July 2014 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 64: July 2014

Kramer Reappointed Beckman Institute Director
From Vice Chancellor for Research Peter Schiffer: Recently, I asked a committee to review Art Kramer's performance as director of the Beckman Institute. As part of that review process, the committee (chaired by Professor Philippe Geubelle) sought input on Art's leadership and accomplishments during his time as director.

Your responses to that request were overwhelmingly positive, and I am delighted to announce that Art has been re-appointed as Beckman Director. Art's vision for the Institute is exciting, and I am pleased that he will continue to lead the Beckman research agenda in the coming years.

Cohen Named Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Initiative Director
Neal J. Cohen has been named the director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Initiative (IHSI), pending approval by the Board of Trustees.

Cohen, a professor of psychology and neuroscience, currently serves as the founding director of the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory (CNLM, a partnership with Abbott Nutrition) and leads both the Neuroscience Program (NSP) and the Center for Lifelong Improvement of Minds and Brains (CLIMB).

In his new role, Cohen will work closely with researchers across campus, as well as the Offices of the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Research, and relevant academic and research units, to develop a new Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute as envisioned in the Campus Strategic Plan. He will work to raise the campus profile and further develop its stature as a world leader in health research, strengthening existing - and developing new - relationships with local and regional health care providers, clinical sites, and community leaders. He will also work with federal agencies, private foundations, and industrial partners to enhance the visibility of campus health sciences research.

Administratively, Cohen will oversee and align the operations of the Division of Biomedical Sciences to support the health research community on campus, transitioning current operations into the new Institute - a critical step in achieving the health-related goals of the Campus Strategic Plan.

New Hires
Welcome to the following new employees of the Beckman Institute:

  • Noah Bindman (Postdoctoral Fellow-S. Schantz)
  • Davy Ea (Visiting Scholar-W. Dobrucki)
  • Jodi Hadden (Postdoctoral Research Associate-K. Schulten)
  • Tracy Henigman (MR Research Support Technologist-BIC)
  • Ramisha Knight (Visiting Scholar-D. Beck)
  • Katarzyna Marzec (Visiting Scholar-R. Bhargava)
  • Paritosh Pande (Postdoctoral Research Associate-S. Boppart)
  • Joao Rui Vieira Ribeiro (Postdoctoral Research Associate-K. Schulten) 
  • Xin Wang (Visiting Scholar-Z. Liang)
  • Rachael Rubin (Carle-Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Gillian Hamilton (Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow)

Congratulations to the Following Grant Recipients

  • Enhanced Optogenetic Control of Neuronal Activity with Tailored Light Stimuli (PI: Boppart, NSF)
  • Collaborative Patient Portals: Computer-based Agents and Patients' Understanding of Numeric Health Information (PI: Morrow, NIH)
  • Biophotonics Imaging Lab Pilot Projects for GlaxoSmithKline (PI: Boppart, GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Optimized OCT-Video Imaging in a Handheld Scanning Otoscope (PI: Boppart, NSF)
  • EAGER: Smart Phone Platform for Personal High Resolution 3D Optical Imaging (PI: Boppart, NSF)

Beckman Building Safety
Recently Lieutenant Short from Campus Police presented a Building Emergency Action Plan (BEAP) meeting in the Beckman Auditorium. The Beckman BEAP will soon be circulated to all Beckman employees. The main messages were “Get Out/Run” or “Stay In/Hide.”

In an event when the building needs to be evacuated, Beckman employees are to meet at the fountain located outside the south entrance (between the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building and the Coordinated Science Lab (CSL). There, floor coordinators will check to see that all employees have left the building. In inclement weather, employees should meet in the first floor lobby of CSL.

Illini Alerts is a service that the University offers—a text message will be sent to your cell phone if you register at emergency.illinois.edu/

The Department of Homeland Security's video of "Run! Hide! Fight!" tips for surviving an active threat was mentioned by Lt. Short during his presentation:

Contact Rob Fritz, rkfritz@illinois.edu, with questions or comments.

Did you know … ?
That the Beckman Office of Communications can help you publicize your research findings? We also supply Powerpoint templates for presentations and have a Beckman wordmark that can be used on Beckman-related publications and presentations. Visit http://beckman.illinois.edu/about/services/communications-office for more information.

Work-Life Committee
Thanks to all you have contributed ideas and who participated in the first meeting of Beckman’s Work-Life committee.

Our first meeting centered around a discussion of more recycling containers, additional cardiac response units, sanitizing stations throughout the building, an employee recognition event, a lounge for Beckman employees, and implementing an exercise program or finding exercise space. Details about the meeting can be found here: http://publish.illinois.edu/beckmanworklife/notes/

The next meeting is July 17, at 11 am in the Beckman atrium. All are invited to attend. If you can’t make the meeting, but would like to share some suggestions, please email Maeve Reilly, mjreilly@illinois.edu.

Upcoming Events

Photos of Beckman Institute on display
Rajat Saksena, a graduate student in engineering, is hosting a photography exhibit featuring images of the Beckman Institute. An opening reception will take place on July 11, from 4:30-6:30 pm, at the Illini Union. The display will remain open until August 20.

Beckman 25th anniversary and Postdoc reunion
October 9-10, 2014

SmithGroup Lecture: Chad Mirkin
October 16, 2014

Beckman biennial Open House
March 13-14, 2015

Thanks to all of you for your continued support of the Beckman Institute. As noted above, I have been reappointed director of the Institute. My job as director is made much easier because of the outstanding work that each of you do on a daily basis.

Thank you for all you do! I hope you get a chance to enjoy some time off this summer to recharge and rejuvenate yourself and come back ready to take Beckman into its next quarter century. Stay tuned for details on upcoming Beckman 25th anniversary celebration events.

Art Kramer
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology