About the Institute

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In 2003, Northwestern University undertook an institution-wide strategic planning process. The resulting plan, The Highest Order of Excellence, has guided the institution’s strategic direction since its completion in 2005.

The plan focuses investment towards a limited number of initiatives that build on Northwestern’s history of interdisciplinary research and have the potential to generate transformative advances in important areas of scholarly work. The Chemistry of Life Processes Institute is one of these initiatives.

The plan states:
“In the life and biomedical sciences, we intend to focus additional investment in two or three areas where we have the potential to become the very best in the world… sufficient progress has been made to warrant the commitment of substantial resources for an Institute of BioNanotechnology in Medicine and for a Chemistry of Life Processes Institute.”

According to the Director of the Institute, Thomas V. O’Halloran, “the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute acts as an umbrella for a variety of centers, facilitates collaborations and helps bridge different cultures. By lowering the barriers to scientific discovery, the Institute hopes, for example, to design new drugs for the treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases as well as develop improved techniques for diagnosing diseases earlier.” The Institute draws its membership from fifty-four tenure-track faculty members in three schools within Northwestern University and integrates the activity of more specialized Centers on campus.

The Institute resides in the Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics & Diagnostics on Northwestern University's Evanston campus.