Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology



Is chemical biology

in your future?











It’s All Here


Vanderbilt is one of the few universities in the United States that has its Medical School and its College of Arts and Sciences located on the same campus. This proximity greatly facilitates the collaboration between the basic sciences and the biomedical sciences that is crucial for successful Chemical Biology research.

We Have Exceptional Facilities

Vanderbilt has made extensive investments in its network of Shared Resource Laboratories that provide state-of-the-art technology for the latest approaches to all university researchers. The VICB’s four Shared Resources in High-Throughput Screening, Chemical Synthesis, Monoclonal Antibody and Protein Expression, and Small Molecule NMR place the primary methodologies of Chemical Biology at researchers’ fingertips. Most Shared Resources provide training to students allowing them to use the equipment, thus gaining important experience and maintaining control of their research projects.

We Work Together

The campus layout and availability of Shared Resources are all part of a culture of collaboration at Vanderbilt that is unparalleled at any other institution.  As a trans-institutional organization, the VICB thrives in this environment and takes advantage of the many interdisciplinary projects that bring together chemists, biologists, and clinicians across the campus.

Our Science Is Exceptional

A  great environment promotes great research. Examples of VICB successes are:


  • VICB investigators received two highly competitive multi-million dollar ARRA Grand Opportunities Grants, a Pioneer Award, and Gates Foundation Award.

  • The VICB High-Throughput Screening Shared Resource was one of only nine extramural participants in the NIH Molecular Library Screening Center Network Consortium (MLSCN).

  • Vanderbilt is the site of one of only two Specialized Chemistry Centers (MLPCNs) in the NIH Molecular Libraries Probe Production Network.

  • The VICB Chemical Synthesis Shared Resource and Natural Products Synthesis Program are one of only ten institutions participating in the NCI Cancer Chemical Biology Consortium.


We’re Part of a Great Community

If you think Nashville is only about country music, then think again. Not only does Nashville have all kinds of music, it also offers all of the cultural and social opportunities of a large urban area at a cost of living that is well below the national average.

We are Flexible

Students interested in Chemical Biology have four graduate admissions programs to which they can apply. Students may choose the program that best suit their interests and goals.



We Have a Great Website

You can learn all you need to know about the VICB at our website. Take some time to explore our site for graduate student training opportunities and areas of research.


Vanderbilt Graduate School
Online Application


Apply for free
View the Electronic Application for Chemistry




View all of our Graduate Admissions Programs


Contact the VICB


For additional information contact the VICB office at:

(615) 322-0907




Financial Support

Graduate study in Chemical Biology is funded through multiple sources including departmental research or teaching assistantships, university fellowships, and extra-institutional fellowships. In addition, students in Chemical Biology may apply for support from the specialized Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program.




Graduate Student Training Opportunities

Graduate students in VICB laboratories benefit from the exceptional level of collaboration that naturally flows from the multidisciplinary research approach. Students who are interested in Chemical Biology should first learn about the four admission programs through which they may apply for graduate study at Vanderbilt, all of which provide access to VICB member labs.


VICB members represent 18 different departments in Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Sciences and School of Medicine. Thus, their research interests are diverse. Prospective students should explore the VICB research section to search for VICB investigators who are pursuing research of interest to them.


Admission programs

Chemistry Department Graduate Program


College of Arts and Science


This multidisciplinary Ph.D. program trains chemists in a number of areas including Chemical Biology.

go >


Quantitative & Chemical Biology Graduate Program


College of Arts and Science and the School of Medicine


A program that allows students who have earned undergraduate or masters degrees in the quantitative sciences (e.g. chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or physics) to pursue graduate studies at the interface of these disciplines with the biological sciences.

go >

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program


School of Medicine


Individuals pursuing a Ph.D. in the basic biomedical or biological science departments at Vanderbilt University join participating departments through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in the Biomedical Sciences (IGP).

go >

Medical Scientist Training Program


School of Medicine


The program provides students with an integrated curriculum that features a strong core education in medicine and intensive training in scientific inquiry. Successful completion of the program leads to both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The Vanderbilt MSTP builds on the existing strengths of Vanderbilt University to meet national needs for well-trained basic and clinical biomedical investigators.

go >

Other programs

Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program


The Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) Training Program at Vanderbilt University is an NIH-sponsored training program that supports graduate students studying at the interface of chemistry and biology.

go >

Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease Training Program


The Chemical Biology of Infectious Diseases (CBID) Training Program brings talented young people to the field and develops a new cadre of researchers prepared to address the growing threat of infectious diseases.


go >

Postdoctoral Training

The 70 members of the VICB span 18 different departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine. Most investigators provide opportunities for postdoctoral training. Prospective fellows should explore the research section to identify VICB members who are pursuing research in their fields of interest.


The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs within the Biomedical Research and Training Office maintains a web site that lists postdoctoral opportunities, and provides a mechanism through which applicants may post their CVs. However, prospective fellows are also encouraged to contact VICB members directly to inquire about upcoming positions that may not appear on the site. Visit the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to learn more about the postdoctoral experience at Vanderbilt, including helpful information concerning relocating to Nashville, stipends and benefits, career development programs, and institutional policies.


Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates interested in a career in scientific research have an excellent opportunity to gain hands on research experience through the VICB’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Chemical Biology. Vanderbilt students may participate in a more extensive experience through The Beckman Scholars Program.


For Vanderbilt Students


To provide students with training in modern principles at a chemistry-biology interface, Vanderbilt's interdisciplinary major in Biochemistry & Chemical Biology incorporates expertise from multiple departments in the University. Students receive a broad background in the natural sciences (chemistry, biology, physics) and mathematics, followed by fundamental core training in principles of biochemistry and chemical biology that involves both theoretical and laboratory coursework.


Students then pursue an area of emphasis in either Biochemistry or Chemical Biology through upper level elective courses. Students participate in independent research in laboratories of biochemistry and chemical biology faculty. Additional research experience is available in the Honors Program.


go >


The Beckman Scholars Program provides scholarships that contribute significantly in advancing the education, research training and personal development of select students in chemistry, biochemistry, and the biological and medical sciences.


The sustained, in-depth undergraduate research experiences and comprehensive faculty mentoring are unique in terms of program scope, content and level of scholarship awards.


go >

For All Undergraduates


The VICB's Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program is a ten week hands-on course designed to introduce chemistry, biochemistry, and biology students to the research processes and the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary research.


Students participate in a mini-symposium on drug discovery, attend seminars given by VICB faculty working across disciplinary lines and participate in weekly discussions on relevant topics. The summer program provides a $4,500 stipend, on-campus housing, and $500 in travel expenses to Vanderbilt.


In addition to these programs, many individual VICB faculty have summer positions for undergraduates. To find these positions, undergraduates should go to the VICB Members page and search for faculty who are doing research that interests them. They should then contact that faculty member directly to inquire about summer research opportunities. Each faculty member who has a position will provide instructions for applying to his/her laboratory. Students are encouraged to make these inquiries early in the spring semester, before positions are filled.

go >





The Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, 896 Preston Building, Nashville, TN 37232-6304, phone 866.303 VICB (8422), fax 615 936 3884
Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action. Copyright © 2014 by Vanderbilt University Medical Center

  • Areas of Interest