Interdisciplinary researcher James Olds has joined the National Science Foundation as assistant director of the Directorate for Biological Sciences, NSF announced Wednesday.
The academic leader, who starts in his new role in October 2014, is a molecular neuroscience professor at George Mason University and serves as director and chief academic unit officer at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at GMU.
He sits on the board of several public and private organizations, and has heavily contributed to scientific public policy making.
One of Olds’ global projects, called the Decade of the Mind, sought to advance studies on how the human brain works and helped inspire President Barack Obama’s own BRAIN Initiative, NSF says.
“In addition to his leadership, his commitment to interdisciplinary research at Krasnow and his experience with developing scientific policy will be of great benefit to NSF and to the research community we serve,” NSF Director France A. Cordova said.
Olds took up chemistry at Amherst College and earned his doctorate at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.