Caltech’s New Provost Starts This Week

David Tirrell assumes his new role on campus

Published : Monday, October 2, 2017 | 5:24 AM

David Tirrell

Chemistry professor and Beckman Institute Director David Tirrell officially stepped into his new position as Caltech’s 10th provost on Sunday.

The Institute’s chief academic officer, the provost is responsible for advancing the academic agenda of the Institute. The provost works closely with the division chairs on programmatic initiatives, serves as coordinator for curriculum development, and aids in development initiatives.

Tirrell takes over the role from Edward Stolper, the William E. Leonhard Professor of Geology and the Carl and Shirley Larson Provostial Chair, who held the position for a decade. Stolper plans to return to the faculty full time to pursue his studies of the origin and evolution of igneous rocks on Earth and other planets.

A Caltech faculty member since 1998, Tirrell, the Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, chaired the division from 1999 to 2009.

Tirrell focuses on the genetic code and how modifying the molecular machinery of the cell might lead to new approaches in macromolecular design, protein evolution, biological imaging, and proteome-wide analysis of cellular processes. He is one of only 19 individuals elected to all three National Academies: Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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