Research Impact

Saint Louis University research is steeped in our history and guides our future. From the discovery of the life-saving properties of vitamin K to the development of computer-guided surgery technology, at SLU our researchers explore new frontiers and tackle tough questions.

Students in a Research Lab

Guided by a Mission

SLU’s research efforts reflect our Jesuit values and our desire to care for those who are vulnerable. Among other topics, our researchers are:

  • Searching for new vaccines for diseases that disproportionately afflict the poor, such as tuberculosis, which annually kills more than a million people in developing countries, and childhood diarrhea, which kills 2,000 children under the age of 5 worldwide each day.
  • Helping to challenge nuisance laws that punish domestic violence survivors who call 911 to report abuse.
  • Examining the layout of cities and suburbs to identify and rectify racial inequalities within communities.

The Legacy of Edward A. Doisy 

edward doisy
Dedicated in 2007, SLU’s biomedical research building is a hub of discovery named for longtime SLU biochemistry professor and Nobel laureate Edward A. Doisy, Ph.D. 

Doisy was awarded the 1943 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in determining the chemical nature of vitamin K, an essential component in blood coagulation. 

His discovery set the stage for a lifesaving treatment for patients who were bleeding profusely — giving injections of vitamin K to clot blood.

He retired from the university in 1965 and directed much of the income derived from commercializing his discoveries to SLU. The income annually provides millions of dollars in support of  SLU’s research and teaching initiatives. 

Helping St. Louis to Grow 

A transformation is underway in St. Louis, and SLU one of the lead architects.

In 2002, we joined visionaries who predicted St. Louis could become a hub of bioscience and technology innovation, founding Cortex, an innovation community fueling scientific discovery, entrepreneurism and economic growth in the region.

SLU’s North St. Louis Initiative conducts and presents research that partners SLU students and faculty with agencies to address the social, economic, education and health disparities that exist in St. Louis’ north city and county.

Students and professors from our School of Law partnered with experts from around Missouri on the Ferguson Commission to study the underlying social and economic issues that led to civil unrest in 2014 and to recommend policy changes to address these issues. 

A Leader in Innovation

Saint Louis University researchers channel what they learn in the lab to create inventions to improve the world.

Our Office of Technology Management turns SLU discoveries into startups that aim to cure deadly pulmonary fibrosis, alleviate pain without addiction, treat cancer, diagnose hepatitis C and fuel airplanes more efficiently. 

Our faculty are developing software to protect endangered languages, inventing computer-guided technology to make surgeries more precise and engineering touch screens for the blind.

Curious to learn more about research at Saint Louis University? Read the latest news from SLU or check out our different centers and institutes to get an in-depth look at what our researchers are studying.