Since the world's most pressing problems are not uniquely, for example, “historical,” “political,” or “biological” in nature, why should our search for solutions be confined within the traditional academic departments that bear these names? The College of Arts and Science addresseses critical issues, and at the same time, leverages faculty and student strengths that span many departments and schools, through the creation of interdisciplinary centers. These centers provide resources and a point of focus for faculty with common interests, give rise to new courses, bring new programming to campus, encourage new research, and strengthen Vanderbilt's intellectual community.
The College of Arts and Science supports several interdisciplinary centers:
The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. The Warren Center began its programs in 1988 under the auspices of the College of Arts and Science, and with the help of many generous supporters. Since then, the Warren Center has served as a place where faculty and students from the humanities, social sciences and, when appropriate, the natural sciences gather to share ideas and teach one another. The Warren Center also engages in outreach to the community by sponsoring teacher training, lectures and seminars, and publications designed to promote the importance of the humanities in today's world.
Director: Helmut Walser Smith, Professor of History
Executive Director: Mona Frederick
Phone: (615) 343-6060
The Center for Medicine, Health, and Society. Established in Spring 2003, the CMHS has more than three hundred affiliates from all nine schools and colleges of the University who share an interest in studying health and health care in their social and cultural contexts. It offers an undergraduate major and minor and sponsors seminars, workshops, lectures, and conferences. Any interested faculty member or student may affiliate with the Center.
Director: Arleen Tuchman, Professor of History
Associate Director: Holly Tucker, Associate Professor of French
The Center for Latin American Studies. Estabilished in 1947, the CLAIS has since worked to advance knowledge about and understanding of Latin America and Iberia. The Center administers the Latin American Studies undergraduate and Master's programs, as well as a joint Master of Arts and Master of Business program with the Owen Graduate School of Management. CLAIS also brings speakers, visiting scholars, and conferences to campus and arranges for Vanderbilt professors to visit local classrooms.
Director: Ted Fischer, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Phone: (615) 322-2527
The Vanderbilt Institute for Chemical Biology runs research and education programs in the application of chemical technologies to important biological problems. Specifically, the Center's researchers design and develop new chamical agents to assist in the detection and treatment of disease. The Center trains graduate students, recruits new faculty members with needed expertise, and runs a seminar program.
Director: Lawrence J. Marnett, Stahlman Professor for Cancer Research, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Associate Director: Ned A. Porter, Stevenson Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry
Phone: (615) 322-0907, 936-3881
Fax: (615) 936-3884
The Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (VINSE) finds applications for structures that range from one millionth to one billionth of a meter in size, and area widely accepted to be the next great scientific frontier. VINSE works to acquire the equipment needed to conduct nanoscale research, trains graduate students, and provides a point of focus for chemists, physicists, and engineers at Vanderbilt with research interests in nanoscience.
Director: Leonard Feldman, Stevenson Professor of Physics
The Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education. VIIBRE unites physical scientists and engineers from across campus who have interest in working at the interface between the physical sciences and engineering and the biological sciences. VIIBRE researchers focus primarily on research in cellular instrumentation adn control, technology-guided therapy, biological applications of nanosystems and cellular/tissue bioengineering and biotechnology.
Director: John Wikswo, Gordon A. Cain University Professor
Phone: (615) 343-4124
The Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience. The CICN supports the quest to comprehend how the brain produces thought and emotion. The purpose of this endeavor is not only to develop more effective treatments for mental and neurological disorders, but also to further our understanding of what it is to be human. CICN researchers focus on three areas: sensory science; development, learning and memory; and clinical neuroscience.
Director: Jeffrey Schall, E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Neuroscience
Phone: (615) 322-4209
The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy. Established in 2003, the Curb Center is the first university-based policy program to fully engage the American cultural policy system. Drawing upon the unique resources of a great university, the Curb Center will supports research and programmiong that address the five primary sources of cultural policy in the United States. These include: the decisions of individual actors in the arts industries; corporate practice; trade agreements and regulatory agencies; the passions and objectives of private arts patrons and NGOs; and intellectual property law.
Director: Bill Ivey, Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Visiting Scholar
Phone: (615) 322-7211
The Biomathematics Study Group (BSG), which is jointly funded by the College of Arts and Science and the School of Medicine, brings together mathematicians and scientists to conduct research on problems in developmental biology, cancer research, infectious diseases, pharmacology, the clinical sciences, molecular biophysics, genetics, and the neurosciences. The BSG also supports graduate students in the Department of Mathematics who are working on biological problems and has several post-doctoral fellows.
A complete list of Vanderbilt University's Centers and Institutes may be accessed here.