School of medicine

Researcher honored for pioneering work in RNA biology

Joan Steitz was awarded a prestigious Wolf Prize in Medicine for her groundbreaking work in the field of RNA biology, in which she has been a leader since the 1960s. Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, discovered that tiny snippets of RNA that do not code for proteins (snRNPs) play a central role in splicing, a key step in the expression of genes. This finding helped fuel an explosion of knowledge about the key roles played by snRNPs in a host of biological functions and diseases. Her work also helped lay the foundation for the development of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19. The Wolf Prize in Medicine is awarded annually to outstanding scientists from around the world whose achievements benefit humankind. 

School of Medicine ranks fourth in NIH funding

Yale School of Medicine ranked fourth in the nation in research dollars awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2020. The 2020 total, $512,119,543, is a 13 percent increase from 2019, when Yale’s medical school ranked sixth in the nation. It continues the school’s position in the top ten among US medical schools that it has maintained each year since 2001. “The amount of research funding that the NIH awards to Yale scientists is one measure of our ability to have an impact on human health through discovery,” says Nancy J. Brown ’81, the Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine and C. N. H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine. “Our standing reflects the hard work and creativity of our faculty, as well as commitment of the staff who support the research mission.”

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