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UIC at 30

'An impact across the world'

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Nancy Sullivan

Nancy Sullivan: Prepare to be amazed at the range of research on campus.

Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

Discovery and innovation at UIC reach far beyond the campus.

That's the message Nancy Sullivan, director of the Office of Technology Management, brought to a discussion of UIC's past, present and future last week.

"Everyone here has been positively impacted by UIC's research or will be once these ideas reach the market," Sullivan told the audience at the "UIC: 30 Years" symposium.

Sullivan promised that, by the end of her talk, listeners would be amazed at the range and reach of research on campus.

"Researchers at UIC have the passion and desire to impact the world," Sullivan said.

And through the technology office and other resources, they are finding the support they need to move their research from discovery to commercialization, she added.

Sullivan offered two innovations that grew out of UIC research, as well as a list of ideas in development that range from shortening the time it takes for braces to straighten your teeth to curing sleep apnea and type 1 diabetes.

One example, Sullivan said: former UIC chemistry researcher Arun Ghosh and colleagues in the National Institutes of Health helped develop a drug for people with multiple-drug resistant HIV-AIDS. After the drug was introduced in 2006, UIC worked to ensure the treatment went where it was needed, including discounted pricing in sub-Saharan Africa.

Her second example: In 1982, physics professor Siva Sivananthan came up with a discovery in his research on semi-conductors that he worked around the clock to refine.

He started his own firm, EPIR Technologies, to manufacture the products that came from his research, which are at the heart of night vision technology used by the U.S. military.

UIC is working to mentor researchers interested in getting their discoveries into the world, and attract investors interested in making it happen, she said.

When we talk about economic development, there's a ripple effect from our discoveries," Sullivan said.

"It's not just Chicago, it's not just Illinois, it's not just the U.S.

"We're making an impact across the world."



Three who made it happen consider the outcome

Looking back at UIC's place in Chicago history

What they said

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