Institutional Initiatives

Select collaborative research initiatives have been identified to help the university achieve its vision of becoming a top tier research institution. Building on the strengths of our world class faculty and existing research projects, the university is developing a more robust research portfolio and recruiting leaders in these areas: autism, computational biology, cybersecurity, the global status of women, sustainability and urban food studies.

Each initiative is a product of the university’s commitment to expand collaborative and cross disciplinary research at GW. The initiatives leverage the strengths of faculty across departments, as well as undergraduate and graduate students.

Autism
The George Washington University, in collaboration with our affiliate hospitals and community service providers, will establish a world-class, interdisciplinary Initiative to address autism and neurodevelopmental disorders - the only one of its kind in the metropolitan area.

The AND Initiative will be a beacon for policymakers, members of the media and the general public seeking information on issues surrounding policy, research and the treatment of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.  With no known cause, preventative measures, medical detection or cure for autism the time to act is now.   The documented increase in prevalence, currently 1:88 as well as enormous emotional impact and lifetime costs to families and society as a whole require immediate and focused attention to this growing problem.

Computational Biology
Informatics is used to answer important biological questions using massive amounts of data, including genetic and molecular data. Many disciplines are becoming more data-intensive, creating a need for the development of new computational tools and approaches that aid in the integration, interpretation and understanding of complex datasets.

Cybersecurity
The Cybersecurity Initiative focuses on education, policy, and research, bringing together GW institutes and researchers with policymakers and practitioners from Washington to Silicon Valley and beyond.  The Initiative provides research-based solutions to cybersecurity challenges in the areas of national and international security, economic competitiveness, technology, privacy and civil liberties.  We leverage existing efforts and capacity and build new capabilities in cybersecurity to continue GW’s leadership in this field.

Global Women's Initiative
The goal of the GW Global Women’s Institute is to enhance the roles of women and girls worldwide through research, teaching, and engaged service in the areas of health, education, rights, and security. The institute will also focus on training and leadership programs and service and policy engagement around women’s issues.

GW Institute for Neuroscience   
The George Washington Institute for Neuroscience (GWIN) promotes research and training throughout several departments and affiliated institutions at GW in the mechanisms of normal and pathologic brain function. The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at GW, and the office of the Vice-President for Research at GW jointly support GWIN programs. The research interests of the faculty include behavioral, evolutionary, systems, cellular, and developmental neuroscience.

Sustainability
The George Washington University envisions a future with resource systems that are healthy and thriving for all. In efforts to enhance our campus, our nation’s capital and the world at large, GW community is building a greener campus, providing research and intellectual discourse on policies and pathways to sustainable systems, and equipping students with the skills and knowledge to contribute to a sustainable future.

Urban Food Studies
The Urban Food Task Force unites faculty, students, staff, and volunteers who share an interest in healthy eating, sustainable food production, and food policy.  The initiative strives to identify and recommend ways to support scholarship, instruction and information on sustainable urban food policies, healthy eating and food preparation, and healthy and sustainable food choices for students, faculty, and staff.