Women & Science News
Rockefeller News, August 12, 2022
At first glance, mosquito olfaction makes no sense. The way the mosquito organizes its sensation of smell is completely unexpected,” says Leslie Vosshall, Rockefeller’s Robin Chemers Neustein Professor and Chief Scientific Officer of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “But for the mosquito it makes perfect sense. Every neuron that interprets smell is redundant in such a way that the olfactory system is essentially unbreakable. This may explain why we haven’t found a way to break mosquitoes’ attraction to humans.
Rockefeller News, July 28, 2022
Lamia Wahba, the newest addition to The Rockefeller University faculty, discovered a key mechanism of non-genetic inheritance in the nematode C. elegans, and has since launched a deeper investigation into the mysteries of non-genetic inheritance. Wahba will join Rockefeller January 1, 2023, as a tenure-track assistant professor and head of laboratory.
Rockefeller News, July 18, 2022
A new study suggests that stem cells are able to integrate cues from their surroundings and coordinate their behavior across the tissue through networks of vasculature in their close vicinity. “The key to treating these diseases will be to figure out who talks to whom in this ecosystem and how we can reset the communication networks,” says Rachel Niec, a clinical scholar in the laboratory of Elaine Fuchs.
Rockefeller News, July 1, 2022
Until this spring, The Rockefeller University art collection contained 35 portraits—all depicting historical male scientists and benefactors. But on April 14, when a new portrait by artist Brenda Zlamany was unveiled over the fireplace in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Reception Hall, five preeminent women scientists joined the university’s portraiture collection.
Rockefeller News, June 23, 2022
Theodora Hatziioannou co-led a study with colleagues Michel C. Nussenzweig and Paul Bieniasz that analyzed blood samples from patients who received a booster. Researchers showed that the third dose galvanizes memory B cells into producing potent and versatile antibodies that neutralize both the original virus and its many variants.
Rockefeller News, May 31, 2022
A new study from the Laboratory of Morphogenesis at The Rockefeller University, co-led by Amy Shyer and Alan Rodrigues, reveals that developmental patterns can emerge spontaneously from physical interactions between cell collectives and the matrix that surrounds them.
Rockefeller News, May 11, 2022
Titia de Lange, Ph.D., Leon Hess Professor and head of the Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics, and director of Rockefeller’s Anderson Center for Cancer Research, has been elected a foreign member of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s academy of sciences.
Rockefeller News, April 6, 2022
Elizabeth Campbell, Ph.D. among other Rockefeller scientists took a close look at one antibiotic, fidaxomicin, used to treat Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, one of the most common healthcare-associated infections. The researchers demonstrated at a molecular level how fidaxomicin selectively targets C. diff while sparing the innocent bacterial bystanders.
Penn Medcine News, April 5, 2022
Former Women & Science Fellow and RU alumna, Elizabeth Heller, Ph.D was featured in Penn Medicine News. Her 10-person lab at UPenn is focused on molecular brain mechanisms, aiming to uncover chronic changes that can happen and keep happening in the brain long after exposure to addictive substances like cocaine ends.
Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2022
The Wall Street Journal featured Rockefeller’s Dr. Theodora Hatziioannou in an article regarding the emergence of the BA.2 Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. Based on an analysis of the structural difference between BA.2 and the earlier Omicron variant, Dr. Hatziioannou stresses their similarities and discusses BA.2’s likely responses to vaccines and treatments.
Rockefeller News, January 24, 2022
Protein folding diseases, from Alzheimer’s to Gaucher’s, may one day be treated by a unique class of protein corrector molecules that are already helping manage cystic fibrosis. Jue Chen and her lab’s research could have wide-ranging implications, enabling the development of novel drugs for a spectrum of illnesses linked to improper protein folding.
ASBMB Today, December 22, 2021
Rockefeller’s Elaine Fuchs won the 2022 Bert and Natalie Vallee Award in Biomedical Science for her foundational research showing how stem cells create, maintain and repair our skin.
Rockefeller News, November 29, 2021
Epidermal stem cells derived from the hair follicle are almost indistinguishable from stem cells native to the epidermis. But the memory of their journey to the surface changes their approach to wound repair. In a new study, Rockefeller’s Elaine Fuchs’s and her team focus on minor everyday skin injuries.
Rockefeller News, October 26, 2021
Decades of research have established dopamine’s contribution to several seemingly unrelated brain functions including learning, motivation, and movement, raising the question of how a single neurotransmitter can play so many different roles. In a new study, Rockefeller’s Vanessa Ruta and her team dive deep into the question by looking instead at the much simpler brain of the fruit fly, whose neurons and their connections have been mapped in detail
Rockefeller News, October 18, 2021
Mary E. Hatten, a pioneering researcher investigating how the brain develops, Charles M. Rice, a Nobel laureate who studies pathogenic viruses and innate antiviral immune mechanisms, and Leslie B. Vosshall, who investigates how mosquitoes seek out and bite human hosts, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Membership in the academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the fields of health and medicine.
Rockefeller News, October 1, 2021
Katalin Karikó, whose discovery of how to keep synthetic RNA from activating the innate immune system paved the way for RNA vaccines, including two for SARS-CoV-2, will receive the 2022 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize.
Rockefeller News, September 23, 2021
Three Rockefeller faculty members have been named investigators of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, including Vanessa Ruta, head of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior. These researchers are among just 33 biomedical scientists nationwide chosen to become HHMI investigators this year.
Rockefeller News, September 17, 2021
Leslie B. Vosshall, a Rockefeller faculty member known for her research on how the tiny but deadly mosquito perceives and processes sensory information, has been appointed vice president and chief scientific officer of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
Popular Science, August 4, 2021
The nose is, at its most basic level, a tool for filtering through the chemicals of the outside world, sorting, weighing, and categorizing the trillions of molecules of all shapes and sizes that waft over us. In a study out this week, scientists opened a window into a basic step in the sensation. Reporting Wednesday in Nature, researchers documented the first images of an odor receptor at work—providing clues on how animals have evolved to sort through that endless variety.
Rockefeller News, August 4, 2021
“The olfactory system has to recognize a vast number of molecules with only a few hundred odor receptors or even less,” says Rockefeller neuroscientist Vanessa Ruta. “It’s clear that it had to evolve a different kind of logic than other sensory systems.” In a new study, Ruta and her colleagues offer answers to the decades-old question of odor recognition by providing the first-ever molecular views of an olfactory receptor at work.
Rockefeller News, July 27, 2021
When a tissue experiences inflammation, its cells remember. Pinning proteins to its genetic material at the height of inflammation, the cells bookmark where they left off in their last tussle. Next exposure, inflammatory memory kicks in. A new study in Cell Stem Cell describes the mechanism behind inflammatory memory, also commonly referred to as trained immunity, and suggests that the phenomenon may be universal across diverse cell types.
Rockefeller News, July 22, 2021
A new exhibit recognizing the winners of Rockefeller’s Pearl Meister Greengard Prize was unveiled last month in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Lounge. Composed of translucent, color-shifting hexagons, each with an etched portrait and citation, the exhibit spotlights the 22 outstanding women scientists honored to date with the prestigious prize. Each year, newly named awardees will be added to the tessellating mosaic exhibit designed by C&G Partners.
Rockefeller News, July 12, 2021
In a new study, Rockefeller’s Vanessa Ruta and colleagues investigate how a fruit fly’s brain in the state of arousal converts a female from an indifferent visual object to a target of desire. Their findings, published in Nature, describe a sort of neural switchboard in the fruit fly’s brain that reroutes sensory information to produce different responses. “This is a fundamental question in neuroscience,” Ruta says. “How are brains able to switch the way that they react to the same stimulus?”
Quanta Magazine, June 21, 2021
Researchers have finally seen how some smell receptors bind to odor molecules. The work yields new insights into one of the most mysterious and versatile senses. (Vanessa Ruta is featured in the article.)
Rockefeller News, March 29, 2021
Physician-scientist Mary Jeanne Kreek, the Patrick E. and Beatrice M. Haggerty Professor and a senior attending physician at The Rockefeller University, died March 27 at the age of 84. Kreek was best known for her research into the biology of drug and alcohol addiction. Her work not only yielded new treatments for these disorders, but also influenced societal attitudes toward them.
Rockefeller News, March 25, 2021
Paula Volent, a leading investment manager who oversaw Bowdoin College’s $2 billion endowment for two decades, has been named Rockefeller’s next vice president and chief investment officer. She will assume stewardship of the university’s endowment starting August 15.
Rockefeller News, February 19, 2021
Male mosquitoes won’t bite you. For one thing, they cannot—males are hopelessly bad at finding humans and lack a specialized stylet to pierce your skin. But even if they could bite you, they would not want to. A new study from the laboratory of Rockefeller’s Leslie Vosshall helps explain why.
Rockefeller News, December 11, 2020
Marina Caskey, a clinical scientist who leads human trials of immunotherapies for infectious disease, has been promoted to Professor of Clinical Investigation. She is a member of Michel Nussenzweig’s Laboratory of Molecular Immunology.
Rockefeller News, December 1, 2020
As time goes by, the tips of your chromosomes—called telomeres—become shorter. This process has long been viewed as an unwanted side-effect of aging, but a recent study shows it is in fact good for you. New results from Titia de Lange’s lab provide the first evidence that telomere shortening helps prevent cancer in humans, likely because of its power to curtail cell division.
Rockefeller News, October 12, 2020
The human blood meal is a favorite recipe for female mosquitoes. So drawn to its taste, they can’t help but bite—and in the process they spread diseases that claim 500,000 lives each year. Yet scientists aren’t sure how the insects can even sense the complex taste of blood, or how they know that this, of all things, is something to gorge on.
New York Times, October 7, 2020
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded on Wednesday to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for their 2012 work on the development of Crispr-Cas9, a method for genome editing. The announcement marks the first time a science Nobel has been awarded to two women.
Rockefeller News, September 29, 2020
Rockefeller scientist Priya Rajasethupathy explores the genetic and mechanical basis of working memory. “There were in fact hints from earlier research that multiple brain structures are somehow involved in working memory,” says Priya Rajasethupathy, neuroscientist at Rockefeller University. “Our new findings give us more-tangible insights into what these areas are and how they are contributing.”
Rockefeller News, September 2, 2020
A team led by Rockefeller’s Elaine Fuchs found that mechanical properties of the tissue elements that surround pre-malignant tumor cells powerfully shape the development of two of the most common forms of skin cancer, causing one to become far more aggressive and invasive than the other.
Bulgari Supports Rockefeller University COVID-19 Research and Fellowships to Support Women Scientists
Forbes, September 8, 2020
In its ongoing efforts to integrate social, cultural and environment issues into its overall corporate structure, Bulgari announces several important initiatives in support of the Rockefeller University research programs. Perhaps top among them is its establishment of The Bulgari Women & Science Fellowship Fund to assist women in research, and the Bulgari Clinical Fund to finance clinical testing of new therapies and vaccines.
Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, June 26, 2020
2019 Blavatnik Regional Award Winner Laura Duvall is continuing her research on the neurobiology of mosquito behavior, looking for ways to control the world-wide mosquito population and prevent disease spread
Rockefeller News, June 4, 2020
The discovery of a rare mutation in BRCA2, commonly known as the breast cancer gene, has shed new light on how cells safeguard their genetic material.
The Moth, June 3, 2020
Sarah Schlesinger was featured in an episode of The Moth Radio Hour, discussing her earliest experiences at RU and her work with the late Nobel laureate Ralph Steinman.
Rockefeller News, May 12, 2020
New research from Rockefeller’s Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor, Elaine Fuchs, has identified a pair of gene-regulatory proteins responsible for maintaining a perpetual reserve of stem cells, ensuring that new hair will grow.
Market Watch, April 14, 2020
Scientists at Rockefeller University, including Research Associate Professor Theodora Hatziioannou, are among those seeking a remedy to coronavirus by studying the neutralizing antibodies that float in the plasma of recovered patients.
Rockefeller News, April 3, 2020
Rockefeller University experts in infectious disease, immunology, biochemistry, structural biology, and genetics have begun over a dozen projects in recent weeks aimed at better understanding the biology of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for the current global COVID-19 pandemic.
Rockefeller News, March 31, 2020
Elaine Fuchs, a world leader in the study of skin biology, has been named a 2020 recipient of the Canada Gairdner Award, one of the most prestigious international prizes in the biosciences.
Rockefeller News, March 13, 2020
The lab led by Rockefeller’s Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor, Elaine Fuchs, recently identified the mechanism that allows skin cells to sense new changes in their environment and convert into squames.
Rockefeller News, February 26, 2020
Rockefeller has entered a licensing agreement with a global pharmaceutical company to advance the development of investigational drugs based on broadly neutralizing antibodies discovered at the university through research led by Marina Caskey and Michel C. Nussenzweig.
National Academy of Science, January 22, 2020
Rockefeller scientist Leslie B. Vosshall will receive the 2020 Pradel Research Award for her vital contributions to our understanding of insect olfactory systems, with important implications for protecting human health.
The Scientist, January 13, 2020
Florence Sabin, a scientist at Rockefeller in the early 20th century, was known for her long and illustrious career that spawned landmark discoveries and helped inspire women in STEM at a time when they faced many challenges.
Journal of Clinical Investigation, November 1, 2019
Rockefeller faculty member Elaine Fuchs is best known for revolutionizing the molecular and genetic study of skin. Her research has shed light on dermatologic disorders and all aspects of skin growth and regeneration.
Rockefeller News, November 1, 2019
New research, led by Elaine Fuchs, indicates that stem cells can influence tissue regeneration. The study identifies a molecular coordination tool used by stem cells to signal across niches.
ICM Brain and Spine Institute, October 21, 2019
Former W&S Fellow Julia Sliwa received the Peter and Patricia Gruber International Award, which recognizes young neuroscientists for their outstanding work in an international context.
Northwestern Now, October 21, 2019
Rockefeller alumna Catherine Woolley has been honored with election to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. The academy serves as a source of expertise to inspire action across the private and public sectors regarding critical issues in health, medicine and science.
Rockefeller News, October 4, 2019
Former W&S Rockefeller scientists, including W&S Graduate Fellow Emily Lorenzen, have found that G protein-coupled receptors interact with so-called receptor activity, making them take up different configurations inside the body than in the lab.
Rockefeller News, September 25, 2019
Vanessa Ruta, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Associate Professor, has been named a 2019 MacArthur Fellow. One of the most prestigious funding programs in the world, the MacArthur Fellowships invest in the potential of exceptionally creative individuals, providing unrestricted grants to individuals in the sciences, arts, and other fields.
The New York Academy of Sciences, September 4, 2019
Former W&S Graduate Fellow Laura Duvall was one of three researchers to be awarded the 2019 Blavatnik Regional Award for Young Scientists, which recognizes outstanding scientists from academic research institutions across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Regeneron Pharmacueticals, Inc. (via PR Newswire), July 18, 2019
Former W&S Graduate Fellow Samantha Larsen was one of two scientists to be awarded a top-tier Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation, which recognizes promising early-career scientists.
Rockefeller News, July 9, 2019
Jue Chen‘s lab recently became the first to characterize how new drugs for cystic fibrosis, called potentiators, target a protein on the cell membrane, called cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, at an atomic scale.
Whitehouse.gov, July 2, 2019
Priya Rajasethupathy was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which is the highest honor given by US Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers.
Rockefeller News, June 26, 2019
Using fruit flies, researchers in Vanessa Ruta’s lab, including former W&S Fellow Annie Handler, showed that an odor can be either appealing or disgusting to an animal depending on when the smell is encountered relative to a reward. The study, described in Cell, describes this process at the cellular level—insights that likely pertain not just to flies, but to learning across the animal kingdom.
Harvard Medical School News, June 7, 2019
Harvard Medical School announced that Rosalind Segal has been appointed dean for graduate education, effective August 1st. Dr. Segal jointly earned a Ph.D. in cell biology from Rockefeller University in 1985, and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1986.
Rockefeller News, May 15, 2019
In a recent study published by Nature, scientists from the laboratory of Elaine Fuchs showed that skin cells in mice engage in two forms of competition, one taking place during early embryonic development and the other occurring just before birth. The researchers believe that this cutthroat cellular conflict is crucial to the cultivation of healthy skin.
Rockefeller News, April 25, 2019
The lab of Elaine Fuchs, Rockefeller’s Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor, has identified the tumor cells responsible for causing relapse in cancer patients who receive immunotherapy. Their research is providing new insight into how these cells thwart the treatment.
Healio.com, March 26, 2019
In a presentation at the Endocrine Society Annual Meeting, Cori Bargmann, the Rockefeller University’s Torsten N. Wiesel Professor, discussed the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s efforts to cure, prevent, or manage all human disease by the end of the century. Cori concurrently serves as the CZ Initiative’s first president of science.
The New York Times, March 5, 2019
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that men who were the principal investigators on research projects received $41,000 more than women.
Rockefeller News, February 26, 2019
In a new study,the researcher from the laboratory of Cori Bargmann describe neural mechanisms responsible for local search for food, showing that this response can be triggered by either smell- or touch-related cues.
Greek USA Reporter, February 23, 2019
Dr. Katerina Akassoglou, a researcher at the University of California who earned her postdoc from RU, has received the International Barancik Prize for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research.
NPR, February 7, 2019
In a paper published Thursday in the journal Cell, Leslie Vosshall and her team demonstrate how human diet drugs satiate mosquitoes’ bloodlust for several days — so they are less likely to feed on humans and spread diseases and will also produce fewer offspring.
Rockefeller News, February 7, 2019
Scientists in the lab of Leslie Vosshall have shown that female mosquitoes can be persuaded not to bite at all. Their work, which appears in the journal Cell, illuminates the biology underlying the host-seeking and blood-feeding behaviors that make these insects such a menace—and could lead to new ways of shutting those behaviors down.
The New York Review of Books, January 24, 2019
Jennifer Doudna was the recipient of the 2018 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize: An Award Recognizing Outstanding Women in Biomedical Research. The PMG Prize, awarded annually by The Rockefeller University, was established by Dr. Paul Greengard, the Vincent Astor Professor, and his wife, the sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard.
Rockefeller News, December 6, 2018
Jasmine Nirody, a Rockefeller fellow in physics and biology, recently published a study in Current Biology that reveals how Geckos scurry across the water’s surface at impressive speeds.
Rockefeller News, November 14, 2018
A recent multi-institutional study, led by Leslie Vosshall, has produced a new blueprint of the Aedes aegypti genome that vastly improves upon its predecessor. The study, published in Nature, describes important applications of this resource including multiple strategies for reducing mosquito-borne illnesses.
Rockefeller News, October 2, 2018
Researchers in Cori Bargmann’s laboratory have mapped all 302 neurons that make up the C. elegans nervous system. However, until now, they had never observed action potentials in these cells.
Rockefeller News, September 26, 2018
First developed in the 1940s, DEET can be found in most bug sprays used today. A recent collaboration between Rockefeller University professors Leslie Vosshall, Cori Bargmann, and former W&S Graduate Fellow has shed light on how this chemical might confound the senses of vastly different species. Their findings were recently published in Nature magazine.
Blavatnick Awards for Young Scientists, September 5, 2018
Former RU postdoc Shruti Naik, who was recently appointed an Assistant Professor of Immunology & Microbiology at NYU School of Medicine, is the recipient of this prestigious award recognizing outstanding young scientists in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Rockefeller News, August 20, 2018
Viviana Risca will join Rockefeller as tenure-track professor heading the new Laboratory of Genome Architecture and Dynamics in January 2019. Her research takes a biophysical approach to examining the detailed structures that organize and support DNA and gene expression in living cells.
Rockefeller News, August 15, 2018
Taking advantage of recent advances in electron microscopy, Vanessa Ruta’s research answers long-held questions about insect olfaction and evolution.
Rockefeller News, July 17, 2018
Amy Shyer, Ph.D., a developmental biologist who just concluded a Miller Fellowship at UC Berkeley, joined the Rockefeller University faculty on July 1, 2018 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor and head of the Laboratory of Morphogenesis.
Rockefeller News, July 10, 2018
Former Women & Science Graduate Fellow Krithika Venkataraman has been recognized for her study of the hormonal triggers that lead female mosquitoes to toggle between hunting for blood and spawning eggs.
Smithsonian.com, July 6, 2018
Florence Sabin, a pioneering research scientist who worked at The Rockefeller Institute from 1925 to 1938, helped lay the groundwork for curing tuberculosis and helped to promote women doctors in an era when their career options in medicine were limited.
BrandeisNOW, April 9, 2018
This year’s winner of the prestigious Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research, Rockefeller University scientist Titia de Lange, will officially receive the honor on Thursday, April 12.
hhmi.org, March 6, 2018
Led by Rockefeller scientist Leslie Vosshall, HHMI researchers have built mosquitobrains.org, the first map of the female mosquito brain. The new resource may ultimately uncover the circuitry behind biting and other behaviors.
Rockefeller News, February 16, 2018
Using a newly engineered system that allows scientists to record behavioral information for individual worms over an entire lifecycle, Cori Bargmann is illuminating the biology that guides behavior across different stages of life, as well as behavioral variation within species.
Rockefeller News, November 28, 2017
Mary E. Hatten, a neuroscientist who studies the mechanisms of neuronal differentiation and migration during the early stages of embryonic development, has been awarded the 2017 Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience. The $25,000 prize, given annually by the Society for Neuroscience, honors an outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to neuroscience throughout his or her career.
Rockefeller News, October 18, 2017
New research from The Rockefeller University’s Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, conducted in part by former Women & Science Graduate Fellow Samantha Larsen, reveals that wounds or other harmful, inflammation-provoking experiences impart long-lasting memories to stem cells residing in the skin, teaching them to heal subsequent injuries faster.
Rockefeller News, October 16, 2017
Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist who studies the relationship between genes, neural circuits, and behavior, has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the health and medicine arm of the National Academy of Sciences.
Rockefeller News, October 6, 2017
Titia de Lange, a biochemist who studies the protective ends of chromosomes known as telomeres, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research, a highly prestigious honor presented annually by Brandeis University. She is recognized for her elucidation of the mechanism of telomere protection and the maintenance of genome stability.
Rockefeller News, October 5, 2017
The Rockefeller University today announced that JoAnne Stubbe will receive the 2017 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, the preeminent international award honoring outstanding women scientists. Stubbe, who is the Novartis Professor of Chemistry and Biology Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will receive the 14th annual Prize in a ceremony at Rockefeller on November 7, 2017. Paula A. Johnson, president of Wellesley College, will present the award.
The New York Times, March 30, 2016
With the Zika virus spreading largely unchecked in Latin America and the Caribbean by way of a now-notorious insect, some of the nation’s leading mosquito researchers, including Rockefeller University scientist Leslie Vosshall, are striving to assemble a state-of-the-art DNA map that they say will help them fight the disease with the mosquito’s own genetic code.