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Why Rockefeller is Unique

Rockefeller’s record of achievement in the biomedical sciences results from a unique structure and culture:

  • A laboratory-based organization, free of academic departments, allows exceptional freedom of inquiry.
  • A tradition of collaboration results in interdisciplinary exchange–the cross-fertilization that leads to discovery.
  • An on-site research hospital offers scientists the opportunity to take their discoveries from the lab bench to the bedside.
  • An incomparable faculty attracts the world’s most gifted graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Minimal administrative bureaucracy means more funds committed directly to research.

Rockefeller is home to the most accomplished scientists in the world.

The current faculty includes:

  • Five Nobel laureates
  • Three recipients of the National Medal of Science
  • Eight recipients of Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards
  • Thirty-four members or foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences

Rockefeller has an extraordinary record of scientific achievement.

Uniquely among research institutes, Rockefeller has maintained its leadership position in biomedical research for more than a century, thanks to a culture built on unsurpassed excellence, the fostering of transformative basic science, and the application of science to the great medical problems facing humanity. Since its founding in 1901, the University has made essential contributions to biomedicine that have been recognized the world over. These seminal advances include:

  • The finding that DNA is the basic material of heredity
  • The finding that cancer can be caused by a virus
  • The discovery of an obesity gene and the weight-regulating hormone leptin

Over the years, 26 Rockefeller University scientists have received the Nobel Prize.

Scientists at Rockefeller are at the vanguard of scientific discovery.

In the past two decades, as a result of the explosion of new knowledge in biology and the development of powerful new technologies to investigate human disease, science and medicine have fully converged. We have entered a golden age of translational medicine, and the prospects for developing new therapies for poorly treated diseases have never been greater. Scientists at Rockefeller will accelerate this transfer of knowledge from bench to bedside and continue at the forefront of this revolution.

The accelerating progress in the biological sciences means that we can look forward to understanding—with a resolution that was unimaginable just a few decades ago—how the cell works and how the brain works, and how the organism develops, fights infection, regenerates itself, and ages. This knowledge is also fueling a revolution in molecular medicine, opening new therapeutic possibilities for many elusive diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, metabolic conditions, and neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. Rockefeller scientists will continue to be at the forefront of discoveries that will revolutionize our understanding of basic biological mechanisms, and they will lead in translating those discoveries into treatments and cures for serious diseases.

We hope you will want to learn more about the giving opportunities at the University, as detailed on this website. Your support can make a difference. We invite you to join us as we work to transform basic scientific discoveries into effective solutions for the great medical problems of our time.