The Rockefeller University was established in 1965 and grew from the hospital of the same name founded in 1910. It was the first hospital with a singular interest in clinical research. The Rockefeller University continues to produce leading research in a variety of disciplines, including bioinformatics, chemistry, biomedical sciences, and physics. This research university has a distinguished heritage, and since its inception, it has been home to 24 Nobel Prize winning scientists.
Groundbreaking research can only be achieved when there are support systems in place to grow and sustain the work. The Rockefeller University has such a resource in their Board of Trustees and Corporate Officers, featuring such notable leaders from the financial community as Russell L. Carson of Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe; William E Ford, chief executive officer at General Atlantic; and Marnie S. Pillsbury, former director of the David Rockefeller Fund.
Here are some of examples of recent research breakthroughs produced by scientists and graduate students working at The Rockefeller University:
Positive Thinking Helps Worms Find Food
Rockefeller scientists recently learned how worms use their neural processes to sense changes in odor as they move. Researchers were able to identify how the worm’s brains use the sense of smell to control behavior. They learned that the message the worms receive keeps them headed toward food and translates to something like hope. “The discovery of this neural mechanism shows that this brain is more sophisticated in processing sensory information that we had perhaps realized,” said researcher Cori Bargmann.
The Function of DNA Repair
DNA strands break for a variety of reasons and must be repaired by the body. How this process happens has been studied for decades but remains a mystery. When DNA repairs don’t go right they can lead to diseases like cancer. “We now know how key proteins get where they need to be to facilitate the [repair] process,” said Ralph Kleiner, a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Chemistry and Cell Biology.
Fly Brains Work Like Human Brains
How do our brains process the visual information that we encounter every day? Researchers at The Rockefeller University have identified a shared function in the brains of humans and flies that allow both species to filter out the visual noise that we encounter. “Fly brains are small, so discovering that flies can ‘silence’ visual inputs means that we can aim for a comprehensive understanding of how this silencing process is implemented,” says study author Gaby Maimon, head of the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function at Rockefeller.