Mary C. Beckerle, Ph.D., is this year's Timothy O'Leary, S.J., Distinguished Scientist. Dr. Beckerle is an internationally recognized cell biologist whose research is focused on understanding how extracellular matrix signals regulate cell signaling, motility, and survival. She serves as Executive Director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. She joined the Utah faculty in 1986 after completion of her Ph.D. in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a post-doc at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research has been continuously funded by the NIH for over 25 years. Her lab has defined a novel cellular process that controls cytoarchitecture and cell locomotion, processes that are critical for embryonic development and wound healing and that are misregulated in cancer cells. She has received numerous recognitions for her contributions to cancer research including the American Cancer Society Sword of Hope award, appointment as a Guggenheim Fellow and Rothschild-Yvette Mayet Award Scholar at the Curie Institute in Paris, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008. She served as President of the American Society for Cell Biology in 2006, and currently serves on the HHMI Scientific Review Board, the American Cancer Society Council for Extramural Grants and the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director.
The public lecture will be held on Monday, October 25, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in the Globe Room at Cataldo Hall, Gonzaga University. Dr. Beckerle's lecture is entitled "New Hope: A Personalized Approach to Cancer Prevention and Care".
Most faculty members in the Biology Department maintain active research programs supported by the Gonzaga Research Science Program (GSRP), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the National Science Foundation, or other funding organizations. Student participation in these programs can be both during the summer and during the academic year. Gonzaga's research program provides stipends for 10 - 12 weeks of full time work during the summer, and up to two semesters of support during the academic year. In some cases, research may also be done for credit, or for pay from a particular faculty member's outside funding. In addition, students involved in research are expected to present their research at regional or national scientific meetings, such as the annual Murdock College Science Research Program Conference, or another conference of interest. Travel grants are available to assist students in traveling to conferences.
For a description of current research projects from Gonzaga faculty, visit Faculty Research Interests.