May 2017 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 86: May 2017

The Great Carpet Project

Carpeting has been replaced on the 5th floor. If you haven’t visited, take a look!  Currently the carpet layer crews are working on the 4th floor and sections of the 3rd floor.

We invite all Beckman faculty, staff, and students to create a discussion about the future of the Institute: what should Beckman look like in 30 years? How can the building help us build a collaborative research environment?  Please visit our discussion board at You can subscribe to receive updates on the building progress and to see ideas from your colleagues.

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll also be creating design centers throughout the building, where you can meet with your neighbors to redesign neighborhood spaces. Please contact Patty Jones,, for a design template and complete your proposal by June 1. This is the beginning of a discussion of what the future of the Beckman holds, so stay tuned for more details.

Summer at the Beckman Café

The Beckman Café will be closed Monday-Tuesday, May 22-23. Also, beginning Wednesday, May 24, we will open at 8:15 am. The opening time change reflects slower business activity during the summer. We apologize for any inconvenience.

For the remainder of the summer semester, the café will be open Monday through Friday except for Monday, May 29, for Memorial Day, Friday, June 30, for inventory, and Tuesday July 4, for Independence Day.

Beginning Wed, May 24, we’ll have special happy hours from 9 -10 am and 1-2 pm for espresso drinks, including lattes, flavored lattes, mochas, white mochas, and cappuccinos, hot or iced. The price is $1.10 for small and $1.60 for large (with iced espresso drinks only available in large size)! This deal can save you as much as $2.30 for large espresso drinks.

Lastly, please check out the café section of the Beckman Discussion Board. We want to make the café the best that it can be which can only happen with feedback, both positive and negative. Please engage to help shape the future of our café by sharing your comments at

Honors and Awards

Beckman Director Named
Jeffrey Moore, the Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry, a professor of materials science and engineering, and a long-time Beckman faculty member, has been named director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, pending Board of Trustees approval. More at 

Jeff was also one of four University of Illinois professors elected to the National Academy of Sciences. See

Zhuo Receives Postdoctoral Fellow Award
Yue Zhuo, a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, has been awarded a Postdoctoral Scholar Award for a paper that was submitted to the annual Microscopy and Microanalysis Conference.

Tajkhorshid Named the J. Woodland Hastings Endowed Chair in Biochemistry
Emad Tajkhorshid, a professor of biochemistry and member of the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at Beckman, has been named the J. Woodland Hastings Endowed Chair in Biochemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Tajkhorshid is a world leader in developing and applying advanced computational techniques to understand proteins.

You Receives Graduate Fellowship
Sixian You, a fourth-year doctoral student and a member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, received the McGinnis Medical Innovation Graduate Fellowship, The Bioengineering Department awarded its first graduate student fellowship on April 29 as part of its inaugural Graduate Student Symposium.

College of Medicine Faculty Named
Beckman researchers are among the inaugural faculty members for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. More at

Beckman Researchers Honored for Excellence in Teaching
Laura DeThorne, an associate professor of speech and hearing science and a member of the Illinois Language and Literacy Intitative; Rebecca Stumpf, an associate professor of anthropology and a member of the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory; and Andrew Suarez, a professor of animal biology and a member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, were among the faculty members awarded the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes sustained excellence in and innovative approaches to undergraduate teaching and contributions beyond classroom instruction that have an overall positive impact on undergraduate student learning. Jennifer Robbennolt, a professor of law and member of the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, received the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching.

Parameswaran Receives NSF CAREER Award, IEEE TCDE Early Career Award
Aditya Parameswaran, an assistant professor of computer science and member of the Organizational Intelligence and Computational Social Science Group, is the recipient of a 2017 National Science Foundation CAREER award for his proposal, “Advancing Open-Ended Crowdsourcing: The Next Frontier in Crowdsourced Data Management.” The award provides monetary support over the next five years in support of his research and educational activities. He also was named this year’s recipient of the IEEE TCDE Early Career Award. Presented at the recent IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE), the award honors an individual for their body of work in Data Engineering in the first five years after their Ph.D.

Zhu Receives NSF CAREER Award
Wenjuan Zhu, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and a member of the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, is the recipient of a 2017 National Science Foundation CAREER award for her proposal, “Transforming Electronic Devices Using Two-dimensional Materials and Ferroelectric Metal Oxides.” The award provides monetary support over the next five years in support of her research and educational activities.

Bashir Honored With Campus Award for Excellence in Faculty Leadership
Rashid Bashir, a professor of bioengineering and member of Beckman's 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group, was one of four University of Illinois faculty members honored with Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty Leadership at a dinner reception April 25. The Office of the Provost sponsors the campus-level awards to recognize excellence in leadership for those faculty members who distinguish themselves with their vision of the future and their efforts to enable and promote others in shaping that future. 

Grants Awarded

Evaluation of EPA DHA Supplementation on the Myopathic Effects of Cholesterol Lowering Agents (PI: M. Boppart; Nordic Naturals) 

New Personnel

Welcome to these new Beckman Institute employees:

  • Malinda Carlisle, New Media Design Specialist (Communications)
  • Takahiro Kosuge, Visiting Scholar (J. Moore)
  • Troy Comi, Postdoctoral Research Associate (R. Bhargava)
  • Darcie Reckers, Visiting Research Coordinator (S. Schantz)
  • Kelly McKinley, Office Manager (starting May 30th)

Upcoming Events

“Multi-scale models of organogenesis: Limb bud development”
James Sharpe, ICREA Research Professor Centre for Genomic Regulation Barcelona, Spain
3 pm Thurs., June 15
1000 MNTL 

Illinois State Senator Scott Bennett
“Lawmaking for Science”
4 pm Thurs., June 15
Beckman Auditorium

Save the Date

M&ENS External Theme Review
October 18-20, 2017 

Beckman-Brown Lecture
Laura Kiessling, Dept of Chemistry, MIT
4 pm Friday, Nov. 3, 2017
Beckman Auditorium 

Klaus Schulten Memorial Symposium
November 7-9, 2017
Beckman Auditorium and Atrium


CHALLENGE from the Interim Director

The "know-trust-share" hypothesis of collaborative research posits that innovation is accelerated when researchers build trust and share their knowledge about an important problem.  It's predicated on the idea that there's ample opportunity for these knowledgable individuals to encounter one another. The physical building and arrangment of the workspaces are important to the innovation process; indeed, the evidence suggests that as physical distance increases, the likelihood of collaboration decreases.

I’m thrilled to kick off the Beckman Institute “designathon” forum: a great opportunity to reimagine you workspace. The designs you suggest may not only become reality, but also set the new standard for BI collaborative research space.  I hope you are as energized about the possibilities as I am. Let the ideas exchange begin! Please visit our discussion board ( and stay tuned for additional ways to participate.

Jeff Moore
Interim Director
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology