Research Institutes & Laboratories

Students and faculty benefit from access to a number of major research facilities at Illinois that support undergraduate and graduate student education and enhance rapid technology transfer from the University to industry.

Campus Resources

Students and faculty benefit from access to a number of major research facilities at Illinois that support undergraduate and graduate student education and enhance rapid technology transfer from the University to industry.

They also have access to partner institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, Carle Clinic, OSF St. Francis Medical Center, and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

Among the world-class resources at Illinois are the following institutes, laboratories, and national centers of excellence:

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Research at the Beckman Institute is focused around four themes: Biological Intelligence, Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction, Integrative Imaging, and Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures.
More about the Beckman Institute

Institute for Genomic Biology

The Institute for Genomic Biology provides a central infrastructure to unite research and educational training, and attract major research funding and high-caliber scientists and students. Research at the IGB falls under one of three broad programmatic areas: Systems Biology, Cellular and Metabolic Engineering, and Genome Technology.
More about the IGB

National Center for Supercomputing Applications

NCSA provides computing, data, networking, and visualization resources and services that help scientists and engineers across the country better understand our world. The NCSA focuses on four broad areas: Data and Information Science and Technology, Scale Science and Technologies, Collaborative eScience, and Industry.
More about the NCSA

Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory

A multidisciplinary research facility, the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory houses advanced equipment to support research in photonics, microelectronics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. Activities facilitated by the MNTL fall into four primary areas: Optoelectronics and Photonic Systems, Microelectronics for Wireless Communications, Microelectromechanical Systems, and Nanobiosystems.
More about the MNTL

Roy G. Carver Biotechnology Center

Through the core laboratories in genomics and proteomics, the Biotechnology Center provides state-of-the-art research facilities: the Transgenic Mouse Facility, Proteomics Center, and the W. M. Keck Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics.
More about the Biotechnology Center

Coordinated Science Laboratory

The Coordinated Science Laboratory is a premier, multidisciplinary research laboratory that focuses on information technology at the crossroads of computing, control, and communications.
More about the CSL

Materials Research Laboratory

The Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory fosters interdisciplinary research at the forefront of materials science. MRL brings together world-class faculty and students in condensed matter physics, materials chemistry, and materials science in a highly collaborative research environment.
More about the MRL

Clinical Partners

Translational research capabilities in biology and medicine are available in the entrepreneurial activities of UI researchers at the campus Research Park and with clinical partnering institutions that include the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Carle Clinic and Mills Breast Cancer Center in Urbana, Ill., the OSF St. Francis Medical Center and Jump Trading and Simulation Center in Peoria, Ill., and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

These important partnerships afford researchers and students opportunities such as fellowships, hands-on clinical research, interdisciplinary collaborations, grant-supported projects, and much more.








Research Centers and Training Grants

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers numerous research opportunities, including the following institutes, centers and programs aimed at providing out-of-classroom opportunities and advancing research in bioengineering-related disciplines.

NSF Center for Innovative Instrumentation Technology (Ciit)

The Center for Innovative Instrumentation Technology is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center focused on pre-competitive research. The mission of CiiT is to conduct industry-relevant fundamental research, enhance graduate education and research, and to facilitate technology transfer to industry. Industry partners include: Abbott Nutrition, Baxter, Dow Agrosciences, Elanco Animal Health, Growmark, the Illinois Soybean Association, Kraft, Monsanto, Moxtek, U.S. Army TATRC, and U.S. Army CERL.

Brian Cunningham, principal investigator and director (Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Irfan Ahmad, co-principal investigator and director (CNST)
Rashid Bashir, co-principal investigator (Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Paul Hergenrother, co-principal investigator (Chemistry)
Lila Vodkin, co-principal investigator (Crop Sciences)


NSF Center for the Physics of Living Cells

The Physics Frontiers Center in Illinois is funded by the National Science Foundation and aspires to make transformational advances at a genuine scientific frontier: the physics of living cells. The biological physics group at Illinois has grown significantly in the last few years, with the inclusion of junior faculty in strategically important areas, the expansion of recognized strengths in biological computation and fluorescence spectroscopy, the crossover of physics faculty from condensed matter, and importantly, the strong interest shown in the biological physics area by our graduate students. The effort is now at the scale where Illinois can realistically aspire to pioneer the creation of synergies between different approaches, which the center's faculty believe is the only way to tackle convincingly the major challenges of the field.

Taekjip Ha, co-director (Physics)
Klaus Schulten, co-director (Physics)


NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)
Cellular and Molecular Mechanics and BioNanotechnology

Through the IGERT experience, researchers in cellular and molecular mechanics and bionanotechnology are training to become the next generation of leaders. IGERT explores the grand challenge of discovering the molecular mechanism that cells employ to transduce mechanical signals to biochemical pathways. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the IGERT program is an inter-disciplinary research effort with national and international collaborators. The research conducted through the program involves biological experiments, imaging, large-scale computations, and development of new engineering research methodologies to address the challenge in a quantitative way previously not available to the research community.

Rashid Bashir, principal investigator (Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Martha L. Gillette, principal investigator (Cell and Developmental Biology)
K. Jimmy Hsia, principal investigator (Mechanical Science and Engineering)
Taher A. Saif, principal investigator (Mechanical Science and Engineering)


NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)

Neuroengineering has the potential to transform medicine and improve life, but researchers are just beginning to tap the possibilities. Illinois is educating the next generation of neuroscientists and engineers to develop tomorrow's technology through the National Science Foundation's IGERT program.

Douglas L. Jones, principal investigator (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Todd Coleman, co-principal investigator (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Neuroscience)
Monica Fabiani, co-principal investigator (Psychology, Neuroscience)
Bob Wickesberg, co-principal investigator (Psychology, Neuroscience)


NIH Midwest Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center (M-CNTC)

The M-CNTC experience provides additional training for researchers looking at how micro/nanofabrication can help solve problems in life sciences (such as diagnostics, therapeutics, and tissue engineering) and how we can learn more from life science to solve important problems in micro/nana-science and engineering (such as bio-inspired self assembly). Supported by the National Institutes of Health/NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, the program offers a highly interdisciplinary environment to empower engineers, physical scientists and biologists to address the challenge of understanding, managing, diagnosing and treating cancer using the most recent advancements in nanotechnology.

Rashid Bashir, principal investigator (Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Ann M. Nardulli, principal investigator (Molecular and Integrative Physiology)


NSF Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS)

EBICS is dedicated to creating a new scientific discipline for building living, multi-cellular machines that solve real-world problems in health, security and the environment. EBICS is a partnership of the City College of New York, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Merced, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The program offers graduate research opportunities at those institutions and addresses integrated research and education, human resource development, diversity and outreach programs, knowledge-transfer activities, and ethics training.

Rashid Bashir, associate director
Lizanne DeStefano, Knowledge Transfer co-director, Evaluation director (I-STEM)


Global Enterprise for Micro-Mechanics and Molecular Medicine (GEM4)

The GEM4 program allows leading institutions to work together seamlessly across the boundaries of science, engineering, technology, medicine and public health. GEM4 creates new models for interdisciplinary interactions to address problems on a global scale through strategic international partnerships. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a core institution of GEM4, and Illinois holds an annual summer institute, to which graduate students in micro-mechanics, molecular medicine and related disciplines may apply.



NIH P41 Computational Resource for Macromolecular Modeling (in the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group)

The Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group (TCBG), NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics, was founded by Professor Klaus Schulten in 1989 and is located at the Beckman Institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and other federal and private agencies, the TCBG's sizeable multidisciplinary team is engaged in the modeling of large macromolecular systems in realistic environments, and has produced ground-breaking insights into biomolecular processes coupled with mechanical force, bioelectronic processes in metabolism and vision, and with the function and mechanism of membrane proteins.

Klaus Schulten, principal investigator (Physics)


NSF Strategic Healthcare IT Advanced Research Projects on Security (SHARPS)

SHARPS is developing techniques to reduce security and privacy risks that pose barriers to the meaningful use of health information technology. Areas of focus include electronic health records, health information exchanges, and telemedicine. The project includes investigations into policy considerations, service models, and open validation benchmarks. It is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional effort that involves cyber-security experts and physicians at a dozen academic institutions advised by a panel of leaders from industry, government, and advocacy groups.

Carl Gunter, principal investigator (Computer)


NCN nanoBIONode

As a project of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology, the nanoBIONode at Illinois is helping to advance nanoscience and nanotechnology through nanoHUB, a scientific cloud computing environment serving as a resource for research, collaboration, teaching, learning and publishing. The nanoBIONode at Illinois supports nanoBIO research and education through the creation of computation and visualization tools.

Umberto Ravaioli, principal investigator (Electrical and Computer Engineering)


UI Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST or nano@Illinois)

The CNST fosters partnerships and interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty, students, industry partners and scientists from government laboratories and higher education institutions around the world. The Center is a leader in groundbreaking nanotechnology research, centrally located in the United States and offering outreach to grade school and secondary students, educational curriculum development for faculty, and fellowship and project opportunities for students and researchers.

Irfan Ahmad, executive director
Rashid Bashir, co-director (Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering)