GE grant funds growth in VU Kenya anesthesiology program

Anesthesiologists at Vanderbilt University have received a $3 million grant from the GE Foundation that will help them continue a program of medical education and research in Kenya and other parts of the world. The grant will let young Vanderbilt anesthesiologists continue to travel to Kenya annually to both train and to educate others in anesthesia and pain management services.

Dec 12, 2013 11:04 AM

Vanderbilt sees success with robotics research

Vanderbilt science writer David Salisbury has penned a fascinating piece on the university's work with robotics. VU has 25 investigators with $25 million in research grants, and robotics is key part of the effort, Salisbury writes. Check out the story here.

Dec 6, 2013 8:30 AM

On the Move: 3 December 2013

Bernard Health, BSI, RealtyTrust, DVL, Vanderbilt announce personnel updates
Dec 3, 2013 7:00 AM

VU's Salisbury honored with national fellowship

David F. Salisbury, a senior research writer in the Vanderbilt University Office of News and Communications and a pioneer in academic science journalism, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Salisbury is Vanderbilt’s first science communicator the AAAS has honored and joins 17 Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers (see here) who, likewise, have been honored this year.

To date this year, the AAS has named 388 members named fellows by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The AAAS bills itself as the world's large international non-profit organization involving science.

“We are proud that the AAAS has chosen to honor David’s work,” Elizabeth Latt, assistant vice chancellor for VU News and Communications, said in a release. “For decades, he has effectively communicated to a nonscientific audience the wonder and relevance of the work of scientists and engineers in an academic setting. He has done so while honoring the integrity of the scientific process and its outcomes. We are truly fortunate to have him on our team.”

Read more here.

Nov 26, 2013 11:10 AM

VU's Zeppos to co-chair Senate task force

Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos will co-chair a U.S. Senate task force that will examine burdens on institutions of higher education.

Senate education committee ranking member Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and members Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) announced the formation of the task force earlier this week.

William Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, will co-chair the task force with Zeppos.

Read more here.

Nov 20, 2013 12:25 PM

VU professor on how to make a smarter patent system

Vanderbilt University law professor Sean Seymore says today's patent system is stifling scientific advances because of its requirement that applicants show a clear utility. Seymore, whose work focuses on the intersection of science and law and public policy, wants a greater emphasis on disclosure of details about innovations so that others can build on them.

“The patent system incentivizes the disclosure of information that the public might not otherwise get,” Seymore writes. “The disclosure adds to the sum of useful knowledge immediately – not at the end of the patent term but as soon as the patent document publishes.

“Patent theory contemplates that the early entry of useful knowledge into the public storehouse reduces research-and-development waste, spurs creativity, leads others to climb onto the patentee’s shoulders in seeking improvements or wholly new inventions, and, of course, extends the frontiers of science and technology.”

Nov 20, 2013 8:39 AM

On the Move: 14 November 2013

Arts & Business Council, Rotary Club of Nashville, TSU, TriStar Centennial Medical Center, Vanderbilt announce personnel updates
Nov 14, 2013 7:00 AM

Vote to be deferred on proposed VU engineering building

A Metro Board of Zoning Appeals vote on a setback and skyplane variance for a proposed Vanderbilt University engineering research building will be deferred until the board’s Jan. 2, 2014, meeting.

The vote was to have taken place at the Nov. 21 BZA meeting before VU officials requested the deferral.

If constructed, the building will span about 370,000 square feet. To be located on a site currently home to green space and a terrace next to Olin Hall (home to the VU School of Engineering), the building will be bordered by Olin Hall on the east and Garland, 25th and Highland avenues on the north, west and south, respectively.

Read more here.

Nov 14, 2013 6:45 AM

VU prof: iPads help autistic children develop language

A Vanderbilt University professor has conducted research that shows children with autism who are minimally verbal can learn to speak later than previously thought, and iPads are playing an increasing role in making that happen

Ann Kaiser, a professor at Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development, found in her research that using speech-generating devices to encourage children ages 5 to 8 to develop speaking skills resulted in the subjects developing considerably more spoken words compared to other interventions. All of the children in the study, which was funded by Autism Speaks, learned new spoken words and several learned to produce short sentences as they moved through the training.

"For some parents, it was the first time they’d been able to converse with their children,” said Kaiser, Susan W. Gray Professor of Education and Human Development. “With the onset of iPads, that kind of communication may become possible for greater numbers of children with autism and their families.”

Relatedly, Kaiser (pictured) has begun a new five-year long study supported by the National Institutes of Health’s Autism Centers of Excellence with colleagues at UCLA, the University of Rochester, and Cornell Weill Medical School. She and a team of researchers and therapists at the four sites are using iPads in two contrasting interventions (direct-teaching and naturalistic-teaching) to evaluate the effectiveness of the two communication interventions for children who have autism and use minimal spoken language.

Results from the Autism Speaks study will be available in spring 2014.

Read more here at


Nov 13, 2013 9:30 AM

On the Move: 12 November 2013

Community Foundation, Crichton Group, Jagemann, PearlPoint, Vanderbilt announce personnel updates
Nov 12, 2013 7:00 AM