Funded Signature Centers for 2007-2008
Biomechanics and Biomaterials Research Center
This center will foster new research collaborations among scientists, engineers, doctors and dentists in the emerging fields of mechanobiology and tissue engineering. Researchers in the center are engaged in the study of biomechanics, the principles that allow us to understand how human bone and tissue respond to outside forces. The center will develop multi-disciplinary research teams that perform basic research in bone and tissue growth and function, and strive to develop novel treatments to engineer the repair or replacement of damaged tissues and organs.
Transportation Active Safety Institute
This institute will advance the use of active systems in automotive safety. Active safety systems can be effective in both preventing crashes and in saving the lives of drivers and passengers involved in accidents. Faculty with expertise in vehicle control, sensor networks, wireless communications, and physiology will collaborate to develop new and effective systems that bridge the gap between research and the development of consumer applications that enhance the safety of automobiles.
Android Science Center
This center will be the first laboratory of its kind in the United States, where scientists will build and test more functional and realistic androids and explore human – android interactions. Human beings respond to androids in much the same way they do to one another. Researchers in the center will use androids to explore human cognition and learning, and identify areas where androids may be utilized to enhance the quality of human life.
Indiana Center for Systems Biology and Personalized Medicine
This center will encourage translational research that brings new discoveries in biology to clinical applications. Center research scientists will collaborate to enhance research in the genetic and cellular function of biological systems. The center will connect these researchers with clinicians and surgeons treating diseases such as breast and lung cancer, in order to speed the translation of the latest advances in understanding disease biology into cost-effective, personalized diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Center for Health Geographics
This center will use high resolution social, environmental, and health data to understand the complex role of the environment in human health. Scientists with a unique combination of expertise in medicine and geography will come together to focus research efforts on integration and analysis of health data. Research will be designed to assist clinicians investigating the environmental causes of geographic variations in human health.
Center for Atopic Dermatitis
This center will bring together a collaborative team of scientists and clinicians to develop an integrated approach to research, education and care of patients with chronic inflammatory skin diseases. The objective of the center is to create a clinic which will specialize in the care of patients, facilitate research, and coordinate clinical trials of new treatments for patients with atopic skin diseases
Institute for Intrinsically Disordered Proteins
This institute is dedicated to understanding the role of protein structure in disease. While an ordered protein structure is believed to be important to understanding protein function, cancer and neurodegenerative disease may be linked to the function of proteins with relatively greater intrinsic disorder. The Center will utilize both experiments and novel computational tools to understand the structure and function of disordered proteins in human disease, in order to accelerate the process of discovery of disease-fighting drugs.
Vascular and Cardiac Center for Adult Stem Cell Therapy
This center will conduct multidisciplinary research aimed at repairing and enhancing the function of cardiovascular tissues. Translation of adult stem cell research findings to diseases of the cardiac and vascular systems will allow researchers in this center to explore novel approaches to repairing cardiac and vascular damage and improving the function of the vascular system. The unique collaborative expertise of both basic and clinical scientists gathered together in this center will allow the rapid translation of advances in adult stem cell research to clinical trials of new therapies.
Assertive Community Treatment Center
This center will evaluate the effectiveness of mental health programs and prepare mental health specialists to implement effective interventions that assist families dealing with mental illness. The center will also serve as an advocate for public policies that encourage implementation of effective and affordable support services for people with mental illness and their families.
Center for Membrane Biosciences
This center will explore the interactions of proteins and membrane structures in the control of cellular signaling processes. Scientists in the center bring a unique blend of skills and interests that will allow them to collaborate in research designed to understand the complex function of cell membranes in diseases such as diabetes and breast cancer. A better understanding of these functions will also allow designing of more effective chemotherapeutic interventions to halt the progress of these diseases.