Scott A. Strobel, the newly appointed Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, is an expert on the function of RNA.
His laboratory employs such technologies as organic synthesis and X-ray crystallography to study reactions catalyzed by RNA. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Strobel is studying three systems: RNA splicing, ribosome catalyzed peptide bond formation and RNA riboswitches. He is considered a leader at the interface between chemical and structural biology, and many scientists now use techniques that he developed to study RNA activity.
At Yale, Strobel also leads a course in molecular biophysics and biochemistry that features a yearly bioprospecting expedition to one of the world's rainforests to explore diverse ecosystems. Strobel developed the course with the support of a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute with the hope of engaging students in the study of science. Students in the course design their own research projects and conduct experiments on the plant samples they collect in the field.
Strobel joined the Yale faculty in 1995 as an assistant professor and was made a full professor in 2001. He holds a joint appointment as a professor of chemistry. He has been chair of the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry since 2006.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Strobel earned his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology. Prior to coming to Yale, he did postdoctoral work with Nobel Prize winner Thomas R. Cech at the University of Colorado.
For his scientific contributions, Strobel was this year honored with the Schering Plough Research Institute Award by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His other honors include Yale's Dylan Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences, a Yale Graduate Mentoring Award in the Sciences, a Searle Scholar Award and a Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award. In 2006, Strobel was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.
The Yale scientist serves on the editorial board of RNA and has been a member of numerous National Institutes of Health study sections. He has been invited to lecture by universities and scientific organizations around the world.