Duke cell biologist named MIT’s new president

Sally Kornbluth, a cell biologist who spent the past eight years as provost at Duke University, was named president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday.

Kornbluth, 61, was selected by the MIT Corporation, the school’s governing body.

She will officially take office on Jan. 1, succeeding L. Rafael Reif, who announced in February that he plans to retire after 10 years on the job.

Kornbluth has been on the Duke faculty since 1994, and is currently a professor of biology. As provost at the North Carolina school since 2014, Kornbluth has been responsible for carrying out Duke’s teaching and research missions; developing one’s intellectual priorities; and partnering with others to improve teachers and students. She oversaw admissions, financial aid, libraries, and all other aspects of academic and student life.

“The MIT ethos, where groundbreaking research and education are woven into the institution’s DNA, excites me,” Kornbluth said in a statement released by MIT. “Academic leadership’s primary role is to attract distinguished scholars and students, and to support their important work. And when it comes to the impact of that work, MIT is unmatched—in the power of its innovations, in its ability to move those innovations out into the world, and in its commitment to discovery, creativity, and excellence.”

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