I am delighted to announce the appointment of Jonathan Tilly as professor and chair of the Department of Biology. Jon, who comes to us from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS), emerged from a broad external search as exceptionally well qualified to lead the department. Not only is Jon a highly skilled researcher, administrator, and educator, but he also has an inspiring vision, passion, and commitment for all that he does.

Jon received his Ph.D. from Rutgers, the State University of NJ in 1990. After completing postdoctoral fellowships in molecular biology at UC-San Diego and Stanford University, he joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 1993 as Assistant Professor. He then moved to MGH and HMS in 1995 as Associate Professor, and was promoted to full professor at HMS in 2009. At MGH, he served as the founding Director of the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology (VCRB) for over 17 years, and also served as Chief of the Division of Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Jon’s research focuses on the formation, development, and death of female germ cells, and how these processes impact on female fertility, egg quality, and the menopause. He is considered a pioneer in this field of study—publishing his work in such journals as Nature, Cell, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine, and PNAS. His most recent groundbreaking research has shown that contrary to prevailing wisdom for more than 6 decades, the ovaries of adult mammals – including women – possess germline stem cells capable of new oocyte (egg) production. In 2012, Jon was named one of the top 12 innovators in science and biotechnology in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe.

Jon has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1994, is the inventor on three issued patents, and has four other patents currently under examination. He co-founded OvaScience, Inc. in 2011—a Cambridge-based biotech company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of new treatments for infertility (www.ovascience.com). OvaScience went public in 2012.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the search committee – Kim Lewis (Chair), Slava Epstein, Dagmar Sternad, Joanne Miller (Psych.), and Mansoor Amiji (Pharm. Sci.) – for the diligent work that they did in bringing this search to a great conclusion.

I am excited that Jon’s nurturing and influential leadership will energize the Department of Biology, and will help propel the department, the college, and Northeastern University toward the next level of research, discovery, and innovation.

Please join me in welcoming Jon to Northeastern.

J. Murray Gibson
Dean, College of Science