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The Vanderbilt Center for Matrix Biology
The Vanderbilt Center for Matrix Biology, associated with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is an interdepartmental group of basic and clinical scientists, whose research involves different aspects of biology of the extracellular matrices. The Center currently includes numerous members from different departments with research interests comprising such areas as angiogenesis, biomaterials, tumor microenvironment, wound repair, diabetic complications, fibrosis, and tissue regeneration.
The mission of the Center is to foster cohesive interactions among scientists to facilitate collaborations and promote excellence in matrix research.
Furthermore, Vanderbilt Center for Matrix Biology aims to support and develop a model science education pipeline with Aspirnaut™, a K-20 STEM Pipeline for Diversity. The goal is to elevate STEM achievement in students from disadvantaged backgrounds as a means to increase the number and diversity of students entering the STEM workforce.
The Aspirnaut Program
Founded in 2006 by two Vanderbilt faculty members, the program was launched as an online-learning-on-the-bus initiative in rural, Arkansas in 2006. Since the first pilot on rural school bus routes where students completed online curriculum, Aspirnaut™ has evolved to a K-20 STEM pipeline program for diversity that partners the experiential and content expertise of Vanderbilt University Medical Center with rural K-12 schools and diverse high school, undergraduate and graduate students.