Medical Research Themes

Advancing human health begins with research.

“The primary task of the Office of Research and Innovation is to enable the College’s vision of creating a new generation of compassionate and skilled physician innovators. Our team is building innovation and research platforms that enable faculty and students to tackle the unmet patient and community health needs through human-centered design thinking, medical technologies, and entrepreneurship. Our goal is to prepare our students to become tomorrow’s leaders who will contribute to solutions that benefit the communities they serve.”

Issam Moussa, MD, Associate Dean for Research & Innovation

(Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, & Neurology)

From fundamental questions about the innate functioning of the brain to complex brain tumors and connectivity disorders, Carle Illinois College of Medicine faculty employ cutting-edge technology to push the boundary of what is known about the brain and spine.

Acute and Critical Care & Trauma

Immediate, appropriate action must be taken when patients present with emergent conditions. Students and researchers at Carle Illinois College of Medicine continue to investigate the ever-evolving dynamics of trauma and critical care, seeking to discover more effective treatment approaches in emergency settings.

Heart & Vascular
(Cardiology, Vascular Surgery, Thoracic Surgery)

Research in cardiology, vascular surgery, and thoracic surgery are at the core of the Carle Heart and Vascular Institute. CI MED students collaborate broadly on conditions ranging from hypertension management to new standards for specialized procedures in cardiology.

(Maternal, Fetal Medicine)

Pediatric research at Carle Illinois College of Medicine delves into long-debated topics in maternal health and fetal development. In this research area. students and researchers primarily investigate the care of patients ranging from 0-18 years of age, along with mothers.

Internal Medicine
(Endocrinology, Infectious Disease, Nephrology, Pulmonology, Other)

Internal medicine is a broad specialty; physicians encounter patients with any condition, diagnosed and undiagnosed. It is the responsibility of researchers in this field to develop a stronger understanding of all conditions that affect patients’ health and well-being.

Cancer & Oncology

Cancer research is a core area of research both at Carle Foundation Hospital and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Carle Illinois College of Medicine bridges these two organizations to expedite research in cancers. Students investigate ranges of cancers that affect all organ systems.  Carle Illinois College of Medicine partners with the Cancer Center at Illinois to enhance research and bring cancer solutions from the laboratory to clinical practice.

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Gynecology research is growing at Carle Illinois College of Medicine, with students investigating new technology for training and exploring epidemiological foundations for conditions in this field. Fertility research is a major area of research by CI MED students and researchers at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


Orthopedic Surgery is a favorite specialty among engineers, making Carle Illinois College of Medicine an ideal place to advance research in this field. Orthopedic Surgery research is growing at CI MED, with strong collaborations between Carle Illinois students, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and local hospitals.


Surgery is an extremely broad area with many exciting innovations under development, particularly in robotics. CI MED students have been excited by many of the potential directions for surgical research and have subdivided this large research area into many subgroups.

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Ophthalmology has seen extraordinary advancement in recent years, with extreme improvements in imaging technology, treatment approaches, and precision. Students at Carle Illinois College of Medicine capitalize on this explosive growth by partnering with various institutions and professors, promoting further innovation in this field.


Research in dermatology has been rapidly growing, with students innovating in diagnostic technology, care standards, and patient comfort. Carle Illinois College of Medicine research teams advance the standard of dermatologic care through problem-based approaches, tackling immense problems such as pressure injury treatment, bandage hygiene, and skin grafting.

Plastic Surgery

A small but dedicated group of students has been exploring opportunities in plastic surgery research, partnering with Carle Foundation and nearby institutions to advance treatment standards and identify new ways to perform procedures.


Pathology is one of the oldest fields of medicine, and much of the technology has been stagnant of innovation. Students and researchers at Carle Illinois College of Medicine are pursuing opportunities to apply computer science and modern technology to this field to assist pathologists in identifying a diagnosis for patients.

(Interventional & Diagnostic)

Advances in imaging technology have been a staple of research at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since the invention of the MRI by Paul Lauterbur on our campus. Faculty, physicians, and students participate in the most novel advances in medical imaging at our institution, exploring clinical applications, computational research, and fundamental laws of physics in their approaches to the field of Radiology.

Medical Education

As a new medical school, Carle Illinois College of Medicine and its students are actively involved in creating strong new programs that investigate and implement best practices to advance medical education. Students collaborate with faculty on improving the curriculum and expanding the education literature with studies of CI MED’s new innovative curriculum.