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News Briefs

Director of Picower to Step Down

Biology professor Susumu Tonegawa announced that he will step down as head of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory on Dec. 31, 2006 when his appointment expires. An interim director will be named before that date, according to an MIT News Office press release.

In a statement sent to members of Picower, Tonegawa explained that his decision to step down was motivated by a desire to devote more time to research, as well as “my belief that, in order to move the neuroscience community at MIT towards a more cooperative spirit and a shared vision of excellence, a new generation of leadership is needed.”

Tonegawa declined to comment further.

Three weeks ago, an investigative committee deemed Tonegawa’s actions during the failed recruitment of a young female scientist as “inappropriate” while stating that his actions were at least somewhat provoked by the actions of other faculty members and administrators. The investigation began after Tonegawa was accused in July of bullying Alla Y. Karpova into declining an assistant professorship in the Biology Department.

The investigative committee is preparing to release a modified version of the report in the coming weeks.

“Professor Tonegawa has shown admirable character in making a decision that he viewed as in the best interests of MIT,” Reif said in an e-mail.

Dean of Science Robert J. Silbey will oversee the process to identify the next Picower director. Silbey did not immediately return a call yesterday.

—Angeline Wang

T Fare to Jump in January

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority fares will rise again in Jan. 2007, a 200 percent increase from Dec. 2003. Local bus lines will cost $1.50, up from 90 cents, subway fares will be $2.00, up from $1.25, and commuter rail fees will also see an increase. Free rides for outbound passengers on the Green Line, as well as exit fares on the Red Line, will also be discontinued, according to the MBTA Web site.

Cheaper fares will be offered for users of the CharlieCard, a plastic ticket that can be reloaded with money and reused. Bus and subway fares with the CharlieCard will cost $1.25 and $1.70, respectively, according to the MBTA Web site. Users of the CharlieCard will receive free transfers to local busses from the subway, and vice versa.

Monthly passes for the bus and rail lines will drop to $59 a month, about a $20 decrease from the current price. The last MBTA fare increase was in Jan. 2004.

—Benjamin P. Gleitzman