This fall will mark the launch of the formal process to develop the university’s next strategic plan, a document that will serve as the blueprint for our activities over the next seven to 10 years. Strategic planning is an essential function for an institution such as Rockefeller, and it will be the focus of much of my efforts over the coming months, so I want to take this opportunity to explain how it will work.
Vanessa Ruta, a Rockefeller alumna who did her doctoral studies in Roderick Mac-Kinnon’s lab, graduating in 2005, has joined the university as assistant professor and will establish the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Behavior. She moved from a postdoc at Columbia University on September 1.
A four-story warehouse purchased by the university in 2003, which at one point was slated to be converted to faculty and postdoc housing, has been sold to a Long Island-based real estate developer. The sale was approved by the university’s Board in the spring and closed May 18.
A new full-height turnstile at Rockefeller’s 64th Street pedestrian entrance, installed August 3, has allowed the university to restore 24/7 access to the south campus from York Avenue. As a result, the existing entrance gate, which had been locked on nights and weekends since last November, has been reopened.
Women and minorities continue to be underrepresented in the science and technology workforce, and new initiatives at Rockefeller University are working to change that. Led by Bernice B. Rumala, community engagement specialist in the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), the new programs aim to engage minority groups at several career stages, from high school students to early career scientists.
In the early 1950s, Brenda Milner was making a name for herself among researchers in the memory field, studying memory defects in epileptic patients who had undergone surgery on the brain’s frontal lobe. By 1955, Dr. Milner’s work attracted the attention of a Connecticut neurosurgeon, William Scoville, whose patient, known by his initials H.M., suffered severe memory loss after having parts of the temporal lobe on both sides of his brain removed to treat severe epilepsy. The surgery rendered H.M. unable to form any new memories, although his personality was unchanged and he retained all memories of what happened in his life before the operation.
A security guard since November 2009, Stanley Fowler mostly worked the evening and overnight shifts. He died in August at the age of 58. Originally from England, Mr. Fowler moved to the U.S. in 2002 and had worked as a guard at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, where he lived, before joining Rockefeller. He is remembered for his warm personality and witty sense of humor, and for his skills as a painter and artist; a painting he created, donated to the university by his ex-wife, is on display in the main security office on the first floor of Nurses Residence.
Cori Bargmann, the 11th Perl-University of North Carolina Neuroscience Prize. The award, which Dr. Bargmann shares with Catherine Dulac of Harvard, is worth $10,000 and is awarded this year for the discovery of chemosensory circuits that regulate social behaviors. Dr. Bargmann, Torsten N. Wiesel Professor, head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, will deliver her prize lecture at the UNC Neuroscience Symposium on October 13.