35th Annual MLK Celebration Leadership Award Recipient: Christine Ortiz

Christine Ortiz

Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

35th Annual MLK Leadership Award

Christine Ortiz is Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.
Christine Ortiz is Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.

The focus of the Ortiz Laboratory at MIT is on structural or load-bearing biological and bio-inspired materials, in particular musculoskeletal (internal to the body) and exoskeletal (external to the body) tissues.

“Professor Ortiz brings considerable experience to graduate student issues,” MIT Chancellor Phillip L. Clay said when she was appointed dean for graduate education in 2010. “Her development and leadership of major projects at MIT and leadership in her profession have been recognized by her peers and in numerous awards.”

A member of the MIT faculty since 1999, Ortiz has served as a member or chair on several department, school and institute committees, including those that focus on undergraduate and graduate education, mentoring, international strategy and diversity. She is a member of MIT’s Initiative on Faculty Race and Diversity and is often invited to speak at panels and workshops geared to improving the experiences of underrepresented minority students and faculty members.

As chair of the DMSE Departmental Committee on Graduate Students since 2008, Ortiz helped lead an extensive review and revision of the department’s graduate curriculum.

She is also the founding and current faculty director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI)-Israel international exchange program. In addition to being honored with an MLK Leadership Award, Prof. Ortiz received a 2008-2009 MISTI Global Seed Fund for their "Nanotechnological Studies of Stem Cell-Based Engineered Tissues for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration" in Israel, along with her colleague, Alan Grodzinsky.

Professor Ortiz, described by Clay as “a prolific researcher,” received her BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and both her MS and PhD from Cornell University, all in the field of materials science and engineering.

Christine Ortiz is appointed dean for graduate education