Last day in Woods Hole…

I’m heading home to DC tomorrow….and excited to host Mason’s new President as he visits the Krasnow Institute on Tuesday. In the meantime, I’m enjoying some final hours of cool sea breezes off Vineyard Sound.

It’s been an incredibly productive week scientifically. I’m more convinced than ever that understanding the molecular control (e.g. WNT, FOXP2) of neural development is central to our ever making sense of the Connectome.

MBL’s great strength lies in its ability to generate scientific renewal, as well as scientific birth.

First day of classes Spring Semester…

It may be foggy and cold here in Washington, but it’s also a day full of anticipation as we begin the Spring (yes that’s the operative word, Spring!) semester here at Mason.

Tomorrow is my first day of teaching in a bit. I’ll be teaching 50 undergraduates in a cellular neuroscience core course. I’m very much looking forward to trying out some new pedagogical ideas….

In the meantime, the first snowdrop blooms are out in our neighborhood. If the winter continues to be as mild as it’s been so far, we should have crocuses within a couple of weeks.

This semester will also be one of transition here at Mason as we salute Alan Merten for a job well-done and welcome Angel Cabrera as our new President on July 1. Change is part of life, no less within the academy. It will be interesting to watch this marvelous place continue to evolve and grow.

Looking towards 2012

As we close out 2011, I’m looking forward to an incredibly exciting 2012 for the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study.  During the new year, we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our Center for Social Complexity this next year, one of the real gems in the Institute’s science portfolio. At the same time, we will be launching our unique symposium with the Santa Fe Institute on The Science of Complexity: Understanding the Global Financial Crisis. Finally, we will be welcoming a new University President, Angel Cabrera on July 1.

Angel Cabrera

George Mason’s Board of Visitors announced the appointment of Dr. Angel Cabrera to be Mason’s next President in the last hour. The photo is from the press conference that just ended a few minutes ago.

He brings both incredible dynamism and experience to Mason most recently as President of the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Born in Spain, he trained in Madrid as an engineer and then went on to Georgia Tech to get his doctorate.

Here is a recent You Tube video in which his passion for education is abundantly clear:

Mason will clearly continue its tradition of innovation under dynamic leadership. Dr. Cabrera will take office on July 1 of next year.