Thank you for taking the time to get connected with Northeastern’s College of Science — alumni and friends are key enablers of our past and future success.

The seeds of innovation can run very deep, and here in the College of Science, we have made great strides in supporting our faculty and students as they push the envelope and challenge current thinking.

A major success for the college last year was the acquisition of the Ocean Genome Legacy. Innovator and Northeastern Honorary Degree recipient Don Comb developed this leading collection with the aim to collect DNA samples from every species within the ocean. At a time when the loss of biodiversity is at an all time high, Northeastern will spearhead the collection and study of samples with the aim to achieve sustainability in our precious oceans. The collection is invaluable for our Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative and is expected to provide unique experiential learning and research possibilities. We are working with a number of countries including, most recently, Malaysia to expand our DNA repository worldwide.

This past summer, researchers from our Marine Science Center provided the science activity in Mission 31–a month-long expedition led by Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the late Jacques Yves Cousteau. The mission took place at Aquarius, the last remaining underwater research station in the world, located nine miles off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. The mission was viewed by over 330 million people worldwide.

We are proud of our students who win prestigious awards that reflect on themselves and the college, such as biology major Theo Bowe, S’16, who recently received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, and Brian Conlon, a senior scientist in Northeastern’s Antimicrobial Discovery Center, who was recently awarded the Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Additionally, we made seven great new tenured/tenure-track faculty hires last year.

There are so many exciting things happening in the College of Science—from discovery and innovation, with talented faculty and students. I am proud to represent one of the most exciting colleges here on campus. Please feel free to stop by and visit us.

J. Murray Gibson
Founding Dean
College of Science
Northeastern University


About Dean Gibson

Dr. J. Murray Gibson is the founding dean of the College of Science at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. The College has 2,700 undergraduates, nearly 600 graduate students, and 181 faculty in six departments.  Northeastern is a top-ranked  private research university which is recognized as a leader in experiential co-operative education.

Born and raised in Scotland, Gibson has held a range of senior academic and research positions. Most recently, he was the Director of the $1.7 billion Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory. Under his direction, APS emerged as the most productive source of protein structures in the world, became the global leader in X-ray studies of materials under extreme conditions, and attained the largest number of users of any scientific facility in the USA.

Gibson earned his BSc in natural philosophy at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and his PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge, England. He emigrated to the United States in 1978, beginning a fellowship at IBM Research, followed by 11 years at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. At Bell Labs, Gibson pioneered the use of advanced electron microscopy techniques to understand the structure/property relationships of semiconductor nanostructures.  He built the first instrument that visualized in-situ—at atomic resolution—the growth of thin films by molecular beam epitaxy. Among several patents, he co-invented a novel approach to semiconductor lithography that led to the development of a spin-off company.

Gibson joined the University of Illinois in 1991, and trained 15 PhD students before joining Argonne in 1999 as the Director of its Materials Science Division. He has published almost 200 journal articles and is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Royal Microscopical Society.  He has been elected as the 2011 Chair of the Physics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, where he was also elected a fellow. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Materials Research Society.

For relaxation, Gibson enjoys playing the piano and has lectured on the connection between physics and “the Blues.”