Dear Colleagues:

In response to the recommendations of the Illinois Innovation Summit held on the Urbana-Champaign campus in April, 2011, the Interdisciplinary Innovation Initiative (In3) Program ( was launched in December, 2011 to stimulate innovations in interdisciplinary research and education across campus. The In3 program aims to facilitate collaborations that support innovative research and education activities, chart new directions and enhance campus interdisciplinarity.

A total of 50 proposals was submitted to the program in 2012, with a total budget request of more than $9.2 million. Proposals were reviewed and discussed in detail by the In3 Review Committee. A total of $1.86 million was awarded, with funding provided by the OVCR, the Beckman Institute, and the Colleges of Engineering and LAS.  

I am pleased to announce that the following projects have been selected for funding:

*Randy Ewoldt, Gavin Horn, Sung Soo Shin. S.P.L.A.T. Mechanics ' Sticky Pastes and Liquids for Art and Technology

*Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, Julie Hengst,  Laura DeThorne, Thomas Huang, Patricia Malik, Tracy Gunderson. Pseudo-intelligent mediators ('Robo-Buddies') to improve communication between students with and students without physical disabilities

*Jian Ma, Rohit Bhargava, Jiawei Han, Benita Katzenellenbogen, Wen-Mei Hwu, Deming Chen, Jay Kesan.  Developing an Interdisciplinary Research Program in Cancer Genomics

*Ripan Malhi, Cris Hughes, Lyle Konigsberg, Patrick Vargas, Melissa Littlefield, Carla Hunter, Alfred Roca.  Uses and Limitations of Genomic Research in Forensic Science

*Deana McDonagh, Stephen Boppart, Brian Ross, Ting Lu, Bruce Schatz.  Interdisciplinarity + Innovation + Creativity = Brighter Future

*Christian Sandvig, Sally Jackson, Cedric Langbort, Kyratso Karahalios, Kevin Hamilton.  What Your Infrastructure Wants: Developing the Missing Human-Infrastructure Interface

*Susan Schantz, Jodi Flaws, Yuan-Xiang Pan, William Helferich, Janice Juraska, Joshua Gulley, Barbara Fiese, Andrea Aguiar, Sharon Donovan, Renee Baillargeon.  Enduring Consequences of Maternal Obesity

*Sheng Zhong, Taekjip Ha, Fei Wang.  Model-based dissection of cell-fate decisions

*Scott Althaus, Peter Nardulli, Dan Roth, Joseph Houston, Wendy Cho.  Analytical Enhancements to a Unique UI Resource: The Cline Center's Digitized Global News Archive

*Brian Dill, Ashwini Chhatre, Matthew Winters, Katherine Baylis.  Economic Development, Climate Change, and the Transition to Renewable Energy

*Shen Dillon, Ioannis Chasiotis, John Lambros, Jayadev Athreya.  Mechanism Informed Design of Multifunctional Structural High-Strength Batteries

*Yi Lu, John Katzenellenbogen, Stephen Boppart, William Helferich, Jianjun Cheng, Wawrzyniec Dobrucki.  Selective Agents for Multi-target and Multi-modal Cancer Imaging and Therapy

*Taher Saif, Mark Kuhlenschmidt, Davendra Ramkumar, Tangella Krishnarao.  Metastasis on a dish

An interdisciplinary symposium to showcase these innovative projects is being planned for Spring 2013. It is hoped that the seed funding provided by the In3 program will lead to new research and education areas and accelerate efforts at the national and global level to address critical societal needs of the future.


Debasish Dutta
Interim Vice Chancellor for Research


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