BOSTON(TIP): Indian American Nipam Patel, a leading scholar in modern evolutionary and developmental biology at University of California, Berkeley, has been named director of the Marine Biological Laboratory.
Patel currently holds the William V. Power Endowed Chair in Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is professor and co-chair of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and professor in the Department of Integrative Biology.
His appointment is effective September 4.
For the past 17 years, Patel has been teaching a course on Embryology at the Marine Biological Laboratory.
His prior engagement with the institution was in 2007 to 2011, when he was the co-director and from 1995 to 2003 serving as a professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy.
“From a pool of extraordinarily accomplished candidates, Nipam distinguished himself as particularly passionate about MBL’s rich history and even more so about its promising future,” said David Fithian, executive vice president of the University of Chicago, MBL trustee and co-chair of the search advisory committee. “He will be a compelling spokesperson for and determined leader of the MBL’s next chapter.”
“It is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to lead the MBL, an institution that has had a remarkable influence on my own career through the teaching and research opportunities it has provided me over almost 20 years,” Patel said. “I am excited to build upon the MBL’s extraordinary history to elevate it to even greater prominence, and to partner with the University of Chicago in this endeavor. I look forward to working with all the dedicated MBL scientists and staff, as well as all those who come to visit and share in the magic of the MBL.”
Patel received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Princeton University and a PhD in biological sciences from Stanford University. An early resident of Texas he joined the University of California, Berkeley in 2003, where he has held the Schubert Endowed Chair, and serves as faculty curator at the Essig Museum of Entomology.
Patel has served as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and an adjunct professor at the National Institute of Genetics in Shizuoka, Japan. He began his career as a staff associate in the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution in Baltimore, Maryland.
The MBL in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is a leading international center for investigation in the biological and ecological sciences. Founded in 1888, the laboratory convenes scientists from institutions around the world to collaborate in its resident and visiting research centers and to teach in its education division. University of Chicago and the MBL formed an affiliation in 2013.