging and analysis, flow cytometry, histology, proteomics, and molecular pathology
- Three Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) for stem cell biology, cancer research, and skeletal health repair
- Lifespan Medical Simulation Center—a 3,000-square-foot training and assessment facility that is the largest and best-equipped in the region
- Lifespan Clinical Research Center, which provides institutional resources to support investigators who are conducting clinical research across departments and medical specialties
If you are an investigator who would like more information about the services available at Lifespan to support your studies, please contact the Office of Research Administration.
An Economic Engine
In addition to improving health and saving lives through discovery and testing of new procedures and treatments, Lifespan research also contributes to our state’s economic development by:
- Attracting national and international companies for local investment in clinical trials and basic and translational research
- Creating start-up companies such as ProThera and Lubris BioPharma, along with high-paying “knowledge economy” jobs
- Generating intellectual property in the form of patents and licenses