Ending a year-long search, neuroscientist Richard Murphy has been named the new president and chief executive of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. Currently director of the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University in Canada, Murphy will take up the post on 1 October.
Born in Massachusetts, Murphy earned his doctorate in zoology from Rutgers University, and worked at Harvard University and the University of Alberta in Edmonton before moving to McGill in 1992. His main research has been into the way neurotrophins — proteins that promote the growth and survival of nerve cells — are produced in the brain.
“He has shown considerable skill for attracting new resources and talent and generally raising the level of facilities and research wherever he has been,” Frederick Rentschler, chairman of Salk's board, said in a statement.
Murphy will have to keep established scientists happy while encouraging new talent. Internal conflicts drove previous president Tom Pollard to give up the post last year (see Nature 400, 805; 1999).