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Karen Plaut - February Dimensions of Discovery Introduction

February 29, 2024

Dear Colleagues,  

The term national security is often understood in terms of armaments and defense. At Purdue, we think about this even more broadly. Our researchers are passionate about promoting national and economic security and all that this involves such as keeping our country safe, protecting the environment, delivering technological breakthroughs, curing disease and more. This issue of Dimensions of Discovery is a reminder of how Purdue researchers advance this security mission every day through innovation and engagement. 

A prime example with global benefits is the annual meeting of the University Consortium of Health, Food and Agriculture Resilience (HFAR) recently hosted by the Purdue Applied Research Institute. Over two days, government officials, industry leaders, and researchers from engineering, agriculture and science explored how to address the multitude of natural and man-made threats to the resilience of health, food safety and agricultural systems at home and around the world.

Another case with benefits for our region is the story of Purdue researchers and the Great Lakes Water Innovation Engine (or ReNEW). Purdue, represented by Linda Lee and colleagues from engineering and the Institute for a Sustainable Future, plays a key role in this NSF-led initiative by developing solutions to eliminate “forever chemicals” from water sources. Through a combination of R&D, workforce development, and entrepreneurship, this joint effort is working to ensure a safe and dependable water supply for millions of people living in the Great Lakes region.

With improving lives of individuals at the center of our mission, the story about delivering personalized medicine to cancer patients is especially powerful. This story highlights the groundbreaking work of Michael Childress and his colleagues to develop tools, using Doppler ultrasound, to detect a particular patient’s resistance to standard chemotherapy so treatment can be adjusted. Tailor-made cancer treatment truly has the potential to save a life ... and the world!

As you read these and other stories, the impact of Purdue’s contributions to some of society’s greatest needs becomes apparent. We really are helping to make the world more secure!


Karen Plaut
Executive Vice President for Research

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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