Current Issue: June 13, 2014

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 Rockefeller as professor and head of laboratory in July. Dr. Chen, currently a tenured professor of biology at Purdue University in Indiana, is especially interested in the role of transporter proteins in health and disease.

Drug discovery fund begins making grants

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-of-concept projects aimed at identifying and validating potential therapeutic targets. They include pilot funding for 12 early stage projects, two novel diagnostics, one vaccine and one stem cell therapy approach. Funding was also provided to four more advanced projects: one for development of a vaccine and three for novel cancer therapeutics.

Inaugural ‘Science Saturday’ draws families

Jointly hosted by the Development Office’s Parents & Science initiative and the Science Outreach program, headed by Jeanne Garbarino, the day-long event was open to children ages 6 to 18 and their parents, grandparents and teachers. The festivities included more than 20 learning stations, scattered throughout the CRC, which were conceptualized and staffed by nearly 70 Rockefeller lab heads, postdocs and students, as well as former Summer Science Research Program participants.

Tri-I drug discovery institute soon to announce first projects

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 for funding. Six proposals will be funded from among 48 letters of interest submitted by researchers at the three institutions.

IT amps up bandwidth, eases genomic data transfers

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 internet connection to two gigabits per second for both incoming and outgoing traffic. The new higher speed is approximately 130 times faster than a typical residential broadband connection.

Nobel laureate and longtime faculty member Gerald Edelman dies at 84

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, Dr. Edelman received his Ph.D. in 1960 and remained at Rockefeller for 34 years, becoming Vincent Astor Professor. He also served as assistant and then associate dean of graduate studies.



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 approximately half a million dollars, is among the most prestigious international prizes in science. Dr. Allis is Joy and Jack Fishman Professor and head of the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics.