New Initiative Ensures USC’s Leadership in Convergent Bioscience
Effective solutions to many of today’s most profound health problems are being found at the convergence of the sciences and engineering. The USC Convergent Bioscience Initiative is a vital collaboration between the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering that taps expertise across USC with the goal of rapidly improving the lives of people around the globe.
At its core, the USC Convergent Bioscience Initiative is about understanding the complete human body at the atomic scale, rather than through specific parts. As USC scientists and engineers collaborate with each other and partners in the Keck School of Medicine of USC, for example, they will make discoveries leading to the development of personalized treatment strategies for a range of specific diseases and conditions, such as autism, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as many cancers.
This initiative will enable the university to realize the full promise of this convergence by creating:
- Research space that fosters collaborative experimentation between different disciplines and researchers;
- Core facilities that provide instrumentation and expertise to USC faculty, neighboring industries and academic institutions;
- Innovative training programs that support graduate and postdoctoral students in the pursuit of new discoveries; and
- Seamless technology-transfers that nurture laboratory breakthroughs as they transform into startup companies or clinical trials.
The USC Convergent Bioscience Initiative was given a powerful boost in January 2014 with Gary K. Michelson’s visionary gift of $50 million to fund the construction of the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience — a state-of-the-art building on the University Park Campus that will become the new home for the initiative’s people and programs.
“Dr. Michelson’s generous gift will bridge USC’s strengths in a broad range of disciplines, including the sciences, engineering, medicine, mathematics and computer science,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “The new USC Michelson Center will be a vibrant hub for innovation and will help create a major biomedical research corridor in Southern California.”
With the support of Dr. Michelson and others who share the university’s vision for convergent bioscience,
USC will foster new generations of researchers who, by being fearless in the pursuit of scientific knowledge, will accelerate biomedical technology development and ultimately create innovative solutions for the benefit of humankind.