The Beckmann Institute was opened in 1989 after a $40 million donation from Arnold Beckmann and his wife Mabel. The Beckmann institute encourages the research in interdisciplinary science and provides office and Lab space to Beckmann professors and recruits graduates from the University of Illinois.
In 2019 The Beckmann Institute is celebrating its 30th year of foundation, this year the institute has announced seven graduate fellows and among them is one Indian researcher, Shashank Pant.
Shashank Pant did his BS-MS from IISER Kolkata during his time in IISER he was a NIUS Fellow at HBCSE-TIFR, he did a summer internship at prestigious institutes like UT Galveston and The University of Manchester. After his Int. MS he was an RA at IISC for one year and then he went for a Ph.D. at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, the USA in Computational Biophysics.
His research project is “Anionic Lipids Modulate Structure and Function of Epilepsy-causing Voltage-gated Potassium Channels.” In this study, he will combine the low-resolution, in vivo technique of electrophysiology with atomic-resolution computational techniques to study the role of specific lipid-protein interactions in modulating the structure and function of ion channels. This study will shed light on how lipid-protein interactions can affect neuronal excitability, serving as a pathogenic mechanism underlying epileptic encephalopathy. It is envisioned that this study will provide a spatial and dynamically high-resolution description of the role of lipids in modulating structure and function of ion channels and its implication on epilepsy. He will work with Hee Jung Chung, molecular and integrative physiology; and Emad Tajkhorshid, biochemistry. (Source: Beckmann.illinois.edu)