Rockefeller University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Rockefeller University
Rockefeller University seal.svg
Motto Scientia pro bono humani generis (Latin)
Motto in English
Science for the benefit of humanity
Type Private
Established 1901
Endowment $1.65 billion[1]
President Marc Tessier-Lavigne
Location New York City (Upper East Side, Manhattan), United States
40°45′45″N 73°57′20″W / 40.76250°N 73.95556°W / 40.76250; -73.95556Coordinates: 40°45′45″N 73°57′20″W / 40.76250°N 73.95556°W / 40.76250; -73.95556
Website Rockefeller.edu

The Rockefeller University is a world-renowned center for research and graduate education in the biomedical sciences, chemistry, bioinformatics and physics. It conducts research mainly in biological sciences and medical science, and has produced or attracted many Nobel laureates. Among the current 78 faculty members include: 35 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 7 Lasker Award recipients, and 5 Nobel Prize laureates. The Rockefeller University is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, between 63rd and 68th Streets along York Avenue. This university boasts of the highest amount of Nobel Prizes in relation to the faculty numbers.

Marc Tessier-Lavigne—previously executive vice president of research and chief scientific officer at Genentech—became the university's tenth president on March 16, 2011.

The Rockefeller University Press publishes the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the Journal of Cell Biology, and The Journal of General Physiology.

History[edit]

Founder's Hall
The Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive runs under the campus

The Rockefeller University was founded in June 1901 as The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research—often called simply The Rockefeller Institute—by John D. Rockefeller, who had founded the University of Chicago in 1889, upon advice by his adviser Frederick T. Gates[2] and action taken in March 1901 by his son, John D. Rockefeller Jr.[3] Greatly elevating the prestige of American science and medicine, it was America's first biomedical institute, like France's Pasteur Institute (1888) and Germany's Robert Koch Institute (1891).[2] The Rockefeller Foundation, a philanthropic organization, founded in 1913, is a separate entity, but had close connections mediated by prominent figures holding dual positions.[4]

The first director of laboratories was Simon Flexner, who supervised the development of research capacity at the Institute, whose staff made major discoveries in basic research and medicine. While a student at Johns Hopkins University, Flexner had studied under the Institute's first scientific director, William H. Welch, first dean of Hopkins' medical school and known as the dean of American medicine.[3] Flexner retired in 1935 and was succeeded by Herbert Gasser.[5] He was succeeded in 1953 by Detlev Bronk, who broadened The Rockefeller Institute into a university that began awarding the PhD degree in 1954.[3] In 1965 The Rockefeller Institute's name was changed to The Rockefeller University.[3]

For its first six decades, the Institute focused on basic research to develop basic science, on applied research as biomedical engineering, and, since 1910—when The Rockefeller Hospital opened on its campus as America's first facility for clinical research—on clinical science.[6] The Rockefeller Hospital's first director Rufus Cole retired in 1937 and was succeeded by Thomas Milton Rivers.[7] As director of The Rockefeller Institute's virology laboratory, he established virology as an independent field apart from bacteriology.

Research breakthroughs[edit]

Rockefeller has a remarkable history of research breakthroughs especially given the size of the institution. A snippet of the research breakthroughs include:

  • First to culture the infectious agent associated with syphilis[8]
  • Showed that viruses can be oncogenic, and enabled the field tumor biology[9]
  • Development of tissue culture techniques[10]
  • Discovery of blood groups and application of group based blood donations.
  • Discovery of the dendritic cell, the sentinel of the immune system
  • Identification of a genetic defect associated with atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart attacks in the U.S.
  • Development of Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis
  • Development of the practice of travel vaccination[11]
  • Pioneered the physiology and chemistry of vision
  • Located genes regulating the sleep/wake cycle
  • Identified the phenomenon of autoimmune disease[12]
  • Developed virology as an independent field[13]
  • Developed the first peptide antibiotic[14]
  • Obtained the first American isolation of influenzavirus A and first isolation of influenzavirus B[15]
  • Showed that genes are structurally composed of DNA,[16] discovered blood groups, resolved that virus particles are protein crystals[17]
  • Resolved antibody structure, developed methadone treatment of heroin addiction, devised the AIDS drug cocktail, and identified the appetite-regulating hormone leptin[18]

In the last decade alone, Rockefeller scientists have:

  • uncovered the molecular basis of fragile X syndrome, the second leading cause of mental retardation;
  • developed a powerful agent that can target and wipe out anthrax bacteria;
  • produced an infectious form of the hepatitis C virus in laboratory cultures of human cells;
  • showed that a normal strain of staph bacteria required only 90 days to mutate and gain antibiotic resistance;
  • discovered a new link between depression and serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep and memory; and
  • imaged for the first time the birth of HIV particles in a living cell.

Notable individuals[edit]

Notable figures to emerge from the Institution include Alexis Carrel, Peyton Rous, Hideyo Noguchi, Thomas Milton Rivers, Richard Shope, Thomas Francis Jr, Oswald T. Avery, Wendell Meredith Stanley, René Dubos, Ashton Carter, and Cornelius P. Rhoads. Others attained eminence before being drawn to the university. Joshua Lederberg, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1958, served as president of the university from 1978 to 1990.[19] Paul Nurse, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001, became President in 2003.[20] (Before Nurse's tenure, Thomas Sakmar was acting-president from 2002.[21]) In all, 24 Nobel Prize recipients have been associated with the University. In the mid-1970s, the University attracted a few prominent academicians in the humanities, such as Saul Kripke.

Urged by Rockefeller Jr, his only son, who was enthusiastic about the Institute, Rockefeller Sr visited but once.[22] Rockefeller Jr's youngest son David would visit with his father.[23] David Rockefeller joined the board of trustees in 1940, was its chairman from 1950 to 1975, chaired the board's executive committee from 1975 to 1995, became honorary chairman and life trustee,[24] and remained active as a philanthropist.[23]

At a glance[edit]

To foster an interdisciplinary atmosphere among its 79 laboratories, the university assigns a faculty member to one of six interconnecting research areas.[25][26]

Research areas[edit]

  • biochemistry, structural biology, chemistry
  • molecular cell & developmental biology
  • medical sciences & human genetics
  • immunology, virology, microbiology
  • physics & mathematical biology
  • neuroscience

University community statistics[edit]

  • More than 70 heads of laboratories
  • 200 research and clinical scientists
  • 350 postdoctoral investigators
  • 1,050 clinicians, technicians, administrative and support staff
  • 175 Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. students
  • 1,178 alumni

Nobel Prize winners[edit]

Year Nobel Laureate Prize Rockefeller Affiliation
2011 Ralph Steinman Physiology or Medicine Faculty when prize awarded
2003 Roderick MacKinnon Chemistry Faculty when prize awarded
2001 Paul Nurse Physiology or Medicine President and faculty after prize awarded
2000 Paul Greengard Physiology or Medicine Faculty when prize awarded
1999 Günter Blobel Physiology or Medicine Faculty when prize awarded
1984 R. Bruce Merrifield Chemistry Faculty when prize awarded
1981 Torsten Wiesel Physiology or Medicine President and faculty after prize awarded
1975 David Baltimore Physiology or Medicine Alumnus; President after prize awarded
1974 Albert Claude Physiology or Medicine Faculty before prize awarded
1974 Christian de Duve Physiology or Medicine Faculty when prize awarded
1974 George E. Palade Physiology or Medicine Faculty before prize awarded
1972 Stanford Moore Chemistry Faculty when prize awarded
1972 William H. Stein Chemistry Faculty when prize awarded
1972 Gerald M. Edelman Physiology or Medicine Alumnus; Faculty when prize awarded
1967 H. Keffer Hartline Physiology or Medicine Faculty when prize awarded
1966 Peyton Rous Physiology or Medicine Emeritus faculty when prize awarded
1958 Joshua Lederberg Physiology or Medicine President and then faculty after prize awarded
1958 Edward L. Tatum Physiology or Medicine Faculty when prize awarded
1953 Fritz Lipmann Physiology or Medicine Rockefeller fellow before and faculty after prize awarded
1946 John H. Northrop Chemistry Member when prize awarded
1946 Wendell M. Stanley Chemistry Member when prize awarded
1944 Herbert S. Gasser Physiology or Medicine Director when prize awarded
1930 Karl Landsteiner Physiology or Medicine Member when prize awarded
1912 Alexis Carrel Physiology or Medicine Member when prize awarded

Award affiliations taken from "The Rockefeller University » Nobel Laureates". Retrieved 2016-03-17. 

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ As of June 2012. "FY2012 budget closes with modest deficit". The Rockefeller University. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Chernow R. Titan: The Life of John D Rockefeller Sr (New York: Vintage Books, 2004), pp 471–2.
  3. ^ a b c d Swingle AM. "The Rockefeller chronicle". Hopkins Medical News. Fall 2002.
  4. ^ Hannaway C. Biomedicine in the Twentieth Century: Practices, Policies, and Politics (Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2008), p 230, note 46.
  5. ^ "Herbert S Gasser—biography". Nobelprize.org. September 6, 2011 (Web-access date).
  6. ^ "The Rockefeller University Hospital". Rockefeller.edu. February 18, 2011 (Web-access date).
  7. ^ "At Rockefeller Hospital". Time. May 24, 1937.
  8. ^ Yoshida H (2009). "Seroimmunological studies by Dr Hideyo Noguchi: Introduction and illustration of his seroimmunological research, with a connection to recent seroimmunology". Rinsho Byori. 57 (12): 1200–8. PMID 20077823. 
  9. ^ Van Epps HL (2005). "Peyton Rous: Father of the tumor virus". J. Exp. Med. 201 (3): 320. doi:10.1084/jem.2013fta. PMC 2213042free to read. PMID 15756727. 
  10. ^ Fischer A (1922). "Cultures of organized tissues". J. Exp. Med. 36 (4): 393–7. doi:10.1084/jem.36.4.393. PMC 2128315free to read. PMID 19868681. 
  11. ^ Frierson JG (2010). "The yellow fever vaccine: A history"—section "First vaccine attempts". Yale J. Biol. Med. 83 (2): 77–85. PMC 2892770free to read. PMID 20589188. 
  12. ^ Van Epps, H. L. (2005). "Thomas Rivers and the EAE model". J. Exp. Med. 202: 4. doi:10.1084/jem.2021fta. 
  13. ^ "Rivers, Thomas Milton (1888-1962)". American Decades. 2001. February 18, 2011 (Web-access date).
  14. ^ Zimmerman BE, Zimmerman DJ. Killer Germs (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003), p 35.
  15. ^ "Thomas Francis Jr". Encyclopædia Britannica. February 18, 2011 (Web-access date).
  16. ^ McCarty, Maclyn (2003). "Discovering genes are made of DNA". Nature. 421 (6921): 406. doi:10.1038/nature01398. PMID 12540908. 
  17. ^ "Wendell Meredith Stanley". Encyclopædia Britannica. February 18, 2011 (Web-access date).
  18. ^ "Jeffrey Friedman, discoverer of leptin, receives Gairdner, Passano awards". Medical News Today. April 14, 2005.
  19. ^ "Joshua Lederberg—biography". Nobelprize.org. February 18, 2011 (Web-access date).
  20. ^ "Paul Nurse to resign as Rockefeller president to become president of Royal Society of London in December". Newswire. The Rockefeller University. April 23, 2010.
  21. ^ Nybo, Kristie (2010). "Profile of Thomas Sakmar". BioTechniques. 49: 779. doi:10.2144/000113534. 
  22. ^ Chernow, Titan, 2004, p 475.
  23. ^ a b Arenson KW, "Turning 90, a Rockefeller gives the presents", New York Times, June 9, 2005.
  24. ^ Rockefeller University, "David Rockefeller honored with named professorship: Barry Coller will be first David Rockefeller Professor", News & Notes, 2000 Dec 15;12(12).
  25. ^ "Research areas". Rockefeller.edu. February 18, 2011 (Web-access date).
  26. ^ "Quick Facts". Rockefeller.edu. June 27, 2013 (Web-access date).

Sources

  • Hanson, Elizabeth. The Rockefeller University Achievements: A Century of Science for the Benefit of Humankind, 1901-2001 (New York: The Rockefeller University Press, 2000).

External links[edit]