October 25, 2013—To support the Marine Biological Laboratory’s mission of discovery and innovation, the MBL will appoint two new deputy directors to strengthen direct oversight of research and administration at the lab.
Jonathan Gitlin has been named the MBL’s Deputy Director of Research and Programs, effective October 25, 2013. Gitlin, who currently serves as the director of the MBL’s Eugene Bell Center for Regenerative Biology & Tissue Engineering, is an expert in human genetic diseases and an experienced academic leader.
The second new position announced is that of Deputy Director of Operations, for which a national search will be launched. Both new positions will report to MBL President and Director Joan V. Ruderman.
The changes are designed to provide enhanced scientific and operational leadership in support of the MBL’s acclaimed summer programs, visiting scientists and students, and year-round scientists and research programs.
“Our scientific community at the MBL depends upon vibrant collaborations and work across disciplines that lead to important discoveries and practical applications,” Ruderman said. “These changes will create a leadership structure that further promotes the MBL’s vital scientific mission and the organizational excellence required to support that mission. Building on our recent affiliation with the University of Chicago, we are ensuring that we can capitalize on the strengths of both institutions and achieve transformative progress in research and education well into the future.”
The role of Deputy Director of Research and Programs will give Gitlin leadership responsibilities for all scientific activities at the lab. Gitlin arrived at the MBL in 2012 after a distinguished career as a physician/scientist at several of the nation’s leading centers for biomedical science. He has held important research and leadership positions at Harvard Medical School, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, where he had served as Chair of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. In 2011 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences.
“Jonathan has championed the MBL’s values of collaboration and scientific preeminence at the highest levels and is a recognized national leader in scientific innovation,” Ruderman said. “He will be a key member of the team as we build a foundation for the next generation of discovery in Woods Hole.”
“The Marine Biological Laboratory is a very special and wondrous place where creativity and imagination catalyze discovery for the benefit of all mankind,” Gitlin said. “Our transformative affiliation with the University of Chicago ensures a brilliant future, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with all the extraordinary people at both institutions to be a part of this incredible journey.”
Gitlin will assume the scientific leadership role previously held by Joshua Hamilton, the MBL’s Chief Academic and Scientific Officer. Hamilton joined the MBL in 2008 and has served as a senior scientist in the Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution, in addition to his leadership role. MBL leaders praised Hamilton for helping to lead the MBL through the challenges of the global financial crisis, and for his key role in the creation of the MBL’s affiliation with the University of Chicago, which was formalized in July 2013.
“Josh has been a tireless advocate for the MBL, and he led much of the complex and important work that resulted in our strategic affiliation with the University of Chicago,” said John W. Rowe, Chair of the MBL Board of Trustees. “We all thank Josh for his dedication and impressive accomplishments as a leader in this pivotal time.”
The new Deputy Director of Operations position is intended to help maximize the advantages of the affiliation with the University of Chicago, providing the highest level of support to the MBL’s research centers, visiting scientist programs and advanced, research-based courses.
“Everyone who works here shares a passion for the unique scientific culture that has made the MBL an intellectual destination for researchers and students from all over the world for 125 years,” Ruderman said. “My goal is to ensure that our scientists have the support they need to carry that spirit of discovery into the next generation.”