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Boyce Thompson Institute welcomes Dr. Silvia Restrepo as first female president

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  • Staff Report 

The Boyce Thompson Institute recently announced that Dr. Silvia Restrepo has assumed the role of the research institution’s ninth and first female president. Dr. Restrepo succeeds President David Stern, who has led the organization since 2004. This historic appointment comes as BTI begins its year-long centennial celebration this fall.


Restrepo previously served as the Vice President for Research and Creation at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, where she was also a professor in the Chemical and Food Department. Additionally, she formerly served as the head of the Biological Sciences department and Dean of the School of Sciences.

“We are thrilled to welcome Silvia to BTI. Her extensive experience and numerous accomplishments in experimental plant science and scientific leadership align perfectly with BTI’s mission,” said Stern. “She will be an inspirational leader who will propel BTI researchers and staff to new heights of discovery and impact.”

Restrepo holds a Ph.D. from the University of the Sciences Pierre and Marie Currie, Paris VI, in Paris. Her distinguished research has been recognized with awards such as the Elizabeth Grose Prize, the Third World Academy of Sciences award to young scientists, the Prize from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, the Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Agriculture and Food, the Merit Ordre from the French Government, and the Jakob Eriksson Prize from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Paul Chomet, vice chair of BTI’s Board of Directors and chair of the search committee, welcomed Restrepo’s appointment and praised her achievements and leadership. “Silvia is an outstanding scientist, leader, and innovator who will bring to BTI extensive strategic planning experience, a background in leading and managing diverse teams, a pioneering scientific career in plant pathology, and a connection to an international network of leaders,” he said.

“BTI is a world-class institution with a rich history of discovery,” explained Restrepo. “I am deeply honored to assume the role of president, particularly as the first woman to hold this position, and am eager to contribute to BTI’s mission of advancing plant and life sciences and training the next generation of scientists.”