Susan Hockfield

Susan Hockfield

Infobox Person
name = Susan Hockfield

caption =
birth_date = 1951
birth_place = Chicago, Illinois, USA
occupation = President of MIT
nationality = American

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 inauguration celebrations 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 degree in biology from the University of Rochester in 1973 and her Ph.D in Anatomy and Neuroscience from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 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.


At 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 University as 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 Organization and 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 antibody technology 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 tumor called glioma. Her work suggests that the glioma is particularly deadly because of the way highly mobile cancerous cells move around the brain. []

Hockfield is currently a corporate director of GE Industrial.


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=|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

External links

* [ Susan Hockfield, President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology]


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