On October 1, 2017, the ICB’s Caltech campus leader, David Tirrell, will become Caltech’s tenth provost, pursuant to Board of Trustees approval in July. David has been part of the ICB since its inception in 2003, also serving as the ICB’s Biotechnology Tools task order Co-Leader.
Tirrell has been a faculty member at Caltech since 1998. The Caltech Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, has also served as the Director of the Caltech Beckman Institute since 2012, an interdisciplinary research hub that develops methods, instrumentation, and materials for fundamental research in chemistry and biology.
“I feel privileged to have been part of the Caltech community for the past two decades,” says Tirrell. “I welcome the opportunity to contribute in a different way to promoting the important intellectual and educational missions of the Institute and to supporting the work of all of our extraordinary students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and staff.”
Tirrell is known for working across the disciplines of chemistry, biology, and materials science. His focus is on the genetic code and how modifying the molecular machinery of the cell might lead to new approaches in macromolecular design, protein evolution, biological imaging, and proteome-wide analysis of cellular processes. In recognition of his significant contributions in these areas, David has received numerous accolades from professional societies and universities around the world. He is one of only 19 individuals elected to all three National Academies: Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
“David’s broad approach to science and engineering, dedication to teaching, vision, and consultative leadership style are sure to advance the Institute during his tenure as provost. I am grateful to the provost search committee, chaired by Barbara Wold, Bren Professor of Biology, for their helpful recommendations and hard work in garnering opinions from Caltech faculty, students, and staff,” says Caltech president Thomas F. Rosenbaum.
The position of provost, Caltech’s chief academic officer, was first established at Caltech in 1962. The Provost advances the academic agenda of the Institute through faculty recruitment, retention, and promotions, and via budget prioritization. The Provost works closely with the division chairs on programmatic initiatives, serves as coordinator for curriculum development, and aids in development initiatives.