Life Sciences / Directors

Roger Kornberg

General Director - current
Life Sciences
Stanford University

structural biology

Roger D. Kornberg is an American biochemist and professor of structural biology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Kornberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2006 for his studies of the process by which genetic information from DNA is copied to RNA, "the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.”

Bert Sakmann

General Director - previous
Life Sciences
Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg

Professor Bert Sakmann (born 12 June 1942) is a German cell physiologist. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Erwin Neher in 1991 for their work on "the function of single ion channels in cells," and the invention of the patch clamp. Bert Sakmann was Professor at Heidelberg University and is an Emeritus Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany. Since 2008 he has led an emeritus research group at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology.

Professor Sakmann was General Director of the School in Life Sciences from 2003-2007.

Gerald Fink

General Director - previous
Life Sciences

Professor Gerald Fink is an American biologist. He is a Founding Member of the Whitehead Institute and American Cancer Society Professor of Genetics at MIT, and was director of the Whitehead from 1990 to 2001. Fink received his PhD degree in genetics from Yale University and served for 15 years on the faculty of Cornell University. A past president of the Genetics Society of America, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Institute of Medicine. His research investigates how fungal pathogens invade the body, evade the immune system, and establish an infection.

Professor Fink was General Director of the School in Life Sciences from 1997-2002.

David Baltimore

General Director - previous
Life Sciences

Professor David Baltimore is an American biologist and 1975 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine, awarded in recognition of his discovery of reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that synthesizes DNA from RNA. Baltimore also conducted research that led to an understanding of the interaction between viruses and the genetic material of the cell. This contributed to an understanding of the role of viruses in the development of cancer.

He served as president of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1997 to 2006, and is currently the President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech.

Professor Baltimore has profoundly influenced international science, including key contributions to immunology, virology, cancer research, biotechnology, and recombinant DNA research, through his accomplishments as a researcher, administrator, educator, and public advocate for science and engineering.

Professor Baltimore was General Director of the School in Life Sciences from 1991-97.