Large double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses include clinically important virus families such as the herpesviruses, adenoviruses and poxviruses. Assembly of those viruses represents highly sophisticated biological processes, involving hundreds or thousands of proteins as well as viral nucleic acids. Research in the Tang laboratory is aimed at understanding, at atomic detail, molecular mechanisms of assembly of large dsDNA viruses. An undergraduate student appointed as a Beckman Scholar in the Tang lab will be exposed to the field of virus studies, and will receive critical training in experimental approaches in virology, biochemistry and biophysics including virus cultivation and analysis, protein analysis, and X-ray crystallography. S/he will work with senior members of the laboratory to develop skills in these areas, and will perform an independent research project on biochemical and biophysical analysis of assembly of a model virus under the supervision of the principal investigator. The research project will be specifically tailored to fit with the student's background and the growth of her/his research experience. Along with the progression of the project, the student will also develop skills in identification of fundamental biological questions, designing and conducting experiments to address those questions, interpretation of data, communicating results, and potential manuscript writing. Such training will help prepare the student for a career as an independent researcher in life science with a competitive background in multiple disciplines.