Northeastern appoints ‘founding dean’ of new College of Science

Northeastern University has appointed Dr. J. Murray Gibson to be the founding dean of its College of Science, one of three new, distinct colleges being launched by the university this fall.

As the College of Science’s first dean, Gibson has the opportunity to chart a new and innovative path, while building on Northeastern’s significant strengths across a range of scientific fields.

“J. Murray Gibson is an exceptional scientist and scholar with an outstanding international reputation,” said Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern. “His accomplishments at one of the world’s most prestigious scientific laboratories make him the perfect candidate to lead our new College of Science. I’m proud to welcome him to the Northeastern community.”

The College of Science will be comprised of the following academic departments: Biology, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. It will also include interdisciplinary programs in Behavioral Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Environmental Studies, Linguistics and Marine Studies.

“The new College of Science will play a central role as Northeastern University pursues research across its primary themes of health, security and sustainability,” said President Joseph E. Aoun. “Dr. J. Murray Gibson has a proven track record of establishing global partnerships and working across disciplines. He will be a tremendous asset to Northeastern as we build on our leadership in co-op and use-inspired research.”

Born and raised in Scotland, Gibson currently holds a range of senior academic positions. He is the Director of Advanced Photon Source and Associate Laboratory Director of Argonne National Laboratory, as well as an adjunct professor at both the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University. Under his direction, APS emerged as the most productive source of protein structures in the world and is a leader in x-ray studies of materials under extreme conditions. At Argonne National Laboratory, he spearheaded and secured funding for two major initiatives: The Center for Nanoscale Materials and the national TEAM microscope projects.

In addition to his positions of academic leadership, Dr. Gibson has been actively involved in industry – as a researcher and mentor for students completing internships. His first-hand knowledge of the power of experiential learning and his knowledge of industry will be an asset to Northeastern.

He has published almost 200 journal articles and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Physical Society and the Royal Microscopical Society. He earned his BSc in natural philosophy at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, England.

Anchored by its signature co-op program, Northeastern University is world renowned for its leadership in experiential education. Northeastern is also a leader in the production of use-inspired research that meets global and societal needs.

The new College of Science was created as part of a restructuring of the former College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Criminal Justice.