School of medicine

School Notes: School of Medicine
November/December 2018

Robert J. Alpern | http://medicine.yale.edu

Molecular biologist awarded national research prize

Joan A. Steitz, Sterling Professor of Biophysics and Biochemistry and mentor to generations of women scientists, received the 2018 Lasker~KoshlandSpecial Achievement Award in Medical Science from the Lasker Foundation. In its announcement, the organization cites Steitz’s pioneering role in expanding our understanding of RNA biology and her lifelong advocacy for inclusion of women in the sciences. The Minneapolis native was a pioneer in the study of RNA, and her lab discovered that tiny snippets of RNA called small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) play a central role in splicing, a key step in the expression of genes. The Lasker Awards, America’s most prestigious biomedical research awards, recognize the contributions of leaders who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of human disease.

Like grandmother, like granddaughter: two medical degrees, six decades apart

When Hannah Alter ’11, ’18MD, received her medical degree, like many classmates, she invited family to witness and celebrate the occasion. That included her grandmother, Jocelyn Malkin ’52MD, now retired after more than 40 years of practice. Due in part to the quotas of another era, Malkinmay have been the first Yale Medical School alumna to see her granddaughter graduate from Yale’s medical school. “To see rows and rows of women waiting for their degrees, it was very warming. It’s been a long, hard road,” Malkin said.

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