The Fall 2009 Beckman Institute Graduate Student Seminar series continues on Thursday, October 8. The seminar will feature three short talks from graduate students Dae-Hyeong Kim, Dwarak Krishnan and Wladimir Benalcazar. The seminar will be held in Beckman Institute Room 5602 and a pizza lunch will be served.
A year-long celebration of two decades of research success is set to conclude Oct. 5-7 with the Beckman Institute 20th Anniversary Symposium.
Beckman researcher John Rogers has been named a 2009 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering Innovation and a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois, is among 24 fellows who will each receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years.
The Theoretical and Computational Biophysics group, directed by Beckman researcher and U. of I. physics professor Klaus Schulten and comprising faculty from physics, computer science, chemistry, pharmacology, and biophysics, combines world-class expertise in modeling and visualization with advanced computer engineering.
Mark Shannon, a Beckman researcher and professor of mechanical science and engineering at the U. of I., is raising funds to build a prototype anaerobic digester that will convert sewage into re-useable water, methane and a sludge of minerals that can be sold to manufacturers or brick makers.
The Beckman Institute welcomes Thomas Bassett as a faculty member in the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy (SDEP) strategic initiative. Bassett is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Illinois. Bassett’s research areas include Africa and Third World development, with a focus on topics such as African agrarian systems, political ecology, agricultural development, and socio-cultural change.
Biological Intelligence Co-chair William Greenough recently retired as a Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois but his former students continue to add to his legacy as a teacher and mentor. Dr. Fred Volkmar is one of Bill’s former students and lab members who is currently the Director of the Child Study Center and the Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology at Yale University School of Medicine. Volkmar recently was named as one of four winners of the 2009 LAS Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The award is given to the alumnus or alumna who, by outstanding achievement, has demonstrated the values derived from a liberal arts and sciences education.
In an experiment published in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, 21 students at Illinois were asked to memorize a string of letters and then pick them out from a list flashed at them. Then they were asked to do one of three things for 30 minutes – sit quietly, run on a treadmill or lift weights – before performing the letter test again. After an additional 30-minute cool down, they were tested once more. On subsequent days, the students returned to try the other two options. The students were noticeably quicker and more accurate on the retest after they ran compared with the other two options, and they continued to perform better when tested after the cool down. “There seems to be something different about aerobic exercise,” says Charles Hillman, a Beckman affiliate and an author of the study.
Beckman researcher and U. of I. chemistry professor Kenneth Suslick and his team at Illinois have developed an artificial nose for the general detection of toxic industrial chemicals that is simple, fast and inexpensive – and works by visualizing odors.
Taher Saif, the Gutgsell Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, has joined the Beckman Institute. Saif is a member of the NeuroTech group at Beckman. He earned a Ph.D in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell. Saif’s research interests include the mechanics of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), bio-MEMS, fracture mechanics, and submicron materials behavior.
Beckman researchers are developing a material that could let a circuit self-repair small but critical damage caused by, say, dropping a cell phone. “We want to address common failures in cell phones and other portable electronics,” says Paul Braun, a professor of materials science and engineering at the U. of I. who leads the research project with Jeffrey Moore, a professor of chemistry, materials science, and engineering.
The Fall 2009 issue of Synergy features a preview of the Beckman Institute 20th Anniversary Symposium, a look at a unique new addition to the Beckman family, and news of another exciting addition to the Institute’s arsenal of advanced technologies. Also included in this edition of Synergy are a look at the upcoming symposium celebrating 20 years of science done by Beckman’s Theoretical and Computational Biophysics group, and profiles of Beckman alumnus Jeffrey Kleim and faculty member Nicholas Fang.
Nicholas Fang is part of a small group of researchers from around the world who are dramatically expanding the power of light microscopes through a technique called “superlensing.”
Jeffrey Kleim came to the University of Illinois and the Beckman Institute for one reason: William Greenough.
Klaus Schulten’s NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics Celebrates 20 Years
New 3T Whole-body Magnet Now Installed in its New Home in the Beckman Institute
Sometime this fall the Beckman Institute will become home to a unique new student from Europe – the only one of its kind in the United States – in the form of a highly-advanced humanoid robot.
The impact of research that has taken place inside the walls of the Beckman Institute over the past 20 years has been felt in the fields of technology, neuroscience, human cognition, and medicine. It has helped to make electronic devices more efficient and medical instruments more effective, improved the quality of life for older adults and the quality of products for manufacturers, and advanced our knowledge of science in a wide variety of the disciplines studied at the University of Illinois.
Joe Lyding is the author of an article in Nature Nanotechnology reviewing the work of researchers who have developed a way to create an array of quantum dots, known as superlattices, in carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Lyding, leader of the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials research group at Beckman, writes that the method may help solve one of the obstacles to using CNTs in future electronic devices.
Roberto Galvez from the Department of Psychology has joined the Beckman Institute as a full-time faculty member. Galvez is a member of the NeuroTech group in the Biological Intelligence research theme.
Galvez earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois. His research topics include long-term storage of associative memory and molecular correlates of experience-induced neocortical plasticity.