If you visit the Museum of Science and Industry over the next 10 months or so, you will get to see “Robot Revolution,” a national touring exhibit of more than 40 robots, and in some of the videos in the exhibit, museum-goers will see and hear from computer science Professor Steven LaValle, a member of Beckman’s Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative. LaValle said he felt honored to be part of the exhibit to help explain aspects of robotics to kids and adults.
Four Beckman researchers are among 12 faculty members being honored with the Provost’s Campus Distinguished Promotion Award for 2017. They are: Diane Beck, Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group; Randy Ewoldt, Autonomous Materials Systems Group; Prashant Jain, Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group; and Brad Sutton, Bioimaging Science and Technology Group. The scholars were recognized for extraordinary contributions in quality of work and overall achievement.
A new paper by legal scholar and contract law expert Robin B. Kar, who is a member of the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, argues that President Donald J. Trump’s model of executive leadership doesn’t augur well for his ability to serve as president of the U.S. Trump’s claim to fame—business mogul who makes great private deals—seems to be wholly incompatible with the broad range of issues that will inevitably arise as president, Kar said.
Earlier this month, the University of Illinois welcomed noteworthy alumnus U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work to campus for a tour of several state-of-the-art research facilities, including the Beckman Institute. Work was visiting as an official representative of the Department of Defense, for which he has served as Deputy Secretary since 2014 when appointed by the Obama administration.
Illinois bioengineering student-developed technologies that aim to help medical professionals avoid ergonomic-related work injuries and help advance cardiac disease imaging earned cash and in-kind support at the annual Cozad New Venture Competition that is sponsored by the Technology Entrepreneur Center on campus. The PhantomCor team is commercializing technology originally championed by Beckman researchers Wawrzyniec Dobrucki and Brad Sutton, both in the department of bioengineering and members of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group.
“The Art of Yellowstone Science,” the recently published book by Bruce Fouke, a professor of geology and a member of Beckman’s 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group , is doing so well that thousands of students around the world will soon have access to free copies. The book, which presents both scientific and artistic examinations of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, was released in fall 2016, with partial support coming from NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The way President Trump shakes hands has been in the news as of late, especially his grips with French President Emmanuel Macron. Florin Dolcos, an associate professor of psychology and member of Beckman’s Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, says it’s a learned behavior “because typically you don’t do that.”
Dan Llano, associate professor in molecular and integrative physiology and member of Beckman's Neurotechnology of Memory and Cognition Group, was recently appointed the Benjamin R. and Elinor W. Bullock and Edwin E. and Jeanne Bullock Goldberg Professorial Scholar in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. A selection committee composed of endowed professors has unanimously recommended that Llano, who has established an outstanding neuroscience research program marked by creativity, high productivity, and strong clinical significance, be the recipient of this recognition and honor.
Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, a professor of food science and human nutrition and a member of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, is among eight Illinois faculty members that have been awarded 2017-18 Faculty Fellowships by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Illinois. Madak-Erdogan’s work will explore the association between the serum factors and demographic variables related to poor outcomes in African-American women with breast cancer, including neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and individual characteristics.
Beckman researcher Wendy Heller, a professor of psychology and member of the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, is quoted in an article about a Long Island senior retirement community’s book club whose members are in their 80s and 90s. “There’s a lot of evidence that social engagement is a predictor of health outcomes and even mortality among older adults,” Heller said.
Ling-Jian Meng, associate professor of nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering, is creating and leading a new working group at the Beckman Institute. He will create the Radio-Opto-Nano Working Group.
A new study co-led by Beckman researcher Aron Barbey, a professor of neuroscience and of psychology, suggests consuming more omega-3 fatty acids—found in many types of fish—may benefit people at risk for Alzheimer's disease. "Our findings add to the evidence that optimal nutrition helps preserve cognitive function, slow the progression of aging, and reduce the incidence of debilitating diseases in healthy aging populations," Barbey said.
A new paper by two Illinois law professors—including Beckman researcher Jennifer Robbennolt—says the failure of federal watchdog agencies to require admissions of guilt from the targets of civil enforcement can trigger calls for greater accountability from the public. “We’re drawing on empirical work in psychology to think about what an admission of wrongdoing communicates, and how we can look in a more nuanced way at the type of admissions that are made—or not made,” said Robbennolt, who is a member of the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group.
Alejandro Lleras, a professor of psychology and Beckman affiliate who studies attention, distraction, and boredom, was quoted in an article in the Washington Post about why people are seemingly obsessed with fidget spinners that also looked at some research behind the phenomenon. Lleras explains that fidgeting could be a way of modulating people’s arousal or engagement in an activity and possibly increase their concentration or performance.
Carle Illinois College of Medicine Dean King Li, a member of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, was interviewed by U of I alumna Judy Hsu of ABC 7 (WLS-TV, Chicago). Dr. Li explains how the groundbreaking medical school will change the future of medicine.
Drivers can be blinded by distraction even when their eyes are on the road. “You can look right at something, stare directly at it, and simply not see it because your mind is otherwise occupied,” says Beckman researcher Dan Simons, a professor of psychology at Illinois.
Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging. Led by Beckman researchers Marta Zamroziewicz, an M.D./Ph.D. student, with psychology professor Aron Barbey, the studies add to the evidence that dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can promote healthy aging. Further research is needed to test this hypothesis, the researchers said.
Beckman Institute researchers Nancy Sottos and Scott White, both in the Autonomous Materials System Group, led the group that has found a way to apply self-healing technology to lithium-ion batteries to make them more reliable and last longer. The group developed a battery that uses a silicon nanoparticle composite material on the negatively charged side of the battery and a novel way to hold the composite together— a known problem with batteries that contain silicon.
Beckman Institute researcher Paul Braun led a research team that developed a method for directly electroplating lithium-ion battery cathodes. In addition to colleagues at Illinois, Braun collaborated with researchers at Xerion Advanced Battery Corporation and Nanjing University in China. The method yields high-quality, high-performance battery materials that could also open the door to flexible and solid-state batteries.
Yue Zhuo, a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, has been awarded a Postdoctoral Scholar Award for a paper that was submitted to the annual Microscopy and Microanalysis Conference.
Three associate computer science and engineering professors from the University of Illinois have created a quadcopter drone specifically designed to monitor construction site progress, highlight deviations, and predict potential delays. “The Flying Superintendent” allows project managers to perform site checks and gather progress information on a frequent, typically weekly basis. It is the brainchild of Mani Golparvar-Fard, civil and environmental engineering; and Beckman Institute faculty members Derek Hoiem, computer science, and Timothy Bretl, aerospace engineering.
Masooda Bashir, assistant professor in Information Sciences, has joined the Beckman Institute as an affiliate in the Cognition, Lifespan Engagement, Aging, and Resilience (CLEAR) Group within the Intelligent Systems (IntSys) research theme.
Computational scientists from the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at the Beckman Institute simulated a complete ATP synthase in all-atom detail. The work builds on the project’s first phase—a 100-million atom photosynthetic organelle called a chromatophore—and gives scientists an unprecedented glimpse into a biological machine whose energy efficiency far surpasses that of any artificial system.
Jeffrey Moore, the Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry, a professor of materials science and engineering, and a long-time Beckman faculty member, has been named director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, to be effective July 16 pending Board of Trustees approval.
Emad Tajkhorshid, a professor of biochemistry and member of the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at Beckman, has been named the J. Woodland Hastings Endowed Chair in Biochemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Tajkhorshid is a world leader in developing and applying advanced computational techniques to understand proteins.
Imagine how different reviewing medical test results might be if you were able to view a video in which a physician explained your test results to you in layman’s terms, and used graphics to compare your test scores with ideal scores and convey your risks of having a heart attack, stroke or other serious health condition. The physician – or computer agent, as it’s called in a new paper about the project – was developed collaboratively by scientists at the Beckman Institute and Carle Foundation Hospital’s Research Institute.
Sixian You, a fourth-year doctoral student and a member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group and the Biophotonics Imaging Lab, received the McGinnis Medical Innovation Graduate Fellowship. The Bioengineering Department awarded its first graduate student fellowship on April 29 as part of its inaugural Graduate Student Symposium.
The final Thursdays at 12:20 Concert of the year—on May 11 in the atrium—will feature The Pookas, a clarinet quintet, which includes two Beckman employees: Sandy Ivy and Marc Taylor.
Faculty members from Beckman research groups have been named among the first nearly 100 inaugural faculty members for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. They include Dolores Albarracin, Rashid Bashir, Marni Boppart, Stephen Boppart, Stephanie Ceman, Neal Cohen, Wawrzyniec Dobrucki, Manuel Hernandez, Graham Huesmann, Iwona Jasiuk, Amy Jaye Wagoner Johnson, Mark Johnson, Hyun Joon Kong, Dan Morrow, Michael Oelze, Gene Robinson, Joanna Shisler, Brad Sutton, Yurii Vlasov, Karen C. White, and Brenda Anne Wilson. King Li, dean of the college, is a member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group.
Research by Justin Rhodes, an associate professor of psychology, and Ross DeAngelis, a graduate research assistant, both in the Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group, examines how hormones influence the commitment of male anemonefish to fathering. Features video.
Jeff Moore, interim director of the Beckman Institute, a professor of chemistry, and member of the Autonomous Materials Systems Group, is one of four University of Illinois professors elected to the National Academy of Sciences. "This honor is a reflection of the exceptional quality of the University of Illinois, the students attracted here, staff that's fully devoted to the research and education mission, colleagues that demand rigor at the highest level, and support by our administration to pursue bold and risky directions in order to advance science and education," said Moore. "That's a winning combination that allows ordinary people to blaze new trails."
Jiang Li, a Beckman Institute Graduate Fellow in the Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group, and Eric Scott Epstein, a Beckman Institute Graduate Fellow in the 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group, present their research at the Graduate Student Seminar held at noon Wed., May 3, in Room 1005 Beckman. Lunch is provided.
“Combining the principles of interferometry, holography, and microscopy, quantitative phase imaging has emerged as a unique tool for live-cell and tissue imaging,” writes Gabriel Popescu in the recent issue of Physics Today. Popescu, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering who directs the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory at the Beckman Institute, wrote a feature story for the magazine that places quantitative phase imaging within its historical context, describes the main experimental approaches, and presents some of the important applications.
InnSight Technology, founded by Dipanjan Pan, an assistant professor of bioengineering and member of Beckman's Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, and Leanne Labriola, an ophthalmologist at Carle, received a grant to help develop a handheld device that can quickly detect severe eye injuries.