Washington University is a world leader in collaborative research endeavors, including:
Launched in 2003, BioMed 21 aimed to reshape the university’s life sciences culture for the purpose of rapidly converting health discoveries into effective, individualized treatments. In support of this goal, BioMed 21 collected and dedicated resources; defined new spaces to house research and programs, including a 16,000-square-foot data center to meet the massive computing needs of the Genome Institute; and established five new interdisciplinary research centers housed in the BJC Institute of Health at the School of Medicine, including the Diabetic Cardiovascular Disease Center.
The Genome Institute
One of only three NIH-funded large-scale sequencing centers in the United States, the Genome Institute is a world leader in high-speed, comprehensive genomics. A key player in the international Human Genome Project, the Genome Institute ultimately contributed 25 percent of the finished sequence. Current initiatives include the Cancer Genome Atlas project, a comprehensive and coordinated effort to accelerate our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer; global health projects, such as the study of virulent pneumonia in Gambia; and sequencing endangered orangutan DNA, to aid preservation efforts and to better understand the evolution of great apes, including humans.
Human Connectome Project
The Human Connectome Project was established through a $30 million NIH award to a consortium of institutions, led by Washington University and the University of Minnesota, to map the structural and functional connections of the healthy, living human brain. Members of the university’s Neuroinformatics Research Group, housed at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at the School of Medicine, are spearheading the effort to build and manage ConnectomeDB, which will house imaging data from 1,200 study participants and be made available to researchers around the world.
Institute of Public Health
The Institute for Public Health is a university-wide initiative designed to transform our approach to public health and partnership with the community. The Institute brings together many disciplines and diverse partners to address complex health issues. For example, Heather Corcoran, associate professor in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, recently worked with Matthew Krueter, professor in the Brown School and director of the Health Communication Research Laboratory, as well as Christina Clarke, an epidemiologist from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, to explore and test ideas for communicating cancer data more effectively to the public.