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Beckman Foundation Expands Board of Directors with Appointment of Dr. Susan R. Wente, Wake Forest University President

Internationally Renowned Biomedical Scientist Received Beckman Young Investigator Award in 1996

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IRVINE, Calif. (July 9, 2024) – The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation today announced its Board of Directors recently approved the appointment of a new Board member: Wake Forest University President and 1996 Beckman Young Investigator Awardee, Dr. Susan R. Wente. The appointment takes immediate effect.

Dr. Wente currently serves as Wake Forest University’s 14th President and a Distinguished University Professor of Biology and Biochemistry, leading initiatives that prioritize inclusivity, access, and opportunity for students and championing the academic and research missions of the University. She is an internationally renowned biomedical scientist whose cell biology discoveries enabled insights into disease mechanisms and have resulted in more than 100 published research articles. Prior to joining Wake Forest University, Dr. Wente was Provost and interim Chancellor of Vanderbilt University, where she also held the Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair and was a Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. She earned a PhD in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and was named a Beckman Young Investigator Awardee in 1996 for her study of a novel microscopic and genetic strategy to define the pathway of nuclear pore complex assembly while at Washington University in St. Louis.

“It is an incredible honor to have Dr. Wente join the Beckman Foundation Board of Directors. Since joining the Beckman Family as a Beckman Young Investigator in 1996, Dr. Wente has continually distinguished herself as a true scholar, building a world-class research program over the course of her career,” shared Dr. Andrew Lyon, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. “She has also demonstrated remarkable acumen as a leader in higher education, rising to her current role as President of Wake Forest University. The Foundation will benefit tremendously from her diversity of experiences, and her visionary approach to supporting excellence in STEM research and education.”

“As a researcher, I have experienced firsthand the Beckman Foundation’s transformational investment in innovation and research. I am proud to join the Board of Directors and support the Foundation’s mission of fueling scientific discovery by providing opportunities for the next generation of talented scholars.”

Dr. Susan R. Wente

About the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

Located in Irvine, California, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation supports researchers and nonprofit research institutions in making the next generation of breakthroughs in chemistry and the life sciences. Founded in 1977 by 20th century scientific instrumentation pioneer Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, the Foundation supports United States institutions and young scientists whose creative, high-risk, and interdisciplinary research will lead to innovations and new tools and methods for scientific discovery. For more information, visit


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Press Contact - Beckman Foundation:

Kaerie Ray, Curator & Communications Officer


Press Contact - Wake Forest University:

Cheryl Walker, Executive Director of Strategic Communications