Ralph W. Kuncl, provost of Bryn Mawr College and a national leader in the neurosciences, will become provost of the University of Rochester (UR) on Aug. 1, UR President Joel Seligman announced today. Kuncl succeeds Charles E. Phelps, an eminent health care economist, who is retiring at the end of this academic year after 13 years as the university's chief academic officer. Kuncl achieved distinction as a scientist and an administrator during his long tenure at Johns Hopkins University, where he was a professor of neurology at the School of Medicine from 1983 to 2002. In his last year there, he was named first vice provost for undergraduate education. While he was at Johns Hopkins, his lab discovered the glutamate transporter defect in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. The discovery changed the field and helped lead to the first effective treatment for the disease. He became provost of Bryn Mawr in 2002 and nearly tripled the institution's federal research grant support. Kuncl received a bachelor's degree from Occidental College in 1970 and earned PhD and MD degrees from the University of Chicago. Also an accomplished musician, he performed with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society for 20 years and recently sang in a televised choral performance that won an Emmy, UR said.