We are changing lives.
Virginia Commonwealth University faculty and students make a daily habit of producing high-impact collaborative and interdisciplinary research. By translating our discoveries into real-life applications, we make the world a better place for all of us.
Whether developing promising treatments to cure blood cancers or restoring the population of the prehistoric Atlantic sturgeon to Virginia waters, our faculty and students aim to make a real, measurable difference.
Safer than cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are considered by many authorities to be safer than tobacco cigarettes, but using them is a risk pregnant women may need to avoid. A two-year study by faculty from the Biomedical Engineering and Biology departments has determined that using e-cigarettes (also called vaping) while pregnant could cause craniofacial birth defects — abnormalities of the face and head that form in utero.
Food for thought
The eating habits of toucans differ from what experts have commonly believed, researchers have found. When a group of undergraduates and researchers from various universities, including a biology major from VCU, visited Costa Rica, they spotted two species of toucan preying on the eggs of ground-nesting birds. This may be the first report of this dietary choice by toucans, which usually eat fruit.
Tiny but dangerous
As part of a multi-institutional research team, VCU School of Medicine professors have discovered that carbon nanotubes — a common manufacturing material used to make anything from tennis rackets to spacecraft parts — could cause brain damage if inhaled by workers. The small, fibrous substance may have possible links to neuroinflammation, which is known to cause neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.