Current Issue: December 14, 2012


Annual holiday party is December 20. Celebrate the season with friends and colleagues: this year’s holiday party will showcase the diversity of New York City with food, drinks, music, dancing and entertainment, in Abby Lounge and Dining Room and throughout the CRC, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Anne Debassac, Human Resources, at x8379 or

Implementing the Strategic Plan

As many of you know, a major activity during my first year at the university was the development of a strategic plan that will guide the university over the next several years. This plan, which reflects many months of intensive work by the strategic planning committee as well as essential input from faculty, staff, postdocs, students and trustees, was approved by our Board in June.

University honors Norton Zinder with symposium and annual lecture

Symposium panelists. Rockefeller’s Michael W. Young moderates a panel on Dr. Zinder’s scientific contributions. From left: Dr. Young, Robert E. Webster, from Duke University School of Medicine, June R. Scott, from Emory University School of Medicine, and Marjorie Russel and James E. Darnell Jr., from Rockefeller.Norton D. Zinder, the pioneering geneticist and molecular biologist who helped lay the foundation for the new field of molecular biology in the 1950s and ’60s, was honored with a memorial symposium in November. An annual endowed lecture is also being established in his name. Dr. Zinder, who died this past February after a long illness, was John D. Rockefeller Jr. Professor Emeritus at Rockefeller, where he spent his entire research career.

New science outreach director aims to show students it’s cool to be nerdy

garbarinoThe first goal of the Science Outreach Program’s new director is to squash the stereotype that all scientists have Albert Einstein hair and socially awkward personalities. She won’t have to look hard for evidence: she herself is living proof. Jeanne Garbarino, who was named director of the university’s longstanding program to introduce high school students to real-world biological research, has been a postdoc in Jan L. Breslow’s Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism studying intracellular cholesterol transport since 2008. She has very neat hair and is quite personable.

Robert Darnell named president of New York Genome Center

Genomic infrastructure. Architectural rendering of the outside of the New York Genome Center’s new facility at 101 Avenue of the Americas (top); Dr. Darnell (bottom).Sometime during the last decade, as he developed technology to explore the role of RNA in neurological disease, Robert B. Darnell realized that the talented, highly educated molecular biologists in his lab were spending more and more of their time doing something that they had never been trained to do: processing computational data. The price of sequencing was falling and the amount of information being generated was staggering. If their work was going to proceed at the pace Dr. Darnell wanted it to, he was going to need a new kind of assistance.

Structural biology center provides machines for large scale projects

nysbc3With momentum gaining at the New York Genome Center and several new institutional partnerships beginning on Roosevelt Island and downtown Brooklyn, the academic landscape of New York City is poised for a new era of collaboration. But the idea behind these alliances — that more can be accomplished when institutions share resources than when they work alone — is not new.