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Bridge Professorships

“Tufts can attract the best faculty by opening avenues that cross disciplinary lines. Great things are bound to happen when we harness and redirect the creative tension between disciplines.”

David Harris, provost and senior vice president

Today’s world is best understood when we hold multiple perspectives in view at once. The lines between the humanities, the social sciences, and natural sciences are blurring in an increasingly interconnected world.

Recognizing the value in collaboration between disciplines, Tufts has created the Bridge Professorships. Supported in part by the Provost’s Office, these tenured positions give departments extra incentive to team up and identify synergies when contemplating new faculty hires.

The inaugural Bridge Professorships will advance teaching and scholarship in two fields that hold considerable promise for interdisciplinary discovery: the role of water in international security and the science that underpins how our brains understand and respond to the world. These first two professorships involve partnerships among the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Individual departments at Tufts have always valued practices that integrate research and education. Bridge Professorships take integration a step further by considering how the respective strengths of two or more fields—whether across departments or across schools—can reinforce each other.

Lab-Made Lungs: What Collaborations Like This Can Do

As but one example of what collaborations like this can accomplish: Bree Aldridge, a biological investigator at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, is teaming up with biomedical engineer David Kaplan, the Stern Family Professor in Engineering, to create artificial lung tissue that she can study in the lab to better understand the causes of tuberculosis. Read more about the power of their partnership.