Appointment of Dr. Paul Lipton as Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

April 2nd, 2014

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
and Dr. Beth Loizeaux, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs

This past winter, we launched a University-wide search for the next Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Paul Lipton, Director of the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences, to head UROP, effective August 2014.

Since its inception in 1997, UROP has connected more than 3,000 BU undergraduates to a range of extraordinary research experiences across the natural sciences, medicine, the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Under the leadership of its outgoing Director, Professor Thomas Gilmore of the Department of Biology, UROP has seen its reach and budget more than double over the last seven years; today it manages a host of prestigious internally and externally funded programs,including the Beckman Scholars and a continuing NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Award. With Professor Gilmore’s decision to step down from his Directorship this coming August, it was essential that we identify a scholar and leader with the credentials, energy, mentoring experience and strategicvision necessary to guide this important program and carry forward its momentum.

An accomplished researcher with interests in systems neuroscience and science education, Dr. Lipton first joined the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience in 2007 and has overseen its development and growth from just 30 students in its infancy to nearly 400 students today. From his initial role as Academic Director, to his current appointment as Director since 2013, Dr. Lipton has been the primary academic advisor for the major, teaching and developing new courses for the program and for the Kilachand Honors College, serving as faculty advisor to the Mind and Brain Society, and publishing The Nerve, the Society’s highly praised student magazine.

Additionally, Dr. Lipton has served as Program Director for BU’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute program, where he has led the development of a research-based sequence of introductory neuroscience courses for first and second year neuroscience majors, established a postdoctoral teaching program, developed a series of high school outreach programs for local Boston Public High School students, and increased access to faculty mentored research opportunities for BU students. A graduate of SUNY Buffalo, Dr. Lipton received his Ph.D. in Brain, Behavior, and Cognition from BU’s Department of Psychology and performed his Postdoctoral work at University of California, San Francisco and The Pennsylvania State University.

Through extensive conversation with Dr. Lipton about his vision and ambitions for UROP, it quickly became clear that his enthusiasm and track record of high-quality research, influential mentoring and intellectual leadership were an ideal match for the program’s needs. Moreover, his unique ability to connect with students and his ongoing dedication to creating important new scholarship closely aligned with UROP’s mission to support scientific and scholarly activity that contributes to the production of new knowledge.

Dr. Lipton will officially assume his duties as Director of UROP at the end of August. Please join us in congratulating him on this appointment and welcoming him to this new role, and in thanking Professor Gilmore for his tireless leadership and outstanding contribution to UROP’s development and the achievement of its students during his successful Directorship.

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