May 2016 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 79: May 2016

Awards and Honors

Akhtar Receives Innovation Prize

Aadeel Akhtar, a graduate research assistant in the Artificial Intelligence Group, has been awarded the Illinois Innovation Prize for his work developing highly advanced, low-cost prosthetic hands with sensory feedback. The $20,000 prize is annually awarded to a student who stands out as a passionate innovator and entrepreneur, working with world changing technology and is seen as a role model for others.

2016 Beckman Graduate Fellows Named

Congratulations to Nyssa Bulkes, Kaimin Cai, Eric Epstein, Jamila Hedhli, Jiang Li, Guillermo Monroy, and Kevin Stebbings, who have been named the 2016 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellows.

Stumpf Named Guggenheim Fellow

Rebecca Stumpf, associate professor of anthropology and affiliate in the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory, is one of six University of Illinois professors named 2016 Guggenheim Fellows.

Beckman Student Awards Celebrated

On Saturday, April 23, a number of students received Beckman Institute awards. Among them were the first Beckman Institute Undergraduate Fellows, a new award made possible by a recent gift from the Beckman Foundation. More on the awards and awardees:

Recent Grants
The following grants were recently awarded:

  • Standoff IlIuminator for Measuring Absorbance and Reflectance Infrared Light Signatures (SILMARILS) (PI: Carney; IARPA-Subaward LGS Innovations)
  • Tissue Microenvironment (TiMe) Training Program (PI: Bhargava; NIH)

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

  • Ronit Barkalifa, Study Manager (S. Boppart)
  • Kari Zamberletti, Office Support Associate (Director’s Office)
  • Yanchuan Zhao, 0% Visiting Scholar (J. Moore)
  • Rachel Norman, Postdoctoral Research Associate (R. Bhargava)

Kramer Retirement Celebration Video
If you missed the celebration for Art Kramer, you can watch a video of the event:

Campus Day of Service
Thanks to Beckman faculty, staff and students who participated in the Campus Day of Service in April.

Blood Drive
WILL Public Media, 300 N. Goodwin, is sponsoring a blood drive on Wed, May 25, from 10 am – 1 pm. To schedule an appointment, call Elizabeth Weathers, 333-7300, or online at

Note from the Director
Thanks to all of you for welcoming me as the Beckman Institute Interim Director! I’m thrilled and honored at the appointment and am so looking forward to working with all of you. Please let me know what I can do to help with your work at the Beckman Institute.

Best wishes,

Jeff Moore
Interim Director, Beckman Institute