In honor of the sesquicentennial of the University of Illinois, the Beckman Institute Vision and Spirit award, in the amount of $150,000, recognizes a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology who exemplifies founder Arnold Beckman’s vision in establishing the Beckman Institute, and who, like Beckman and other Institute faculty members, has fostered collaboration in order to mount a bold and risky experiment that meets not only short-term research goals, but inspires future long-term work, contributing significantly to the mission of the Beckman Institute.
“A visionary researcher, Bhargava’s ideas have resulted in the development of infrared spectroscopic imaging, and instruments developed in his laboratory have provided new means to characterize and define cancer using chemical imaging methods that are leading to the emergence of the field of digital molecular pathology,” said Jeff Moore, interim director of the Beckman Institute. “With relentless spirit he has championed the creation of the Cancer Community at Illinois, a University-wide effort dedicated to advancing cancer-related research and scholarship at Illinois, positioning us to become a cancer center based on fundamental science and technology.”
Bhargava holds appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Chemistry. He also leads a National Institutes of Health-supported Tissue Microenvironment Training Program based at the Beckman Institute.
He received a dual B.Tech. degree in chemical engineering with a minor in Polymer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, and a doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University. After working at the National Institutes of Health, Bhargava has been at Illinois since 2005.
“I am deeply honored and humbled by this award," said Bhargava. "The Beckman Institute has not only helped me attract outstanding students, provided exceptional colleagues and access to world-class facilities but has provided the inspiration and environment to launch many of our ideas. The Beckman Institute is the 'Incubator of ideas' for our campus and I am deeply grateful to all our members in helping make those dreams a reality.”
The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology is an interdisciplinary research institute that was founded in 1989 as a way to bridge divisions between engineering and physical sciences and the life and behavioral sciences. More than $400M in research grants have funded projects at the Beckman Institute since 1992.