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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Announces New Dean

Internationally Recognized Structural Biologist to Head Watson School of Biological Sciences

Leemor Joshua-Tor, Ph.D. has been named Dean of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s (CSHL) Watson School of Biological Sciences, which has just celebrated the graduation of its fourth class of Ph.Ds.  “The caliber of this young and innovative doctoral program for students with exceptional ability demands extraordinary leadership qualities that we found right here in one of CSHL’s top scientists, Leemor Joshua-Tor,” said CSHL President Bruce Stillman, Ph.D.

Professor Joshua-Tor, who received her Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, has been a scientist at CSHL since 1995.  On August 1, 2007 she will succeed Lilian Clark, Ph.D., M.B.A. who is leaving CSHL to return to the U.K. to serve as Executive Director of Science Operations and Funding at Cancer Research U.K. Under Clark’s leadership, the Watson School has firmly established its international standing as a premier graduate school.

Its hallmark is an accelerated doctoral degree program that runs approximately four years from matriculation to degree and whose graduates are successful in their Ph.D. studies and beyond. The Watson School oversees CSHL intramural training and education including the Postdoctoral Program, the Watson School Graduate Program, the joint graduate programs with Stony Brook University, the CSHL Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and the Partners for the Future program that gives high school seniors a real world scientific research experience in CSHL’s laboratories.

Joshua-Tor’s accomplishments include a fast rise to CSHL Professor in 2005, a Beckman Young Investigator award, and international recognition for seminal discoveries in the fields of RNAi and DNA replication for which she just received the first Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award. Sponsored by Genentech, this award is granted by the Protein Society in recognition of exceptional contributions in protein science which profoundly influence our understanding of biology.

Joshua-Tor will fuse her on-going research career at CSHL with her new position at the helm of the Watson School.  “CSHL has a dual mission in both research and education in biology and the Watson School is a place where these elements of our mission are integrally linked,” she said.  “As Dean, my goal is to build on the Watson School’s unique record of keeping pace with the evolving challenges that this modern era of biology presents.”

Students at the Watson School are exposed to a broad representation of biological sciences, invigorated by CSHL research expertise in genetics, molecular, cellular, and structural biology, neuroscience, cancer, plant biology, and bioinformatics.  Watson School students are integrated into CSHL’s own scientific community of over 350 researchers, and interact with the more than 8,000 scientists who visit CSHL each year to participate in meetings and courses on the latest scientific research and developments their fields.

CSHL is a private, non-profit research and education institution dedicated to exploring molecular biology and genetics in order to advance the understanding and ability to diagnose and treat cancers, neurological diseases, and other causes of human suffering.  For more information, visit