Discovery Domain: Health

Health research represents Virginia Tech’s shared vision and commitment to improving quality of life for people, animals, and plants. We promote health through high-impact research across the spectrum of basic and translational investigation. By employing engineering and the life, physical, and social sciences against the nation’s health-care challenges, we are building an extensive research portfolio and providing a hands-on, minds-on experience for our students. The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the affiliated School of Medicine, along with the establishment of a Faculty of Health Sciences, is providing opportunities for teams to work seamlessly across disciplines.


Stefan Duma heads up the team studying and rating hockey helmets. Following on the success of Virginia Tech’s ratings for football helmets, the new study will be the first of its kind for hockey, a sport played and closely followed throughout the world including every four years at the Olympics. Virginia Tech's STAR Evaluation System has thus far tested a total 23 football helmet models through the analysis of more than 2,700 laboratory tests, with each helmet being accessed through 120 impact tests.

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Fighting malaria in today’s world will require a new, targeted approach, and Virginia Tech researchers are out for blood. Maria Belen Cassera, an assistant professor of biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and a Fralin Life Science Institute affiliate, examines the metabolism of the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum in order to identify new drug targets.

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