As I’m sure everyone has heard by now, last month the Board of Trustees unanimously approved plans to establish the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, the nation’s first-ever college of medicine explicitly focused on the intersection of engineering and medicine. The new College of Medicine will be a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Carle Health System.
What you may not know is that the Carle-Illinois partnership is already a vibrant and thriving relationship, providing opportunities to members of both institutions for health sciences research and clinical advances. And these opportunities and resulting successes are growing through the creation of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Initiative (IHSI), charged with helping to realize the commitment of campus, as part of the Visioning Future Excellence framework, to facilitate the growth of health-related activities at Illinois. IHSI supports faculty-driven, interdisciplinary health research groups from all across campus. We help in part by forging clinical and translational research collaborations with Carle, as well as with other health systems.
Our collaboration with Carle is evidenced in the form of the Biomedical Research Center (BRC) laboratory space at the Mills Breast Cancer Institute. The BRC houses investigators engaged in clinical translational research in areas such as cancer, and it helps us foster relationships with Carle physicians to understand how Illinois researchers can partner. Several high-priority areas are identified, including oncology, neuroscience, digestive health, heart and vascular health, and sports medicine. Be on the lookout for developments in these research areas of the Carle-Illinois partnership.
Additionally, we are kicking off an NIH Leaders Seminar Series—starting April 7—that we hope will encourage many to get involved in efforts here. Our speakers will educate the campus community about priorities and developments at the National Institutes of Health, and give advice about how funding may be secured for work here. The talks will take place at locations across campus, reflecting the commitment of IHSI to engage with all of campus. Get more seminar series details at http://go.illinois.edu/nihleaders.
Together, we can change the face of science and the conduct of medicine.
Neal J. Cohen