Penn research brings knowledge to the world

From modest beginnings a little over a century ago, academic research at Penn has grown into a major enterprise, fueled by more than $500 million in government and private funds each year.

That research takes place in a vast complex of laboratories and research centers. Nearly 1.6 million square feet of research space now exists on campus, 700,000 square feet more than existed in 1990.

And the knowledge generated by Penn research doesn’t just take up space in the library. Penn research helped launch the modern computer industry, and the people at Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer carry on this tradition by identifying research results that have marketplace potential.

Research conducted at Penn sheds light on ancient worlds, opens new frontiers in technology and offers hope for those suffering from rare diseases. And to help lay people understand the implications of this research, a new Web site, Research at Penn, has been created to showcase significant research projects on campus in print and online.

Penn's evolution into a center for knowledge creation began with a visionary provost, William Pepper. Today, thousands of scholars at Penn continue his legacy by actively producing knowledge through research.

The root of all research is curiosity—the desire to know more about the world and everything around it. In that spirit, the Current offers a look into the side of Penn that’s engaged in the active accumulation of knowledge.

—Sandy Smith

Articles in this special report:

How Penn's research enterprise works and grows
Penn brings the fruits to research to market
How Penn became a giant in advancing knowledge
Desert's past discovered
Research gets its own Web site

Originally published on September 19, 2002