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Centers & Institutes

Biophotonics Center at Vanderbilt (VBC)  focuses on translational research of photonic technologies for biomedical research and clinical use, with translation both to the clinic as well as to the commercial sector. Research areas include:

  • Cancer photonics
  • Neurophotonics
  • Nano-biophotonics


Center for Intelligent Mechatronics (CIM)  focuses on the design and control of electromechanical devices. Research areas include:

  • CIMDesign, modeling and control of electromechanical devices and systems
  • Modeling and control of smart material actuators such as piezoelectric ceramic and shape memory alloy
  • Control of bilateral and scaled bilateral telemanipulation systems
  • Design and control of haptic interfaces
  • Conventional-scale and small-scale manipulator design and control
  • Design and characterization of compliant-mechanism-based robots and devices
  • Design and control of self-contained pneumatic actuation systems.

Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP)  Vanderbilt leads the Remediation and Mitigation Technology center of expertise CRESP, which works to advance cost-effective cleanup of the nation's nuclear weapons production waste sites and test facilities. Research areas include:

  • crespExposure assessment 
  • Remediation and mitigation technology
  • Socioeconomic impact assessment
  • Public policy
  • Human health
  • Ecology


Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS)  conducts research on:

  • isisEmbedded system tools and applications 
  • Adaptive hardware and software systems
  • Diagnostics of complex systems
  • Generic support for visual modeling
  • Model integrated computing
  • Modeling languages
  • Semantic integration of design tools
  • Synthesis and generation of software and hardware
  • Techniques for managing complex design spaces
  • Verification of complex finite-state systems


Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE)   ISDEstudies radiation effects for strategic applications for government and commercial customers. Topic areas include:

  • Design and analysis of radiation-hardened electronics
  • Development of test methods and plans for assuring radiation hardness
  • Development of solutions to system-specific problems related to radiation effects


Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies (VCEMS)   conducts research into:

  • VCEMSMethods and management practices to reduce environmental risk
  • Environmental management executive knowledge and awareness training
  • National leadership summits that address emerging environmental management topics
  • Environmental management fundamentals that are currently not well-established in organizations.


Vanderbilt Center for Transportation Research (VECTOR)   emphasizes the integration of transportation engineering, planning, and management. Faculty and graduate students currently are conducting research on the following topics:

  • Policy, management, and operations
  • Advanced information systems
  • Intermodal freight
  • Safety, security, and risk management
  • Incident management and emergency operations


Vanderbilt Initiative in Surgery and Engineering (ViSE)   is an interdisciplinary, trans-institutional center whose mission is the creation, development, implementation, clinical evaluation and commercialization of methods, devices, algorithms, and systems designed to facilitate interventional processes and their outcome. Research projects include:


Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and the Environment (VIEE)   VIEEengages in research and education on:

  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Physical sciences
  • Engineering
  • Law and policy that bear on energy and environmental decision making by individuals and by public and private institutions


Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE)  conducts research on:

  • VIIBREInstrumenting and Controlling the Single Cell will provide new insights into post-genomic and post-proteomic physiology, drug delivery and toxicology
  • Technology Guided Therapy gathers information about the patient and the disease and directs therapy to maximize the treatment of the disease while minimizing the effect on the patient
  • Biomedical Imaging uses functional MRI and other modalities to learn about human and animal anatomy, physiology and pathology
  • The VaNTH NSF ERC is aimed at developing the bioengineering educational system of the immediate future. It seeks to integrate learning science, learning technology and the domain areas of bioengineering


Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (VINSE)  conducts research on:

  • VINSENanotechnology at the interface of biology and medicine
  • Nano-optics, plasmonics, and sensors
  • Implemenation of nanomaterials related to energy
  • Properties affected by nanoscale dimensions
  • synthesis, fabrication and processing at the nanoscale
  • graphene, carbon nanotubes and organic nanostructures
  • Quantum dots, quantum wires, quantum wells, superlattices
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Nanoscale instrumentation and characterization


Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science (VUIIS)  supports research leading to the development and application of new and enhanced biomedical imaging techniques. Research areas include:

  • VUISSFunctional and structural brain imaging 
  • Radiation dosimetry
  • NMR fundamentals
  • Diffusion and perfusion
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Metabolic imaging
  • Image analysis and processing
  • Clinical MRS and MRI