It all started with a gift. Financial support from Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1873 led to a journey of global impact.

In our 150th year, join us in our quest to drive bold new levels of growth through the $3.2B Dare to Grow campaign to drive initiatives of belonging, innovation and collaboration.

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Philanthropic Opportunities to Impact Human Health

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    With the rapid advancement of research and computational technologies, we are at an exciting time in science to make leaps towards managing or curing diseases. Our faculty and labs are at the vanguard of these advances while simultaneously training the next generation of discovery scientists.

    Donors play a critical role in these endeavors supporting our research and graduate and postdoctoral training. Some areas of giving include:


    • The Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund which supports innovative and high-risk research - the type of research for which Cohen is known, and which seldom receives early-stage support from federal agencies or other large-scale funders.

    Trainee Support

    • The Simple Beginnings Fund supports each incoming Ph.D. student providing them with personalized lab coats and underwriting numerous professional development seminars and activities for our students.
    • The Roger Chalkley, Ph.D. Critical Need Fund which directly supports Ph.D. students who are in a moment of crisis to help them continue in their studies.

    Your support will shape the careers of future scientists and bolster our cutting-edge research-all building towards major advancements in human health.

Joining the Discovery Circle

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    Charitable gifts from alumni and friends provide critical support for our students, faculty members and programs. The Discovery Circle recognizes financial support to the Basic Sciences by those who make gifts of $2,500 and up each fiscal year. Alumni who received their degrees within the last 10 years are eligible for membership with a commitment of $1,000 annually. 

    Recognition Levels

    • Recent Graduate Member: $1,000 (available to VU alumni who graduated in the last 10 years)

    • Member: $2,500

    • Benefactor: $5,000-$9,999

    • Dean's List: $10,000-$24,999

    • Cornelius Vanderbilt: $25,000-$99,999

    • Lifetime: $100,000 and up

      • one-time gift or pledge of $100k or more

      • one-time documented bequest of $100k or more

    Member Benefits

    • Invitations to Basic Sciences special events

    • Informative monthly Dean's e-newsletter

    • New member recognition with commemorative lapel pin

    Questions? Please contact us at or contact Taylor Wood, Assistant Vice Chancellor at 615-343-5648 or

Ways to Give

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    Giving Online

    Give online here

    Mail Your Gift

    Vanderbilt Gift and Donor Services
    PMB 407727
    2301 Vanderbilt Place
    Nashville, TN 37240-7727

    Giving by Phone

    Call 615-322-2979 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT

    Donate Stock

    If your brokers wish to wire money, we have an online form they can fill out here, or they can call our gift processing office directly at 615-875-1155.

    More Information

    For more information on making a gift to the Basic Sciences, please contact or a member of the Development and Alumni Relations staff below.

Development & Alumni Relations Team