December 21, 2006

Year in Review 2006: New construction, renovations rolled on

Featured Image

Workers install the magnet core of a 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner in the Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Science in June.
Photo by John Russell

Imaging Institute

The Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science was dedicated in November.

Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs, said the four-floor, $19.7 million facility, built in a little more than a year, is the “embodiment of what may be a world-changing place.”

The institute, located at the corner of Garland Avenue and 21st Avenue South, contains one of the world's most powerful magnet resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.

The 7-Tesla scanner, built by Philips Medical Systems, enables researchers to generate images down to the molecular level. One Tesla is roughly 20,000 times the strength of the magnetic field of the earth.

Godchaux Hall

After more than two years of construction, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing unveiled its newly renovated Godchaux Hall in October.

It was the first major interior renovation in more than 30 years to the building, erected in 1925 as a dormitory for 100 nursing students, along with a library and faculty offices.

The building was renamed Mary Ragland Godchaux Hall in 1971 when the dorm rooms were replaced with faculty offices.

“We are very excited about our 'new' home,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of VUSN. “This space allows us to have fully equipped research space with dry labs and offices to further expand our research efforts and a 10-patient intervention lab to better prepare our more than 600 students pursuing their advanced practice nursing degrees.”

Center in Bone Biology

In August, VUMC dramatically strengthened its ability to investigate and develop new treatments for bone diseases with the debut of the newly formed Vanderbilt Center in Bone Biology.

Gregory Mundy, M.D., an internationally renowned investigator in bone biology, joined the faculty to direct the center, which will focus on the major diseases of the bone — such as osteoporosis, cancer metastasis and fracture repair — and on identifying new drugs to treat them.

Integrative Health Center

The newly created Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health, which combines traditional Western medicine with complementary therapies, opened in November.

The center, located in the 3401 West End Building, will offer massage therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, health coaching, nutrition counseling, as well as integrative health consultations with a physician and a health psychologist and classes in mindfulness/stress reduction, yoga, tai chi and qigong. Roy Elam, M.D., associate professor of Medicine, is medical director.

Public health institute

May saw the creation of the Institute for Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The mission of the institute, directed by Robert Dittus, M.D., M.P.H., is to improve personal and public health through discovery, training and service programs designed to protect against threats to health, promote healthier living, improve the quality of health services and prepare leaders to advance health and health care.

The institute will eventually be located in new “dry lab” space — still in the planning stages — where institute faculty and programs can closely collaborate with biostatistics, bioinformatics, preventive medicine and other clinical research programs.

Health Plus move

Health Plus, the staff and faculty wellness program, moved from its longtime location in Memorial Gym to the present Vanderbilt Stadium Club, atop the Kensington Garage, on 25th Ave. S. between Memorial Gym and the 2525 West End Building.

The move, completed in October, increased the space of the facility from about 5,000 to almost 23,000 square feet. The extra space is being used for a group fitness room, expanded locker rooms, a yoga room, and additional exercise equipment.