September 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 12: September 2009


CONGRATULATIONS TO JOHN ROGERS
John Rogers was just named a 2009 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering Innovation and a professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, is among 24 fellows who will each receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years.

20th ANNIVERSARY SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 5-7, 2009
We have been building up to the 20th Anniversary Symposium for many months and we are very excited that the meeting is almost here. If you have not yet registered please visit the Symposium web site at www.beckman.illinois.edu/anniversary.

STATE OF THE BECKMAN INSTITUTE
The annual “State of the Beckman Institute” presentation is scheduled for Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. in the Beckman auditorium. I look forward to seeing everyone there. A social hour will follow in Room 1005 immediately following the presentation.

NEW ACADEMIC CAREER MENTORING WORKSHOP TO BE HOSTED AT BECKMAN
The Beckman Institute is developing a series of mentorship workshops targeted to senior (advanced) graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in pursuing an academic career. The plan is to hold one two-session workshop the afternoons of November 12 and 13, and another two-session workshop coming Spring (March 2010). Among the topics to be covered are:

  • Positioning oneself to maximize opportunities for an academic position
  • Finding the right institutional fit
  • Putting together a successful CV
  • The interview process
  • Negotiating a start-up package
  • Demands of an academic career and how to balance teaching, research, mentoring students, and service
  • How to find a senior mentor, and identify good research collaborators
  • Understanding the tenure process
  • Balancing family and career

The workshops are open to all Beckman Institute graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. More information will follow in the coming weeks.

DIGITAL SIGNAGE
We have just installed a new 70-inch, touch screen digital kiosk in the Beckman Institute atrium, near the elevators. The new screen replaces the out-dated kiosk that was in the east atrium. The signage includes an events listing, the Beckman directory, a laboratory listing, announcements, Café menus, and more.

THURSDAYS@12:20 CONCERT SERIES
The Thursdays@12:20 Concert Series will begin its Fall schedule on October 8, featuring musicians from the School of Music. Performances begin at 12:20 p.m. and conclude at 12:50 p.m. The Fall schedule is as follows:

  • October 8: Hickey Jazz Combo
  • October 15: Erin Sullivan, bassoon
  • October 22: Graduate Saxophone Quartet
  • October 29: Matt Jacklin: marimba
  • November 5: Chen-Yu Huang, harp
  • November 12: Graduate String Quartet
  • November 19: Jazz Trombone Duo

FALL SYNERGY NOW AVAILABLE
The Fall 2009 issue of Synergy includes a preview of the 20th Anniversary Symposium, a look at a unique new addition to the Beckman Institute family (the iCub), a profile of Beckman alumnus, Jeff Kleim, a faculty profile of Nicholas Fang, a story on the TCB 20th Anniversary Symposium, and much more. To view the latest issue visit the Synergy web page at: http://www.beckman.illinois.edu/synergy

TCB CELEBRATES 20 YEARS AS A UNIQUE SCIENCE RESOURCE
Klaus Schulten’s NIH Resource for Marcomolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics is in its 20th year. To mark celebrate their two decades of success and to look ahead to the future, TCB will be playing host to a symposium titled “Computational Biology of the Cell — the Next Decade.”  The Symposium meets September 21-23. For more information visit: http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Outreach/cbtnd_symposium/

IMAGING WORKSHOP TO BE HOSTED AT BECKMAN ON OCTOBER 1
Beckman’s Strategic Initiative on Imaging is holding a day-long workshop on October 1, 2009. The theme for this inaugural workshop is “Highlighting the Science, Technology, and Application of Imaging.” The keynote speaker is Alain Viel, Associate Director of Undergraduate Research, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University. For more information on the workshop visit: https://conferences.beckman.uiuc.edu/Imaging2009/

CLIMATE AND SOCIETY
A new speaker series is underway that highlights Climate and Society issues. The series has been developed by Jesse Ribot, the lead person for the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy (SDEP) strategic initiative. The inaugural lecture in this Climate and Society Series was held on September 11.  The next one is scheduled for Friday, September 25. Robin Mearns from the Social Development Department of The World Bank will present “Social Dimensions of Climate Change: From Principles to Practice at The World Bank.” The lecture is in Room 5602 at 2:30 p.m. For a complete schedule of the Climate and Society series visit:  http://www.beckman.illinois.edu/strategic/climateandsociety.aspx

NEW HIRES

Please welcome the following new hires to the Beckman Institute:

  • Gregory Stanton, Visiting Sr. Research Scientist (W. Greenough)
  • Javier Ospina, Coordinator of Research Programs (K. Bock)
  • Natalie Strand, Postdoctoral Research Associate (B. Ross)
  • Rochelle Yambert, Coordinator of Research Programs (BIC)
  • Yuki Yamamoto, Visiting Scholar (J. Moore)
  • Thomas Bassett, Affiliate Faculty (SDEP)
  • Nanshu Lu, 2009 Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Taher Saif, Affiliate Faculty Member (NeuroTech/BioIntel)
  • Aaron Esser-Kahn, Postdoc (J. Moore)
  • Naomi Roberts, Administrative Clerk
  • Zheng Xue, Postdoc (J. Moore)
  • Yan Guo, Visiting Scholar (S. Hutchinson)
  • Yuhang Jing, Visiting Scholar (N. Aluru)
  • Joshua Goh, Postdoc Res Assoc (B. Sutton)

GRANT FUNDING
Congratulations to the following investigators who have received new grant funding in the period of August 15, 2009 – September 15, 2009:

  • RI-Collaborative Research: Landmark-based Robust Speech Recognition Using Prosody-guided models of speech variability (PI: J. Cole; Sponsor: NSF)
  • EAGER: Mechanical Symmetry and the Origins of Language (PI: T. Bretl; Sponsor: NSF)
  • 2nd International Conference on Self-healing Materials (PI: S. White; Sponsor: US Air Force)
  • High-resolution in Vivo Ultrasound Imaging Using VisualSonics Vevo 2100 System (PI: W. O’Brien; Sponsor: NIH)
  • MRI: Acquisition of a Molecular Imaging Instrument for Dynamic Materials and Biological Systems (PI: S. Boppart; Sponsor: NSF)
  • Mathematical Models of Neocortical Circuits (PI: S. Levinson; Sponsor: DOE)
  • Wet-mode Scanning Electron Microscopy (PI: S. Robinson; Sponsor: DOD/CERL
  • MRI Analyses of the Velopharyngeal Mechanism Among Different Adult Populations (PI: B. Sutton; Sponsor: NIH – sub award ISU)
  • Microencapsulated Molecular Regenerators for Lithium Ion Batteries (PI: S. Odom; Sponsor: NSF)
  • Nonlinear Interferometric Vibrational Imaging of Cancer (PI: S. Boppart; Sponsor: NIH)

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

Tamer Başar
September 22, 2009
Interim Director
director@beckman.illinois.edu