Building a Brighter World Through Research
Look across the university today, and you will find faculty whose research is pushing the boundaries of our knowledge to generate solutions to complex problems. At the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts, Michael Levin is conducting groundbreaking research on regeneration that could lead to breakthroughs in areas such as birth defects and degenerative diseases. In Boston, Sarah Booth is elucidating the role of vitamin K metabolism in the prevention of chronic disease. And at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Sam Telford has devoted more than three decades to understanding ticks and the diseases they spread.
These are only three examples of pioneering research now flourishing across Tufts as gifted researchers tackle problems of great magnitude and relevance. This intellectual capacity defines who we are today, and empowers our vision for the university’s future, as expressed in our campaign, Brighter World.
Recently, we have made significant investments that build on this promise while leveraging our distinctive strengths and fostering the collaborative climate so crucial to sparking future discoveries. Our new Research and Scholarship Strategic Plan has identified key challenges facing our world where Tufts is uniquely equipped to make a difference, offering a roadmap to even greater impact. For example, Tufts and Tufts Medical Center have launched the Center for the Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance (CIMAR), which is bringing together investigators and clinicians from across the university and hospital to tackle this growing global health threat.
We are also working to make sure that we provide researchers with the critical facilities, equipment, and infrastructure they need to work at the cutting edge of their disciplines. And new initiatives are making it easier for them to bring their best ideas to market, sparking real-world advances in health and technology.
The efforts of our faculty to make the world a better place are bolstered by crucial support. For instance, the National Institutes of Health last year recognized the continuing excellence and essential work of the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)—which accelerates the translation of research into clinical use, medical practice, and impact on health—with a $56 million award.
Our multidisciplinary humanities scholarship has also been recognized for its excellence. Scholars from around the world will convene at Tufts to explore past and present meanings of family and kinship in a year-long seminar led by historian Kendra Field and anthropologist Sarah Pinto. This marks the second time in four years that scholars at Tufts have received a prestigious Sawyer Seminar grant through the Mellon Foundation’s invitation-only award process.
At the same time, as a student-centered research university, we are expanding opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to grow their own passion for research by working alongside faculty mentors. Our longstanding Summer Scholars program supports talented undergraduates in their quest to experience intensive, hands-on research. Our students now have further opportunities through the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Program and the Global Research Assistant Program. I have no doubt that in the years to come Tufts graduates will be among the leading innovators resolute in their determination to better the world.
As we go forward, it is imperative that in our research—as in our teaching—we remain bold, optimistic, and committed to serving the greater good. These are qualities and values that have stood us in good stead in the past, and they are now more important than ever.
Anthony P. Monaco
President, Tufts University