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New Nanomedicine Laboratory Announced

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University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford Announces New Nanomedicine Laboratory

Gift from The Blazer Foundation of Rockford makes lab possible

College of Medicine Rockford Dean Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green welcomed Mark Blazer, a trustee of the Blazer Foundation of Rockford, who spoke about the foundation's $500,000 investment in what will be the Blazer Foundation of Rockford Nanomedicine Laboratory at an Aug. 20 news conference.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford will soon have a new nanomedicine laboratory where researchers can pursue treatments for disabling conditions using innovative nanotechnology needed for discoveries at the smallest, molecular level. The lab will be a part of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and will be located on the UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford at 1601 Parkview Ave.

Funding for research personnel, equipment and supplies for the laboratory will come from a $500,000 gift from The Blazer Foundation of Rockford and an additional matching grant from the University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago of $150,000.

This new lab is an outgrowth of the college's Regenerative Medicine and Disability Research Laboratory that opened in 2016 following a previous $3 million Blazer Foundation gift. In recognition of the Blazer Foundation's generous and ongoing support of this research program, the new lab will be named The Blazer Foundation of Rockford Nanomedicine Laboratory, subject to the approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Divya Bijukumar, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, will direct the new laboratory and continue to expand upon her research, which includes investigations for treatments of vision loss from diabetes and the disabling side effects of some joint implants. She'll be joined by Vishal Khatri, Ph.D., a research collaborator studying potential treatments for the digestive disease colitis.

The new laboratory is expected to open in fall 2019.