Susan Hockfield, Faculty Chair

President Emerita and Professor of Neuroscience
MIT

Susan Hockfield is Professor of Neuroscience and President Emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; she served as the sixteenth president from 2004 to 2012 and was the first woman and the first life scientist to lead the Institute. Faculty Chair of the Koch Institute Board of Advisors, she has elected to establish her current office at the KI. During her tenure as MIT president, Dr. Hockfield shaped emerging national policy on energy technology and next-generation manufacturing, championing the breakthroughs in fields from clean energy to cancer emanating from the historic convergence of the life sciences and the engineering and physical sciences. At MIT, this same vision informed her leadership of several new initiatives, including the founding of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. In June 2011, President Obama appointed her co-chairperson of the steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.

As a life scientist, Dr. Hockfield pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody technology in brain research and identified a set of proteins whose expression is regulated by neuronal activity early in an animal’s life. Her work included the discovery of a gene implicated in the spread of cancer in the brain, providing a link between her research and human health. Prior to MIT, she was the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1998-2002), and Provost (2003-2004) at Yale University.

Dr. Hockfield serves as a director of General Electric, Qualcomm, the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum Foundation, and the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a member of the corporation of Partners HealthCare System, and a life member of the MIT Corporation. She recently served as Science Envoy with the U.S. Department of State. Dr. Hockfield is the recipient of the Charles Judson Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Award from Yale University, the Meliora Citation from the University of Rochester, the Golden Plate Award from the Academy of Achievement, the Amelia Earhart Award from the Women’s Union, the Edison Achievement Award, and the Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She has received honorary degrees from national and international universities, and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.