Joan V. Ruderman has been named the first woman President and Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, the nearly 125-year-old nonprofit research center for biology, biomedicine and environmental science.
Ruderman is the Marion V. Nelson Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. She succeeds Gary Borisy, Ph.D., who is retiring as MBL President and Director.
Ruderman has been closely affiliated with the MBL for nearly four decades and has been on the board of trustees since 1986. She was first a student in the MBL's embryology course in 1974 and later returned to teach the same class. She's worked at MBL for more than 20 summers.
"I am honored to lead the MBL, an extraordinary institution that has catalyzed the careers and contributions of countless leaders in the biological sciences," Ruderman said. "My priorities as President and Director will be to maintain the MBL's leadership role in driving scientific discovery and knowledge for the benefit of human health and the environment, and to develop a sustainable plan to support the MBL's mission into the future."
Ruderman is best known for her work on the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell division. More recently, she has investigated environmental contaminants that can mimic estrogen, chemicals that may increase the risk of developing breast cancer and other hormone-dependent cancers. She has been elected into the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Society for Microbiology.
Ruderman received her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from M.I.T., both in biology. After postdoctoral work at M.I.T., she joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School in 1976. She moved to Duke University in 1986 and returned to Harvard Medical School in 1989.
About the green blog
Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
Christopher Reidy covers business for the Globe.
Doug Struck covers environmental issues from Boston.
Glenn Yoder produces Boston.com's Lifestyle pages.
Eric Bauer is site architect of Boston.com.
Bennie DiNardo is the Boston Globe's deputy managing editor/multimedia.
Dara Olmsted is a local sustainability professional focusing on green living.