Coronavirus update

Important information:
All on-campus visits and events are cancelled or postponed until further notice. Virtual events will be running as normal unless otherwise stated.  For the latest updates visit our coronavirus information page. Please note that some of our on campus events may be replaced by virtual events - please check with the event organiser listed against each event.

BRIDGE Fellows Virtual Seminar Series: Population Dynamics and Women's Health

Tuesday 20 October 2020 (17:30-18:30)

For more information, please contact Richard Brunt International Partnerships Officer, Birmingham Global

The Iron Bridge arching across the River Severn in Shropshire, England, on a lovely sunny day.

The BiRmingham-Illinois Partnership for Discovery, EnGagement and Education (BRIDGE) between the University of Birmingham and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a signature strategic partnership at the heart of two leading global institutions’ international engagement. Hailed by THE as one of the ‘first substantive links between a UK and US institution’, the BRIDGE partnership is unique in its depth and breadth of engagement. 

Signed in 2014, the BRIDGE agreement has established a framework for creative knowledge exchange across disciplines through frequent and purposeful collaborations between faculty, staff and students.  In the past six years, we have cultivated over 80 faculty-to-faculty links in fields ranging from the humanities to engineering sciences.

Our distinctive BRIDGE Fellowship programme brings together international research teams in the UK and the USA and paves the way to institutionalise faculty links. We have jointly recruited a cohort of high-potential early-career researchers onto tenure-track positions in education, neuroscience, psychology, maternal health and cultural heritage. Fellows work across Birmingham and Illinois on key global challenges and act as a bridge to cultivate broader engagement between transatlantic research teams.

To celebrate the importance of this partnership, Professor Tim Softley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Birmingham, and Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, invite you to join us for a series of virtual seminars, in which BRIDGE Fellows and academic colleagues will present and highlight the vital research that is taking place through this important initiative.


Dr Justina Zurauskiene, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, BRIDGE Fellow - Population Dynamics and Women’s Health

Dr Žurauskienė’s research focusses on development of new statistical and computational tools that can model complex interactions between components such as genetics, environment and lifestyle - uncovering patterns and trends that can influence maternal health, such as finding better biological markers for pregnancy related diseases.

Working closely with local Public Health Department and scientists at Illinois has given her an unparalleled research opportunity - initiating research projects on maternal health disparities, one of which is recruiting local underserved women from various ethnical and racial backgrounds to study metabolic health disparities and gestational diabetes.

Professor Jean-Baptiste Cazier, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences,Chair of Bioinformatics and Director of the Centre for Computational Biology

Jean-Baptiste Cazier is a Professor of Bioinformatics with interest across the broad spectrum of Computational and Mathematical modelling of natural phenomena. He has three main area of interest: Cancer Genetics, Population Genetics, Swarming and Metabonomics.  His life-long goal is to integrate all his eclectic, and ever expending, fields of interest.

Jean-Baptiste was part of a team of colleagues who launched the UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project – a national project which uses rapid integration of data from across the UK to deliver in near-real-time information to clinicians and cancer patients about how anti-cancer treatments affect COVID-19. This close collaboration between oncologists and the team of data scientists that he led through the Centre for Computational Biology illustrates how expert use of data can have an immediate impact on patients’ lives.

Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, Associate Professor of Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Dr. Madak-Erdogan improves the quality of life for postmenopausal women and breast cancer survivors by understanding how diet and nutrition affect hormone action. Her lab uses multiscale modeling of –omics data from patient samples, animal models, and cell lines to understand the molecular basis of metabolic regulation by nuclear receptors and therapy resistance.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities