Prashant Jain, a member of the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group and professor of chemistry, is one of seven recipients of the Beckman Young Investigator Award from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. This highly competitive award of $750,000 over four years is "intended to provide research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of academic careers in the chemical and life sciences, particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments, and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science." Jain received the award for his work on nanoscale imaging of catalysts in action.
A new study led by Gene Robinson, Beckman faculty member and director of the Institute for Genomic Biology, examined changes in gene activity in response to diet in the Western honey bee, and found significant differences occur depending on what the bees eat.
A survey of 142 men and 516 women with experience in field studies in anthropology, archaeology, geology and other scientific disciplines reveals that many of them—particularly the younger ones—suffered or witnessed sexual harassment or sexual assault while at work in the field. “Our main findings—that women trainees were disproportionately targeted for abuse and felt they had few avenues to report or resolve these problems—suggest that at least some field sites are not safe, nor inclusive,” said Beckman affiliate Kate Clancy, who led the analysis.
A research team from Illinois, led by Beckman affiliate faculty member Kimani Toussaint, has developed a novel, tunable nanoantenna that paves the way for new kinds of plasmonic-based optomechanical systems, whereby plasmonic field enhancement can actuate mechanical motion.
A new study shows that giving yourself advice and encouragement in the second person before an upcoming task may actually boost your performance more than a first-person self-talk. “People are used to receiving and giving advice in the second person, and they seem to prefer using the second-person pronoun to psych themselves up before engaging in action,” says study co-author Sanda Dolcos, a postdoctoral researcher at the Beckman Institute.
Gabriel Popescu, full-time faculty member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, is feautured in Microscopy and Analysis for his pioneering work in quantitative phase imaging.
Going for regular brisk walks may improve symptoms among people with Parkinson’s disease and boost their quality of life, according to a preliminary study. Beckman Director Art Kramer collaborated on the study with reserachers from the University of Iowa, including former Beckman graduate and postdoctoral student Michelle Voss.
Rohit Bhargava, of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, and Benita Katzenellenbogen, an expert in breast cancer endocrinology in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and a Beckman seed grant awardee, identified the reasons why endocrine therapies fail in treating breast cancer in some women. They also designed a method to determine which patients would be long-term responders at the time of the first biopsy.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has named Jeffrey Moore, of the Autonomous Materials Systems Group, an HHMI Professor. Moore will receive a five-year grant from HHMI. According to the institute, “HHMI professors are accomplished research scientists who also are deeply committed to making science more engaging for undergraduates. Their innovative approaches to teaching are infusing undergraduate science with the excitement and rigor of scientific research, and are becoming models for fundamental reform of the way undergraduate science is taught at research universities.”
In his new role, Cohen, of the Cognitive Neurosciene Group, will work closely with researchers across campus, as well as the Offices of the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Research, and relevant academic and research units, to develop a new Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute as envisioned in the Campus Strategic Plan.
Beckman researchers Narayana Aluru, Iwona Jasiuk, and Taras Pogorelov were three of the nine researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that have been selected to receive fellowships with research support that will enable them to pursue collaborative projects with the researchers and computer technology experts at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
A new generation of miniature biological robots is flexing its muscle. Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including Beckman faculty members Rashid Bashir and Taher Saif, demonstrated a class of walking “bio-bots” powered by muscle cells and controlled with electrical pulses, giving researchers unprecedented command over their function. The group published its work in the online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Fatima Husain, Beckman part-time faculty member and U of I speech and hearing science professor, and her colleagues found that tinnitus, a condition in which a person hears a ringing sound despite the lack of an actual sound, is associated with emotional processing in a different part of the brain than in those without the condition.
Aleksei Aksimentiev, a part-time faculty member of the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, used the National Science Foundation-supported Stampede supercomputer to explore a cutting-edge method of DNA sequencing. The method uses an electric field to drive a strand of DNA through a small hole, or “nanopore,” either in silicon or a biological membrane.
Klaus Schulten of the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group will deliver the keynote address at the 2014 International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany, discussing his work with the Blue Waters supercomputer to observe how the HIV capsid interacts with drugs and host proteins at the atomic level. Schulten invented the Nanoscale Molecular Dynamics (NAMD) software program, one of the most widely used tools for understanding diseases at a molecular level.