exploring complexity in life


Essential to the life of the university is a faculty actively engaged in scholarship and creative exploration — activities that increase knowledge and understanding of the world and inspire and enrich teaching.

Ranked by the Carnegie Foundation as a doctoral/research university-extensive, Virginia Commonwealth University dedicates its interdisciplinary and comprehensive programs to enhancing the research and educational opportunities offered to its students and faculty. The university’s level of funded research places it among the top 100 colleges and universities in the country in attracting federal research grants.


Research centers
Four university research centers support the mission of VCU Life Sciences to advance knowledge and education in new fields like bioinformatics and environmental technology.

The Center for Environmental Studies emphasizes the importance of the life sciences through innovative research, hands-on teaching and community service. Faculty, staff and graduate students in the center conduct nationally and internationally recognized research in environmental science, policy, health and technology.

The Center for the Study of Biological Complexity has the broad mission to support integrative research. The CSBC focuses on five specific research foci: 1) microbial systems biology and pathogenesis, 2) gene networks in cell biology and cellular control mechanisms, 3) structural biology and pharmacogenomics, 4) environmental and ecological systems and 5) mathematical and computational biology, biomedicine, biophysics and biostatistics.

The Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences, located on approximately 500 acres along the historic James River, is housed in a modern, environmentally sustainable research station surrounded by varied aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The leading mission of the Rice Center is to support research and educational opportunities that advance knowledge of the environmental and ecological sciences.


Hundreds of faculty members are drawn together by the opportunities fostered by VCU Life Sciences. These professors are actively engaged in scholarship and creative exploration, are comfortable with approaches that span disciplines and are unrestricted by traditional departmental boundaries. VCU is actively engaged in recruiting additional faculty from myriad disciplines to embrace this philosophy, circumvent traditional barriers to collaborate and create new and exciting research initiatives that may lead to unexpected discoveries.


Core Facilities
Nucleic Acids Research Facilities (NARF)

Mass Spectrometry Resource for Biocomplexity

Bioinformatics Computational Core Laboratory Suite


Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU Life Sciences
P.O. Box 842030
1000 W. Cary St.
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2030
Phone: (804) 827-5600
Email: lifesci@vcu.edu
Updated: 06/25/2013