• Claude Canizares

    Claude Canizares

    Photo courtesy / MIT Department of Physics

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  • Lorna Gibson

    Lorna Gibson

    Photo � / Rick Friedman Photography

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Canizares, Gibson get top posts

Claude Canizares


MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif has announced that Associate Provost Claude R. Canizares will become vice president for research and associate provost and that Professor Lorna J. Gibson will become associate provost, effective Tuesday, Aug. 1.

They will be part of an academic leadership team that includes the provost and Professor Philip S. Khoury, whose appointment as associate provost effective July 1 was announced in April.

In his new position, Canizares succeeds Professor Alice Gast, who will become president of Lehigh University on Aug. 1. As vice president for research and associate provost, Canizares will have overall responsibility for research policy, as well as the Institute's research misconduct policies and process. He will have oversight of several major interdepartmental laboratories and centers and of MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Several research-related offices report to the vice president for research as well, as does the Division of Comparative Medicine.

As associate provost, Gibson will oversee academic and space planning, including chairing the Committee for the Review of Space Planning. She will be responsible for faculty affairs, including, for example, faculty development and renewal. In addition, she will have oversight of the policies and process for handling faculty grievances.

In making the announcement, Reif said, "I am delighted that Professors Canizares and Gibson have agreed to take on these new responsibilities on behalf of the Institute. They each bring a depth of experience, sound and thoughtful judgment, and a strategic perspective to their respective positions that will serve our academic enterprise very well. Together with Professor Khoury, they will form an outstanding leadership team, and I look forward to working with them to support our faculty and further MIT's academic agenda."

Canizares is the Bruno Rossi Professor of Experimental Physics and has been associate provost since 2001. His primary roles include responsibility for campus space and capital planning, oversight of MIT Lincoln Laboratory and assistance with federal agency relations.

Canizares' main research interests are high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of galactic and extragalactic objects and observational cosmology. He is a principal investigator on the Chandra X-ray Observatory and has also worked on several other space astronomy missions. He has served on many scientific advisory committees and boards and currently serves on the Council of the National Academy of Sciences and the Government University Industry Research Roundtable, among others.

Canizares is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Commenting on his appointment, Canizares said, "I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to help foster the research enterprise across the campus and at Lincoln Laboratory. There are so many exciting activities under way or planned, and while there are also challenges,��I am confident that MIT will continue to strengthen its position as a premier research university."

Gibson is the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, where her research interests focus on the mechanical behavior of materials with a porous, cellular structure, such as foams. Her current work is on cellular biomaterials such as scaffolds for tissue engineering and the mechanical interactions of biological cells with scaffolds.

A fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, she is co-author of "Cellular Solids: Structure and Properties." She is currently chair of the MIT faculty, having just completed the first year of a two-year term. In 1999, she chaired the School of Engineering committee assessing the status of women faculty in that school, which has seen a significant increase in the number of women faculty members in the past several years.

"It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as chair of the faculty over the past year," Gibson said. "I have appreciated learning from my colleagues, among both the faculty and the administration, and from our remarkable staff and students. I look forward with excitement to working with President (Susan) Hockfield, Provost Reif and other senior officers on planning for the future of MIT and on strengthening our efforts on faculty development."

The provost said that he will be consulting with the officers of the faculty and the faculty Committee on Nominations regarding the selection of a new chair of the faculty. Professor Bishwapriya Sanyal is chair-elect, with a term to begin in July 2007.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 14, 2006 (download PDF).


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