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$150 million from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and David Rockefeller launches major campus extension

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of The Rockefeller University, today announced two leadership pledges of $75 million each from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and David Rockefeller to launch a major extension of the University’s campus on the East River. Dr. Tessier-Lavigne said, “These pledg...

Announcements

Tri-I TDI makes modeling software available. The Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, Inc. (Tri-I TDI) has signed an agreement to provide access to Schrödinger’s materials science, biologics and small‑molecule drug discovery suites to researchers within Tri-I TDI’s member insti...

Geneticist Joe Gleeson joins faculty as professor

by WYNNE PARRY Joseph Gleeson, a neurogeneticist who uses genetic sequencing to identify the causes of pediatric brain disease across its spectrum, including epilepsy, autism, intellectual disability and structural disorders, has joined Rockefeller as a professor and established the Laboratory of...

Tenure awarded to Hiro Funabiki

by WYNNE PARRY Hironori Funabiki, head of the Laboratory of Chromosome and Cell Biology, was promoted to professor and granted tenure by the university’s Board of Trustees at its June meeting. Dr. Funabiki studies mitosis, the primary type of cell division that underlies all growth, maintenance a...

New cryo-EM suite expands Rockefeller’s capabilities in structural biology

by ZACH VEILLEUX Structural biology, in which scientists examine the shapes of specific proteins and protein complexes at a molecular scale, has driven some of biology’s most profound discoveries in the past decade, including insights into neurological signaling, pathogenic processes and DNA tran...

Playing doctors: Tri-Institutional Music and Medicine Program features physicians and scientists who also perform music

by LESLIE CHURCH Maybe it’s the fact that they both involve a good amount of discipline, or maybe it’s that each requires a certain flair for creative thought. Whatever the reason, many people find themselves drawn to both music and science, and are often faced with the difficult decision of cho...

Science communicator named new head of Public Affairs

by WYNNE PARRY An endless stream of compelling discoveries emerges regularly from Rockefeller’s research community and it is the job of the Office of Communications and Public Affairs to make sure those findings are accessible internally and externally. The new executive director of the office, F...

Antique vacuum pump finds new home in Pennsylvania

Not as iconic as the breakthrough discoveries and famous names, but a vital part of Rockefeller’s history nonetheless — a pump that supplied vacuum pressure to Rockefeller labs for over half a century — is having its moment in the spotlight. One of the last of its kind in Manhattan, the 1952 p...

130 employees honored for longtime service

Retiring Irma Cardinale Kathleen Cassidy Zheng-Yuan Fu Josip Golja Patrick Griffin Mary Margaret Hickey Ann Ho Artemis Khatcherian Kenneth Kramer Yuk Ching-Ku Tatyana Leonova Ellen Martin Scott McNutt Arquelio Negron John Tooze Yuk-Wah Tsang 60 years Te Piao King Victor Wilson 50 years Vincent A....

Trustee Donald Pels dies at 86

by WYNNE PARRY Don Pels, a member of the university’s Board of Trustees for more than two decades, passed away October 16 at home in Manhattan. Mr. Pels, a media executive, joined the board in 1993 and provided crucial support for basic science over many years. A gift he made in 1988 established ...

Professor Emeritus Peter Marler, researcher of songbird learning, dies

by WYNNE PARRY Professor Emeritus Peter Robert Marler, whose work in songbird learning established a foundation for understanding how animals communicate, died July 5 at the age of 86 in Winters, California. Dr. Marler joined Rockefeller’s faculty in 1966 and helped establish the Millbrook ...

Lino Saez, 1954-2014, developed new techniques to study circadian clocks

by ZACH VEILLEUX Lino Saez, a senior research associate and member of Michael W. Young’s Laboratory of Genetics for nearly 30 years, died October 24 at the age of 60. Born in Traiguen, Chile, Dr. Saez was the second youngest of eight brothers and the only one to leave for a career outside of Chil...

Milestones

Awarded: C. David Allis, the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. The award recognizes Dr. Allis “for the discovery of covalent modifications of histone proteins and their critical roles in the regulation of gene expression and chromatin organization, advancing the understanding of diseases ...

Hironori Funabiki promoted to professor

Hironori Funabiki, head of the Laboratory of Chromosome and Cell Biology, has been promoted to professor and granted tenure by the university’s Board of Trustees. Funabiki joined Rockefeller as assistant professor in 2002 and has been associate professor since 2007; his promotion to professor is ...

Convocation 2014

The 2014 Convocation awarded 23 Ph.Ds to Rockefeller graduate fellows, bringing the total number of Rockefeller alumni to 1,150. The luncheon preceding the ceremony was held for the first time in the new, grandly restored Great Hall of Welch. Following tradition, faculty mentors joined their stud...

Honorary degrees awarded to Gurdon, Robertson and Yamanaka

by ZACH VEILLEUX In addition to 23 students, three seasoned contributors to basic science — two Nobel Prize winners and a philanthropist — received degrees from Rockefeller this year. In a tradition dating back more than five decades, the university awarded honorary doctorate of science degrees...

David Rockefeller Fellowship awarded to two neuroscientist third-years

by LESLIE CHURCH Given annually, the David Rockefeller Fellowship is intended for an outstanding third-year student who demonstrates exceptional promise as a scientist and a leader. This year, for the first time, the award has been given to two recipients, a decision that is a testament to the hi...

Coming soon, to The David Rockefeller Program

As the graduating class of 2014 moves on to the next stages of life and career, the Rockefeller community welcomes the incoming group of graduate fellows. There were 744 applications received this year, and after careful consideration by the admissions committee, 77 applicants were offered admiss...

Mucida, Smogorzewska honored with teaching awards

Rockefeller University is best known for its innovative research. But the courses it offers, and the teachers who lead them, are no less impressive. Two such faculty members were honored at this year’s Convocation luncheon with Distinguished Teaching Awards: Daniel Mucida, assistant professor and...

Jennifer Jeanne Bussell

Jennifer Jeanne Bussell Presented by Leslie B. Vosshall B.A., University of Chicago Abdominal-B Neurons Control Drosophila Virgin Female Receptivity           I am pleased to present Jennifer Bussell to you today. Jennifer hails from South Carolina, where she graduated from the South Car...

Rohit Chandwani

Rohit Chandwani Presented by Alexander Tarakhovsky A.B., Harvard College M.D., Yale University School of Medicine Stochastic Activation of Enhancers in the Innate Immune Response by the Histone Demethylase JMJD2D           Rohit Chandwani joined my lab after completing his M.D. training...

Chiung-Ying Chang

Chiung-Ying Chang Presented by Elaine Fuchs B.S., M.S., National Taiwan University Coordinating Stem Cell Behavior in the Hair Follicle           Chiung-Ying Chang received her bachelor and master of science degrees from National Taiwan University. She joined my laboratory in summer 2009...

Eric Fritz

Eric Fritz Presented by F. Nina Papavasiliou A.B., Harvard College Genome-wide Characterization of the Effects of Nucleic Acid Modifying Enzymes: Cytidine Deaminases and DNA Methylation           In biology, to show that something happens, what we call a positive result, is easy. To demo...

Paul William Furlow

Paul William Furlow Presented by Sohail Tavazoie B.S., Michigan State University M.S., Northwestern University Mutations in a Mechanosensitive Channel Enable Intravascular Metastatic Cell Survival           Paul infuses a large dose of vitality into all that he does. This is most apparent...

Daniel B. Gilmer

Daniel B. Gilmer Presented by Vincent A. Fischetti B.S., Howard University Studies of a Novel Phage Lytic Enzyme, PlySs2           Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are viruses that infect bacteria. There are about 10 million phages per gram of soil or milliliter of water, so recent e...

Claire Ellen Hamilton

Claire Ellen Hamilton Presented by F. Nina Papavasiliou B.S., Yale University Transcriptome-wide Characterization of APOBEC1-catalyzed RNA Editing Events in Macrophages           It is uncommon for a graduate student to work in a brand new area, especially in a branch of biology, such as...

Evan Heller

Evan Heller Presented by Elaine Fuchs B.A., Columbia University Forces Generated by Cell Intercalation Tow Epidermal Sheets in Mammalian Tissue Morphogenesis           Evan Heller contacted me shortly after he was accepted to Rockefeller’s Ph.D. Program, and inquired about a possible r...

Jessica Sook Yuin Ho

Jessica Sook Yuin Ho Presented by Alexander Tarakhovsky B.S., University of Wisconsin–Madison Chromatin Control of the Antiviral Response to Influenza           Jessica Ho joined the university as part of the A*STAR program from Singapore. She entered as a “star” and never ceased t...

Matthew Thomas Holt

Matthew Thomas Holt Presented by Tom Muir B.S., Western Washington University Identification of a Functional Hotspot on Ubiquitin Required for Stimulation of Methyltransferase Activity on Chromatin           Matt Holt hails from Seattle and, like many from that part of the world, was lure...

James Letts

James Letts Presented by Sidney Strickland on behalf of Roderick MacKinnon B.Sc., University of Victoria Functional and Structural Studies of the Human Voltage-gated Proton Channel           I apologize, James, for not being here in person to celebrate this well deserved accomplishment. ...

Jeff Liesch

Jeff Liesch Presented by Leslie B. Vosshall B.S., University of Maryland–College Park The Neuropeptide Regulation of Host-seeking Behavior in Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes           I am pleased to present Jeff Liesch to you today. Jeff came to Rockefeller with impressive research credentia...

María Maldonado

María Maldonado Presented by Frederick R. Cross on behalf of Tarun Kapoor member of the graduating class of 2013 B.A., M.Sci., University of Cambridge Examining the Regulation of Cell Division by the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint           When we enter a different country we need valid p...

Christina B. Marney

Christina B. Marney Presented by Robert B. Darnell B.Sc., University of East Anglia RNA Deregulation in Metastatic Breast Cancer           Tina was a top honors, straight A student as an undergrad at the University of East Anglia, which turns out to be just beneath a place called the Twe...

Jacob N. Oppenheim

Jacob N. Oppenheim Presented by Marcelo O. Magnasco A.B., Princeton University Charting the Vasculome: High Resolution Maps of the Vasculature of Entire Organs           Richard Feynman said prophetically in 1959, as he heralded both nanotechnology and molecular biophysics, that “there...

Nora Pencheva

Norah Pencheva Presented by Sohail Tavazie B.A., Kenyon College Identification of a MicroRNA Network that Regulates Melanoma Metastasis and Angiogenesis by Targeting ApoE           Nora hails from a tiny town in central Bulgaria. There are two things that she absolutely loves: her nightli...

K. Rashid Rumah

K. Rashid Rumah Presented by Vincent A. Fischetti B.S. Stanford University The Origin of Multiple Sclerosis Revisited: The Case for a Soluble Toxin             Multiple sclerosis is a devastating neurological disease that attacks people in the prime of their lives. Though intensive res...

Neel Shah

Neel Shah Presented by Tom Muir B.S., New York University Split Inteins: From Mechanistic Studies to Novel Protein Engineering Technologies           Neel Shah joined the Rockefeller graduate program in the fall of 2008 following undergraduate studies at NYU where he graduated with top ho...

Frej Tulin

Frej Tulin Presented by Frederick R. Cross M.S., KTH Royal Institute of Technology Exploration of Cell Cycle-specific Essential Gene Functions in the Microbial Plant Chlamydomonas reinhardtii           My laboratory has worked in the budding yeast model system for some years. Many labs ha...

Siddarth Venkatesh

Siddarth Venkatesh Presented by Paul Bieniasz B. Tech, University of Madras Ph.D. Auburn University Mechanism and Evolutionary Origins of HIV-1 Virion Entrapment by Tetherin           For his thesis project Siddarth Venkatesh worked on a protein, called tetherin, that is expressed in res...

New faculty member uses genetic sequencing to investigate childhood brain disease

Joseph Gleeson, a neurogeneticist who hunts down genes responsible for devastating neurodevelopmental disorders, has joined The Rockefeller University and has established the Laboratory of Pediatric Brain Diseases. Gleeson, formerly a professor at the University of California, San Diego, is one o...

Structural biologist, focused on cell transport machinery, to join faculty

Jue Chen, a structural biologist whose research focuses on transporter proteins that act as the cell’s pumping machinery, will join The Rockefeller University as professor and head of laboratory in July. Chen, currently a tenured professor of biology at Purdue University in Indiana and a Howard H...

Structural biologist, focused on cell transport machinery, to join faculty

by WYNNE PARRY Jue Chen, a structural biologist whose research focuses on transporter proteins that act as the cell’s pumping machinery, will join Rockefeller as professor and head of laboratory in July. Dr. Chen, currently a tenured professor of biology at Purdue University in Indiana, is especi...

Drug discovery fund begins making grants

by LESLIE CHURCH A new $25 million initiative, created earlier this academic year to help develop basic research discoveries into new medical therapies, has had a promising launch, with $1.55 million in awards granted to Rockefeller scientists in its initial phase. The first awards are for proof-...

Inaugural ‘Science Saturday’ draws families

Watch and learn. An attendee of Rockefeller’s Science Saturday event, held in May, looks on as A. James Hudspeth, F.M. Kirby Professor and head of the Laboratory of Sensory Neuroscience, demonstrates how nerve cells send electrical signals. Jointly hosted by the Development Office’s Parents & Sc...

Tri-I drug discovery institute soon to announce first projects

by LESLIE CHURCH The Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute (Tri-I TDI), an initiative with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College begun last fall to help expedite early-stage drug discovery, will announce this month the first projects it has selected...

IT amps up bandwidth, eases genomic data transfers

by LESLIE CHURCH For labs on campus that sequence genomes — and share those large data sets with other institutions — a recent quadrupling in internet bandwidth means an end to the practice of slowing down uploads or scheduling them during overnight hours. In April the university upgraded its i...

Surgeon and writer Atul Gawande awarded Lewis Thomas Prize

by LESLIE CHURCH Among the limits of modern medicine is the element of human error. Atul Gawande, surgeon, professor, writer and public health researcher, reminds us that doctors make mistakes. But as an advocate for reducing error and increasing efficiency in health care, he also wants to help t...

Nobel laureate and longtime faculty member Gerald Edelman dies at 84

by LESLIE CHURCH Gerald M. Edelman, a Rockefeller alumnus, former faculty member and Nobel laureate who uncovered the chemical structure of the antibody in 1961, died on May 18 at the age of 84. A graduate of Henry Kunkel’s laboratory and a member of the university’s second graduating class, D...

Milestones

Awarded: C. David Allis, the 2014 Japan Prize in Life Sciences from the Japan Prize Foundation, for his pioneering work in epigenetics and his discovery that chemical modifications of DNA-packaging proteins play a key role in regulating the activity of individual genes. The prize, worth approxima...

Twenty-four students receive Ph.D.s at Rockefeller’s 56th Convocation

The Rockefeller University awarded doctoral degrees to 24 students at its convocation ceremony today. Additionally, the university awarded three honorary degrees, to John Gurdon, Julian Robertson and Sinya Yamanaka. Gurdon and Yamanaka are 2012 Nobel Prize laureates known for discoveries related ...

Rockefeller ranks first in scientific impact among list of global institutions

The Rockefeller University has the highest percentage of frequently cited scientific publications of 750 top universities worldwide, according to the CWTS Leiden Ranking, which measures citation impact and scientific collaboration. The ranking, conducted by the Center for Science and Technology S...

NY City Council approves new Rockefeller laboratory building

The Rockefeller University’s proposal to build a two-story, 160,000 square foot building over the FDR Drive adjacent to its campus passed an important milestone today with the City Council’s vote to approve the plan. The project now awaits final approval by the mayor following a five-day review ...

Announcements

Registration to be required for bicycles. In an effort to encourage safe bicycle use and eliminate abandoned bikes, the university is implementing a bicycle registration program. Required permits will be issued at the security desk in Founder’s Hall for no charge. Beginning February 3, any bike t...

"River Building" is approved by community board

by ZACH VEILLEUX The university’s formal application for city zoning approval to build a 160,000 square foot laboratory building over the FDR Drive has been approved by Community Board 8, a key step in the city’s multi-agency review of the project. The “River Building” proposal grew out ...

Tim O’Connor named VP and chief of staff

by ZACH VEILLEUX When Timothy P. O’Connor left his faculty position in the department of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in 2009, it was for an opportunity he couldn’t pass up — to be associate provost for science and technology at Yale University. He would be a key part of ...

New faculty member studies ribosome structure

by ZACH VEILLEUX Sebastian Klinge, named to Rockefeller’s faculty in June as its newest tenure-track member, is a biochemist and structural biologist interested in understanding the ribosome, the cell’s protein factory. Dr. Klinge’s laboratory, the Laboratory of Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemi...

John Tooze, VP of scientific and facility operations, retires

by LESLIE CHURCH John Tooze, known as much for his wry British wit as for the immense role he’s had in shaping the university’s scientific infrastructure over the last eight years, retired from his position as vice president of scientific and facility operations in May 2013. Dr. Tooze leaves a...

Events celebrate longtime employee service at Rockefeller

Several ceremonies were held last year to commemorate years of service to the university by Rockefeller employees. In November, 33 members of the university were celebrated for 10 years of service. And in May, an Employee Recognition Reception was held to honor 31 employees who have worked at Roc...

New university Board members have backgrounds in medicine and finance

by LESLIE CHURCH The university’s Board of Trustees elected three new members in 2013: Anna Chapman, a psychiatrist in private practice in New York; Elizabeth Rivers Curry, founder and managing director of Eagle Capital Management, an investment firm; and Jonathan M. Nelson, chief executive offi...

James Simons honored with Life Trusteeship; Pat Rosenwald voted Emeritus Trustee

by LESLIE CHURCH The Rockefeller Board of Trustees has conferred its highest honor — one that has been given only twice previously — on James Simons, the philanthropist, mathematician and investment manager who has served on the univeristy’s Board since 2000. For his exceptional service to Roc...