Dr. Hawkins began his academic career at San Diego State University where he earned a degree in Life Sciences, magna cum laude in 1963. After brief assignments on the faculty at San Diego State, Dr. Hawkins entered Harvard University in 1964 (full scholarship) and received a PhD Degree in Physiology from that prestigious institution in 1969.
From Harvard, Dr. Hawkins became a Research Fellow at Oxford University, from 1969 to 1971 with Sir Hans Krebs (Nobel Prize recipient) where he became seriously interested and involved in research on the brain. After Oxford, Dr. Hawkins held research positions in the National Institute for Mental Health and from 1974 until 1976 he served as Chief of the Physical Sciences Branch of the Food and Drug Administration of the US Department of Health Education and Welfare.
This was followed by faculty appointments at New York University as Associate Professor of Experimental Neurosurgery and Physiology (1976-1977), and at Penn State (1977-1988) where Dr. Hawkins was Professor of Anesthesiology and Physiology and Chief of the Division of Anesthesiology and Metabolic Research.
In 1988, Dr. Hawkins came to Finch University (now Rosalind Franklin University), serving as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics until assuming the position of Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs in June 1993. In December 1998, Dr. Hawkins was named Provost and subsequently President of the University in April 1999. Dr. Hawkins resigned as President at the end of 2002 to resume his teaching and research career as Professor of Physiology.
Throughout his academic career, Dr. Hawkins has maintained his significant original research on the brain -- supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and other agencies. Dr. Hawkins has published many original scientific articles, and has achieved international recognition for his discoveries and the development of important new knowledge that he has shared freely with the scientific communities here and abroad.
Dr. Hawkins, who is fluent in Spanish, married Enriqueta Elias (from Valencia, Spain) and resides in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. and Mrs. Hawkins have two sons: Richard (MD ‘00) and Paul (PhD ‘95, MD ‘97) both of whom are Anesthesiologists.