Genetic differences in humans at the molecular level not only contribute to the disease process, but also significantly impact an individual's ability to respond optimally to drug therapy. We are rapidly expanding our ability to precisely identify genetic differences between patients, and make rational treatment decisions at the bedside through a unique and cohesive set of advances that combine innovations in biomedical informatics and genomics, supporting the nation's largest DNA bank linked to de-identified electronic health information (BioVU), and putting Vanderbilt on the forefront of "delivering" on the promise of highly personalized therapy for patients. Vanderbilt's one-campus culture has allowed full integration of its chemistry department and medical center-based target-discovery programs. This allows the broad efforts aimed at identifying key molecular causes of disease to be merged with focused efforts to identify and optimize small molecules and other compounds to become human therapies through world-leading chemical biology and drug discovery programs in neuroscience and oncology.
Furthermore, Vanderbilt is a world leader in the translation of basic science to patient care, serving as the national coordinating center for all 60 NIH-supported clinical translational science (CTSA) centers conducting clinical trials of new therapies in humans. In this role, Vanderbilt is working to facilitate a wide range of multi-center clinical trials for the NIH and industry sponsors in testing new drugs and diagnostics, while advancing related health services and human factors research to enable higher quality and cost-effective health care.