COM Research

The mission of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) is to provide for the education of osteopathic physicians and other health professionals. The college is dedicated to the improvement of life through education, research and service, emphasizing health, healing and primary care for the people of New England and the nation.

COM recognizes and supports the role of research in all of its educational, clinical and basic science activities. Research is fundamental to, consistent with, and a prerequisite for excellence in teaching and the creation of a scholarly atmosphere for learning.

COM recognizes the critical role for further developing its research capacity in order to continue attracting and retaining top faculty and students, thereby training the next generation of physicians and scientists for productive careers that help promote health and well being.

A few of our recent accomplishments toward fulfilling these goals include:

  • The creation of the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences with a focus on the prevention and effective treatment of neurological disease within a multidisciplinary approach to research, education, and health-professional training.
  • The construction of the Pickus Center for Biomedical Research, a state-of-the-art research building that houses teams of COM faculty and student researchers. Funding for the $6 million facility was raised through private donations and foundation grants, along with $1.2 million in state research and development grants.
  • Being awarded an additional $1.5 million grant from the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) to further build out the Pickus Center with state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.
  • Receiving faculty research funding from federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health and Office of Naval Research, from foundations such as the American Diabetes Foundation and Maine Cancer Foundation, and state sources like the Maine Technology Institute.
  • Being recognized for the quality of our research in such prestigious national publications as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Nature Clinical Practice: Cardiovascular Medicine, Journal of NeurophysiologyPain and the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

As we move forward, COM has identified the following general areas of biomedical research to focus on:

  • The neurobiology of acute and chronic pain, and the development of novel therapies for its prevention and treatment.
  • Prevention and treatment of diseases encountered in primary care (e.g., diabetes and obesity).
  • Critical evaluation of manipulative medicine techniques that assess efficacy and outcomes.

To this end, the biomedical research currently being conducted at COM falls into three broad areas: 

  1. Neurophysiology and neuropharmacology of pain, addiction and the role of the limbic system in disease states.
  2. Cardiovascular complications associated with diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
  3. Efficacy and effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment.