Interdisciplinary research

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Interdisciplinary Education at the University of Minnesota Med School
At the University of Minnesota Medical School, the nature of the Academic Health Center allows researchers to collaborate across disciplines, engineering solutions to problems bigger than any one particular research arena.

Discovery. It's the mission of our Medical School researchers.

Because the Medical School is part of the Academic Health Center, our researchers can collaborate with experts from across other disciplines, such as dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and veterinary medicine.

Such collaboration enables our doctors to turn discoveries into preventions, treatments and cures for diseases such as cancer and diabetes more quickly and efficiently.

Man’s best friend

One example of interdisciplinary research leading to a potential new treatment happened because of one very special dog named Batman.

When Batman was diagnosed with a once-untreatable form of brain cancer, he was given just weeks to live. But Veterinary Medicine and Medical School researchers collaborated to develop a novel new treatment that gave the dog more than another year with his family.

Two years after Batman’s experimental treatment, Medical School cancer researchers are now enrolling human patients with similar brain tumors into a promising clinical trial.

Non-invasive cancer diagnosis

Collaboration between Medical School scientists and School of Dentistry researchers may soon help detect oral cancers via saliva.

Doctors in the ear, nose, and throat clinic collect saliva samples, which are then screened using advanced computer models and mass spectrometry.

Medical School faculty then work alongside University dentists to analyze the data, looking for evidence of early-developing cancer.

Down the road, they hope this will revolutionize cancer screening for oral cancers as well as other types of cancer.

Why here? 

The University of Minnesota is at the hub of innovation in health care, with geographical access to world-class hospitals and clinics as well as high-tech medical corporations. 

The area attracts some of the best researchers, educators, and medical professionals in the country. Here, they find an environment where cross-discipline teamwork is valued, encouraged, and rewarded -- leading the way to discovering the treatments of tomorrow. 

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University of Minnesota Physician Douglas Yee is the point person for all cancer research at the U. He also treats patients with breast cancer and conducts research to improve cancer therapies.

Featured Video

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Canine Connection


An experimental treatment for a dog with brain cancer shows promise to someday help people with the same disease.

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  • Last modified on December 5, 2010