The University Record, July 22, 2002

Life Sciences Institute moving forward

By Karl Leif Bates
LSI Communications

Working in the framework of the new institute. (Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)
Incoming President Mary Sue Coleman has expressed her commitment to seeing the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) succeed and has made it a priority to have new leadership in place within weeks of taking office on Aug. 1. “The investment in and progress of the Life Sciences Institute were important factors in my decision to accept the presidency of the University of Michigan,” she said.

Life Sciences Institute Director Jack Dixon will leave U-M for a position as dean of scientific affairs at the University of California, San Diego, some time next year. He will step down as director of the LSI once a successor has been named.

“I’m leaving the institute in great shape and in capable hands,” Dixon said. “Even from afar, I will always be proud of what we achieved during my early leadership of the Life Sciences Institute and my participation in the Life Sciences Commission that set the direction for this effort.”

Coleman agrees. “I am very pleased with the progress of the Life Sciences Institute to date,” she said. Construction of the 230,000 square-foot institute is on budget and on schedule for a Sept. 2003 opening. Recruitment is in full swing with some six to 10 core faculty members expected to be aboard when the institute’s doors open.

Coleman, in consultation with Interim Provost Paul Courant, has appointed an advisory committee of faculty to assist her in setting the direction for future leadership of the institute and to advise on matters of science, recruitment and strategy for the initiative.

Alan Saltiel, associate director of LSI, and Liz Barry, managing director of the institute, will continue to play critical roles in leading LSI planning and recruitment activities, and in managing the day-to-day operations.

“We are working very hard to get the institute up and running, which is an enormous task when you start from scratch like this,” Barry said. “Everything continues to move forward, and we’re recruiting some really stellar scientists to form the core of this multidisciplinary research faculty.”

The institute complex is the cornerstone of the University’s campuswide Life Sciences Initiative, a commitment of more than $700 million to date in new research, teaching and personnel aimed at establishing U-M’s place in the coming age of life sciences. The institute eventually will house up to 350 employees. Adjacent to the institute will be an undergraduate science center, with new labs and classrooms for science instruction, and a commons building that includes meeting spaces and a food court to encourage contact and collaboration between students and faculty on the Central and Medical campuses.

LSI Advisory Committee

Huda Akil, Gardner C. Quarton Distinguished University Professor of Neurosciences, professor of psychiatry and co-director, MHRI

Carol Fierke, professor of chemistry

David Ginsburg, Warner Lambert/Parke Davis Professor of Medicine, professor of internal medicine, professor of human genetics, and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

John Lowe, Warner Lambert/Parke Davis Professor of Medicine, professor of pathology and investigator, HHMI

Rowena Matthews, G. Robert Greenberg Distinguished University Professor, and research scientist, Biophysics Research Division

Matthew O’Donnell, Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering, professor of biomedical engineering, and professor of EECS

William Roush,Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Chemistry and chair of Chemistry Dept.

Charles Yocum, Alfred S. Sussman Collegiate Professor of Biology and professor of chemistry