2012 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize Ceremony
|Thursday, November 29, 2012
6:00 p.m. Registration
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Prize Presentation
7:30 - 8:00 p.m. Reception
The Rockefeller University
York Avenue at 66th Street
For more information or to RSVP:
Emmeline Cardozo at (212) 327-8696
Joan A. Steitz, Ph.D.
Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Joan Steitz is noted for making revolutionary discoveries about the biological molecule RNA. Her work has provided a foundation for our current understanding of the complex genetics of higher organisms, including human beings. In every cell, genes must be activated—in the parlance of biologists, “expressed”—in order to make the proteins that the cell needs. Through experiments that began with studies of antibodies carried by patients with lupus erythematosus, Dr. Steitz identified small nuclear ribo-nucleoproteins (snRNPs) and defined their essential role in a crucial step in gene expression: the processing of messenger RNA. Research on snRNPs may help to explain why humans, who have only about twice the number of genes as fruit flies, are so much more complex. Dr. Steitz’s influential findings and insights are also being widely applied to investigations of many clinical conditions, including cancer and infectious diseases, as well as autoimmune disorders such as lupus.
Dr. Steitz received a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard in 1967. Since 1970, she has served on the faculty at Yale, where she has also achieved renown as a champion of women pursuing careers in the sciences. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, she is a recipient of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Albany Medical Center Prize, and the National Medal of Science.
Special Guest Speaker:
Sylvia Earle, Ph.D.
Oceanographer, environmentalist, and aquanaut
Chairwoman and Founder
Sylvia Earle Alliance
Sylvia Earle, called “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker and the New York Times, “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and first “Hero for the Planet” by TIME, is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer.
Formerly chief scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Earle is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and founder of SEAlliance, Mission Blue, and Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc.
The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, awarded annually by The Rockefeller University, was established by Dr. Paul Greengard, the University’s Vincent Astor Professor, and his wife, the sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard. Dr. Greengard donated his monetary share of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine to Rockefeller and, in partnership with generous supporters of the University, created this major international prize which carries a $100,000 honorarium. Named in memory of Dr. Greengard’s mother, who died giving birth to him, the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize provides recognition of the accomplishments of women in science.