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(Boston) — Andrei E. Ruckenstein, the former co-director of the BioMaPS Institute for Quantitative Biology and a professor of Physics at Rutgers University, has been named Boston University’s associate provost and vice president of research, effective June 1, announced BU Provost David K. Campbell.
Ruckenstein will play a central role in enabling, fostering and enhancing all forms of research, scholarship and creative inquiry throughout the university, including strengthening existing and new research ties between the Charles River Campus and Boston University Medical Center.
“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Ruckenstein,” said Campbell. “Andrei has proven to be an inspirational, influential and visionary academic leader who brings a deep understanding and appreciation of the research process and the synergistic potential of cross-departmental and multi-school collaborations.”
Ruckenstein, who earned his Ph.D. in Physics at Cornell University, was the founding Director of BioMaPS, an interdisciplinary program launched in 2000, focused on biology-driven research and on educating life-science researchers with strong quantitative backgrounds in molecular biophysics, structural biology, computational biology and bioinformatics. He was also the founding Director of the BioMaPS Graduate Program and served as co-Director of the BioMaPS Institute for Quantitative Biology. He joined Rutgers in 1988 as an associate professor after beginning his teaching career at the University of California, San Diego, in 1985. Previously, he was a post-doctoral fellow and a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories for two years.
He is the current president of the Aspen Center for Physics, a prestigious National Science Foundation-funded organization which promotes organized research in physics, astrophysics and related fields through a program of individual and collaborative research, seminars, workshops and conferences. He also serves on the center’s Scientific Advisory Board, and was a member of its board of trustees for three years.
He is also the co-founder and co-chair of the board of trustees of the Aspen Science Center, an Aspen, Colo.-based organization founded to bridge the gap between science research and education.
In 1994, Ruckenstein, a distinguished physicist who has made numerous significant contributions to theoretical condensed matter physics, especially in the areas of strongly correlated electronic systems and high temperature superconductivity, won the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Prize, Germany’s highest research award for senior U.S. scientists and scholars in all disciplines. Over the past several years, he has turned his attention to biology, where his research focuses on understanding the mechanistic details of transcription, the first step in the process by which the genetic information encoded in DNA is interpreted to give rise to proteins. He was also the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (1988-93), awarded annually to the very best young faculty members in specified fields of science and was the holder of an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (1986-1989).
Ruckenstein earned a M.S. in Physics from Cornell University and an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University.