Dr. Christine Ortiz

Dean for Graduate Education
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University
Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University

E-mail:  cortiz <at> mit <dot> edu

As Dean for Graduate Education, Dr. Ortz leads the work of the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE) to develop and administer policies and procedures in conjunction with the Committee on Graduate Programs; create and sustain programs to enhance graduate community and diversity; and complement the efforts of academic departments, including providing central funding for graduate students. In this role, Dr. Ortiz stewards a broad range of endowed funds in support of graduate tuition and stipends, and manages the appropriate disposition of those resources. She also works to develop strategic initiatives across the units of ODGE, the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education, and the Division of Student Life.

Dr. Ortiz’s research program focuses on the ultrastructure and nanomechanics of structural biological materials (musculoskeletal and exoskeletal) with the primary goal being to quantify and understand new nanoscale mechanisms, phenomena, and design principles and how they determine function, quality, and pathology. Dr. Ortiz has supervised a total of 60 students from eight different academic departments. She has over 100 scientific publications in more than 20 different academic journals, and has given more than 100 invited lectures, over 30 of which were international, taking place in 12 countries and at eight different Gordon Research Conferences. She has received over 20 national and international honors, including the National Science Foundation Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Science, Marine Biotechnology, International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering, and Advanced Biomaterials. Dr. Ortiz is also the founding faculty director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) Israel international exchange. She has served on over 25 institute and departmental committees including those that focus on faculty and administration searches, diversity, undergraduate and graduate education, international strategy, and commencement. Professor Ortiz has a strong commitment to teaching, mentoring, and increasing diversity at all educational levels.

Related websites:

Office of the Dean for Graduate Education
URL: http://web.mit.edu/odge/

The Ortiz Laboratory Website
URL: http://web.mit.edu/cortiz/www/

Selected publications:

Bruet, B. J. F.; Song, J.; Boyce, M. C.; Ortiz, C., “Materials Design Principles of Ancient Fish Armor,” Nature Materials, 7(9), 748-756, 2008 (Cover of Issue). View PDF (Featured in: K.D. Jandt, “Fishing for Compliance,” Nature Materials, 7(9), 692-693, 2008. View PDF)

Ortiz, C. and M. C. Boyce, “Bioinspired Structural Materials,” Science 319(5866), 1053-1054, 2008. View PDF

Tai, K., Dao, M., Palazoglu, A., Suresh, S. and C. Ortiz. “Nanoscale Heterogeneity Promotes Energy Dissipation in Bone,” Nature Materials 6(6), 454-462, 2007. View PDF; View Supplementary Materials

Yao, H., Dao, M., Imholt, T., Huang, J., Wheeler, K., Suresh, S., and C. Ortiz, “Protection Mechanisms Informed by the Unique Iron-Plated Armor of a Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vent Gastropod,” PNAS, 107(3), 987-992, 2010. View PDF

Han, L., Frank, E. H., Greene, J. J., Lee, H.-S., Hung, H.-H. K., Grodzinsky, A. J., and C. Ortiz, “Time-Dependent Nanomechanics of Cartilage,” Biophysical Journal, 100(7), 1846-1854, 2011. View PDF

Ulric J. Ferner and Christine Ortiz, “Practical Considerations for the Involvement of Graduate Students in MIT’s International Engagements,” MIT Faculty Newsletter, Vol. XXIII No. 4 March / April 2011. View article


Back to Extended Group Members List