At Virginia Commonwealth University, the overarching vision for VCU Life Sciences — in all of its mission elements of teaching, research and public service — is the study of biological complexity.
In order to keep pace with modern research advances, VCU Life Sciences embraces a highly interdisciplinary, systems-based approach, relying on a universitywide matrix organization that includes hundreds of faculty members.
For example, VCU Life Sciences integrates the expertise and resources of the academic and clinical research programs on the MCV Campus and within the VCU Health System. The School of Engineering has embraced the unique partnerships provided by VCU Life Sciences. Environmental studies operated through the Rice Center thrive within the flexible structure of VCU Life Sciences.
VCU Life Sciences can also combine the strengths of the university with local business, industry, government and community activities, creating partnerships that are especially important to students. These partnerships incorporate engineering, microelectronics, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and provide students with opportunities for internships, cooperative education and service learning.
Now that life sciences research has entered the public forum, ethical considerations must accompany the rapid advances in the field. To that end, VCU Life Sciences operates activities at the local, regional and national level to help increase public literacy in the life sciences and to provide an important neutral assessment of American public attitudes toward the field of study.
The inherent flexibility of VCU Life Sciences enables nimble responses to the challenges and opportunities provided by the life sciences revolution of the 21st century. VCU Life Sciences depends on the comprehensive and integrative resources and expertise of faculty to strengthen existing departments and create and sustain new educational, outreach and research programs.