May 2009 Beckman Bulletin

Image of a push pin on left, with the words Beckman Bulletin to the right

The Beckman Bulletin is a monthly digest from the director of the Beckman Institute. The Bulletin is sent to all faculty and staff. Each issue will highlight the latest happenings from around the Institute.

Communication from Tamer Başar, Interim Director
Issue 8: May 2009


Even as we close the academic year and transition to the summer months the Beckman Institute will continue to be as vibrant as ever. Throughout the summer I will continue issuing the Beckman Bulletin in order to keep you up-to-date on the Institute’s news and happenings.  Here we go with this month’s Bulletin.

BECKMAN FACULTY MEMBERS AWARDED CAS PROFESSORSHIPS
Beckman faculty members Martha Gillette and Gene Robinson have been awarded Center for Advanced Study (CAS) Professorships pending approval by the Board of Trustees. Gillette and Robinson are both members of the NeuroTech group, and their appointment to the Center brings the number of Beckman faculty as CAS professors to six. Congratulations to Martha and Gene for this major recognition of their scholarly works and activities.

DEVELOPING INITIATIVE: “HEALTHY BODIES, BRAINS, MINDS, AND COMMUNITIES”
Information on our developing initiative Healthy Bodies, Brains, Minds, and Communities is now available on our web site. Please visit http://www.beckman.illinois.edu/developing/index.aspx. This growing initiative will capitalize on the extensive expertise of our researchers in the life sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and engineering around the broad theme of “health.”

SAVE THE DATE: BILL GREENOUGH CELEBRATIONS
You are invited to attend the upcoming celebratory and scientific events in honor of Bill Greenough. The events are scheduled for Thursday, June 4, and Friday, June 5, and include a reception, conference, and dinner. A schedule and more details can be found at: http://www.beckman.illinois.edu/events/greenoughemeritus.aspx . Please RSVP by May 28 for each event you plan to attend. Responses can be sent to Judy Allen jallenda@illinois.edu or 244-1983.

WANG WINS NSF EARLY CAREER AWARD
Congratulations to Yingxiao (Peter) Wang of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, who has been awarded an NSF Early Career Award grant. Wang’s grant is for the development of a molecular stress biosensor for studying mechanotransduction, the cellular process that converts mechanical signals into biochemical responses.

2009 BECKMAN INSTITUTE GRADUATE FELLOWS ANNOUNCED
I am pleased to announce the names of the 2009 Graduate Fellows. They are: Jason Coronel (Political Science); Xing Liang (Electrical and Computer Engineering); Tae-Jin Kim (Neuroscience Program); Erik Nelson (Materials Science and Engineering); and Michelle Voss (Psychology). Congratulations to our new Graduate Fellows!

WANTED: BECKMAN INSTITUTE ALUMNI
We would like to invite former faculty, staff, post-docs, and students to our 20th Anniversary Symposium and we need your help in compiling our list of invitees. If you have any contacts that you would like to share, please email them to Sue Johnson at johnso16@illinois.edu

NEW RESEARCH GRANTS
Congratulations to our investigators listed below who have received new grant funding during the period of 4/22/09 – 5/18/09:

  • Second International Conference on Self-Healing Materials (PI: S. White; Sponsor: NSF)
  • Graduate Student Travel Funds for Attending the Second International Conference on Self-Healing Materials (PI: S. White; Sponsor: ARO)
  • The Computational Microscope (PI: K. Schulten; Sponsor: NSF)
  • Assessing the Efficacy of Training Interventions to Improve Driving Performance in Older Adults (PI: A. Kramer; Sponsor: Cognifit)
  • Provision of fMRI Knockout Mice to Select Investigators (PI: W. Greenough; Sponsor: Fraxa Foundation)

NEW HIRES
I welcome the following new faces to the Beckman Institute:

  • James Gumbart, Postdoctoral Research Associate (K. Schulten)
  • Peter Freddolino, Postdoctoral Research Associate (K. Schulten)
  • Ian Bond, Visiting Scholar (S. White)
  • Chandini Jain, Visiting Scholar (N. Aluru)

20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION PROGRAM AIRS ON UI-7
The 20th Anniversary Celebration program from April 16 began airing on UI-7 on May 19 and will be rebroadcast on following dates/times: Saturday, May 23 @ Noon; Sunday, May 24 @ 7AM; and Monday, May 25 @ 1PM. UI-7 airs locally on Comcast channel 7. If you don’t get Comcast you can also watch UI-7 streaming live at: http://www.media.illinois.edu/service/ui7live.html

FOLLOW THE BECKMAN INSTITUTE ON TWITTER
The Beckman Institute is now on Twitter. It is another way you can stay connected with the news and happenings at the Institute. http://www.twitter.com

This is what I have for this month’s bulletin.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. As always, our website www.beckman.illinois.edu will continue to post in a timely manner all the important happenings in the Institute involving our faculty, fellows, post-docs, graduate and undergraduate student researchers, and research support staff, their accomplishments, recognitions, and featured stories on our research programs.

Tamer Başar
Interim Director
director@beckman.illinois.edu
May 21, 2009