Health & Wellness

Community focus, global reach

At DU, we’re committed to enriching communities by improving healthcare. Our wellness and public health research covers a range of topics, from evaluating 3D printing in heart valve replacement to considering cultural perspectives for more effective psychotherapy.

Some of the research our students conduct addresses health disparities at a local level, as seen in our work with Denver schools to develop programs to improve peer relationships. Other research efforts focus on global concerns involving the psychological effects of trauma and disaster recovery. With options for both undergraduate and graduate students, you’ll have the chance to engage in these activities the day you arrive.

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    Options at All Levels

    In addition to graduate opportunities, we offer undergraduate students the chance to participate in our health and wellness research.

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    Diverse Topics

    From biomechanics to psychotherapy, we host a variety of programs appealing to students interested in health and wellness fields.

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    Widespread Involvement

    60 percent of our faculty are involved in research, with 422 individual faculty members contributing to published works.

Participants at an ideation session at DU
Innovation Bootcamp at DU

The University of Denver’s Project X-ITE hosted Flight to Denver, a three-day bootcamp for technologists, engineers, scientists and other innovators. Together, they worked with experts from universities, the private sector, nonprofits and public sector groups to solve global problems like hunger and poverty.

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DU alums with baskets of fresh produce
Alums Fight Poverty

A 2006 service learning project inspired two University of Denver students to fight poverty at home in the Westwood neighborhood, one of Denver's poorest. When they found a major problem in limited access to healthy food, they developed a nonprofit that works with residents to build gardens and community urban farms.

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University of Denver students research spinal cord and brain injuries.
Access via Design

Three engineering students spent a year working to design and build an adaptive seat so a patient with paraplegia could participate in Denver's Dragon Boat Festival. The seat is the product of a long-running partnership between DU and Craig Hospital to provide options for people with spinal cord and brain injuries.

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Community Engagement

We have a balanced focus between basic science and the application of research to communities. Our faculty and students are active in the community, seeing how their work can benefit individual outcomes like working to understand the mental health effects of domestic violence and partnering with local law enforcement to help victims. We're also putting numbers to the effectiveness of chiropractic work.

Another major effort began when student researchers from our Graduate School of Professional Psychology found that 96 percent of prisoners in the Denver County Jail had a history of traumatic brain injury. This led to the creation of an ongoing therapy program spanning the Front Range, providing mental health assistance, community resources, and classes for correctional officers and family members. The goal of this work is to give communities the support necessary to re-integrate these individuals when they're released and reduce rates of repeated offense.

Centers, Institutes & Labs

Researcher examines a fluid sample in a lab.

Knoebel Institute For Healthy Aging

The Knoebel Institute creates and implements solutions for issues related to aging. It takes a holistic approach to problem solving, incorporating engineering, natural sciences, social work and psychology. Current research efforts range from understanding the impact concussions during youth have on the development of Alzheimer's later in life to improving public attitudes towards aging.

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Professor Todd Blankenship examines test tube samples in a research lab.

Professor Todd Blankenship

Dr. Blankenship uses imaging and genetic techniques to study the reshaping of epithelial cells, which are the architecture of our skin and our organs. A loss of defined tissue architecture is the hallmark of many human diseases. He and his team seek to fully explore this connection with the help of graduate and undergraduate students in the biological sciences, biochemistry and physics.

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Motion tracking devices shown on a test subject's knee to test human dynamics in a lab.

Human Dynamics Lab

Our Human Dynamics Lab works to develop new ways to understand human movement and its relation to injury and recovery. Using cameras and the motion tracking technology typically associated with video game design and computer animation, we're finding new ways to improve rehabilitation techniques and help athletes avoid injury.

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Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Corinne Lengsfeld

Senior Vice Provost for Research & Graduate Education