The Wright Center collaborates across disciplines within our own institutions and with community partners around the region, all with the shared goal of accelerating innovative research that advances the scientific study of human health.
The VCU Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering unites researchers, clinicians, rehabilitation specialists, and academicians from the VCU Schools of Medicine, Educations and Engineering, as well as the VCU College of Health Professions, the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA 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. CERSE executive director Randall Merchant, Ph.D., is the project lead of Wright Center Hub Capacity Network Core and a co-investigator of the Network Capacity Core.
The VCU Center on Health Disparities 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 center supports multidisciplinary, multilevel, 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.
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. VCU Center on Society and Health Director Emeritus Steven Woolf, is co-director of community-engaged research at the Wright Center.
A collaboration of VCU’s Schools of the Arts, Business, Engineering and College of Humanities and Sciences, the VCU da Vinci Center is a unique collegiate model that advances innovation and entrepreneurship through cross-disciplinary collaboration. The academic and other program offerings of the da Vinci Center aim to create T-shaped individuals: individuals who are anchored in a discipline and have the capacity and openness to span across disciplines. Students participating in the da Vinci Center prepare for the 21st century workforce by approaching the innovation/entrepreneurship endeavor through multiple disciplinary perspectives. The daVinci Center offers a master’s degree in product innovation that is available to the translational workforce, including Clinical Research KL2 Scholars.
The Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies 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.
VCU’s Institute for Engineering and Medicine, constructed in 2009, fosters 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 features 25,000 square feet of flexible lab space – one of the largest configurable research spaces in the U.S. The institute’s director, L. Franklin Bost, is a co-investigator on the Wright Center Translational Endeavors Core and the KL2 program, providing a direct educational link between VCU School of Engineering and the Wright Center.
The mission of the VCU School of Pharmacy’s Institute for Structural Biology, Drug Discovery and Development is to invent, design, discover, develop, and deliver knowledge, technology, and therapeutic agents capable of preventing, resolving, and curing disorders and disease conditions relevant to human beings. The Institute’s focus is on the interface of chemistry and biology with emphasis on structural biology, medicinal chemistry, molecular medicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology, metabolism, metabolomics, drug development, drug delivery and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
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 seeks to improve the health of women through research, clinical care, education, community outreach, and leadership development. It was created to bring together these diverse activities, generate synergy within VCU, and foster coordinated alliances with the greater community.
The VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine creates 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 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 clinical research and ultimately into practical benefit.
The VCU Johnson Center for Critical Care and Pulmonary Research fosters collaborative two-way translational research by catalyzing advanced research in critical care medicine and pulmonary disease. This is achieved through cross-disciplinary and bi-directional exchange of ideas and findings between bench research and patient-based research. Alpha A. "Berry" Fowler III, M.D., associate director of the Wright Center overseeing team science and collaboration, is the director of the Johnson Center.
The Kornblau Institute at VCU focuses on research broadly related to commercial and residential real estate. The interdisciplinary approach includes such concerns as land use, housing and commercial development – the social, cultural and economic sides of the real estate business. Collaborative research engages other programs and schools such as nursing, social work, government and public affairs, and various departments in the School of Business.
VCU Massey Cancer Center is among the top 4 percent of cancer centers in the country and is one of two in Virginia designated by the National Cancer Institute to lead and shape America’s cancer research efforts. The Wright Center collaborates with Massey in streamlining process improvement, education, and participant recruitment into clinical trials. The VCU Medical Center Clinical Research Unit is one of the primary research sites for outpatient studies conducted by Massey researchers.
The VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center strives to slow, and ideally stop, the progression of age-related, adult neurodegenerative diseases with focused translational research, to seek community input for research projects, and to communicate findings widely to professionals and the public. The center strives to become a premier model for improving the lives of individuals with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, their families and the community by a commitment to excellence in translational research, comprehensive interdisciplinary clinical evaluation and care, education, and outreach.
The Philips Institute for Oral Health Research carries out multidisciplinary research focused on infection, cancer and bioengineering of the oral cavity. The institute is supported by several million dollars of annual National Institutes of Health funding. The goal is to enhance the understanding of oral diseases and develop novel therapeutics and approaches for treatment.
VCU supports core laboratories that facilitate a variety of research in the biomedical, life, physical, and social sciences. Some of the core laboratories are institutional, while others are associated with specific schools, programs and departments. All of the core laboratories are available to VCU researchers, typically on a fee-for-service basis. Access to core laboratories is also possible, on a more limited basis, for outside academic and commercial users.
The VCU Rice Rivers Center is the university’s field station for an 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 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.
The Virginia Center on Aging is a statewide agency created by the Virginia General Assembly, with a home at VCU in the College of Health Professions. The center is an interdisciplinary study, research, information and resource facility utilizing faculty, staff, libraries, laboratories and clinics for the benefit of older Virginians and the expansion of knowledge pertaining to the aged and to the aging. For more than 30 years, the Virginia Center on Aging has worked to protect and improve the quality of life of older Virginians.
Established in 1996, the VCU Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics facilitates the development of a multidisciplinary, integrated research program in the genetic epidemiology of psychiatric illness and human behavior and development in the VCU Departments of Psychiatry and Human Genetics.