As we embark on the University of Michigan’s third century, I believe our future success will be defined in part by our ability to contribute to the solution of society’s most daunting problems by bringing to bear the full intellectual might of our academic breadth and depth.
Our aspirations for positive societal impact are deeply embedded in our mission as a public university – your university – to advance the good of society through research, education and service. We are also committed to affordability for all Michigan residents through initiatives like our Go Blue Guarantee and You Can Go Blue.
At my annual Leadership Breakfast earlier this month, I shared several announcements and updates that advance our two-centuries-old partnership with the people of Michigan.
- Precision Health at the University of Michigan is a new initiative that will provide unprecedented insights into human health and disease and lead to better treatments for patients. The initiative will support U-M researchers using large amounts of detailed genetic, physiological, behavioral and environmental data to predict and prevent disease or optimize individual treatment. No other university in the nation can combine strengths in data science, engineering, medicine, public health and several related fields, along with a world-class academic medical center in Michigan Medicine. Precision Health will unite all of these strengths with innovative technology to improve human health. Our first Precision Health project will address the opioid crisis that affects millions in our nation and state by investigating how we can better prevent addiction to this type of pain medication.
- Supporting faculty who seek to share their work and expertise with the public is central to our new effort in Faculty Public Engagement. I am often asked, “How does research by U-M faculty and researchers help our communities?” Much of our work is focused on interacting with the broader public, including Teach Outs and engaged faculty who write or testify about pressing community, national or state issues. U-M research also helps leaders make decisions on complex policies such as Great Lakes sustainability, child safety seats in cars, and infrastructure needs in Michigan cities. Our new effort will provide greater support and training for professors who seek to make their work more public. Additionally, people of all ages in Michigan will have more opportunities to learn about and discuss important topics with some of the foremost researchers in the world.
These initiatives are just a small sample of the work we will be doing during at our great university in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all of you, our friends in the Michigan Family, I believe we are well-positioned for even greater levels of achievement and Michigan Impact.
Mark S. Schlissel