The University Library System began in 1868. Today it ranks as the third largest academic library in the United States; among universities, only Harvard and Yale have larger research collections. There are >40 departmental and college libraries on the Illinois campus. The Biology Library, the Veterinary Medicine Library, the Library of the Health Sciences and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Library are most highly utilized by Nutritional Sciences faculty and students.
The Biotechnology Center encompasses more than 220 faculty researchers, representing 38 departments in 6 different colleges and schools, on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. In addition to facilitating the intellectual vitality and research competitiveness of its faculty constituents, the Biotechnology Center has made valuable contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, since its founding in 1985. The missions of the Illinois Biotechnology Center can be summarized as follows: to administer campus-wide research facilities, including the W.M. Keck Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics (see below); to coordinate interdisciplinary activity among faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students by sponsoring symposia and workshops, publishing a newsletter, and submitting research proposals; to provide a Job Placement Office for advanced degree students in the biological and biomedical sciences; to act as a liaison with private companies seeking to identify biological expertise at the University of Illinois.
The W.M. Keck Center was launched with a $1.25 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation in January 1999. In making the award, the Foundation noted the exceptional potential of Illinois to contribute to genomics with its underlying strengths in biology, information technology and engineering. The Center is housed in 5000 ft2 of contiguous space and contains three separate units: High Throughput DNA Sequencing and Genotyping, Bioinformatics, and Functional Genomics.
The Beckman Institute For Advanced Science and Technology which coordinates research on information processing and organization and includes an Imaging Technologies Group consisting of the Microscopy Suite and the Visualization, Media and Imaging Laboratory. These two sites provide a full range of visualization services from image/data acquisition to the final production of video, slide, transparency and journal presentations.
This facility is specifically designed as a biological mass spectrometry core facility. It will contain 4 instruments that, collectively, will cover the large majority of analytical needs for the isotopic kinetic research. These instruments include a Waters HPLC machine for the preparation of samples, a BTZ-Europa Gas Chromatograph Combustion Isotope ratio mass spectrometer and an Agilent Technologies HP9327 Gas Chromatograph Quadrupole machine. The BTZ-Europa also will have the ability to combust solid samples and to measure 13C02 isotopic enrichments in breath and plasma bicarbonate.
The Institute for Genomic Biology was established to advance life science research and stimulate bio-economic development in the state of Illinois in three broad program areas: Systems Biology, Cellular and Metabolic Engineering and Genome Technology. Research will focus on applications of genomic biology in addressing significant problems in agriculture, medicine and the environment. These include understanding how global climatic change affects plant ecosystems, creating new biofuels and renewable energy resources, identifying genes that influence animal behavior, discovery of new antibiotics and the diagnosis and treatment of chronic human diseases. The new IGB facility was opened in fall 2006 and is a state of the art research facility. Be sure to check out the list of their instruments.
The NCSA provides an incredible resource for computational biology and bioinformatics. The Center opened in 1986 as one of the five original National Science Foundation Supercomputer Centers. During the decade covered by that program, the center earned an international reputation for innovative applications in high-performance computing, visualization, and desktop software. NCSA greatly broadened the user base of remote supercomputing and the Internet by developing the cross-platform software tool NCSA Telnet in 1987. In 1992, the center developed NCSA Mosaic, the first easily-available graphical Web browser that helped launch the explosive growth of the Web in the 1990s. NCSA's wide range of education and outreach programs illustrate its commitment to helping communities, education, and businesses employ cutting-edge technologies and computing tools. The center also collaborates with Fortune 500 corporations through its Private Sector Program. This program gives businesses the opportunity to explore new technologies and tools that can help them maintain a competitive edge in a global economy. As it enters the new century, NCSA continues to be at the forefront of supercomputing technology and to work to apply the power of supercomputers, grid technologies, and advanced visualization environments to the needs of society, including scientists, our schools, our communities, and populations that have been underrepresented in the technology revolution.
The Piglet Nutrition & Cognition Lab was opened 5/20/15 and is designed as a high-throughput facility to artificially-rear newborn piglets and conduct behavioral testing. This unique infrastructure is designed to investigate how early-life nutrition influences growth and development of the brain. With a dedicated facility coordinator and capacity to raise 48 newborn piglets simultaneously, PNCL offers collaborative opportunities to use the piglet as a pre-clinical model in biomedical research.
By all measures, the Division of Nutritional Sciences and the University of Illinois offer truly exceptional opportunities for graduate training in nutrition.
The University of Illinois is one of the original 37 public land-grant institutions created within 10 years of the signing of the Morrill Act by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. Of a student population of 36,000, 1/3 are graduate and professional students.
In 2011, Illinois was ranked 13th overall among public universities and 7th among 223 graduate schools of education that grant doctorates or master degrees by U.S. News and World Report. The 1999 Fiske Guide to Colleges states that Illinois supports "excellent programs in diverse fields" and awards it a five-star rating in academics. Illinois is 9th in the 2001 Kiplinger's Financial Newsletter of "best value" and Money magazine's 1998 "Guide to Colleges" ranked Illinois 18th in a list of the top 100 schools providing the best education for the money.
The Division of Nutritional Sciences graduate program is placed ideally to offer research opportunities at all levels of biological complexity and to provide these opportunities within an appropriate intellectual environment. During your graduate studies, you will interact with faculty members with a wide breadth of expertise at both the conceptual and technical level, who are engaged actively in well-funded clinical, physiological, cellular and molecular research. You will find that cross-departmental, interdisciplinary collaboration particularly is evident. By virtue of the multidisciplinary nature of the program, there is a strong basis in the teaching in integrative biology with a particular focus on nutrient regulation. Lastly, you will find that there are few other universities in the U.S. that provide unrivaled research facilities to support state-of-the-art research training in nutritional sciences.