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Research funding at UIC tops $460M, marking four record-breaking years

Brain scan

The University of Illinois Chicago received nearly $460 million in research funding during the 2022 fiscal year. This is the fourth consecutive year of record-breaking research awards for Chicago’s only public research university.  The total amount represents a 3% increase over fiscal year 2021 and a 37% increase over the last four years, with this year’s funding supporting more than 3,200 research projects that fuel discoveries to improve communities.

“At UIC, we are committed to serving our state and the world by advancing knowledge through education and scientific discovery, and the steadfast growth of our research program is a testament to the outstanding faculty, staff and students who have the vision to imagine a better future and the skills and resilience to bring those ideas to life,” UIC Interim Chancellor Javier Reyes said.

“Our investigators have surpassed last year’s remarkable achievements and continue to generate novel ideas and information, and inspire the next generation,” UIC Vice Chancellor for Research Joanna Groden said.

Federal awards account for 72% of research funding at UIC in fiscal year 2022, with the National Institutes of Health providing the largest amount — nearly $192 million. NIH funding supported research to study chronic eye disease among Latinos, test interventions to improve metabolic outcomes among Black pregnant women, understand the connection between human herpesvirus and periodontal inflammation, and evaluate if a home care aid program improves the health of seniors.

Other top sponsors include the National Science Foundation ($28 million), U.S. Department of Defense ($18 million), U.S. Department of Energy ($15 million) and State of Illinois ($50 million). Private sponsors have contributed $72 million to support UIC research. Highlights include:

  • A $17.2 million award from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to launch a Health Collaborative in Chicago’s Gage Park and West Elsdon communities.
  • A $5.8 million award from the DOD to develop a new treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19 patients.
  • A $4 million award from the NSF to study high-pressure science and technology.
  • A $1.5 million award from the NSF to study synergistic genetic and microenvironmental engineering platforms for directed liver organoid differentiation.
  • A $1 million award from the NSF to develop organizational capacity to improve K-8 mathematics teaching and learning.
  • A $5 million award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to foster inter-institutional collaboration and support emerging Latino scholars.

In fiscal year 2022, 16 researchers were awarded funding through the NSF’s prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Program, including:

  • Stephanie Cologna, associate professor of chemistry, who received first-time CAREER funding for her project “Defining the role of lipid perturbations in cell survival.”
  • Jae-Won Shin, associate professor of pharmacology and regenerative medicine, who received first-time CAREER funding for his work titled “Engineering niches for precision control of single stem cell differentiation.”
  • Matthew Daly, assistant professor of materials engineering, who received first-time CAREER funding for his project “Order-induced heterogeneities in the deformation behavior of FCC concentrated solid solutions.”
  • Hulya Seferoglu, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, who received funding modifications for her work “Practical Coded Computation Mechanisms for Distributed Computing.”
  • Ursula Perez-Salas, assistant professor of physics, who received funding modifications for her project titled “Lipid Transport in Membranes.”

Additionally, Ruixuan Gao, assistant professor of biological sciences, received a prestigious award as an exceptional young faculty from the Searle Scholars Program.

UIC College of Medicine and School of Public Health faculty members Dr. Heather Prendergast, Dr. Jerry Krishnan, Dr. Martha Daviglus, Dr. Richard Novak and Dr. Benjamin Van Voorhees are among the top-funded principal investigators at UIC.

Projects addressing the COVID-19 pandemic accounted for more than $38 million in funding this fiscal year, including awards to understand long COVID-19 and a multi-center collaborative in Chicago to help communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

In addition to the $460 million in research funding, UIC reported nearly $30 million in revenue from 308 active licenses of its intellectual property in the 2022 fiscal year.