Jennifer Beck

Emeritus Professor

Emeritus Professor Citation delivered by Senior Professor Eileen McLaughlin, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health at the University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of Jennifer Beck as an Emeritus Professor of the University on 18 April 2024.

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Honorary Professor Jennifer Leigh Beck. With a career at the University of Wollongong spanning over 20 years, Jenny’s pioneering research in the field of mass spectrometry has significantly advanced our understanding of biochemical structures and mechanisms, and positioned the University as a world-leading centre for the use of spectrometric analysis in this area. Jenny has also garnered an international reputation for her collaborative studies on DNA structures and their roles in cancer cell growth. Jenny has graduated more than 20 PhD students who now serve diverse and pivotal roles in the STEM and wider community, and has represented the University in several leadership roles at the Australian Research Council, including contributions to its equity and diversity working groups. As an educator, Jenny has made extraordinary contributions to the development and delivery of core subjects in UOW’s biochemistry programs. Her interdisciplinary approach and diplomatic leadership have been instrumental in the success of these subjects which have held high student numbers for over a decade. During her tenure as Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Science, Medicine & Health, Jenny demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision. Her strategic plan for research became the blueprint for the faculty’s development and the establishment of the Molecular Horizons Institute. Jenny has made outstanding contributions to mentoring the next generation of leaders in STEM. She has generously shared her experience and expertise, nurturing emerging talent and supporting critical skills development for researchers at all levels. Her leadership in a male-dominated discipline inspired more women to join the School of Chemistry, leading to it becoming one of the most gender-balanced chemistry schools in the country. As an Honorary Professor, Jenny remains committed to excellence at the University, continuing to mentor early and mid- career researchers to aspire to the values of integrity, transparency, collaboration, and supporting the strategic decisionmaking of the faculty. Jenny’s approachability, generosity of spirit, and commitment to her colleagues and students have inspired countless others. The impact that she has had on her field of research, the standing of the University, and the development of her students’ education and careers are immeasurable and a true reflection of the values of the University. Chancellor, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the discipline of Biological Chemistry and her exceptional dedication to the University of Wollongong, it is with great privilege that I present Honorary Professor Jennifer Leigh Beck to be admitted as an Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong.