The Cancer Center at Illinois, also known as the CCIL, began in 2009 as the Cancer Community, led by current Director, Rohit Bhargava, and a group of over 50 Illinois faculty. These initial members started to organize regular activities and enabled interactions among faculty through symposia, workshops, and thematic research groups. Within a decade, the community had grown to over one hundred Illinois faculty and several hundred postdoctoral researchers and Illinois students.
Since its inception, the CCIL has sustained progress in planned multi-year phases, including the growth of membership, initiation of research and student programs, regular symposia and meetings, increased multi-disciplinary collaboration, and the growth of shared laboratory resources. As a result, the CCIL has made significant progress in multi-principal investigator activities, cancer funding, and faculty hiring in cancer research across the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. CCIL educational programs and members have also served to start new internal and external collaborations, including those with Carle Foundation Hospital, Mayo Clinic, the University of Illinois-Chicago, and more.
The goal then and now is to unite biologists and technologists, behavioral scientists and computational scientists, chemists and engineers — all with one mission: to relieve the burden of cancer.