Michigan State University produces considerable cancer research every year. With at least 95 faculty members distributed across 20 departments and eight colleges, “Spartans” are busy contributing to the cause of improving cancer treatments, not to mention the quest for cures. Consequently, the university sought a way to organize, consolidate, and publish its ongoing research on a new website, highlighting the significant amount of ongoing research happening there. Spartans represent the 9th biggest university in the United States, and the new website will help showcase noteworthy research, educational curriculum, and soon will list all of their cancer-focused clinical trials.
The new site was created to showcase to current and future students all that is happening in this great institution and bringing MSU cancer research together to spark new collaborations, reported Jeff MacKeigan, website launch project manager, professor, and assistant dean for research in the College of Human Medicine.
This project took at least six months as building a compelling website is not just a straightforward task—it represents a major project requiring serious collaboration across a stakeholder and hence requires formidable project management, analytical, and collaboration skills and, not to mention, technical acumen. Not all professors and scientists are good at this kind of endeavor, so TrialSite News sends kudos to Professor MacKeigan. Of course, he was successful because he put together what appears to be a compelling team to pull this feat off in such a period of time, including:
· Nicole Doppel, research administrator
· Amy Nienhouse, digital communications manager
· Kris Southwick, web developer
For other research universities interested in doing something similar, a key formula for success includes a cross-functional team such as this—with the right complementary skills and attributes and know-how to get the job done—with quality.
MSU Today reports that the new website is already working—with days of its launch, cancer researchers from all corners of MSU were contacting each other for introductions, knowledge transfer, and even in a few cases, interest in joint research projects. Moreover, the university will use the website as a recruiting vehicle—after all, universities in America compete for the best and brightest young people as they will be the future professors, physicians, and clinical investigators.
The website also includes research and disease focus areas, upcoming seminars, lists, and examples of cancer courses and background and history of cancer research at MSU. On the roadmap are future updates about cancer-focused clinical trials at MSU and the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium.
MSU Spartans are heavy hitters. As Professor MacKeigan noted, MSU has been involved with pathbreaking research, such as the discovery of cisplatin as an anticancer drug.
MSU is the 9th largest university in the United States as measured by enrollment with 50,000 students and received about 25 million in NIH research dollars in 2019. The university endowment topped $3 billion in 2019.