March 2018 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 93: March 2018

Save the Date:

Spring Town Hall Meeting: 1:15 pm Thurs, May 3, 2018, in the Beckman Auditorium.

2018 Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Announced
The new 2018 Fellows at the Beckman Institute span research areas as diverse as materials science, chemistry, neuroscience, biology, physical fitness, and nanomaterials. The fellowship recipients are Aaron Anderson, Kevin Clark, Jamila Hedhli, Ryan Hubbard, Matthew Moore, Tian “Autumn” Qui, and Jianfeng Wang. More at

Honors and Awards

Moore Named Ikenberry Chair
Jeff Moore, a professor of chemistry and the director of the Beckman Institute, has been named a Stanley O. Ikenberry Endowed Chair.

Beckman Faculty Named CAS Associates and Fellows
The Beckman faculty members named Center for Advanced Study (CAS) Associates and Fellows include: Brian Cunningham, of the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group; Lynford Goddard, of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group; Rebecca Stumpf, of the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory; Lav Varshney, of the Organizational Intelligence and Computational Social Science Group; and Smitha Vishveshwara, of the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-being Group. CAS awards release time for one semester to pursue projects in the coming academic year.

Kalé Named ACM Fellow
Laxmikant "Sanjay" Kalé, a professor of computer science and member of Beckman's Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group, has been named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He is one of 54 new ACM Fellows named for 2017.

Chen and Diao Named Sloan Research Fellows
Qian Chen, an assistant professor in materials science and engineering, and Ying Diao, an assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering, have been named 2018 Sloan Research Fellows from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Chen is a member of the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group and Diao is a member of the Autonomous Materials Systems Group.

Beckman Faculty Receive College of Engineering Awards
Tim Bretl, an associate professor in aerospace engineering and a member of the Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group, has been named the recipient of the College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award. Lui Sha, a professor in computer science and a member of the Intelligence, Learning, and Plasticity Group, will receive the Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has received national or international acclaim for dedication to academic excellence through teaching and research, and who has made exemplary contributions to the understanding of his or her field.

Gruebele Named TREE Award Recipient
Martin Gruebele, professor of chemistry, and physics has been named a Transformational Research and Excellence in Education (TREE) award recipient by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Gruebele is a part-time faculty member with Beckman's Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group.

Robinson Receives Wolf Prize
Gene Robinson, a professor of entomology and the director of the Carle R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois, has been named the recipient of the Israeli Wolf Prize in Agriculture for his work with honey bees. Robinson is a member of Beckman's Intelligence, Learning, and Plasticity Group.

Cangellaris Co-Advises Award-winning Paper
Andreas Cangellaris, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, a professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) and member of Beckman’s Computational Multiscale Nanosystems Group, served as co-adviser for a paper that received the Best Symposium Paper award at the 2017 IEEE Electrical Design of Advanced Packaging and Systems (EDAPS) Symposium. Honors for the paper, "Stochastic LIM for Uncertainty Characterization of Fiber-weave Effect on Coupled Transmission Lines,” were shared with co-adviser and ECE professor Jose E. Schutt-Aine and ECE Ph.D. candidate Xu Chen.

Braun Named MRS Fellow
Paul Braun, director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Lab and member of Beckman's 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group, has been named a Materials Research Society (MRS) Fellow.

Griffin Receives Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis
Anthony Griffin, a Ph.D. candidate and a member of Beckman's Autonomous Materials Systems Group, recently received the 2017 Annual Innovation Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis. Griffin’s thesis, titled “Facile and Inexpensive Coatings for a Wide Range of Applications,” focuses on microvascular materials for adaptive electronic devices.

Research News

Sign up for ORCID
FACULTY AND RESEARCHERS: Please consider signing up for ORCID, if you haven’t already. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized. Sign up here: and go through the Institutional sign-on for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Acknowledgement of Federal Funding Support
The campus recently completed an internal audit of our federally sponsored sub-awards. In a review of the academic publications resulting from these collaborations, it was observed that nearly 1 out of 5 did not contain the required acknowledgment of federal funding. We are obliged to acknowledge our federal sponsors in our publications.

Visit this site for acknowledgement language specific to the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and the National Institutes of Health. And don’t forget to acknowledge the Beckman Foundation and Beckman Institute shared research facilities in your publications! See language on

In Case You Missed It:
Rhanor Gillette, a professor of molecular and integrative physiology and a member of the Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior, and colleagues built a virtual ocean predator that has simple self-awareness:

New Employees
Welcome to the following new employees:

  • Florent Di Meo, 0% Visiting Scholar (E. Tajkhorshid)
  • Xiaohua Feng, Postdoctoral Research Associate (L. Gao)

Recently Awarded Grants
Grants recently awarded to the Beckman Institute:

  • Origins of exercise-brain interactions (PI Rhodes, NIH)

Café Closed During Break
The Beckman Café will be closed during Spring Break, March 19-23, 2018.


Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar
Noon, Tues, March 13, 2018
Room 1005 Beckman Institute
Dr. Anita Balgopal, Director, Office for the Protection of Research Subjects: Human Subjects Research

Tech Talks on Tuesday
Noon, Tues, March 13, 2018
Room 5602 Beckman Institute
Dr. Aya Takase, a senior scientist for the Rigaku Americas Corp., presents an introduction to x-ray microscopy, focusing on two new instruments in the Beckman Institute’s Microscopy Suite: the nano3DX and the CT130.

Thursdays at 12:20 Concert: Matt Avery Trio
12:20 pm Thurs, March 15, 2018
Beckman Atrium

Frontiers in Miniature Brain Machinery Lecture
4 pm, Wed, March 14, 2018
2269 Beckman Institute
“3D Bioprinting for Cellular Machines,” featuring Dr. Rashid Bashir

Quantum Voyages Performance
7:30 pm Wed, April 4, 2018
Beckman Institute Auditorium
A new performance piece by Smitha Vishveshwara (an associate professor of physics and member of Beckman’s Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-being) and Latrelle Bright (a clinical assistant professor in theatre)

Director's Seminar
“Multimodal Imaging Approaches for Quantitative Assessment of Tissue Microenvironments” by Wawrzyniec Dobrucki, an assistant professor of bioengineering and member of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group
Noon, Thurs, April 5, 2018
Room 1005 Beckman Institute

Arnold Beckman Birthday Celebration and Vision and Spirit Award Announcement
11:30 am Tues, April 10, 2018
Beckman Institute Atrium

Revolutionizing Brain Plasticity through Advanced Science, Engineering, and Medicine
9 am – 4:30 pm Wed, April 11, 2018
iHotel and Conference Center

Coordinated by Aron Barbey, an associate professor of psychology and member of the Intelligence, Learning, and Plasticity Group at Beckman.
• Jocelyn Faubert, NSERC-Essilor Industrial Research Chair in Visual Perception and Presbyopia; director, Laboratory of Psychophysics and Visual Perception, University of Montreal
• Sanmi Koyejo, assistant professor of computer science, University of Illinois
• Peter Bandettini, Chief, Section on Functional Imaging Methods, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition of the Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health; and director, Functional MRI Core Facility.
• David van Essen, David van Essen, Alumni Endowed Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Washington University, St. Louis


Graduate Fellows Poster Session
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
3:00 – 4:00pm
East Atrium of the Beckman Institute

SmithGroup JJR Lecture
“Towards Better ‘60 Second Science’”
Noon Friday, April 20, Beckman Auditorium
Sandra Tsing Loh, host of the syndicated daily radio science minute and NPR podcast “The Loh Down on Science”

Coming in the fall:
Ted Brown 90th Birthday Celebration, Beckman-Brown Interdisciplinary Lecture, and Climate Change Symposium
October 15-16, 2018

Note from the Director:

The Beckman Institute is the catalyst for a number of programs and projects that are underway on campus including the Cancer Center, led by Rohit Bhargava, as well as collaborative projects with the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, led by Neal Cohen, and Carle Illinois College of Medicine, led by King Li. We are primed to be a leader in targeted areas of the health sciences, providing partnering opportunities to faculty, colleges, and institutes around campus.

Please plan on attending our May 3 Town Hall to discuss this vision and our plans for continued successes in the future. You can always share thoughts and ideas with me at or in person.

Thanks for all you do to make the Beckman Institute and the University of Illinois such an outstanding and exciting place to work!


Jeff Moore
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology