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President's Message

2012 Conference Toluca, Mexico


In the News

Leslie P. Tolbert, Ph.D. PDF Print E-mail

ImageLeslie P. Tolbert, Ph.D.
Regents’ Professor and
Vice President for Research, Graduate Studies, and Economic Development
The University of Arizona
601 Administration Building
Tucson, AZ 85721
Tel (520) 621-3513
Fax (520) 621 7507
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Leslie Tolbert received her A.B. in applied mathematics from Radcliffe College (Harvard University) in 1973 and her Ph.D. in anatomy from the Division of Medical Sciences of Harvard University in 1978. Following postdoctoral training in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and Harvard University, she served on the faculty at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine for five years before moving to the Arizona Research Laboratories Division of Neurobiology at the University of Arizona. She became a Regents’ Professor in 2002, and in 2005 became the University of Arizona’s Vice President for Research, Graduate Studies, and Economic Development.

As Vice President, she supports the creative activities of a $530M research enterprise, promotes technology transfer and commercialization, and oversees the graduate programs of the university with a special focus on interdisciplinary programs. The university’s Science and Technology Park reports to her, as do the Arizona State Museum, the Flandrau Science Center, the Museum of Art, and the UA Press.

For over 25 years, Dr. Tolbert has led a research group that investigates mechanisms underlying the critical role of sensory input in guiding the development of brain circuitry. Using favorable insect models, she and her colleagues have demonstrated that several glial-cell populations are involved in essential two-way interactions with neurons as olfactory receptor axons find their correct targets and induce the formation of synaptic glomeruli, a hallmark of complex olfactory systems. They currently are exploring the molecular mechanisms that underlie these interactions.

Dr. Tolbert has served as president of the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs and of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, is on councils of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Neuroscience, and is a member of numerous boards, including those of the Arizona Arts, Sciences, and Technology Academy, Arizona Biosciences Roadmap, Arizona Center for Innovation, Arizona Technology Council, Critical Path Institute, Downtown Tucson Partnership, Large Binocular Telescope, Opening Minds Through the Arts, and Southern Arizona Leadership Council.