June 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 the Director
Issue 9: June 2009


DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES ANNOUNCED FOR 2009-2010
I am pleased to announce the speakers and dates for the Beckman Institute’s 2009-2010 Director’s Seminar Series:

  • September 16, Stephen Levinson (HCII/AI/ECE)
  • October 21, Iwona Jasiuk (M&ENS/3DMN/MechSE)
  • November 18, Alek Aksimentiev (M&ENS/NANO/Physics)
  • December 9, Rohit Bhargava (IntIm/BST/Bioengineering)
  • January 27, Jesse Ribot (SDEP/Geography)
  • February 24, Mark Nelson (BioIntel/NeuroTech/Molecular & Integrative Physiology)
  • March 31, Chilin Shih (BioIntel/Cognitive Science/East Asian Languages & Cultures)
  • April 21, Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows

Each of the above seminar dates are on a Wednesday. The talks begin promptly at Noon in Room 1005. Lunch will be provided.

20th ANNIVERSARY SYMPOSIUM – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
External Relations recently launched a 20th Anniversary Web site that includes more details about the 20th Anniversary Symposium that will be held October 5-7. In addition to being able to register for the symposium you can also see a preliminary program for the event. The Anniversary site also includes stories, photos, videos, a timeline of the Beckman Institute, and a place to leave a thought or a memory about the Beckman Institute. http://www.beckman.illinois.edu/anniversary/index.aspx

CARPET INSTALLATION
The 20-year-old carpet in the administrative suite was recently replaced and I would like to extend a special thanks to everyone who helped make it a smooth process. I would especially like to thank our Operations staff and the ITS office for all of their hard work in moving furniture, computers, printers, and people. It was a lot to orchestrate and they accomplished it very efficiently. The carpet in the Atrium will be replaced in the coming weeks.

BILL GREENOUGH CELEBRATIONS
The celebrations and events surrounding Bill Greenough’s transition to Emeritus status were held June 4 -5. The organizing committee, which was chaired by Neal Cohen, did a tremendous job putting together a reception, symposium, and dinner. This event brought together nearly 200 people who have worked with Bill over the years. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the accomplishments of one of the Beckman Institute’s founding faculty members. Thanks to everyone involved in the organization and participated in the events.

BIOMEDICAL IMAGING CENTER – NEW MAGNET DELIVERY
Work on the Biomedical Imaging Center’s new location in the basement of the Beckman Institute has been progressing on schedule. The eagerly anticipated new 3T whole-body MRI system is expected to be delivered on July 8. Installation will begin immediately with the hope of the magnet being operational in early autumn.

NEW HIRES
Please welcome the following new people to the Beckman Institute:

  • Ruchika Prakash, Postdoctoral Research Associate (A. Kramer)
  • Changho Lee, Visiting Scholar (S. Boppart)
  • Matthew George, Postdoctoral Research Associate (P. Braun)
  • Ming-Hsuan Yang, Visiting Scholar (N. Ahuja)
  • Jia-Bin Huang, Visiting Scholar (N. Ahuja)
  • Quan Zhou, Visiting Scholar (N. Ahuja)
  • Eileen Jerutka, Academic Hourly (Finance team)

PETER WANG INVITED TO PRESTIGIOUS NAKFI CONFERENCE
Congratulations to Peter Wang who has been invited to the 7th Annual National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) conference, Synthetic Biology: Building on Nature’s Inspiration. NAKFI is a 15-year effort of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine to catalyze interdisciplinary inquiry and to enhance communication among researchers, funding organizations, universities and the general public. The conference invites approximately 150 individuals to this “think-tank” style conference. Participants are also invited to compete for $1 million in seed grants for the pursuit of new ideas stimulated by the conference.

THREE BECKMAN INSTITUTE FACULTY MEMBERS SELECTED AS HP INNOVATION RESEARCH AWARD WINNERS
Congratulations to Narendra Ahuja, Jiawei Han, and Tom Huang for being selected to receive a research award as part of HP’s 2009 HP Labs Innovation Research Program. The researchers who were selected include Narendra Ahuja, Jiawei Han, and Tom Huang. They will take part in the HP program which is designed to create opportunities for colleges, universities, and research institute’s around the world to conduct breakthrough collaborative research with HP.

I hope you are enjoying the summer months. 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, and graduate and undergraduate student researchers, their accomplishments, recognitions, and featured stories on our research programs.

Tamer Başar
June 18, 2009
Interim Director
director@beckman.illinois.edu