President Shirley M. Tilghman
(Photo by Denise Applewhite)
Shirley M. Tilghman became Princeton University's
19th president on June
15, 2001. An exceptional teacher and world-renowned scholar
and leader in the field of molecular biology, she had served
on the Princeton faculty for 15 years before being named
president. Tilghman is Princeton's first female president
and also the first not to hold a Princeton degree in more
than a century.
Tilghman, a native of Canada, received her Honors B.Sc.
in chemistry from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario,
in 1968. After two years of secondary school teaching in
Sierra Leone, West Africa, she obtained her Ph.D. in biochemistry
from Temple University in Philadelphia.
Tilghman came to Princeton in 1986 as the Howard A. Prior
Professor of the Life Sciences. Two years later, she also
joined the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an investigator.
In 1998, she took on additional responsibilities as the founding
director of Princeton's multi-disciplinary Lewis-Sigler Institute
for Integrative Genomics.
(Adapted from President