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  • Illinois researchers investigate neuron coding for advances in prosthetics

    “There is a mathematically optimum strategy for coding and transmitting signals in the most ideal way, and neurons have evolved biophysical mechanisms to find that way,” said Ratnam. "Neurons are not noisy or unreliable coders as is believed. They are precise devices and they encode information with the fidelity needed for a given physiological function.

  • Illinois Researchers Receive Endocrine Society's Koch Lifetime Achievement Award

    The award honors Benita S. Katzenellenbogen and John A. Katzenellenbogen for their exceptional contributions to the field of endocrinology.

  • 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.

  • Illinois researchers to develop neural probe for monitoring brain chemistry

    An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bioengineering, and Chemistry joined forces to develop a highly sensitive neural probe to monitor brain chemistry. The team received $3 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a silicon platform technology for monitoring simultaneously a broad range of neurochemicals in the brain with high spatio-temporal resolution and minimal tissue damage. 

  • 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.

  • Illinois scientists find stem cell proliferation is controlled directly by nervous system

    Somatic stem cells are microscopic workhorses, constantly regenerating cells throughout the body: skin and the lining of the intestine, for example. And to University of Illinois neuroscientists, they represent untapped potential.

  • 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. 

  • Illinois, UCSF receive $2.9 million grant to study environmental influences on child health

    The National Institutes of Health announced $2.9 million in new funding to the University of Illinois and the University of California, San Francisco for studies to determine how maternal exposure to stress and to hormone-disrupting chemicals during pregnancy affect birth outcomes and child brain development.

    The funding is for the first two years of what is expected to be a seven-year effort, with more funding as the work progresses. The support will allow the researchers, who already are engaged in separate studies, to combine their efforts and expand the pool of subjects they follow. Their work will be part of a national, seven-year initiative involving approximately 50,000 children from existing studies. The NIH has committed $157 million this fiscal year to the larger initiative, which is called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes.

  • Increased Risk of Suicide, Mental Health Conditions Linked to Sexual Assault Victimization

    Suicidality, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions are “not uncommon responses to sexual assault,” said U. of I. psychology professor Nicole Allen, a co-author on a new analysis of sexual assault victimization and mental health outcomes.

  • In Impoverished Communities, Healthcare Awareness as Important as Access, Affordability

    New research co-written by Gies College of Business professor Ujjal Kumar Mukherjee studies the interdependence of affordability, awareness and access for health care delivery by nonprofits in underserved countries.

  • In rats, perinatal exposure to phthalates impairs brain structure and function

    Scientists, including postdoctoral researcher Jari Willing, former graduate student Daniel Kougias, and psychology professor Janice Juraska, found that perinatal exposure to phthalates caused cognitive and neurological deficits in rats. Kougias is now a scientist at Cardno ChemRisk.

  • Is autism a disorder, an identity or both?

    Speech and hearing science professor Laura DeThorne, center, and doctoral students Henry Angulo and Veronica Vidal discuss how the neurodiversity movement recognizes autistic individuals’ unique experiences, skills and strengths, and resists the medicalization of autism.

  • ISE researchers develop improved crutch using flexible robotics

    Researchers at the University of Illinois are using robotics to make crutches safer and more comfortable.

  • Is It Possible To Wipe Out Those Bad Memories?

    The impact of painful experiences can last a lifetime. A new study says it is possible to wipe out memories that cause stress and even induce insomnia in some individuals. A 2014 study by Florin Dolcos, a professor of psychology and member of Beckman’s Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, was mentioned in an article in International Business Times about the recent study. “Looking away from the worst emotions and thinking about the context, like a friend who was there or what the weather was like, will rather effortlessly take your mind away from the unwanted emotions associated with a negative memory,” Dolcos said.

  • Key to Willpower Lies in Believing You Have it in Abundance

    People who believe they have an abundant supply of self-control are more likely to feel invigorated by mentally taxing activities than people who believe their willpower is a finite resource, according to a new study by University of Illinois educational psychology professor Christopher Napolitano.

  • Lam Developing Advanced Imaging Techniques to Study Brain Function and Characterize Diseases

    Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Fan Lam is developing and applying advanced magnetic resonance (MR)-based techniques to more accurately map the molecular information in the brain. The ability to map and quantify molecular fingerprints of neural tissues would have significant impact on the study of the physiological basis of brain functions and neurodegenerative diseases, early diagnosis of central nervous system disorders, as well as accurate monitoring of treatment efficacy on these diseases.

  • Large, crystalline lipid scaffolds bring new possibilities to protein, drug research

    University of Illinois engineering professor Cecilia Leal, left, and graduate student Hojun Kim have developed a large, crystalline lipid structure that can support much larger proteins and molecules than before.

  • 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.                  

  • Li selected as dean and chief academic officer of Carle Illinois College of Medicine

    King Li, M.D., MBA, the senior associate dean for clinical and translational research at Wake Forest University and the deputy director of that university’s comprehensive cancer center, will become the inaugural dean and chief academic officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine effective Oct. 1.

    The appointment will be considered by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at its Sept. 8 meeting.

  • Lutein May Counter Cognitive Aging, Study Finds

    Lutein may play a protective role against age-related cognitive decline, suggests a study by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Naiman Khan and postdoctoral researcher Anne Walk.

  • Magical Organization Gives Kids a Summer to Remember

    Since 2007, Camp Kesem student volunteers have created a fun escape for children in central and western Illinois dealing with their parents’ cancer, in the form of a week-long summer camp.

  • Mantis shrimp-inspired camera enables glimpse into hidden world

    Illinois electrical and computer engineering professor Viktor Gruev, right, and graduate student Missael Garcia have developed a camera capable of sensing both color and polarization by mimicking the eye of the mantis shrimp that may improve early cancer detection and provide new understanding of underwater phenomena. 

  • Many applied to be in inaugural Carle Illinois College of Medicine class

    Despite an abbreviated recruiting season that began last October, the college received almost 1,100 applications, and 533 followed through with the more rigorous secondary application process.

  • Massive Simulation Shows HIV Capsid Interacting With its Environment

    Physics professor Klaus Schulten and postdoctoral researcher Juan R. Perilla conducted a 64-million-atom simulation of the HIV capsid. Video shows simulation of HIV capsid. Yellow and blue particles are ions flowing into and out of the capsid.

  • Maternal protein deficiency during pregnancy ‘memorized’ by fetal muscle cells

    A new study has uncovered the genetic processes that link insufficient protein consumption during pregnancy with the development of muscle problems in mothers and their male offspring.

  • Mayo Clinic and Illinois Seeking Interns in Information Technology and Biomedical Informatics

    Are you interested in learning about the human microbiome and metabolic models, big data technologies, bioinformatics algorithm development, natural language processing methods or developing tools/applications for complex data visualization and analytics? Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have a long standing partnership, and we are now offering internships to give you a unique opportunity with some of the most talented and experienced Research, Biomedical Informatics and IT specialists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

  • Mcelwain looks at how caregiving impacts brain power

    Nancy McElwain, a professor of human development and family studies, examines how caregiving impacts brain development and emotional well-being.

  • Media Portrayals of Pregnant Women, New Moms Unrealistic, Study Says

    Media portrayals of pregnant and postpartum women are unrealistic and may heighten women’s self-consciousness and dissatisfaction with their bodies, women said in a new study led by University of Illinois recreation, sport and tourism professor Toni Liechty.

  • Microbial changes in the gut may be behind broccoli’s anti-cancer power

    A new University of Illinois study shows that microbial changes that occur in the human gut microbiome after eating broccoli might be behind the vegetable’s anti-cancer power.

  • Molecular beacon signals low oxygen with ultrasound

    A photoacoustic molecular probe that activates in tissues low in oxygen could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of cancer, stroke and blocked or narrowed blood vessels.

  • ‘Molecular prosthetics’ can replace missing proteins to treat disease

    Molecular prosthetics are small molecules that can replace missing proteins to treat diseases. Illinois professor Martin Burke describes one that could treat anemia by replacing an iron transport protein.

  • 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.

  • Neuroimaging reveals lasting brain deficits in iron-deficient piglets

    Animal sciences professor Ryan Dilger, left, graduate student Austin Mudd and their colleagues used neuroimaging to study how iron deficiency influences piglet brain development. The findings may have implications for human infant brain development.

  • Dan Llano

    New $750K NSF Brain Grant awarded to Dan Llano

    Congratulations to Assistant Professor in neuroscience at the College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign, Dan Llano (PI), on a new 3-year NSF grant with co-PIs from the UIC Department of Computer Science, Associate Professor Tanya Berger-Wolf and Professor Robert Kenyon, entitled “CRCNS: Community Dynamic Imaging of Corticothalamic Projections.” The total award amount is $750,000, with $375,039 going to UIC; the official start date is October 1, 2015.

  • New Academic-Industry Center Established for Molecular Imaging of Drugs

    A new industry-supported center located at the Beckman Institute plans to image molecules, live cells, and tissues in the body before, during, and after drug treatment in order to understand the efficacy of the drugs and the response of the body to treatments.

  • New Camera Gives Surgeons a Butterfly’s-eye View of Cancer

    Postdoctoral researcher Missael Garcia and professor Viktor Gruev led a team that developed a multispectral camera to guide cancer surgery, inspired by the eyes of the morpho butterfly.

  • New Cancer Center at Illinois Unites Powerhouse Programs, Facilities, and Researchers

    Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have a long history of innovation and discovery in the life sciences, engineering, supercomputing, and imaging. Now, they are launching a new center of interdisciplinary collaboration—the Cancer Center at Illinois—to make a greater impact in the fight against the second leading cause of death in Illinois and the United States.

  • New Crop Awarded: Carle Illinois Collaborative Research Seed Funding Program

    Jointly funded projects address the partnerships’ priorities in clinical and translational research.

  • New handheld spectral analyzer uses smartphone to detect disease

    Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments. Costing only $550, the spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity (TRI)-Analyzer from Bioengineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Brian Cunningham's lab attaches to a smartphone and analyzes patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as clinic-based instruments that cost thousands of dollars.

  • New Microscope Technique Reveals Internal Structure of Live Embryos

    Marcello Rubessa, Gabriel Popescu and Matthew B. Wheeler teamed up to produce 3-D images of live cattle embryos that could help determine embryo viability before in vitro fertilization in humans.

  • New NIH-funded research aims to improve prostate cancer outcomes

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers recently received a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a new assay technology that could determine the effectiveness of cancer drug treatments and aid in disease prognosis. Led by Illinois Bioengineering Assistant Professor Andrew Smith, the team is focusing on detecting nucleic acid-based biomarkers in a single drop of a cancer patient's blood.

  • New Optical Method Promises Faster, more Accurate Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

    A new optical method for more quickly and accurately determining whether breast tissue lesions are cancerous is described by University of Illinois researchers in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

  • New Research Shows Childhood Concussions Impair Brain Function

    Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman and his team are continuing to investigate the link between childhood concussions and brain function.

  • New student group spreads the love

    Love Your Melon (LYM), an apparel brand founded in 2012 and run by college students across the United States, has been active on the University of Illinois campus since 2014. Love Your Melon’s mission is to give a hat to every child in America who is battling cancer. To reach this goal, LYM recruits “College Campus Ambassadors” from over 300 educational institutions, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to help with the marketing and sales of their products.

    Sophie Lanser, an Illinois engineering student and Crew Captain of LYM on campus, became interested in Love Your Melon when she was searching online for a winter hat to purchase. The rest is history. Since the chapter’s start in December 2014, Lanser said she has been surprised by the success of LYM and the support it has received.

  • New Synthetic Tumor Environments Make Cancer Research More Realistic

    Tumors are notoriously difficult to study in their natural habitat—body tissues—but a new synthetic tissue environment may give cancer researchers the next-best look at tumor growth and behavior.

  • New technique can track drug and gene delivery to cells

    Illinois professor Andrew Smith and graduate student Mohammad Zahid developed a technique to track molecules that deliver drugs and genes to cells.

  • New technology uses computational techniques to more clearly see individual rods and cones, the cells that detect light in the back of the eye.

    New Technology Looks into the Eye and Brings Cells into Focus

    Dr. Stephen Boppart led a team that developed a new medical imaging device that can see individual cells in the back of the eye to better diagnose and track disease.

  • New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progression

    Illinois researchers developed a tissue-imaging microscope that can image living tissue in real time and molecular detail, allowing them to monitor tumors and their environments as cancer progresses.

  • New web portal bridges tech tool gap for researchers

    Members of the Research IT team at Technology Services conducted their own research during an initiative called the Year of Cyberinfrastructure and discovered, importantly, that campus researchers often were not aware of technology tools or training opportunities, and that when they did know, those resources were difficult to find.

    The solution was a brand-new portal at researchit.illinois.edu. The website is organized simply by resources, research news and trainings, and is a gateway to those resources, events, and research news that can enhance any researcher’s knowledge and work at Illinois.

  • NIH director's blog cites oncological work of Professors Fan, Chang

    Many people share their homes with their pet dogs. Spending years under the same roof with the same environmental exposures, people and dogs have something else in common that sometimes gets overlooked. They can share some of the same diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. By studying these diseases in dogs, researchers can learn not only to improve care for people but for their canine friends as well.