Welcome to the

Beckman Institute

The Beckman Institute at Illinois is a world-class interdisciplinary facility devoted to ground-breaking research in the physical sciences, computation, engineering, biology, behavior, cognition, and neuroscience.

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About the Beckman Institute

The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology opened in 1989 as one of the first facilities in the world dedicated to interdisciplinary research. The Institute's mission is to foster an interdisciplinary approach to doing leading-edge research in the physical and life sciences, and engineering. The Institute was founded on the premise that reducing the barriers between traditional scientific and technological disciplines can yield the greatest advances. Research is focused broadly around four themes: Biological Intelligence, Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction, Integrative Imaging, and Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures. The 313,000-square foot building was made possible by a gift from Arnold and Mabel Beckman. More than 1,500 faculty, students, and postdoctoral and other associates are actively engaged in research at the Institute.

Research at Beckman

Research at the Beckman Institute is categorized into four broad themes to provide faculty with a loose organizational framework. Beckman's interdisciplinary approach allows areas of study to overlap within the themes. The research themes are:
Biological Intelligence, Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction,
Integrative Imaging, Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures
Scientists work across the themes to both advance our knowledge of science and for real-world applications. Many at Beckman focus on cognitive and brain health, as well as linguistics and language learning studies, which have a beneficial impact on people. Bioimaging work seeks to advance imaging technology and biomedical applications, including in another area of focus, cancer research. Others use bioengineering principles to create new technologies, while Beckman has been home to breakthrough innovations in the fields of electronics and advanced computational methods since it opened.

Research Support Facilities

The Beckman Institute provides researchers state-of-the-art facilities for imaging, microscopy, and scientific visualization that are unparalleled for a campus institute. The Biomedical Imaging Center, Illinois Simulator Laboratory, and the Imaging Technology Group are premier resources for researchers in any field. The Imaging Technology Group was created in 1992 and today is made up of two resources: the Microscopy Suite (for microscopic imaging of specimens) and the Visualization Laboratory (for scientific image and graphics creation and analysis). The Illinois Simulator Laboratory was created in 1995 for experiments in cognition using highly-advanced virtual reality environments. The Biomedical Imaging Center, which became a Beckman resource in 2002, is a unique campus support facility with a variety of magnetic resonance imaging machines, as well ultrasound, optical, and molecular imaging modalities.

World-Class Faculty

Beckman Institute researchers are known throughout the world for pioneering work in areas ranging from electronics and imaging science, to neuroscience and signal processing. There are more than 200 faculty members from nine colleges and 46 departments at the University of Illinois doing research at the Beckman Institute. Beckman Institute faculty members hold chaired professorships in departments throughout the Illinois campus, have been named as fellows of the most prestigious science and engineering academies, won the most coveted awards in science and technology, and led research projects that have had a worldwide impact on science, technology, and human health. They have also been rated as excellent teachers by their students, founded start-up companies, and dedicated their work to advances that improve the world in which we live.

Beckman Fellows and Student Researchers

Beckman Fellows and graduate and undergraduate students contribute greatly to the work that goes on at the Beckman Institute. There are more than 1,000 students (nearly 600 graduate students and more than 440 undergraduates) at Beckman who make a tremendous impact on scientific discoveries and papers. Alumni from Beckman Institute research groups and Fellows programs have gone on to make contributions in academia, business, and government. While there are no classes held at the Institute, learning goes on in laboratories, research groups, and cubicles every day. The Institute's researchers rely on the critical contributions of these students and Beckman Fellows to do the laboratory work, experiments, and reporting of results that make research possible. In addition, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation funds the Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Fellows programs at the Institute.

University of Illinois

Founded in 1867 as one of the original 37 land-grant institutions of higher learning, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is annually ranked as one of the top public research universities in the country. More than 40,000 students are served by 17 colleges and instructional units at Illinois. There are 15 colleges and schools and seven institutes and centers engaged in research at the University of Illinois. When the Beckman Institute opened in 1989, it brought national attention to Illinois for its innovative, interdisciplinary approach to research. It remains today as what one campus leader called the crown jewel of research at the University. Top-ranked programs at Illinois such as in engineering and psychology contribute many faculty members to Beckman, helping to make it an integral part of research efforts at the University.

Beckman News

Apr 10Boppart Named Illinois Proof of Concept Awardee

Office of Technology Management – Stephen Boppart, full-time faculty member in the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, has been awarded Proof of Concept funding from the University of Illinois Office of Technology Management. The funding will help prove market viability for Boppart's Quantitative Pneumatic Otoscope project, which provides a standard surface view of the eardrum, and also sees through the eardrum to visualize middle ear contents using optical coherence tomography (OCT).

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MRI Scanner Installation Timelapse (2 Days in 2 Minutes!)

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Watch the 2-day installation of the Biomedical Imaging Center's newest MRI scanner compressed into just 2 minutes! You'll also learn a few fun factoids, such as that the scanner being replaced was actually the first human MRI scanner on the University of Illinois' campus. The Biomedical Imaging Center is a unit of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Center traces its heritage to the Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Laboratory founded at UIUC by Professor Paul Lauterbur, 2003 winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine. To learn more, visit http://bic.beckman.illinois.edu/

Singing Robot

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Bert, the iCub humanoid robot, sings Jingle Bells. Bert, who joined the Beckman in 2010, belongs to Stephen Levinson's Language Acquistion and Robotics Laboratory. Levinson and his group are training Bert to learn language as a child would, in order to gain insight into human psychology and neurophysiological development. In this video, Levinson lab member Jacob Bryan describes how he got Bert to sing. The iCub has a sense of touch (key for acquiring language, such as when learning to differentiate between a hard object and a soft object), its hands permit dexterous manipulation, and its head and eyes are fully articulated. For more information, please visit the Beckman web site: beckman.illinois.edu

Dancing Proteins: Cell Membrane Transporter Motion May Revolutionize Drug Therapies

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Professor Emad Tajkhorshid and his collaborators have successfully simulated the molecular dance moves that a multidrug resistance membrane transporter undertakes as it pumps compounds out of a cell. This is the first time researchers have been able to simulate the motion of a complex membrane transporter in its native environment in full atomic detail and gives drug developers vital new targets to help combat drug-resistant cancers and other diseases. Tajkhorshid is a professor of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a faculty member in the Computational Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics group at the Beckman Institute.

Clownfish Sex Tape (The Circle of Life Has Never Been So Sexy!)

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This steamy, hidden-camera sex tape gets you up-close and personal with clownfish and shows you what they get up to when the lights go out. This video features a fun and fact-filled display of the secret sex life of the clown anemonefish... caught in the act and in full HD. The circle of life has never been so sexy! This candid video captures the clownfish lifecycle - from mating to birth to adolescence - and was shot on location in the Justin Rhodes Lab at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Alpha Brain Waves Predict Video Game Learning

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Neuroscientist Kyle Mathewson discusses how your brain waves can give researchers an idea of how quickly you will learn a video game... even before you play it. Mathewson is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Perception and Performance groups at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This video was an official entry in the 2013 Society for Neuroscience Brain Awareness Video Competition. To read an article about this research, please visit... http://beckman.illinois.edu/news/2013/10/brain-waves


Weekly Outlook

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  2. 17Apr
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  11. 26Apr
  12. 27Apr
  13. 28Apr
  14. 29Apr
  1. Beckman Institute Graduate Student Seminar
  2. Nanohour Seminar Series
  3. Thursdays@12:20 Concert Featuring The Archaea Tree Ensemble
  4. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  5. Olaf Sporn: Brain Connectivity
  6. Neuroscience Seminar-"There and back again: cortical feedback modulates thalamic and midbrain sound processing"
  7. George and Ann Fisher Professorship Investiture
  8. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  9. Bioacoustics Research Lab Seminar
  10. Illinois Biophysics Society Symposium
  11. iOptics Seminar
  12. Nanohour Seminar Series
  13. Beckman Institute Director's Seminar
  14. Language Processing Brown Bag
  15. Ann Brown Award-"Infants' grasp of others' intentions"
  16. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  17. Geography Graduate Student Association Second Annual Invited Lecture
  18. Nanohour Seminar Series
  19. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  20. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  21. Bioacoustics Research Lab Seminar
  22. Midwest Speech and Language Day
  23. Nanohour Seminar Series
  24. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  25. Fox Investiture
  26. Neuroscience Seminar-TBD
  27. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  28. Bioacoustics Research Lab Seminar
  29. iOptics Seminar
  30. Digital Signal Processing Seminar
  31. Imaging Seminar- TBA
  32. Undergraduate Neuroscience Research Symposium
  33. Benefit Outreach Session
  34. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  35. Bioacoustics Research Lab Seminar
  36. Biophotonics Summer School
  37. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  38. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  39. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  40. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  41. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  42. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  43. BRL Seminar and Journal Club
  44. Beckman Imaging Weekly Journal Club
  1. Lemon pepper tilapia with Mexican rice and kale salad
  2. ½ lb. Cheddar bacon beef burger on kaiser roll
  3. Dill tofu salad on flatbread**
  4. Beef barley soup
  5. Roasted red pepper gouda bisque*
  6. Greek salad*
  7. Kale salad**
  1. Mesquite smoked pork rib tips with baked beans and potato salad
  2. Bourbon bacon Swiss turkey burger with caramelized balsamic onion jam on pretzel roll
  3. Hummus on pita**
  4. Chicken potato corn chowder
  5. Black bean soup**
  6. Greek salad*
  1. Fish and chips with cole slaw
  2. Pork bbq on kaiser roll
  3. Dill egg salad on wheatberry*
  4. New England clam chowder
  5. Veggie barley soup**
  6. Greek salad*