- Susan Hockfield
Susan Hockfield (b.
Chicago, 1951) is the sixteenth and current president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Hockfield's appointment was publicly announced on August 26, 2004, and formally took office December 6, 2004, succeeding Charles M. Vest. Hockfield's official inaugurationcelebrations took place during the week of May 2, 2005. Her title is "President and Professor of Neuroscience," and she is the first woman and the first life scientist to hold the title of president of MIT.
Hockfield received her
bachelor's degreein biology from the University of Rochesterin 1973 and her Ph.Din Anatomy and Neuroscience from the Georgetown University School of Medicinein 1979. Her doctoral dissertation was on the subject of pathways in the nervous system through which pain is perceived and processed. Her advisor during her doctoral work was Steven Gobel.
Yale University, she served as professor of neurobiology and as dean of the Graduate School. As dean, Hockfield introduced a "Take a Faculty Member to Lunch" program to encourage informal faculty-student interactions. The program paid for lunch when one or two students invited a professor to join them. It was later expanded to also cover the cost of lunch when a faculty member invited a graduate student.
Hockfield then served at
Yale Universityas a provost, the university's second highest officer.
During her time as dean and provost, Hockfield was at the center of the imbroglio surrounding the
Graduate Employees and Students Organizationand its unionization efforts.Fact|date=June 2008 She was staunchly anti-union. Fact|date=June 2008
Hockfield has continued scientific research in addition to her administrative career. She pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody technology in brain research and discovered a gene that plays a critical role in the spread of cancer in the brain. Scientists working under her direction identified a family of cell surface proteins whose expression is regulated by neuronal activity early in an animal's life. Her early work involved the application of monoclonal
antibodytechnology to questions within neurobiology. A link between her research and human health was made when it was suggested one of these proteins played a role in the progression of brain tumors. Hockfield's work has recently focused one type of brain tumorcalled glioma. Her work suggests that the glioma is particularly deadly because of the way highly mobile cancerous cells move around the brain. [http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/abstract/18/7/2370]
Hockfield is currently a corporate director of
Hockfield is married to Thomas N. Byrne, M.D. They were married on March 2, 1991 at Yale's Battell Chapel. [cite web|title= Susan Hockfield and Thomas Byrne, Medical Professors at Yale, Are Wed|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE5DD1539F930A35750C0A967958260|publisher=The New York Times|year=1991|accessdate=2007-01-07] They have a daughter, Elizabeth.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
* Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, Yale University Graduate School
* Meliora Citation for Career Achievement, University of Rochester
* Charles Judson Herrick Award (for outstanding contributions by a young scientist),
American Association of Anatomists
* [http://web.mit.edu/hockfield/ Susan Hockfield, President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology]
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