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College of Medicine Researchers Working on Treatments for Leading Genetic Cause of Infant Death

The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford is part of groundbreaking research that provides hope that a treatment for a debilitating and often fatal disease isn’t far away.

Researchers in the Regenerative Medicine and Disability Laboratory at the UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford are part of a team moving closer to finding potential therapies that could treat the leading genetic cause of infant death, which is spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The research was recently published in the online journal Life Science Alliance. 

Spinal muscular atrophy is a disease affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord. People with the genetic defect that causes this disease can lose their ability to walk, eat and even breathe. More than half the babies born with it die before age 2.

The Rockford researchers and their colleagues used stem cell models to find pathways for promising agents to reverse damage or at least protect nerve cells from further damage. This process, for which a patent application has been filed, lays the foundation for future drug discovery.

The researchers from the Regenerative Medicine and Disability Laboratory at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford focus on fighting human motor neuron diseases such as this. This team includes Xue-Jun Li, Ph.D., who is the Michael A. Werckle, MD, Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences; post-doctoral researchers Chong-Chong Xu, MD, Ph.D., and Yongchao Mou, Ph.D.; and college student Jessica Trinh. These researchers collaborated with Dr. Xiaoqing Zhang and his group at the Brain and Spinal Cord Innovation Research Center at Tongji University School of Medicine in Shanghai, China.

“SMA is a devastating disease that, up until a few years ago, had no treatments,” says Dr. Li. “There’s only one drug that came out just a few years ago that is helping some people and this new research provides more hope for other drug therapies in the future.”

Now that the researchers better understand the mechanisms of the disease and a potential way to treat it, the next step is to continue this work to develop therapeutic agents that can inhibit the degradation of certain proteins involved in the disease, thereby preventing its devastating effects on movement.



Haven for Faculty and Staff Sexual Misconduct Training
Deadline -- April 3, 5:00 pm


Dear Dean Stagnaro-Green,

We are writing to request your support in helping UIC achieve 100% completion in the mandatory Haven for Faculty and Staff online training administered by the University of Illinois Ethics Office. 

The training is available via the online format and must be completed by 5:00pm pm CT on April 3, 2019.

There are 92 employees within your unit who have not taken the training. We are diligently attempting to avoid disciplinary action which may be taken against employees who do not comply.

Attached is the list of employees in your unit who remain outstanding. Employees can access the training at the following link: To login, they will need to enter their current University net id and password. Please see below instructions for accessing the training.

Accessing the Employee Sexual Misconduct Training
Accessing the Course:

  1. Open a web browser (preferably Firefox or Internet Explorer) and go to:
  2. Enter your university net id and password
  3. Click the “Login” button
  4. If you have completed Haven for Faculty and Staff coursework in the past, click on the “add a course” button in the top right hand corner of your screen. If you have never accessed this coursework previously, please proceed to step 8. 

DO NOT ACCESS A COURSE THROUGH THE “PAST COURSES” TAB as you will not receive current year completion credit.

    5.  Select your course, “Haven for Faculty and Staff” from the drop-down menu
    6.  Select your group if it does not automatically populate (choose the one that applies) 
    7.  Once you have made this choice, click the “Add” button
    8.  On the registration screen, fill in any blank information, select an age range, and check the " I agree to the terms of service" box
    9.  Click “Next”
   10. Click “Get Started”

We appreciate your assistance with contacting the outstanding employees as soon as possible. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Office for Access and Equity via phone (312) 996-8670 or email  

Thank you,

Caryn A. Bills
Associate Chancellor

Michael S. Diaz
Executive Associate Director and Title IX Coordinator

2018 Research Image Award Winner 

2019 MBT Images of Research Competition

Last month students were invited to submit a static image that was evocative of their research. (Image could be created as part of the research process itself, or to represent a student's research.) We now invite all members of the UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford, including faculty, staff and students, to participate in voting for the top 3 images. The top 3 winners will receive a prize and the images will be used to promote, advance and represent the Master of Science in Medical Biotechnology program both in printed and digital media.

Please vote for ONLY ONE image. You may only vote ONE time. Ballots with multiple images selected will not be counted. Voting period is from Monday, April 1, through Friday, April 5.  Voting will be done via Google form:

Contact Suah Cho ( for more information.


Statement of Economic Interest
April 12 Form to Dean's Office

For anyone who is required to complete the Statement of Economic Interest, you may return the form to the COMR Dean's Office and it will be mailed from there. You must have your form to the Dean's Office no later than Friday, April 12.


  • Please do not send your Statement directly to the Secretary of State. Mail your Statement to: University Ethics and Compliance Office, Human Resources Building, Room 20, One University Plaza, MS HRB 20, Springfield, IL 62703-5407. 
  • Please place "N/A" in any fields where you do not have information to report. DO NOT LEAVE THEM BLANK.
  • You must also complete a Supplemental Statement of Economic Interests Form electronically.  You will receive instructions via email on March 20th.
  • For further questions, you may call the University Ethics and Compliance Office at 866-758-2146.

Tickets for CHARISMA may be purchased by clicking here

This event benefits the Winnebago County Medical Society Alliance's 2019 grant recipients, one of which is MERIT.


Excess Supply Exchange

Have any excess folders, notebooks, pencils, pens that are taking up valuable space in your closet or drawer? Do you want to find a happy home for them? A supply exchange will be held on Friday, April 12, in room S-232.  Departments can bring any items they would like to get rid of to room S-232 on Thursday, April 11, after 3:00 pm.  The exchange will take place on Friday, April 12, from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Any items remaining after 2:00 pm will be donated to charity.


Purchasing to Payment Training

The mandatory Purchasing to Payment overview training has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 16th.  The training will be held at the Rockford campus in room S232.  There will be a morning and an afternoon session.  Please sign up through the following link: On the left side of the screen, scroll to select Purchasing to Payment overview.  Please contact the Accounting Office if you have questions.

Arianna Calkins
Accountant I
University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford
Ph: 815-395-5890

The Glenn Netto Health and Wellness Center
It's Time to Get Fit! Take a Class or do Your own Routine at the Wellness Center.
Crawford Library of the Health Sciences
Office of Human Resources

Satellite Human Resources Office Hours

Human Resources has a schedule of regular office hours at our clinic locations.  This is to provide employees with a convenient opportunity to meet directly with an HR staff member.  Please check with your clinic manager for the specific room location at each clinic. 

Wednesday, April 3, Winnebago County Justice Center, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Monday, April 15, Family Health Center, 11:30 am - 1 :30 pm
Wednesday, May 1, Winnebago County Justice Center, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Monday, May 20, Family Health Center, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Wednesday, June 5, Winnebago County Justice Center, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Monday, June 17, Family Health Center, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Wednesday, July 3, Winnebago County Justice Center, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Monday, July 15, Family Health Center, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Wednesday, August 7, Winnebago County Justice Center, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Monday, August 19, Family Health Center, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Wednesday, September 4, Winnebago County Justice Center, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Monday, September 16, Family Health Center, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Wednesday, October 2, Winnebago County Justice Center, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Monday, October 21, Family Health Center, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Job Postings


Click on the image above to learn more. 

Office of Research


The Student/Resident Research Travel Award is to provide Rockford medical students and residents the opportunity to share their research at a national/international forum and network with researchers from around the country/world who are involved in similar research. Medical students are eligible for $1,000 grants and residents $500. The application and application guidelines can be found on the College’s Intranet site. Applications should be submitted to Lori Dredske.

Ask a Biostatistician  

Biostatistician, Dr. Kayéromi Gomez, provides support and assistance to faculty and students who are conducting research in the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy. Use the "Ask a Biostatistician" form for your biostatistics or research question that needs a quick answer.

Upcoming Campus Events

Apr. 4          India Presentation, A254
Apr. 16        Purchasing to Payment Training, S232
Apr. 30        Research Day, Partners' Pavilion

Upcoming Community Events

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Please forward your news to so that it can be shared via e-news. If you have activities, events or news in your department, please send details by 2:00 p.m. on Monday for inclusion in Tuesday's edition. If Monday is a holiday, please submit by 5:00 p.m. on the last business day prior to Tuesday's edition. 

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