Yale Bulletin and Calendar

September 1, 2000Volume 29, Number 1

Jennifer Doudna

Stephen C. Stearns

Endowed Professorships

Jennifer Doudna named the Henry Ford II Professor

Yale scientist Jennifer Doudna, the new Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, has done leading work in structural biology, particularly by furthering scientific understanding of RNA molecules.

Her research has explained how RNA can act like an enzyme to catalyze specific biochemical reactions and how polyanionic RNA forms a three-dimensional structure. Her most recent work explores the structure of the signal recognition particle, showing how this recognition takes place at a molecular level.

In April, Doudna was awarded the National Science Foundation's prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award, which is given annually to an outstanding scientist or engineer aged 35 and younger and includes a grant of $500,000 over three years for scientific research or advanced study.

Doudna's previous honors include the Beckman Young Investigator Award, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation Fellow Award, the Lucille P. Markey Scholar Award in Biomedical Science, the Johnson Foundation Prize for Innovative Research and the National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiatives in Research.

A graduate of Pomona College, Doudna earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry at Harvard University. Before coming to Yale as an assistant professor in 1994, she was a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and was the Lucille P. Markey Scholar in Biomedical Science at the University of Colorado.

In 1998, Doudna was promoted to associate professor at Yale, and a year later was named a full professor. She has been an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1997. This year, she was named the R.B. Woodward Visiting Professor at Harvard University.

Doudna is the author of nearly three dozen research articles in scientific publications and has also written several book chapters.

The scientist is a member of the editorial boards of Current Biology and the Journal of Molecular Biology. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund and is a consultant to Scriptgen.

Doudna's professional affiliations include the RNA Society, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society.

Noted zoologist Stephen Stearns is new Bass Professor

Stephen C. Stearns, a world-renowned zoologist, has joined the Yale faculty as the Edward P. Bass Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Stearns comes to Yale from the University of Basel, Switzerland, where he has been professor of zoology since 1983. He has held several administrative posts there since 1987, including dean of the Faculty of Science and chair of both the Department of Integrative Biology and the Department of Organismal Biology. He was director of the University of Basel's Zoological Institute from 1987 to 1992.

A world leader in the field of population biology, Stearns specializes in life history theory, the science that relates life cycle characteristics of a species to the growth rate of the population. His work in the areas of population dynamics theory and natural selection links the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. At the University of Basel, Stearns taught courses in ecology, field biology and behavior, as well as courses on evolution.

Last year, the Yale University Press published the zoologist's book "Watching, from the Edge of Extinction," which he coauthored with his wife, Beverly Peterson Stearns, a freelance writer and journalist. The book features a series of interviews with individuals committed to saving such endangered species as Mediterranean monk seals, blue butterflies in Britain, rare plants on Mauritius, Texas salamanders, African wild dogs and Hawaiian crows. The book, which received highly favorable reviews, was a selection of the Natural Science Book Club and won the 2000 Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications in the nonfiction, non-technical book category.

Stearns' other books include "Evolution, an introduction" (published this year), "The Evolution of Life Histories" and "Evolution in health and disease." He is the editor of "The Evolution of Sex and its Consequences."

A 1967 graduate of Yale College, Stearns earned a M.S. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.

The zoologist founded and has served as president of both the European Society for Evolutionary Biology and the Tropical Biology Association and was founding editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. He has been a vice president of the Society for the Study of Evolution. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


White House to wear Old Blue once more

Freshman 'yield' reached record high this year

Yale team solves atomic structure of ribosome unit

Bloom extols pleasures of solitary reading

Yale Bulletin & Calendar has moved

Endowed Professorships

Kemel Dawkins fills in as acting VP for finance and administration


Employee Day at the Bowl to launch Bulldogs' season as defending champs

Artists' creations depict black life in the rural South

Art Gallery exhibit surveys 20th-century American photographic portraiture

One of the featured 108

Exhibits showcase work of Hispanic artists, Paul Rand

Beinecke Library exhibit documents the struggle . . .

Chinese artist's work on view

Renovated gallery to feature architects' creations

Lamar Center's inaugural event examines national parks

'Clowns of horror' to open Yale Rep's new season

While You Were Away ...

Students spent summer aiding Elm City groups

Convocation and organ concerts open new music season

Slifka Center lectures will feature noted Judaic scholars

Bromwich and Lewis are honored for their literary work

Psychologist Robert G. Crowder dies

How they spent their summer vacation: A Photo Essay

In the News

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