The Executive Director of the ASCB, Stefano Bertuzzi, has resigned at the end of his contract, after deciding not to ask for a renewal, to take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Microbiology immediately following the ASCB Annual Meeting in December.

Stefano Bertuzzi

Stefano Bertuzzi

ASCB President Shirley Tilghman commended Bertuzzi on his leadership of ASCB during the past three years. “He leaves ASCB in a much stronger position to support its members, and to affect the direction of the biomedical enterprise,” she noted.

Tilghman added, “He focused the society on the well- being of its younger members, with initiatives such as the ASCB-KGI biotech course, the ASCB Kaluza Prize for Excellence in Graduate Student Research, the new ASCB-Gibco Emerging Leader Prize, and the establishment of the Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS).”

Bertuzzi joined the ASCB in November 2012, leaving the Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communications at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). It was at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that Bertuzzi made the transition from bench science to science policy, closing his lab at the National Institute of Neural Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to pursue a new career path in the office of NIH Director Elias Zerhouni before moving to a policy post at NIMH. A native of the northern Italian city of Piacenza, Bertuzzi first came to the United States in 1992, while still a graduate student at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. There he learned then-groundbreaking transgenic animal technology in Heiner Westphal’s genetics lab at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. After defending his thesis in Milan, Bertuzzi returned to the United States for a postdoc with Greg Lemke at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA. Bertuzzi opened his own lab in Italy at the newly created Dulbecco Telethon Institute in Milan, but a position at NINDS drew him back to NIH in 2005.

During his tenure at ASCB, Bertuzzi brought strong leadership to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) initiative in the fight against the misuse of journal impact factors, and raised the visibility of ASCB and cell biology with the stunning Dulles Airport exhibit Life: Magnified. Importantly, he has built a very strong staff that is fully capable of maintaining the high standards of ASCB until a new director is named, Tilghman noted. Cynthia Godes, Senior Director of Finance and Administration, will serve as Acting Executive Director during the transition.

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John Fleischman

John is ASCB Senior Science Writer and the author among other things of two nonfiction books for older children, "Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science" and "Black & White Airmen," both from Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt, Boston. Email: jfleischman@ascb.org


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