This Week in Illinois Research

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“This Week in Illinois Research” is a weekly communication for the campus research community, from the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation Susan Martinis. 


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Hindsight, Foresight

From the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was significant discussion about the genomic revolution and what it would mean for society. On our campus, a group of faculty proposed the creation of a new research facility, called the Post Genomic Institute, to advance life sciences research and stimulate bioeconomic development in the state of Illinois. With visionary support from campus leadership and a $70+ M investment from the state, the building that is now known as the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology opened its doors in 2007.

It’s hard to overstate how successful the Institute has been—in less than two decades, the IGB has supported powerful new scientific discoveries and research directions; helped create new companies and new ventures; offered hundreds of unique educational and outreach experiences; and brought in more than $520M in research funding to the campus. Earlier this year, the state of Illinois issued a commendation of the IGB for “15 years of significant societal, scientific, and scholarly contributions made to research at the intersection of science and society within the state of Illinois.”

Strategically leading the University's research enterprise is a long game, and the IGB's story is just beginning. It's exciting to think how the ambitious plans we are making today will shape the campus in the years ahead.

Sincerely,

Susan

Featured Stories

Data Shows SHIELD Program a Model for Effective Pandemic Management

A paper published in Nature Communications explores the SHIELD: Target, Test, Tell program and its innovations in modeling, saliva testing, and results reporting that helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19, providing a model for effective pandemic management.

Cover Crops Not Enough to Improve Soil After Decades of Continuous Corn

A recent study on the short-term use of cover crops concluded that the practice doesn't improve soil after decades of continuous corn and heavy nitrogen fertilizer use. Nearly 20% of Illinois cropland is planted in continuous corn.      

NCSA Supercomputers Help Accurately Predict Volcanic Eruption

A team led by Trish Gregg worked with NCSA to accurately predict the day of a volcanic event at the Sierra Negra Volcano in Galápagos, Ecuador—five months in a

Around Campus

Register Your Lab for the 2022 Freezer Challenge

Register your lab for the 2022 International Freezer Challenge and help maintain the Illinois research community’s track record of 1st place in cold-storage sample management. 

Attend Summer Workshops at the College of Law

Make plans to attend upcoming workshops on social and behavioral science research relevant to the legal system. Topics include arbitration, climate change, gun control, and abortion; the first workshop is June 30.

Anthropologist Discovers Molar of a Denosivan Girl in Laos

Working with a tip from children from a village near their dig site, Laura Shackelford and a team of researchers found an ancient molar of a Denosivan girl, an extinct group that was closely related to both modern humans and Neandertals.

Energy & Biosciences Institute Enters into New Five-Year Research Agreement with Shell

The Energy & Biosciences Institute (EBI) has entered into a new five-year research agreement with Shell to continue funding research that meets the growing demand for energy in ways that are economically, environmentally, and socially responsible. Chris Rao is the project's deputy director. 

Inaugural Interseminars Cohort Launches with Summer Intensive

HRI's inaugural 2022-23 Interseminars Cohort recently gathered to explore innovation in arts and humanities research and to "present about their scholarship, framework, and understanding of speculative practice as they plan a new course for Spring 2023."

Save the Date for the HEAL Virtual "Open House"

Save the date for the Health and Environmental Applications Laboratory's virtual "open house" on July 14th. Attend to learn about HEAL's capabilities and how you might partner with the lab. Register here.

National Landscape

New App Helps Researchers Explore Ethical Dilemmas

Nature recently showcased a new app that helps scholars explore ethical dilemmas by providing research-integrity puzzles that aim to open up discussions among scientists.

Science and Technology: Public Perceptions, Awareness, and Information Sources

new NSF report explores the general public's perceptions, awareness, and information sources related to science and technology.  

As Professors Struggle to Recruit Postdocs, Calls for Structural Change in Academia Intensify

U.S. scholars are experiencing widespread challenges recruiting postdocs—in some cases applications are 10 times less than just a few years ago. The challenges have led to calls for structural changes to entice talented early-career researchers to stay in academia.

Arati Prabhakar Set to Become Biden’s Science Adviser and Lead Science Office

The Biden administration is expected to name Arati Prabhakar as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. If confirmed, Prabhakar will become "the first woman and first person of color to lead OSTP and to serve as science adviser."

The Number of Researchers with Dual U.S.–China Affiliations Is Falling

Nature analysis shows that the number of researchers with dual U.S.–China affiliations is falling, with scholars who declare affiliations in both countries on research papers dropping more than 20% over the last three years.

Women More Likely to Win Awards That Are Not Named After Men

A yet-to-be-published study highlighted in Nature shows that women are more likely to win research awards that aren't named after a man. The work, presented in late May at the European Geoscience Union general assembly, reviewed nearly 9,000 award recipients.