Beckman Scholar Program Mentors

Applicants to The Beckman Scholars Program, must have one of the following as a faculty mentor:


Drew Adams, Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics

       The Adams lab uses high-throughput screening and other chemical biology approaches to identify and            optimize new drug candidates in neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and other diseases.


Radhika Atit, Professor, Department of Biology

The Atit lab is focused on areas of skin development and patterning and cranial bone development.  The research seeks to identify the genetic pathways that confer dermal cell identity, which confers competence to induce various appendages of the skin and promote the patterning of the skin.


Carlos Crespo-Hernández, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

The Crespo research group focuses on probing and understanding light-induced phenomena in molecules and polymers in solution. There are three major areas of ongoing research: (1) excited-state dynamics and photochemistry of DNA/RNA nucleobases and nucleobase derivatives; (2) design and study of modified sensitizers for photodynamic applications; and (3) excited-state dynamics and photophysics of organic and bioorganic molecules, including B vitamin complexes and pterin derivatives. Our group use analytical instrumentation and time-resolved spectroscopic techniques to produce specific knowledge of the factors controlling these photo-processes. Students involved in these scientific activities acquire expertise in a wide variety of analytical techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography, circular dichroism, and ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometric techniques, and time-resolved instrumentation on time scales ranging from femtoseconds to microseconds. The experimental work is complemented with ground- and excited-state computational methods.

Jessica Fox, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

The Fox lab studies insect sensory systems using quantitative behavioral techniques, electrophysiology, computational modeling, and high-speed videography. 

Efstathios Karathanasis, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

The Cancer Nanotechnology Laboratory integrates nanotechnology, oncology, imaging science and cancer biology. The overarching goals of our research program are 1) to generate fundamental understanding of the processes pertinent to the use of nanotechnology in cancer, and 2) to challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel and impactful nanomedicines for treating the most hard-to-treat and lethal cancers. 

Alan D. Levine, Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology


Danny Manor, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition


Claudia Mizutani, Associate Professor, Department of Biology

The Mizutani lab investigates the molecular mechanisms of cell differentiation during early embryonic development and transcriptional changes in neurons during adult brain aging. The lab employs a combination of tools including genetic labeling of cell lineages, 3D digital reconstruction of complex tissues and quantitative measurements with single cell resolution.

Emily Pentzer, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

The Pentzer Lab's central focus is understanding how fundamental organic chemistry reactions can be used to architect advanced hybrid materials for the storage and interconversion of energy. Specific materials of interest include highly functionalized linear polymers, 2D nanoparticles at fluid-fluid interfaces such as emulsions, and stimuli responsive functionalities for on-demand response. 

Julie Renner, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

The central aim of the Renner Research Group is to develop protein engineered materials for use in and study of electrochemical systems. In doing so, her group is enabling a new generation of technologies with applications in the energy, environmental and medical fields. 

Mohan Sankaran, Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

The Sankaran lab synthesizes materials confined to the nanoscale for emerging catalytic, electronic, photonic, and biomedical applications using non-equilibrium, low-temperature plasmas.  Examples include nanodiamonds, metal nanoparticles and metal-polymer nanocomposites, and two-dimensional (2D) materials.

Anirban Sen Gupta, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

The Sen Gupta laboratory focuses on research at the interface of materials science, biomedical engineering, biology and chemistry, to develop cardiovascular and cancer nanomedicine systems. This research involves fundamental chemistry and materials engineering, biomedical strategies (e.g. refining nanoparticle and microparticle designs to target specific cardiovascular and cancer disease sites to deliver specific drugs), and evaluating them in vitro and in vivo using a variety of techniques like immunofluorescence, intravital microscopy, histology, and clinically relevant measurements.