Research Departments

Explore Our Departments

Van Andel Institute is dedicated to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations through groundbreaking biomedical research. Through rigorous science and extensive collaboration, our scientists investigate the mechanisms that give rise to disease with the goal of informing life-changing treatment strategies. VAI’s laboratories are organized into five departments — Epigenetics, Neurodegenerative Science, Metabolism and Nutritional Programming, Cell Biology and Structural Biology — which serve as hubs for discovery and collaboration, each with their own expertise that drives innovation. Together, scientists across VAI are working to create a brighter, healthier future for all.

Cell Biology

Scientists in our Department of Cell Biology pursue fundamental research to understand how our cells grow, communicate, survive, assemble into tissues and organs, respond to the environment, and change with age.

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Scientists in our Department of Epigenetics seek to understand how epigenetic changes may either protect us from or predispose us to complex diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s and metabolic disorders.

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Metabolism and Nutritional Programming

Scientists in our Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming explore the intricate mechanics of cellular metabolism and their implications for health and in disease.

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Neurodegenerative Science

By leveraging discoveries made in VAI’s labs and collaborating with researchers around the world, scientists in our Department of Neurodegenerative Science are working to translate breakthroughs into life-changing new treatments for Parkinson’s, dementias and depression.

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Structural Biology

Scientists in our Department of Structural Biology harness cryo-electron microscopy and other state-of-the-art techniques to visualize molecules that may serve as treatment targets for cancer, neurological disorders, metabolic diseases, infectious diseases and more.

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Our Impact

We're raising thousands to save millions

We’re turning hope into action for the millions of people around the world affected by diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s. Find out how you can help us make a difference.

  • 121 peer-reviewed papers published in 2023
  • 62 peer-reviewed papers published in high-impact journals in 2023
  • 55 clinical trials launched to date
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