Provost, Professor of Biology


Dr. Schlissel was named provost of Brown University in July 2011.  As Brown’s chief academic officer, the provost is responsible for all academic programmatic and budgetary functions within the College, the Graduate School, the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering, as well as the libraries, research institutes and centers. He supervises the Deans and academic Vice Presidents, oversees admission and information systems, and is the principal deputy to President Christina Paxson. The Provost provides daily management of the institution and directs overall strategic planning.

A graduate of Princeton University (A.B., summa cum laude, 1979, Biochemical Sciences), Schlissel 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, Whitehead Institute.

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.

Schlissel’s research has focused on the developmental biology of B lymphocytes, the cell type in the immune system that secretes antibodies. His work has led 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 nearly 100 scientific papers and has trained twenty successful doctoral candidates in his lab.

Schlissel 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.  He served as Vice Chair of the Molecular and Cell Biology Department from 2002 to 2007. Nationally, he has served as member (2002-04) and chair (2004-06) of the Immunobiology Study Section at the National Institutes of Health and on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Scientific Review Board (2006-2011). 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.

Schlissel is married, with four children. His wife Monica is an environmental and energy lawyer with a large national law firm.

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