October 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 13: October 2009


20th ANNIVERSARY SYMPOSIUM
The Beckman Institute 20th Anniversary Symposium was held October 5-7, 2009. We had over 300 registered attendees and were pleased to see so many people gather in celebration of two decades of success at the Institute. I would especially like to thank the 20th Anniversary Planning Committee and our wonderful staff for the time and effort they put into making the event special. I would also like to thank all of the speakers. We appreciate your time and dedication to the Institute. It was truly an event to remember for many years to come.

EXTERNAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE REVIEW
The Beckman Institute’s External Advisory Committee (EAC) will be conducting its biannual review November 1-3, 2009. The EAC members are appointed by the Chancellor to advise Beckman Institute leadership and Illinois administrators on the state of the Beckman Institute, its research programs, opportunities for new directions, and other issues. After the Institute receives its report, its contents will be summarized and distributed to Beckman Institute faculty.

REGISTRATION IS CURRENTLY OPEN FOR ACADEMIC CAREER MENTORING WORKSHOP
Students and post-docs can now register for the Beckman Institute’s series of mentorship workshops that are targeted to senior (advanced) graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in pursuing an academic career. For more details, a complete schedule, useful links, and registration information visit: www.beckman.illinois.edu/Mentoring2009. The cutoff date for registration is November 6, 2009.

NOBEL LAUREATE VON KLITZING TO GIVE TALK AT BECKMAN
This October we have the distinction of hosting two Nobel Laureates at the Beckman Institute. The first Nobel Laureate visiting this month was Susumu Tonegawa who spoke at the 20th Anniversary Symposium. Our second visitor with the distinction of a Nobel prize will be Klaus von Klitzing, Director, Max Planck Institute for Solid State Physics. He will be giving the talk, “Quantum Leap from Micro- to Nanoelectonics.” The lecture is October 26 at 4PM in the Beckman Auditorium. The von Klitzing lecture is sponsored by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Physics, the Center for Advanced Study, and the Beckman Institute.

BIC/ISL SPACE SWAP
The 3T Allegra Headscanner magnet has now been moved to the magnet suite in the Beckman Institute basement. The move of the Allegra fully vacates BIC and its personnel from the south campus building. The Illinois Simulator Laboratory continues to settle into the south campus building. ISL will now begin preparing the Allegra’s former space for the driving simulator which will be moved later this year.

2008-2009 ANNUAL REPORT
The 2008-2009 Beckman Institute Annual Report is now available. It provides coverage of Beckman Institute activities covering the period of July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2009. If you would like printed copies of the annual report please contact Sue Johnson at johnso16@illinois.edu. If you would like to browse the annual report online visit: http://www.beckman.illinois.edu/about/annual.aspx

ROBINSON RECEIVES NIH PIONEER AWARD
Congratulations to Gene Robinson (NeuroTech) who has been awarded the 2009 National Institutes of Health Pioneer Award. Robinson’s award is $2.5 million in direct costs over five years.

SHUT THE SASH PROGRAM UNDERWAY
The Beckman Institute, in conjunction with the Division of Safety and Compliance with Facilities and Services, and funding from the Student Sustainability Committee are initiating a pilot “Shut the Sash” program. The program aims to educate chemical fume hood users on the importance of lowering or closing chemical fume hood sashes when they are not actively being used. The goal of the program is to save energy, safety, decrease exposure to vapors, and reduce CO2 emissions. Estimates on how this program could impact the Beckman Institute include an annual savings of up to $300,000 in energy consumption costs and a reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 636,000 pounds.

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

  • Chunchen (Jennifer) Lin, Postdoctoral Research Associate (G. Timp)
  • Qingsong Liu, Visiting Scholar (M. Hasegawa-Johnson)
  • Kimani Toussaint, Affiliate Faculty Member (BST/IntIm)
  • Xi Peng, Visiting Scholar (Z-P. Liang)
  • Kevin Jackson, Research Specialist (H. Wang)
  • Eileen Jerutka, Grants and Contracts Specialist (Business Office)
  • Tristan Croll, Visiting Scholar (K. Schulten)
  • Jennifer Docktor, Postdoctoral Research Associate (B. Ross)
  • Haichao Zhang, Visiting Scholar (T. Huang)
  • Xiaobo Qu, Visiting Scholar (Z-P. Liang)

GRANT FUNDING
Congratulations to the following investigators who have received new grant funding during the one-month period of September 16, 2009 – October 15, 2009:

  • Brain and Behavioral Correlates of Fitness, Cerebrovascular Health and Aging (PI: M. Fabiani; Sponsor: NIH)
  • CPS: Small, Mathematical, Computational, and Perceptual Foundations for Interactive Cyber-Physical Systems (PI: T. Bretl; Sponsor: NSF)
  • Mechanism and Dynamics of Protein Interactions with Polymer Brushes (PI: D. Leckband; Sponsor: NSF)

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
October 19, 2009
Interim Director
director@beckman.illinois.edu