Marian Carlson Named Director, Life Sciences at Simons Foundation

Marian Carlson

Marian Carlson

The Simons Foundation is pleased to announce that Marian Carlson will assume the position of director of Life Sciences. The foundation’s Life Sciences division has recently begun significant expansion of its activity and Carlson, an internationally renowned geneticist, is eminently suited to lead this expansion.

Carlson holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and has been on faculty at Columbia University since 1981, where she still maintains a lab. Her laboratory has used genetic analysis in yeast to elucidate conserved mechanisms of signal transduction and transcriptional regulation. She identified the SNF1/AMPK protein kinase pathway, which has highly conserved roles in metabolic regulation and is implicated in type 2 diabetes and cancer, and the SNF proteins of the SWI-SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, for which she received the Genetics Society of America Medal in 2009.

Carlson is former president of the Genetics Society of America, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

She has had a significant impact on the foundation’s life sciences and autism programs since joining the foundation in 2010, having spearheaded the founding of the Simons Center for the Social Brain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011, as well as the newly created Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life.

Under Carlson’s leadership, the Simons Foundation Life Sciences division plans to initiate large-scale, goal-driven collaborations in neuroscience, microbiology and other areas, and will work to further promote quantitative approaches to biological research.