Sometimes researchers will collaborate over a number of years as these three have, but the approach of Sottos, White, and Moore to research and to working with each other and with students is as distinctive as it is successful. Their students may come from different disciplines but they often become blended in projects as interdisciplinary interactions are the norm in their group. Their research efforts draw a lot of attention but all three are happy to share the spotlight with each other and with students.
All Ted Brown wanted to do back in 1986 was return to the life of a professor and researcher after serving in an administrative post at the University of Illinois. But he found himself being pulled toward a deeper calling: overseeing the founding and operation of a new center dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to research called the Beckman Institute.
Emad Tajkhorshid began his full-time career at the Beckman Institute as a postdoctoral researcher with the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics group in 2000, but within the past year has earned a position as a tenure-track professor at the University of Illinois and started his own research group.
"It's like we started out to build a car and along the way invented the wheel," is how Leon Cooper described the ramifications of the BCS Theory of Superconductivity at the 50th anniversary conference held in October at the Beckman Institute to honor the theory's publication.
The Winter 2008 issue of Synergy features a Q & A with the highly successful research team of Jeff Moore, Nancy Sottos, and Scott White, an article on the Beckman Institute's Founding Director, Ted Brown, and a faculty profile on Emad Tajkhorshid.