In 1819 Thomas Jefferson fulfilled his lifelong ambition to create a better institution of higher learning, one that would prepare America's citizens to lead and govern the new nation. His University would be the first to engineer cross-disciplinary exchange between the sciences and humanities, history and chemistry, and students and professors. It would encourage the academic enterprise to advance knowledge, train leaders and break through traditional boundaries.
Nearly 200 years after its founding, the University is at the forefront of important cross-disciplinary work being done by faculty and students across its 11 notable schools. That work draws on the considerable resources and innovative thinking of this tier-one research institution, which is also the nation’s #2 public university.
- The establishment of a pan-university Brain Institute that will address important challenges on the frontiers of understanding, treating, and reverse-engineering the brain. The Institute will draw on expertise from over 80 faculty in at least four Schools and the Data Science Institute, and will leverage cluster faculty hires in neurosciences, biomedical data sciences, traumatic brain injury, and autism.
- A signature effort in the College of Arts and Sciences to redefine and re-engineer the liberal arts curriculum. The new design puts greater emphasis on cross- and inter-disciplinary coursework, instilling a capacity to ask ethical questions, work through issues and use both arts and sciences to grasp the complexity and wonder of the world.
- A unique cross-disciplinary effort to end childhood diabetes, led by the School of Medicine, that will lead the way in research related to detecting, controlling and eventually curing type-1 diabetes. Research partners include UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Center for Diabetes Technology, an international UVA-based research network.
- The founding of the Data Science Institute (DSI), designed to prepare the next generation of leaders to address the interdisciplinary challenge of data science. With programs that lie outside the existing traditional curricular structure, DSI works as an accelerator across disciplines, developing a blueprint for a future in which data science will play an increasing role in our ability to solve complex societal challenges.