Building the Future of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology

Skolkovo Foundation Professorships


Six MIT faculty members from across the Institute have been appointed to one-year terms as Skolkovo Foundation Professors for the 2013 calendar year. The appointments recognize significant engagement in the collaboration between MIT and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech).

(View the announcement on MIT News.)

The inaugural Skolkovo Foundation Professorship recipients are as follows:

Regina Barzilay
Skolkovo Foundation Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

Regina Barzilay is an associate professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer science and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Her research interests are in natural language processing. She is a recipient of various awards, including the NSF Career Award, the MIT Technology Review TR-35 Award, Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, and several Best Paper Awards in top NLP conferences.


Duane Boning
Skolkovo Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Duane Boning is professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. His degrees are also from MIT, including a PhD in 1991. His research focus is variation modeling, control, and environmental issues in semiconductor and MEMS manufacturing, with emphasis on chemical mechanical polishing, plasma etch, and nanoimprint lithography processes, as well as CAD tools for statistical process, device, and circuit design. He has over 200 papers and conference presentations in these areas of research.

From 1991 to 1993 Boning was a member of the technical staff at Texas Instruments in Dallas. He served as the associate director for the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories, a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, and associate head for electrical engineering in the EECS Department at MIT. He served as editor in chief of the IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing from 2001 to 2011, and is a fellow of the IEEE for contributions to modeling and control in semiconductor manufacturing. Boning is currently director of the MIT-Masdar Institute Collaborative Program.

David Gamarnik
Skolkovo Foundation Professor of Operations Management

David Gamarnik is a member of the Skoltech faculty search committee at MIT and co-director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) program on Russia. Launched in spring 2012 in collaboration with the Skolkovo Foundation, the MIT Skoltech Initiative, and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, the program connects students with internships, research, and programming opportunities in Russia.

Gamarnik also holds the title of Nanyang Technological University Associate Professor of Operations Research at the Sloan School of Management. His research interests include applied probability, stochastic processes and queueing theory, applications to business processes and health care, random structures and random graphs and combinatorial optimization. He is a recipient of the Erlang Prize and the Best Publication Award from the INFORMS Applied Probability Society, IBM Faculty Partnership Award and several NSF sponsored grants. He is an area editor of Operations Research journal and associate editor of Mathematics of Operations Research, Stochastic Systems, and Queueing Systems journals.

Fiona Murray
Skolkovo Foundation Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship

Fiona Murray is the David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technologyat the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the faculty director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. Her research interests focus on entrepreneurship and the commercialization of science. Murray has done extensive economic analysis of the policies and programs that shape vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems including prize competitions, accelerators, patent licensing rules and proof of concept funding programs. She works with a range of start-ups on their entrepreneurial strategy and with large corporations on how they engage with entrepreneurial ecosystems. Her recent work explores the role of philanthropy in shaping the frontiers of science and in building regional prosperity. Her research has been widely published in a diverse range of scientific and social science journals.

Bruce Tidor
Skolkovo Foundation Professor of Computer Science and Biological Engineering

Research in the Tidor Group is focused on the analysis of complex biological systems at the molecular and network levels. Projects at the molecular level study the structure and properties of proteins, nucleic acids, and their complexes. Investigations probe the sources of stability and specificity that drive macromolecular folding, binding, and catalysis. Studies are aimed at dissecting the interactions responsible for the specific structure of folded proteins and the binding geometry of molecular complexes. Work at the network level involves the study of biochemical regulatory networks and signal transduction pathways in cells. Significant effort is being applied to extracting the design principles for biological networks and to understanding the control functions implemented. The insights resulting from this work will provide a strong foundation for understanding biological systems; moreover, they will be useful for the development of therapies that ameliorate disease states, as well as for the construction of new synthetic systems from biological components.

Bruce Tidor is currently faculty lead of the MIT Skoltech Initiative.

Forest White
Skolkovo Foundation Associate Professor of Biological Engineering

Forest White’s research seeks to develop a detailed understanding of the signaling networks that allow cells to respond to external stimuli. Receptors on the surface of cells interact with molecules, or ligands, in the extracellular environment, and the receptors must then communicate information to the inside of a cell. The most common way to transmit these signals is by covalent modification of target proteins within signaling pathways. Taking advantage of mass spectrometry, the White lab is able to quantify large portions of the network simultaneously, while maintaining site-specific resolution. White is using this technology to study the mechanisms underlying progression of breast, brain, and lung cancers. The goal of White’s research is to deepen the understanding of how cells respond to their environment, as well as to develop new ways to detect malfunctions in the cellular networks and develop corresponding therapies.

White is an associate professor of biological engineering at MIT and a member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He received his PhD from Florida State University in 1997. White is the biomedical education program co-lead and a search subcommittee chair with the MIT Skoltech Initiative.