The Wright Center collaborates across disciplines within our own institutions and with community partners around the region, all with the shared goal of accelerating innovative research that advances the scientific study of human health.
The VCU Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering (CERSE) unites researchers, clinicians, rehabilitation specialists and academics from VCU schools and center, as well as government and health care systems to promote research, education, physical medicine and rehabilitation services, and clinical care for America's veterans, children and adults with disabilities. David Cifu and Henry Donahue, who are part of CERSE leadership, serve as leads for network capacity, translational endeavors and research methods for the Wright Center.
TThe VCU Center on Health Disparities supports multidisciplinary, multilevel, integrated research projects to advance the understanding of the development and progression of diseases and disabilities that contribute to health disparities in racial minority, ethnic minority and medically underserved populations. The Wright Center shares leadership with and supports research members within the Center on Health Disparities, like Vanessa Sheppard, who serves in a community and collaboration role at the center.
The VCU Center on Society and Health studies the health implications of social factors such as education, income, neighborhood and community environmental conditions and public policies. Its director emeritus, Steven Woolf, helps direct community-engaged research at the Wright Center, and the Wright Center supports research at the Center on Society and Health.
The VCU Health Sciences Library shares a building with Wright Center headquarters, where it collaborates closely with staff on training and education opportunities for researchers. Its librarians promote research on campus and in the health system, maintaining research databases, managing publications and supporting the work of VCU investigators.
The Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies was established at VCU in 1993 to promote excellence in research and education on substance abuse. The institute’s research and training agenda spans the continuum from basic, laboratory research to community-based treatment effectiveness studies and policy analyses. The institute and the Wright Center share a director, F. Gerard Moeller, M.D.
VCU’s Institute for Engineering and Medicine fosters collaborative programs between the VCU School of Engineering, VCU Life Sciences and the VCU School of Medicine. The state-of-the-art collaborative research environment features 25,000 square feet of flexible lab space – one of the largest configurable research spaces in the U.S. The institute’s co-director, Henry J. Donahue, oversees translational endeavors and research methods at the Wright Center, providing a direct link to the VCU School of Engineering.
The VCU Institute for Women's Health is one of 20 National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health designated by the Office of Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The institute seeks to improve the health of women through research, clinical care, education, community outreach, and leadership development. It was created to bring together these diverse activities, generate synergy within VCU and foster coordinated alliances with the greater community.
The VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine creates the next generation of effective preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for cancer, neurodegeneration and infectious diseases. The institute studies genes that play a critical role in pathogenesis, identifies molecular targets to diagnose and treat diseases and transfers discoveries into clinical research and ultimately into practical benefit. The Wright Center supports research members at the institute that serve in mentorship roles for early career faculty and co-direct the Ph.D. program.
VCU Massey Cancer Center is among the top four percent of cancer centers in the country and is one of two in Virginia designated by the National Cancer Institute to lead and shape America’s cancer research efforts. The Wright Center collaborates with Massey in streamlining process improvement, education and participant recruitment into clinical trials. Massey’s director, Robert Winn, contributes to community engagement and KL2 training efforts at the Wright Center.
The Wright Center’s work depends on a collaborative and effective relationship with both the university at large and its health system. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation spearheads the One VCU Research initiative, and the Wright Center’s academic home is its Division of Clinical Research. Together, they integrate with the VCU Health Office of Clinical Research to provide researchers access to the infrastructure and resources they need to complete translational research. Liaisons from the research office and the health system serve on the Wright Center’s Operations Committee.
VCU supports core laboratories that facilitate a variety of research in the biomedical, life, physical, and social sciences. Some of the core laboratories are institutional, while others are associated with specific schools, programs and departments. All of the core laboratories are available to VCU researchers, typically on a fee-for-service basis.
The VCU School of Medicine is the home to many of VCU’s most valuable health research faculty, whose clinical work at VCU Health informs their study and helps cultivate the next generation of clinical researchers. Several Wright Center leaders have faculty appointments at the school, and the center works closely with its research core to collaborate and train early-career researchers.