Dr. Shirley M. Tilghman, Ph.D. served as the president of Princeton University from June 2001 to June 2013. An exceptional teacher and leading scholar in the field of molecular biology, she served on the Princeton faculty for 15 years before being named president. A native of Canada, Tilghman is renowned not only for her pioneering research, but also for her national leadership on behalf of women in science and for promoting efforts to make the early careers of young scientists as meaningful and productive as possible.
Throughout her career, Tilghman has continued to make major scientific breakthroughs—as a postdoctoral researcher participating in cloning the first mammalian gene, as an independent investigator at the Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia, and as an adjunct associate professor of human genetics, biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. She was a member of the United States National Research Council's committee that set the blueprint for the US effort in the Human Genome Project, and a founding member of the National Advisory Council of the Human Genome Project for the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.
In 2002, Tilghman was one of five winners of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. The following year, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology, and in 2007 was awarded the Genetics Society of America Medal for outstanding contributions to her field. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the Royal Society of London. She serves as a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and as a director of Google Inc.