Bioresearchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have invented an ingenious method for shining light on one of the most mysterious organs we have: the brain. Their tool of choice is a thin, flat LED that can be seamlessly and innocuously injected, causing minimum invasiveness and disturbance. The LEDs will help advance our understandings of bodily organs like the brain through the field of optogenetics.
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When it comes to developing drugs for disease prevention and treatment, sometimes it is best not to reinvent the wheel- especially when nature holds so many solutions to those enterprising (or fortunate) individuals who know where to look. One such researcher, Professor Brian Murphy of the University of Illinois, Chicago, collects hundreds of possibly curative species of bacteria from one of nature’s least explored resources: the floors of lakes and oceans.
In the interest of keeping at the forefront of modern bioresearch, the University of Illinois Chicago has just announced the construction of a cell regeneration research center at its College of Medicine at Rockford. If the topic of cell regeneration sounds familiar, recall that the Mayo Clinic in Rochester is also a pioneer in regenerative medicine. (You can read our blog on the subject here.) The motivation for the center began with a three million dollar grant from the CWB foundation, which supports projects that benefit disabled people. Thanks to this grant and matching university funds, UIC will be able to join the biotechnology leaders who are performing research in this quickly growing field.
The University of Illinois at Chicago was recently awarded $9.6 million in the form of a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish an Autism Center of Excellence. The center will be one of five funded centers in the United States, and it is the only one in the Midwest. Nationally, the NIH awards $100 million for the Autism Centers of Excellence research program.
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At the University of Illinois at Chicago, biochemists have developed an intuitive solution to the age-old problem of macular degeneration, the leading cause of loss of vision for people over the age of fifty. Their new product is a light-sensitive molecule that can restore vision lost from degenerative eye diseases.
A University of Illinois, Chicago discovery may hold the solution to successfully treating recovering stroke victims. After surviving a stroke, these outpatients can go through years of physical therapy in an attempt to regain one of the most important senses we as people have: our sense of balance. Without it, walking and moving become constant challenges, and the fear of falling becomes an everyday struggle. However, Alexander Aruin, a physical therapy professor at UI Chicago, has made a discovery that could change the lives of these stroke survivors for the better.
Construction of an exciting new research facility was recently announced for the University of Illinois at Chicago. According to a UIC news article, Illinois Governor Quinn declared the commencement of the Advanced Chemical Technology Building (ACTB), which will house researchers from chemistry, biology, and physics. The driving idea behind the building is to foster connections between the three broad fields to focus on specific fields like immunology, orthopedics, tumor growth, and nanoscience.
Argonne National Lab and the University of Chicago are pooling their resources with the establishment of UC's new Institute for Molecular Engineering. Researchers at the Institute will explore ways of fabricating and manipulating nanoscale structures to develop new technologies. The germination of the Institute comes from years of molecular research in the basic sciences, both physical and biological, and the desire to craft solutions to real world problems from those scientific insights. The new partnership will benefit not only from the resources of both the National Lab and the University of Chicago, but from the interdisciplinary nature of the Institute's approach to scientific problems.
Vice Chancellor for Research Joe G.N. Garcia had overall good news to announce in his Feb. 16, 2011 report on the state of research and funding at the University of Illinois, Chicago. The most promising statistic is that UIC has turned a corner with regard to sponsored research funding: for the first time in five years, funding increased, from $347M to $412M for the fiscal year ending in 2010. (The previous year had actually shown a decline.)