The Winter 2008 issue of Synergy features a Q & A with the highly successful research team of Jeff Moore, Nancy Sottos, and Scott White, an article on the Beckman Institute's Founding Director, Ted Brown, and a faculty profile on Emad Tajkhorshid.
Emad Tajkhorshid began his full-time career at the Beckman Institute as a postdoctoral researcher with the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics group in 2000, but within the past year has earned a position as a tenure-track professor at the University of Illinois and started his own research group.
"It's like we started out to build a car and along the way invented the wheel," is how Leon Cooper described the ramifications of the BCS Theory of Superconductivity at the 50th anniversary conference held in October at the Beckman Institute to honor the theory's publication.
Sometimes researchers will collaborate over a number of years as these three have, but the approach of Sottos, White, and Moore to research and to working with each other and with students is as distinctive as it is successful. Their students may come from different disciplines but they often become blended in projects as interdisciplinary interactions are the norm in their group. Their research efforts draw a lot of attention but all three are happy to share the spotlight with each other and with students.
All Ted Brown wanted to do back in 1986 was return to the life of a professor and researcher after serving in an administrative post at the University of Illinois. But he found himself being pulled toward a deeper calling: overseeing the founding and operation of a new center dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to research called the Beckman Institute.
The Beckman Institute kicks off the Spring 2008 Graduate Student Seminar Series on Wednesday, January 30, at Noon in Room 1005 at the Beckman Institute. The seminar will feature the following presentations: "Functional DNA conjugated magnetic nanoparticles for targeted MRI" by Mehmet Yigit; "Live animal imaging of dendritic spine abnormalities in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome" by Georgina Aldridge; and "Understanding the aggregation of like-charged biopolymers via computer simulations" by Camilo Guaqueta. The hour-long seminar is open to the public and a pizza lunch will be served.
Mechanical Science and Engineering faculty member Iwona Jasiuk kept her interest in synthetic materials and engineering while moving to a focus on biology.
The Beckman Institute's Integrated Systems Laboratory (ISL) had a hit with its CalculArt exhibit at the Krannert Art Museum in 2006. Now ISL is ready to enlighten others around the country about the possibilities of marrying art and technology with a traveling version of the exhibit that features mathematically visualized art.
Beckman faculty member Oleksii Aksimentiev and colleagues at Illinois are exploring the workings of a human-gene-sequencing chip. Rather than just build chips and doing experiments to see if they work, the researchers use computer simulations to see if their ideas are feasible.
The Beckman Institute researchers who pioneered self-healing plastics have earned a coveted 2007 SciAm 50 award from Scientific American, announced online in December and in the January 2008 issue of the popular science magazine.