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Holden Thorp, Ph.D.

  • Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
    Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
    Member, Rework America Task Force

Holden Thorp, Ph.D., became Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Washington University on July 1, 2013. He holds appointments in the Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine as well as in the Department of Chemistry in Arts & Sciences.

Thorp joined the university after spending three decades at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he served as the 10th chancellor from 2008 through 2013.

A North Carolina native, Thorp began his academic career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a B.S. in chemistry. He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and completed post-doctoral work at Yale University. He holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from North Carolina Wesleyan College.

Thorp co-founded Viamet Pharmaceuticals, which has drugs in clinical trials for prostate cancer and fungal disease. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Humanities Center, the Board of Directors of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board.

Thorp teaches a class in higher education administration in Arts and Sciences. He grew up in the theater and has appeared in Company, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and Elephant’s Graveyard in the Performing Arts Department at WU.

Thorp’s wife Patti has an MFA in theater management from the Yale School of Drama. Their son, John, is a guitarist and their daughter is a Shakespearean actor who was seen most recently as Queen Eleanor in King John.