Rubin and Patrick to present Beckman Director’s Seminar on March 30

Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Rachael Rubin and Jason Patrick will present the March 30 Beckman Institute Director’s Seminar at noon in Room 1005.  

Rubin will talk about "20-plus Years in the Making: Bridging Brain Injury Research Between Illinois and Carle," and Patrick will discuss "Evolution of Structural Composites for Multifunctional Applications." The lecture is open to the public and lunch is provided.

20-plus Years in the Making: Bridging Brain Injury Research Between Illinois and Carle

For more than 20 years, researchers at the Beckman Institute have aimed to collaborate more closely with Carle Hospital to advance the understanding of the brain and improve patient care following brain injury. This talk highlights the rich history of Beckman researchers in advancing our understanding of the neuroscience of brain systems, as well as the role of patient studies in contributing to such advances, albeit through the use of long-distance collaborations. However, recent developments have sparked several new areas of active research collaborations between the Beckman Institute and Carle Hospital, especially in the area of traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is a major worldwide health problem that has defied conventional approaches to therapy development because of its complexity. It remains one of the most disabling injuries, often resulting in motor and sensory deficits, as well as severe cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial impairment, crippling many vital areas of higher functioning. To address these issues, several new studies are being conducted locally that explore how advances in neuroimaging technology can improve the characterization of TBI at a neural level, as well as advance care during acute and chronic phases post injury. A selective overview of these studies is provided.

Rachael Rubin biography

Rachael Rubin is the Carle Foundation Hospital-Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow.
Rachael Rubin is the Carle Foundation Hospital-Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow.

Rachael Rubin is the Carle Foundation Hospital-Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. She earned a B.S. degree in psychology from SUNY at Buffalo, graduating summa cum laude, and earned her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on understanding how memory systems in the brain contribute to aspects of experience, such as social interaction, language use, and creativity, through patient studies of brain injury, including hippocampal amnesia and traumatic brain injury. Over the past three years, she developed the first local Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) registry, working closely with clinicians affiliated with Carle’s Neuroscience Institute and neuroscience researchers at the Beckman Institute. She is involved in several studies that utilize the registry and incorporate advanced structural and functional neuroimaging techniques to better understand how neural networks are disrupted following TBI. Ultimately, being able to visualize such changes in the brain allows for improvements in TBI characterization and prognosis accuracy, as well as guides new therapy development and treatment. She has worked closely with Drs. Ken Aronson and Sanjiv Jain at Carle Hospital, and Drs. Neal Cohen, Aron Barbey, and Wendy Heller at the Beckman Institute to develop these TBI projects. In addition, Rubin also is respecializing in clinical psychology at the U of I, in order to better align advances in the neurosciences with psychological interventions and treatments, especially for patients with brain injury. After her fellowship, she will start a clinical internship at Carle Hospital and work with many of the same clinicians.

Evolution of Structural Composites for Multifunctional Applications

A promising pathway for multifunctionality in fiber-composites is to mimic biological vasculature of living organisms that enables concerted homeostatic functions such as thermal regulation and self-repair. This presentation covers a recent evolution of research at the Beckman Institute to create complex, three-dimensional (3D) microvasculature in structural fiber-composites. In addition to achieving active cooling and electromagnetic regulation through fluid circulation, an investigation into self-healing of interlaminar delamination will be discussed. Vascular architecture proved critical for in situ mixing of reactive agents, polymerization, and repeated healing of delamination damage. Further microvascular fabrication advancements, e.g. 3D printing, are explored in addition to newfound efforts toward integrating self-sensing components for envisioned material autonomy. This highly interdisciplinary research demonstrates the vast potential for improving operation and resilience throughout the service life of high-performance composite structures.

Jason Patrick biography

Jason Patrick is a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow.
Jason Patrick is a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow.

Jason Patrick is a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. He earned a Ph.D. in structural engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and both M.S. and B.S. degrees at North Carolina State University in civil engineering. His multidisciplinary research interests span the fields of solid/fluid mechanics, chemistry, materials science, and even microelectronics. He has contributed numerous publications to the scientific literature in addition to several patent applications toward commercialization of next generation technologies. His vision for the future of fiber-composites is focused on bioinspired enhancements to imbue these synthetic materials with evolutionary advantages in an engineered platform. He will return to NCSU this fall as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering.