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  • Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancer

    University of Illinois researchers developed a method to detect and map DNA methylation, which can be a sign of cancer, by threading the DNA through a tiny hole in a thin sheet of conductive material with a current running through it.

  • Beckman Institute Vision and Spirit Award Recognizes Bhargava

    In honor of the sesquicentennial of the University of Illinois, the award, in the amount of $150,000, recognizes a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology who exemplifies founder Arnold Beckman’s vision in establishing the Beckman Institute, and who, like Beckman and other Institute faculty members, has fostered collaboration in order to mount a bold and risky experiment that meets not only short-term research goals, but inspires future long-term work, contributing significantly to the mission of the Beckman Institute.

  • By providing proper risk assessment, Steady mobile app hopes to prevent falls common in older adults

    According to Professor Jacob Sosnoff, associate director of the Center on Health and Aging and Disability at the University of Illinois, falls are the leading cause of accidental death and injury in older adults. In fact, one out of three persons age 65 and over is expected to fall in the next year.

  • Applications and Nominations Invited for OVCR Faculty Fellow

  • Carle Illinois College of Medicine to receive preliminary accreditation survey visit from Liaison Committee on Medical Education

    The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) will conduct an on-site preliminary accreditation survey visit with the Carle Illinois College of Medicine on June 20-23, 2017. This important milestone in the accreditation process for the college marks its advancement from “applicant school” to “candidate school” status following favorable review of its data collection instrument and self-study submitted in November 2016.

  • Study links sulfide-producing bacteria and colon cancer in African-Americans

    University of Illinois nutritional sciences professor Rex Gaskins, graduate student Patricia Wolf and their colleagues found differences in the microbes that live in the lining of the colon of African-Americans versus non-Hispanic whites in the U.S. These differences are linked to the risk of colon cancer in African-Americans.

  • Round Two of the Carle Illinois Collaborative Research Funding Program Announced

    The jointly funded-seed funding program has been developed between Carle and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has just announced a call for proposals for its second round of funding. The program provides a funding infusion to support and encourage new lines of research and collaboration among Carle physicians and Illinois investigators.

  • Flexing Oor Muscle: Researchers Team Up To Study Stem Ccells And Muscle Rejuvenation

    You’re working hard to stay in shape—it helps your spirit, your body, and your mind. The bad news is that, as you age, your muscles do too. Despite your best intentions, there’s no guarantee that you can maintain that hard-earned muscle mass over time. The good news is that Beckman researcher Marni Boppart is on the job, examining why muscle loss occurs and looking for ways to rejuvenate muscle.

  • Study: Medicare prescription drug benefit reduced elderly mortality by more than 2 percent

    The implementation of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program has reduced elderly mortality by 2.2 percent annually since 2006, says a new study by Julian Reif, a professor of finance and of economics at Illinois.

  • STRONG Kids program receives additional support from the National Dairy Council

    Exploring how multiple factors contribute to the development of childhood obesity, the Family Resiliency Center’s STRONG Kids Program recently received an additional $548,275 of funding from the National Dairy Council (NDC) to extend its current research project, STRONG Kids 2, through 2019.

  • Rapid Imaging of Polymers Could Lead to Better Bioimaging

    A recent study by researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology identifies a method of Quantum Cascade Laser-based (QCL) infrared spectroscopic imaging that provides a more rapid method than conventional Fourier transform infrared imaging (FT-IR) to examine spherulites, large semicrystalline polymer samples, in order to identify chemical and structural properties.

  • Study: Changing the environment within bone marrow alters blood cell development

    Researchers at the University of Illinois report they can alter blood cell development through the use of biomaterials designed to mimic characteristics of the bone marrow.

  • Cancer Community Hosting Spring Seminar Series

    The Cancer Community at Illinois is pleased to present the Spring 2017 Faculty Seminar Series. Each seminar session will include a group of faculty giving brief individual talks and a period for Q&A.

  • Brainhack Coming to Illinois, March 2-4, 2017

    Faculty from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have joined together to bring a mega-brainhack event to campus, March 2-4, 2017 at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Billed as a “community-organized hackathon and unconference” the event will bring together researchers from a variety of fields to connect, collaborate, and solve neuroimaging problems involving large datasets.

    The Brainhack is described as an “unconference” because the weekend is meant to be adaptive with the shape and focus of the event flowing with the problems the registrants bring to the table. Brad Sutton, one of three co-organizers and associate professor in bioengineering, said the ability for the attendees to come together and solve problems as a team is a critical element of any Brainhack event.

  • Illinois Part of New Center Focused On Vector-Borne Disease

    The University of Illinois is among a consortium of Midwestern universities in a new federally funded center created to fight diseases spread by insect vectors, especially mosquitoes and ticks, through a unified approach of research, training, and practice.

  • Study Shows That Americanization May Be Fueling Unhealthy Eating in Jamaica

    Previous research has shown that viewing high amounts of media can negatively impact dietary habits, and these unhealthy habits are a driving force behind obesity and its associated health complications. Even though previous research has linked increased TV consumption with unhealthy eating habits, not much research has focused on the impact that media consumption may have on individuals from different cultures. 

    A study published recently in Child Development by University of Illinois researcher Dr. Gail Ferguson, an assistant professor in human development and family studies, explores whether globalization and the spread of U.S. media could be influencing behaviors and eating habits in developing regions.

  • The Autism Program Introduces a New Certification Preparation for Interns

    The Autism Program (TAP) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a community-focused program that aids families and professionals by providing support to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), their families, and other professionals in the community. Each semester, TAP welcomes a team of 10 to 12 diligent and hardworking interns who come from a variety of University of Illinois departments such as Human Development and Family Studies, Special Education, Speech and Hearing Science, Psychology, and the School of Social Work.

  • Tumor-Targeting System Uses Cancer’s Own Mechanisms to Betray its Location

    Illinois researchers developed a way to target tumors using sugars that are metabolized by the cancer cell’s own enzymes.

  • Health Innovations Lecture Series Kicks Off for 2017

    On January 27, Mayo Clinic surgeon Dr. Heidi Nelson discussed emerging technologies, trends, and the future of surgery, as part of Health Innovations Lecture Series sponsored by IHSI and Carle.

  • Cultural, linguistic gaps may deter Latinos from joining health programs

    The success of community health interventions targeting Latinos could be hindered by linguistic and cultural gaps unless researchers recognize the diversity that exists among Latino populations and work closely with community members to adapt programming accordingly, a new study suggests.

  • Study tallies extra calories Americans consume in their coffee, tea

  • Tiny exports signal big shifts in cancer tissue, researchers find

    Microscopic shifts in metabolism and increases in tiny transport vesicles out of tumor cells preface larger changes to the tumor environment and could prepare the way for cancerous cells to spread and metastasize, University of Illinois researchers report.

  • Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body’s armor

  • Tool to map gene's ‘social network’ sheds light on function, interactions and drug efficacy

  • Illinois Researchers: Submit Your Thoughts On a 10,000 Genome Grand Challenge Project

    The Mayo Clinic and Illinois Alliance is gathering feedback from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers in regard to a grand challenge proposed by the Mayo Clinic. The challenge is to develop a pipeline from genomic sequencing to clinically relevant interpretation of the data for 10,000 patient genomes per year. Information gathered through this request will inform the Illinois working group on how to proceed, by highlighting significant areas of interest from the Urbana campus.

  • What is driving Congress to potentially change Medicaid?

    With all eyes on the potential repeal of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, another fight is brewing in Congress over the future of Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program that was significantly expanded under the Affordable Care Act, says Richard L. Kaplan, the Peer and Sarah Pedersen Professor of Law at Illinois.

  • Counseling, antidepressants change personality (for the better), team reports

    University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts and his colleagues reviewed more than 200 studies of therapeutic interventions – such as counseling or the use of antidepressant drugs – which also tracked personality over time.

  • Robots that can read your mind a breakthrough for manufacturing

    Those who wish others could read their minds will enjoy a breakthrough technology out of the lab of Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas. The professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at the University of Illinois and his team have used brain computer interface (BCI) to control a robot (watch demonstration).

  • Pan Wins 2016 NML Researcher Award

    Dipanjan Pan, Bioengineering assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a recipient of the 2016 NML Researcher Award, sponsored by the journal of Nano-Micro Letters (NML). The award recognizes 15 outstanding researchers whose research fields are nano and micro science, with special consideration for those who have continuously made outstanding contributions to the development of science in the last three years.

  • IHSI to sponsor local Brain Bee for high school students

    IHSI is sponsoring a Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition for high school students. The event will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Champaign Public Library. The event is open to students between the ages of 14 and 18 years old. Registration is required by January 20, 2017.

  • Illinois Cancer Research Featured on CBS Chicago

    Their dog was near death from a brain tumor, but a new treatment – a pill for cancer – has extended her life. Now, doctors are studying if this same treatment could also help human patients. CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports.

  • BioE Students Get Inside Look at Clinical Imaging

    Wawrzyniec Dobrucki, professor in the Department of Bioengineering, and his Fall 2016 BioE 498/598 (Preclinical Molecular Imaging) students recently took tours of the imaging facilities at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL. The students were given an inside look at the different imaging modalities that are used in the clinical setting.

  • Cunningham's photonic crystal enhanced microscope sheds light on wound healing and cancer metastasis

    University of Illinois electrical and computer engineering and bioengineering professor Brian Cunningham’s Nano Sensors group has invented a novel live-cell imaging method that could someday help biologists better understand how stem cells transform into specialized cells and how diseases like cancer spread. Their Photonic Crystal Enhanced Microscope (PCEM) is capable of monitoring and quantitatively measuring cell adhesion, a critical process involved cell migration, cell differentiation, cell division, and cell death.

  • Paper: Enzyme that digests vitamin A also may regulate testosterone levels

    An enzyme that converts the dietary carotenoid beta carotene into vitamin A in the body may also regulate testosterone levels and growth of the prostate, a new study found.

  • ‘Nudges’ an inexpensive, effective way to increase completion of health promotion programs

    Keeping messages brief and simple can produce gains when trying to encourage patients to complete a health care program, says research co-written by a University of Illinois expert in social psychology.

  • By targeting gene expression in parasites, Vet Med researcher aims to end childhood disease

    As a young veterinarian in Zambia, Dr. William Witola wanted to know why the baby cows he saw were dying from a parasite resisting all treatment. Decades later, the University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine researcher is designing small molecules to silence that same parasite’s gene expression, find potential drug targets and help end a disease afflicting children around the world.

    If successful, Witola’s rapid technique would be the first of its kind to use these molecules to genetically manipulate the function of the Cryptosporidium parvum parasite, which can be deadly to humans and notoriously difficult to study.  

  • Study in rats finds low blood alcohol levels have no effect on total calories consumed

    The new findings suggest that if alcohol suppresses appetite, it does so only at blood alcohol levels corresponding to heavy intoxication in humans, Liang said.

  • Illinois researcher wants to view cancer through the eyes of mantis shrimp

    If you were able to look at life through the eyes of a mantis shrimp, what would it look like?

    More than a theoretical question on marine life, it’s how one University of Illinois researcher thinks we may be able to detect cancer earlier than we do now.

    Viktor Gruev, an associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois, has been working with an international team of scientists and researchers on a camera that could allow doctors to detect cancer cells through the use of polarized light. The inspiration for this camera came from studying the eyes of mantis shrimp.

  • Team finds new way to attach lipids to proteins, streamlining drug development

    Protein-based drugs are used in the treatment of every kind of malady, from cancer to heart disease to rheumatoid arthritis. But the proteins are almost always modified with chemical appendages that help them navigate through the body or target specific tissues. A new study reveals an efficient means of attaching lipids (fat molecules) to peptides (the building blocks of proteins). This can improve the molecules’ drug-delivery capabilities.

    The new findings are reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Yoga practice linked to lower stress, better cognitive performance in older adults

    Older adults who practiced hatha yoga three times a week for eight weeks were better able to manage stress and performed better on cognitive tests than their peers who engaged in a stretching and weight-training program for the same amount of time, researchers report in the journal Biological Psychology.

  • Licorice compound interferes with sex hormones in mouse ovary, study finds

    A study of mouse reproductive tissues finds that exposure to isoliquiritigenin, a compound found in licorice, disrupts steroid sex hormone production in the ovary, researchers report. This is the first study to examine the effects of this chemical on the ovary.                  

  • Cancer Community at Illinois Holds 2016 Annual Meeting

    On October 19, 2016, the Cancer Community at Illinois held its annual meeting at the Beckman Institute for Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Around 60 faculty researchers, staff, clinicians, postdocs, and graduate students from across campus came together for the important event.

  • Time-lapse cell imaging reveals dynamic activity

    Living cells are miniature worlds bustling with activity. A new advanced imaging method can track cells over long periods of time using only light—no dye or chemicals required—to reveal dynamics and provide insight into how cells function, develop and interact.

    Researchers from the University of Illinois and collaborators described the method, phase correlation imaging, in a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study also used PCI to look at how elements of the cell’s internal skeleton structure guide transportation within the cell.

    “The cell is a very dynamic system,” said Gabriel Popescu, an electrical and computer engineering professor and the leader of the study. “The cytoskeleton is continuously remodeling, there are vesicles that are continuously transported throughout the cell, cells communicate with one another by moving mass around. Most cell-imaging methods take a snapshot and miss this activity. It’s like looking at one frame of a football game. You get some information, but not the whole story.”

  • Illinois student combines tech and health care in startup

    Fiona Kalensky always had a tough time deciding whether she wanted to study nursing or engineering. Coming from a family of nurses and engineers, she had always been torn between the two. 

    Two years ago, as a biology major at the University of Illinois, she began a design project for a student group, Design for America, where she was given two words to investigate: caregiver fatigue

    Those two words launched a project that would later develop into Therapalz, a startup she co-founded while still a student that makes smart therapeutic companion animals to benefit the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

  • AARP and the University of Illinois announce the opening of Tech Nest at Research Park

    AARP and the University of Illinois today announced the grand opening of The Tech Nest at AARP in Research Park, the latest addition to AARP’s Innovation portfolio. The new technology lab, a 2,700 square-foot innovation-focused facility, enables AARP to collaborate with students and faculty on leading-edge, technology-based research and creative solutions to address the needs of the 50-plus population.

    The Tech Nest will focus on developing prototypes in the fields of artificial intelligence, mobile apps, information security, biometrics and software engineering. By leveraging the university’s academic research and adjacent startup community, AARP will create opportunities to enhance the daily lives for us all as we age.

    “Our presence at the Research Park is an opportunity for AARP to show up in a unique way and allows us to further disrupt aging by tapping into leading-edge, university-based research and talent,” said Jose Hernandez, VP, IT Business Operations, AARP. "Innovation is central to AARP’s mission to improve the lives of people 50-plus. By working with the University of Illinois, there is an enormous opportunity to unlock innovation and product research and development that exists within one of our nation’s world-class universities.”

    “The Tech Nest provides a unique opportunity to leverage the depth of our campus’ interdisciplinary research in aging with our strengths in data science and computing,” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign chancellor Robert Jones said. “AARP adds a welcome new dimension to the experiential learning opportunities available to our students through the Research Park.”

  • Adults with disabilities on Medicaid wait list most likely to have unmet service needs

    Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities on Illinois’ Medicaid wait list who are minorities, in poor health or unable to speak are more likely to have unmet service needs, a new study found.

    African-Americans had a greater number of unmet service needs than whites, as did people with annual household incomes below $50,000 and those who were less healthy or had less verbal ability, according to a new statewide survey of 230 caregivers.

    That these clients are not receiving needed services – including preventive health care, dental services and physical therapy – is worrisome and suggests there may be disparities that need to be addressed with policy, said the paper’s lead author, Meghan M. Burke, a special education professor at the University of Illinois.

  • Preschoolers form body images – but parents are unaware, study says

    Preschoolers may express awareness about body-image issues – but their parents may miss opportunities to promote positive body-image formation in their children because parents believe them to be too young to have these concerns, new research suggests.

    University of Illinois eating disorders and body-image expert Janet Liechty, who led the study, said young children are forming their body images – positive or negative – far earlier than many parents expect and largely outside of parental awareness.

  • Study links nutrition to brain health and cognitive aging

    A new study of older adults finds an association between higher blood levels of phosphatidylcholine, a source of the dietary nutrient choline, and greater cognitive flexibility, the ability to regulate attention to manage competing tasks. The study also identified a brain structure within the prefrontal cortex, a region at the front of the brain, that appears to play a role in this association.

    Phosphatidylcholine (pronunciation) in the blood can originate from the diet, said University of Illinois graduate student Marta Zamroziewicz, who led the study with Aron Barbey, a professor of psychology and an affiliate of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. Egg yolks, red meat and soybeans are rich sources of phosphatidylcholine, which also can be synthesized by the body, she said. Phosphatidylcholine is a key component of cell membranes.

  • Research Data Center Branch Coming to Illinois in 2017

    Great news out of the UI Department of Economics: the U.S. Census Bureau has approved the university’s application for a branch Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

  • Researchers using Blue Waters supercomputer make strides in researching treatment for Ebola, other pathogenic diseases

    Who would have thought that a method that enabled the automatic firing of anti-aircraft guns in World War II would be applicable over 70 years later? This time, though, instead of protecting London's citizens from German warplanes, it’s creating antibodies to protect humans from infectious viruses. Even the method of viral infection is similarly violent to warplanes—viruses like Ebola punch a hole in the surface of a cell to inject genetic material. This method, called smart Monte Carlo or biased random walk, can be explained in terms of evolution: Random mutations occur, but there's a bias toward those mutations that improve survival, since the lethal mutations won't get passed on.

    A team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Stanford University used this method to predict what antibody would most likely pair best with a protein that coats a virus. Their work focuses on two strains of the Ebola virus, and multiple possible mutants of both strains.