Mission and Organization

The mission of the Beckman Institute is to invent methods, instrumentation and materials that will open new avenues for fundamental research in the chemical and biological sciences, and to provide technological support for these efforts. The Beckman Institute strives to provide the kind of environment and support that will foster the initiation and early development of research thrusts too innovative or too “high-risk” for the regular sources of research support in government and industry. Activities within the Beckman Institute will be characterized by their promise of significant technological advances in fundamental fields of biology, chemistry and related sciences. The new knowledge that results will ultimately lead to great practical benefits for society and mankind. The Beckman Institute will also further the educational mission of Caltech by actively involving students in its activities.

The Beckman Institute operates as a cross-divisional research facility and research-facilitating organization within Academic Operations of the California Institute of Technology. Policy and program decisions are made by the Director in conjunction with the Beckman Institute Executive Committee (BIXC), all of whom are Caltech faculty members appointed by the Provost. The current Director is Marianne Bronner, Albert Billings Ruddock Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering, who began her term in July 2019. The BIXC currently consists of Azita Emami (Engineering and Applied Science), Viviana Gradinaru (Biology), André Hoelz (Chemistry), Victoria Orphan (Geology), Lior Pachter (Biology), Ellen Rothenberg (Biology) and Brian Stoltz (Chemistry). Jay Labinger is the Beckman Institute Administrator.

Most of the scientific activity in the Beckman Institute is organized into three types of major programs: Resource Centers, Facilities and Pilot Projects. Requests for support that does not readily fit into one of those groups may also be considered on an ad hoc basis, and should be addressed to the BI Director or Administrator. Public space in the BI building (both indoor and outdoor space) is available for use by the Caltech community as well as appropriate outside groups; information and guidelines for requesting reservations may be found here.