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Marc Tessier-Lavigne named president of Rockefeller University

Rockefeller University
September 9, 2010
The Rockefeller University announced today that its Board of Trustees has elected Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a leader in the study of brain development who is currently executive vice president for research and chief scientific officer at Genentech, as its tenth president. He will succeed Paul Nurse, who is leaving Rockefeller on March 1, 2011 to become president of the Royal Society in London.

As head of the Genentech Research organization, Tessier-Lavigne, 50, directs some 1,400 people in disease research and drug discovery in cancer, immune disorders, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. He is also a member of Genentech’s Extended Executive Committee and its Early Stage Portfolio Committee, which oversees all experimental medicines from the early development stage to the end of phase II proof-of-concept studies in humans. In addition to his research management responsibilities, Tessier-Lavigne has maintained an active basic research laboratory focused on the mechanisms of brain development and repair.

“We were all impressed with Marc’s world class scientific achievements and reputation, his vision for the university and for science as a whole, his interpersonal skills and his executive management ability,” says Rockefeller University Chairman of the Board Russell L. Carson. “He was the search committee’s unanimous first choice and we are confident he will be an outstanding president.”

Tessier-Lavigne was born in Trenton, Canada, and received a B.Sc. in physics from McGill University, and a B.A. in philosophy and physiology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He obtained his Ph.D. in physiology from University College London, and performed postdoctoral work at the MRC Developmental Neurobiology Unit in London and at Columbia University. From 1991 to 2001 he was on the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, and from 2001 to 2003 he served as the Susan B. Ford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. He was also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1994 to 2003. He moved to Genentech to become senior vice president, research drug discovery, in 2003, and was promoted to his current position in 2009.
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