The scientific community’s spotlight was focused on Rockefeller University at the start of this academic year when two faculty members — Marilyn M. Simpson Professor Jeffrey M. Friedman and Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor Elaine Fuchs — each received two highly prestigious prizes. In June, Dr. Friedman received the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine and in September he was awarded a share of the Keio Medical Science Prize, one of Japan’s highest scientific awards. Last month, United States President Barack Obama presented Dr. Fuchs with the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor, and she was also awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award in Life Sciences, which honors exceptional women scientists. More
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.