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  • Illinois scientists Erik Nelson, Kelly Swanson and Brett Loman

    Mice study suggests metabolic diseases may be driven by gut microbiome, loss of ovarian hormones

    The findings of a study in mice led by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign may shed light on the reasons why postmenopausal women have higher incidence of metabolic problems, such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  • Recreation, sport and tourism professor Liza Berdychevsky

    Ageism, mistaken beliefs complicate acceptance of older adults’ sexuality

    Despite their having generally permissive attitudes about sexuality in later life, many young adults also harbor ageist misperceptions and erroneous beliefs, according to a new study led by Liza Berdychevsky at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Portrait of Susan Schantz and Megan Woodbury in the Beckman Institute at the U. of I.

    Higher acetaminophen intake in pregnancy linked to attention deficits in young children

    A new study links increased use of acetaminophen during pregnancy – particularly in the second trimester – to modest but noticeable increases in problems with attention and behavior in 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds. The study adds to a growing body of evidence linking the frequent use of acetaminophen in pregnancy to developmental problems in offspring.

  • Portrait of Susan Schantz

    Study: Acetaminophen use during pregnancy linked to language delays in children

    Acetaminophen is considered the safest over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer available during pregnancy and studies have shown that 50%-65% of women in North America and Europe take the analgesic during pregnancy. A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign explored the relationship between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and language outcomes in early childhood. It found that increasing acetaminophen use was associated with language delays.

  • Fresh produce being sanitized in the device

    Lightning sparks scientists’ design of ultraviolet-C device for food sanitization

    Scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a self-powered device that uses UV-C light to inactivate bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. The Tribo-sanitizer could be used in the home, agricultural industries and disaster zones where electricity is limited.

  • Research team portrait.

    Team discovers rules for breaking into Pseudomonas

    Researchers report in the journal Nature that they have found a way to get antibacterial drugs through the nearly impenetrable outer membrane of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that – once it infects a person – is notoriously difficult to treat.

  • An artists rendering of an amphotericin B sterol sponge

    New antifungal molecule kills fungi without toxicity in human cells, mice

    A new antifungal molecule, devised by tweaking the structure of prominent antifungal drug Amphotericin B, has the potential to harness the drug’s power against fungal infections while doing away with its toxicity, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison report in the journal Nature.

  • Photo of James O'Dwyer

    Single model predicts trends in employment, microbiomes, forests

    Researchers report that a single, simplified model can predict population fluctuations in three unrelated realms: urban employment, human gut microbiomes and tropical forests. The model will help economists, ecologists, public health authorities and others predict and respond to variability in multiple domains, the researchers say. The new findings are detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Rashid Bashir stands in an atrium wearing a suit and tie.

    Rashid Bashir elected to National Academy of Medicine

    Rashid Bashir, the dean of The Grainger College of Engineering and a professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. A pioneer at the intersection of engineering and medicine, Bashir was elected “for seminal contributions and visionary leadership in micro and nanoscale biosensors and diagnostics, bioengineering early detection of infection and sepsis, and education in engineering-based medicine with helping to establish the world's first engineering-based medical school.”

  • Portrait of Xinzhu Yu holding a model of a brain

    Yu receives NIH Director's New Innovator Award

    Xinzhu Yu, a professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is a recipient of the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award from the NIH Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. 

    According to the NIH, the New Innovator Award “supports investigators at each career stage who propose innovative research that, due to their inherent risk, may struggle in the traditional NIH peer-review process despite their transformative potential.” The award provides $2.4 million in funding over the next five years.

  • Woman in a bathrobe seated on a bench in a hospital hallway being comforted by her physician

    Women seeking credibility in health care feel ‘on trial,’ struggle with constraints of double binds

    Women with chronic, undiagnosed conditions find themselves in several double binds while laboring to establish their credibility as a patient and the legitimacy of their medical problems with their doctors and loved ones, says a new study.

  • A YouTube icon on a device screen

    Study: YouTube did not actively direct users toward anti-vaccine content during COVID-19

    New research led by data science experts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and United Nations Global Pulse found that there is no strong evidence that YouTube promoted anti-vaccine sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, performed an algorithmic audit to examine if YouTube’s recommendation system acted as a “rabbit hole,” leading users searching for vaccine-related videos to anti-vaccine content


  • Professor Zeynep Madak-Erdogan in her lab

    ER-positive breast cancer presents differing metabolic signatures in African American, white women

    New research finds that blood levels of amino acids may predict estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in African American women while free fatty acid levels may predict the disease in non-Hispanic white women.

  • Margo Schiro, 7, gets her blood pressure taken.

    IKIDS child health research gets another boost in funding

    Seven years after an initial $17.9 million award from the National Institutes of Health, the Illinois Kids Development Study at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will receive approximately $13.7 million – awarded in two phases – to continue its work for another seven years. The money coming to Illinois is part of a national collaborative effort to explore how environmental exposures influence child development, cognition, growth and health.

  • Professor Makoto Inoue stands outside wearing a dark grey suit.

    T-cells infiltrate brain, cause respiratory distress in condition affecting the immunocompromised

    When an immunocompromised person’s system begins to recover and produce more white blood cells, it’s usually a good thing – unless they develop C-IRIS, a potentially deadly inflammatory condition. New research from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has found that the pulmonary distress often associated with C-IRIS is caused not by damage to the lungs, but by newly populated T-cells infiltrating the brain. Knowing this mechanism of action can help researchers and physicians better understand the illness and provide new treatment targets.

  • "Old Man Sorrowing (At Eternity's Gate)," a painting by Vincent Van Gogh, depicts a man hunched in a chair with his head in his hands.

    GABA receptors in brain could be targets to treat depression and its cognitive symptoms

    A new paper spanning known data about the neurotransmitter GABA and its principal receptors showcases evidence of the receptors’ importance in depression and potential as therapeutic targets. Based on evidence from research on the receptors’ function in the brain and the drugs that can activate or inhibit them, the authors propose possible mechanisms by which GABA-modulating treatments could help address the cognitive and affective symptoms associated with depression.

  • The research team sits and stands together as a group in a research setting.

    CAR-T immune therapy attacks ovarian cancer in mice with a single dose

    CAR-T immune therapies could be effective against solid tumors if the right targets are identified, a new study led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers suggests. The researchers successfully deployed CAR-T in a mouse model of ovarian cancer, a type of aggressive, solid-tumor cancer that has eluded such therapies until now.

  • The team included, from left, research scientist Chengjian Mao, graduate student Xinyi Dai, biochemistry professor David Shapiro, graduate student Junyao Zhu and molecular and integrative physiology professor Erik Nelson.

    Team identifies key driver of cancer cell death pathway that activates immune cells

    Scientists have identified a protein that plays a critical role in the action of several emerging cancer therapies. The researchers say the discovery will likely aid efforts to fine-tune the use of immunotherapies against several challenging cancers. They report their findings in the journal Cancer Research.

  • Ying Fang in her laboratory

    Team develops all-species coronavirus test

    In an advance that will help scientists track coronavirus variants in wild and domesticated animals, researchers report they can now detect exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in any animal species. Most coronavirus antibody tests require specialized chemical reagents to detect host antibody responses against the virus in each species tested, impeding research across species.

  • A hand holds two vials of solution, one pink and one blue.

    Imaging agents light up two cancer biomarkers at once to give more complete picture of tumor

    Cancer surgeons may soon have a more complete view of tumors during surgery thanks to new imaging agents that can illuminate multiple biomarkers at once, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers report. The fluorescent nanoparticles, wrapped in the membranes of red blood cells, target tumors better than current clinically approved dyes and can emit two distinct signals in response to just one beam of surgical light, a feature that could help doctors distinguish tumor borders and identify metastatic cancers.

  • A masked student from the COVID-19 pandemic

    BTN COVID-19 documentary 'The New Normal' premieres May 23

    “The New Normal,” a 30-minute documentary premiering May 23 at 1:30 p.m. CST/ 2:30 p.m. EST on the Big Ten Network, documents the journey of University of Illinois Urbana Champaign researchers to create a fast and inexpensive coronavirus test to ensure that U. of I. students, faculty and staff could remain safe and healthy during the pandemic

  • An artist's rendering of an implant with the smart coating

    Smart surgical implant coatings provide early failure warning while preventing infection

    Newly developed “smart” coatings for surgical orthopedic implants can monitor strain on the devices to provide early warning of implant failures while killing infection-causing bacteria, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers report. The coatings integrate flexible sensors with a nanostructured antibacterial surface inspired by the wings of dragonflies and cicadas.

  • The research team in the lab. A screen behind them displays brain regions involved in the new analysis. In the room behind them, an MRI machine.

    Study links nutrients, brain structure, cognition in healthy aging

    A new study found that blood markers of two saturated fatty acids along with certain omega-6, -7 and -9 fatty acids correlated with better scores on tests of memory and with larger brain structures in the frontal, temporal, parietal and insular cortices.

  • Photo of the researchers.

    Are Illinois farmers aware of the risk of tick-borne diseases?

    Illinois Ph.D. candidate Sulagna Chakraborty describes awareness of ticks and tick-borne disease among Illinois farmers.

  • Photo of the research group

    AI predicts enzyme function better than leading tools

    A new artificial intelligence tool can predict the functions of enzymes based on their amino acid sequences, even when the enzymes are unstudied or poorly understood. The researchers said the AI tool, dubbed CLEAN, outperforms the leading state-of-the-art tools in accuracy, reliability and sensitivity. Better understanding of enzymes and their functions would be a boon for research in genomics, chemistry, industrial materials, medicine, pharmaceuticals and more.

  • Photo of Brian Monson

    Study compares third-trimester sound exposures in fetuses, premature infants

    A new study is the first to compare the sound exposures of fetuses in the last 16 weeks of pregnancy with their age-matched premature peers. The analysis reveals profound differences in their exposures to noise, language and the biological sounds of the mother, with implications for the infants’ development.

  • Portrait of Kathryn Clancy

    Book tackles myths about science of menstruation

    A new book from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy takes an unflinching look at the many ways humans have struggled – and often failed – to understand one of the greatest mysteries of human biology: menstruation.

  • Sociology professor Kevin Leicht wearing a suit and tie, sitting in his office with bookshelves behind him

    What's the remedy for medical misinformation?

    Sociology professor Kevin Leicht is co-leading the development of a software app that will alert clinicians to medical misinformation that's circulating on social media so they can address it with their patients if desired.

  • Photo of professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo and graduate student Mary Ellen Mendy standing in front of an arched window

    Study examines COVID-19 pandemic's effect on Black, Latina women's mental health

    Black and Latina women had high rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms during the pandemic, but prayer had differing effects, kinesiology and community health professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo found in a study.

  • Illustration showing fentanyl pills, a syringe, an ambulance and a chunk of crystal methamphetamine.

    Study finds 'staggering increase' in methamphetamine deaths tied to opioid co-use

    The U.S. methamphetamine mortality rate increased fiftyfold between 1999 and 2021, with most of the added deaths also involving heroin or fentanyl, researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health.

  • A graphic of a DNA shield guarding a simple human figure with the liver highlighted

    Possible genetic basis and mouse model found for severe nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

    A mutant or damaged gene may be a cause of a severe, mysterious form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers have found. Mice and human liver cells lacking the SRSF1 gene show all the hallmarks of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, also known as NASH, the researchers found. The unique mouse model captures all three hallmarks of excess fat, inflammation and scarring in the liver, opening the doors to better understanding and development of treatments for NASH.

  • Photo of Dominika Pindus

    Study links exercise intensity, attentional control in late-adolescent girls

    Adolescent girls who engage in more moderate and vigorous physical activity each day have better attentional control, a new study finds. The study focused on girls and boys aged 15-18.

  • Professor Ning Wang, front right, is joined by researchers, from left, Fazlur Rashid, Kshitij Amar and Parth Bhala.

    Probe can measure both cell stiffness and traction, researchers report

    Scientists have developed a tiny mechanical probe that can measure the inherent stiffness of cells and tissues as well as the internal forces the cells generate and exert on one another. Their new “magnetic microrobot” is the first such probe to be able to quantify both properties, the researchers report, and will aid in understanding cellular processes associated with development and disease.

  • Photo of Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois who studies the ethical and policy implications of advanced biotechnologies

    Paper: California's proposal to manufacture insulin could curb prices, improve public health

    A new paper co-written by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign legal scholar Jacob S. Sherkow argues that the state of California’s proposal to manufacture and distribute insulin at cost could be a game-changer for curbing out-of-control price increases and a boon to public health.

  • Working in the lab, the team continues its work on soybean proteins

    A soybean protein blocks LDL cholesterol production, reducing risks of metabolic diseases

    Soybean varieties with greater proportions of the protein B-conglycinin reduce plasma cholesterol levels and promote liver homeostasis, showing potential for preventing fatty liver disease and atherosclerosis, according to research by food scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Photo of social work professor Ryan Wade seated at the desk in his office

    A strong ethnic identity can buffer or bolster the effects of online sexual racism in Black men

    A strong commitment to their ethnic identity may be a double-edged sword for young sexual minority Black men when they encounter sexual racism online, according to a study by U. of I. social work professor Ryan Wade.

  • Photo of U. of I. researchers.

    First test of anti-cancer agent PAC-1 in human clinical trials shows promise

    A phase I clinical trial of PAC-1, a drug that spurs programmed cell death in cancer cells, found only minor side effects in patients with end-stage cancers. The drug stalled the growth of tumors in the five people in the trial with neuroendocrine cancers and reduced tumor size in two of those patients. It also showed some therapeutic activity against sarcomas, scientists and clinicians report in the British Journal of Cancer.

  • Thomas O'Rourke portrait.

    How can we tame the gun violence epidemic?

    Thomas O’Rourke, a professor emeritus of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about how previous efforts to institute public health measures succeeded and how the same approaches can be employed to reduce the scourge of gun violence in the U.S.

  • Portrait of Aron Barbey

    Study: Network neuroscience theory best predictor of intelligence

    Scientists have labored for decades to understand how brain structure and functional connectivity drive intelligence. A new analysis offers the clearest picture yet of how various brain regions and neural networks contribute to a person’s problem-solving ability in a variety of contexts, a trait known as general intelligence, researchers report.

  • Communication professor Charee Thompson and graduate student Sara Babu

    Implicit bias prevents women from obtaining prompt treatment for health problems

    Communication professor Charee Thompson studied implicit bias in health care and women’s prolonged struggles to obtain treatment and emotional support for a variety of mental and physical health problems.

  • The researchers in the laboratory.

    Experts boost activity of potential therapeutic target in triple-negative breast cancer

    Less than 20% of diagnosed breast cancers are designated “triple-negative,” meaning that the affected tissues lack three types of receptors often found in other breast cancer types, but TNBCs are often aggressive with a higher risk of recurrence, metastasis and mortality. In a study conducted in TNBC cells and in a mouse model of the disease, researchers found that targeting a specific estrogen receptor that is sometimes present in TNBCs alters the activity of dozens of cancer-related genes and slows the growth and metastasis of these breast cancers.

  • Photo of Bo Zhang

    Paper: Neurotic personality trait a key risk factor for stress perception

    While all of the “Big Five” personality traits – agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness – are related to experiencing stress, neuroticism showed the strongest link, according to research co-written by Bo Zhang, a professor of labor and employment relations and of psychology at Illinois.

  • Karen Tabb Dina shown standing in front of a triptych in the School of Social Work lobby

    Diagnoses of suicidal ideation surged among Black pregnant women in 10-year study

    Diagnoses of suicidal ideation and depression increased dramatically among pregnant Black women from 2008-2018, according to a study led by University of Illinois social work professor Karen Tabb Dina.

  • Ian Ludden, graduate student; Janet A. Jokela, interim executive associate dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine; Sheldon H. Jacobson, professor of computer science.

    Second year of pandemic deadlier for middle aged than the first, analysis finds

    The first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic saw an increase in mortality rates, both from COVID-19 and other causes, but the groups hardest hit shifted between the first and second years, according to an analysis of publicly available data. Both years saw an increase in deaths over the five years preceding the pandemic, even with COVID-19 numbers removed. But while the first year was most deadly for those over age 65, the second year hit middle-aged adults the hardest, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers found.

  • Researchers Karen Tabb Dina, B. Andi Lee, Tuyet-Mai Ha Hoang and Kaylee Lukacena

    Study: COVID-19 policies harmed minority women's perinatal experiences, magnified inequities

    A study by a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign team explored the impact of health care providers’ COVID-19 mitigation policies on women of color who were pregnant or gave birth during the pandemic.

  • Photo of Moses Okumu standing in front of a colorful mural of men's faces

    Refugee teens in Uganda who 'sext' more likely to use condoms, studies find

    Studies led by social work professor Moses Okumu found that teens in Uganda who "sexted" were more likely to use condoms and that the online media they use may be means of providing sexual health interventions.

  • Researchers stand in the Molecule Maker Lab.

    Artificial intelligence and molecule machine join forces to generalize automated chemistry

    Artificial intelligence, building-block chemistry and a molecule-making machine teamed up to find the best general reaction conditions for synthesizing chemicals important to biomedical and materials research – a finding that could speed innovation and drug discovery as well as make complex chemistry automated and accessible.

    Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators in Poland and Canada reported their findings in the journal Science.

  • Dr. Martin Burke sits in front of the automated molecule-making machine he developed.

    Burke elected to National Academy of Medicine

    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign chemistry professor Dr. Martin D. Burke has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine for his work in chemical synthesis, molecular prosthetics and COVID-19 testing.

  • Photo of recreation, sport and tourism professor Liza Berdychevsky

    People who viewed sex as a leisure activity enjoyed more, better sex during the pandemic

    People who viewed sex as a leisure activity used their pandemic downtime to engage in more  frequent, creative and satisfying sex, U. of I. professor Liza Berdychevsky found in a recent survey. 

  • Researchers stand alongside an elongated treadmill used in the research.

    Team uses digital cameras, machine learning to predict neurological disease

    In an effort to streamline the process of diagnosing patients with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, researchers used digital cameras to capture changes in gait – a symptom of these diseases – and developed a machine-learning algorithm that can differentiate those with MS and PD from people without those neurological conditions.