Beckman Program Faculty Mentors

Beckman Mentors are selected for their demonstrated commitment to including undergraduate students in the scientific process. Each has a long track record of undergraduate-authored publications and presentations at national meetings.

Mentor and Student


  • Christopher Deppman, PhD

    Associate Professor of Biology

    Understanding the molecular basis by which the nervous system is sculpted during development.

  • Jay Hirsch, PhD

    Professor of Biology, Director of Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience

    Behavioral roles of biogenic amine neurotransmitters in the fruit fly.

  • Sarah Kucenas, PhD

    Associate Professor of Biology, Director of the Distinguished Major Program in Biology

    The role of glial cells in formation of the nervous system, and preservation of the nervous system during disease and injury.


  • Linda Columbus, PhD

    Associate Professor of Chemistry

    Membrane protein structure, function, and dynamics.

  • Cassandra L. Fraser, PhD

    Professor of Chemistry

    Synthesis, properties and applications of metal complexes with polymeric ligands.

  • Brent Gunnoe, PhD

    Commonwealth Professor of Chemistry

    Organometallic chemistry, homogeneous catalysis, and small molecule activation.

  • Ku-Lung (Ken) Hsu, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Chemistry

    Applying chemistry principles towards the study and manipulation of biological systems.

  • Rebecca R. Pompano, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Chemistry

    New chemical and microfluidic tools to reveal the role of spatial organization in immunity and inflammation.

Biomedical Engineering

  • Jeffrey Holmes, PhD

    Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine

    Interactions between mechanics, function, and growth and remodeling in the heart to prevent and treat heart attacks.

  • Kevin Janes, PhD

    Professor of Biomedical Engineering

    Engineering approaches for signal-transduction and transcriptional networks in cancer.

  • Jason Papin, PhD

    Professor of Biomedical Engineering

    Biochemical network reconstruction and analysis; infectious disease and cancer.

  • Shayn Peirce-Cottler, PhD

    Professor of Biomedical Engineering

    Combinations of angiogenic growth factors in microvascular remodeling.

  • Richard Price, PhD

    Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Beckman Program Director

    Image-guided drug and gene delivery approaches for cancer and bone marrow-derived cell regulation of microvascular remodeling.

  • Jeffrey Saucerman, PhD

    Professor of Biomedical Engineering

    Signaling and transcriptional networks in heart function and failure.

Learn More...

  • Application Requirements
    • Applicants must currently be a 2nd or 3rd year student.
    • Applicants must have and maintain a GPA no lower than 3.5.
    • Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.
    • All applicants must work with one of the approved faculty mentors. This list cannot be altered or amended. It's important to note that the student-mentor relationship is already established by the time the student applies. The pre-existing relationship between student and mentor ensures that only the most dedicated and capable students, and those motivated by a love of research, reach the application stage.
    • If you are selected as a Beckman Scholar, you agree to fulfill all the program requirements (see below).
  • Program Requirements
    • Beckman Scholars must work in their mentor’s laboratory full time for two summers (40 hours/week for 10 weeks) and then part time during the academic year (10 hours per week). This committment begins in June, just after the Scholar is selected in March.
    • Scholars must take a course in technical writing (STS 5500 "Research Documentation as a Creative Process").
    • Scholars must present their work at a major scientific conference.
    • Scholars must submit their work to the annual ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference.
    • Scholars must attend the annual Beckman Scholars Annual Symposia in Irvine, California each summer (all expenses paid).
    • Scholars are ideally expected to publish their work in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  • Application Timeline
    • Mid-February – Deadline for applications (February 19, 2021 is the current deadline) 2021 Application Guidelines
    • Mid-March – Finalists are interviewed and Scholars are announced
    • April – Beckman Awards Banquet. Finalists are expected to attend the awards banquet, whether or not they are selected as Scholars, in keeping with the professional nature of these awards.
  • How We Measure Success

    We evaluate our program on the basis of three simple outcomes. Achieving two of these three outcomes will be considered a success, though our goal is for our Scholars to achieve all thre

    1. Beckman Scholars submit and publish a peer-reviewed manuscript, refereed conference paper, or patent application based on their undergraduate work.
    2. Beckman Scholars give at least one poster or platform presentation at a national meeting based upon their undergraduate work.
    3. Beckman Scholars gain admission to graduate or medical school, preferably encompassing a Ph.D. program.

Contact Us

Email with with any questions. This is also the email to use to submit application materials and letters of recommendation.

Beckman Steering Committee

Richard J. Price leads Beckman Scholars at UVA with the advice and consent of a Steering Committee that includes Dr. Brent Gunnoe (Chemistry), Dr. Christopher Deppmann (Biology), Dr. Amy Bouton (Medicine) is the Associate Dean for Graduate and Medical Scientist Programs, and Brian Cullaty, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR).