Susan Hockfield

Susan Hockfield, PhD


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, was the first woman and the first life scientist to lead the Institute. 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.

After earning a BA in biology from the University of Rochester and a PhD from Georgetown University at the School of Medicine, Dr. Hockfield was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at San Francisco. She then joined the scientific staff at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. In 1985, Dr. Hockfield became a faculty member at Yale University, where she focused her research on brain development and glioma, a deadly form of brain cancer, and also pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody technology in brain research.

Dr. Hockfield serves as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a director of General Electric, Partners Healthcare System, and the Council on Foreign Relations, a life member of the MIT Corporation, a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and a board member of the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has served as co-chair of President Obama’s steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a working coalition of academic, government and industry leaders, a member of a Congressional Commission evaluating the Department of Energy laboratories and 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.