David C. Beebe, PhD
David C. Beebe, PhD, the Janet and Bernard Becker Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, is being honored as an outstanding postdoctoral mentor.
Since joining the Washington University faculty in 1995, Beebe has served on nearly 100 doctoral thesis committees. His trainees report that he whole-heartedly encourages and motivates excellence, and that he finds ways to get them the resources and training they need to meet their highly varied scientific interests. The keys to his success, they say, are his energy, contagious enthusiasm and flexibility. He easily adapts his teaching style to the skill level of his trainees — undergraduates through junior faculty — crosses disciplinary boundaries to mentor individuals with varied skill sets, and accommodates and values cultural diversity.
Described by colleagues and mentees as a highly skilled scientist, Beebe’s research focuses on the early development of the eye and the cause and potential prevention of nuclear cataracts and glaucoma. Although a basic scientist, he regularly participates in ophthalmology Grand Rounds and has active collaborations with two clinicians in his department.
Beebe earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1966, a master’s degree from Brown University in 1969 and his doctoral degree from the University of Virginia in 1974. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Before coming to St. Louis, he served on the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., where he was honored with two outstanding achievement awards and three teaching awards, eventually becoming chair of Anatomy and Cell Biology. He is the current editor-in-chief of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and has held leadership and service roles with many national organizations.