Scientific Initiatives

The LSI leverages its collaborative community and resources for maximum impact in specific areas:

Drug Discovery

Many labs in the Life Sciences Institute conduct research directly related to early-stage drug discovery, and others work to understand fundamental biological and chemical processes and mechanisms—knowledge that is critical in the quest for new therapeutics for cancer, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, obesity and a wide range of less common diseases. In the Center for Structural Biology, scientists can create 3D images of protein structures and identify novel drug targets.

Through a philanthropic program called the Innovation Partnership, the LSI provides funding and mentorship to enable scientists to develop their discoveries into viable new medicines. Innovation Partnership projects leverage the resources in LSI’s Center for Chemical Genomics and its Center for Structural Biology to bring the power of chemistry and physics to biomedical discovery. Early-stage drug discovery is risky, but that risk is matched by the potential for dramatic impact in the future of human health. U-M’s Center for the Discovery of New Medicines, which has its administrative home in the LSI, is another key part of the drug discovery initiative.

Global Scientific Collaboration

More than half of the LSI’s faculty comes from a country outside of the U.S., which makes the institute more international than the most international universities in the country, public or private. The many partnerships sparked by faculty in the LSI have created a robust matrix of relationships all around the world.

The UM/Israel Partnership for Research funds projects between Michigan and Israeli scientists. Israel, the “start-up nation,” is a leader in technology and innovation, and by pairing U-M’s expertise in biomedicine with Israel’s knowledge and experience creates opportunities to accelerate discoveries. This program also serves as a model for similar collaborations between U-M and institutions around the world.

Re-designing the future of research

After 10 years of operating, the LSI is embarking upon a new era of scientific innovation that builds on our culture of creativity, agility and excellence. A critical embodiment of this drive is the U-M Center for Stem Cell Biology which employs a powerful scientific paradigm—stem cell biology—to illuminate many areas of life science discovery.