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.
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.
Robert Heler, a graduate fellow in Luciano Marraffini’s Laboratory of Bacteriology,has been awarded the 2015 David Rockefeller Fellowship, given each year to an outstanding third-year student for demonstrating exceptional promise in science and leadership.
Among the accolades for scholar-scientists, this year’s Convocation also honored four women with a different but no less significant role in the advancement of research— Lydia A. Forbes, Isabel P. Furlaud, Nancy M.Kissinger, and Sydney Roberts Shuman, the founding chairs of Rockefeller’s Women & Science initiative.
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.
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
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
Presented by Leslie B. Vosshall on behalf of Cori Bargmann
Sc.B., Brown University
Mechanisms of Olfactory Plasticity in Caenorhabditis elegans
Presented by A. James Hudspeth
B.S., Ohio State University
Synapse Formation in the Zebrafish Lateral Line
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