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Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer Named RCSA President

Daniel Linzer
Daniel Linzer

Daniel I.H. Linzer, the retiring provost of Northwestern University, has been selected as the next president and CEO of Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), America’s second-oldest foundation and the first devoted wholly to science.

Linzer will assume his new post in October, succeeding Robert Shelton, who stepped down in February.

“RCSA is very excited to have Dan Linzer as its new president,” said Elizabeth McCormack, chair of RCSA’s Board of Directors. “Dan is an accomplished scientist, academic administrator and leader. He possesses everything we were looking for in a new president. His career at Northwestern, first as a scientist and faculty member, then as dean and finally as provost, has been extremely impressive.  We look forward to the leadership he will provide for RCSA in our mission to advance early stage, high-potential, basic scientific research.”

Linzer has been Northwestern’s provost since 2007; before that he served for five years as dean of the University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. 

 “Dan Linzer has provided extraordinary leadership for Northwestern as provost, and previously as dean of Weinberg,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said. “His far-reaching vision and thoughtful guidance have been instrumental in advancing Northwestern academically.”

During Linzer’s tenure as provost, Northwestern made significant strides in all academic areas, including major advances in biomedical research, engineering, the arts and the humanities. He hired seven of the University’s 12 college/school deans, and he was involved in attracting and retaining many of Northwestern’s top faculty members while increasing the size of the faculty overall.

Linzer spearheaded Northwestern’s strategic planning from 2009 to 2011, which resulted in the University’s strategic plan, Northwestern Will. The plan’s four pillars -- discover, integrate, connect and engage – now serve as guideposts for the University’s future development. University officials described the strategic plan as the foundation of the institution’s $3.75 billion fundraising campaign. 

“I’m honored to be asked to lead RCSA, a private, philanthropic foundation with more than a century of history supporting fundamental research,” Linzer said. “I’m also deeply impressed by the foundation’s more recent efforts to foster a sense of community and shared purpose among scientists of different disciplines, backgrounds and perspectives through its innovative Cottrell Scholar and Scialog programs.”

Linzer graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 1976. He earned a Ph.D. in Biochemical Sciences from Princeton University in 1980 and a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He joined Northwestern in 1984 as an assistant professor, and remains a professor of molecular biosciences. Linzer has done pioneering research supported by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society on the molecular basis of hormone action. His research group identified some of the hormones made in the placenta that control blood cell and blood vessel growth.

Linzer has received the Searle Scholars Award, the American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award and the Northwestern Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award, among many other honors.

His wife, Jennifer Brooks Linzer, has served as assistant director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University School of Law. They have one daughter, Nora Brooks Linzer, who is a freshman at Caltech.

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