Basic Science Research

The Goal

Basic science research is the first step in scientific discovery and the development of innovative therapeutic strategies to treat devastating neurological diseases and disorders. Many of today's newest drugs and therapies exist thanks to laboratory research begun years ago. Our research scientists are working at cellular, molecular and genetic levels to gain new insights and understanding about the causes of neurological diseases and disorders. Through these explorations, great advances are being made and new ways to treat many of the nation's most devastating diseases are being discovered. Our goal is to continue this research momentum by equipping the laboratories with state-of-the-art tools and bring the best and brightest new researchers to Peoria to further expand these research programs.

The Situation

Medical science still lacks complete understanding of many neurological disorders that increasingly affect the lives of millions of Americans. However, researchers in the Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology are diligently applying cutting-edge neuroscience research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and improve these daunting statistics:

  • Alzheimer's disease afflicts more than 5 million Americans, costing over $180 billion annually.
  • Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Spinal cord injury is a major medical problem worldwide. Every year over 12,000 Americans sustain spinal cord injuries.
  • In Peoria County alone, 1 in 20 children are found to have an alarmingly high toxic lead level that is well above the national average.

Any type of medical research is expensive. Our researchers have been successful in obtaining highly-coveted grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Defense, Alzheimer's Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association and other not-for-profit foundations and agencies. However, these grants only provide financial support for direct research costs and do not cover infrastructure costs of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and technical support, which may require additional funds. Individual private donations are critical. It is also private donations that provide flexibility to pursue and sustain new and innovative research programs and recruit additional researchers to expand and enhance existing research programs.



The Impact

Conducting basic science research is expensive, but the cost of not pursuing this research is even greater. It is costly in terms of personal human suffering, but it is also costly in terms of emotional distress for the family and friends who must watch a loved one battling the ravages of Alzheimer's disease or the physical disabilities following a stroke. Who cannot feel compassion for an infant born with fetal alcohol syndrome or a young child experiencing the disabling effects of toxic lead poisoning? Charitable giving plays a powerful role in helping advance the successful research momentum that is now occurring at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Your donation is a meaningful statement that you join these local researchers in fighting some of our nation's most devastating diseases. It is estimated that for every $1 privately contributed, researchers gain another $12 in competitive grant support. Unrestricted gifts can be made to support the collective research infrastructure, or donors may designate that their gifts go to one of the specific areas of department research listed above.

The Promise

The path from laboratory investigations to the development of more effective treatment options and new drugs is not always straightforward. But basic science research discoveries are the foundation for important biomedical breakthroughs that will ultimatly lead to development of innovative and more effective treatment options. These discoveries represent the promising hope that will improve the lives of patients confronting some of our nation's most serious and complex neurological diseases and disorders.

Thanks for supporting the Department ofCancer Biology and Pharmacology.

To learn more about unique gift opportunities, including endowments, current use and naming opportunities, visit giving opportunities, or contact:

Office of Advancement

Director of Development