Beckman's Vis Lab uses its expertise in high-speed video to help the Champaign County METRO Sniper Unit perform their jobs better.
Researchers at the Beckman Institute are investigating the efficacy of topical dermatological medications through noninvasive imaging technologies that track changes at the molecular level more quickly than previously possible.
Zahra Mohaghegh is helping position Illinois to become a global leader in socio-technical risk analysis.
Mayank Garg, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering who works with the Autonomous Materials Systems Group at Beckman in the area of environmentally triggered transient polymers, was awarded a PPG-Materials Research Lab graduate research assistantship to pursue cutting-edge research broadly related to the areas of interest to PPG, a global manufacturer of paints, coatings, and specialty materials.
The Fall 2017 Synergy features: the “Discoveries in Bioimaging” Research Experience for Undergraduates; the Vis Lab’s first ballistics experiment, which was done for the local METRO Sniper Unit; an update on the GSK Center for Optical Molecular Imaging; a feature on professor Zahra Mohaghegh, who is helping position Illinois as a global leader in socio-technical risk analysis; a look at the art and science of an image, by a Beckman Postdoc, that won first place in the “Science as Art” competition. The issue also includes a look back at several events hosted by the Beckman Institute and many honors earned by faculty and students.
Dipanjan Pan, professor of bioengineering and member of our Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, led a study designing nanoparticles that specifically bind to a protein that marks the surface of breast cancer stem cells. “It is critical to administer treatments for already-developed tumors; however, long-term survival and not allowing it to come back are equally important,” Pan said. “We want to destroy the cells that are hidden in the tissue and cause the cancer to come back or spread to other parts of the body.”
Anurup Ganguli, a graduate student researcher from Rashid Bashir’s group; Lauren T. Gates-Tanzer, an M.D-Ph.D. student from Joanna Shisler’s group, and Hua-Chia Tai, a Ph.D. candidate from Jonathan Sweedler’s group, will discuss their research at the Graduate Student Seminar at noon Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Room 1005 of the Beckman Institute. Lunch will be provided.
Joseph Irudayaraj, a professor of bioengineering, has been named an affiliate faculty member in the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, within the Integrative Imaging research theme.
Charles Schroeder, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has been named an affiliate in the newly formed Computational Molecular Science Group, within the Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures research theme.
Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Limei Tian and Yingjie Zhang will present at the final fall Director’s Seminar on Dec. 7 at noon in Room 1005. Tian will discuss “Soft, Skin-mounted Electronics for Health Care,” and Zhang will discuss “Materials by Design: Two-dimensional Electronic Metamaterials.” The lecture is open to the public, and lunch is provided.
Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. A new theory, by lead author Aron Barbey, a professor of psychology and member of the Beckman’s Intelligence, Learning and Plasticity Group, was published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences. The research supports the case that the brain’s dynamic properties—how it is wired but also how that wiring shifts in response to changing intellectual demands—are the best predictors of intelligence in the human brain. “When we say that someone is smart, we understand intuitively what that means,” Barbey said. “Usually, we’re referring to how good they are at making decisions and solving particular types of problems. But recently in neuroscience, there’s been a focus on understanding in biological terms how general intelligence arises.” That requires studying the structural and functional characteristics of the brain.
Statistics professor Douglas Simpson, a member of Beckman’s Bioacoustics Research Laboratory, and animal biology professor Carla Caceres are new Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Illinois faculty members are among 396 people to be awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year. Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society. Fellows are chosen by their peers for their outstanding contributions to the field.
Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at Illinois. “The saying, ‘The eye is the window to the soul’ has some merit, because our bodies respond to light. Photoreceptors in our retinas connect to different parts in the brain that control mood, metabolic rhythms and circadian rhythms,” said Stephen Boppart, the leader of the study published in Nature Physics. Boppart is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering and a member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group.
Five Illinois faculty members have been named to the 2017 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list (previously known as the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list). Among them is Yi Lu, a professor of chemistry and member of the 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group at Beckman.
Caterina is a 2017 Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. She works with the Computational Multiscale Nanosystems Group, the Autonomous Materials Systems Group, and the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group.
Gene Robinson, director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, entomology professor, and member of the Intelligence, Learning, and Plasticity Group, conducted research with a team exploring so-called "killer bees" in Puerto Rico. "Now we know that these gentle Africanized bees can be genetically distinguished both from other Africanized honey bees and from European honey bees," said Robinson.
Andreas Cangellaris, the dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been selected by Chancellor Robert Jones to be the campus’s next vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Cangellaris is part of the Computational Multiscale Nanosystems Group.
Andrew Singer, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been named an affiliate in Beckman's Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, within the Integrative Imaging research theme.
Helferich, a professor in food science and human nutrition and member of the Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group, collaborates with comparative biosciences professor Jodi A. Flaws and animal sciences research specialist James A. Hartman on a new study researching the adverse effects of dietary levels of genistein. “While women are consuming these dietary estrogenic supplements, this is an uncontrolled experiment in which the safety and efficacy are unknown,” Helferich said.
Smitha Vishveshwara, an associate professor of physics, has been named a part-time faculty member in the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-being Group, within the Intelligent Systems research theme.
The Microscopy Suite at the Beckman Institute—part of the Imaging Technology Group—provides some of the tools that assist Entomologist Marianne Alleyne with her bioinspired work, some of which involves examining cicadas.
University of Illinois bioengineers—Professor Rohit Bhargava, Research Scientist Prabuddha Mukherjee, and Postdoctoral Research Associates Ayanjeet Ghosh and Sanghamitra Deb, all members of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group—have taken a new look at an old tool to help characterize a class of materials called metal organic frameworks, MOFs for short. MOFs are used to detect, purify and store gases, and could help solve some of the world’s most challenging energy, environmental and pharmaceutical challenges—they can even pull water molecules straight from the air to provide relief from drought.
Jianjun Cheng, a professor of materials science and engineering and member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, leads a research team in developing a shape-shifting antibiotic agent that kills infectious H. pylori bacteria. “Fifty percent of the world population will have H. pylori infections in their lifetime,” Cheng said. “It’s a huge market that needs improved solutions, especially in developing countries. Our conformation-switchable polypeptide is the only therapy reported so far that can kill this bacteria at a specific pH range.”
Josh is a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry, working with the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group.
Two women have accused a prominent geologist of sexual harassment in a complaint to Boston University. The accusations are the latest to call attention to sexist, racist or other degrading treatment in scientific arenas. Kathryn Clancy, a professor of anthropology at Illinois and member of the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, who has studied harassment in science, says lewd come-ons and coercion in isolated locations are often different from bad behavior in labs and at conferences.
Douglas L. Jones, member of the Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group, was named the William L. Everitt Distinguished Professor in electrical and computer engineering. Jones developed ECE420: Digital Processing Laboratory, the laboratory for ECE210: Analog Signal Processing, and the laboratory-intensive ECE 101: Exploring Digital Information Technology.
Stem cells taken from muscle tissue could promote better blood flow in patients with diabetes who develop peripheral artery disease, a painful complication that can require surgery or lead to amputation. A new study in mice at the University of Illinois found that an injection of the stem cells prompted new blood vessels to grow, improving circulation in the affected tissues and function in the affected limbs. Study leader Wawrzyniec Lawrence Dobrucki is a professor of bioengineering and of medicine, and head of the Experimental Molecular Imaging Laboratory at the Beckman Institute. His group partnered with Marni Boppart, a professor of kinesiology and community health. Both Dobrucki and Boppart are members of Beckman's Bioimaging Science and Technology Group.
The paper "Decoding the Perception of Sincerity in Written Dialogues," written by Roxana Girju, an associate professor of linguistics and member of the Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative at Beckman, and Codruta Garlea, a graduate research assistant, received awards for Best Student Paper and "Best of ACII" at the 7th Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction Conference (ACII), held in October in San Antonio.
Dipanjan Pan, an associate professor of bioengineering and a member of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, presented a clear message when he took the stage at the Share the Vision conference. Pan, also a faculty member of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, summarized how engineers and physicians can merge mindsets in pursuit of new ideas in his speech about OcuCheck, which would allow Primary Care physicians to use biosensors to better evaluate the severity of eye injuries.
Anastassia is an undergraduate senior double majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology. She works in the Behavioral Genetics lab.
Charles Sing, chemical and biomolecular engineering professor and member of the Computational Molecular Science Group, co-authored a study that found they could create new synthetic materials by tuning the electrostatic charge of polymer chains. Working with researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, this research takes the first steps towards gaining control over the self-assembly of synthetic materials in the same way that biology forms natural polymers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration called into question Monday the authorized health claim that soy protein reduces heart disease risk. John Erdman, professor emeritus of food science and human nutrition and member of the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory, discusses the health benefits of replacing meat or dairy with soy.
Jiahui Yu, graduate student in ECE and graduate research assistant with the Organizational Intelligence and Computational Social Science Group, presented at the Adobe MAX annual event with his project, "Deep Fill." This project is powered by Adobe Sensei and takes the concept behind content aware fill to the next level.
Jean Paul Allain, professor in nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering and member of our Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, uses his expertise in examining radiation effects on the surfaces of nanomaterials to help unlock mysteries of the origins of huge heavenly bodies, such as asteroids and moons.
Yang Zhang, an assistant professor of nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering and group leader for Beckman’s Computational Molecular Science Group, will present the Nov. 16 Beckman Institute Director’s Seminar at noon in Room 1005. Zhang will discuss “Hiking on the Engergy Landscape.” Lunch is provided.