William T. Beck, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor and Department Head of Biopharmaceutical Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago

In addition to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, Dr. William T. Beck has served on scientific advisory boards for several cancer centers and organizations. He is Co-Chair of the Experimental Medicine Committee within the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) and directed the GOG Core Laboratory in Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He has served as a member of National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the American Association for Cancer Research and many foreign grant review panels and editorial advisory boards of scientific journals. Dr. Beck has been funded continuously for his work by grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), as well as the DOD.

Dr. Beck’s research has focused on molecular mechanisms of anticancer drug resistance, with an emphasis on developing novel therapeutic targets in ovarian and breast cancers. With work started in the GOG, Dr. Beck and his colleagues identified two proteins, called splicing factors, that are overexpressed in the majority of ovarian cancers compared to normal ovarian tissue, and whose inhibition blocks the growth of these cancers in vitro and in mice bearing tumors. One of his grants from the NCI focused on developing drugs to inhibit these proteins.

Dr. Beck has over 30 years in academic biomedical research and administration, extensive experience on federal advisory boards and has held leadership positions in national organizations. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from The George Washington University in 1971. He joined the faculty of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., after two years at the University of Southern California and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale School of Medicine. In 1996 he moved to UIC as Professor and Director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center. In 1999, Dr. Beck became Head of the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences at UIC and Leader of the UIC Cancer Center’s Program in Cancer Targets, Therapeutics and Imaging.