Research by U of I crop scientists—including Nathan Schroeder, a member of Beckman’s Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group—offers new hope for fighting neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Many researchers are looking at the genetic cause of the unhealthy accumulation of toxic proteins to find ways to treat them but, in a twist, the agricultural scientists’ findings showed a common soybean pest might offer fresh inspiration as a new model of regeneration.
When the good and bad bacteria in our mouth become imbalanced, the bad bacteria form a biofilm (aka plaque), which can cause cavities, and if left untreated over time, can lead to cardiovascular and other inflammatory diseases like diabetes and bacterial pneumonia.
A team of researchers, headed by Beckman faculty member Dipanjan Pan, an associate professor of bioengineering, has recently devised a practical nanotechnology-based method for detecting and treating the harmful bacteria that cause plaque and lead to tooth decay and other detrimental conditions.
Gene E. Robinson, a professor of entomology and the director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, and Andrew Suarez, a biologist and member of Beckman's Bioimaging Science and Technology group, were quoted in an article about the effect of an ancient insulin-signaling pathway on ant colonies' division of reproductive labor.
In India and other countries in Southeast Asia, curcumin is often used as a spice in cooking, particularly chicken or fish. It is known for its therapeutic effect and as a way to kill germs present in raw meat. Dipanjan Pan, an associate professor of bioengineering and member of Beckman's Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, and colleagues in his lab collaborated with Peter Stang, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of American Chemical Society and Distinguished Professor of chemistry at the University of Utah, on ways to be able to render curcumin soluble, deliver it to infected tumors, and kill cancer cells.
The University of Illinois hosted 10 undergraduate students this summer for a 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). The program, “Frontiers in Biomedical Imaging,” is credited with benefiting both the visiting undergraduate students and their Illinois graduate student mentors.
Joey Ramp, a senior molecular and cellular biology major, and her service dog, Sampson, are changing the way service dogs are viewed in the laboratory. Ramp works in the lab of Justin Rhodes, a professor of psychology. Both researchers are members of Beckman's Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group.
Brian Cunningham, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and a member of Beckman’s Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, has been named as a distinguished lecturer by the IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer Program. This program was designed to honor excellent speakers who have made technical, industrial, or entrepreneurial contributions to the field of photonics and to enhance the technical programs of the IEEE Photonics Society chapters.
Decades ago, synthetic polymers became popular because they were cheap and durable. Now, scientists are creating material that self-destructs or breaks down for reuse on command.
Paloma manages programs for graduate and high school students at Beckman. She also works with Dr. Rohit Bhargava's lab and the Cancer Center.
Florin Dolcos and Sanda Dolcos, professors of psychology and members of Beckman's Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, conducted a study that found when participants focused on the neutral context of a memory, rather than their feelings, they were better able to regulate their emotions. This strategy could also be applied to "cringe attacks", which occur when a person suddenly remembers an uncomfortable, cringeworthy moment they've experienced.
Jefferson Chan, a professor of chemistry and member of Beckman's Bioimaging and Science Technology Group, and colleagues developed a molecular probe, AlDeSense, that can tag and track elusive cancer stem cells in both cell cultures and live organisms. The probe lights up cancer cells so they can be identified, tracked and studied in their native environment: the body. Researchers include Wawrzyniec Dobrucki, a professor of bioengineering and co-author of the study, and Jamila Hedhli, a Beckman-Brown Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellow.