Beth Levine, M.D.

Beth Levine, M.D.

Dr. Beth Levine is known around the world as a pioneer in autophagy research and she brought that expertise to the founding of Casma Therapeutics to develop novel, lifesaving medications based on autophagy activation. In addition to bringing her science to Casma, Beth also brought her passion for research and for developing treatments that could benefit patients. Her scientific and clinical passion strongly influenced the forming of Casma as a company that focuses on the pathway of autophagy to bring about cures and therapies for a great many devastating diseases. Sadly, we mourn the passing of Beth Levine who died on June 15, 2020 at the age of 60 after a long, courageous battle with cancer.

Beth was professor of internal medicine and microbiology, director of the Center for Autophagy Research, and Charles Cameron Sprague Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She was also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Beth is recognized for her work on autophagy in physiology and disease and is known particularly for her work on the mammalian autophagy gene, BECN1, and the role of Beclin 1 and other components of the autophagy pathway in tumor suppression, innate immunity, aging and metabolism. The primary research focus of her lab is to understand the molecular regulation and biological functions of autophagy, with the expectation that doing so will lead to major discoveries in the pathogenesis and treatment of human diseases, including cancer, infectious diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes and aging.

After serving as a faculty member in the department of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons from 1992 to 2004, Beth joined UT Southwestern to become chief of the division of infectious diseases. In 2011, she became director of the Center for Autophagy Research at UT Southwestern. She was a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians and the National Academy of Sciences. In 2014, she received the ASCI/Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award in recognition of fundamental contributions to our understanding of autophagy.

Beth graduated from Brown University in 1981 and from Cornell University Medical College in 1986, followed by a residency in internal medicine. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in infectious diseases and virology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.