On July 25, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees gave its unanimous support to the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), the groundbreaking new research and education enterprise led by the University of Illinois System. DPI will boost the state’s economy by addressing real-world challenges, promoting entrepreneurship, growing next-generation businesses and delivering top talent to Chicago.
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The University of Illinois System and Illinois Institute of Technology signed an agreement on July 10 to make Illinois Tech the 10th academic partner in DPI, to drive social and economic growth. U of I System President Tim Killeen and Illinois Tech President Alan W. Cramb signed the agreement following a program announcing the partnership. Illinois Deputy Gov. Jesse Ruiz and Chicago Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar also spoke at the event.
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Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are working on a solution to combat two aggressive weed species that threaten North American food supplies. The approach, known as genetic control, aims to identify and alter the genetic material of Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. If successful, scientists will introduce modified plants into wild populations thus decreasing future reproduction. Funding for the project comes from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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On July 3, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan into law while visiting Urbana-Champaign. Under the plan, the state will invest $686 million across the U of I System, paving the way for future capital development projects. Joining the governor at the bill signing ceremony were Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, Sen. Scott Bennett, and Representatives Carol Ammons and Emmanuel Chris Welch. The bill signing follows a spring legislative session that included a successful grassroots advocacy campaign by Illinois Connection, the legislative advocacy network for the U of I System, which put out a call to action to alumni, faculty, students and supporters to urge their state legislators to pass a budget that would increase funding for higher education and a capital bill.
UIC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new $43 million Engineering Innovation Building. University leaders were joined at the event by several state and local dignitaries, including Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The 57,000-square-foot facility will expand the university's engineering footprint and advance further course development. In addition to labs and classrooms, the building will house UIC's chemical, civil and materials engineering departments.
On July 9, Urbana-Champaign professors Don Wuebbles and Ashish Sharma briefed U.S. Senators and congressional staff on the impact of climate change in the Great Lakes region. The event, sponsored by the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center, focused on educating policymakers about the significant changes affecting the Great Lakes and discussing ways to combat these challenges. Attending the event were multiple US Senators, including Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Sen. Dick Durbin.
The acting director of the National Cancer Institute, Douglas Lowy, presented findings to a packed crowd at UIC's College of Medicine Research Building on July 15. Part of the U of I Cancer Center's Distinguished Lecture Series, Lowy discussed new research on HPV-associated cancers and how advancing technologies can help lead to better treatment techniques.
U of I System President Tim Killeen and UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis were joined by several state and local representatives on July 18 to celebrate the opening of the new Academic and Residential Complex. The $100 million complex will include a 10-story residence hall, housing around 550 UIC students, and a two-story academic building. The project, a public-private partnership with American Campus Communities, represents a key step forward for the physical development of UIC. Among those at the ceremony were state Representatives Emmanuel Chris Welch, Camille Lilly, Theresa Mah, and Elizabeth Hernandez.
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