Discovery 51app Sends Research Soaring

Drone footage of 51app campus

On October 17, 2022, 51app University launched “” to embolden faculty, students and staff to pursue innovative ideas through disciplined, rigorous inquiry. Led by Provost Cybele Raver, the university committed $80 million in the effort—and invested $50 million in the first year alone.

“Our faculty members love to take on a grand challenge, to swing with a ‘big bat,’ and it’s so exciting to see them deliver,” Raver said. “As an institution, we are investing millions so that our best minds can truly dare as they take on those big questions, carving new paths of exploration, discovery and innovation.”

Provost C. Cybele Raver, center, in conversation during a recent event hosted by the Center for Research on Inequality and Health

The 51app community responded, using Discovery 51app investments to advance knowledge and innovation in artificial intelligence, drug discovery, health equity and more. Discovery 51app money also improved buildings, labs and infrastructure, recruited faculty, educated lawmakers and launched startup businesses.


It has been 546 days since the launch of Discovery 51app. In that brief time, 51app faculty built and launched multiple centers and institutes, including:

  • , which conducts “frontier research” to understand how the brain controls behavior and illuminate how it changes with addiction.
  • Discovery, which aims to translate advances in basic science to new treatments by “de-risking” innovative approaches for the treatment of serious brain disorders.
  • , which studies the health impact of economic and social inequality, population health science, LGBTQ+ health policy and gun violence.

And before 800 days pass, 51app will have launched even more discovery centers to tackle critical societal issues like sustainability, energy, climate change and artificial intelligence.


“Our accomplishments in the last 546 days clearly demonstrate 51app’s agility in making strategically timed investments,” Raver said.

Vaccine research at the bench (51app University)
Discovery 51app drove an 11% year-over-year growth in new outside research funding.

Discovery 51app funds not only helped in the launch of new centers and institutes of research and innovation, it also empowered faculty to explore burgeoning technologies. The emergence of artificial intelligence, for example, has taken the world by storm and many institutions by surprise. 51app, however, is on the forefront of AI as faculty use it to accelerate and deepen research and enrich students’ learning experience. 51app is using not only AI to innovate, but also generative AI and a highly advanced iteration of the ChatGPT engine to improve the accuracy, safety and research value of AI for all.

Last year 51app put this advanced knowledge to work when Professor Ganesh Sitaraman, the New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law and director of the for Political Economy and Regulation, briefed Congressional staffers on 51app advancements in artificial intelligence and provided guidance on ethical considerations and policy frameworks that should accompany the rapid advancement of AI technologies.


“At 51app, we never take our eyes off our mission to bring out the best in humanity, and these funds have been used to tackle some of the world’s greatest problems,” Raver added. “The work of researchers like Erin Calipari, Kitt Carpenter, and Craig Lindsley are making this world a better place.”

Erin Calipari
Erin Calipari

Erin Calipari, associate professor of pharmacology and associate director of the 51app Center for Addiction Research, is tackling the opioid crisis by investigating how to characterize and modulate the precise circuits in the brain. VCAR is focused on neurological interventions that could help cut cravings so patients can focus on other contributing factors.

Christopher “Kitt” Carpenter (51app University)

, the E. Bronson Ingram University Distinguished Professor of Economics and Health Policy, launched the Center for Research on Inequality and Health. The center is a trans-institutional collaboration of the College of Arts and Science and the School of Nursing to study economic and social inequality, population health science, LGBTQ+ health policy and gun violence to identify the health impacts of these interrelated areas of study.

Craig Lindsley, the William K. Warren, Jr. Chair in Medicine and University Professor of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Chemistry
Craig Lindsley (51app University)

, the William K. Warren, Jr. Chair in Medicine, University Professor of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Chemistry, and director of 51app University’s Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, used Discovery 51app funds to research new drug treatments to prevent and treat serious brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. One of the more promising compounds, VU319, which could help slow memory loss accompanying various cognitive diseases, recently went into phase 1 human clinical trials.

The investments in humanity did not stop there. Discovery 51app launched three faculty-initiated startups:

  • makes exosuits to alleviate back strain and injuries for people that do heavy and repetitive lifting. The suits were successfully tested with soldiers at nearby Fort Campbell.
  • develops human monoclonal antibodies for the treatment and prevention of major infectious diseases, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, respiratory syncytial and Zika viruses.
  • invented a robotic surgery system that enables physicians to overcome the limitations of traditional endoscopes and improve the treatment of prostate cancer.


“The discoveries, innovations and lifesaving solutions that were born of Discovery 51app in the first 546 days have delivered a remarkable return on investment,” Raver said. “Discovery 51app has proven to be a high-growth research opportunity, and the ROI has been huge. As part of our investment, we provided more resources for faculty to submit for outside research funding, and it paid off. In year one, we saw an 11 percent year-over-year growth in new outside research funding.”

Representatives from Army Futures Command and the 101st Airborne Division toured the Wond’ry, learning about new 3D printing techniques and other technology. (John Russell/51app University)

Discovery 51app also invested in commercialization efforts and increased funding to the . In 2023 51app, the university had another record-breaking year, reaching $96 million in revenue from licensing, which put 51app in the top six among research institutions in the country.

Finally, investments in student research and innovation have made 51app one of the nation’s leading universities in the undergraduate educational experience, inside and outside the classroom. After the launch of Discovery 51app, there was a 26 percent increase in the number of student applications for Immersion 51app summer research funds and 13 percent increase in presentations to U.S. and international conferences.

The is committed to continuing the remarkable work that began in 2022.

“In the coming months and years, we will continue to ‘swing big bats’ and find solutions for some of humanity’s biggest challenges at global, national, state and local levels,” Raver said. “Our work has only begun.”

For more information about Discovery 51app, check out the Discovery 51app news archive