Thursday, June 18, 2015

CHM Officially Breaks Ground on New Biomedical Research Facility in Grand Rapids

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (CHM) has officially broken ground on a new research facility set to be completed in late 2017.

Ushering a new chapter in CHM history, the $88 million project will further a vision from Dean Marsha Rappley to increase CHM's research imprint. There's no better place for such an initiative than on Grand Rapids' thriving Medical Mile.

Once finished, the research facility will be a good complement to the Secchia Center, located just up Michigan Avenue. The new research facility is part of a long-range strategy that began in 2005, when health and community leaders worked to bring medical education to the city. CHM expanded to include campuses in Grand Rapids and Lansing and moved its headquarters to the Secchia Center.

Completed in 2010, the Secchia Center was built for medical education yet no accommodation was made for research laboratories.

The Spectrum Health-MSU Alliance was established to draw academic research to Grand Rapids, working in partnership with the Van Andel Institute and Grand Valley State University.

The new research center will support 260 CHM researchers, including 34 principal investigators with total capacity for 44 research teams. Research program spaces and five core labs—including bioinformatics, flow cytometer, long-term storage, and analytical and advanced microscopy—for CHM scientists and researchers from partner institutions will also be incorporated in the six-story, 162,000-square-foot facility.

Some of the areas of scientific study include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, pediatric neurology, autism, inflammation, transplantation, cancer, genetics, women’s health and reproductive medicine.

Beyond a home to discover new cures, remedies, and treatments, the facility is expected to create hundreds of jobs in West Michigan. The construction marks the beginning of Grand Rapids Innovation Park, a gateway to the Medical Mile aimed to attract business growth in biotechnology and life sciences.

The research facility will be built on seven acres that were previously occupied by The Grand Rapids Press building.

The College of Human Medicine has equipped a nearby webcam for anyone interested in keeping an eye on the construction.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

CHM Office of Admissions Excited To Launch New Website

The MSU College of Human Medicine Office of Admissions is proud to announce that we've officially launched our new website!

While you can still find us at, the website address is one of only a few traits to carry over to the new site, which was in the works for a year. Beyond the cleaner layout, potential applicants or those at any phase of the admissions process will find the site to be much easier to navigate and digest.

The prior version had a ton of information that needed to be condensed and repackaged. Eliminating redundancies and mapping out better direction were goals to remedy the difficulties visitors found in perusing through the prior site's content. Adding an outdated layout to the equation, it was surely time for a more modern look and feel.

In addition to the new look, we've also included several new elements including social media integration and more user-friendly capabilities. For instance, expandable menu options will allow visitors to see specific sets of information without having to scroll down a ton of text. In areas such as our FAQ page, you won't need to search far for particular answers.

Regarding the content, you'll see new features like our "Student Spotlight," where we will be presenting individual stories from our best resources—the students. Here, visitors will hear personal stories that offer a better picture into who makes up our student body. It's a good opportunity to see what it's like to be a College of Human Medicine (CHM) student.

Also featured at the bottom of our homepage, CHMVIEW will showcase timely, informative videos. Visitors can currently view a two-minute clip entitled, "This Is Our Story," made to celebrate our 50th anniversary and showcasing our decades of contributions. We'll be plugging in additional videos about the college over time along with special messages from admissions staff about the application process. 

You see, the MSU College of Human Medicine is different from many medical schools in that we use a completely separate website for our specific admissions information. Typically, many schools simply dedicate a tab/section of the institution's main website to admissions, with communications teams responsible for all of the content.

Here at CHM, the admissions office is tasked with maintaining the admissions website in-house. All of it.

As the pioneer community-based medical school in the nation, our line of thinking has always been a little nontraditional. In this case, a separate website specifically for the admissions office is equal parts a continuation of that nontraditional spirit as well as simple necessity.

The office of admissions truly needs its own space to showcase a vast amount of important content that otherwise wouldn't fit in with the main CHM website. There are a lot of details that go into the many different programs and tracks we offer, so being hands-on with our content is important.

At the CHM Office of Admissions website, you will learn about much more than just the admissions process.

Users can find additional information on a number of CHM programs. Beyond the MD degree our students are offered, CHM also has unique resources, specializations and several dual-degree options, including the MD/PhD and MD/MPH programs.

CHM offers Early Assurance options for undergraduate students who find this fast-track as an attractive and viable option (See EAO and EAP for more information).

Unique to CHM, the ABLE Program is a "year-long enriched academic experience offered each application cycle to an invited group of disadvantaged students who have applied for admission to the College of Human Medicine." We take our commitment to serving underserved communities seriously and the ABLE program helps develop students the certainly fit with our mission.

Beyond our many programs, potential applicants and reapplicants alike will find our downloadable Premedical Handbook and Self-Assessment Guides helpful and easy to find on the new site. For those hoping to reapply, remember that you can submit the Self-Assessment Guide and subsequently request to meet with one of our advisors.

We've also included a multitude of helpful resources throughout. Within our Community Campuses and Clinical Sites pages, visitors can even be redirected to housing, entertainment, and governmental resources. Whether you'd like to learn more about East Lansing, Grand Rapids, or our clinical presence throughout the state, the resources provided here will direct you to some solid destinations.

But these are all just a few resources, features and capabilities. Now in our third rendition of the site, we hope the new site will give you as solid a picture of who we are and what we do as possible. We consider ourselves to be quite unique from what is expected of a medical school.


Francisco Velazquez is Communications Coordinator for the College of Human Medicine Office of Admissions and has been with CHM for close to two years.