Beth Beason-Abmayr

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Beth Beason-Abmayr, PhD, is the Kathleen and Randall Matthews Teaching Professor of BioSciences at Rice University in Houston, TX. She has developed multiple course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) and a high structure course in animal physiology. Her approach to teaching undergraduates and supervising undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants is to provide training, resources, and mentorship. She has shared her experiences and original ideas with faculty colleagues here and at other institutions and has been a mentor to new teaching faculty. At the department level, she serves on several committees including Undergraduate Curriculum (Chair), Undergraduate Recruiting and Advising for Prospective Majors, and Undergraduate Awards; at the university level, she has served as a Non-Tenure-Track (NTT) Teaching Faculty Representative on the Faculty Senate (FS) and is currently co-chair of a FS working group collecting data on the experiences of NTT faculty at Rice. As a member of the Rice BioSciences Leadership Team for The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Transformations Project: Integrating and Scaffolding Research into Undergraduate STEM Curricula, she worked closely with the Rice Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (OURI) to map, implement, and enhance inquiry in the curriculum. Her teaching has been recognized at Rice with a George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching, the Teaching Award for Excellence in Inquiry-Based Learning, and the Wiess School of Natural Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award. Since 2010 she has led the molecular biology boot camp for Rice’s NSF REU Site: Interdisciplinary Program in Multi-Scale Biomolecular Networks (BioNetworks). A longtime judge for the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, she is a member of the iGEM Judging Committee – Steering Group. After participating in the National Academies of Science Summer Institute (SI) on Undergraduate Education in Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011, she served as a facilitator at the Gulf Coast SI at Louisiana State University from 2012-2020 and was co-director for the Gulf Coast SI at Rice University in 2022. She has been a National Institute on Scientific Teaching (NIST) Leader since 2020 and was an organizer and coordinator for the Solve My Problem (SMP) Collaborative Workshop in June-July 2021 and an organizer for SMP in June-July 2022. She was recently elected as a NIST Member-at-Large and as a Biology Division Representative with the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). Beason-Abmayr is a proud member of the Teaching section of the American Physiological Society and is an associate editor for Advances in Physiology Education. She earned her PhD in physiology and biophysics at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.


  • Experimental Biochemistry (BIOS 311)
  • Experimental Synthetic Biology (BIOS 313)
  • Experimental Molecular Biology (BIOS 314)
  • Exploring Biological Research Challenges (FWIS 115)
  • Integrative Animal Physiology (BIOS 340/540)


B.S. in Microbiology, Auburn University, 1990

Ph.D. in Physiology & Biophysics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1996

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Vanderbilt University, 1996-98

Honors & Awards

CTE Faculty Fellow, 2022-25

National Academies Education Mentor in the Life Sciences, 2012-20

Teaching Award for Excellence in Inquiry-Based Learning, 2019

George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching, 2017

iGEM World Championship Jamboree Inaugural Judges’ Prize, 2012

BEN Scholar, 2012

National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences, 2011-12


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