30 young scientists receive Ph.D.s at Rockefeller’s 61st convocation
Despite a blustery, rainy morning, the afternoon skies auspiciously cleared for convocation day at Rockefeller. This past Thursday, 30 cap-and-gown clad graduates marched behind the university’s flag, accompanied by their mentors and a brass band, from the Weiss Research Building to Caspary Auditorium. There, they were presented for their Ph.D.’s by their mentors, each with a personalized description of their research, heartfelt good wishes for their future endeavors, and bittersweet goodbyes.
“We have a supremely creative and dedicated group of doctoral students,” said Rockefeller’s president Richard P. Lifton. “This graduating class have been integral members of our community of scholars. Through their inspiration and hard work they have become outstanding scientists in their own right. We are immensely proud and excited to be conferring their Ph.D.’s.”
During the ceremony, honorary degrees were also awarded to Russell L. Carson, who until last year chaired the university’s Board of Trustees; Nancy Hopkins, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Paul Nurse, a Rockefeller president emeritus.
Carson has been a steadfast and engaged supporter of the Rockefeller community for nearly 30 years. Under his 13-year-long tenure as board chair, he spearheaded three successful fundraising campaigns that together have raised nearly $2 billion, oversaw a significant expansion of the university’s research programs, participated in the recruitment of 25 faculty members and three presidents, and was instrumental in the creation of the Collaborative Research Center and the newly opened Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus.
Hopkins, the Amgen, Inc. Professor of Biology Emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is an innovator in the fields of gene regulation, cancer-causing viruses, and vertebrate development, and is also known for her advocacy work supporting the equitable treatment of women scientists in academia. Nurse, who served as Rockefeller’s president from 2003 until 2010, is a pioneering geneticist and cell biologist, and founder of The Francis Crick Institute, which he currently directs.
The graduating students are Adele Bubnys, Zhen Chen, May Dobosiewicz, Alejandro Dottore, Bennett Ferris, Yetiş Gültekin, Annie Isabel Chase Handler, Keith A. Hayton, Robert Heler, Doowon Huh, Mirjam Hunziker, Melissa Jarmel, Dylan Kwart, Sofia Mariana Landi, Samantha B. Larsen, In Hae Lee, Molly Zhen Liu, Meghan Aileen Lockard, Alejandro Lopez-Cruz, Iain Martyn, Jon McGinn, Dimitrios Moirogiannis, Maria Victoria Moya, Melissa Pamula, Joan Pulupa, Kimberly Rickman, Daniel Rosen, Matthew Takata, Kouki Touhara, and Sean Fisher Woodward.