Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Provost Robert Brown is not the only person recently chosen from MIT's ranks to become president of another university.
Robert Birgeneau, who served as dean of science at MIT, became president of the University of Toronto in July 2000. He went on to become chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley in July 2004.
Chancellor Lawrence Bacow left MIT to become president of Tufts University in May 2001.
In May 1997, Institute Professor David Baltimore became president of Caltech. Onetime Provost Mark Wrighton became president of Washington University in St. Louis in April 1995.
Alumni are also showing academic leadership. Among others, Lawrence Summers (S.B. '75) is president of Harvard University, and Shirley Ann Jackson (S.B. '68, Ph.D. '73) is president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.