Women & Science


The Rockefeller University's Women & Science initiative was established in 1998 to:

  • Highlight the crucial role of basic research in addressing scientific challenges related to women's health
  • Showcase the contributions of women scientists
  • Create a program of support for women scientists
  • Encourage more women to embrace scientific research as a focus of their philanthropy

Through the Partners in Discovery fund-raising program, Women & Science has raised over $21 million for talented women pursuing careers in the sciences at The Rockefeller University.

Lecture and Luncheon Documentary Short

Click on the video below to learn more about the Women & Science Initiative and the 15th anniversary spring lecture and luncheon.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 1, 2016
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Special Evening Program
A Conversation with Richard P. Lifton Led by Laura Landro

Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D.
The Rockefeller University
Laura Landro
Assistant Managing Editor and Columnist
The Wall Street Journal


Wednesday, March 1, 2017
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Women & Science Spring Breakfast
GMOs, CRISPR, and Modern Agriculture

Nina Fedoroff, Ph.D.
Evan Pugh Professor Emerita
The Pennsylvania State University


Tuesday, March 7, 2017
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

2017 Beatrice Renfield Lecture
Clinical Research Nursing and Nursing Science: A Perfect Partnership

Gwenyth R. Wallen, Ph.D., R.N.
Deputy Chief Nurse Officer of Research and Practice Development,
Chief of Nursing Research and Translational Science,

National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center


Thursday, May 11, 2017
12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m.

20thAnnual Spring Lecture and Luncheon
Global Health is Local Health: Eradicating Threats From A to Zika

Leslie B. Vosshall, Ph.D.
Robin Chemers Neustein Professor
Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior The Rockefeller University

Purchase Tickets


Elaine Fuchs to receive 2016 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science

Elaine Fuchs, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and head of the Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, has won the 2016 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science for her innovative use of reverse genetics to understand skin diseases and cancer stem cells. More »

Command and Control System Monitors Food Intake of Flies

Working in fruit flies, Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists, including Leslie Vosshall, have discovered a command center in the brain that controls how much insects eat and how quickly they consume their food. More »

The New York Times Nothing Smells Rotten in Leslie B. Vosshall's Compost Pail

Leslie Vosshall, head of RU’s so-called “Smell Lab”, details how a polished stainless steel compost bucket with a charcoal filter has become her most valued kitchen tool. More »

NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers: Best Practices

The NIH working group on Women in Biomedical Careers has included Rockefeller University on a list of academic and biomedical institutions that offer innovative programs, policies, or practices to support the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in scientific careers. More »

The New York Times Team of Rival Scientists Comes Together to Fight Zika

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 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. More »

Cori Bargmann honored with the 2016 Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience

Cori Bargmann honored with the 2016 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in NeuroscienceBargmann will receive the 2016 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience. The award, given by the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT for outstanding advances in the field, recognizes Bargmann for her work on the genetic and neural mechanisms that control behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans roundworms. More »

Can mutant mosquitoes be used to fight Zika and dengue fever?

Leslie Vosshall is featured in a PBS NewsHour segment exploring how mosquitoes can be genetically altered in an effort to stop the spread of diseases like the Zika virus. Dr. Vosshall is Rockefeller University’s Robin Chemers Neustein Professor, heading the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior. More »

The Huffington Post
Dying To Be Free: There’s A Treatment For Heroin Addiction That Actually Works. Why Aren’t We Using It?

Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek has been studying the brains of people with addiction for 50 years. In the 1960s, she was one of three scientists who determined that methadone could be a successful maintenance treatment for an opioid addicted person. Over the years, various drug czars from both political parties have consulted her at Rockefeller University in New York City, where she is a professor and head of the Laboratory of the Biology of Addictive Diseases. More »

BRAIN Initiative Update: Q&A with Neuroscientist Cornelia Bargmann

Cornelia "Cori" Bargmann has been one of the architects of this bold science effort, whose members include scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other public and private organizations. More »

The Wall St Journal logo
The Mind and Its Mysteries: Nobel Prize winner Paul Greengard and Sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard

The biophysicist [Dr. Paul Greengard] and Ms. von Rydingsvard established the $100,000 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, in partnership with other supporters of Rockefeller University. It’s awarded annually to women for outstanding achievements in science. Two recipients have gone on to win Nobel Prizes themselves. The 2014 award went to Lucy Shapiro, a developmental biologist at Stanford University. More »

Franklin Institute to honor 9 in celebration of brain power

Cornelia Bargmann, who studies the brain of a type of roundworm, and Elissa Newport, a prominent expert on how humans learn language, are among nine new winners of awards from the Franklin Institute, given each year to recognize achievement in the sciences and engineering. More »

The New York Times More Groups Join Project on the Brain

Cori Bargmann, co-chairwoman of an N.I.H. committee that set forth the agency's plan for research under the initiative, said that $100 million — the institutes' portion of the recommended 2015 funding — is appropriate, given the plan to ramp up gradually. "From N.I.H.'s perspective, this is exactly what year two should look like," she said. More »

Stanford's Lucy Shapiro to receive 2014 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize

The Rockefeller University has announced that Lucy Shapiro, professor of developmental biology at Stanford University School of Medicine, will receive the 2014 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize. The annual award, which celebrates the achievements of outstanding women in science, will be presented to Dr. Shapiro on the campus of The Rockefeller University on November 11, 2014. More »

The Wall St Journal logo
Obama Meets 18-Year-Old Cancer Researcher, Among Other Science-Fair Achievers: Elana Simon Helped Research a Rare Liver Cancer She Was Diagnosed With at Age 12

“President Barack Obama lauded whiz kids at the White House Science Fair on Tuesday, including Elana Simon [daughter of Sanford Simon], an 18-year-old who helped research a rare liver cancer that she was diagnosed with at age 12.” More »

Titia de Lange to receive Canada Gairdner International Award

Titia de Langede Lange is being recognized for her discovery of the mechanisms by which mammalian telomeres are protected from deleterious DNA repair and damage responses. The Gairdner is Canada’s highest scientific award and is considered among the most prestigious international prizes in science. More »

Nora Pencheva wins 2014 Weintraub Graduate Student Award

Nora PenchevaNora Pencheva, a 2010 Women & Science graduate fellow in Sohail Tavazoie’s Laboratory of Systems Cancer Biology, will receive a Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, one of the country’s most prestigious graduate student prizes. The award is given by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and recognizes outstanding achievement during graduate studies in the biological sciences. More »

New Data Show Articles by Women Are Cited Less Frequently

Research papers and peer-reviewed articles written principally by women are cited less frequently than those whose dominant authors are men, compounding the underrepresentation of women in scholarly publishing, according to a new study. More »

What Women Need to Succeed in Science

RU Professor and Pearl Meister Greengard Prize Founder Paul Greengard and 2014 PMG Prize recipient Huda Zoghbi on women pursuing scientific research careers in The Scientist. More »

New Data Show Articles by Women Are Cited Less Frequently

Research papers and peer-reviewed articles written principally by women are cited less frequently than those whose dominant authors are men, compounding the underrepresentation of women in scholarly publishing, according to a new study. More »

The Huffington Post
The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize: Praising Pioneers in Biomedical Research

There is nothing particularly remarkable about a woman doing science. Any person -- man or woman -- who shows an intellectual curiosity combined with a strong work ethic, good decision making, and a little bit of luck can be successful in science. What is remarkable, however, is the severe underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. And for the few women who pursue these career endeavors, their achievements, however great, often go unsung. More »

The Wall St Journal logo
Pearl Meister Greengard Prize Winner Followed a Gut Feeling for 16 Years

Pediatric neurologist and neuroscientist Huda Y. Zoghbi won Rockefeller University's 10th annual Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, which on Thursday night she attributed in part to following "a gut feeling." For 16 years, she tracked down a gene mutation that causes Rett Syndrome, a form of autism that only affects girls. None of her male colleagues supported her hunch that Rett Syndrome could be a genetic disorder. More »

September 17, 2013
The New Yorker Magazine
A Map for the Future of Neuroscience

On Monday, the National Institutes of Health released a fifty-eight-page report on the future of neuroscience—the first substantive step in developing President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative, which seeks to “revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.” More »

September 16, 2013
The New York Times
Initial Focus of Research in Brain Project Is Chosen

An advisory group said to focus on systems and circuits involving thousands to millions of brain cells, not the entire brain or individual cells and molecules.  Rockefeller's Cori Bargmann is mentioned.More »

July 12, 2013
How does she do it?

RU’s Leslie Vosshall leads a series of profiles on women in science who managed to have both a successful scientific career and a family, and writes about RU’s supportive environment.

June 30, 2013
Sunday Morning Logo
Waging a losing war against mosquitoes

CBS Sunday Morning Video

June 3, 2013
The New York Times
A Mosquito That Won’t Ruin a Barbecue

Researchers at Rockefeller University report that they have produced a generation of mosquitoes incapable of sniffing out human targets.

April 2, 2013
The New York Times
Obama to Unveil Initiative to Map the Human Brain

President Obama on Tuesday will announce a research initiative, starting with $100 million in 2014, to invent and refine new technologies to understand the human brain. Rockefeller's Cori Bargmann will help lead a study of the brain in action.

March 7, 2013
Nature journal logo red on white
Women in science: Women’s work

A recent issue of Nature magazine features a special section dedicated to women in science and the barriers they face at research institutions in the United States and abroad. The issue contains commentary, analysis and interactive features that address the persistent gender gap in science today.

February 20, 2013 |science news
Cori Bargmann, Titia de Lange win inaugural Breakthrough Prizes worth $3 million

Two Rockefeller University scientists are among 11 winners of the first annual Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, an award established by six tech entrepreneurs dedicated to advancing breakthrough research. At $3 million each, the prizes are worth more than twice the amount of the Nobel. They were created to recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extended human life.

Administered by a new non-profit organization, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, the prize is founded by Art Levinson, chairman of the board of Apple and former CEO of Genentech; Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google Inc.; Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe; Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, and his wife Pricilla Chan; and Yuri Milner, founder of the Russian internet company Mail.ru.

February 4, 2013
NYT Logo
INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: Girls Lead in Science Exam, but Not in the United States

Girls outperformed boys in more countries in a science test given to 15-year-old students in 65 countries — but in the United States, the scores reverse.

January 27, 2013
Wired.co.uk Logo
The truth behind testosterone: why men risk it all

When economist John Coates met Rockefeller alumna and neuroscientist Linda Wilbrecht on a flight from Paris to New York, he became hooked on the brain. Now over a decade later, Coates has published several articles and one book about the influence of hormones on the “irrational exuberance” displayed by many Wall street traders, many of whom are male. Most notably, he found that higher testosterone levels (commonly associated with increased risk-taking behavior) in the morning would lead to higher earnings that day, and that this testosterone ‘high’ would last for several months. Drs. Coates and Wilbrecht will be featured speakers for a special evening program co-hosted by W&S on March 6.

January 2, 2013

Famous Perfumer Uses Rare Neurological 'Gift' To Create New Scents

Master perfumer Frédéric Malle, who was born with the rare neurologic quirk of “synesthesia,” has created a limited series of perfume boxes that feature his illustrations. The proceeds of these sales will go directly to The Rockefeller University. Mr. Malle was featured alongside RU’s Leslie Vosshall in the 2011 Women & Science Lecture and Luncheon.

October 15, 2012 | awards and honors

Elaine Fuchs awarded distinguished medal from New York Academy of Medicine

Elaine FuchsFuchs, head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller University, will be awarded the 2012 Academy Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Science for her innovative and imaginative approaches to research in skin biology, its stem cells and its associated human genetic disorders.

September 24, 2012
NYT Logo
Bias Persists for Women of Science, a Study Finds

Researchers found that university science professors widely regard female students as less competent than male ones.

September 10, 2012 | science news

Pearl Meister Greengard Prize to be awarded to pioneering RNA researcher Joan Steitz

Joan SteitzA prestigious Rockefeller University award for exceptional women scientists recognizes a pioneer in the field of RNA biology whose discoveries involved patients with a variety of autoimmune diseases. Steitz will receive the award from National Geographic Explorer in Residence Sylvia Earle at a ceremony in Rockefeller’s Caspary Auditorium on November 29.

July 1, 2012
The Scientist Logo
Sweet Smell of Success

With persistence and pluck, Leslie Vosshall managed to snatch insect odorant receptors from the jaws of experimental defeat.

June 14, 2012 |awards and honors
Vanessa Ruta named Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

Vanessa Ruta Vanessa Ruta, head of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior, has been chosen as a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences by The Pew Charitable Trusts. She is among twenty-two early-career researchers who are being honored for showing outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health.

July 2, 2012
Sunday Morning Logo
Waging a losing war against mosquitoes

"We had no winter in the Northeast this year, and so there’s a lot of predictions from mosquito control experts that we’re going to have a really huge season of high populations of mosquitoes, and so with that, more disease transmission,” said Leslie Vosshall, who runs Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior in New York City. Along with her staff, she’s trying to find out exactly how mosquitoes hunt humans."

May 31, 2012 |awards and honors
Cornelia Bargmann receives Kavli Prize in Neuroscience

Bargmann is among the first women scientists to receive the prize, which is awarded biennially for outstanding achievement in advancing our knowledge and understanding of the brain and nervous system.

May 24, 2012 |science news
Rockefeller scientists pioneer new method to determine mechanisms of drug action

Sarah Wacker (a former W&S fellow), Tarun Kapoor and their colleagues have hit on a new method for determining a drug’s molecular target that takes the guesswork out of the equation. The approach makes use of RNA sequencing and advances in data processing technologies to examine all of the differences between a drug-resistant cell and a normal cell and pinpoint the change most likely to cause resistance, which may suggest the drug’s target.

May 15, 2012 |awards and honors
Vanessa Ruta honored with McKnight Scholar Award

Vanessa Ruta, assistant professor at The Rockefeller University and head of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior, has been honored with a McKnight Scholar Award for her research on the functional organization of the neural circuits underlying olfactory learning. The 2012 awards, presented by the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience, were given to six early-career scientists who have established their own independent laboratories and who have demonstrated a commitment to neuroscience.

May 11, 2012

Chromosome Talk For Lunching Set

“There may be no better way to spend a balmy spring afternoon than lunching with friends under a canopy spread upon a grassy lawn. Nothing better, that is, unless the refreshments were preceded by a lecture about chromosomes and DNA...”

May 4, 2012 |awards and honors
American Philosophical Society elects Cori Bargmann to membership

Cori Bargmann, Torsten N. Wiesel Professor at The Rockefeller University and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society in the biological sciences. The Society elects new members each year who have shown extraordinary accomplishments in their fields. Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, it is the United States’ first learned society, and unique among its peers for the wide variety of academic disciplines represented by its membership.

April 9, 2012 |awards and honors
Cori Bargmann honored with Dart/NYU Biotechnology Achievement Award

Cori Bargmann, head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, is being recognized for her work in deciphering the neural networks that define individual and group behaviors. The Dart/NYU Biotechnology Achievement Award recognizes the role of pure science in the development of pharmaceuticals and honors those scientists whose work has led to major advances to improving care provided at the patient’s bedside.

March 19, 2012 |awards and honors
Marc Tessier-Lavigne to receive Friesen International Prize

President Marc Tessier-Lavigne will receive the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research, established by the Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research in collaboration with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences to recognize exceptional innovation by a visionary health leader of international stature.

March 15, 2012 |awards and honors
Titia de Lange to receive Heineken Prize

De Lange is honored for her work on telomeres, the protective DNA sequences located at the tips of chromosomes which play a crucial role in such processes as ageing and cancer.

March 1, 2012 |awards and honors
Elaine Fuchs to receive 2012 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology

The award recognizes Fuchs’s contributions to our understanding of skin biology and skin stem cells, including discoveries that have led to advancements in treating skin cancer and severe burns.

February 27, 2012 |grants and gifts
$15 million gift from Helmsley Trust to fund research on digestive diseases

Funds will establish a new center, to be known as the Center for Basic and Translational Research on Disorders of the Digestive System, which will support interdisciplinary basic research and foster collaborations among some 20 Rockefeller labs that study biological processes related to the digestive system.

February 24, 2012

Charlie Rose: The Cost of Alzheimer's

In this three-minute video clip from last night’s episode of Charlie Rose Brain Series 2, titled “Generalized Defects in Cognition,” Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Eric Kandel were featured prominently. The full discussion aired on Charlie Rose.
view full episode

December 16, 2011 | Science News
In cancer, molecular signals that recruit blood vessels also trigger metastasis

Cancer cells are most deadly when they’re on the move – able not only to destroy whatever organ they are first formed in, but also to create colonies elsewhere in the body. New research has now shown how a small RNA prevents the recruitment and formation of blood vessels near cancer cell destined to become metastases, a process that must occur in order for them to grow. The scientists say that if drugs could be developed that act on the pathways regulated by this microRNA, they might be able to block the metastatic process and prevent some breast cancers from becoming deadly.

How Rockefeller University Shapes A Science Career

Former W&S fellow Stacie Grossman Bloom, shares how after earning her Ph.D., she looks to return to New York City for her post doc. She applies to Rockefeller University and gets an opportunity to work for Paul Greengard, who goes on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine five months later. The lab experience shows her the best of science and what is like to be in a world renown successful laboratory.

November 3, 2011 |campus news
University joins 10 leading medical and research institutions to form New York Genome Center

The New York Genome Center, which will become one of the largest genomic facilities in North America, will begin operations as early as spring 2012 in its 120,000 square foot Manhattan facility

November 3, 2011

Brenda Milner is one of the most important neuroscientists of the 20th century, blazing a trail at McGill University in Montreal at a time when few women held positions of importance in science.

She has received numerous awards for her work and on Thursday, at 93 years old, she’ll be honoured with another.
Read More

November 3, 2011

The Man Who Loves Women Who Love Science

Why can't all men be like Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard?

Shortly after he was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on transmitters in the brain, Dr. Greengard decided to endow a scientific prize of his own -- one most of his fellow Nobel laureates could never even hope to win. Awarded annually by Rockefeller University, ThePearl Meister Greengard Prize spotlights achievement in the field of biomedical research by an outstanding woman.
Read More

October 24, 2011

Seven Billion

Can humanity handle the unprecedented rise in population? In this op-ed pieceRockefeller professor, Dr. Joel E. Cohen, calls for global investments in children, stressing the importance of pre-natal and early childhood care as well as access to good nutrition.

October 17, 2011 |&honors and awards
Marc Tessier-Lavigne elected to Institute of Medicine

A world leader in the study of brain development, Tessier-Lavigne has pioneered the identification of the molecules that direct the formation of connections among nerve cells to establish neuronal circuits in the mammalian brain and spinal cord. Tessier-Lavigne is among 65 new members and five foreign associates elected to the Institute this year.

October 3, 2011 |&honors and awards
Rockefeller University scientist Ralph Steinman, honored today with Nobel Prize for discovery of dendritic cells, dies at 68

Rockefeller University cell biologist Ralph M. Steinman, who discovered the immune system's sentinel dendritic cells and demonstrated that science can fruitfully harness the power of these cells and other components of the immune system to curb infections and other communicable diseases, is this year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, announced today. He shares half the prize with Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann.

September 20, 2011 | gifts and grants
Papavasiliou and Stavropoulos receive “transformative” NIH grant

Rockefeller University's Nina Papavasiliou will receive a grant from the National Institutes of Health under a program designed to encourage high-risk, high impact research. The grant will fund efforts to develop new ways of engineering therapeutic antibodies that could lead to novel vaccines for a number of communicable diseases ranging from HIV to flu as well as non-communicable diseases, such as various cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and drug addiction.

September 20, 2011

For almost 50 years, people have used insect repellents containing DEET. But scientists still argue about how the stuff works. Does it drive away mosquitoes and other insects by smelling bad to them? Or does it just confuse them so they can’t smell their way to their targets? Finding the answer could help scientists design improved versions. Now a study in fruit flies, published online Wednesday by the journal Nature, presents evidence for the confusion theory.

September 19, 2011

Across town at the Rockefeller University, the new science facility, by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, exists for no other purpose than to bring people out of isolation. It’s an addendum, a voluptuous glass link, seven stories high, interposed between two preexisting laboratory buildings. You enter what appears to be a modest lobby, and ahead of you the space opens up, Guggenheim-like, into an atrium whose floorplan is elliptical and whose side elevation is shaped like an hourglass. Everything about this unusual building tells you that scientific research can be conducted in an environment of both zest and dignity

July 22, 2011 | grants and gifts
Rockefeller University receives $36.1 million to help translate science into cures

Rockefeller University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), a center aimed at accelerating the pace of translating science into real-life solutions for patients, has received $36.1 million from the National Institutes of Health to expand its work over the next five years. The CCTS is among 10 institutes nationwide to receive the renewed funding, in recognition of their successes during the first five years of the NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards program.

July 14, 2011

Pumpkin Pie: Provocative or Just Tasty?

Eau Flirt is but one player in a longstanding category of fragrances marketed specifically as romantic attractants. Some are all natural; others say they contain pheromones. All of them claim to make the wearer irresistible. Leslie Vosshall, Robin Chemers Neustein Professor, is quoted.

July 5, 2011

Less-Educated Women Have More Children. Or Is It the Other Way Around?

It makes sense that education would impede childbearing. In nearly every country, women with more education tend to have fewer children than less-educated mothers. But new research, led by Rockefeller's Joel Cohen, suggests it may actually work the other way around: having more children hamstrings women's education.

July 1, 2011 | science news
Cancer stem cells identified, offering new drug targets

Differences found between cancer stem cells and healthy skin stem cells provide a diagnostic marker and suggest the root of cancer can be targeted leaving normal cells unaffected.

June 29, 2011| appointments and promotions
Rockefeller alum Vanessa Ruta named to university’s faculty

Vanessa-RutaRuta, a neuroscientist interested in understanding how circuits in the brain can be modified by experience, will establish the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior this fall.

June 21, 2011

In Tiny Worm, Unlocking Secrets of the Brain

Studying the nervous system of the roundworm is a promising approach for understanding the human brain.

Nicholas Wade profiles Dr. Cori Bargmann and her research for the Times.

May 25, 2011 | honors and awards
2011 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize to be awarded to McGill University memory researcher

Brenda Milner, a pioneer in the field of cognitive neuroscience whose discoveries revolutionized the understanding of memory, will be awarded the 2011 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize from The Rockefeller University.

May 18, 2011 | science news
Genes help worms decide where to dine

A recent study by Rockefeller University researchers identifies natural variations in several genes that help determine when and where microscopic C. Elegans worms feast. The impact of the gene variants on the worms’ foraging behavior was the most significant in borderline decisions, the researchers says, when the bacteria available to eat were neither scarce nor plentiful.

May 12, 2011 | honors and awards
Marc Tessier-Lavigne to receive Sloan-Kettering Medal 

Rockefeller University’s President will receive the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Biomedical Research at MSKCC’s 2011 Academic Convocation.

May 3, 2011 | honors and awards
Michel C. Nussenzweig elected to National Academy of Sciences

Michel C. Nussenzweig, Sherman Fairchild Professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences at the Academy's annual meeting today, in recognition of his deep contributions to our understanding of the workings of the innate and adaptive immune systems.

April 27, 2011

To tell different wines apart, a good memory is required,’ says Leslie Vosshall, a professor at Rockefeller University. ‘It would be like going to a museum where someone shows you 10 paintings and then you have to express some preference about them. It would help if you could say, well in the first painting, I really liked the way the skirts were painted, and in the second, the facial expressions were really good.

April 25, 2011 | science news
Anti-inflammatory drugs reduce effectiveness of SSRI antidepressants

Scientists have shown that anti-inflammatory drugs, which include ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen, reduce the effectiveness of the most widely used class of antidepressant medications, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, often prescribed for depression and obsessive-compulsive and anxiety disorders.

April 4, 2011 | science news
Researchers put potent staph killer to the test, hope for new drug treatment

The ever escalating war between evolving bacteria and antibiotics could be taking a promising turn in favor of the humans. Scientists have genetically engineered a powerful killer of one of the most dangerous bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It’s been tested on MRSA in the test tube, on infections in mice and a clinically trial has begun to probe its ability to kill MRSA infected cells from psoriasis lesions in people. Next up, per the recommendation of the FDA, is a test in minipigs. “It’s the start of a new class of drugs,” says the lead researcher, and early signs suggest it’s stronger than anything of its kind currently on the market.

March 16, 2011 | honors and awards
Elaine Fuchs awarded 2011 Albany Medical Center Prize

Rockefeller scientist is recognized for her contributions toward realizing the vast potential of stem cells to treat and reverse disease.

March 16, 2011 | campus news
Marc Tessier-Lavigne becomes Rockefeller’s tenth president

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a leading neuroscientist and the former chief scientific officer of Genentech, takes over as president of The Rockefeller University today, replacing Paul Nurse, who has left to become president of the Royal Society in London.

March 7, 2011 | honors and awards
Elaine Fuchs to receive Passano Award

World leader in skin biology and its human genetic disorders is honored for landmark contributions to skin biology and its disorders, including genetic syndromes, stem cells and cancers.

March 2, 2011 | science news
New genetic technique probes the cause of skin cell differentiation in mammals

Most complex genetic experiments have been done in simple model organisms like flies and worms, because they're easier to work with. But new research at Rockefeller University has applied the technique of RNA interference to probe the DNA of our fellow mammal, the mouse. In the process, the researchers are uncovering a deeper understanding of cell differentiation in early development, and hope to apply the results to cancer research.

February 22, 2011 | honors and awards
Titia de Lange receives 2011 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science

Rockefeller researcher is honored for her research on mechanisms that help maintain genome stability.

January 24, 2011 | science news
The Smelling Test: The Genetics of Olfaction

flowersThe ability to smell is controlled by genes, and each individual has a unique olfactory profile.  The RU smell study by Drs. Keller and Vosshall sheds light on this genetic variability.

December 22, 2010 | science news
Scientists identify protein that drives survival of gastrointestinal tumors

Since the introduction of Gleevec as a treatment for gastrointestinal stromal tumors, survival rates have climbed dramatically and recurrence has fallen by two-thirds. But over time, many patients develop resistance to the drug. Now, scientists at Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have identified a molecule that acts as a survival factor for gastrointestinal tumors, a finding that may lead to next-generation therapies that can pick up where Gleevec leaves off.

November 16, 2010 | campus news
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. Established by Nobel Prize winner Paul Greengard and his wife, sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, the prize honors women who have made extraordinary contributions to biomedical science, a group that historically has not received appropriate recognition and acclaim.

November 12, 2010 | campus news
New Rockefeller University lab building opens

The Collaborative Research Center, a 125,000 square foot, $500 million building designed specifically to help foster scientific collaboration and encourage interactions between scientists, has opened on Rockefeller's campus.

October 14, 2010 | science news
Gene identified that prevents stem cells from turning cancerous

Stem cells have tremendous regenerative power, but their potency can also be lethal. Now researchers have identified a gene that prevents stem cells from turning into tumors in mice by regulating the process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis. The work is the first to show that interfering with the programmed death of stem cells can have fatal consequences.

October 11, 2010

“One of the most striking new buildings to be completed in Manhattan this year is hidden from public view. On the gated campus of Rockefeller University between York Avenue and the East River, a renovated research center includes a new building with a curving, five-story glass facade that leans forward like the side of an inverted cone. The new glass building is the centerpiece of the Collaborative Research Center, a $380 million renovation effort that grew out of years of deliberation over how to modernize the historic university’s research facilities.”

October 11, 2010 | honors and awards
Two Rockefeller scientists elected to Institute of Medicine

Rockefeller University scientists Robert B. Darnell, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-oncology, and Titia de Lange, head of the Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics, have been elected to the Institute of Medicine, the health and medicine branch of the National Academy of Sciences.

September 21, 2010 | honors and awards
Jeffrey M. Friedman receives Albert Lasker Award for discovery of leptin
This year’s Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the most prestigious American prize in science, honors Rockefeller University’s Jeffrey M. Friedman, who discovered leptin, a hormone that regulates food intake and body weight.

September 9, 2010

“The No. 2 research official at Genentech will become the next president of Rockefeller University, in the first departure from the company’s top scientific ranks since its acquisition by Roche in March 2009. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, who is executive vice president for research and the chief scientific officer at Genentech, will become the first president of Rockefeller University to come from industry, Russell L. Carson, the chairman of the university’s board of trustees, said in an interview Wednesday.”

September 8, 2010 | campus news
Marc Tessier-Lavigne named Rockefeller University’s tenth president
The university’s Board of Trustees has elected Tessier-Lavigne to succeed Paul Nurse on March 11, 2011. A leader in the study of brain development, he is currently executive vice president for research and chief scientific officer at Genentech, one the world’s leading biotech companies.

September 2, 2010 | honors and awards
Paul Greengard receives Karolinska Institutet’s Bicentennial Gold Medal
The gold medal is the highest award conferred by the Karolinska Institutet, one of the world’s leading medical universities, during its 200th anniversary celebrations. The medal recognizes the work of an individual not permanently located at the Karolinska Institutet, who has contributed to and has achieved acknowledged eminence in the university’s activities.

September 1, 2010 | science news
Scientists identify protein that spurs formation of Alzheimer’s plaques

Rockefeller researchers report that the cancer drug Gleevec reduces Alzheimer’s plaques in a mouse model of the disease by binding to a molecule called gamma-secretase activating protein, or GSAP. By knocking out the gene that produces GSAP, the researchers reduced the primary component of senile plaques. They say that the development of compounds that work like Gleevec and target GSAP could revolutionize the treatment of this disease.

September 1, 2010

“In a year when news about Alzheimer’s disease seems to whipsaw between encouraging and disheartening, a new discovery by an 84-year-old scientist has illuminated a new direction. The scientist, Paul Greengard, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2000 for his work on signaling in brain cells, still works in his Rockefeller University laboratory in New York City seven days a week, walking there from his apartment two blocks away, taking his aging Bernese mountain dog, Alpha.”

July 27, 2010 | science news
MicroRNAs play a role in cocaine addiction

MicroRNAs, short stretches of RNA that silence genes, have already been linked to cancer, heart disease and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. New research by Rockefeller University scientists suggests microRNAs are also involved in regulating the motivation to consume cocaine, a finding that could ultimately lead to new ways of combating addictive diseases in humans.

July 2, 2010 | honors and awards
Rockefeller postdoc named finalist for Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

Agnel Sfeir, a postdoctoral fellow in Titia de Lange's Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics, has been named a finalist in the fourth annual Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists competition, which recognizes the contributions of young scientists and engineers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

June 21, 2010

Elaine Fuchs: "I’ve always been interested in how things work. When I was child in 1950s Chicago, there weren’t many women scientists. So to ask the kinds of questions that interested me was unusual. I remember as one of three females among 200 male chemistry majors at the University of Illinois, I was terrified that if I did well in class, the professors would think I’d cheated. That’s how much I didn’t think I belonged. So I studied like crazy and routinely got the best grades on examinations because if I was No. 1, then who could I have cheated from?...I took these things as an invitation to prove people wrong about women in science. It made me work harder."

May 17, 2010 | appointments and promotions
Leslie Vosshall promoted to professor 

A neurobiologist whose research focuses on the mechanism of smell has been granted tenure by the university's Board of Trustees.

April 26, 2010 | science news
Scientists identify potential new target for schizophrenia drugs 

A protein that boosts the signaling power of a receptor involved in relaying messages between brain cells may provide a new target for the development of treatments for schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.

April 23, 2010 | campus newsPaul Nurse to resign as Rockefeller president to become president of Royal Society of London in December 

Paul Nurse, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist, has served as Rockefeller University’s president since 2003.

April 21, 2010 | honors and awards
Titia de Lange receives AACR Clowes Award

Titia de Lange is the 50th annual recipient of the American Association of Cancer Research's award to an individual with outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research.

March 29, 2010


“Children, Elaine Fuchs says, have a natural fascination with science. She remembers that she did. ‘I think like many of the children in our world, I got interested in science just from having a butterfly net and from having a few strainers and some boots and going down to the streams and creeks and being out in the fields,’ says Fuchs.”

Honorary Chairman

David Rockefeller

Founding Chairmen

Lydia A. Forbes
Isabel P. Furlaud
Nancy M. Kissinger
Sydney R. Shuman

2016 W&S Chairmen

Judith Roth Berkowitz
Debra Black
Rebecca A. John
Samantha Boardman Rosen, M.D.
Patricia P. Rosenwald
Barbara Manfrey Vogelstein
Lulu C. Wang

2016 W&S Committee

full committee listing

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