|Motto||Scientia pro bono humani generis (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Science for the benefit of humanity|
|Location||New York City (Upper East Side, Manhattan), United States
The Rockefeller University is an American private university located in New York City in the United States, offering postgraduate and postdoctoral education. It conducts research mainly in biological sciences and medical science, and has produced or attracted many Nobel laureates. It has the highest number of Nobel Prizes in relation to personnel involved in research in the world. The Rockefeller University is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, between 63rd and 68th Streets along York Avenue.
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 and action taken in March 1901 by his son, John D. Rockefeller Jr. 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). The Rockefeller Foundation, a philanthropic organization, founded in 1913, is a separate entity, but had close connections mediated by prominent figures holding dual positions.
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. Flexner retired in 1935 and was succeeded by Herbert Gasser. He was succeeded in 1953 by Detlev Bronk, who broadened The Rockefeller Institute into a university that began awarding the PhD degree in 1954. In 1965 The Rockefeller Institute's name was changed to The Rockefeller University.
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. The Rockefeller Hospital's first director Rufus Cole retired in 1937 and was succeeded by Thomas Milton Rivers. As director of The Rockefeller Institute's virology laboratory, he established virology as an independent field apart from bacteriology.
Rockefeller researchers were the first to culture the infectious agent associated with syphilis, showed that viruses can be oncogenic, and enabled the field tumor biology, developed tissue culture techniques, developed the practice of travel vaccination, identified the phenomenon of autoimmune disease, developed virology as an independent field, developed the first antibiotic, obtained the first American isolation of influenzavirus A and first isolation of influenzavirus B, showed that genes are structurally composed of DNA, discovered blood groups, resolved that virus particles are protein crystals, helped develop the field cell biology, resolved antibody structure, developed methadone treatment of heroin addiction, devised the AIDS drug cocktail, and identified the appetite-regulating hormone leptin.
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. Paul Nurse, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001, became President in 2003. (Before Nurse's tenure, Thomas Sakmar was acting-president from 2002.) 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. Rockefeller Jr's youngest son David would visit with his father. 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, and remained active as a philanthropist.
At a glance
- biochemistry, structural biology, chemistry
- molecular cell & developmental biology
- medical sciences & human genetics
- immunology, virology, microbiology
- physics & mathematical biology
University community statistics
- 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
- 2011 Ralph Steinman (Physiology or Medicine)
- 2003 Roderick MacKinnon (Chemistry)
- 2001 Paul Nurse (Physiology or Medicine)
- 2000 Paul Greengard (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1999 Günter Blobel (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1984 R. Bruce Merrifield (Chemistry)
- 1981 Torsten Wiesel (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1975 David Baltimore (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1974 Albert Claude, Christian de Duve, George E. Palade (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1972 Stanford Moore, William H. Stein (Chemistry)
- 1972 Gerald M. Edelman (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1967 H. Keffer Hartline (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1966 Peyton Rous (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1958 Joshua Lederberg (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1958 Edward L. Tatum (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1953 Fritz Lipmann (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1946 John H. Northrop (Chemistry)
- 1946 Wendell M. Stanley (Chemistry)
- 1944 Herbert S. Gasser (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1930 Karl Landsteiner (Physiology or Medicine)
- 1912 Alexis Carrel (Physiology or Medicine)
- David Albert, physicist and philosopher
- David Baltimore, recipient of Nobel Prize in Physiology & Medicine in 1975 for the discovery of reverse transcriptase. Has served as president of both the Rockefeller University and the California Institute of Technology.
- Michael Bratman, Durfee Professor of philosophy at Stanford University.
- Gerald Edelman, recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- Barbara Ehrenreich, social commentator and author of the 2001 book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America.
- Jonathan Lear, the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago, who specializes in Aristotle and psychoanalysis.
- Seth Lloyd, physicist
- Harvey Lodish, professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Founding Member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
- Manuel Elkin Patarroyo, Colombian pathologist who made the world's first attempt of synthetic vaccine for malaria. Recipient of Prince of Asturias Award in 1994.
- Robert Sapolsky, Stanford professor, MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient, and writer of numerous books on stress and natural history.
- Amos Smith, Rhodes-Thompson professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania
- Richard Wolfenden, professor of chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- As of June 2012. "FY2012 budget closes with modest deficit". The Rockefeller University. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
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- "Joshua Lederberg—biography". Nobelprize.org. February 18, 2011 (Web-access date).
- "Paul Nurse to resign as Rockefeller president to become president of Royal Society of London in December". Newswire. The Rockefeller University. April 23, 2010.
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- Arenson KW, "Turning 90, a Rockefeller gives the presents", New York Times, June 9, 2005.
- Rockefeller University, "David Rockefeller honored with named professorship: Barry Coller will be first David Rockefeller Professor", News & Notes, 2000 Dec 15;12(12).
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- "Quick Facts". Rockefeller.edu. June 27, 2013 (Web-access date).
- Hanson, Elizabeth. The Rockefeller University Achievements: A Century of Science for the Benefit of Humankind, 1901-2001 (New York: The Rockefeller University Press, 2000).