Giving to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC integrates the life sciences with the physical, engineering, behavioral, and social sciences to develop new approaches to major diseases and disorders. The institute’s research teams are led by scientists who transcend conventional disciplinary boundaries as they seek innovation and discovery in the service of health.
One unifying theme of the institute’s research program is based on a simple fact: Fifty percent of all human disease is related to the nervous system. Institute scientists integrate new technologies and foster multidisciplinary thinking to understand how the brain develops, makes choices, and responds to disease and injury.
Scientists in the institute’s Computational Psychiatry Unit, for example, work across disciplines to understand the neural computations involved in human cognition and such psychiatric disorders as depression, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic addiction, and autism spectrum disorders. Other institute researchers work to develop noninvasive approaches to treating brain disorders through neurostimulation with ultrasound. Using this innovative approach, they seek to arrest intractable seizures, reduce symptoms of major depression, ameliorate chronic pain, treat motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and facilitate attention, learning, and memory in dementia.
Still other research teams tackle challenges as varied as cardiac rehabilitation, cancer, and immunology. The institute already has 27 such research teams with more than 300 faculty, students, and staff in place. Together, these teams will discover fundamental processes of life and solve major health challenges facing people throughout the world.