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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday named Sally A. Kornbluth, a cell biologist and provost of Duke University, its next president.

She will succeed L. Rafael Reif, who is stepping down after 10 years leading MIT.

“The ethos of MIT, where groundbreaking research and education are woven into the DNA of the institution, is thrilling to me,” Kornbluth said. “The primary role of academic leadership is in attracting outstanding scholars and students, and in supporting their important work. And when it comes to the impact of that work, MIT is unparalleled—in the power of its innovations, in its ability to move those innovations into the world, and in its commitment to discovery, creativity, and excellence.”