Research; People working in a laboratory



If it shapes our world, we’re exploring it at GW.





Students with sea lions


In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, how do we find strength in numbers? Do low-calorie sweetened beverages really sour children’s health? Can we stop the spread of hate online by putting it on the map? What can we do to keep the Earth from being haunted by ghost forests? What happens when tourists meet tribes in Petra, Jordan? What could Jane Goodall teach people 100 years from now? Can the intersection of research, advocacy and filmmaking help turn up the heat on climate activism? Is it possible to silence schizophrenia?

These are just some of the questions that researchers at the George Washington University are trying to answer, but the possibilities for what they will discover are limitless. Home to traditional disciplines as well as more than 70 centers and institutes, our research spans science, technology, health, policy, global security, arts and humanities. Our faculty are driving progress in many different fields — everything from advancing human health and improving current technologies to expanding our understanding of the universe. But no matter what the field, given our influence in the nation’s capital, the work conducted here is sure to have an impact far beyond our campus.

With support from the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), cross-disciplinary work is highly encouraged. OVPR facilitates the interdisciplinary research performed by several institutional research initiatives.

GW’s research enterprise has been growing over the past decade, and in 2015, we opened Science and Engineering Hall (SEH), the epitome of GW’s investment in infrastructure that enables cutting-edge research and teaching.

GW’s unparalleled location and state-of-the-art facilities encourage students, faculty and staff to cultivate new collaborations and innovative solutions as they work with fellow researchers and policymakers alike.

If you’re destined to make a discovery, you’ll be right at home at GW. Here opportunities are endless and our partnerships with powerful institutions are longstanding.



Research Highlights



Piecing Together History Through Pottery Pieces

Christopher Rollston, an associate professor of Northwest semitic languages and literatures, is collaborating with school of medicine professor Narine Sarvazyan to carry out multispectral imaging on ostraca (ink inscriptions on broken pieces of pottery). The ostraca were found at Macchaeurus, a site in modern Jordan, which was also where John the Baptist was martyred. The goal is to read the multilingual inscriptions, which have faded over time, to learn more about the scribes who lived at a tumultuous time in Jewish history.



Moncef Slaoui, the government's COVID-19 vaccine chief, speaks at podium

Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Chief Visits GW Site

Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 vaccine development initiative known as Operation Warp Speed, visited GW to raise awareness for the national vaccine development efforts, encourage greater participation in the clinical trials and recognize GW for exceeding its enrollment goals for its vaccine trial. GW is one of roughly 100 sites conducting a Phase III COVID-19 vaccine trial led by the COVID-19 Prevention Network, established by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the National Institutes of Health.

Professor Ashley Darcy-Mahoney posing for photo

Neonatal Intensive Care Policies Vary Widely in Wake of COVID-19

Together with a team of scientists, Ashley Darcy-Mahoney, an associate professor and researcher in the School of Nursing, conducted two studies that examined the impact of COVID-19 on neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). They found the prevalence of COVID-19 in NICU infants was low, yet many hospitals at the start of the pandemic put in place strict parental visitation policies and scaled back NICU services such as lactation support and therapy.


Milken Institute School of Public Health building

Survey Finds 40 Percent of Puerto Rican Families Reporting Food Insecurity Due to COVID-19

Uriyoán Colón-Ramos, an associate professor of global health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, teamed up with colleagues at the Instituto Nueva Escuela to conduct an online food and nutrition survey. The researchers found a number of troubling trends in unemployment, food access and nutritional deficits that could have long-term implications for participating families—and especially children—living in Puerto Rico.

GWI researcher speaking with woman sitting in a hammock

New Study Shows Violence Against Women and Girls Is Preventable

Researchers at GW’s Global Women’s Institute, in partnership with the Autonomous National University of Nicaragua at León and InterCambios, a Nicaraguan nongovernmental organization, recorded a significant decline in intimate partner violence (IPV) in León, Nicaragua in a follow-up study conducted 20 years after the initial IPV prevalence study. According to the new study, the percentage of women and girls who reported experiencing physical violence by their partners during their lifetimes decreased from 55% in 1995 to 28% in 2016.


graph showing information spread

New Map Reveals Distrust in Health Expertise Is Winning Hearts and Minds Online

Professor Neil Johnson and a GW research team conducted a study to better understand how distrust in scientific expertise evolves online, especially related to vaccines. During the 2019 measles outbreak, the team, which included collaborators from the University of Miami, Michigan State University and Los Alamos National Laboratory, examined Facebook communities, totaling nearly 100 million users, which were active around the vaccine topic. Their published study found that Facebook communities that distrust establishment health guidance are more effective than government health agencies and other reliable health groups at reaching and engaging “undecided” individuals.

Person sitting in dark room

Law Professor Finds Family Violence Increases During Pandemic

Quarantine has been incredibly dangerous for adults and children in abusive relationships and households around the world, said Joan S. Meier, a professor of clinical law and director of the National Family Violence Law Center at the GW Law School. Meier found that reasons may include family members in closer proximity, more stress and victims that have no place to escape. She is collecting stories from families around the country, and said patterns of family courts not holding abusers accountable before the pandemic may be exacerbated now. 


Igor Efimov in a lab



SEAS Researcher Develops New Tools to Advance Cardiac Surgery and Therapy

Professor Igor Efimov and his collaborators are pioneering a new class of medical instruments that use flexible electronics to improve patient outcomes in minimally invasive surgeries. Detailed in a new paper published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, Efimov and a research team applied stretchable and flexible matrices of electrode, temperature and pressure sensors, along with actuators that enable movement, to a balloon catheter system. Balloon catheters are often used in minimally invasive surgeries or ablations, a procedure for restoring normal heart rhythm, to treat conditions such as heart arrhythmias.


Research Administration 



Bethany Perez in front of Speech and Hearing Center

Bethany Perez

Class of 2018
Major: Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

“In my first semester of freshman year, I was able to do research with one of my professors at the National Building Museum every week working with children. It was really exciting to be involved in research so soon because I wasn't really sure where speech and language could take me.”