Associated Centers

Associated Centers and Laboratories

The Center for Functional Neuroimaging(CfN) provides support for functional neuroimaging research at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to providing administrative support for initiatives in development, education and training, the CfN advances technical capabilities for functional neuroimaging and provides technical support for functional neuroimaging users through committees and mailing lists, comprised of members with specific expertise, and one-on-one office hour appointments with CfN faculty.

The Laboratory for Molecular Imaging fosters synergistic and symbiotic collaborations between tumor biologists and the imaging community. The Laboratory of Molecular Imaging provides tumor biologists with noninvasive tools to examine the molecular, metabolic and physiological characteristics of cancer, as well as probes for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of the disease. The interactions with molecular biologists will stimulate the development of improved methods for the study and clinical management of cancer.

*McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory: The orthopaedic research laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania was established in 1960. In 1979, the McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory officially opened, establishing all of the orthopaedic laboratories in the same physical location. Current active laboratories include cell and molecular biology, cell and tissue culture, biochemistry, bioengineering, biomechanics, biophysics, and histology, all of which are dedicated to musculoskeletal research.

*The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter is the intellectual focal point of materials research at Penn. It hosts the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC), which consists of five Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) plus selected seed projects. The MRSEC provides crucial support for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students drawn from different disciplines, to tackle complex materials science projects that can only be addressed in a truly collaborative mode.

The Penn Center for Bioinformatics is the central hub for bioinformatics and computational biology research at the University of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1997, the Center brings together faculty and researchers from across the university, housing laboratories and facilitating collaboration among diverse scientific disciplines. While PCBI represents the research wing of Penn bioinformatics, Penn computational biologists also provide services to external labs, mentorship for graduate training, and continuing education workshops and seminars, creating an interdepartmental home for ongoing research and next-generation science.

Abramson Cancer Center supports eleven Research Programs that bring together investigators from 41 departments and 8 University schools with a shared interest in specific types of cancer (e.g., breast cancer) or scientific themes (e.g., tumor biology). Many programs span multiple research disciplines (e.g., fundamental and translational). The Cancer Center supports 12 NCI-approved Shared Resources to provide investigators with easy access to state-of-the-art research technology, equipment, and technical support that would otherwise be too difficult or expensive for individual investigat ors or programs to develop. The availability of these core research facilities significantly increases the ease with which cancer-related research can be conducted on the campus.

The Penn Cardiovascular Institute (Penn CVI) was established in 2005 to promote transformational research in cardiovascular biology and medicine. Leveraging the expertise of scientists and clinicians across the University of Pennsylvania and Health System through interdisciplinary research programs, the Penn CVI seamlessly integrates research, education and patient care.

The Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental program. Its mission is to improve the health of the public by linking epidemiology, biostatistics, and clinical medicine, bringing epidemiologic and biostatistical research methods to clinical research, clinical insight to epidemiologic and biostatistical research, and an understanding of research methodology to clinical medicine. The educational programs offered by the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics  (CCEB), the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and the Graduate Group in Epidemiology and Biostatistics are designed for health care professionals and respond to the individual needs of the trainees.  These programs include a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology degree program (M.S.C.E.), a Ph.D. degree program in Epidemiology, and combined M.D./M.S.C.E. and M.D./Ph.D. degree programs.

The Center for Cognitive Therapy provides an active, directive, problem-focused outpatient therapy for a variety of clinical concerns, including mood disorders, anxiety and panic, life stressors, and many other issues. Patients will meet with a caring, respectful professional who will listen to their concerns, conceptualize the problem, and assist them in generating solutions and in building better psychological skills. The short-term and long-term benefits of cognitive therapy have been strongly supported by a wealth of research.

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary community dedicated to understanding the neural bases of human thought. The current research addresses the central problems of cognitive neuroscience, including perception, attention, learning, memory, language, decision-making, emotion and development.  The methods are equally diverse, and include functional neuroimaging, behavioral testing of neurological and psychiatric patients, transcranial magnetic stimulation, scalp-recorded event-related potentials, intracranial recording, computational modeling, candidate gene studies and pharmacologic manipulations of cognitive processes.

Computational Biology and Informatics Laboratory is part of the Center for Bioinformatics, which is a multidisciplinary center at the University of Pennsylvania. CBIL participates in the Penn. Computational Biology program, which includes an NSF-funded training program for graduate students and post-docs in this emerging field. An active research program is maintained, specializing in biological databases, genome informatics, graphical user interfaces, gene expression analysis, and linguistic sequence analysis.

The Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania comprises 182 faculty members from six schools within the university, and 32 different departments; their collective research interests encompass almost every aspect of the nervous system. The Institute counts among its current faculty ten members of the National Academy of Sciences.  This tremendous breadth of talent creates within the Institute a unique environment for research and training in the Neurosciences.

Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism was established in 2005 by the Dean of the School of Medicine, at a time of ever increasing prevalence of diabetes and obesity. In the United States alone, there are currently 20.6 million people with diabetes and 58 million obese. In 2000, the cost of diabetes was estimated at $132 billion per year, and the Centers for Disease Control has projected that one out of three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime.The mission of the IDOM is to support and develop successful approaches to the prevention, treatment, and cure of diabetes mellitus and obesity. The leadership of the IDOM embraces a disease-oriented approach that focuses on Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Obesity, and Cardiovascular Complications. IDOM enhances and supports research aimed at understanding the genetic, biochemical, molecular, environmental, and behavioral mechanisms underlying diabetes and obesity.  IDOM initiatives include critical and unique scientific core facilities, and pilot grants that support new investigators as well as interdisciplinary science involving investigators from Penn Medicine and throughout the University of Pennsylvania that are relevant to the IDOM mission. IDOM also fosters education by organizing a series of seminars, workshops, and symposia. We are proud of the many outstanding discoveries made by IDOM investigators, and are committed to the translation of this new knowledge into novel approaches to patient care.  The IDOM is home to the prestigious Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center.  We are also grateful for philanthropy to support of our mission.  The IDOM creates a unique and exciting environment within a great university and prominent health system.

The Digestive and Liver Center provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary resources for diagnosis and therapy of diseases of the digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon), pancreas and liver. The scientific focus of the Center revolves around the molecular controls of cellular growth and differentiation in digestive organs with the goal of achieving a new level of integration in digestive biology, pathobiology, and therapy and facilitate the development of patient care, education, and research programs in digestive and liver disease through the cooperative efforts of multiple academic departments and components of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The targeted areas of pathobiology include genetic, malignant, and inflammatory disease of the liver, pancreas and alimentary tract.

The Eldridge Reeves Johnson Foundation Since its establishment in 1929, this pioneer research foundation has been a leading center for research and instruction in the biochemical and biophysical aspects of medicine and biology.  Research supported by various NIH sources is focused on problems in biophysics with reference to the bioenergetics of respiration and photosynthesis. Associated with the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, the Johnson Foundation is engaged in research into the fundamentals of biological design and activity. It brings advanced chemistry and physics to biology and medicine. Molecular structure determination and molecular simulation provide critical views of biological design, engineering and assembly. A range of developing spectroscopies, protein chemistry, and molecular biological tools are directed to the understanding the bases of biological activity in recogition, signal transduction, gene regulation, energy transduction and biochemical catalysis.

The Institute for Environmental Medicine: The Institute for Environmental Medicine was established in 1968 by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania in recognition of the increasing need for study of the interaction of man with the environment. The Institute for Environmental Medicine will provide a Medical Center, University and national focus for research and education related to the hyperbaric and undersea environments and their interfaces with the respiratory and neurological systems. To carry out this mission, the Institute will conduct basic research in high pressure and altitude physiology, lung cellular and molecular biology, inhalational toxicology, and hyperbaric oxygenation therapy; establish a Clinical Practice to provide emergency and elective consultation and supervision for hyperbaric oxygenation therapy; provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral research and clinical education and training and maintain and operate a hyperbaric/environmental chamber system for research and therapy.

The Center for Experimental Therapeutics: The primary foci of the Center are in the areas of thrombosis and vascular biology.  The Center fosters basic and clinical research designed to identify new targets for therapeutic intervention by the study of human pathophysiology, to elucidate the mechanisms of drug action and the factors which contribute to differences between individuals in their responses to drugs. Interests of the Center faculty span atherosclerosis, thrombosis, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Current research themes include signal transduction mechanisms, the molecular and cellular biology of lipid mediators, and oxidant injury to the cardiovascular system. The Center plays a key role in initiatives supporting education in patient oriented research (POR), including an introductory course and a masters program supported by a K30 grant from the NIH. The Center is closely related to but, independent from the Departments of Pharmacology and Medicine.

Center for Functional Neuroimaging (CfN) was created in 2003 to advance the general interests of the brain imaging community at the University of Pennsylvania through targeted methods development, symposia and colloquia, handling of regulatory issues, and fund-raising efforts. The CfN is a Type I Center within the Department of Radiology that draws upon multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary expertise and resources available at the University of Pennsylvania, involving contributions from physics, engineering, radiochemistry, computer sciences, psychiatry, psychology, cognitive and systems neuroscience, and the clinical neurosciences.

General Clinical Research Center is part a national network supporting NIH funded clinical investigators. Important areas of investigation include AIDS Clinical Trials, Sleep Research, Gene Therapy, Dermatology, Metabolism, Oncology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Chemical Senses and Women and Minority Health Research.

The Penn Lung Center is a multidisciplinary center which encompasses the different departments and centers at the University of Pennsylvania Health System that are dedicated to the diagnosis and management of lung diseases. A productive, cordial environment exist between the different departments that make up the Penn Lung Center. This helps to facilitate the flow of information, whether it be broadening awareness of new medical advancements to all branches of the Penn Lung Center, or the particulars of one specific patient’s care as discussed between two staff members. The goal is to help improve the quality of life of our patients.

The Institute for Medicine and Engineering focus is on interdisciplinary research and education fundamental to the application of advances in the treatment of disease.  Emphasis is on the integration of the engineering/computational/technological sciences into biomedicine, particularly at the cell and molecular levels, and the application of interdisciplinary studies to clinical medicine. The mission is creating the future of medicine through: patient care and service excellence; educational pre-eminence; new knowledge and innovation and national and international leadership

Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases: The purpose of this NIH-funded Center is to unite investigators with interests in digestive and liver physiology and disease in the exploration of creative experimental approaches as well as to stimulate others to enter this area of research. The scientific focus of the Center revolves around the molecular controls of cellular growth and differentiation in digestive organs with the goal of achieving a new level of integration in digestive biology, pathobiology, and therapy. The targeted areas of pathobiology include genetic, malignant, and inflammatory disease of the liver, pancreas and alimentary tract.

Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research: The Center’s mission is to conduct multidisciplinary clinical and basic research studies that increase understanding of the causes and mechanism leading to brain dysfunction and degeneration in alzheimer’s disease (AD), parkinson’s disease (PD), motor neuron disease and other less common neurodegenerative disorders that also occur more frequently with advancing age. By pursuing this mission, CNDR will generate new insights into neurodegenerative diseases that can be exploited to develop more accurate methods for the early diagnosis of AD, PD and related neurodegenerative disorders, as well as new and effective therapies for these disorders. By pursuing the goals of CNDR, members of CNDR hope to hasten the arrival of a time when AD, PD and other neurodegenerative disorders can be treated effectively and no longer devastate lives of people as they age.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Center: Technological advances are providing physicians with a better understanding of cell metabolism than ever before. At the forefront of these advances is the PET scan, which provides diagnostic information unavailable from other imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MR). Because of its unique ability to measure metabolic activity, PET can lead to accurate, noninvasive detection and staging of many cancers, including: lung, melanoma, lymphoma, esophageal, colorectal, breast, thyroid, ovarian, cervical, endometrial, pancreatic, testicular, brain, head and neck.

The Institute for Research in Cognitive Science fosters the development of a science of the human mind through the interaction of investigators from the disciplines of Linguistics, Mathematical Logic, Philosophy, Psychology, Computer Science, and Neuroscience.  This Center is one of NSF’s 24 Science and Technology Centers.
Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships:  The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) supports and endorses students applying for the major, international, post-graduate and other competitive fellowships. CURF helps Penn undergraduates to pursue independent research through personal advising and administration of competitive research grants. CURF advisors also assist undergraduates in finding faculty mentors and funding. To this end, CURF maintains a database of Penn faculty and researchers interested in having undergraduate students involved in their research.

The Center for Urban Health Research works to build partnerships between Penn and its urban communities through research, education, and clinical practice that will improve the health and quality of life for underserved, highly vulnerable, and ethnically diverse populations.  Its research goals are to identify the behavioral determinants of healthy lifestyles (e.g., health risk, early detection, access); design, evaluate, and disseminate theory-based behavioral interventions to reduce health risks; develop research strategies to promote improvement in the quality of life and health among urban populations across the life span; develop new collaborations and expand the scientific base of nursing research and practice related to health promotion and disease prevention for vulnerable urban populations; and develop and implement a model program for the development of scholars who will focus on urban health care research.

Penn Institute for Urban Research: The primary goal of the Penn Institute for Urban Research is to build new knowledge bases by which the dynamic processes of urban life can be better understood and to transfer this knowledge through a strong dissemination function. To achieve this end, the Penn Institute for Urban Research endeavors to: provide a focus for the integration and coordination of new and existing research, educational, and administrative urban initiatives; c onvene the relevant faculty from across the campus to share information, resources, and expertise, and to collaborate on new initiatives related to urbanism; provide a forum for visiting scholars, fellows, undergraduates, graduate students, professionals, lecturers, practitioners, government officials, civic leaders, and ordinary citizens to deepen and enhance their knowledge and understanding of urban problems, experiences, and opportunities; provide a vehicle for bringing urban expertise to bear on and exerting stronger influence upon the formulation of urban policies at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels.