Dorothy Beckett to Direct NIGMS Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences

Announcement Date:
Dorothy Beckett Headshot 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Director Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., has announced the selection of Dorothy Beckett, Ph.D., as director of the Institute's Division of Biophysics, Biomedical Technology, and Computational Biosciences (BBCB). Beckett is expected to join the Institute on January 19.

BBCB supports the 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. The division has three components: the Biomedical Technology Branch, the Biophysics Branch, and the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Branch.

“BBCB funds research that joins biology with the computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, and physics,” Lorsch said, adding that “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.”

Beckett, a molecular biophysicist, is currently a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), where her research focuses on the physical chemistry of protein function and its function in regulatory biology. Prior to joining UMCP in 1999, Beckett 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.

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.

"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," said Beckett.​