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About Research in Hershey

Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center have nationally recognized investigators advancing the understanding of health sciences across a broad continuum of research types:

  • Basic: Investigative research that advances our scientific understanding of issues affecting health
  • Clinical: Medical research directly involving patients that seeks to better understand and manage human illnesses
  • Translational: Research that applies the discoveries made by basic research investigators to studies with patients or to best practices in the practice of medicine
  • Health Services: Research that examines the health care system and access to care, and the effect that care has on patients

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Meet the Vice Dean

Dr. Leslie J. Parent stands in her laboratory at Penn State College of Medicine, with laboratory equipment visible in the background. She is smiling and wearing a white medical coat.

Leslie Parent, MD, is Vice Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at Penn State College of Medicine.

Research and graduate research education at the College of Medicine are under the direction of Leslie Parent, MD, Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.

Dr. Parent also serves as Associate Vice President for Health Sciences Research, The Pennsylvania State University. She is a professor in the Department of Medicine – where she is part of the Division of Infectious Diseases – and in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. She is also a member of Penn State Cancer Institute, working as part of the Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis research program, and is co-director of the College’s MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program.

Dr. Parent received her MD from Duke University School of Medicine in 1987 and completed her residency in internal medicine, in the clinician-investigator pathway, at Duke from 1987 to 1991. She completed the infectious disease fellowship and a postdoctoral fellowship in retrovirology at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and was appointed as an assistant professor in 1995.

Dr. Parent is a highly respected physician-scientist whose research focuses on understanding how retroviruses, including the human immunodeficiency virus, co-opt cellular machinery to assemble new virus particles to spread infection. She has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1993.

Learn More About College of Medicine Research

Research Leadership Expand answer
Contact the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Expand answer

To reach the Office of the Vice Dean and Research Graduate Studies:


Email Administrative Support Coordinator Ellen Miller at




Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
Penn State College of Medicine, Mail Code H175
500 University Dr.
P.O. Box 850
Hershey, PA 17033-0850

GPS Address

Penn State College of Medicine
700 HMC Crescent Road
Hershey, PA 17033



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Participate in Clinical Research

Participating in a clinical trial at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine helps you play an active role in your own healthcare and is a way you can contribute to the understanding of human diseases and the development of new drugs, devices and procedures.

Visit our StudyFinder website to search for relevant clinical research studies.

Get Research Support

Getting a new project up and running can be trying for even the most experienced investigator. The College of Medicine has expert staff available to help guide researchers through the process.

Explore the help available to investigators at each stage of a project.

See Core Facilities and Services

The College of Medicine has both fully supported institutional facilities and independently-available departmental labs and equipment that can be used or hired to assist investigators in their research.

Find out more about our Core Facilities & Research Resources.

See Faculty Resources

Penn State College of Medicine faculty members have access to a variety of resources to help with promotion and tenure, professional development, international travel, educational research and more.

Explore resources for faculty members.

Find A Collaborator

The Penn State Research Portal (Pure) is an open research information management system that captures and displays the research output of the University, both for investigators and units. The Pure portal is fully accessible to the public.

Search Pure.

Learn About Body Donation

Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center value body donation for research.

Learn more about body donation.