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International Collaborations

Science without Borders / Brazil


As a member of the "Science without Borders" program, the Pharmacology Department welcomes applications from post-doctoral and sandwich candidates for 1-2 years of research. View more information on areas of research and Pharmacology faculty. For more further details, please contact
O Departamento de Farmacologia tem interesse em desenvolver projetos de pesquisa com bolsistas do programa Ciência sem Fronteira, especialmente nos níveis de pós-doutorado e doutorado sanduíche. Para maiores informações, entre em contato com a Dra. Ana Carneiro (



Leipzig / Vanderbilt


INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL BIOLOGY, Leipzig University/Vanderbilt University

In the midst of Germany’s rich cultural history is Leipzig University (LU).  Founded in 1409, LU is the second oldest university in Germany and among the oldest in the world.  Today, the university has 14 faculties and, with over 29,000 students, it is Saxony’s second largest university.  Interestingly, Vanderbilt University (VU) has a connection to LU that dates to the nineteenth century:  James Hampton Kirkland, the second chancellor of VU, completed his Ph.D. degree at LU in 1885.  Today LU and VU share common research interests in structural and chemical biology, chemistry, pharmacology and biomedicine.  Both institutions have invested in complementary technologies and built complementary expertise.  Over the past five years, a series of faculty and student exchange visits has jumpstarted a number of collaborative projects that demonstrate the fertile ground for a joint program in research and education.

There are striking similarities in the development of research and education at both universities, including a strong focus in chemical biology.  Specific interests include the fundamentals of membrane protein structure and their interactions with small molecules, a key research area for the development of therapeutics.  The current collaboration combines cutting edge specializations in disciplines and technologies to design research projects of high complexity and impact that neither of the two research groups could complete on their own.  At the same time, a fertile arena for trainees has been created by the orthogonal approaches to scientific discovery, the interdisciplinary nature of the research, complementary technologies and cultural experiences.

In June 2010, a team of VU faculty members traveled to Leipzig to explore the prospective opportunities. The first official VU/LU scientific symposium kicked off with research presentations by visiting faculty.  Students from both institutions also joined the ranks of the rapidly growing collaboration.  Through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) program and funds from VIO, VICB, and the College of Arts and Science, four Vanderbilt undergraduate students spent the summer of 2010 at LU. The DAAD-RISE program also enabled four Leipzig students to come to Vanderbilt.

Currently there are more than 20 collaborative research projects under way or planned embracing the fields of structural and chemical biology, chemistry, pharmacology and biomedicine.  Graduate students from both universities are now actively working on joint international projects as part of their dissertation research.  Short research stays in LU laboratories allow these students to gain hands on experience with techniques they will then implement in their VU labs.  Based on the tremendous successes the collaboration has seen to date, plans are underway to formalize future VU-LU partnerships.  Specifically, seed funding is available at both institutions to catalyze new interactions.  Please visit the link below for more information about this project.