Category Archives: Convocation

Convocation 2015

When The Rockefeller University held its first Convocation in 1959, there were only five graduates. Fifty-six years later, as of Convocation on June 11, 2015, there are now 1,178 recipients of the Rockefeller University doctor of philosophy degree.

Honorary degrees awarded to three Pearl Meister Greengard laureates

In addition to 28 students, three trailblazing women in science received degrees from Rockefeller this year. In a tradition dating back more than 50 years, the university awarded honorary doctorate of science degrees to distinguished individuals who have made notable contributions to bioscience: Nicole Le Douarin, a developmental biologist at the Collège de France; Mary Frances Lyon, a geneticist at the U.K. Medical Research Council, whose degree was awarded posthumously; and Brenda Milner, a neuropsychologist at McGill University.

Gaby Maimon and Vanessa Ruta honored with teaching awards

For Rockefeller graduate students there is labwork, and there is coursework. This year, the university recognizes two teachers who have devoted substantial time, energy, and creativity to designing and leading one of the most challenging and innovative courses within the university’s graduate curriculum: Gaby Maimon, assistant professor and head of the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function, and Vanessa Ruta, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Assistant Professor and head of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior. They were presented with the university’s Distinguished Teaching Awards at this year’s Convocation luncheon.

Lindsay Bellani

Presented by Leslie B. Vosshall

B.S., The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More than Others: Metabolic Correlates of Human Attraction in Aedes aegypti

Jabez Bok

Presented by Sidney Strickland on behalf of Robert G. Roeder

B.S., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Mechanism of Action of ING4 as a Transcriptional Coactivator of p53

Akinori F. Ebihara

Presented by Winrich Freiwald on behalf of himself and Marcelo O. Magnasco

B.S., The University of Tokyo

Normalization Among Heterogeneous Population Confers Stimulus Discriminability on the Macaque Face Patch Neurons

Anna Katherine Kruyer

Presented by Erin Norris on behalf of herself and Sidney Strickland

B.A., Fordham College at Lincoln Center

The Effect of Chronic Hypertension on Neuropathology in the TgSwDI Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Johannes Larsch

Presented by Leslie B. Vosshall on behalf of Cori Bargmann

M.Sc., University of Konstanz

A Mechanism for Spatial Orientation Based on Sensory Adaptation in Caenorhabditis elegans

Hyeseung Lee

Presented by Sohail Tavazoie

B.S., Ewha Womans University

Identification of Tmem2 as a Sox4 Transcriptional Target Involved in Breast Cancer Metastasis

Johannes F. Scheid

Presented by Michel C. Nussenzweig
Member of the graduating class of 2014

Diploma, University of Arts, Berlin

M.D., Humboldt University – Charite, Berlin

The Antibody Response against HIV

Roman Subbotin

Presented by Brian T. Chait

B.S., M.S., Taras Shevchenko Kiev State University

M.S., University of Minnesota

Chemical Stabilization—A Path Towards Deciphering Protein-Protein Interactions in the Cellular Milieu

He Tian

Presented by Thomas P. Sakmar

B.S., Peking University

Development of Novel Chemical Biology Tools for Probing Structure-Function Relationships in G Protein Coupled Receptors

Yifan Xu

Presented by Jeremy Dittman on behalf of Cori Bargmann

B.S., Duke University

Neural Circuit Dependence of Acute and Subacute Nociception in Caenorhabditis elegans

John Z. Xue

Presented by Hironori Funabiki

B.A., University of Cambridge

Xenopus Dppa2 is a Direct Inhibitor of Microtubule Polymerization Required for Nuclear Assembly

Daria A. Zamolodchikov

Presented by Sidney Strickland

A.B., Princeton University

A New Role for b-Amyloid in Alzheimer’s Disease: Initiation of Thrombotic and Inflammatory Processes via Coagulation Factor XII and Fibrinogen

Nicole Bowles

Nicole BowlesPresented by Bruce S. McEwen
B.A., New York University
Cannabinoid CB1R Receptor Mediates Metabolic Syndrome in Models of Circadian and Glucocorticoid Dysregulation

Fabio Casadio

Fabio CasadioPresented by C. David Allis
B.S., M.S., University of Bologna
Discovery and Characterization of Methylation of Arginine 42 on Histone H3: A Novel Histone Modification with Positive Transcriptional Effects

Teresa Davoli

Teresa DavoliPresented by Sidney Strickland on behalf of Titia de Lange
B.S., University of Pisa
M.S., San Raffaele University
Telomere-driven Tetraploidy and its Relevance to Cancer

Amy Grunbeck

Amy GrunbeckPresented by Thomas P. Sakmar
B.S., Dickinson College
Application of Genetically-encoded Photoactivatable Crosslinkers to Map Ligand-binding Sites on G Protein Coupled Receptors

Adam Michael Knepp

Adam Michael KneppPresented by Thomas P. Sakmar
B.S., Stanford University
Studies of G Protein Coupled Receptor Stability and Dimerization Using Novel Fluorescence and Crosslinking Approaches

Suchit H. Patel

Suchit H. PatelPresented by Sidney Strickland of behalf of A. James Hudspeth
B.S., New York Institute of Technology
Frequency Selectivity of Synaptic Exocytosis in Hair Cells of the Bullfrog’s Amphibian Papilla

Chan Lek Tan

Chan Lek TanPresented by Paul Greengard
B.A., Christ’s College, University of Cambridge
Tuning of Neuronal Excitation by a Brain Specific MicroRNA miR-128: From Targets to Behavior

Sarah Van Driesche

Sarah Van DrieschePresented by Robert B. Darnell on behalf of himself and Jennifer C. Darnell
B.A., Wellesley College
Mechanism of Translational Control by the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein and Creation of the FMRP cTAG Mouse

Amy Wells Quinkert

Amy Wells QuinkertPresented by Bruce S. McEwen on behalf of Donald W. Pfaff
B.S., Rhodes College
Deep Brain Stimulation to Increase Generalized Arousal in Intact Mice and a Mouse Model of Traumatic Brain Injury

Moritz Armbruster

Moritz Armbruster was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and moved to the desert in Tempe, Arizona, when he was seven years old. Coming from a mathematically inclined family, he moved to New York and studied electrical engineering at the Cooper Union before enrolling for a Ph.D. here.

Convocation 2009

Convocation 2009
2009 is a landmark year for science. The 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, father of evolutionary biology, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his classic text On the Origin of Species, this year is being marked with tributes across the world. It is also a milestone year for The Rockefeller University, which on June 11 celebrated the largest graduating class in its history. More

Convocation 2009

Following tradition, faculty mentors gave congratulatory tributes to this year’s graduates. Printed here are the transcripts of those speeches, as they were read on June 11. Three members of the class of 2009 — Taulant Bacaj, Sarah Garrett Injac and Satoshi Yoshimura — were unable to attend the festivities. Students in the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program are marked with an asterisk.

Sourabh Banerjee

Sourabh Banerjee

B.Sc., St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi
M.Sc., Indian Institute of Technology
Studies of G Protein Coupled Receptors Incorporated into a Novel, Nanoscale,
Membrane-mimetic System

presented by Thomas P. Sakmar


Nadya Dimitrova

Nadya Dimitrova

Sc.B., Brown University
Characterization of a Novel 53BP1-dependent Mechanism That Promotes Nonhomologous End Joining of Deprotected Telomeres by Increasing Chromatin Mobility
presented by Titia de Lange


Stefano Di Talia

Stefano Di Talia

Laurea, University of Naples Federico II
Cell Size Control and Asymmetric Cell Fates in Start of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cell Cycle
presented by Frederick R. Cross (on behalf of himself and Eric D.  Siggia)