Research > Research Programs

Research Programs

Carle has been engaged in research for more than 20 years through innovative programs committed to advancing clinical medicine in a variety of disciplines. Today, SFCRI includes eight programs that conduct research, collect data and work to translate that scientific knowledge into a plan of action that improves outcomes for patients. Our programs are focused on practical, collaborative clinical research that has the potential to be life changing.

Carle Cancer Center

Carle Cancer Center is the premier cancer treatment and support center in east central Illinois, offering the most resources to help patients in the fight against cancer. With the area's largest and most specialized team of fellowship trained oncologists, surgeons and staff, patients have access to an expert team dedicated to providing state of the art diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Our team offers the latest technology and highly specialized multidisciplinary clinics for certain cancers, including breast, prostate, gynecologic, colorectal, and head and neck. We’re committed to providing comprehensive care by offering eight support groups, genetic and nutrition counseling, nurse navigator services and more.

We are a designated National Cancer Institute community oncology research program with more than 100 clinical trials enrolling patients at any given time. We also partner with the University of Illinois on developing technologies that could change the way we diagnose and treat cancers.

Carle Cancer Center conducts research at locations in Urbana, Danville, Mattoon-Charleston, Effingham, Aurora, Yorkville and Evansville.

Carle Heart and Vascular Institute

Recognized by the Society of Chest Pain Centers and ACE, the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence, Carle Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) improves patient outcomes through high quality care, medical research and education. Providing the most advanced care in the region, Carle HVI physicians and clinician-investigators use the latest technologies in support of multiple ongoing studies addressing the vast spectrum of cardiovascular health. These studies include outcomes and comparative effectiveness, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, valvular heart disease, electrophysiology, imaging and peripheral vascular disease as well as other areas.

Carle Neuroscience Institute

Carle Neuroscience Institute (CNI) is home to some of the most advanced neuroscience services and technology available. Our team of specialists is uniquely trained to treat diseases and injuries of the brain, spine, spinal cord and nervous system. Our comprehensive range of neuroscience diagnostic and surgical services help thousands of area patients live longer, better manage their conditions and discover an improved quality of life. In addition to providing the highest quality of clinical care in the neurosciences, CNI has committed itself to the development of a sustainable research environment to enhance our research relationship with the University of Illinois and other academic partners, support retention and recruitment efforts, and increase patient access to state of the art research protocols. Currently, we are conducting more than 40 active research studies including several clinical trials focusing on evaluating the efficacy of new treatments for epilepsy.

Clinical Imaging Research Program

Advancements in medical imaging are central to research efforts across disciplines and our newly established Clinical Imaging Research Program (CIRP) has a goal to be at the forefront of those advancements. The program brings together expertise in cutting edge clinical imaging and in medical specialties such as neuroscience oncology and cardiovascular health. The CIRP will benefit from existing relationships between scientists pursuing breakthrough imaging research at the University of Illinois and Carle clinician-investigators conducting leading edge clinical imaging work. Such synergies will advance the CIRP's mission of developing novel imaging techniques to solve clinical challenges.

Dr. Eugene Greenberg Digestive Health Institute

The Dr. Eugene Greenberg Digestive Health Institute at Carle provides the highest quality care for patients with gastrointestinal conditions and disorders. With expertise in subspecialties such as inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis, the institute offers access to cutting edge diagnostic and therapeutic advances in gastrointestinal disorders. The team operates a robust research program studying ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease, recurrent Clostridium difficile infections, chronic pancreatitis and eosinophilic esophagitis. The institute also works closely with investigators at the University of Illinois on projects aimed at understanding the gut microbiome and its effects on human health and disease.

Excellence in Nursing

Carle nurses are at the forefront of their profession, not only in the care they provide but also in their commitment to leading in the area of evidence based practice and research. This commitment is reflected in Carle’s designation as a Magnet organization and a Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals. Carle nurses lead project/research teams and partner with other Carle clinicians and scientists, fostering learning and providing expertise to enhance the research team effort. As a result, nursing research at Carle improves the experience and outcomes for both patients and staff.

Population Health Program

Our population health research program provides support and expertise to explore new approaches to preventing illness and improving the lives of patients with chronic disease. Initial efforts focus on our partnership with Carle’s Healthy Beginnings Program, a community health initiative designed to help low income children be ready to start school through effective pre- and postnatal healthcare, coordinated access to community services, and parenting support.  Our research program works with Healthy Beginnings leaders to analyze data, develop novel interventions and facilitate collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois and other institutions. 

Rural Health Program

One of the newest research programs at Carle, the Rural Health Program aims to develop innovative solutions to address health concerns of rural populations and providers by fostering a collaborative relationship between the Carle Rural Alliance for Exceptional Care and the University of Illinois. Through the Alliance, we have formalized our collaboration to share resources, improve care protocols and ensure that families aren’t limited by geography when it comes to getting the healthcare they need. Partners in the Alliance include: Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center; Kirby Medical Center, Monticello; Richland Memorial Hospital, Olney; Crawford Memorial Hospital, Robinson; and Paris Community Hospital.