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Innovative teacher, RNA expert is new Ford Professor

Scott Strobel

Scott A. Strobel, Ph.D., chair of Yale’s Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and professor of chemistry, has been named Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.

An expert on the function of RNA, Strobel employs such technologies as organic synthesis and X-ray crystallography to study reactions catalyzed by RNA. Using a multidisciplinary approach, he studies three systems: RNA splicing, ribosome catalyzed peptide bond formation and RNA riboswitches. He is considered a leader at the interface between chemical and structural biology, and many scientists now use techniques that he developed to study RNA activity.

In 2006, Stobel was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor, receiving a $1 million grant from HHMI to implement an undergraduate course that features an annual “bio-prospecting” expedition to one of the world’s rainforests. Students in the course design their own research projects and conduct experiments on the plant samples they collect in the field.

For his scientific contributions, Strobel was honored in 2008 with the Schering Plough Research Institute Award by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His other honors include Yale’s Dylan Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences, a Yale Graduate Mentoring Award in the Sciences, a Searle Scholar Award and a Beckman Young Investigator Award. He serves on the editorial board of the journal RNA and has been a member of numerous National Institutes of Health study sections.