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Susan Hockfield

President Emerita and Professor of Neuroscience MIT

Susan Hockfield is President Emerita, Professor of Neuroscience, and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2004 to 2012 she served as the sixteenth President of MIT, the first life scientist and first woman in that role. As President, Hockfield strengthened the foundations of MIT’s finances and campus planning while advancing Institute-wide programs in sustainable energy and the convergence of the life, physical and engineering sciences, with impact across the region, the nation and around the world. She helped shape national policy for energy and next-generation manufacturing, appointed by President Obama in 2011 to co-chair the steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and by serving as a member of a Congressional Commission evaluating the Department of Energy laboratories in 2015. As a biologist, she pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody technology in brain research, identifying proteins through which neural activity early in life effect brain development. Before joining MIT as its president, she was the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1998–2002), and Provost (2003–2004) at Yale University. In all her roles she has advanced opportunities for women and minorities. She studied at the University of Rochester and Georgetown University and carried out research at the NIH and UCSF before joining the faculty at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and then Yale. She is the past president and chairman of AAAS and currently is a director of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Partners HealthCare System, Fidelity Non-Profit Management Foundation and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. She is a life member of the MIT Corporation and a board member of the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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