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  • Gustavo Caetano-Anollés

    What happens when the coronavirus mutates?

    New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including a more-infectious variant first found in the United Kingdom, even as vaccines containing bits of viral genetic material are beginning distribution. In an interview, crop sciences professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés discusses viral mutation and what it could mean for vaccinations.

  • Professor Erik Procko stands with arms crossed.

    What is the new variant of coronavirus in the UK?

    New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including one in the United Kingdom with higher infection rates that has sparked new travel bans. Erik Procko, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been studying mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that binds to human cells. In an interview, Procko discussed the new variation and whether mutations to the spike protein could create resistance to vaccines or other treatments.

  • Headshots of Bobby Smith II and Eduardo Ledesma

    Two Illinois professors awarded NEH Fellowships

    Illinois professors Bobby Smith II and Eduardo Ledesma have been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for 2021.

  • The annual Carbon Budget Project report found that among other trends, the global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions caused a record drop in CO2 emissions for 2020, says Illinois atmospheric sciences professor and report co-author Atul Jain.

    2020 a bad year in many respects, but what about global carbon emissions?

    The Global Carbon Project recently published the Global Carbon Budget 2020, giving world leaders access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain was part of an international team of scientists that contributed data to the report. Jain talked about the carbon budget and this year’s findings with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian.

  • Photo of Craig Gundersen, the ACES Distinguished Professor in the department of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    How has COVID-19 affected food insecurity in the US?

    The economic devastation wrought by COVID-19 accounts for an almost 43% increase in food insecurity in the U.S., said Craig Gundersen, the ACES Distinguished Professor in the department of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Five University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professors named University Scholars.

    Five Urbana-Champaign faculty members honored as University Scholars

    Five University of Illinois professors at the Urbana-Champaign campus have been named University Scholars in recognition of their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

  • Photo of Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law and labor relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    Can employers legally require employees to vaccinate against COVID-19?

    In most cases, an employer could require an employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. While that might seem like a violation of an employee’s personal freedom, “No one has a legally enforceable right to a specific job,” says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law and labor relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Carl Bernacchi is one of six faculty members from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign named as AAAS Fellows this year.

    Six Illinois faculty members elected AAAS Fellows

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Six professors at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2020 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Evolution, ecology and behavior professor Alison Bell; plant biology professor Carl Bernacchi; bioengineering professor Rohit Bhargava; materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun; chemistry professor Prashant Jain; and materials science and engineering professor Nancy Sottos are among the 489 scientists to be awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year.

  • The Alma Mater statue wears a mask, as do Labor and Learning behind her.

    Enrollment open for study comparing COVID-19 testing methods

    Students, faculty members and staff at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who are asked to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure or a positive test now have the opportunity to participate in a study that will help inform the national effort to manage the pandemic.

  • Individual photos of each of the three researchers described in this release.

    Three Illinois scientists rank among world's most influential

    Three faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2020 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world. It is based on an analysis of journal article publication and citation data, an objective measure of a researcher’s influence, from 2009-2019.

    The highly cited Illinois researchers this year are: materials science and engineering professor Axel Hoffmann, crop sciences and plant biology professor Stephen Long, and plant biology professor Donald Ort.

  • Photo of Colleen Murphy, the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law at Illinois and an expert in political reconciliation

    Does the US need to pursue transitional justice in the post-Trump era?

    To promote accountability in government, President-elect Biden ought to pursue “transitional justice” in the aftermath of the Trump presidency, said Colleen Murphy, the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law at Illinois and an expert in political reconciliation.

  • We may want to question some assumptions about state-level voting predictions and the role of the pandemic in the recent election, says Illinois professor Scott Althaus.

    Should we rethink assumptions about the 2020 election?

    The polls prior to Election Day and other circumstances suggested to many that the presidential results would be different than they were. We may want to question some assumptions about state-level voting predictions and the role of the pandemic, says Scott Althaus, a professor of both political science and communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Craig Miller stands in the woods facing the camera. He is wearing a red and black plaid shirt and he has his hands in his pockets.

    Does hunting with lead ammunition endanger human, environmental health?

    A recent study from Wesleyan University found that 48% of ground meat samples made from white-tailed deer killed with lead shotgun slugs in Illinois were contaminated with lead, while meat from deer killed by archers contained no lead. Illinois Natural History Survey human dimensions scientist Craig Miller spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the risks associated with lead ammunition in hunting.

  • Professor Abigail Wooldridge, left, the project lead for mobileSHIELD, a mobile COVID-19 testing laboratory created by a team from the Grainger College of Engineering, gives Chancellor Robert Jones a tour of the facility. The project will bring COVID-19 testing capability to communities across Illinois and the nation.

    New mobile COVID-19 lab prototype completed

    Researchers have completed a prototype for a mobile laboratory designed to demonstrate a way to rapidly deploy the I-COVID saliva-based test for COVID-19 developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The lab, called mobileSHIELD, also could deliver other testing capability during a public health crisis, and it will serve as a rich source of human factors engineering data.

  • Christine Simmons, chief operating officer for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will be featured in an online Ebert Symposium discussion of inclusion and equity in film and media.

    Academy executive featured in Ebert Symposium on media representation

    The chief operating officer for the academy that awards the Oscars will be a featured guest for a discussion of inclusion and equity in the media, part of this year’s online Ebert Symposium.

  • The second event in this year’s online Ebert Symposium will feature three prominent documentary filmmakers: from left, Sacha Jenkins, Kirby Dick and Dawn Porter.

    Prominent documentary filmmakers featured in Ebert Symposium

    Three prominent documentary filmmakers who’ve tackled subjects ranging from biography and history to sexual assault and hip-hop will be featured guests for an online Ebert Symposium discussion, “Documentary Film and Social Change,” on Oct. 22. Kirby Dick, Sacha Jenkins and Dawn Porter have had films aired or streamed on CNN, HBO, Netflix, PBS and Showtime, among other venues. Three documentary filmmakers on the Illinois faculty will also be on the panel.

  • Photo of Jason Mazzone, the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor of Law and the director of the Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law at the College of Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Should the Senate conduct Supreme Court hearing amid pandemic, election season?

    There is no election-year exception to the process the Constitution creates for the nomination of individuals to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, says Jason Mazzone, the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor of Law and the director of the Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law at the College of Law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • The third annual Ebert Symposium, exploring film and the media industry, will be online this year on three different dates, starting Oct. 8.

    2020 Ebert Symposium to explore changing times in film, media

    Films and the media industry in changing times will be the subject of this year’s online Ebert Symposium, on Oct. 8 and two later dates, with filmmakers, media professionals and academics part of the discussion. Participants will explore the effects of the pandemic, the racial justice movement and other factors on the media industry, documentary filmmaking and media representation.

  • Illinois political science professor Brian Gaines has some suggestions for choosing how to cast a ballot this fall – by mail or in person – and what to watch for in the election.

    In person or by mail? What to consider in choosing how to vote

    Voters this fall must determine not only who they’re voting for, but also the safest way to cast a ballot. Brian Gaines, a political science professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, maps out some risks to consider and mistakes to avoid. He also cautions against leaping to conclusions about any alleged irregularities on Election Day.

  • Illinois communication professor Ned O’Gorman argues for the necessity of politics, but “authentic politics,” not winner-take-all.

    Have we gone too far trashing politics?

    We’ve gone too far in trashing politics, no matter how much the campaign season may prompt us to do so, says Ned O’Gorman, a communication professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Politics is a good thing, but our views of politics have become “twisted.” His recent book “Politics for Everybody” argues for “authentic politics” that focus on different people getting along and working things out, not winner-take-all.

  • COVID-19 testing tent

    Media alert: News conference to discuss university's plan to correct upward trend of positive COVID-19 cases

    The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s new measures for undergraduate students in response to a recent upward trend in positive COVID-19 cases will be discussed at a Zoom news conference at 3:30 p.m. today. 

  • Illinois history professor Adrian Burgos Jr. specializes in the history of sports, in particular the role of Latinos and African Americans.

    What’s different about recent athlete protests?

    In the history of protest in sports, the recent strikes by professional athletes in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are unprecedented, says Adrian Burgos Jr., a professor of history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign who specializes in the history of sports. The resumption of pro sports during a pandemic has made the players’ platform even more prominent, he says, and some have used it to try to communicate their lived reality beyond their role as athletes.

  • Photo of Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois and the director of the Labor Education Program in Chicago.

    Should government do more for the working poor during pandemic?

    Another round of federal stimulus checks and increased unemployment benefits would be “economic stabilizers” for the working poor during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, says U. of I. labor expert Robert Bruno.

  • Portrait of Thomas O'Rourke. He is wearing a dark red shirt and smiling.

    Will a coronavirus vaccine be a cure-all?

    Global health authorities are frantically pursuing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus in the hope that it will allow everyone to get back to a pre-COVID-19 reality ASAP. Thomas O’Rourke, a professor emeritus of community health, says those expectations are probably overblown.

  • Illinois validates saliva-based test for COVID-19

    The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is now performing its new rapid, saliva-based COVID-19 test on all students, faculty members and staff.

  • Photo of Ian Brooks, the director of the Center for Health Informatics

    Where does the U.S. withdrawal leave the World Health Organization?

    A global response, such as that organized by the World Health Organization, is needed to control the COVID-19 pandemic, says Ian Brooks, a research scientist whose focus is global health informatics.

  • Chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Bill Hammack, aka “the engineering guy,” has won the prestigious Hoover Medal for his civic and humanitarian contributions to engineering.

    Illinois 'engineer guy' Hammack awarded Hoover Medal

    Bill Hammack, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded the Hoover Medal.

  • Roger Ebert’s Film Festival will be in September 2021, rather than April.

    2021 Roger Ebert's Film Festival moved to September

    The 2021 edition of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” has been moved to early September due to uncertainties related to COVID-19.

  • Professors Nigel Goldenfeld and Sergie Maslov will discuss COVID-19 modeling at the state and campus levels in the latest COVID-19 Briefing Series this Thursday.

    Media advisory: COVID-19 Briefing Series to discuss state and campus-level modeling

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones will join campus experts to discuss modeling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois – at the state and campus levels – during an event Thursday. 

  • Center for Advanced Study appoints seven professors to permanent faculty

    Seven University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign faculty members have been named Center for Advanced Study Professors, one of the highest forms of campus recognition.

  • Illinois professor Jay Rosenstein directed a 1997 documentary on the use of American Indian mascots in sports, and says “nothing compares” to the retirement of Redskins by the NFL team in Washington, D.C.

    Why is the NFL team in Washington, D.C., changing its name?

    The NFL team in the nation’s capital will no longer be the Redskins. It’s the highest-profile retirement of an American Indian name by a sports team in decades, says Jay Rosenstein, an Illinois professor of media and cinema studies. His documentary on the use of American Indian mascots in sports aired in 1997 and he has closely followed the issue since.

  • Photo of U. of I. labor historian Daniel A. Gilbert.

    Can Major League Baseball owners, players avoid another work stoppage?

    A coronavirus-abbreviated Major League Baseball season will open amid the backdrop of significant labor tension between owners and players, says U. of I. labor historian Daniel A. Gilbert.

  • Professor of anthropology Kathryn Clancy

    Awards recognize campus excellence in public engagement

    The 2020 Campus Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement recognize outstanding individual and group outreach efforts.

  • Illinois professors Leanne Knobloch, left, and Angharad Valdivia have been elected Fellows of the International Communication Association.

    Two Illinois communication scholars elected ICA Fellows

    Leanne Knobloch and Angharad Valdivia, both professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have been elected Fellows of the International Communication Association, in recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication. Two other Illinois faculty members received the same honor last year.

  • Chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Diwakar Shukla leads one of eight Illinois projects awarded funding from the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute to help mitigate COVID-19.

    Eight projects awarded funding for AI research to mitigate COVID-19

    Eight University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign projects are among 26 to receive the first C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute awards for artificial intelligence techniques to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The institute will provide a total of $5.4 million over the next year to projects that examine the medical, social and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus and inspire researcher collaboration in advanced machine learning and other AI disciplines. 

  • Photo of Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the U. of I. College of Law.

    Where does the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program stand?

    Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its favor, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program remains a stopgap measure at best. The permanent fix is a comprehensive immigration bill that looks something like the former DREAM Act, says Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the U. of I. College of Law.

  • Illinois advertising professor Jason Chambers specializes in the history of advertising related to African Americans.

    Why are familiar brands with Black images getting a rethink?

    At least one familiar brand is being retired and others are getting a rethink due to their use of Black images. Illinois advertising professor Jason Chambers explains why.

  • Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty Leadership were awarded in the categories of faculty mentoring, executive officer distinguished leadership and faculty leadership.

    Four faculty members honored with Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty Leadership

    Four University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty members were honored by the Office of the Provost with the Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty Leadership.

  • Illinois architecture professor Benjamin Bross

    How will public spaces change as result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Pandemics have changed our physical spaces throughout history, but changes made as a result of COVID-19 may not be long-lasting, says Illinois architecture professor Benjamin Bross.

  • 1.	Michael Schlosser is the director of the Police Training Institute, which has developed training programs that give police officers a better understanding of their own implicit biases and expose them to some of the issues that will be important when they interact with diverse communities.

    What can police trainers learn from the current crisis?

    Police reform is on the national agenda in response to the choking death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in late May – and many other such incidents before and since. Police Training Institute director Michael Schlosser weighed in on the current crisis. Based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the PTI trains dozens of police departments across the state of Illinois. Schlosser spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates.

  • Four students at the University of Illinois were selected to study in world regions critical to U.S. interests as recipients of David L. Boren Scholarships.

    Illinois students awarded Boren Scholarships

    Four students at the University of Illinois were selected to study languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests as recipients of David L. Boren Scholarships.

  • A. Naomi Paik, a professor of Asian American studies at Illinois, studies policing and prisons as part of her research.

    Why the calls for defunding police?

    Calls for defunding or even abolishing the police in the wake of George Floyd’s death may sound radical to many, but the idea is not new, says A. Naomi Paik, a professor of Asian American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Deniz Namik is among 14 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and recent alumni who were offered Fulbright grants.

    U of I students, alumni awarded Fulbright grants

    Fourteen University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and recent alumni were offered Fulbright grants to pursue international education, research and teaching experiences across the globe this coming year.

  • Travis Dixon is a professor of communication at Illinois whose research deals with stereotypes in the mass media and their impact.

    Is it possible to overcome our biases in the face of conflict?

    Our biases, conscious and unconscious, influence how we process news of events like the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, and the media plays an important part in forming and reinforcing those biases, says Travis Dixon, a professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Support community members in need through the Faculty and Staff Emergency Fund

    Since its inception in 1992, the Faculty and Staff Emergency Fund has helped more than 1,000 academic professionals, faculty members and staff.

  • COVID-19 Experts graphic

    COVID-19 experts available for news media interviews

    Experts from a variety of fields at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are available to the news media to discuss COVID-19-related topics.

  • COVID-19 has added to trends working against theaters, but they won’t disappear, says Derek Long, a professor media and cinema studies at Illinois.

    Will movie theaters survive COVID-19?

    Summer is normally a season for blockbusters, but movie theaters will have special challenges this year, starting with a gamble on a few July releases. Derek Long, a professor of media and cinema studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, looks at the present and future of the business.

  • Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo

    Faculty members, staff, teaching assistants honored with Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction

    Faculty and staff members and graduate teaching assistants this spring were honored with Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction. The awards recognize excellence in teaching, mentoring and advising.

  • Photo of Richard L. Kaplan, an internationally recognized expert on U.S. tax policy and the Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law at Illinois.

    What effect will COVID-19 have on end-of-life and retirement issues?

    The continued spread of COVID-19 ought to prompt adults to start seriously thinking about end-of-life issues such as writing a will, said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign law professor and elder law expert Richard L. Kaplan.

  • Photo of Jason Mazzone, the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor of Law and the director of the Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law at the College of Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Will live broadcasts of oral arguments be a permanent fixture at the Supreme Court?

    The Supreme Court’s livestream of its oral arguments is likely a temporary measure due to COVID-19, said Jason Mazzone, the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor of Law and the director of the Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law at the College of Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.