In This Section

Carol L Beck

Current Position

  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Cancer Biology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
  • Associate Dean for Curriculum and MS Programs; Program Director, MS-Pharmacology; Jefferson College of Life Sciences

Degrees/Institutes

  • BS and PharmD, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, 1983
  • PhD, Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, 1993
  • Postdoctoral training, Vanderbilt University, Departments of Pharmacology and Nephrology, 1994-1999

 

ASPET member since: 2011

Administrative Accomplishments

Carol Beck, PharmD, PhD is Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Cancer Biology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University(TJU). She is Associate Dean for Curriculum/MS programs, Jefferson College of Life Sciences (JCLS). She has been involved in the design, implementation, and evaluation of graduate and medical pharmacology education since 2000. She was the Foundations of Pharmacology course director and pharmacology content director until 2018 and is now co-thread director of pharmacology in the JeffMD curriculum. In the graduate school (JCLS), she is the Program Director for the part-time MS pharmacology program and oversees curriculum content, program directors, and adjunct faculty for all JCLS MS programs. From 2007-2013, Dr. Beck taught ocular and systemic pharmacology in an international clinical optometry MS program run by Salus University/ Pennsylvania College of Optometry, teaching pharmacology in Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Poland, Singapore, and Spain.

Dr. Beck has received multiple teaching and service awards, including the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Basic Sciences; SKMC Dean’s Award/Citation for Excellence in Education (4 times); Jefferson Academy of Distinguished Educators; the George B. Koelle Award (MAPS), Friend of the Jefferson Postdoctoral Association, and the JCLS Alumni Association Lifetime Honorary Membership award.

Research Areas

Pharmacology education; voltage-gated chloride channels; pharmacology of voltage-gated ion channels; chloride channels; calcium-activated chloride channels; skeletal muscle; myotonia congenita; ion channelopathies.

ASPET Activities

  • Strategic Planning Task Force, 2022-present
  • Co-Chair, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Task Force, 2022-present
  • Fellows Review Committee, 2022
  • Journals Task Force, 2021-present
  • Secretary-Treasurer, 2020-2023 (elect, officer, past officer)
  • Councilor, 2016- 2019
  • Chair, Awards Committee, 2018-2019
  • Division for Pharmacology Education:
    • Chair, 2013- 2016
    • Past Chair, 2016- 2017
    • Council Liaison, 2020-present
  • Division for Drug Discovery and Development
    • Council Liaison, 2016- 2019
  • ASPET Big Idea Initiative
    • Enhancing Undergraduate Engagement in ASPET at EB meetings, Carol L. Beck, Catherine M. Davis, and DPE; Funded 2014. Second cycle approved 2017
    • Co-chair of planning committee for annual undergraduate networking luncheon
  • Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society
    • Councilor/ Annual Meeting Organizing Committee, 2009- Present
    • Organizer, Annual Meeting, 2011
    • President, 2011-2012; Past-President, 2013-2014; Interim Secretary, 2014-2015

Other Society Memberships/Activities

  • Secretary-Treasurer of Membrane Biophysics Subgroup, Biophysical Society
  • Finance Committee Member, Biophysical Society
  • Local Chapter Planning Committee Member, Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society
  • Chair of Committee on Qualifications and Membership, Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society
  • Executive Board Member, Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools
  • President, Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools

Personal Statement

I am honored to be nominated to serve as President of ASPET. My involvement in a regional chapter resulted in my ASPET membership. Then I discovered that I could connect with fellow pharmacology educators. I became involved with the Division for Pharmacology Education and was Division Chair (2013-2016). I was elected an ASPET Councilor (2016-2019) and Secretary-Treasurer (current Past Secretary-Treasurer). Through these experiences, I have gained insights into the potential of ASPET to serve the discipline of pharmacology.


I have BS and PharmD degrees from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and a PhD in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University. My current roles are with graduate and medical pharmacology education and higher education administration.

I represent pharmacology in the medical school curriculum (Sidney Kimmel Medical College). I am also the Associate Dean for MS programs (Jefferson College of Life Sciences) and the Program Director for an MS program in Pharmacology. I do not currently have a research program, but Jefferson is a Carnegie R2 doctoral university and I am surrounded by the challenges faced by researchers.

My leadership style is interactive, collaborative, and organized. Groups need structure to make decisions—but inside that structure, the group comes to consensus to make decisions. Not only are the group decisions greater than the individual opinions involved, but the participation of the group in making the decision means a more effective implementation is possible, since buy-in already exists. I try to ensure that transparency, communication, and collaboration are part of all processes. I would apply these same approaches as ASPET President.

ASPET was established in 1908 to be the home for investigators in the disciplines of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. In 2022, ASPET still strives to be the home for the community of pharmacology. Council started the strategic plan revision process in fall 2022. Promoting and publishing rigorous scientific research through our meetings and journals; developing and encouraging the next generation of pharmacologists; creating a diverse and inclusive community of pharmacologists; and providing mentoring and career development: these are all important parts of the current and future ASPET. We want to be a diverse and inclusive community of pharmacologists and to encourage and connect with pharmacologists throughout their careers, in academic research, education, industry, and government.

ASPET has a strong suite of pharmacology journals. The journals are a venue for publishing pharmacology research, but they also provide training for pharmacologists as reviewers, editorial board members, and editors. Regardless of how the journals are published, these opportunities should be retained.

With the end of the multi-society Experimental Biology meeting in 2022, ASPET is re-imagining our annual meeting from beginning to end. We know that our members value networking and personal connections. The 2023 meeting will be the first of many iterations of our new more intimate annual meeting.

To connect with the next generation of pharmacologists, we need more programs like the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). SURF involves undergraduates in pharmacology research via program and individual grants. Can we add fellowship opportunities for under-represented students and add virtual components?

The Washington Fellows program for graduate students, post docs and early career scientists is one form of mentoring and career development; however, we need more! The Fellows program gives training in science policy and underscores that advocating for evidence-based science policy is part of being a scientist. Can we develop a science advocacy curriculum for pharmacology trainees?

ASPET has started the quest for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion, but we need more concrete actions. One approach would be greater transparency about pathways to leadership. We can also expand our pharmacology community via partnerships and collaborations. The Partnership committee is charged with evaluating current and potential collaborations—regional, national, and international. ASPET has regional chapters that provide leadership training and community-building. We should also consider connections with clinical pharmacology groups.

We will need new programs to accomplish our goals. However, pharmacologists are a creative lot; these ideas will come! ASPET has a talented and dedicated staff to assist with implementation. We need to continue to invest in the people who work with us. The pandemic provided an unusual opportunity to hit the “reset” button. Let’s eliminate things that no longer work and make changes to keep ASPET relevant to you as a member.

I would be honored to serve as President of ASPET and to apply my experiences as a pharmacologist, educator, and administrator to help us move toward our goals of creating and maintaining a strong community of pharmacologists.

Last Updated: November 29, 2022

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