September 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 65: September 2014

Note from the Director
To all our new Beckman affiliates, students, and postdocs, welcome back to the Beckman Institute. We hope that this academic year is getting off to a good start and that you had the opportunity to relax and recharge this summer.

On October 10, we will be celebrating Beckman’s 25th anniversary with a daylong symposium, featuring former Beckman Institute directors, the former and current Chancellor of the University, as well as other special invited guests, and former Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows.

We invite you to attend the event. If you are planning on joining us for lunch, please RSVP by September 10, so that we have the correct number of meals available.

RSVP by September 10 at

The Beckman has a rich history of interesting and successful research. It would not be possible without your help. Thank you for all you do.

Art Kramer,
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
New Hires
Welcome to our newest employees.

  • Michael Dulas (Postdoctoral Research Associate-N. Cohen)
  • Taha Goudarzi  (Visiting Scholar-N. Sobh)
  • Yu-Chieh Ho (Visiting Scholar-T. Huang)
  • Zhijian Ou (Visiting Scholar-M. Hasegawa-Johnson)
  • Hu Qiu (Postdoctoral Research Associate-K. Schulten)
  • Joshua Schwenk (Office Support Associate-Business office)
  • Anne Walk (Visiting Scholar-M. Dye)
  • Zhenxing Yu (Visiting Scholar-P. Braun)

Congratulations on Grants Received
These grants were recently received by Beckman researchers:

  • Cognitive Nutrients and the Brain:  Production of Isotopically Labeled Nutrients and Development of Animal Models (PI: Erdman, Abbott)
  • Influence of fitness on brain and cognition (PI: Kramer, NIH)
  • Multi-Layer Solid State Membranes with Nanochannels for Bio-Molecule Manipulation and Sensing (PI: Leburton, Oxford Nanopore Technologies)
  • The Computational Microscope (PI: Schulten, NSF)
  • BRAIN EAGER: Spatially-Resolved in Vivo Optogenetic Stimulation and Imaging Platform (PI: S. Boppart, NSF)
  • BRAIN EAGER: Multiscale Dynamics and Emergent Properties of Suprachiasmatic Circuits in Real Time (PI: Gillette, NSF)
  • Network for Computational Nanotechnology-NanoBIO Node (PI: Ravaioli, NSF)
  • Biophotonics Imaging Lab Pilot Projects for GlaxoSmithKline (PI: S. Boppart)
  • α7 Integrin-Mediated Hypertrophic Signaling and Growth in Skeletal Muscle (PI: M. Boppart, NIH)

Johnson Named Associate Director for Administration
Kara Johnson has been appointed Associate Director for Administration at the Beckman Institute. Kara follows Mike Devocelle, who left to become the Chief of Staff for President Easter, in this position.

Kara has been at the University of Illinois since 2005, first with the Grants and Contracts group and more recently as the Director of Budget and Resource Planning at the Beckman Institute. Kara has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in business administration.

Vis Lab Has Been Temporarily Moved
The Visualization Lab has been moved to the 5th floor, Room 5602, while mandatory work on the sprinkler system is taking place. The 4th floor Vis Lab will be closed until September 12. For those that have access to the lab, your i-card will still be fully functional as normal for the automatic swipe. If you have any further questions regarding this relocation, please do not hesitate to ask any of the ITG staff.

Communications Office Available to Help Spread the News about Your Research
The Communications Office has a number of resources to help you with presentations. See our web page for a Beckman Powerpoint template, the Beckman wordmark, and other resources:
We are happy to publicize news related to Beckman research (publications, grant funding, etc.) and can help connect researchers with the University of Illinois News Bureau. Contact Maeve Reilly,, for more information.

Upcoming Events

Science Café
5 pm Wednesday, September 3, Champaign Public Library
Erika Hussey, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology and Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Researcher, “Boosting Language Abilities with Brain Training”
The Science Café, sponsored in part by the Beckman Institute, brings scientists to the public to talk about their work and answer your questions. Everyone is welcome!

Director’s Seminar

Noon, Thursday, September 11, Room 1005 Beckman Institute
“Genomics with Semiconductor Nanotechnology,” presented by Jean-Pierre Leburton, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and member of Beckman’s Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group.

Public Hearing on a Prospective Engineering-based College of Medicine

Noon, Friday, September 12, 151 Loomis Lab
The meeting will consider EP.15.02: Creation of a College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in partnership with Carle Health System-Preliminary Endorsement. Copies of the document outlining this preliminary endorsement will be available at the meeting.

Thursdays at 12:20 Concert

September 18, Beckman Atrium
Performances by members of the University of Illinois School of Music.

Springboard Series Social Science Mixer

3-5 pm Tuesday, September 23, Beckman Atrium
An opportunity for faculty in the broad area of behavioral and social sciences to exchange research ideas in an informal setting.

Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory Lecture
2-3 pm Wednesday, September 24, Beckman Institute Auditorium, followed by a reception
“Leading the Nation’s Health Initiatives through Disease Prevention and Health Promotion,” presented by Don Wright, MD, MPH, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health; Director, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

SmithGroup Lecture
4 pm Thursday, October 16, Room 1025 Beckman Institute
“The Nature of the DNA Bond,” presented by Chad Mirkin, George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and Director, International Institute for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University

Participate in iWalk
The UI Wellness Center is bringing back its popular I Walk challenge this fall. This self-paced program helps employees start a walking routine or expand their current walking program. For more information about I Walk, or to register, go to or contact the UI Wellness Center at or 265-9355.