Published: July 23, 2012

Stephen Hsu named new MSU research vice president

Contact(s): Layne Cameron Media Communications office: (517) 353-8819 cell: (765) 748-4827

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Stephen Hsu has been named Michigan State University’s vice president for research and graduate studies.

The appointment, approved by the MSU Board of Trustees at a special July 23 meeting, is effective Aug. 20.

Hsu is currently the director of the Institute for Theoretical Science and professor of physics at the University of Oregon.

“In these days of shrinking federal research dollars, it’s imperative that we have the right person for this crucial position,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “The breadth of Stephen Hsu’s experience as a scientist and scholar, as well as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of two companies, give him the background needed to succeed in this critical role.”

Hsu is the founder of SafeWeb, a pioneer in computer network security, and Robot Genius, an Oakland, Calif.-based information security company.

He also serves as scientific adviser to BGI (formerly Beijing Genomics Institute), and as a member of its Cognitive Genomics Lab.

Hsu’s research has been in applications of quantum field theory, particularly to problems related to dark energy, black holes and particle physics.

"I am both excited and honored to accept this position,” Hsu said. “Michigan State University is a world-class research institution that has never lost sight of its land-grant heritage and mission. I look forward to working with the many exceptional researchers, students and administrators at this great university."

After receiving his bachelor of science degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1986, his master’s in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989, and his doctorate in physics from that same institution in 1991, Hsu was named a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows.

He became an assistant professor at Yale University in 1995 and a full professor at the University of Oregon in 2005.

Hsu succeeds Ian Gray, who has served as MSU’s vice president for research and graduate students since 2004.


Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.