HW alum Scott Becker video chats with students

Sandra Koretz

Alum Scott Becker video chatted Harvard-Westlake (HW) students to speak with them about chemistry, biology and computer science Dec. 14 during activities break. Becker programs lab robots that engineer viruses to target cancer cells.

Becker spoke about the work he does editing the DNA of viruses to fight cancer cells. Students learned about Becker’s expertise and experience working in a field with biology and programming.

“I’m glad interested middle school students got a tiny glimpse of what Scott is doing at the intersection of computer science and medicine. I also liked that he advised students to look at the long-term goal of what they’re genuinely interested in doing as opposed to ‘what colleges want,'” computer programming and mathematics teacher Jessica Kaufman said.

The company that Becker first co-founded in his twenties was amassed by Google, which he briefly discussed in his video chat, but he focused on what he has learned while working to find a cure for cancer. Becker also taught students about his field of work.

“I learned how cancer works, and how viruses work in response to cancer and what [Becker] is doing to edit the viruses so that they can target cancer,” participant Bella Ganocy ‘22 said.