Great research universities are engines for progress — individual and societal. They create knowledge, explore new vistas of possibility, and educate students and other stakeholders. Universities extend our understanding of particular disciplines and, through basic research, provide the foundation for transformative advances. These improvements may include next-generation products, such as pharmaceuticals that target serious disease, or superior processes, like better logistics to deliver supplies or humanitarian aid.
As 2016 concludes, I want to wish you and yours a marvelous holiday season and new year. In reflecting on the past 12 months, it’s gratifying to see that Northwestern research enjoyed another exceptional year, with accomplishments across many different disciplines.
Northwestern enjoyed another record-breaking year of sponsored research funding in 2016. That’s wonderful news and part of a decade-long growth trend that could only happen because of the University’s faculty thought leadership, inter-institutional relationships, and the efforts of our dedicated administrative staff. Equally impressive is that Northwestern continues to attract this level of investment during a time of greater competition for funds from federal and industry sources.
The entire Northwestern community felt an enormous sense of pride on October 5 when we learned that one of our own, Sir Fraser Stoddart, had won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The announcement heralded a triumph for scientific ingenuity and also provided a powerful reminder of basic science’s importance.