At UCI Health Affairs, we do not practice medicine. We Create It.

Our nation-leading status is achieved by the innovative combination of our world class experts in medicine, nursing, pharmaceutical sciences, public health and integrative health, to produce a uniquely collaborative, team-based synergy.

Strength in Numbers

Data from fiscal year 2020-2021. Data source: UCI Office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research, UCI Office of Research, UCI Health Advancement, and UCI Health.

$246.9 M

Research awards

received by Health Affairs


Increase in awards funding

over the last three years

$90.8 M

awarded for clinical trials research


Award nominations

submitted by COHS faculty

$138.9 M

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Awards

Within the School of Medicine

Research Centers and Institutes

Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

The UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (CFCCC), led by Associate Vice Chancellor and Director Richard A. Van Etten, MD, PhD, is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in Orange County. NCI cancer centers are national leaders in cancer research, education and treatment, and centers designated as “comprehensive” are at the forefront, signifying that it has met rigorous criteria aimed at providing world-class patient care and innovative research.

Institute for Clinical and Translational Science

The UCI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS), led by Associate Vice Chancellor and Director Dan Cooper, MD, is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) program. The ICTS functions as a local centerpiece for the national program, and is dedicated to advancing scientific discovery and medical breakthroughs through accelerating discoveries from the lab and translating them into life-altering medical care.

UCI Institute for Precision Health

The UCI Institute for Precision Health is led by Co-Directors Tom Andriola, UCI vice chancellor for information, technology and data, and Leslie Thompson, PhD, UCI Donald Bren Professor of psychiatry & human behavior and neurobiology & behavior. The mission of IPH is to combine our health sciences, engineering, statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, clinical genomics, data science, public health, and healthcare delivery system capabilities to provide personalized and effective health and wellness strategies and, in doing so, confront the linked challenges of health equity and the high cost of care.

Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center

The UCI Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, led by Director Aileen J. Anderson, Ph.D., is a dynamic center encompassing a diverse array of interdisciplinary investigators that span the Schools of Medicine, Biological Sciences, Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Engineering, Arts and Law. Research programs include an NIH-sponsored T32 training grant, state-of-the-art shared equipment and research services programs, community lecture series, annual stem cell science symposium and seminar series.

UCI Center for Clinical Research

As a full-service clinical research unit, the UCI Center for Clinical Research (CCR) is committed to serving patients, researchers and sponsors with the highest level of clinical care and operational standards available. The UCI Center for Clinical Research is a premier clinical research organization providing life-saving clinical trials by strengthening and accelerating the pathway of discovery from bench to bedside. Aligned with a top academic medical center, CCR is uniquely positioned to deliver world class clinical care and innovative trials from a large number of pharmaceutical and device companies nationwide.

Recent Research Highlights

Dr. Jonathan Lakey in a lab looking out from behind flasks

Transplant biomaterial that doesn’t trigger immune response

Led by Jonathan Lakey, PhD, professor of surgery and biomedical engineering, researchers are using stem cell technology to create a biomaterial for pancreatic islet transplants for long-term treatment for Type 1 diabetes.

a map showing fire frequency and high impact census tracts

Wildfires disproportionately affect elderly and poor residents

Researchers analyzed the fire frequency and areas burned by wildfires across all census tracts in California over the last 20 years and found a large portion of the cost have fallen on people who can least afford them. The study bolsters calls for enhanced aid and recovery efforts in regions hardest hit by wildfires.

a nurse holding lowered head

Examining moral injury in frontline nurses during COVID-19

Assistant professor Candace Burton, nursing PhD student Danisha Jenkins and assistant professor in Psychological Science Alyson Zalta, received an ICTS grant to study the impact of moral challenges nurses face during the pandemic and their potential contribution to professional turnover.

futuristic image of a nurse touching a digital screen

Digital model of community-centered care

In collaboration with department of Computer Sciences, assistant professor Amir M. Rahmani, PhD, is working to establish a model of digital community-centered care that is efficient, automated, and scalable, connecting healthcare providers to vulnerable or rural populations and communities in most need.

Dr. Leslie Thompson against a DNA graphic

Tackling Huntington’s Disease one
gene at a time

Leslie Thompson, PhD, Chancellor’s professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Chancellor’s professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, studies the genetic mutations that causes specific brain cells to prompt motor and cognitive skill regressions, premature dysfunction, and death. Her team is working on stem cell therapies for treatments and cures.

hand holding a vial, photo by Leonard Ortiz

Preemptive vaccine for all coronaviruses

Director of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology Lbachir BenMohmaed, PhD leads a team funded by a multimillion-dollar grant from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) to design a preemptive coronavirus vaccine for future coronavirus pathogens.

imaging of control and treated enzyme cells

CRISPR technology lays foundation for restoring vision

Krzysztof Palczewski, PhD, the Irving H. Leopold chair and a distinguished professor in the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, led a breakthrough study using a new generation CRISPR technology to restore retinal and visual functions of mice models suffering from inherited retinal disease.

watch on wrist next to an iphone screen

Digital tools aid asthma management

UCI is working with Anthem to show how everyday digital devices such as smartphones and smart watches can help individuals self-manage asthma towards an improved clinical outcome. The study also looks at the ability of devices to predict asthma exacerbation and to serve as digital biomarkers of asthma control.

Dr. Amal Alachkar in a lab

Schizophrenia study: nurture cannot overcome nature

Research led by associate professor Amal Alachkar found that too much of a certain amino acid in utero caused schizophrenia in mice despite the quality of postpartum caregiving. The findings may open the door for scientists to develop drugs to intervene early in life.

See All Research News

Dr. Goldstein
UCI is the region’s only university-based health system, and year-over-year growth in external funding underscores how we are leading the way by empowering discoveries and training the diverse, interprofessional healthcare workforce of the future to carry on that legacy.
Steve A.N. Goldstein, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

More Centers and Institutes Promoting Health and Wellbeing

In addition to the centers and institutes listed above, there are an abundance of research organizations and university-wide resources devoted to the promotion of health and wellbeing.