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About Us

As the research and clinical trials component of oncology within the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, our first priority is the safety and welfare of our patients, and we strive to provide the highest standard of care in a comfortable, compassionate environment.  As an educational institution, we pride ourselves as the largest medical school in the country, servicing one of the most diverse populations and excelling on the brink of ground-breaking research.  We are an academic cancer center, which provides our patients with access to cutting edge treatments, the latest discoveries and world-renowned speakers that visit to share their breadth of knowledge.

The University of Illinois Cancer Center employs a healthy community of faculty committed to fully understanding cancer.  This faculty of clinicans and researchers bridges our three campuses in ChicagoPeoria and Rockford and 11 colleges throughout the University, representing an holistic view of cancer that knows no boundaries. We work collaboratively with the University of Illinois Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Allied Health Sciences, Public Health, and Social Work, in the context of cancer biology, genetics, therapies, imaging, prevention and early detection, and psychosocial oncology.  Within the College of Liberal Arts and Scientists, our basic scientists explore cancer from the foundations of biology, chemistry and physics, while our social scientists investigate the core of societal and individual behavioral factors impacting cancer risk. From urban planning and policy-making, to food choices and exercise programs, the University of Illinois Cancer Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to cancer.  Finally, all of our campuses are integrated with the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, where our facilities provide state-of-the art treatment and serve as a model for clinical trials.

The research we do is separated into thematic programs, looking at the birth of  cancer and preventing a reoccurrence; the biological landscape of cancer; eradicating cancer through directed medicine and the societal and behavioral role of cancer.  Research within these programs is then translated into the latest  treatments, often based on genetic or environmental information that enables a personalized approach to medicine.  Our  multidisciplinary cancer clinics offer patients the best in comprehensive care.   Likewise, we strive to provide our many dedicated health care providers the tools needed to facilitate participation in clinical trials,  seminars and cross-disciplinary collaboration. 

Our Cancer Center philosophy and execution functions under five cores: Education, Community, Clinical Science and Services, Basic Sciences and Shared Resources. These cores underlie our priorities. Our clinicians and researchers, of whom make up our highly distinguished faculty, not only train our future healthcare providers, but are breaking new ground in the process with continual research on cancer. Our Office of Community Engagement and Implementation Sciences also facilitates this value of education through community screenings and prevention  opportunities, by embedding themselves within the groups of people who most need our care.  Our labs and hospital facilities are stocked with state-of-the-art technology, allowing our clinicians to treat their patients and our researchers to seek out cancer’s demons, using the basics of science and modern medicine.  Finally, our Shared Resources are plentiful, providing our Cancer Center with the many tools needed to conduct innovative clinical trials that are in their earliest stages, and develop novel pharmaceuticals that are changing the way cancer is treated.


Our mission of serving the underserved is carried throughout, with our partnership to the UI Health Mile Square Health Centers as a way to maintain that connection.  Mile Square offers our patients an opportunity for primary health care and cancer screening as needed, under the umbrella of the Federally Qualified Health Care Systems.  Within this context, we are building a model to provide our constituents with access to  the best healthcare possible. More information about Mile Square and its locations throughout the City of Chicago can be found here

Because our providers are uniquely aware of the disproportionate impact that the burden of cancer has on certain minority populations, we make it a priority to become part of the community.  In addition to our FQHC system, we prioritize our relationships with institutions, faith-based organizations and social services that we have built.  These are available for our patients’ needs and can help administer assistance to our patients as they might experience the cancer journey.  We call this a Bench to Community Model, and this means that we are directly applying the research, screening , prevention and education tools that we are developing in our labs, to the communities that we serve.  This also enables us to bring our services to the Mile Square Health Centers throughout Chicago.

The combination of our laboratory research, clinical trials and patient care enables our Cancer Center teams to actively translate knowledge gained, into an improved quality of life for persons and families impacted by cancer. Welcome to the University of Illinois.