Stanford University's governing board has named a neuroscientist who leads a prestigious graduate school in New York City as the California university's next president.

The Board of Trustees announced that Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of The Rockefeller University, will become Stanford's 11th president on Sept. 1. Tessier-Lavigne will succeed President John Hennessy, who plans to return to teaching and research this summer after almost 16 years at the university's helm.

Tessier-Lavigne, originally from Canada, was a professor at Stanford from 2001 to 2005. He was the chief scientific officer at biotechnology company Genentech before he assumed the presidency of The Rockefeller University in March 2011.

The trustees say he was the unanimous choice of a 19-member committee charged with finding Hennessy's replacement.