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Biologist Named Associate Provost for Graduate Medical Sciences

Linda Hyman joins MED on July 1

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Linda Hyman will become the associate provost for the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences at the School of Medicine on July 1. Photograph courtesy of Montana State University

Biologist Linda Hyman is a bit of a wanderer: she grew up in the Big Apple, attended graduate school by the Big Dig, and taught for a decade in the Big Easy. She currently works at Montana State University, but she’ll soon leave Big Sky country for BU. Hyman has been appointed associate provost for the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences at the School of Medicine.

“I’m very excited,” Hyman says. “BU is a wonderful institution, and I’m looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that this position will present.”

Karen Antman, dean of BU’s School of Medicine and provost of the Medical Campus, announced Hyman’s appointment last week. Her selection followed a nine-month-long nationwide search, led by a 14-member committee. The committee sought candidates with strong experience working in research, academia, and administration, according to Antman. Hyman, who is vice provost of Montana State’s division of health sciences, has an extensive background in all three. “The culture on the Medical Campus is very collegial and collaborative,” Antman says, “and I think Dr. Hyman will fit in well here.”

Hyman’s responsibilities, which begin on July 1, will include oversight of curricula and execution of all graduate programs, including recruitment, admissions, ongoing program activities, new program development, student outcomes, and graduate alumni relations. “An important responsibility of this role is supporting the collaboration of the basic science and clinical departments in education and graduate research,” says Antman. “This integration is a core value and a strategic advantage of our program.”

Hyman replaces Carl Franzblau, current associate dean, professor, and chair of the MED department of biochemistry. He is the founder of CityLab, an educational outreach program that teaches middle and high school students about the biotechnology industry, and CityLab Academy, a nine-month biotechnology and biomedical science training program for high school graduates. “Dr. Franzblau is going to be a tough act to follow,” Hyman says. “He has a real entrepreneurial spirit, and I have some trepidation about filling his shoes.”

For the past five years, Hyman has also held the position of assistant dean at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, where she is the Montana director of the cooperative program of the University of Washington School of Medicine and the states of Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI) medical program. Previously, she held faculty positions at Tulane University Medical School and was program director at the National Science Foundation and a principal investigator on several national grants.

But the classroom is where Hyman feels most at home. “I love teaching,” she says. “I knew I would never win the Nobel Prize, but making a difference in a student’s life was within my reach.”

Throughout her career, Hyman has mentored dozens of students, and while she plans to take at least a year to settle into her new position as associate provost, she hopes to return to the classroom as soon as possible. “I firmly believe teaching is the best way to get to know your students and to stay fresh in your area,” she says.

Hyman earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Albany and master’s and doctorate degrees in biology from Brandeis University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine. “I’m very much looking forward to my return to Boston,” she says. “I’ve lived in many places, but the cultural and educational opportunities that Boston offers are unmatched by any other city in the country.”

Vicky Waltz can be reached at vwaltz@bu.edu.

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