NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Oxford University vice chancellor Andrew Hamilton will take over at the start of next year as president of NYU.

Hamilton will replace outgoing president John Sexton in January 2016, according to NYU.

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He was selected after an eight-month international search process that involved 200 nominees, according to NYU.

In addition to serving as president, Hamilton – a renowned chemist – will maintain an active program of teaching and research, according to NYU.

Hamilton was appointed vice chancellor at the University of Oxford in 2009. Before that, he was provost at Yale University and also served as a professor of chemistry, molecular biophysics, and biochemistry there, according to NYU.

He has also served as a chemistry professor at Princeton University and at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Hamilton’s scholarly background focuses on the intersection of organic and biologic chemistry – focusing in particular on the use of synthetic design to understand, mimic, and potentially disrupt biological processes, NYU said.

Outgoing president Sexton lauded the choice of Hamilton as his successor.

“I love NYU, and I could not be more thrilled with the selection of Andrew Hamilton,” Sexton said in a news release. “I know and admire him, and I am certain he will do great things for the University. For my own part, I have had no higher calling in my life than to be a teacher and to contribute to building strong institutions.”

Sexton will teach at the NYU Law School after stepping down, according to a DNAInfo report.

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Controversy surrounded Sexton’s term as president. Published reports recalled that he received a vote of no confidence from some faculty members in 2013, and he was also strongly criticized for the NYU 2031 expansion plan.