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MBL Board of Trustees Appoints New Director and Chairman of the Board; New Chair Makes $5 Million Capacity-Building Gift to MBL

Renowned cell biologist Gary G. Borisy, Ph.D. will assume directorship in July

New Board Chair John W. Rowe, M.D., Executive Chairman of Aetna Inc. makes historic $5 million gift


Woods Hole, MA—The Board of Trustees of the MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) announces the appointment of Dr. Gary G. Borisy to the position of Director and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Borisy is an internationally recognized cell biologist, known for his work on understanding the structure and functioning of living cells and for his important discovery of the protein tubulin. He will become the 13th director and 3rd CEO of the MBL, an international center for biological research and education based in the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Jack Rowe, the Executive Chairman of Aetna Inc. and member of the MBL's Board of Trustees, was recently elected Chairman of the MBL's Board. His one-year renewable term began with the Board's May 20th meeting.

At that meeting, Dr. Rowe announced his family's intention to make a $5 million gift to the MBL, the largest gift made by an individual in the history of the institution. The gift will be used to enhance existing and build new programs.

"We are fortunate to have attracted such a talented and well-respected scientist to lead the MBL," said Dr. Rowe. "It is with great pleasure that my wife Valerie and I make this gift, in conjunction with Dr. Borisy's arrival, knowing that it will be used to further strengthen this very special institution. The members of the Board and I look forward to working with Gary as we continue to implement the visionary strategic plan that was developed during Bill Speck's tenure as director."

"Jack and Valerie's gift to the MBL is historic and extremely important. I am grateful to the Rowes for this far-sighted and capacity-building gift," said Dr. Borisy. "The MBL is unique in the spectrum of biological science institutions. I feel privileged at the opportunity to serve as its new director and I look forward to engaging the MBL community and colleagues world-wide to build upon its illustrious history."

Dr. Borisy and his wife, Sally Casper, a development professional for a Chicago non-profit charter school, will move to Woods Hole this summer. He will assume his duties in July, when Dr. William T. Speck's term as Director and CEO ends. A gathering to welcome Gary and Sally will be held in Woods Hole in August.

Dr. Rowe and his wife Valerie are residents of New York City and Falmouth, Massachusetts.


Gary Borisy

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About Gary Borisy:

Dr. Borisy brings a wealth of scientific expertise and administrative experience to the MBL, an institution he knows well. At various times throughout his career, Dr. Borisy has spent time at the MBL, conducting summer research; collaborating with resident and summer scientists; and participating in some of the MBL's summer educational programs.

Gary Borisy comes to the MBL from Northwestern University where he is Associate Vice President for Research and the Leslie B. Arey Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology in the Feinberg School of Medicine. He received his B.S. in biochemistry and his Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Chicago. After serving a postdoctoral fellowship in H. E. Huxley's Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the MRC in Cambridge, England, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He spent 32 years at Madison, rising through the professional ranks to Chairman of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Perlman-Bascom Professor of Life Sciences, before moving to Northwestern in 2000.

Dr. Borisy has received numerous professional honors throughout his career. He received an NIH MERIT Award. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; served as president of the American Society for Cell Biology (2003); and received the Carl Zeiss Award in 2005 from the German Society for Cell Biology. He currently serves as a Section Head for Faculty of 1000, Cell Biology; he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for CombinatoRx and is an incoming member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (2006).


John Rowe

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About John W. Rowe, M.D.:

John W. Rowe, M.D., a graduate of Canisius College (B.S.) and the University of Rochester (M.D.), was Chairman and CEO of Aetna Inc. from 2000 to 2006 and is currently Executive Chairman. Prior to joining Aetna, he served as President and Chief Officer of Mount Sinai NYU Health. Before the Mount Sinai NYU Health merger, Dr. Rowe was President of The Mount Sinai Hospital and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He serves as a Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Prior to joining Mount Sinai in 1988, Dr. Rowe was a Professor of Medicine and the founding Director of the Division on Aging at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Gerontology at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. He has authored over 200 scientific publications, primarily in the physiology of the aging process, and a leading textbook of geriatric medicine. He was Director of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Aging and recently co-authored Successful Aging. He served on the Board of Governors of the American Board of Internal Medicine and as President of the Gerontological Society of America and as a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. He is a member of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Connecticut. Dr. Rowe is a member of the MBL’s Board of Trustees and was a member of the MBL's Council of Visitors from 1995 to 2000.


About the MBL:

The MBL is an international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit www.mbl.edu.