Holden Thorp became Editor-in-Chief of the Science family of journals in October 2019. He came to Science from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was provost from 2013 to 2019 and where he is Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor and holds appointments in both chemistry and medicine.
Thorp joined Washington University after spending three decades at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where he served as the 10th chancellor from 2008 through 2013.
A North Carolina native, Thorp started at UNC as an undergraduate student and earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1986. He earned a doctorate in chemistry in 1989 at the California Institute of Technology, working with Harry B. Gray on inorganic photochemistry. He completed postdoctoral work at Yale University with Gary W. Brudvig, working on model compounds and reactions for the manganese cluster in the photosynthetic reaction center. He holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from North Carolina Wesleyan College and is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In his research career, Thorp studied electron-transfer reactions of nucleic acids, developed technology for electronic DNA chips, and cofounded Viamet Pharmaceuticals, which developed oteseconazole, now held by Mycovia Pharmaceuticals and in preparation for a new drug application in 2021 following successful Phase 3 trials.
Thorp is a venture partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, a consultant to Ancora, and is on the board of directors of the College Advising Corps and Artizan Biosciences. Thorp is the coauthor, with Buck Goldstein, of two books on higher education: Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the Twenty-First Century and Our Higher Calling: Rebuilding the Partnership Between America and its Colleges and Universities, both from UNC Press.