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The Beckman
Institute is a barrier-busting,
interdisciplinary
research facility
and community
of innovation.
The Beckman Institute is a barrier-busting, collaborative
research facility
and community of innovation.

We Break Barriers.

The Beckman Institute was created to support interdisciplinary research among University of Illinois faculty. We foster scientific advances that couldn’t be done in any other way.
Our founder, Arnold Beckman, was an inventor and philanthropist who knew firsthand the power of interdisciplinary work.
The Beckman Institute is a barrier-busting, collaborative
research facility
and community of innovation.

We Propel Science and Technology.

The Beckman Institute is a unique engine for research. We're making incredible advances while helping ordinary people.
Beckman researchers have developed a new polymer-curing process that could reduce the cost, time, and energy needed.
The Beckman Institute is a barrier-busting, collaborative
research facility
and community of innovation.

We Help You Connect.

We offer a café with drinks and daily specials, events from concerts to research lectures, and plenty of study and meeting spaces.
The Beckman Institute was built to help people connect. Learn more about exploring Beckman.

Latest news

Upcoming events

Today

Gather in the Garden

Beckman garden, west of the building through the cafe's double doors

Contact name: Stacy Olson
Contact email: srolson@illinois.edu
Contact phone: 217-244-8373

Join Director Nadya Mason and your colleagues this fall for informal conversation and coffee in the Beckman garden, which is west of the building through the café’s double doors.

This Gather in the Garden Series will be from 10-10:30 a.m. every Tuesday through the fall semester.

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Today

Responsible Conduct of Research: Human subjects research

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Patty Jones
Contact email: pmjones5@illinois.edu

The Beckman Institute Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series is held on select Tuesdays throughout the fall semester on Zoom or in person. Tune in or come to room 5602 to learn from the experts about topics including scientific misconduct, data collection, animal and human subjects research, data privacy and security, and ethics in the research environment.

Topic: Human subjects research

Speaker: Jennifer Ford, an assistant director in the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects.

This meeting is free and open to the public. Register in advance on Zoom.

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Today

Neuroscience Program Fall Seminar Series : Hiroyuki Kato

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Neuroscience Program
Contact email: nsp@life.illinois.edu

Title: "Integration of parallel ascending pathways in the primary and higher-order."

Speaker: Hiroyuki Kato, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Information flow in the cortex is classically considered as feedforward-hierarchical computation. However, recent findings have started to reveal rather parallel and distributed processing. Dr. Kato will discuss his team's work studying parallel sensory pathways across the primary and higher auditory cortices in extracting complex sound features.

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Graduate Student Seminar: Chung and Mishra

1005 Beckman Institute and Zoom

Contact name: Chaimongkol Saengow
Contact email: saengow@illinois.edu

Two graduate students will present their research at the second Beckman Graduate Student Seminar of the fall 2022 semester: Winnie Chung, psychology; and Abhiroop Mishra, materials science and engineering.

The event takes place Wednesday, Oct. 5 at noon. Register in advance to attend in person or on Zoom.

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Yoga at Beckman

5269 Beckman Institute (fifth-floor tower room)

Contact name: Elena Romanova
Contact email: romanova@illinois.edu

Join us at noon on Wednesdays this fall for restorative yoga with a view! All sessions are free and will be held in Beckman's fifth-floor tower room except for class on 10/12 which will be held in Beckman room 5602 . All are welcome bring your own mat! 

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Frontiers in Miniature Brain Machinery: Hee Jung Chung

2269 Beckman Institute

Contact name: Anne McKinney
Contact email: amckinn@illinois.edu

Hee Jung Chung, Associate Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience at Illinois, will lecture on “The role of brain specific tyrosine phosphatase STEP in hippocampal excitability and seizures” at 4:00 pm in 2269 Beckman Institute and on Zoom October 5, 2022.  One of our MBM trainees will give an introduction.

The lecture is free and open to the public courtesy of the Miniature Brain Machinery Program. Zoom details are below.

Hee Jung Chung completed her PhD at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research interests focus on neurological and behavioral disorders with an emphasis on the study of epilepsy.

The Chung Lab endeavors to understand how epilepsy mutations affect ion channel function and lead to hyperexcitability in inherited or de novo epilepsy, and identify molecular mechanisms that alter ion channels to cause hyperexcitability in acquired epilepsy. To investigate these two areas, they use interdisciplinary approaches including primary neuronal culture, live and fixed microscopy, biochemistry, electrophysiology, and mouse genetics.

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Beckman-Brown Lecture on Interdisciplinary Science

Contact name: Stacy Olson
Contact email: srolson@illinois.edu
Contact phone: 217-244-8373

Beckman-Brown Lecture on Interdisciplinary Science

Professor Fei-Fei Li, Stanford University

2 p.m. CST Thursday, Oct. 6

Her virtual talk is titled, "From Seeing to Doing: Understanding and Interacting with the Real World." Visual intelligence is a cornerstone of intelligence. From passive perception to embodied interaction with the world, vision plays a critical role. In this talk, she will discuss work in the Li Group lab that spans both perception and robotic learning, underscoring the importance of an ‘ecological approach’ to learning. Register in advance on Zoom.

The annual Beckman-Brown Lecture on Interdisciplinary Science honors Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, the founder of the Institute, and Dr. Theodore “Ted” Brown, the founding director. The series is funded by a gift from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Learn more.

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Curious & Eclectic: Calculating the Sensory Aesthetics of Black Liberation

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Patty Jones
Contact email: pmjones5@illinois.edu

The Beckman Institute Curious and Eclectic Seminar Series is held on select Fridays throughout the fall semester via Zoom and in person. Join us to learn about interesting, interdisciplinary scientific topics from Illinois faculty members.

Title: Calculating the Sensory Aesthetics of Black Liberation

Speaker: Stacey Robinson, an associate professor of graphic design, in the School of Art & Design

This meeting is free and open to the public. Register in advance on Zoom.

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Biological Physics (iPoLS) Seminar: Alek Aksimentiev

Beckman Institute Room 3269 (3rd Floor Tower Room)

Contact name: Sharlene Denos
Contact email: denos@illinois.edu

Title: “Multi-resolution simulations at the interface of biology and nanotechnology”

Speaker: Alek Aksimentiev, Professor of Physics and Biophysics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Some nanoscale processes are simply too fast to be registered by experimental approaches or involve displacements at scales too fine for direct experimental observation. Therefore, microscopic simulations have emerged as somewhat of a computational microscope that can characterize processes inaccessible to experimental techniques. Not only revealing the sequence of events underlying an experimental measurement, but also the forces and energies involved. Dr. Aksimentiev will reveal several systems that will illustrate the applications of high-end all-atom, coarse-grained, and multi-resolution simulations to obtain information inaccessible to previous experimental approaches while providing a forward-looking perspective on modeling an entire biological cell at all-atom resolution.

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Theoretical & Computational Biophysics Group Seminar

Beckman Institute Room 3269

Contact name: Lesley Butler
Contact email: lesleym@illinois.edu

Title: Coarse-grained modeling for nucleic acid nanotechnology.

Speaker: Petr Sulc, Assistant Professor, Center for Biological Physics, School of Molecular Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.

DNA and RNA nanotechnology use designed nucleic acid strands to self- assemble large-scale nanostructures and devices. Computer simulations can provide valuable insights into their function but modeling such systems faces several challenges: The nucleic acid nanostructure assembly and function consists of rare events such as creation and breaking of base pairs, and their sizes are typically up to few thousands of nucleotides. Dr. Sulc will present a top-down coarse-grained model, oxDNA, which was specifically designed for simulations of DNA nanotechnology systems, and present examples where it has been used to help design and understand function of DNA, RNA and protein-DNA hybrid nanostructures and processes. In particular, Dr. Sulc will show the model's use to study of DNA origami tetrastack lattice design (a multicomponent nanostructure consisting of a million of nucleotides, with promising applications to metamaterial design), DNA and RNA strand displacement reaction (a fundamental mechanism in nucleic acid computing) and simulations of ATP-powered DNA leaf-spring engine. Dr. Sulc will also present our online browser-based tools for design of DNA and protein-DNA/RNA hybrid nanostructures and provide interactive in-browser simulations to help users design structures with desired function.

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Gather in the Garden

Beckman garden, west of the building through the cafe's double doors

Contact name: Stacy Olson
Contact email: srolson@illinois.edu
Contact phone: 217-244-8373

Join Director Nadya Mason and your colleagues this fall for informal conversation and coffee in the Beckman garden, which is west of the building through the café’s double doors.

This Gather in the Garden Series will be from 10-10:30 a.m. every Tuesday through the fall semester.

Read more

Responsible Conduct of Research: Laboratory safety

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Patty Jones
Contact email: pmjones5@illinois.edu

The Beckman Institute Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series is held on select Tuesdays throughout the fall semester on Zoom or in person. Tune in or come to room 5602 to learn from the experts about topics including scientific misconduct, data collection, animal and human subjects research, data privacy and security, and ethics in the research environment.

Topic: Laboratory safety

Speaker: Stephanie Hess, a director in the Division of Research Safety.

This meeting is free and open to the public. Register in advance on Zoom.

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Neuroscience Program Fall Seminar Series : Richard Betzel

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Neuroscience Program
Contact email: nsp@life.illinois.edu

Title: "Edge-centric connectomics."

Speaker: Richard Betzel, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, IU Network Science Institute, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana

Brains can be modeled as functional networks, where interregional connections and their weights are estimated as a correlations. Dr. Betzel will present an approach for exactly decomposing these connections (edges) into their time-varying contributions. This approach yields framewise estimates of networks across time and can be used to estimate the novel construct of "edge functional connectivity".

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Yoga at Beckman

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Elena Romanova
Contact email: romanova@illinois.edu

Join us at noon on Wednesday this fall for restorative yoga with a view! All sessions are free and will be held in Beckman's fifth-floor tower room except for class on 10/12 which will be held in Beckman room 5602 . All are welcome bring your own mat! 

Read more

The Willard J. and Priscilla F. Visek Lecture: David Moore

Beckman Institute Room 1025-Auditorium

Contact name: Angela Dean
Contact email: aedean2@illinois.edu

Title: "Regulation of liver energy balance by nutrient sensing nuclear receptors"

Speaker: David Moore, Professor and chair, Department of Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California.

The liver is crucial for maintaining whole body energy balance. For example, it responds to fasting by secreting glucose and to feeding by both metabolizing it and storing it as glycogen. The nuclear receptors FXR and PPARα are activated in the fed or fasted liver, respectively, and regulate many basic metabolic processes. Dr. Moore's lab have found that both receptors also regulate processes that are not directly related to metabolic pathways but are central to liver energy balance. Dr. Moore's presentation will focus on the previously described roles of FXR and PPARα in control of autophagy and more recent results on control of the liver secretome. 

 

 

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iOptics Seminar: Paul Kwiat

Beckman Institute Room 3269

Contact name: Benjamin Nussbaum
Contact email: bn9@illinois.edu

Title: "101 Fun Things to Do with a Quantum Entanglement Source"

Speaker: Paul Kwiat, John Bardeen Chair in Electrical Engineering and Physics, Director of IQUIST, Department of Physics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The Quantum Information Revolution is in full swing, and entanglement — the spooky nonclassical, nonlocal connection that can be shared by quantum particles — is the key ingredient. In this talk, Dr. Kwiat will discuss how to create (photon) entanglement, and several applications for secure communication and quantum-enhanced sensing. Time permitting, he will include a lesson in quantum cooking.

 

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Beckman Director’s Seminar: Marianne Alleyne

Contact name: Darin Doty
Contact email: ddoty@illinois.edu
Contact phone: 217-244-6553

Marianne Alleyne will speak at the Beckman Institute's virtual Director's Seminar at noon Thursday, Oct. 13. Alleyne, assistant professor in the Department of Entomology, will be discussing "Insects did it first: multifunctionality of surfaces and structures." The seminar will be a hybrid event held in Beckman, room 1005 and via Zoom. A boxed lunch will be provided to those who register as in-person attendees. Please indicate whether you will attend virtually or in-person.

Read more

Gather in the Garden

Beckman garden, west of the building through the cafe's double doors

Contact name: Stacy Olson
Contact email: srolson@illinois.edu
Contact phone: 217-244-8373

Join Director Nadya Mason and your colleagues this fall for informal conversation and coffee in the Beckman garden, which is west of the building through the café’s double doors.

This Gather in the Garden Series will be from 10-10:30 a.m. every Tuesday through the fall semester.

Read more

Responsible Conduct of Research: Animal research

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Patty Jones
Contact email: pmjones5@illinois.edu

The Beckman Institute Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series is held on select Tuesdays throughout the fall semester on Zoom or in person. Tune in or come to room 5602 to learn from the experts about topics including scientific misconduct, data collection, animal and human subjects research, data privacy and security, and ethics in the research environment.

Topic: Animal research

Speaker: Jiajie Jessica Xu, an assistant director, veterinarian, in the Division of Animal Resources

This meeting is free and open to the public. Register in advance on Zoom.

Read more

Yoga at Beckman

5269 Beckman Institute (fifth-floor tower room)

Contact name: Elena Romanova
Contact email: romanova@illinois.edu

Join us at noon on Wednesdays this fall for restorative yoga with a view! All sessions are free and will be held in Beckman's fifth-floor tower room. Class will not be held on 11/23. All are welcome bring your own mat! 

Read more

Cookie Collab

Beckman Institute Atrium

Join Beckman Director Nadya Mason and other members of the Beckman community for coffee and cookies in the Beckman Atrium. The Cookie Collab is scheduled for 3 p.m. the third Thursday of each month.

 

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Curious & Eclectic: And Ya Don’t Stop: we built a time machine called the Hip Hop Xpress Double Dutch Boom Bus to transfer the legacy of African American technology innovation and entrepreneurship into the METAVERSE

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Patty Jones
Contact email: pmjones5@illinois.edu

The Beckman Institute Curious and Eclectic Seminar Series is held on select Fridays throughout the fall semester via Zoom and in person. Tune in to learn about interesting, interdisciplinary scientific topics from Illinois faculty members.

Topic: And Ya Don’t Stop: we built a time machine called the Hip Hop Xpress Double Dutch Boom Bus to transfer the legacy of African American technology innovation and entrepreneurship into the METAVERSE

Speaker: William Patterson, a clinical associate professor in the School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts

This meeting is free and open to the pulic. Register in advance on Zoom.

Read more

Gather in the Garden

Beckman garden, west of the building through the cafe's double doors

Contact name: Stacy Olson
Contact email: srolson@illinois.edu
Contact phone: 217-244-8373

Join Director Nadya Mason and your colleagues this fall for informal conversation and coffee in the Beckman garden, which is west of the building through the café’s double doors.

This Gather in the Garden Series will be from 10-10:30 a.m. every Tuesday through the fall semester.

Read more

Responsible Conduct of Research: Radiation safety

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Patty Jones
Contact email: pmjones5@illinois.edu

The Beckman Institute Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series is held on select Tuesdays throughout the fall semester on Zoom or in person. Tune in or come to room 5602 to learn from the experts about topics including scientific misconduct, data collection, animal and human subjects research, data privacy and security, and ethics in the research environment.

Topic: Radiation safety

Speaker: Anja Metz, an assistant director and radiation safety officer at the Division of Research Safety

This meeting is free and open to the public. Register in advance on Zoom.

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Pumpkin Painting at Beckman

Beckman Institute Garden

Join the Beckman community for an afternoon of fun while painting pumpkins.

Stop in between 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Beckman Institute Garden, which is located west of the café through the double doors.

Decorate a pumpkin for yourself or to be placed the atrium. Pumpkins and painting supplies will be provided. Register today space will be limited. Registrants will be alerted of an alternative location in case of rain.

Faculty, staff and students and postdocs are encouraged to attend!

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Yoga at Beckman

5269 Beckman Institute (fifth-floor tower room)

Contact name: Elena Romanova
Contact email: romanova@illinois.edu

Join us at noon on Wednesdays this fall for restorative yoga with a view! All sessions are free and will be held in Beckman's fifth-floor tower room. Class will not be held on 11/23. All are welcome bring your own mat! 

Read more

Frontiers in Miniature Brain Machinery: Sepideh Sadaghiani

2269 Beckman Institute

Contact name: Anne McKinney
Contact email: amckinn@illinois.edu

Sepideh Sadaghiani, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Illinois, will lecture on “The functional connectome across temporal scales” at 4:00 pm in 2269 Beckman Institute and on Zoom October 26, 2022.  One of our MBM trainees will give an introduction.

The lecture is free and open to the public courtesy of the Miniature Brain Machinery Program. Zoom details are below.

Abstract:

The view of human brain function has drastically shifted over the last decade, owing to the observation that most brain activity is intrinsic rather than driven by external stimuli or cognitive demands. Specifically, all brain regions continuously communicate in spatiotemporally organized patterns that constitute the functional connectome, with consequences for cognition and behavior.

In this talk, I will argue that another shift is underway, driven by new insights from synergistic interrogation of the functional connectome using different acquisition methods. The human functional connectome is typically investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that relies on the indirect hemodynamic signal, thereby emphasizing very slow connectivity across brain regions. Conversely, more recent methodological advances demonstrate that fast connectivity within the whole-brain connectome can be studied with real-time methods such as electroencephalography (EEG).

Our findings show that combining fMRI with scalp or intracranial EEG in humans, especially when recorded concurrently, paints a multiplex picture of neural communication across the connectome. Specifically, the connectome comprises both fast, oscillation-based connectivity observable with EEG, as well as extremely slow processes best captured by fMRI. While the fast and slow processes share an important degree of spatial organization, these processes unfold in a temporally independent manner.

Our observations suggest that infraslow connectivity (measured in fMRI) and rapid connectivity of various frequency bands (measured by EEG) constitute multiple dynamic trajectories through a shared state space of discrete connectome configurations. The multitude of flexible trajectories may enable any given brain region to 

concurrently

 connect to multiple sets of other regions.

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Cancer & Microbes Networking Happy Hour

Room 1005 Beckman Institute

Contact name: Margaret Browne Huntt
Contact email: mbrowne@illinois.edu

Join us on Monday, October 31, 3-5 p.m. in Beckman Institute, room 1005 to connect with researchers doing work related to cancer and microbiology. All faculty, postdocs, and students are invited to attend. The event will include updates from Cancer & Microbes Working Group members on current collaborative projects, and a poster session featuring postdocs and students doing research in these areas. Refreshments will be served.  

Register now

by October 17.

Read more

Gather in the Garden

Beckman garden, west of the building through the cafe's double doors

Contact name: Stacy Olson
Contact email: srolson@illinois.edu
Contact phone: 217-244-8373

Join Director Nadya Mason and your colleagues this fall for informal conversation and coffee in the Beckman garden, which is west of the building through the café’s double doors.

This Gather in the Garden Series will be from 10-10:30 a.m. every Tuesday through the fall semester.

Read more

Responsible Conduct of Research: Data privacy overview

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Patty Jones
Contact email: pmjones5@illinois.edu

The Beckman Institute Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series is held on Tuesdays throughout the fall semester on Zoom or in person. Tune in or come to room 5602 to learn from the experts about topics including scientific misconduct, data collection, animal and human subjects research, data privacy and security, and ethics in the research environment.

Topic: Data privacy overview

Speaker: Phil Reiter, an associate director of privacy at Technology Services at Illinois

This meeting is free and open to the public. Register in advance on Zoom.

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Neuroscience Program Fall Seminar Series : Franca Cambi

Beckman Institute Room 5602

Contact name: Neuroscience Program
Contact email: nsp@life.illinois.edu

Title: "Oligodendrocytes and Myelin in Models of Neurodegeneration."

Speaker:  Franca Cambi, Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, Interim ACOS R&D Pittsburgh VA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Cambi will focus on the biology of oligodendrocytes and myelin and their role in maintaining axonal and neuronal health in models of neurodegeneration. Dr. Cambi will present data on acute and chronic neurodegeneration post trauma and chronic degenerative diseases.

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Yoga at Beckman

5269 Beckman Institute (fifth-floor tower room)

Contact name: Elena Romanova
Contact email: romanova@illinois.edu

Join us at noon on Wednesdays this fall for restorative yoga with a view! All sessions are free and will be held in Beckman's fifth-floor tower room. Class will not be held on 11/23. All are welcome bring your own mat! 

Read more

Beckman Director’s Seminar: Pengfei Song

1005 Beckman Institute

Contact name: Darin Doty
Contact email: ddoty@illinois.edu
Contact phone: 217-244-6553

Pengfei Song will speak at the Beckman Institute's virtual Director's Seminar at noon Thursday, Nov. 3. Song, assistant professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will be discussing “In vivo micron-scale deep tissue microvascular imaging with super-resolution ultrasound.” The seminar will be a hybrid event held in Beckman, room 1005 and via Zoom. A boxed lunch will be provided to those who register as in-person attendees. Please indicate whether you will attend virtually or in-person.

Read more