Biography

Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D., 14th President of the University

President Mark S. Schlissel

Dr. Mark S. Schlissel is the 14th president of the University of Michigan and the first physician-scientist to lead the institution. He became president in July 2014.

President Schlissel previously was provost of Brown University, where he was responsible for all academic programmatic and budgetary functions within Brown’s schools and colleges, as well as the libraries, research institutes and centers.

A graduate of Princeton University (A.B., summa cum laude, 1979, Biochemical Sciences), he earned both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1986, Physiological Chemistry). He did his residency training in internal medicine at Hopkins Hospital and conducted postdoctoral research as a Bristol-Myers Cancer Research Fellow under David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Whitehead Institute.

President Schlissel began his career as a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1991, where he earned a number of awards and fellowships for his research and teaching. He moved to the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California–Berkeley in 1999 as associate professor, advancing to full professor in 2002. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in immunology as well as a large introductory course in biology for life science majors.

His research has focused on the developmental biology of B lymphocytes, the cell type in the immune system that secretes antibodies. His work has contributed to a detailed understanding of genetic factors involved in the production of antibodies and how mistakes in that process can lead to leukemia and lymphoma. He is the author or co-author of over 100 scientific papers and has trained 21 successful doctoral candidates in his lab.

He was UC-Berkeley’s dean of biological sciences in the College of Letters & Science and held the C.H. Li Chair in Biochemistry until his appointment as Brown’s provost in 2011.  He served as vice chair of the Molecular and Cell Biology Department from 2002-07.

Nationally, he has served as member and chair of the Immunobiology Study Section at the National Institutes of Health and on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Scientific Review Board.

President Schlissel was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigators in 1998 and the American Association of Physicians in 2013. He has been a member of the American Association of Immunologists since 1992 and was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2013. He has helped organize major international scientific meetings and is a frequent seminar speaker at universities through the United States.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., President Schlissel is married to Monica Schwebs, an environmental and energy lawyer. They have four grown children.

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Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D. bio