News Bureau

Research News Campus News About

blog navigation

News Bureau - Research


  • Communication professor Charee Thompson, Dr. Tiffani Dillard and communication professor Mardia Bishop in a patient exam room

    Virtual reality training for physicians aims to heal disparities in Black maternal health care

    A new virtual reality training series being co-developed by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign teaches medical students about implicit bias in health care and the ways it harms Black patients and contributes to race-based health disparities.

  • A man stands, arms crossed, in front of a banner with cellular imagery

    How do drugs like Ozempic work for weight loss?

    New weight-loss drugs like those sold under the names Ozempic and Wegovy can be life-changing for those with type 2 diabetes or severe obesity, but are not the best choice for those only looking to lose a few pounds, says Patrick Sweeney, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor of molecular and integrative physiology. 

  • Two men look at cell images on a screen

    Light targets cells for death and triggers immune response with laser precision

    A new method of precisely targeting troublesome cells for death using light could unlock new understanding of and treatments for cancer and inflammatory diseases, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers report.

  • Team members, from left, first author Sehyun Ju, professor Kelly Bost and graduate student Samantha Iwinski

    Emotional overeating fed by temperament, caregivers’ reactions to children’s emotions

    The roots of emotional overeating may be found in temperament and self-regulation of one’s emotions, but caregivers’ responses to children’s negative emotions also influence whether those as young as age 3 eat to ease their distress, according to new study by researchers at the U. of I.

  • Two men in front of projected microscope images.

    A heart of stone: Study defines the process of and defenses against cardiac valve calcification

    The human body has sophisticated defenses against the deposition of calcium minerals that stiffen heart tissues, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators at UCLA Health and the University of Texas at Austin found in a new study that provides the first detailed, step-by-step documentation of how mineralization progresses.

  • Zeynep Madak-Erdogan photo portrait.

    Study links neighborhood violence, lung cancer progression

    Scientists have identified a potential driver of aggressive lung cancer tumors in patients who live in areas with high levels of violent crime. Their study found that stress responses differ between those living in neighborhoods with higher and lower levels of violent crime, and between cancerous and healthy tissues in the same individuals.

  • The researchers in a laboratory.

    Gut microbes from aged mice induce inflammation in young mice, study finds

    When scientists transplanted the gut microbes of aged mice into young “germ-free” mice — raised to have no gut microbes of their own — the recipient mice experienced an increase in inflammation that parallels inflammatory processes associated with aging in humans. Young germ-free mice transplanted with microbes from other young mice had no such increase.

  • Team members Xavier Ramirez, Karen Tabb and Sandra Kopels.

    State of Illinois a leader in legislation on perinatal mental health, study says

    Despite the state of Illinois' exemplary record in advancing policies on the detection and treatment of perinatal mental health problems, more work remains to be done, according to a review of the state's policies by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • The research team standing on stairs.

    New antibiotic kills pathogenic bacteria, spares healthy gut microbes

    Researchers have developed a new antibiotic that reduced or eliminated drug-resistant bacterial infections in mouse models of acute pneumonia and sepsis while sparing healthy microbes in the mouse gut. The drug, called lolamicin, also warded off secondary infections with Clostridioides difficile, a common and dangerous hospital-associated bacterial infection, and was effective against more than 130 multidrug-resistant bacterial strains in cell culture.

  • Graduate student Yingqi Jia, left, and professor Shelly Zhang in their lab

    Researchers introduce programmable materials to help heal broken bones

    Natural materials like bone, bird feathers and wood have an intelligent approach to physical stress distribution, despite their irregular architectures. However, the relationship between stress modulation and their structures has remained elusive. A new study that integrates machine learning, optimization, 3D printing and stress experiments allowed engineers to gain insight into these natural wonders by developing a material that replicates the functionalities of human bone for orthopedic femur restoration.

  • A colored microscope image depicting a green nerve surrounded by red and blue muscle cells.

    Nerves prompt muscle to release factors that boost brain health

    Exercise prompts muscles to release molecular cargo that boosts brain cell function and connection, but the process is not well understood. New research from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found that the nerves that tell muscles to move also prompt them to release more of the brain-boosting factors.

  • Photo of Dr. Lowe standing near a cattle feed lot.

    How does bird flu infect so many species?

    Dr. James Lowe, a professor of veterinary clinical medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, describes the factors that influence infection with the H5N1 virus in humans and other animals.

  • Communication professor Brian Quick and graduate students Ethan Morrow and Minhey Chung.

    Emotional radio ads may ease listeners’ qualms, boosting support for organ donation

    Radio ads that tug at listeners' heartstrings with the personal stories of transplant recipients or patients on the waiting list may overcome the qualms of many nondonor listeners, persuading them to support organ donation, says new research by scholars at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Two researchers stand in suits while a shadowed research subject performs a motor task while wearing a sensor on their hand.

    Wearable sensors for Parkinson’s can improve with machine learning, data from healthy adults

    Low-cost, wearable sensors could increase access to care for patients with Parkinson’s disease. New machine-learning approaches and a baseline of data from healthy older adults improve the accuracy of the results from such sensors, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers and clinical collaborators found in a new study.

  • Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo

    Perinatal women of Mexican descent propose solutions to pandemic-related stressors affecting Latinos

    Perinatal women of Mexican descent living in San Diego proposed solutions to the hardships they faced obtaining food and mental health treatment during the pandemic in a study led by kinesiology and community health professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Karen Tabb Dina in the School of Social Work building

    Paper: Policy reforms urgently needed to mitigate racial disparities in perinatal mental health conditions

    Significant reforms in U.S. health care and antipoverty policies are needed to mitigate the stark disparities in perinatal mental health care that place women of color at greater risk of mortality, according to a team of researchers that includes social work professor Karen Tabb Dina.

  • Anton Ivanov and Ujjal Kumar Mukherjee, both professors of business administration at Illinois.

    Study: Default testing for COVID-19 in K-12 schools more effective than voluntary testing

    Schools adopting a test-to-stay program in which students were regularly tested for COVID-19 unless they proactively “opted out” of testing experienced an 84% higher testing rate and a 30% lower positivity rate than schools with a voluntary “opt-in” testing model, says a study co-written by Anton Ivanov and Ujjal Kumar Mukherjee, both professors of business administration at Illinois.

  • Two researchers sit with an image of an atomic-level simulation of DNA, shown in red, packed into a viral capsid, shown in blue

    First atom-level structure of packaged viral genome reveals new properties, dynamics

    A computational model of the more than 26 million atoms in a DNA-packed viral capsid expands our understanding of virus structure and DNA dynamics, insights that could provide new research avenues and drug targets, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers report in the journal Nature.

  • Two researchers stand next to equipment onto which an image of neuron scans is projected in the Tsai Lab at Burrill Hall.

    Earliest-yet Alzheimer’s biomarker found in mouse model could point to new targets

    A surge of a neural-specific protein in the brain is the earliest-yet biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease, report University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers studying a mouse model of the disease. Furthermore, the increased protein activity leads to the seizures associated with the earliest stages of neurodegeneration, and inhibiting the protein in the mice slowed the onset and progression of seizure activity.

  • 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.