Beckett Named NIGMS Division Director
Dr. Dorothy Beckett recently joined NIGMS as new director of its Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences (BBCB). She is a molecular biophysicist whose research has focused on the physical chemistry of protein function and its role in regulatory biology. She is also a leader in the scientific community and a proponent of expanding opportunities for women and underrepresented groups in science.
The division supports development of cutting-edge biophysical and computational methods and tools and technologies to better understand biological systems and provide the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
“BBCB funds research that joins biology with the computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and physics,” said NIGMS director Dr. Jon Lorsch. “Dr. Beckett’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in managing and expanding biophysics programs, as well her experience in effectively engaging with the scientific community and key stakeholder groups, make her an ideal choice for leading the division’s highly complex programs.”
Before coming to NIGMS, Beckett was a professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining UMCP in 1999, she was an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the university’s Baltimore County campus. She has served in a number of leadership positions, including as president of the Biophysical Society from 2014 to 2015.
“As director of the NIGMS BBCB Division, I look forward to advancing the nation’s basic research enterprise, which provides the knowledge and tools for developing novel solutions to our health challenges,” Beckett said.
Beckett earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and performed postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University. Her honors include a DuPont Young Professorship Award, a distinguished professor award from Hamilton College and an NIH postdoctoral fellowship.—Susan Athey