Centers and institutes of Washington University in St. Louis

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Washington University in St. Louis has a broad array of centers for particular studies and research institutes. The following summary of many of these is organized by general field of inquiry.

Biological sciences[edit]

  • Tyson Research Center - a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) outdoor facility located about 20 miles (32 km) from the main Washington University campus. Various ecological systems and habitats help provide valuable outdoor education and teaching opportunities for classes and research projects at the University.
  • The Genome Technology Access Center (GTAC) - The GTAC was created to establish DNA/RNA analysis resources for researchers at Washington University and beyond. It offers NextGen sequencing, microarray, qPCR and other medium to high throughput detection technologies on a fee-for-service basis.
  • The McDonnell Genome Institute - an organization focusing on genomics research. The Institute played a major role in the Human Genome Project, to which it contributed 25% of the finished sequence, and is currently a major participant in both The Cancer Genome Atlas and the 1000 Genomes Project.


  • Boeing Center for Technology and Information Management - Focused collaboration between business and academe. Businesses provide professors and students with access to in-house real-world technology, and these researchers use these data and machines to formulate theories on operations and supply chain management to better improve logistics and processes.
  • Center for Research in Economics and Strategy - supports empirical and scientific research to aid in the understanding of how markets behave, how firms strategize, and how industries evolve.
  • Reuben C. Taylor Experimental Laboratory - a high-technology facility for conducting experimental research to analyze negotiation, market behavior, and decision making. Included in the laboratory is a computer network that allows participants to make decisions and communicate with others in real-time.
  • Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies - established in 2004 with a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. The Center's initiatives focus on corporate innovation, application and commercialization for early-stage science, student-initiated ventures (such as the Hatchery course and the Olin Cup competition), social entrepreneurship, and connecting the University with the St. Louis start-up community.


  • Cardiac Bioelectricity and Arrhythmia Center - an interdisciplinary center whose goals are to study the mechanisms of rhythm disorders of the heart, and to develop new tools for their diagnosis and treatment.
  • Center for Air Pollution Impact and Trend Analysis - performs air quality research, data dissemination, a literature and data library, and publishes reports and journals. CAPITA specializes in the effects of aerosol research and the impact of air pollution on the atmosphere.
  • Center for Application of Information Technologies (CAIT) - provides resources, classes, training, and professional development opportunities for Information Technology leaders at Washington University and throughout the St. Louis region, in order to make the region more competitive as an IT hub.
  • Institute of Materials Science - a collaboration that aims to bring together researchers in engineering, physics, chemistry, and earth and planetary sciences to "foster a culture of interdisciplinary materials science research and education at the university."[1]
  • Center for Optimization & Semantic Control - an effort between various academic divisions at Washington University, and leaders in the US Air Force and Aerospace and Air Transportation industries. The COSC works to use mathematical models and optimization problems to solve complex issues in aerospace and transportation systems.
  • International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability - I-CARES is a $55 million effort to explore alternative solutions for fuel, by researching biofuels from plant and microbial systems to forward sustainable alternative environmental practices.
  • McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences - A coordinated effort between the School of Engineering, and the departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Physics, and Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences. Groups work to research broad questions in the space sciences, such as the formation of planets, the beginning of the Universe, and geologic activity on Earth. A unique, state-of-the-art microprobe known as Cameca NanoSIMS analyzes cosmic dust, and recently separated and identified individual presolar dust grains that forms around new stars.
  • National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Engineering MechanoBiology - CEMB is a $24 million effort, conducted jointly between Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Pennssylvania, to "how single cells function in hopes to use the research to prevent disease and promote more efficient crop practices."[2]
  • Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center - aspires to maximize photosynthetic antenna efficiency in living organisms and to fabricate robust micron-scale biohybrid light-harvesting systems to drive chemical processes or generate photocurrent.

Humanities and Social Sciences[edit]

  • Center for the Humanities - formerly the International Writers Center, has expanded its focus and purpose; is "dedicated to letters and humanistic research and their presence in public life."
  • Center for New Institutional Social Sciences - founded in 1999 by Nobel Laureate Douglass C. North, Ph.D, the Center works to apply economics more effectively in enhancing the growth of developing nations.
  • Center on Urban Research & Public Policy - studies the urban environment in America, its successes and failures, and advances discussion on urban issues by research, teaching, promoting involvement of residents in building their community infrastructure to enhance the urban fabric of their city.
  • International Society for New Institutional Economics (ISNIE) - an interdisciplinary enterprise combining economics, law, organization theory, political science, sociology and anthropology to understand the institutions of social, political and commercial life, using economics as a common language.


Language and literature[edit]

  • Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature - promotes teaching and research of modern German literature and supports collaboration among students/scholars in the field as the only center of its kind in the United States. Part of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.


The Washington University School of Law has five Centers and Institutes, which are mostly housed at the Anheuser-Busch and Seigle Hall buildings:[3]


Political science[edit]

  • John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics - seeks to examine the role of religion and politics in the United States. The Center's mission is the serve as an ideologically neutral place that fosters rigorous scholarship and civil public discourse around the areas of American religion and politics. The Center was founded in 2010 by an endowment gift from the Danforth Foundation.
  • Richard A. Gephardt Institute for Public Service - founded with a major gift from former U.S. Congressman Richard Gephardt. Focuses on the value, interest and importance of public service and civic engagement. Major activities of the Gephardt Institute include the hosting of speakers series, internship and career placement services, granting of money to faculty and students for community-based teaching and learning, supporting co-curricular activities with the community service office, and a summer stipend program, where the University financially supports students who take uncompensated internships in the field of public service.
  • Weidenbaum Center - combines academic research with policy analysis centering on economy, business, government, and public policy. The Weidenbaum Center is non-profit and non-partisan, and programs events, hosts speakers and lecturers, holds retreats, and publishes journals to further its mission.

Social work[edit]

  • Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies - founded to provide scholarships for Native American students, the Center for American Indian Studies is now located within the School of Social work and is geared toward the "academic advancement and study of American Indian issues related to social work." [5] The center still continues to offer scholarships.
  • Center for Latino Family Research - is the only center in a U.S. school of social work that conducts research on Latino social, health, mental health, and family and community development in the U.S. and Latin America. The Center's ultimate goal is to help improve the lives of Latino families in all of the Americas.
  • Center for Mental Health Services Research - through its national network of collaborative research partners, works with public social service agencies to build a base of evidence designed to address the challenges of delivering mental health services to vulnerable populations. The center is one of only 11 centers of its kind in the country and the only one part of a social work school.
  • Center for Social Development - the center's domestic and international research focuses on building assets of individuals and families so they can invest in life goals such as homes, education, and enterprise development and thus break the cycle of poverty. The Center's work also explores issues of civic engagement to ensure the people of all ages and economic levels actively participate in our society.


  1. ^ Lutz, Diana (6 May 2014). "SIMS laboratory dedicated". The Source. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Mueller, Angela (26 September 2016). "Washington University gets $23 million grant to form center to study cell activity". Saint Louis Business Journal. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  3. ^ WULS: Centers and Institutes
  4. ^ BioMed 21 Summary
  5. ^ Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies Archived 2008-02-20 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]