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2018 Meritorious Service Award – Scott A. Strobel

Scott A. Strobel, Ph.D.

Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Professor of Chemistry
Vice-President of West Campus Planning and Program Development
Deputy Provost for Teaching and Learning, Yale University

Scott Strobel obtained his B.A. in Biochemistry from Brigham Young University, and his Ph.D. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology under Dr. Peter Dervan. Following a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Thomas R. Cech at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, he joined the Faculty of the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale in 1995, and was appointed jointly to the Department of Chemistry in 1999.

His research is primarily concerned with the study of catalytic RNAs, applying a gamut of biochemical and biophysical approaches in their study. Among his research accomplishments are: the development of early methods of nucleotide analog interference mapping to identify functional groups in RNAs; enzymatic elucidation of the peptidyl transferase center of the ribosome; and the solution of the X-ray crystal structures of a Group I catalytic intron, the glmS ribozyme, and the c-di-GMP riboswitch. His scientific accomplishments have been acknowledged with numerous awards, including a Beckman Young Investigator Award, Searle Scholar Award, the Schering Plough Research Institute Award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He has been further recognized by being named a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow by the Office of Naval Research, and appointment as the Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale.

Scott Strobel’s administrative contributions to Yale University are as significant as his scientific ones. He served as Chairman of the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from 2006 to 2009. In 2001 he accepted the position of Yale Vice President for West Campus Planning and Program Development, where he has overseen the molding of the West Campus acquisition from Bayer Pharmaceutical into a resource for many different aspects of the University’s mission. In 2014 he was appointed the first Deputy Provost for Teaching and Learning, tasked with overseeing the development of a comprehensive Yale Center for Teaching and Learning to promote teaching excellence and support for educators and learners in the Yale community.

His own personal efforts with regard to teaching are highly regarded. In 2004 he received the Dylan Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences from Yale College, and in 2007 he received the Graduate Mentoring Award in the Sciences from Yale Graduate School. He was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor in 2006 to promote efforts in undergraduate science education. He has developed the Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory (REAL), in which students travel with him into the rainforest to collect novel endophytes and then study the specimens back at Yale to look for interesting and useful activities, such as the ability to biologically degrade hitherto intractable environmental contaminants.

Dr. Strobel’s more than 20-year association with Yale University has had extraordinary, positive impact on all aspects of the University’s operation: its research, its academic administration, and educational mission. For these reasons, and with great anticipation for his future contributions to Yale University, the Yale Science and Engineering Association proudly awards Scott Strobel, Ph.D., the YSEA Award for Meritorious Service to Yale University.