Rice University Launches Five Research Centers to Tackle Global Challenges

Rice University has recently made significant investments in five research centers, each dedicated to addressing critical global issues. These centers will focus on coastal safety and resilience, improved cancer diagnosis and treatment, challenges affecting Latin American and Latinx communities, and other pressing global concerns.

The Rice Center for Nanoscale Imaging Sciences and Synthesis X Center, in particular, will collaborate with the Texas Medical Center to advance cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. These centers, rooted in the humanities and social sciences, will tackle issues with broad, global implications and are of special interest to Houston.

Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Rice’s executive vice president for research, expressed excitement about how these centers will contribute to the public good. Amy Dittmar, the Howard R. Hughes Provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, highlighted Rice’s unique research strengths across disciplines.

The Center for Coastal Futures and Adaptive Resilience will focus on the Gulf Coast’s social and environmental challenges, while the Center for Environmental Studies will leverage the arts, humanities, architecture, and design to address environmental problems. The Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies will foster collaborations with academic institutions in Latin America and the United States, especially in the Gulf Coast region and the U.S. South.

The Rice Center for Nanoscale Imaging Sciences will unite researchers with expertise in nanoscale optical imaging, electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, and computer vision. The Synthesis X Center will develop groundbreaking cancer drugs and technologies, leveraging innovation in the synthesis of molecules and materials.

These centers will be led by dynamic faculty researchers, including Dominic Boyer and James Elliott for the Center for Coastal Futures and Adaptive Resilience, Joseph Campana for the Center for Environmental Studies, Sophie Esch for the Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies, Anna-Karin Gustavsson for the Rice Center for Nanoscale Imaging Sciences, and Han Xiao for the Synthesis X Center.