Associated Centers

Associated Centers and Laboratories

Neuroscience Neuroimaging Center (NNC) NINDS P30 Institutional Center Core was established in 2003 to provide researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and collaborating institutions with access to multidisciplinary expertise in neuroimaging research. This Center Core consolidates a broad range of methodological expertise in neuroimaging by supporting fractional efforts of several technically oriented scientists and staff from various neuroimaging laboratories on campus as well as shared infrastructure including instrumentation and computing facilities. Neuroscience Neuroimaging Center users carry out a broad range of research in disorders such as stroke, epilepsy, migraine, traumatic brain injury, degenerative diseases of the brain, and developmental disorders.

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 was founded in 1953. The Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences (INS) is one of the world’s preeminent institutions for neuroscience research and training. With faculty from 32 departments and six schools, the Institute provides a fertile environment for interdisciplinary collaboration aimed at understanding the brain and diseases of the brain. Scientists at the Mahoney Institute focus on cellular and molecular aspects of the brain; development, regeneration and plasticity; systems neuroscience; behavior and cognition; the pathology of brain disease; and computational neuroscience.

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.

Center for Molecular Studies Digestive and Liver Diseases is a NIH-funded Digestives Diseases Research Center is to unite investigators with interests in digestive, liver and pancreatic 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 the digestive tract, liver and pancreas with the goal of achieving a new level of integration in biology, pathobiology, and therapy. The targeted areas of pathobiology include genetic, malignant, and inflammatory disease of the liver, pancreas and digestive tract. The Center is divided into three thematic areas:1) Developmental biology and genetics Microbiome, 2) immunobiology, and host immune response and 3) Cell growth and differentiation. Center resources include four scientific cores to support experimental procedures for Center Investigators, a pilot project program, weekly seminar series, an annual retreat, a journal and reference library, and various enrichment programs.

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.

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.

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 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 Public Health Initiatives is a university-wide center which was founded in 2007 by the Provost’s Office. They promote interdisciplinary research, education and practice in public health.
The CPHI acts as the organizational home and academic base for Penn’s multi-disciplinary, inter-school Master in Public Health (MPH) degree program, which is one of the first multi-school accredited MPH Programs in the U.S.

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.