Institutes and Centers

Overview

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Centers and Institutes (ICs) work across disciplines and research to create new knowledge. Representing some of the most cutting edge investigations taking place in the world today, the VCU’s ICs conduct unique investigative collaborations to add value to the university in terms of intellectual power, resources and collaborative potential, extramural funding and resource development.

Click on the headings below to read more detailed information on each center or institute.

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Research-Related Chartered Centers and Institutes

Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: 2014
The Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) provides the necessary infrastructure and resources for interdisciplinary human health research. Through its cores, the CCTR encourages, engages and supports collaborative participation of investigators and students throughout the university, community partners, and government organizations to work together on innovative research that transforms the scientific study of human health. Researchers from across the university, including the life, physical, computer and social sciences, as well as engineering and economics, are supported by the CCTR.
Website

Center for Environmental Studies [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: May 1, 2017
The Center for Environmental Studies is a focal point for environment research and instruction at VCU. The center provides more than 30 distinguished faculty, expansive offering of environmental training and a geographical information systems laboratory. Faculty, staff, and graduate students in the Center conduct nationally and internationally recognized research in environmental science, policy, health, and technology. The undergraduate and graduate programs in environmental studies are interdisciplinary in nature, exposing students to the critical links between the areas of environmental life sciences, technology and policy.
Website

Center for Public Policy [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: February 1, 2017
The VCU Center for Public Policy is a multidisciplinary policy studies organization, serving Virginia Commonwealth University and its surrounding communities. Its divisions provide a wide variety of services, including professional and leadership training, survey design and implementation, economic research, transportation safety planning, and education policy analysis.
Website

Center for Rehabilitation Sciences and Engineering (CERSE) [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: February 1, 2016
The VCU Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering (VCU-CERSE) brings together researchers, clinicians, rehabilitation specialists, and academicians from the VCU Schools of Medicine, Allied Health, Education and Engineering, as well as the Hunter Holmes Veterans Administration Medical Center and the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services to promote research, education, physical medicine and rehabilitation services, and clinical care for America's veterans, children and adults with disabilities. This site offers resources and initiatives aimed at improving the health, functional ability and quality of life of persons who experience a disability.
Website

Center for the Study of Biological Complexity [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: May 1, 2017
The mission of the Center is to build an academic community centered on integrative discovery science, systems biology and the principles of complexity to address the challenges of the life sciences revolution of the 21st century. Center faculty and fellows apply the mathematical and computational principles of complexity to research, instructional and other scholarly activities in the life sciences. The Center develops and supports critical infrastructure and core capabilities at VCU in genomics, proteomics, and computational systems biology and bioinformatics. Thus, the Center houses VCU’s graduate and undergraduate programs in Bioinformatics, and administers the three institutional research cores: 1) the Bioinformatics Computational Core Laboratories; 2) the Center for High Performance Computing; and 3) the Nucleic Acids Research Facilities including but not limited to our Next Generation Sequencing Core.
Website

Center on Society and Health [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: May 1, 2016
The VCU Center on Society and Health is an academic research center that studies the health implications of social factors—such as education, income, neighborhood and community environmental conditions, and public policies. Its mission is to answer relevant questions that can “move the needle” to improve the health of Americans and present our work in formats and venues that are useful to decision-makers and change agents. It pursues these goals through collaboration with scholars in different disciplines at VCU and other institutions, and by nurturing partnerships with community, government, and private-sector stakeholders.
Website

da Vinci Center [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: August 1, 2016
A collaboration of VCU’s School of the Arts, Business and Engineering, the VCU da Vinci Center is a unique collegiate model that advances interdisciplinary innovation and technology-based entrepreneurship. Through academic and other program offerings, the da Vinci Center catalyzes innovation through the unity of Arts, Business and Engineering communities as it prepares students to enter a product innovation career and supports learning initiatives by partner organizations.
Website

HIV/AIDS Center [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: February 1, 2015
The Center coordinates many of the HIV/AIDS-related clinical, research, educational, and support activities within the university, the greater Richmond area and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its mission is to improve the health and social condition of persons living with HIV infection and to prevent the spread of HIV. To accomplish this mission, excellence in HIV clinical care is combined with globally relevant clinical, translational, and prevention research as well as involvement in multidisciplinary HIV-related education activities and public policy throughout Virginia.
Website

Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies (IDAS) [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: February 1, 2018
The Institute was established at VCU in 1993 to promote excellence in research and education on substance abuse. The Institute’s research and training agenda spans the continuum from basic, laboratory research to community-based treatment effectiveness studies and policy analyses., Over 50 faculty members from 11 different departments within the university comprise the Institute, enabling a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the complex problems associated with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Website

Institute for Engineering and Medicine (IEM) [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: August 1, 2017
The Institute for Engineering and Medicine, constructed in 2009 as an addition to West Hall, houses labs that foster collaborative programs between the VCU School of Engineering, VCU Life Sciences and the VCU School of Medicine. The state-of-the-art collaborative research environment is one of the largest configurable research spaces in the U.S.
Website

Institute for Structural Biology and Drug Discovery (ISBDD) [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: February 1, 2019
The Institute for Structural Biology and Drug Discovery integrates the interdisciplinary fields of structural biology and drug discovery to invent and develop therapeutic agents and/or therapy that assist or resolve diseases. The Institute employs cutting edge technologies including x-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry, computer assisted drug design and molecular modeling, genetic engineering, computerized imaging, etc. in this research. It houses eight biomedical research groups from the fields of Structural Biology, Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, and Molecular Pharmacology.
Website

Institute for Women's Health (IWH) [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: October 1, 2015
The VCU Institute for Women's Health is one of 20 National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health designated by the Office of Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Institute for Women’s Health seeks to improve the health of women through research, clinical care, education, community outreach and leadership development. The institute was created to bring together these diverse activities, generate synergy within VCU and foster coordinated alliances with the greater community.
Website

Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: October 1, 2016
The mission of the VCU Institute for Molecular Medicine is to create the next generation of effective preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for cancer, neurodegeneration and infectious diseases. Among the goals of VIMM are to leverage current knowledge of cancer, neurodegeneration and infectious diseases to better understand genes that play a critical role in pathogenesis, to identify molecular targets for developing strategies to diagnose and treat these three disease states, and to transfer discoveries into the arena of clinical research and ultimately into practical benefit to society.
Website

Kornblau Institute [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: May 1, 2015
The Kornblau Institute focuses on research broadly related to commercial and residential real estate. These issues often benefit from an interdisciplinary approach and include such concerns as land use, housing and commercial development - the social, cultural and economic sides of the real estate business. Collaborative research seeks to engage other programs and schools such as nursing, social work and government and public affairs, working with various departments in the School of Business. This collaborative approach seeks to elevate the national and international profile of the Real Estate Program at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Website

Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Center [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: October 1, 2017
The Virginia Commonwealth University Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center strives to slow and ideally stop the progression of age-related, adult neurodegenerative diseases with focused “bench to bedside” translational research, to seek community input for our research projects, and to communicate our findings widely to interested professionals and members of the public. In doing so, we hope to become a premier model for improving the lives of individuals with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, their families and the community by our commitment to excellence in translational research, comprehensive interdisciplinary clinical evaluation, and education and outreach.
Website

Pauley Heart Center [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: August 1, 2018
VCU Pauley Heart Center has had an active cardiovascular disease research program for more than 30 years, with significant funding annually by NIH, industry and private grants. The basic research program, led by NIH MERIT Award winner, Dr. Rakesh Kukreja, is focused on pharmacologic protection of heart muscle with limited blood flow using drugs such as Viagra, generically known as sildenafil. Clinical research includes studies concentrated on optimizing outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease utilizing the latest imaging, pharmacologic and device techniques.
Website

Philips Institute of Oral and Craniofacial Molecular Biology [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: May 1, 2018
Since its inception in 1999, the VCU Philips Institute of Oral and Craniofacial Molecular Biology has been the major focus for oral and dental research in the VCU School of Dentistry. The mission of the VCU Philips Institute of Oral and Craniofacial Molecular Biology is to serve the University and the Commonwealth as a center of educational and research excellence focused on infectious, neoplastic, and genetic diseases of the oral cavity, head, and neck.
Website

Rice Rivers Center for Environmental Life Sciences [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: May 1, 2017
The Inger and Walter Rice Rivers Center for Environmental Life Sciences is Virginia Commonwealth University’s field station devoted to a broad array of environmental research, teaching and public service. The center provides a site for VCU researchers and scientists from other institutions and agencies to conduct research on a wide variety of topics, such as the science and policy of large rivers and their fringing riparian and wetland landscapes. This includes studies on wetlands restoration, anadromous fishes, nutrient dynamics and the role of plankton in the food chains of the James River, and the ecology of the freshwater tidal creeks along the river and waterborne public health issues.
Website

Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: August 1, 2015
Established in 1996, The Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics is established to facilitate the development of a multidisciplinary, integrated research program in the Genetic Epidemiology of Psychiatric Illness and Human Behavior and Development in the Departments of Psychiatry and Human Genetics.
Website

Center on Health Disparities [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: October 1, 2018
The Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Health Disparities (VCU CoHD) was established in 2005 by the VCU Board of Visitors in response to emerging evidence of barriers to equitable health care at the local, state and national levels. The VCU CoHD supports multi-disciplinary, multi-level, integrated research projects to advance the understanding of the development and progression of diseases and disabilities that contribute to health disparities in racial and ethnic minority populations and other health disparity populations, including the medically underserved, by increasing and diversifying biomedical, behavioral, social science, and health services research, as well as cultural, linguistic and social epidemiology research conducted and supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Website

Massey Cancer Center [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: 2019
The VCU Massey Cancer Center mission is to serve Virginia and the nation as a comprehensive center of excellence in cancer research, prevention and control, patient care, and education. Its guiding principles are to make important discoveries about cancer, and to translate these discoveries rapidly into better prevention, detection, treatment, and control of cancer to enhance the quality of life of all individuals affected by cancer. Researchers and physician-scientists conduct lab and clinical research in five core areas: Cancer Cell Signaling, Cancer Molecular Genetics, Cancer Prevention and Control, Developmental Therapeutics, and Radiation Biology and Oncology. Research members are faculty affiliated with 22 academic departments, five schools and one college at Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU Massey Cancer Center has been designated by the National Cancer Institute since 1974.
Website

Virginia Reanimation Engineering Shock Center (VCURES) [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: TBD
The Virginia Commonwealth University Reanimation Engineering Science Center (VCURES) is one of the world's largest and most multidisciplinary research and educational efforts centered on critical illness and injury. Unique to VCURES is its rapid translational bench to bedside to bench loop science emphasis engaging the medical, engineering, and basic applied sciences to address the challenges of rescuing and reanimating (restoring) the health of victims of critical illness and injury. It is envisioned that this effort will lead to the ultimate goal of improving survival and the quality of life of victims of critical illness and injury.

Other Chartered Centers and Institutes

Center for Teaching Excellence [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: Spring, 2015
Since its inception in the fall of 2000, the Center for Teaching Excellence at VCU continues to promote, enhance, and assess teaching effectiveness and student learning through faculty development.
Website

Virginia Center on Aging [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: Spring, 2015
The Virginia Center on Aging is a statewide agency created by the Virginia General Assembly. Its mission is to define and protect the quality of life for older Virginians so that they may remain autonomous, contribute to their communities, and have access to resources for continued learning and personal growth. In addition, the Virginia Center on Aging provides data, resources and insightful recommendations to decision makers (legislators, practitioners, service providers and caregivers) to enable them to make informed decisions about our elderly.
Website

Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: Spring, 2015
The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute at VCU promotes the development of current and emerging leaders in academic institutions; public, private and nonprofit organizations; and in the community. Leadership programs are based on the principles of collaboration and partnerships, with a strong commitment to long-term relationships between clients and participants. Additionally, the Institute researches and disseminates knowledge on the best practices in leadership. Through its training and public policy research, the institute is committed to identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders.
Website

Harold F. Young Neurosurgical Center [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: Spring, 2015
The Harold F. Young Neurosurgical Center is committed to providing exceptional and compassionate patient care. Within the VCU Health System, the Neurosurgical Center will be a recognized provider of comprehensive services whose mission is to integrate clinical research with patient services while training future clinicians and scientists.
Website

Research-Related General Centers and Institutes

Center for Biobehavioral Clinical Research [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: TBD
The Center for Biobehavioral Clinical Research, presently funded as a P30 Center of Excellence for Biobehavioral Approaches to Symptom Management builds on the successful P20 Exploratory Center to advanced application of biobehavioral models, methods, and analyses aimed at understanding biobehavioral mechanisms, interventions, and outcomes. The Center consists of the Administrative Core, Biobehavioral Science Core, (affiliated with Biobehavioral Laboratory Services) and Data Services and Analysis Core, a subset of Biostatistics and Data Services. Investigators have collectively, and individually, advanced biobehavioral science and/or symptom management significantly in a variety of patient populations, including patients with cancer and in the critically ill.
Website

Center for Biomarker Research and Personalized Medicine [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: May 1, 2016
In operation since 2006, the VCU School of Pharmacy’s Center for Biomarker Research and Personalized Medicine develops and applies novel methods for the purpose of identifying and using biomarkers to improve disease understanding, and to tailor medication use in individual patients with the goals of enhancing efficacy and minimizing toxicity. High-dimensional investigations where (hundreds of) thousands of genotypes, transcripts, methylation markers, and metabolites are measured together with environmental risk factors and clinical information are considered powerful tools to achieve these goals and are, therefore, an important focus of the research . The center operates from a strong multidisciplinary perspective and the primary applications involve substance use disorders and psychiatric outcomes.
Website

Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: October 1, 2015
The Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention (CCEP) within the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University was founded in 2000 to provide a place, forum, and means to promote and conduct culturally congruent and community relevant prevention and intervention work primarily with African Americans and other culturally different groups. Since its inception over 30 graduate students and hundreds of undergraduate students have contributed to programs and research at the Center and engaged in activities with numerous community partners and other agencies.
Website

Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: February 1, 2020
The mission of the Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care is to improve healthcare through research-driven innovations in education and clinical care that increase effective interprofessional collaboration. Specific goals include advancing interprofessional education and collaborative care scholarship, ranging from primary research on how teams function to evaluation of the outcomes of new educational and clinical programs; developing educational experiences for healthcare trainees that prepare graduates for the current and future approaches to healthcare delivery; and, creating and supporting organizational structures within VCU, VCU Health System, and the surrounding community for innovative models of collaborative care and interprofessional education.
Website

Center for Molecular Imaging (CMI) [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: February 1, 2016
As one of the VCU School of Medicine Research Centers, the Center for Molecular Imaging (CMI) fosters and facilitates multidisciplinary molecular imaging and nanotechnology research using advanced imaging technologies. Together, such technologies provide real-time in vivo information, complimented with and validated by ex vivo data and molecular biology analysis on cells and tissue samples including tumors. The overall objective is to study, within the intact physiological and pathophysiological environment, biological pathways and interactions involved in disease progression, such as tumorgenesis, and therapeutic interventions. The center has laboratories for radiochemistry, nano-chemistry and nanotechnology, molecular biology, multi-modalilty animal and tissue imaging.
Website

Center for the Study of Tobacco Products [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: 2020
Approved in 2013, the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products (CSTP) brings together a multi-disciplinary group of faculty to focus on a new issue of immediate concern to public health—the regulation of tobacco products. The CSTP employs an integrated, iterative model of modified risk tobacco product (MRTP) evaluation that uses analytic lab, human lab, randomized controlled trial (RCT), and quantitative/qualitative methods to inform tobacco product regulation. In addition, by providing core support services, opportunities for faculty development, training of post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, and a small grants program, the Center helps to attract and retain faculty in this rapidly expanding field of research and facilitates additional multi-disciplinary research awards. The CSTP is administered within the Department of Psychology with linkages to the Massey Cancer Center.

Clark Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: February 1, 2015
The mission of the Clark Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development Institute’s is to empower youth, schools, families, and other stakeholders to promote the healthy, safe, and otherwise positive development of youth in the defined community from early adolescence through emerging adulthood. This is pursued through the activities of the Institute’s Research, Outreach, and Education cores. The Research core is focused on developing and evaluating effective violence prevention strategies. The Outreach and Education cores support the Research core and respond more broadly to community requests for information, support, technical assistance, and assistance with bringing together stakeholders in a participatory research program. The Institute is one of ten National Academic Centers of Excellence for Youth Violence Prevention funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Website

Commonwealth Institute for Child and Family Studies [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: August 1, 2016
The Commonwealth Institute for Child and Family Studies (CICFS) enhances the mental health of children and families through scientific research and the dissemination of empirical evidence. The Institute also provides evidence-based clinical and prevention training, offers technical assistance and consultation services, and disseminates research findings. The Institute is staffed by professionals from disciplines including psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics, mental health counseling, public health, and business.
Website

Humanities Research Center [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: 2020
Approved in 2013, the Humanities Research Center provides a forum for enhancing excellence in the humanities through intellectual exchange across conventional disciplinary boundaries, raising the visibility of scholarly work in the humanities and securing external support for research in the humanities at VCU. This center is housed within the College of Humanities and Sciences and its work has four defining characteristics: 1. interdisciplinary and inclusive, bringing together multiple disciplines and departments; 2. collaborative, fostering activities among faculty (interdepartmental and interschool), students, the community, and our international partners; 3. global in its engagement of research areas and in its focused activity with our global partners; and 4. public in the dissemination of research through talks, colloquia, and strategic outreach activities.

Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: May 1, 2015
MERC is a consortium of Virginia Commonwealth University and eight Richmond area public school systems dedicated to improving education through conducting and disseminating action and applied research and evaluation. MERC's primary mission is to conduct research practitioners think is relevant, and transfer it into schools and classrooms. By connecting the professional expertise and practical wisdom of school leaders with the research interests of university faculty, the research agenda is set so that results are useful in local decision-making and program development.
Website

Partnership for People with Disabilities [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: TBD
The Partnership for People with Disabilities is recognized as Virginia's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The center engages in interdisciplinary training, technical assistance, research and evaluation, policy, and dissemination efforts that result in communities where all people live, work, and recreate together. We rely on partners that include numerous disability service providers, K-12 schools and school divisions, universities and colleges, professional organizations, state and local agencies. The Partnership maintains an interdisciplinary approach to all of its activities which are conducted in three program areas: health, early intervention and education, and family and individual involvement and support. Our partnerships with people from a broad range of disciplines allow us to explore a wide spectrum of professional services and community interests as we seek to expand opportunities to individuals with disabilities.
Website

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center [+][-]

Anticipated Date of Planned Review: TBD
Established in 1983, the VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (VCU-RRTC) serves as a center of national excellence, providing resources for professionals, individuals with disabilities, and their representatives. Its team of nationally and internationally renowned researchers is committed to developing and advancing evidence-based practices to increase the hiring and retention for individuals with disabilities. Current research activities include Workplace Supports, Employee Retention, Business Mentoring, and Work Incentive Planning and Assistance.
Website