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Making Rockefeller my new home

I am honored and delighted to be joining the university on March 16. The past six months have been a busy and exciting period of preparation — for my family and my lab as well as for me personally — as we planned our move to New York. Over these months I have had the opportunity to meet many of ...

Welcoming the Tessier-Lavignes

As chairman of the Board of Trustees it is my great honor and pleasure to welcome Marc Tessier-Lavigne as our 10th president. Through my role as chairman of the search committee that hired Marc, and through my frequent interactions with him since then, I can assure you that he is the right choice...

Neuroscientist Mary Hynes named research associate professor

Marc Tessier-Lavigne’s arrival at Rockefeller means the addition of not one, but two active neuroscience research programs to campus. This summer, Mary Hynes — Dr. Tessier-Lavigne’s wife and a well regarded neuroscientist in her own right — will relocate from Stanford. As research associate ...

The Tessier-Lavigne-Hynes family

Marc Tessier-Lavigne and his wife, Mary Hynes, have three children. Christian (far right), 19, is currently a sophomore at Princeton University; Kyle, 18, is a senior in high school and will attend Dartmouth beginning this fall; and Ella, 12, is currently in seventh grade and will enroll in the D...

Building renovations proceeding despite snow

by ZACH VEILLEUX Despite the winter having so far dumped 43.9 inches more snow than normal on the Upper East Side, major construction projects in Flexner and Welch Halls, and minor renovations to the President’s House in preparation for its new residents, are proceeding on schedule. “Althoug...

Stepping Down

With my time as president of The Rockefeller University coming to an end in just a few weeks I want to take this opportunity — my last column in BenchMarks — to express both how much I appreciate having had the opportunity to lead this great university and the pleasure of working with an outstan...

Amy C. Falls appointed VP for investments

by JOSEPH BONNER The Rockefeller University has appointed Amy C. Falls as chief investment officer and vice president for investments. She succeeds Lisa Danzig, who is leaving Rockefeller after 10 years to pursue new challenges. Ms. Falls begins on April 4, and Ms. Danzig will remain until then t...

Tom Muir to leave Rockefeller for Princeton

by JOSEPH BONNER Tom W. Muir, a chemist who studies molecular recognition in cellular signal transduction, has been appointed the Van Zandt Williams, Jr. Class of 1965 Professor in Chemistry at Princeton University. Dr. Muir is currently dividing his time between the Upper East Side and Princeton...

CoreSource named new health plan administrator

by ZACH VEILLEUX The Rockefeller University has chosen CoreSource, Inc., a national administrator of self-funded health insurance plans, to replace The Principal Financial Group as the university’s third-party benefits administrator. The change in providers, which was effective as of January 1, 2...

Bent to the breaking point

Eighteen inches of wet, heavy snow didn’t just look pretty, it also stuck to tree branches, loading them with hundreds of extra pounds of dead weight. From the perspective of the university’s trees, the January 26 snowstorm was the worst in over a decade. Among the hardest hit were an American h...

Lavoisier painting returns to Rockefeller

by ZACH VEILLEUX For more than 50 years, a dramatic life-size painting of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, considered by many to be the father of modern chemistry, hung in Welch Hall. Painted in 1788 by Jacques-Louis David, it depicts Lavoisier seated at his workbench, lab notebook in hand, surrounded ...

Patricia Wills-Abrahams

by BRETT NORMAN For 20 years, Patricia Wills-Abrahams guaranteed things ran smoothly at Rockfeller’s Office of Planning and Construction. As office manager, she handled financial statements and contacts with outside contractors and made sure the department’s staff was well provisioned. “In th...

Milestones

Awarded: C. David Allis, the 2011 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Science from Brandeis University. He shares the prize with Michael Grunstein, a professor of biological chemistry in the Geffen School of Medicine and the Molecular Biology Institute at UCLA, for e...

Rockefeller joins Pfizer’s Global Centers For Therapeutic Innovation

The Rockefeller University is one of seven major research-based medical centers in New York City to join Pfizer Inc.’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation, which aims to speed the translation of biomedical research into life-saving medicines. The partnerships, the first of which was established la...

Amy C. Falls appointed chief investment officer and vice president for investments

The Rockefeller University announced today that it has appointed Amy C. Falls as chief investment officer and vice president for investments effective April 4, 2011. Falls will oversee the University’s Office of Investments and manage the institution’s endowment, which has an estimated value...

Centerpiece CRC building to be called Greenberg Building

The Collaborative Research Center’s newly opened seven-story “bridging” building, designed to link Smith and Flexner Halls and house meeting rooms and informal spaces for collaboration, has been named in honor of Rockefeller University Emeritus Trustee Maurice Greenberg and his wife, Corinne. ...

The hospital turns 100

This year marks the 100th anniversary of The Rockefeller University Hospital, a unique institution that played a prominent role in biomedical discovery in the 20th century. When the hospital opened its doors in 1910 it became the country’s first clinical research hospital. A hospital unlike any...

New faculty member studies decision-making in flies

by ZACH VEILLEUX Understanding how fruit flies decide when to veer right and when to veer left is important work, not because it will help protect overripe bananas, but because it could lead to insights into how other organisms, including humans, make complex behavioral decisions. Gaby Maimon,...

Four new trustees join board

by JOSEPH BONNER The Board of Trustees elected four new members at its fall meeting on November 17: Holly S. Andersen, H. Rodgin Cohen, Surya N. Mohapatra and John M. Shapiro. The Board now numbers 40. Dr. Andersen is associate professor of medicine, attending cardiologist and director of educ...

New security measures to address recent computer thefts

BY ZACH VEILLEUX A series of recent criminal incidents on Rockefeller’s campus this fall, one of which resulted in a breach of sensitive data, has led the university’s administration to tighten security at the 64th Street gate, plug holes in its surveillance network and formalize an existing da...

Interdisciplinary retreats bring Rockefeller labs together on research

by BRETT NORMAN Last month, the heads of 11 Rockefeller laboratories and researchers working in them gathered at a conference center in Tarrytown, New York, for a weekend retreat focused on genome integrity. From mass spectroscopy to cell cycle and telomere maintenance studies, the scientists sha...

Karolinska collaboration program is revived

by ZACH VEILLEUX The university has restarted a dormant program begun in the early 1980s to fund exchanges between Rockefeller University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Under the terms of new agreements signed with Karolinska in June, selected postdocs and technical staff from Rockefelle...

2010 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize awarded to pioneers of cancer genetics

by JOSEPH BONNER Janet Davison Rowley and Mary-Claire King, pioneering cancer geneticists, are the recipients of the 2010 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize awarded by The Rockefeller University. Created to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding female scientists, the $100,000 prize was presente...

Milestones

Awarded: Jan L. Breslow, the 2010 Research Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. Dr. Breslow is Frederick Henry Leonhardt Professor and head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism. The award was presented November 14 at an American Heart Association meeting in C...

2010 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize goes to two pioneers of cancer genetics

Janet Davison Rowley and Mary-Claire King, pioneering cancer geneticists, are the recipients of the 2010 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize awarded by The Rockefeller University. Created to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding female scientists, the $100,000 prize will be presented at a cerem...

New Rockefeller University lab building opens

A new laboratory building, featuring open floor plans and common areas designed specifically to help foster interactions and facilitate collaboration between scientists working in different specialties, has opened on The Rockefeller University’s campus near 68th Street and York Avenue. The buildi...

Marc Tessier-Lavigne named president

Following a five-month search in which nearly 80 candidates were considered, the university’s Board of Trustees voted on September 8 to name Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a leader in the study of brain development, president. Dr. Tessier-Lavigne, who is currently executive vice president for research and...

A successful presidential search

A few weeks ago, I announced that Marc Tessier-Lavigne had been selected to become the tenth president of The Rockefeller University. Marc is an outstanding scientist and an experienced and thoughtful leader and I was personally delighted when he accepted our offer to serve as Rockefeller’s presi...

Welch Hall renovation to begin in January

by ZACH VEILLEUX The renovation of Welch Hall, which has housed the university’s library since its construction in 1929 and once served as its main dining facility, will begin in January, president Paul Nurse announced last week. The plan to modernize Welch, which has been under development for s...

Jeff Friedman receives Lasker Award for discovery of leptin

Jeffrey M. Friedman, who first came to Rockefeller as a postdoc in 1980 and has been head of laboratory since 1991, is one of two recipients of this year’s Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, considered the most prestigious American prize in science. The Lasker award recognized him fo...

Paul Bieniasz granted tenure

Virologist Paul Bieniasz, who studies retroviruses such as HIV, has been instrumental in discovering how they colonize cells and interact with host proteins as they replicate. This summer, the university’s Board voted to award Dr. Bieniasz tenure and promote him to professor. Dr. Bieniasz’s r...

Luciano Marraffini works to understand how bacteria acquire foreign DNA

by ZACH VEILLEUX Luciano Marraffini, a microbiologist, is interested in how bacterial pathogens modulate the transfer of foreign DNA into their genomes. He joined the university on July 1 as assistant professor and head of the Laboratory of Bacteriology. Fundamentally, Dr. Marraffini wants to un...

Daniel Kronauer uses molecular genetics to study social evolution in insects

by BRETT NORMAN Daniel Kronauer, who will join Rockefeller in July 2011 as head of the Laboratory of Insect Social Evolution, is interested in understanding how evolution operates at different levels of organization in the rich context of insect societies, from the gene to the individual and soci...

Milestones

Awarded: Jean-Laurent Casanova, a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The $100,000 grant is one of 78 announced by the foundation in May to support scientists exploring bold and largely unproven ways to improve health in developing countries. Dr. Casanova...

Paul Nurse named top of the list of 100 most important people in British science

Rockefeller University President Paul Nurse is the number one scientist in a list of the 100 most important people in British science. The list, first of its kind, will be published today in the first anniversary issue of Eureka, the monthly science magazine of London’s daily newspaper, The Ti...

Paul Bieniasz promoted to professor

Virologist Paul Bieniasz, head of Rockefeller’s Laboratory of Retrovirology and a scientist at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, has been awarded tenure and promoted to professor. Bieniasz, who studies retroviruses such as HIV, has been instrumental in discovering how retroviruses coloniz...

Marc Tessier-Lavigne named Rockefeller University’s tenth president

The Rockefeller University announced today that its Board of Trustees has elected Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a leader in the study of brain development who is currently executive vice president for research and chief scientific officer at Genentech, as its tenth president. He will succeed Paul Nurse,...

New faculty member studies evolution of social behavior in insects

A scientist who uses the tools of molecular genetics to study the social evolution of insects has been appointed assistant professor at Rockefeller University. Daniel Kronauer will join Rockefeller in July 2011 as head of the Laboratory of Insect Social Evolution, the third and latest recruit in...

Ted Scovell named director of university’s science outreach program

For some high school students, summer is a time for travel, camping and lying on the beach. But for others, it’s the perfect opportunity to study an HIV coreceptor or a nuclear pore protein. The director of Rockefeller University’s Science Outreach Program, Ted Scovell, can help with that. A...

Convocation 2010

                          With the graduation of its 52nd class, the alumni of The Rockefeller University’s graduate program now number 1,047. This year’s Convocation celebration included a French bistro-themed reception in the President’s House, a luncheon, the tra...

Science, education leaders accept honorary degrees

This year’s recipients of honorary doctor of science degrees, Hanna Holborn Gray and Harold E. Varmus, have played major roles in shaping education and science in the United States. Dr. Gray, president emeritus of the University of Chicago, recently retired after 13 years as chairman of the board...

Teresa Davoli awarded David Rockefeller Fellowship

Teresa Davoli has had a powerful interest in cancer biology since high school, when she started scouring books on the subject. She’s inspired by efforts to find treatments for the deadly diseases that target specific molecular interactions, as opposed to the relatively blunt carpet bombing of che...

Teaching awards honor Gilbert and Rice

Charles D. Gilbert, head of the Laboratory of Neurobiology, and Charles M. Rice, head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease, were the recipients of this year’s Rockefeller University Distinguished Teaching Awards. Established in 2005 to recognize outstanding individual contribution...

Microbiologist to join Rockefeller faculty

A microbiologist who studies how bacterial pathogens modulate the transfer of foreign DNA into their genomes has been named Rockefeller’s newest faculty member. Luciano Marraffini will join the university on July 1 as assistant professor and head of the Laboratory of Bacteriology. His appointment...

37 students to receive Ph.D.s at Rockefeller’s 52nd Commencement

The Rockefeller University will award doctoral degrees to 37 students at its commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 10. In addition, two respected scholars will receive honorary doctor of science degrees: Hanna Holborn Gray, historian, president emeritus of The University of Chicago and chairma...

New faculty member seeks secrets of intestinal immunity

Daniel Mucida, a scientist who studies the mechanisms of intestinal immunity, has been named assistant professor and will join Rockefeller University as head of the Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology in September. Mucida’s appointment was the result of the university’s fall 2009 open faculty s...

Leslie Vosshall promoted to professor

The university’s Board of Trustees has granted tenure to Leslie B. Vosshall, head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior, and she has been promoted from associate professor to become the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor. The Board approved the promotion at its March 10 meeting. Vosshal...

Searching for a new president

As you know, Paul Nurse will be leaving Rockefeller at the end of the year to take up the presidency of the Royal Society in London. The vice chairs of the Board of Trustees and I, together with the Executive Committee of the Board, have now decided on the process we will follow to identify a new...

Smith Hall to open in July

With construction crews from Turner and its subcontractors installing the final finishes in Smith Hall and the bridging building, Planning and Construction is making plans to begin moving the first of eleven labs into their new spaces starting the first week in July. “Everything is on schedul...

Library expands digital offerings

E-books and e-book readers are among new products available for loan by JOSEPH BONNER When publishers first began to offer digital content, electronic access was typically available for just slightly more than a print subscription. Today, according to university librarian Carol Feltes, subscribin...

Debra Black and Ajit Jain elected to Board of Trustees

by JOSEPH BONNER Debra Black, co-founder of the Melanoma Research Alliance, and Ajit Jain, president of the Reinsurance and Specialty Risk Division at Berkshire Hathaway Group, are the newest members of Rockefeller University’s Board of Trustees. They were elected to the board on March 10. M...

Leslie Vosshall granted tenure

by ZACH VEILLEUX The university’s Board of Trustees has granted tenure to Leslie B. Vosshall, head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior, and she has been promoted from associate professor to become the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor. The Board approved the promotion at its March 10 m...

Ted Scovell named new director of Science Outreach

by TALLEY HENNING BROWN Textbooks and Wikipedia are fine for facts, but to really learn science, you need access to a lab. In his new position as director of Rockefeller University’s Science Outreach Program, Ted Scovell, a former high school teacher himself, hopes to give new generations of youn...

Junior gardeners get their hands dirty

The azaleas may be the standout botanical feature on Rockefeller’s campus at the moment, but be on the lookout for new additions. Junior gardeners at the Child and Family Center have begun planting gardens around the westernmost of two fountains on the north side of Caspary Auditorium’s blue dom...

Martin Rees is 2009 Lewis Thomas Prize winner

by JOSEPH BONNER For as long as humans have gazed at the night sky, we have questioned our place in the universe and how and where it all began. Martin Rees, the celebrated British cosmologist and astrophysicist, has chronicled scientists’ speculations about the cosmos through seven volumes of po...

Milestones

Awarded: Nam-Hai Chua, the Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research from the American Society of Plant Biologists. Dr. Chua, Andrew W. Mellon Professor and head of the Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, is honored for his development of fundamental tools essential to co...

Rockefeller immunologist receives Gates Foundation Grand Challenges grant

Rockefeller University has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will support an innovative global health research project conducted by Jean-Laurent Casanova, head of the Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, aim...

New faculty member seeks secrets of intestinal immunity

by ZACH VEILLEUX The skin may be our first line of defense against infection, but its job is easy compared to our intestines. There the body must cope with a constant stream of foreign antigens from our food as well as a flourishing ecosystem of bacteria, viruses and parasites. It must not only f...

Paul Nurse to resign as Rockefeller president to become president of Royal Society of London in December

Paul Nurse, Rockefeller University’s president since 2003, will leave the university in December 2010 to assume the presidency of the Royal Society of London. The Royal Society of London is the British equivalent of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The president of the Royal Society acts...

Announcements

University Web site is redesigned. Communications and Public Affairs and Information Technology have launched phase one of the university’s new Web site design, including the new home page as well as the Scientists & Research, Newswire and About sections. The design overhaul will continue through...