Current Issue: March 21, 2008


Employee recognition events scheduled. Human Resources will honor employees who reach major milestones with two events in April. The employee recognition reception, to recognize employees who have worked at The Rockefeller University for 10 and 20 years, will be Thursday, April 3; the anniversary retirement dinner, which honors employees celebrating 25 or 45 years with the university as well as those recently retired, will be Thursday, April 17. Also this spring, the employee art show will be held Monday, March 31 to Friday, April 18, and “take your child to work day” will be Thursday, April 24. For more information, contact Human Resources at x8300. More

President Emeritus Joshua Lederberg dies at 82


Lederberg_historicalHis career spanned 60 years, more than a few fields of science and a presidential legacy of dramatic expansion. And throughout it all, Joshua S. Lederberg was valued as highly for his role as mentor, colleague and member of a global community as for his groundbreaking research. At Yale, the University of Wisconsin, Stanford and ultimately Rockefeller, Dr. Lederberg approached his work with scrupulous attention to detail, highly imaginative approaches to problems and lifelong dedication to fostering community. Dr. Lederberg died February 2, at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, at the age of 82. More

Neuroscientist Gerald Fischbach named visiting professor


Fischbach_colorA neuroscientist who spent his scientific career studying how connections between brain cells form — and who currently helps form connections between researchers studying autism — has been appointed a visiting professor at Rockefeller University. Gerald Fischbach, the second visiting professor to be named since the formal visitors program began last fall, will divide his time between the university’s campus and his office at The Simons Foundation, where he has served as scientific director of the foundation’s Autism Research Initiative since early 2006. More

Hironori Funabiki promoted to associate professor


Hironori Funabiki, head of the Laboratory of Chromosome and Cell Biology, has been promoted from assistant professor to associate professor. Dr. Funabiki, who came to the United States from Japan in 1996 and to Rockefeller University in 2002, studies how chromosomes segregate evenly during cell division. Following approval by the Rockefeller Board of Trustees in November, the promotion was officially announced December 1. More

Carolina in his mind

Assistant Director of Security Michael John leaves after 31 years



Heading south. Michael John’s new house, in Wake Forest, North Carolina, during its construction. Mr. John’s wife, Martha, has been living there since 2005.

The Monday morning commute can be arduous enough within city limits, but when you’re traveling 411 miles, it’s an epic journey. It’s also a trip that Michael John, assistant director of security, has been making regularly for the last two years. His commute this month, however, will be his last. Mr. John is retiring from Rockefeller University after 31 years to move to Wake Forest, North Carolina, and the new home he has built there with his wife.

Mr. John joined Rockefeller as a maintenance clerk in March 1977, one month after arriving in the United States from his native Trinidad and Tobago. He joined the Office of Security that summer, as a guard on the night shift, and moved to the day shift one year later. He was promoted to sergeant in 1987, lieutenant in 1988, captain in 1990, operations manager in 1999, and in May 2007, Mr. John became assistant director of security. More

Faculty and Students Club turns 50

Originally suggested in the mid-1950s by Life Trustee David Rockefeller and President Detlev W. Bronk, the Faculty and Students Club opened in 1958 to encourage social interaction and scientific collaboration among the faculty, postdocs, students and staff of Rockefeller University. The Faculty and Students Club celebrated its 50th anniversary on Monday, March 17, complete with a proper Saint Patrick’s Day spread of corned beef, cabbage and Irish coffee. Pat Griffin — who began as a bartender in 1986 — has been manager of the FSC since 1994. He and two part-time bartenders now serve 400 to 500 FSC members each week, out of a total membership of about 750. The most popular drink? At about five kegs a week, beer — specifically Yuengling draft, Yuengling Black and Tan, Brooklyn Lager and London Pride — with margaritas a close second. Photos from the club’s past include, clockwise from top left: Peter Dumiak and an unidentified bartender; T.P. King and Mabel Bright mid-dance; a chef laying out a catered spread; and the Lester Lanin Band, which played at the club’s 25th anniversary, in 1983. More

Madhav Dhodapkar to move to Yale


Madhav Dhodapkar, head of Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy, has accepted a new appointment as professor of medicine and chief of hematology at Yale University School of Medicine and director of hematologic malignancies and stem cell transplantation at the Yale Cancer Center. Dr. Dhodapkar plans to expand the clinical aspect of his research when he moves his laboratory to Yale this summer. More

President Emeritus Frederick Seitz dies at 96


Seitz“Over a long time, things that people learn purely out of curiosity can have a revolutionary effect on human affairs.” As president of The Rockefeller University, Frederick Seitz helped lay the foundation for entirely new avenues of inquiry at Rockefeller and forged lasting relationships with the larger scientific community to help ensure the future success of Rockefeller scientists. Dr. Seitz, fourth president of Rockefeller University, passed away March 2, at the age of 96.

As a physicist, Dr. Seitz was perhaps best known for his hand in developing the Wigner-Seitz method, the first mathematical system for calculating the cohesive energy of a metal based on the known properties of its atoms, which he created with his teacher at Princeton University, Eugene P. Wigner, during his doctoral studies in physics. One of the several books he authored, A Modern Theory of Solids, was influential in the growth of solid-state physics — the study of the atomic properties of matter. “This book, one of Fred Seitz’s many original contributions to theoretical physics, played a crucial role in producing the remarkable post-war generation of solid-state physicists,” says Nicola Khuri, head of Rockefeller’s Laboratory of Theoretical Physics and a close colleague of Dr. Seitz. “A mere 10 years after this book appeared, the amazing technological revolution started, all born out of solid-state physics.” In 1973, Dr. Seitz received from President Richard Nixon the National Medal of Science, the country’s highest award for scientists, for his contributions to the modern quantum theory of the solid state of matter. More

Biochemist Shigeru Sassa dies at 72


For more than three decades, Shigeru Sassa served as not only a faculty member, but one of Rockefeller University’s most dedicated ambassadors. Having come to the United States and Rockefeller University in 1968 after beginning his scientific career in Japan, Dr. Sassa was a talented physician-scientist who helped forge lasting relationships between his colleagues at Rockefeller and those in his native country. Dr. Sassa, associate professor emeritus, died January 27, at the age of 72. More

Jonathan Winson, founder of dream analysis, dies at 84


“Dreams were never designed to be remembered, but they are keys to who we are.” Widely considered the founder of modern dream analysis, Jonathan Winson, who wrote these words in 1985, bridged the fields of psychoanalysis and neurobiology by elucidating the biological underpinnings and evolutionary imperative of dreams. Dr. Winson, associate professor emeritus of The Rockefeller University, passed away February 3 from pneumonia in Santa Monica, California. He was 84 years old. More