The summer break provides ample opportunity to reflect on the happenings at the Cancer Center at Illinois, and what a productive year it has been. Through exciting research findings, new partnerships, and applying for National Cancer Institute designation, the CCIL has been a hub of activity.

Our members continue to show that research is at our center’s core. From Stephen Boppart’s visualization of breast cancer tissue in real-time to Timothy Fan’s work in fighting osteosarcoma with immunotherapy, CCIL members are at the forefront of cancer research.

To foster that work, we launched a new Seed Grant Program in the spring. This initiative builds engineering–biology collaborations and advances novel research that shows promise for future external funding. In our initial call, the CCIL selected four projects for seed grants and eight for planning grants, and we’re eager to see their progress over the coming year.

We’re also excited to announce a new partnership with the Illini 4000, a student-led group of ambassadors who embark on a cross country bike ride every year to raise awareness for cancer research. The CCIL is now the official home of the group, and we’re looking forward to planning new events with them over the coming year.

The CCIL also welcomes new members to our senior leadership team. Barry Schatz, our Associate Director for Administration, brings a wealth of experience from Loyola University’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. Marcia “Marci” Pool, the former director of undergraduate programs for the Department of Bioengineering at Illinois, joins the CCIL as an Assistant Director for Education and is intimately familiar with our educational programs. Both will provide exceptional expertise and guidance for our center. Exciting times are ahead as we develop our infrastructure, sharpen our focus, and mature as a research institute. We are, as always, thankful for your continued support and interest.