Research Centers & Institutes – Illinois Advancement
People conducting research in the woods.

Fiscal Year 2023 Update

Research Centers & Institutes

Celebrating the impact of your generosity

On behalf of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, I wanted to extend our deepest gratitude for your support of the Illinois research community during FY23. Thanks to your contributions, we have achieved remarkable milestones and made significant strides.

In the past year, our researchers have made groundbreaking advancements in medicine, engineering, agriculture, sustainability, and so much more. These achievements would not have been possible without your steadfast commitment to fostering innovation and empowering our brilliant faculty and students.

By supporting the university’s Research Institutes and Centers, you have played an instrumental role in improving lives and shaping a brighter future for our global community. Your generosity has the power to transform lives, and we are grateful for the positive ripple effect your support has created.

Once again, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for your belief in our mission. Your generosity inspires us and reinforces our determination to push the boundaries of what is possible.

With sincere gratitude,

Susan A Martinis
Signature Susan A Martinis
Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation
Stephen G. Sligar Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Professor of Biochemistry

FY 2023 By the Numbers

Thanks to your support during this past fiscal year, our research centers and institutes continues to be transformed, resulting in:

Dollars Raised56,569,246 Dollars Raised

Donors835 Donors

Gifts758 Gifts

First-Time Donors128 First-Time Donors

Party5,250,827 Unrestricted Dollars Raised

*Data as of 8/1/23.

FY 2023 Highlights

Your support has helped us continue to elevate the values that make Illinois distinctive: a sense of boundless aspiration, collaboration, and a global perspective.

artistic image of brain

Heiken Supports Brain Health Innovation

The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute received an estate gift of more than $4.5 million from the late Edward “Rick” Heiken (Economics ’72) to support Neal Cohen, a professor of psychology and former IHSI director. Heiken’s vision for the gift was to develop state-of-the-art assessments of cognitive and brain health.

IHSI and Prof. Cohen will honor Heiken’s wishes by dedicating the funds to support research efforts to realize that vision. Heiken hoped that digital tools created at Illinois would allow for neurocognitive assessments to be available to various patient populations in their homes over the course of their lives and in response to life events, rather than only as part of medical treatment.

Ira R. and Debra J. Cohen smiling with Carle Illinois College of Medicine Dean Rohit Bhargava and friend

Ira R. and Debra J. Cohen Cancer Center at Illinois Funds

Debra Cohen and her late husband, Ira (Computer Science ‘80), have a long history as philanthropists at Illinois. Debra is continuing their legacy with a gift to the Cancer Center at Illinois to support student scholarships and researchers seeking funding for novel pilot studies.

Debra shared, “I want to support students needing scholarships and researchers looking to support their innovative cancer studies. Throughout our giving history to the University of Illinois, scholarships were always a focus for Ira and me. Students are our future, and we do not want finances to prohibit them from succeeding.” Read more.

Aarush Patel and friends smiling standing in front of an informational booth about fellowship.

Aarush M. Patel Foundation Fellowship

Mitul (Grainger Engineering ’07) and Aditi Patel lost their son at 37 weeks of pregnancy when a true umbilical knot took his life. They started the Aarush M. Patel Foundation, named after their late son, in order to fund more research on maternal-fetal medicine and fertility, and change the landscape of women’s healthcare.

The foundation just awarded $100,000 to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign towards research on fertility and miscarriages. The fellowship will support one graduate student in their studies on the effects of different external factors on implantation failure. The Patels hope this research will inspire new technologies and techniques that can improve fertility treatments and pregnancy outcomes. Read more.

The 2023 cohort of the Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program (from left): Kelly Powderly; Patricia Cintora; Zhengchang Kou; Yannan Hu; Zane Thornburg; and Alejandro De la Cadena.

Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has provided support annually for the Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship Program since 1991 to allow outstanding scientists to conduct work at the Beckman Institute. Fellows are selected in accordance with the core values of the Beckman Institute: excellence, collaboration, integrity, transdisciplinarity, exploration, and diversity. Yannah Hu, a 2023 Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, shared, “This fellowship provides me the opportunity to learn cutting-edge tools and obtain new perspectives, which will enable me to answer meaningful research questions.” Read more about the 2023 Cohort.

Continue Your Support

Your continued support ensures our research centers and institutes remain a place where progress and innovation can flourish. Find your passion and help us dream even bigger!

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See More Impact

Philanthropy has benefited students, faculty, and staff in many ways. Browse the list below to learn more about how your impact can be felt across campus.

© 2023 University of Illinois Board of Trustees