Sally Kornbluth

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Sally Kornbluth

Alma materWilliams College
Cambridge University
Scientific career
InstitutionsDuke University
Doctoral advisorHidesaburo Hanafusa
Other academic advisorsJohn Newport
Doctoral studentsDaniel Colón-Ramos Seth Margolis Zachary Schafer Susan Walsh

Sally Kornbluth is a cell biologist and the James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine.[1] In 2014, after a national search, she was selected as Provost of Duke University, the first woman to serve in this role.[2] As Provost, she has overseen a leadership transition in which female Deans have become a majority at Duke.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Kornbluth grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Her mother, Marisa Galvany, was an opera singer.[4]

Kornbluth received a B.A. in political science from Williams College in 1982 and a B.S. in genetics from Cambridge University in 1984, where she was a Herchel Smith Scholar at Emmanuel College. She received a Ph.D. in molecular oncology from the Rockefeller University in 1989, working in the laboratory of Hidesaburo Hanafusa, and performed postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Diego with John Newport.[1][5]


Kornbluth became a member of the faculty at Duke University in 1994. She served as vice dean for basic sciences at Duke University School of Medicine from 2006 to 2014.[6] Her research focuses on cell growth and programmed cell death and how cancer cells evade apoptosis.[7][8] She is also interested in the role of programmed cell death in regulating the length of female fertility in vertebrates, in a mechanism regulated by caspase-2.[5][9]

She received the Basic Science Research Mentoring Award from the Duke School of Medicine in 2012 and the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Duke Medical Alumni Association in 2013. She was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine in 2013.[6]

Kornbluth is an advocate of liberal arts education and has stated that her own experience in a liberal arts education at Williams College led her to a career in the sciences.[10] Ellen Davis, a professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke and a member of the search committee that selected Kornbluth as Provost, commented that Kornbluth's liberal arts education "gives her a strong base to understand and guide our programs."[1] She is also an advocate for on-line learning as a driver of pedagogic innovation.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Sally Kornbluth Named Duke University Provost" (Press release). Duke University. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  2. ^ Muoio, Danielle (1 July 2014). "Meet Sally Kornbluth: the first female provost". The Chronicle (Duke University). Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  3. ^ WRAL (2018-07-26). "'Two remaining men': Female leaders become majority at Duke schools". Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  4. ^ Smith, Robin (31 October 2014). "A scientist's unlikely path, with Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth". Duke Research Blog. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b Sedwick, Caitlin (2014-07-07). "Sally Kornbluth: Nature's incredible contraptions". The Journal of Cell Biology. 206 (1): 4–5. doi:10.1083/jcb.2061pi. ISSN 0021-9525. PMC 4085709. PMID 25002675.
  6. ^ a b "Sally Kornbluth, vice dean for basic science at Duke, named to Institute of Medicine" (Press release). Duke Medicine. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Sally KornBluth, Ph.D." Duke University School of Medicine - Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  8. ^ Matsuura, K.; Huang, N.-J.; Cocce, K.; Zhang, L.; Kornbluth, S. (2017). "Downregulation of the proapoptotic protein MOAP-1 by the UBR5 ubiquitin ligase and its role in ovarian cancer resistance to cisplatin". Oncogene. 36 (12): 1698–1706. doi:10.1038/onc.2016.336. ISSN 1476-5594. PMC 5447866. PMID 27721409.
  9. ^ Nutt, Leta K.; Margolis, Seth S.; Jensen, Mette; Herman, Catherine E.; Dunphy, William G.; Rathmell, Jeffrey C.; Kornbluth, Sally (2005-10-07). "Metabolic regulation of oocyte cell death through the CaMKII-mediated phosphorylation of caspase-2". Cell. 123 (1): 89–103. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2005.07.032. ISSN 0092-8674. PMC 2788768. PMID 16213215.
  10. ^ Yang, Robert (12 March 2014). "Duke appoints Kornbluth as provost". The Williams Record. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  11. ^ Anders, George. "Duke's Sally Kornbluth Gives Online Learning Top Marks". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2019-05-23.