November 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 67: November 2014

Lyding Wins AVS Achievement Award
Joseph W. Lyding, full-time faculty member in the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, has won the 2014 Award for Outstanding Research from the Prairie Chapter of the American Vacuum Society. Lyding, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, was awarded “for pioneering developments in scanning tunneling microscopy instrumentation and their applications to nanotechnology.”

Marni Boppart Elected ACSM Fellow
Marni Boppart, full-time faculty member in the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group and associate professor in kinesiology and community health, has been elected a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine. Among other things, the fellowships recognize “professional achievement and competence in the related disciplines of sports medicine via education, published works, professional practice and a demonstrated interest in and/or contribution to the goals of sports medicine.” Boppart will be inducted at the national meeting in May.

Fabiani Named Editor-in-Chief
Beginning in January, Monica Fabiani, professor in the Cognitive Neuroscience Group, will become editor-in-chief of the journal Psychophysiology (Wiley-Blackwell).

Tajkhorshid Receives INCITE Award

Emad Tajkhorshid, professor in the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at Beckman and professor of pharmacology at Illinois, has received a 2015 Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) award. The award provides 96 million hours of massive supercomputing at a Leadership Computing Facility that focuses only on the most ambitious research projects with the potential for major breakthroughs. Tajkhorshid’s project, which has been developed and tested in his lab, will study the transition between structural intermediates of a number of transporters using a novel combination of several replica-based techniques coupling a massive array of all-atom molecular dynamics simulations.

O’Brien Awarded Vision 20/20 Funding

Bill O’Brien, full-time faculty member in Bioacoustics Research Laboratory, has received funding for his project, “Noninvasive Early Detection and Dietary Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease,” through the Division of Nutritional Sciences Vision 20/20 research program. This initiative sponsored by DNS and the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Office of Research is intended to catalyze unique interdisciplinary nutrition-related research.

Johnson Receives Young Investigator Award
Curtis Johnson, the assistant director for magnetic resonance operations in the Biomedical Imaging Center, received the Young Investigator Award at the BRAIN Grand Challenges conference hosted by IEEE EMBS in Washington, D.C. The goal of the conference is to discuss the challenges in addressing the national government’s BRAIN Initiative, and Johnson was honored for his research in elastography.

Grants Awarded
The following grants were recently awarded to Beckman researchers:

  • “Encapsulation and Delivery of Bioactive Compounds for Dentin Biomodification” (PI: White, NIH)
  • “Multifunctional Damage Tolerant Composite Materials” (PI: Sottos, White; AFOSR)


Welcome to Beckman’s New Employees

  • Jason Patrick, Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Andrew Reynolds, Web Development Specialist (Communications)
  • Tomek Wrobel, Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow

Upcoming Events

Director’s Seminar
Thurs, Dec. 4, Noon, Room 1005
“A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body: Cognitive and Brain Aging, Fitness, and Arterial Elasticity,” Monica Fabiani, professor of psychology, and full-time faculty member in the Cognitive Neuroscience Group.

Graduate Student Seminar
Wed, Dec. 10, Noon, Room 1005
Talks by Sage Dunham (NeuroTech), Alex Cerjanic (Bioimaging), Jun Li (Autonomous Materials Systems)

Chambana Science Café
NEW DATE, NEW LOCATION: Wed, Dec. 10, 5:30 pm, Pizza M, Urbana
Andrew Leakey, associate professor and I.C. Gunsalus Scholar in Plant Biology and Crop Sciences and the Institute for Genomic Biology
“The Future of Crops with Climate Change”

“The Science of Spherification”
Beckman Senior Fellow Lecture

2 pm Friday, Dec. 12, Room 1005 Beckman
Chipot discusses avant-garde cuisine (also known as molecular gastronomy), which involves the presentation of flavorful, edible liquids packaged into spheres. A live demonstration will follow the lecture.
Beckman Holiday Party
Thursday, Dec 18, 3:30 pm, Beckman Atrium
                                                                                                       
weSTEM Conference
Registration deadline: November 30, 2014
GradSWE's flagship initiative, the Women Empowered in STEM (weSTEM) conference, provides graduate students with access to current and future STEM leaders, lending insight into diverse career paths stemming from a graduate degree. This annual conference is scheduled for Saturday, February 7, 2015 at the I Hotel. Applications to attend weSTEM are now open. Space is limited, so register early to secure your spot!


As we near the Thanksgiving holiday break, I’d like to thank you for all you do in support of the Beckman Institute. I wish you good health and safe travels!


Art Kramer
Beckman Institute Director
November 21, 2015