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Collin Stultz named co-director and MIT lead of the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology

Collin M. Stultz, the Nina T. and Robert H. Rubin Professor in Medical Engineering and Science at MIT, has been named co-director of the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST), and associate director of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), effective June 1. IMES is HST’s home at MIT.

Stultz is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, a core faculty member in IMES, a member of the HST faculty, and a practicing cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He is also a member of the Research Laboratory of Electronics, and an associate member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, praised the appointment, saying “Professor Stultz’s remarkable leadership, commitment to teaching excellence, and unwavering devotion to pursuing advancements in human health, will undoubtedly help to reinforce and bolster the missions of both IMES and HST.”

Stultz is succeeding Emery N. Brown, who was first to serve as HST’s co-director at MIT, following the establishment of IMES in 2012. (Wolfram Goessling is the co-director of HST at Harvard University.) Brown, the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and of Computational Neuroscience at MIT, will now be focusing on the establishment of a new joint center between MIT and MGH that will use the study of anesthesia to design novel approaches to controlling brain states, with a goal of improving anesthesia and intensive care management.

“It was a pleasure and honor for me to shepherd HST for the last 10 years,” Brown says. “I am certain that Collin will be a phenomenal co-director. He is a highly accomplished scientist, a master clinician, and a committed educator.“

George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School and an HST alumnus, says, “I am thrilled that HST’s new co-director will be a Harvard Medical School alumnus who completed clinical training and practice at our affiliated hospitals. Dr. Stultz’s remarkable expertise in computer science and AI will engender positive change as we reinvigorate this historic Harvard-MIT collaboration and redefine the scope of what it means to be a physician-scientist in the 21st century.”

Elazer R. Edelman, the Edward J. Poitras Professor in Medical Engineering and Science and the director of IMES, also an HST alumnus, lauded the appointment, saying, “We are so excited by the future, using the incredible vision of Professor Stultz, his legacy of accomplishment, his commitment to mentorship, and his innate ability to meld excellence in science and medicine, engineering, and physiology to propel us forward. Everything Professor Stultz has done predicates him and HST for success. “

Goessling says he looks forward to working with Stultz in his new role. “I have known Collin since our residency days at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where we cared for patients together. I am truly excited to work collaboratively and synergistically with him to now take care of our students together, to innovate our education programs and continue the legacy of success for HST.”

Stultz earned his BA magna cum laude in mathematics and philosophy from Harvard University in 1988; a PhD in biophysics from Harvard in 1997; and an MD magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School, also in 1997. Stultz then went on to complete an internship and residency in internal medicine, followed by a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine, at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital before joining the faculty at MIT in 2004.

Stultz once said that his research focus at MIT is twofold: “the study of small things you can’t see with the naked eye, and the study of big things that you can,” and his scientific contributions have similarly spanned a wide range of length scales. As a graduate student in the laboratory of Martin Karplus — winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry — Stultz helped to develop computational methods for designing ligands to flexible protein targets. As a junior faculty member at MIT, his group leveraged computational biophysics and experimental biochemistry to model disordered proteins that play important roles in human disease. More recently, his research has focused on the development and application of machine learning methods that enable health care providers to gain insight into patient-specific physiology, using clinical data that are routinely obtained in both clinical and ambulatory settings. 

Stultz is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering. He is a past recipient of an Irving M. London teaching award, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, and he is a recent Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholar. 

“Following in the footsteps of a scholar as renowned as Emery Brown is daunting; however, I am extraordinarily optimistic about what HMS, HST, and MIT can accomplish in the years to come,” Stultz says. “I look forward to working with Elazer, Anantha, Wolfram, and the leadership at HMS to advance the educational mission of HST on the HMS campus, and throughout the MIT ecosystem.”

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