Scott Strobel, PhD

Vice President for West Campus Planning & Program Development; Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning; Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Professor of Chemistry; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor; Henry Ford II Professor

Departments & Organizations

Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

Center for RNA Science and Medicine

Structural Biology

Yale Chemical Biology Institute

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Biochemistry, Quantitative Biology, Biophysics and Structural Biology (BQBS) | Molecular Cell Biology, Genetics and Development | Plant Molecular Biology


Yale Chemical Biology Institute


Professor Strobel's laboratory investigates the structural and mechanistic basis of RNA enzymes, with particular attention to two systems: self-splicing introns and peptide bond formation by the ribosome. The overriding question being addressed is: How does RNA, which is composed of building blocks best suited for a role in the storage of genetic information, catalyze biologically essential chemical reactions? To explore this question, they use chemical, biochemical, and biophysical methods ranging from organic synthesis to X-ray crystallography. These complementary approaches provide high-resolution biochemical and structural information about the RNAs under investigation. Their results have revealed that RNA uses catalytic strategies that are strikingly similar to those of proteins, the more adept and more common catalyst within cells. This includes catalysis promoted by active-site metal ions and substrate-assisted catalysis involving chemical groups on the reaction substrates.

Education & Training

PhD California Institute of Technology (1992)
Postdoctoral Fellow University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Honors & Recognition

  • Schering Plough Research Institute AwardAmerican Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2008)

  • Graduate Mentoring AwardYale University (2007)

  • ProfessorHoward Hughes Medical Institute (2006)

  • Dylan Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Natural SciencesYale University (2004)

  • Beginning Investigator AwardAmerican Cancer Society (2002)

  • Beckman Young Investigator AwardArnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation (1997)

  • Searle Scholar AwardSearle Foundation (1997)

Professional Service

  • Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (2006 - 2009) Department Chair


  • Ribosome Collaborations Germany (2008)

    Professor Strobel's laboratory performed the synthesis of ribosomal substrate analogues. He and Professor Rodnina of Universitat Witten use these substrates in kinetic assays to characterize the chemical mechanism of the ribosome.

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Contact Info

Scott Strobel, PhD

Strobel Lab