November 2013 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.

Issue 59: November 2013

Faculty Awards
Congratulations to the following Beckman faculty, who recently received awards:
John Rogers, from the 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group, has been given a 2013 American Ingenuity Award by Smithsonian Magazine. Rogers is the 2013 honoree in the physical sciences, thanks to the invention of ultra-thin silicon electronics that dissolve in the body or the environment, ushering in a new era of biodegradable medical implants and environmentally friendly electronic devices.

Klara Nahrstedt, of the Image Formation and Processing Group, will be inducted in the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Germany’s foremost academic society, in March 2014. Nahrstedt’s selection to Leopoldina’s membership is in recognition of her scientific achievements and impact on science. Nahrstedt has long been a leading researcher in multimedia systems, having made multiple seminal contributions in quality of service (QoS) management for distributed multimedia systems.
Brian Cunningham, Beckman faculty member in the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, was recently elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America “for the invention, development, and commercialization of biosensors and detection instrumentation based upon nanostructured surfaces, and the development of biological applications.”
Jonathan Sweedler has won the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Analytical Chemistry, recognizing “outstanding contributions to the science of analytical chemistry” for his pioneering development of methods to detect extraordinarily small quantities of neurotransmitters. Sweedler is a part-time faculty member in the Neurotech Group.

William King, part-time faculty member in the 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group, received an achievement award at ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in San Diego. ASME is a professional association that advances, disseminates, and applies engineering knowledge for improving the quality of life and communicating the excitement of engineering. It grants awards for service, for literature, and for achievement.

Grants Awarded
Congratulations to the following investigators who received grant funding during the period of October 11, 2013-November 15, 2013:

  • Advanced Image Reconstruction for EPRI p02 Mapping (PI: Liang; Sponsor: NIH-Subaward through the University of Chicago)
  • Molecular Imaging of Stem Cell-Induced Reversal of Vascular Complications and Function in Diabetes Mellitus (PI: Dobrucki; Sponsor: NIH)
  • Developing Advanced MRI methods for detecting the impact of nutrients on infant brain development (PI: Sutton; Sponsor: CNLM-Abbott Nutrition)

New Rates for Vis Lab Users
All of Beckman facility rates are subject to review on an ongoing basis.  Due to the increased costs related to hardware and software, it was necessary to increase the monthly subscription fees associated with the Visualization Lab. The new "Government Costing approved" rate for the Vis Lab $103 per month for all users on campus.

Welcome to the Newly Hired Beckman Faculty and Staff

  • August Cassens, Media Communications Specialist (Communications team)
  • Danielle Chandler, Assistant Director, Technology Development and Training (K. Schulten)
  • Zhenghua Wu, Visiting Scholar (Z. Liang)
  • Tsung-Han Tsai, Postdoctoral Research Associate (P. Braun)
  • John Pirtle-Grants and Contracts Specialist (Business Office)
  • Jacqueline Harden-Grants and Contracts Specialist (Business Office)

Upcoming Events

Chambana Science Café
5:30 pm Wed, Dec. 4
Champaign Public Library
Jana Diesner, assistant professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS), will present a talk on social network analysis and studying the data traces we leave behind every day as part of the Chambana Science Café lecture series. The Chambana Science Café is sponsored in part by the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. More information may be found on the Chambana Science Café Facebook page.
Director’s Seminar
Noon, Thurs, Dec. 5
Room 1005
Thomas van Dijk and Jie Sun, who are both Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows, will present at the last Beckman Institute Director’s Seminar of the semester.
Van Dijk will present a talk entitled, “Optimization in Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.” He completed his Ph.D. in physics at Vrije University in Amsterdam, and his main areas of research include computed imaging, inverse problems, statistical optics, and plasmonics.
Sun will present on “Biosenors, Protocells, and Beyond.” She earned her Ph.D. in molecular and integrative physiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in her postdoctoral studies she is working on bottom-up synthesis biology using protocells as a synthetic platform to reconstitute cellular functions.
Beckman Holiday Reception
3:30- 5 pm Friday, Dec. 20
Beckman Atrium
Donations of books and toys are being accepted in the Administrative Office Suite until Dec. 19 for the Salvation Army/Marine Corps Toys for Tots, which provides gifts to less fortunate children.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’d like to thank all Beckman faculty, staff and students for their work this year. May you have safe and happy celebrations this holiday season. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. Our web site,, will continue to post timely information on all the important happenings at the Institute.
Art Kramer,
November 22, 2013