Research and scholarly activity are essential to academic excellence in medical education, and Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine’s commitment to both will provide a formal mechanism for students to explore cutting-edge research.
The school’s newly-completed research lab, 1,879 square feet in size, features what’s known as wet and dry bench space. In addition, the lab meets the standards of a Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) designation, which covers laboratories that work with agents associated with human diseases that pose a moderate health hazard, such as HIV and Staphylococcus aureus. A biosafety committee will oversee all laboratory research, along with proper storage and disposal of material.
“ICOM is dedicated to a culture of student research support, not only to create and share new knowledge, but to foster social responsibility and instill a lifelong passion for learning,” said Dr. Robert Hasty, Dean and Chief Academic Officer.
Students will be provided opportunities to investigate challenging research involving the biomedical sciences, clinical trials, patient care, and medical education through a variety of avenues, including: research electives; faculty-mentored projects, and attending research conferences.
“To be able to do research, to make scientific discoveries, a lot of that’s going to happen in a lab,” said Dr. Todd Coffey, Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Research and Biostatistics. “So part of our vision is to give faculty and students that opportunity.”
ICOM has more than 30 clinical and biomedical faculty with a strong interest in collaborative research; and as Idaho’s first and only medical school, the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine is looking to collaborate with area colleges and universities.
“We look forward to possible multi-institution grant applications,” Dr. Coffey said. “We may find we have common research interests, or complementary research or expertise, and we are definitely open to collaboration.”
A new biomedical engineering PhD program being offered at Boise State University has offered ICOM the opportunity to connect clinicians with scientists to solve important medical challenges. A newly-initiated internship program between the two schools will place ICOM students into biomedical laboratories on the Boise State Campus, which will enhance the depth and breadth of biomedical research across the state and nation.