WPI and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), located just a few miles from each other near downtown Worcester, combine the strengths, expertise, and facilities of our two world-class institutions to solve critical health sciences and engineering problems within the local community and around the world. With a long-term view of diversifying our combined research funding portfolio, expanding student training, and enhancing the impact of our discoveries, WPI looks to collaborate with UMMS to fuel innovative research ideas and shared funding.

University of Massachusetts Medical School Project Center

Each year, dozens of WPI undergraduate students complete their Major Qualifying Projects at WPI’s University of Massachusetts Medical School Project Center. The students spend up to a year working alongside UMMS faculty and graduate students to explore critical problems in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, biomedical engineering, and more. These robust collaborations consistently lead to impressive results, including student awards, presentations at national venues, and future academic and career options.

Students from any major are eligible to participate in project opportunities at UMMS. Contact Destin Heilman. Visit the WPI/UMMS portal for more information.

New Compound Prevents First Steps of Fungal Infection

Targeting serious and sometimes deadly fungal infections, a team of researchers at WPI and UMMS discovered a chemical compound that prevents fungal cells from adhering to surfaces.

Faculty Collaborations

KAREN TROY, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, WPI 
ELLEN GRAVALLESE, PROFESSOR, MEDICINE, UMMS

Professors Troy and Gravallese are developing advanced imaging methods to measure hand bone deformities in patients with Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis with the goal of identifying treatments that best prevent permanent bone and joint deformities.

DIRK ALBRECHT, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, WPI
MARK ALKEMA, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, NEUROBIOLOGY, UMMA

Professors Albrecht and Alkema are using an in vivo calcium imaging approach to rapidly discover candidate compounds for treatment of calcium channelopathies, disorders that cause debilitating neurological disorders such as migraines, epilepsy, and autism.

DMITRY KORKIN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, COMPUTER SCIENCE, WPI
LYUBOV TITOVA, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, PHYSICS, WPI 
MICHAEL GREEN, PROFESSOR, MOLECULAR, CELL AND CANCER BIOLOGY, UMMS

Professors Korkin, Titova, and Green are using next-generation DNA sequencing to investigate how picosecond-duration terahertz laser pulses alter the molecular workings of cancerous cells.

Undergraduate Courses and Rotations

Students from both WPI and UMMS may also enroll in select courses and participate in research experiences at the two institutions. Undergraduate students in WPI’s Pre-Health program, a track that prepares students for admission to medical school, can gain clinical experience through rotations at UMMS.

My research will serve to broaden the scientific understanding of DNA replication. My time at UMass gave me great exposure to leading scientists in the field of RNAi and many opportunities to present my own work to peers and experts in the field.
Ryan Holmes
Chemistry
I worked to understand the role of a molecular motor and its regulators in the moss. Working at UMMS gave me access to world class researchers and cutting edge equipment which prepared me for intensive research after graduation.
Sarah Kaptur
Biochemistry and Biology/Biotechnology
I worked in Dr. Craig Mello’s lab. Working at UMMS gave me a lot of insight into what a career in science research entailed. The most important thing I learned was that science requires a great deal of patience and experiments often don’t work out.
Charles White
Biochemistry and Biology/Biotechnology