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Susan Hockfield
Susan Hockfield
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Susan Hockfield Profile

President Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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  Susan Hockfield

When Susan Hockfield was a student, women in the sciences had few role models. As a senior at the University of Rochester, she had come up with an idea for an interesting experiment, but lacked the confidence to carry it out herself. "People like me don't do these things," she remembers thinking. Fortunately, a sympathetic professor encouraged her, and she resolved to pursue a career in the sciences. Today, she is a neuroscientist of international reputation, and the president of one of the world's leading research universities.

Dr. Hockfield's research has focused on the development of the brain and central nervous system. She pioneered new technology in brain research and has discovered proteins that regulate structural changes in the neurons and influence the movement of cancer cells in the brain. Among other insights, her work may open new avenues for the treatment of the deadly brain cancer glioma.

When she was chosen to head the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she was not only the first woman to hold the post, but the first biologist to head a faculty better known for its achievements in physics and electrical engineering. Although her appointment reflected the ever-increasing importance of biology and biomedical research, she also won praise for her leadership of the MIT Energy Initiative, a massive research program that may well transform the way we power our homes, cars and businesses.

This page last revised on Jul 16, 2012 00:57 EDT
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