Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne named an Officer of the Order of Canada

Tessier-Lavigne, who holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship,  was recognized for his work in developmental neuroscience, his academic leadership and his advocacy of science.

Portrait of Marc Tessier-Lavigne

President Marc Tessier-Lavigne is among 21 new Officer appointments to the Order of Canada. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Stanford University President Marc has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of that nation’s highest honors.

The award, which was announced today by the Office of the Governor General of Canada, recognized Tessier-Lavigne “for his groundbreaking contributions to developmental neuroscience, and for his renowned academic leadership and strong advocacy of science.”

Tessier-Lavigne, who is the Bing Presidential Professor at Stanford, is a native of Ontario, Canada, and holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship. He is among 21 new Officer appointments to the Order of Canada.

“I am profoundly honored to be appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, alongside fellow citizens who have made remarkable contributions to the life of the country,” he said. “I believe deeply in the value of scientific inquiry and the importance of higher education, so I am gratified to be recognized for my contributions to developmental neuroscience, and for my advocacy for science and for great institutions of learning more broadly. I’m especially grateful to the many talented colleagues I have had the privilege of working with in pursuit of these goals.”

A renowned neuroscientist, Tessier-Lavigne is a world leader in the study of brain development and repair. He and his colleagues revealed how neural circuits in the brain form during embryonic development by identifying molecules that direct the formation of connections among nerve cells. Defects in these mechanisms lead to neurological disorders. These mechanisms also provide targets to assist regeneration of nerve connections after trauma.  His research has also focused on the causes and treatment of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

As the 11th president of Stanford, Tessier-Lavigne, along with Provost Persis Drell, has led the university’s Long-Range Vision initiative. The Vision amplifies Stanford’s contributions through a new model for research universities: accelerating the creation of knowledge, eliminating the lag time in translating knowledge into solutions and speeding the transfer of those solutions to the world.

Tessier-Lavigne has been an active spokesperson for societal support of science, through editorials, advocacy and congressional testimony.

His contributions have been recognized through numerous awards and honors, including the 2020 Gruber Neuroscience Prize, and he has been elected a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Canada, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II. According to the Office of the Governor General, it recognizes “outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.”