Vanderbilt wins renewal of Beckman Scholars Program in chemistry and biological sciences

by Jenna Somers

Vanderbilt University is one of 14 institutions awarded the 2022 Beckman Scholars Program from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, receiving $146,000 to renew Vanderbilt’s program through 2025. The award will support a total of six Beckman Scholars over the next three years, with two scholars named each year.

The 15-month program allows Beckman Scholars to conduct laboratory research for two summers and one academic year with faculty mentors in the Departments of Chemistry and Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science.

“We are thrilled to receive a renewal of the Beckman Scholars Program at Vanderbilt,” said Jeffrey Johnston, Stevenson Professor of Chemistry and director of the Vanderbilt Beckman Scholars Program. “This program gives young students the opportunity to engage extensively in laboratory research and learn from Vanderbilt mentors who are distinguished experts in their scientific fields.”

Faculty mentors receive $5,000 over the 15 months, and students receive stipends of $6,800 each summer and $4,600 for the academic year. This year’s faculty mentors are:

  • Seth Bordenstein, Centennial Endowed Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Walter Chazin, professor of biochemistry and of chemistry
  • David Cliffel, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Chemistry
  • Nicole Creanza, assistant professor of biological sciences
  • Brandt Eichman, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences
  • Julián Hillyer, professor of biological sciences
  • Lauren Jackson, assistant professor of biological sciences and of biochemistry
  • Janet Macdonald, associate professor of chemistry
  • Lars Plate, assistant professor of chemistry and of biological sciences; Cornelius Vanderbilt Dean’s Faculty Fellow
  • Antonis Rokas, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Biological Sciences and assistant professor of biomedical informatics
  • Renã Robinson, associate professor of chemistry and of neurology
  • Michael Stone, professor of chemistry and of biochemistry
  • Ann Tate, assistant professor of biological sciences and SC Family Dean’s Faculty Fellow in the College of Arts and Science
  • Steven Townsend, professor of chemistry
  • Laurence J. Zwiebel, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Biological Sciences and professor of pharmacology

The Vanderbilt University Beckman Scholars Program focuses on supporting young scholars in the development of high-quality research that is presented at conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. Beckman Scholars work on proposed research projects in their chosen disciplines with faculty mentors providing scientific direction, including intellectual and experimental training. Additionally, scholars have the opportunity to participate in at least one Vanderbilt summer research symposium and to meet with renowned researchers from other institutions.

The proposal to renew the Vanderbilt Beckman Scholars Program was supported by Research Development and Support, within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, which offers proposal development assistance for strategic federal, corporate and foundation funding opportunities. Services include coordination for complex proposals, content development and draft review.