Announcements

Tri-I TDI makes modeling software available. The Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, Inc. (Tri-I TDI) has signed an agreement to provide access to Schrödinger’s materials science, biologics and small‑molecule drug discovery suites to researchers within Tri-I TDI’s member institutions. The software simulation tools, which perform virtual screening, analyze potential compounds for suitability and model chemical systems, are designed to advance early-stage research toward new therapeutics. The contract includes open access to key industry-leading tools of drug discovery as well as training. For more information, visit www.tritdi.org/schrodinger.

Geneticist Joe Gleeson joins faculty as professor | Faculty Recruitment

Joseph Gleeson, a neurogeneticist who uses genetic sequencing to identify the causes of pediatric brain disease across its spectrum, including epilepsy, autism, intellectual disability and structural disorders, has joined Rockefeller as a professor and established the Laboratory of Pediatric Brain Diseases. Dr. Gleeson, formerly a professor at the University of California, San Diego, is one of two mid-career scientists who joined the university this summer (the other, Jue Chen, was featured in the June 13 issue of BenchMarks).

Tenure awarded to Hiro Funabiki | Faculty Promotion

Hironori Funabiki, head of the Laboratory of Chromosome and Cell Biology, was promoted to professor and granted tenure by the university’s Board of Trustees at its June meeting. Dr. Funabiki studies mitosis, the primary type of cell division that underlies all growth, maintenance and reproduction in organisms from plants to fungi.

New cryo-EM suite expands Rockefeller’s capabilities in structural biology | Campus News

Structural biology, in which scientists examine the shapes of specific proteins and protein complexes at a molecular scale, has driven some of biology’s most profound discoveries in the past decade, including insights into neurological signaling, pathogenic processes and DNA transcription. With the acquisition of sophisticated new cryo-electron microscopy tools, the university’s labs will be able to benefit from technology that allows for the visualization of three-dimensional structures of molecules and macromolecular complexes in solution.

Playing doctors: Tri-Institutional Music and Medicine Program features physicians and scientists who also perform music | Campus News

Maybe it’s the fact that they both involve a good amount of discipline, or maybe it’s that each requires a certain flair for creative thought. Whatever the reason, many people find themselves drawn to both music and science, and are often faced with the difficult decision of choosing between two passions. The Music and Medicine program at Weill Cornell Medical College aims to make that choice easy for the students and faculty of Rockefeller, Cornell and Memorial Sloan Kettering — they can have both.

Science communicator named new head of Public Affairs | Appointment

An endless stream of compelling discoveries emerges regularly from Rockefeller’s research community and it is the job of the Office of Communications and Public Affairs to make sure those findings are accessible internally and externally. The new executive director of the office, Franklin Hoke, brings with him a background as a veteran science journalist and communications leader in academic settings, and he plans to bolster the office’s core mission to disseminate scientific news. He joined the university in June.

Antique vacuum pump finds new home in Pennsylvania

Not as iconic as the breakthrough discoveries and famous names, but a vital part of Rockefeller’s history nonetheless — a pump that supplied vacuum pressure to Rockefeller labs for over half a century — is having its moment in the spotlight. One of the last of its kind in Manhattan, the 1952 pump (left) has been donated to the National Museum of Industrial History, a new facility now under construction in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

130 employees honored for longtime service | Anniversaries and Retirements

Several ceremonies were held this year to commemorate years of service to the university by Rockefeller employees. This month, 45 members of the university were celebrated for 10 years of service. And in May, an Employee Recognition Reception was held to honor 29 employees who have worked at Rockefeller for 20 and 25 years, followed by an anniversary dinner honoring 16 retirees and 40 employees with 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 60 years of service. To see more photos from the three events, visit www.rockefeller.edu/employeerecognition.

Professor Emeritus Peter Marler, researcher of songbird learning, dies | Obituaries

Professor Emeritus Peter Robert Marler, whose work in songbird learning established a foundation for understanding how animals communicate, died July 5 at the age of 86 in Winters, California. Dr. Marler joined Rockefeller’s faculty in 1966 and helped establish the Millbrook Field Research Center about 80 miles north of Manhattan, serving as its founding director from 1972 to 1981.

Milestones | Awards, Personnel News, Promotions

Awarded:

C. David Allis, the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. The award recognizes Dr. Allis “for the discovery of covalent modifications of histone proteins and their critical roles in the regulation of gene expression and chromatin organization, advancing the understanding of diseases ranging from birth defects to cancer.” The Breakthrough Prize, worth $3 million, was launched in 2013 by a group of Internet and technology entrepreneurs to recognize transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life. Dr. Allis is one of six scientists to receive the life sciences prize this year; the awards were presented at a celebrity-studded gala awards ceremony November 9 at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Dr. Allis is Joy and Jack Fishman Professor and head of the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics.