Physician-Scientist Richard Lifton Assumes Presidency of Rockefeller University

Physician-scientist Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D., took office on September 1, 2016 as Rockefeller University’s 11th president. Dr. Lifton, who has pioneered the use of genomics to identify the bases for diseases, succeeds Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, who is leaving to assume the presidency of Stanford University. Dr. Lifton arrives from Yale University, where he was the Sterling Professor of Genetics, Chair of the Department of Genetics, and Founder and Executive Director of the Yale Center for Human Genetics and Genomics. The recipient of numerous honors, including the 2014 Breakthrough Prize, Dr. Lifton has served in many high-profile advisory positions, most notably co-chairing the planning committee for President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative in 2015. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 1994, Dr. Lifton will receive the 2016 Academy Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Science from The New York Academy of Medicine at a ceremony in November. Rockefeller’s president directly oversees approximately 80 independent laboratories as well as the university’s administration and graduate program. As Dr. Lifton takes office, Rockefeller is in the midst of an ambitious extension project that will add two acres to the current 14-acre campus, and it has been aggressively recruiting new faculty. A number of innovative initiatives in basic and clinical science are also underway. In February, Dr. Tessier-Lavigne announced his departure after serving as president for five years. A search committee composed of trustees and faculty members unanimously approved Lifton’s appointment in May. In keeping with a long tradition of Rockefeller’s leaders maintaining active research programs, Dr.
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