About the Institute

From the PBI DirectorMichael Welsh

The Pappajohn Biomedical Institute (PBI) is a scientific community seeking to understand the fundamentals of biology and disease and to extend our discoveries into real-life applications that improve human health.

“Safety” is not my top priority for the PBI. 

Of course, I want a safe environment for all our trainees, staff and faculty. But for the PBI, I want us to dream large, to imagine what could be, and to be fearless in pursuing science and improving human health. I want us to be bold and not afraid of failing - if we never fail, we are not stretching far enough.

Founded in the fall of 2014, the PBI includes investigators focused on six thematic areas. PBI members hold academic appointments in departments across the university, and many conduct their research in the hub of the PBI, the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building (PBDB).  In the PBDB, we have removed as many walls as possible—both literal and figurative—to enable our scientists, engineers, physicians and trainees to see and hear and learn from each other on a daily basis. We work hard to reduce barriers between scientific and technological specialties and enable scientists to work across disciplines.  We embrace biological problems in all their complexity and tackle some of the most intractable medical problems. Our gathering spaces, including our coffee shop, buzz with ideas and strategies for investigation. This environment catalyzes discovery and innovation.

How do we measure our success? 

  • By our discoveries and the creative papers we publish.
  • By the new treatments, preventions, and diagnostics arising from our research.
  • By the patents we generate and the biotech companies we start.

By working together, PBI investigators accelerate the pace of research and generate new knowledge and understanding that will make a big difference for human beings.

Michael J. Welsh
PBI Director