Meet the UA Beckman Scholars

Picture of Randall Eck

Randall Eck, 2018-2019 Beckman Scholar. Randall Eck graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2020 with degrees in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science and Political Science. He conducted research under the mentorship of Dr. Daniela Zarnescu, exploring the role of stress granules in neurodegeneration and aging. Randall also was a science writer for the Arizona Daily Wildcat and educated UBRP participants on the importance of “Writing Press Releases” in July 2019. Randall aims to continue to conduct research as a graduate student at University of Washington.


Logan Porrazzo, 2020-2021 Beckman Scholar. Logan is studying Biology, Plant Sciences, and Italian at the University of Arizona, and after graduation he aims to attend to grad school to study zoology and plant-animal interactions in the wilderness. As a Beckman Scholar, Logan is studying de novo genes with Dr. Joanna Masel.


Picture of Jamie Takashima

Jamie Takashima, 2019-2020 Beckman Scholar. Jamie discovered his passion for chemistry during his freshman year of college and hasn’t looked back since. He is a double major in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona and works at the Charest Lab studying the molecular mechanisms governing directed cell migration.


Picture of Amanda Warner

Amanda Warner, 2018-2019 Beckman Scholar. Amanda graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2020 in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology, and is now a graduate student at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Science. Amanda thoroughly enjoys research and is grateful for the opportunities she has had to work in the labs of Dr. Joe Hull, Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich, and Dr. Ross Buchan. As a Beckman Scholar, she conducted research in Dr. Buchan’s laboratory at the UofA, using a yeast cell model to study how the protein huntingtin, which is mutated in Huntington’s disease, is degraded in the cell.


Picture of Catherine Weibel

Catherine Weibel, 2019-2020 Beckman Scholar. Catherine is majoring in Physics and Applied Math at the University of Arizona. She works as an undergraduate research assistant in the Masel Lab on the bioinformatics and protein evolution teams, with a primary focus on time-directional trends in protein evolution. Following completion of her undergraduate education, she intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Mathematical Biology or Biophysics.