A native of Canada, Shirley M. Tilghman received her Honors B.Sc. in chemistry from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Following two years teaching secondary school in Sierra Leone, Tilghman completed her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Temple University with Richard W. Hanson. Tilghman was appointed an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1988, and in 1998 was named the founding director of Princeton’s multidisciplinary Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. In 2001 Tilghman was elected Princeton University’s 19th president. During her tenure the university expanded its undergraduate and graduate student bodies, and instituted a four-year college system. She oversaw the creation of major new academic programs, including the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and the Lewis Center for the Arts. Upon the completion of her term in June of 2012, she returned to the faculty. She is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology, the Genetics Society of America Medal, and the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, The National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine , the Royal Society of Londonand is an Officer of the Order of Canada. She serves as a Trustee of Amherst College, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the Institute for Advanced Study, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and is a director of Google Inc.
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