The University Record, July 19 , 1999

Bollinger appoints 10-member internal life sciences faculty advisory committee, six-member external board

By Jane R. Elgass

Appointment of a 10 member Faculty Advisory Committee for the Life Sciences Institute and Initiative was announced last week by President Lee C. Bollinger. The committee will be chaired by Jack E. Dixon, the Minor J. Coon Professor of Biological Chemistry and chair, Department of Biological Chemistry.

He also appointed an external advisory board to help identify candidates for director of the life sciences institute.

Appointment of the faculty group, intended to advise and assist Bollinger, Provost Nancy Cantor and Gilbert S. Omenn, executive vice president for medical affairs, follows approval by the Regents in May of the establishment of a life sciences institute. The Regents also endorsed a cross-disciplinary, collaborative Life Sciences Initiative, as recommended in a report released this past February by the 20-member Life Sciences Commission.

In a letter to committee members, Bollinger noted that “intellectual revolutions—which is what we are potentially dealing with here—are exceedingly rare. It is an exciting task to position the University to play a leading role in the emerging intellectual epoch, which will focus on the complexity and function of biological systems in ways that were not previously possible.”

Bollinger emphasized that a key role of the advisory committee is to help ensure the “the institute is closely linked to the rest of the University, and that it serves as a catalyst for broad improvements. The advice and assistance of the committee in identifying key focal points for bridging between the institute, departments and programs, and in preparing the way for the director to work with the chairs and deans on this matter, will be extremely valuable.”

Bollinger, Cantor and Omenn will ask the committee to help them:

  • Identify candidates—“outstanding scientist-leaders”—to direct the institute.

  • Identify important considerations for facility design.

  • Identify activities, such as fellowship programs and symposia, that could be launched prior to recruitment of a director, “in order to begin to move the institute forward.”

  • Identify potential links between the institute and other areas of campus, and help build the links.

  • Facilitate the transition of the institute director.

    Other members of the committee are:

    Huda Akil, the Gardner C. Quarton Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences, professor of psychiatry and co-director, Mental Health Research Institute.

    Stephen S. Easter, Mathew Alpern Professor of Biology.

    Carol Fierke, professor of chemistry and of biological chemistry.

    David Ginsburg, the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine and professor of internal medicine and of human genetics.

    Rick Lempert, Francis A. Allen Collegiate Professor of Law and professor of sociology.

    Michael Marletta, the John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, professor of biological chemistry and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

    David J. Mooney, associate professor of dentistry and engineering.

    William R. Roush, the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Chemistry.

    Edward Smith, the Arthur W. Melton Collegiate Professor of Psychology; faculty associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research; and Senior Research Scientist, Mental Health Research Institute.

    Dixon, Akil (co-chair), Marletta, Roush (co-chair) and Smith served on the Life Sciences Commission.

    Members of the external advisory board are:

    Paul D. Boyer, professor emeritus of biochemistry, Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Joseph L. Goldstein, professor of molecular genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

    Leroy Hood, professor of molecular biotechnology and bioengineering, University of Washington.

    Phillip A. Sharp, chair, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Shirley M. Tilghman, the Howard A. Prior Professor of the Life Sciences , Princeton University.

    Robert A. Weinberg, the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research, Whitehead Institute (Mass.).