August 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 11: August 2009

Welcome back to all of you who are returning from your summer travels. I hope the summer months have been both productive and enjoyable. I am very much looking forward to the fall semester as there are many exciting research projects that are taking shape at the Institute. I am also looking forward to the numerous events that are on the horizon, including our 20th Anniversary Symposium.

UPDATE ON THE BIOMEDICAL IMAGING CENTER

The Biomedical Imaging Center (BIC) now has two working magnets settled into their new homes in the basement of the Institute. The new 3T whole body Trio joined the 600 MHz scanner in July and is proving to be as impressive as advertised. The BIC staff are currently undergoing applications training and are planning to begin providing experimental access to the Trio in the coming weeks. The 3T Allegra magnet is slated to move to its new location, next to the Trio, in early October (right after the 20th Anniversary Symposium). The BIC staff hope to complete their office relocation by the end of October and are looking forward to once again being in contiguous space. They are also looking forward to supporting modalities other than MR as the Institute anticipates the delivery of new ultrasound and PET/SPECT/CT scanners. The BIC personnel associated with MR activities will be located in the newly remodeled space in 1215A, next to the mock magnets in 1215B. There will be a “lab-warming” for Institute faculty and staff once the BIC staff are settled into their new space.

20th ANNIVERSARY SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 5-7, 2009
Registrations are coming in quickly for the Beckman Institute 20th Anniversary Symposium. If you are planning on attending the Symposium please take a moment to register on our Web site at www.beckman.illinois.edu/anniversary.

COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY OF THE CELL: THE NEXT DECADE
Congratulations to Klaus Schulten and the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group who are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics. In honor of this anniversary the group is planning a symposium for September 21-23 at the Beckman Institute. For more information visit: http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Outreach/cbtnd_symposium/

IMAGING AT ILLINOIS WORKSHOP
The Beckman Institute strategic initiative on Imaging is hosting a fall workshop, “Imaging at Illinois.” The workshop will be held October 1, 2009 at the Beckman Institute and will feature a wide array of speakers who will address the theme “Highlighting Science, Technology, and Application of Imaging.” Stephen Boppart is hosting this year’s event. For more information visit: https://conferences.beckman.uiuc.edu/imaging2009.

DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR: SEPTMEBER 16
The first Director’s Seminar of the Fall 2009 series will be presented by Stephen Levinson (ECE). His talk “Can Robots Learn Language the Way Children Do?” will be given at Noon on Wednesday, September 16 in Room 1005. Lunch will be provided. In addition to the Director’s Seminars we also have many other events happening at the Institute. For a calendar visit the Institute events page at: www.beckman.illinois.edu/events/index.aspx.

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

  • Roberto Galvez, Full-time Faculty (NeuroTech/BioIntel)
  • Ashwini Chhatre, Affiliate Faculty (SDEP)
  • Taras Pogorelov, Postdoctoral Research Associate (E. Tajkhorshid)
  • Edward Wlotko, 2009 Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dingguo Gao, Visiting Scholar (S. Garnsey)
  • Jiwook Shim, Postdoctoral Research Associate (G. Timp)

NEW RESEARCH GRANTS
Congratulations to the following investigators who have received new grant funding in the period of July 15-August 15, 2009:

  • Number Cognition to Number Grammar (PI: K. Bock; Sponsor: NSF)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging and Culture (PI: B. Sutton; Sponsor: NIH)
  • Targeted Microspheres for Contrast Enhancement in Optical Coherence Tomography (PI: S. Boppart; Sponsor: NIH)
  • Utilization of Alpha7 Integrin-Derived Stem Cells as Therapy for the Alleviation of Scarcopenia (PI: M. Boppart; Sponsor: Ellison Medical)
  • IGERT: Neuroengineering – A Unified Educational Program for Systems Engineering and Neuroscience (PI: Jones; Sponsor: NSF)
  • 3D Optical Tracking of Bone-marrow Derived Skin Stem Cells (PI: S. Boppart; Sponsor: NSF)

TWO M&ENS RESEARCH GROUPS MERGE
The Nanoelectronics and Computational Electronics research groups have recently merged and will now be known as the Nanolectronics and Nanomaterials research group. The group leader will be Joe Lyding. 

LECKBAND ELECTED FELLOW OF AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
Congratulations to Deborah Leckband of the 3D Micro- and Nanosystems research group who was among the first class of fellows to be honored by the American Chemical Society. Leckband, the Reid T. Milner Professor of Chemistry, studies the interface between biology and surface science.

This is all 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, and graduate and undergraduate student researchers, their accomplishments, recognitions, and featured stories on our research programs.

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