A Signature Center is a research unit distinctly identifiable with Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. In addition to representing an area of research strength, the center will usually build on some ongoing activities and have many of the following attributes:
- Signature centers will often be interdisciplinary in character. They should have the capacity to attract significant external funding appropriate to the disciplines involved, including federal grants and foundation support. The centers need to bring academic distinction to the campus. After an initial period of campus-based seed funding, they should become largely self-sufficient in three to five years.
- The work of the center should have something unique and distinctive, which makes it stand out. It should not focus on an area commonly studied at many other universities, although collaborations with other institutions could be a desirable feature.
- The center should engage in work which takes advantage of the urban location in Indianapolis and establish partnerships with local community and cultural organizations.
The following are cancer-related Signature Centers:
Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research (2011)
The mission of the Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research is to promote a better understanding of the critical pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in pancreatic tumor development, to stimulate the consistent and productive exchange of ideas between clinicians and basic scientists, to facilitate external funding for its members, to disseminate information across the Indiana medical and research community, and improve pancreatic cancer patient outcomes. The center, composed of basic, translational and clinical researchers, represents the continuum of disease research from biological/molecular investigation to clinical trials.
Indiana Center for Breast Cancer Research (2010)
The mission of the Indiana Center for Breast Cancer Research is to address the full range of prevention, early detection, and treatment of breast cancer through translational projects, supportive cores, and synergistic programs. The charge of the center is the rapid movement of laboratory discoveries into the clinic.
The mission of the Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communication and Training Center is to advance the science of communication in palliative and end-of-life care across the lifespan. The center aims to support the advancement of research on communication in populations with serious illness that is life-threatening, debilitating, or terminal.