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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

Contact Information

Scott Strobel, PhD
Scott Strobel
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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


  • 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.

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Schering Plough Research Institute AwardAmerican Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology2008
Graduate Mentoring AwardYale University2007
ProfessorHoward Hughes Medical Institute2006
Dylan Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Natural SciencesYale University2004
Beginning Investigator AwardAmerican Cancer Society2002
Beckman Young Investigator AwardArnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation1997
Searle Scholar AwardSearle Foundation1997

Professional Service

Molecular Biophysics and BiochemistryDepartment Chair2006 - 2009

Departments & Organizations