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Stefano Bertuzzi Named New Executive Director of Cell Biology Society

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For Immediate Release                                                                                  September 5, 2012
Contact: Kevin Wilson                                                                                     301-347-9300

BETHESDA, MD, September 5, 2012

The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) has named Stefano Bertuzzi, the current Director of the Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communications at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), as its next Executive Director. Dr. Bertuzzi will join the ASCB, the world’s largest scientific society for basic cell research, on November 1.
In announcing the selection, ASCB President Ron Vale said, “Stefano brings a wealth of experience to the ASCB, first as an accomplished bench scientist and then through his science policy work at the National Institutes of Health. The ASCB leadership strongly believes that Stefano will lead the ASCB to new heights and that he will be a great voice for the ASCB and for science.”

Dr. Vale continued, “Stefano’s appointment represents a new direction for the leadership of the ASCB. Because of his scientific experience, Stefano knows the excitement of discovery that drives all scientists, but he also understands the economic difficulties facing basic biomedical research in these uncertain times. He is particularly concerned about the careers of students and young investigators, which is very aligned with the interests and potential future roles of ASCB.”
Before assuming his current post at NIMH, Dr. Bertuzzi headed the Return on Investment Program in the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health. A leading researcher in the regulation of neuronal axon guidance in the visual system, Dr. Bertuzzi was an NIH staff scientist in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and the Director of the Laboratory of Mammalian Genetics at the Dulbecco Telethon Institute in his native Italy. He first came to the US in 1992 to work in the NIH intramural program as a graduate student from the Milan’s Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. He continued his research at NIH as a postdoctoral fellow, and then at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA. He recently finished a master’s degree focusing on health policy and health economics from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at The Johns Hopkins University.

“I see science as a complex ecosystem,” said Dr. Bertuzzi, “where different stakeholders have different incentives. A professional society like ASCB has the exquisite role of defining—and constantly redefining—a field, pushing it, making it as relevant as possible in the scientific and policy arena, and with the general public.”
Dr. Bertuzzi continued, “My goal at ASCB will be to ensure that cell biologists remain central to the scientific and policy discourse, and to create scientific opportunities to advance our field, health, and the quality of life of millions of people in the United States and around the world.”

Founded in 1961, ASCB is an inclusive, international community of more than 9,000 biologists studying the cell, the fundamental unit of life. Its membership has included 29 Nobel laureates so far. Since the 1990s, the ASCB has spearheaded initiatives to increase national support for basic bioscience research in order to capitalize on scientific and technological breakthroughs in genetics, molecular, and cellular science. Its activities also include scientific communication among scientists and to the public, education, international outreach, and promoting careers, especially for underrepresented minorities and women in the life sciences. 

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