New Paths to Discovery

Imact_rotating_image.jpgVanderbilt’s Basic Science researchers enjoy an exceptional environment in which to convert their discoveries into novel exploratory, diagnostic, or therapeutic tools. At Vanderbilt, all of the schools and the medical center occupy the same campus, meaning that Basic Sciences researchers can collaborate with colleagues in the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, or the Medical Center. Vanderbilt has exploited this unique advantage by fostering trans-institutional and interdisciplinary initiatives that promote interaction and collaboration across the campus.

Thus, a Basic Science researcher who discovers a small molecule that binds to a protein expressed in cancer cells can work with the Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Sciences to convert that molecule into an imaging agent for the identification of cancer cells in vivo. Then, the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering can encapsulate the agent into a nanoparticle for delivery to patients so that the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center can test the agent in the clinic. Clearly, the opportunities to maximize the impact of biomedical discovery are endless.