Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, the Watson School has earned a reputation for innovative research that addresses society's most pressing problems. So it was inevitable that, in response to the significant healthcare challenges facing society, researchers in the Watson School have turned their attention to health systems and the life sciences.
Over the past decade, research in these fields has become one of the most pervasive areas of inquiry within the school. This turn toward healthcare has been driven by the "grassroots," as individual faculty members used their talents to solve problems related to their own research interests. For example, in this issue of the Watson Review you will read how Professor Mohammad Khasawneh's work in systems engineering has made hospital emergency rooms more efficient. Watson School faculty have been collaborating on a variety of projects that fall under the health systems umbrella – from innovative electronic records systems, to models that increase our understanding of how cancer spreads, to electronic bandages and improved hearing-aid designs.
Thanks to the efforts of Associate Dean and Distinguished Professor Ron Miles and Vice President for Research and Distinguished Professor Bahgat Sammakia, the University is moving forward with a new healthcare initiative that will bring together faculty researchers from across the campus, with the Watson School playing a critical role. Drawing on Binghamton's existing strengths, a new organized research center will attract significant federal funding while providing opportunities for collaboration with other universities and hospitals throughout New York state. It will help bring innovation to every aspect of healthcare, so that patients receive care that is efficient, effective, and ultimately, less costly.
Because our students are our primary concern, this initiative will help develop a curriculum that supports students interested in careers related to healthcare, ensuring that more students at both the graduate and undergraduate level can develop their focus in this important and growing field.
I am optimistic about the direction this initiative will take the Watson School and Binghamton University. That we are in a position to move forward speaks volumes about the dedication of the Watson faculty and the quality of their research.
Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari
Dean and Distinguished Professor,
Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science