Lance Liotta: The Beck Family Medal for Excellence in Research and Scholarship

Receiving the Beck Family Medal for Excellence in Research and Scholarship is evidence that an extraordinary team of scientists and researchers at George Mason University has been able to accomplish their goals, said Lance Liotta, co-director of Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine.

“I look upon [this award] as a tribute to our entire team; this is a tribute to [our] really fantastic goals,” said Liotta, who will receive the medal at Commencement on May 20. “Our objective was to conduct cutting-edge medical scientific research.”

Another goal was to advance their work to the clinical trial stage where it can help patients, Liotta said. The team was also able to spin some of their discoveries into patents, something that elevates Mason, he added.

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“If you discover something in a lab and we use it to prevent cancer, then that is the best way to inspire students in the sciences,” Liotta said. “We use it as a means to train future scientists and thought leaders. The best way to inspire is with hands-on learning.”

For more than 10 years, the Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program has encouraged young people to explore the sciences. Thousands apply for the program each year, he said.

The award is a celebration of Buddy Beck, someone who has been a tireless advocate for innovation and research at Mason for more than a decade, and whose efforts paved the way for Mason to achieve the highest ranking from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Liotta said.

“What we have created here at Mason is unique in the world,” Liotta said. “We are really proud because it gives us the opportunity to recognize him.”

May 18, 2017 / Adapted from a story by Jamie Rogers