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Becky Phillips is a sixth-year graduate student in the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB). She works in the lab of biochemistry professor Ivan Rayment where she performs x-ray crystallography to understand the structure and function of kinesin. Kinesins are motor proteins in cells that move along microtubules and transport different types of cargos, sometimes over a distance of nearly three meters in long cells such as neurons.

Becky recently won the Denton Award for Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring. The award honors graduate students in the IPiB program who demonstrate a commitment to innovative teaching and mentoring in both the classroom and laboratory setting. Becky was nominated by Lynne Prost, with whom she worked to teach Biochemistry 551, a capstone class, as both a seminar instructor and lab teaching assistant.

She was also an HHMI Teaching Fellow and developed a semester-long curriculum for a first-year biology seminar. Becky mentors undergraduates in the lab and worked for three years as an instructor for Project CRYSTAL, an NSF-funded project for middle school students who undertake a yearlong research project.

Outside of teaching and research, Becky is an avid runner, a member of the young professionals board for the Henry Vilas Zoo and a proud owner of a golden retriever, Casey, who has been her cheerleader through graduate school. After graduation, she hopes to work at a biotechnology company where she can be part of a team and mentor others.

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