About SLU SOMSaint Louis University School of Medicine has a long tradition of excellence in teaching, research and patient care. Established in 1836, the school has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. Today, about 550 faculty members, 700 medical students and 550 residents in 48 graduate medical education programs, including residencies, subspecialty residencies and fellowships, call SLU home.
The school is a leading center of research in five key areas: cancer, infectious disease, liver disease, aging and brain disorders, and heart/lung disease.
As one of only eight NIH-funded vaccine research institutions, SLU's Center for Vaccine Development conducted pivotal research on the H1N1 influenza vaccine. Lead by Robert Belshe, M.D., the Center for Vaccine Development also has conducted extensive research on biodefense, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and tuberculosis vaccines.
The Saint Louis University Liver Center provides national leadership in the field of hepatology, and is staffed by some of the highest-profile doctors and research scientists in the nation, including co-directors Bruce Bacon, M.D., and Adrian Di Bisceglie, M.D. SLU liver specialists see more than 600 patients per month with various types of liver diseases, and have one of the world's largest hepatitis C practices in the world, treating more than 800 patients annually.
Saint Louis University researchers also are leading the way in aging and brain disorders research. Numerous Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis trials are currently underway at SLU, as well as a groundbreaking study to map the brain injuries of combat veterans and civilians. Funded by a $5.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, the study is using cutting-edge imaging equipment to better understand the nature of brain injuries.
In 2007, Saint Louis University opened the doors to the $82 million Edward A. Doisy Research Center, which is designed to further scientific progress and inspire creativity and collaboration. The 80 research labs on eight floors have a flexible design, with many of them open so researchers from complementary fields can share knowledge as they work on experiments. The Doisy Research Center does more than simply propel scientific and biomedical progress. By giving researchers laboratory space worthy of the lifesaving discoveries they make, the facility boosts the school's ability to attract and retain the brightest and most promising faculty. Saint Louis University School of Medicine also is home to a new Clinical Simulation Center that uses computerized technology and high fidelity patient mannequins to teach medical school students, residents, faculty and health professionals in the community.
According to Philip O. Alderson, M.D., dean of SLU's School of Medicine, simulation mannequins are the future of medical education. Like flight simulators for student pilots, the mannequins give students the opportunity to practice performing life-saving techniques in addition to reading and hearing lectures, which helps them learn and retain more.