Barry Jay Rosen Memorial Award

The Barry Jay Rosen Memorial Award is given periodically by the Graduate Program in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Brown University to a graduate student whose Ph.D. thesis demonstrates exceptional merit. The Award was established by the family and friends of Dr. Rosen (Ph.D., Brown, 1966) to commemorate him and the spirit of inquiry which characterized his work.

Barry Rosen entered Brown as a graduate student in Biology in 1962 following completion of his undergraduate studies at MIT. He conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Frank Rothman, working on the molecular genetics of an enzyme, alkaline phosphatase, in Escherichia coli. This was at the beginning of the molecular biology revolution, not long after the discovery of mRNA and its role in transducing information from DNA into protein. Barry made the significant discovery that the biological effects of certain nucleic acid base analogs (such as 5-fluorouracil) were due to their incorporation into mRNA, where they caused coding errors during translation into protein. Barry’s initial discovery was published as a single author paper (1), unusual for a graduate student even then. After his untimely death, his work was completed and published in more extensive form (2).

Throughout his brief career, Barry displayed unusual originality and independence, and a deep commitment to research in molecular biology, which he tried to impart to the faculty as well as to his fellow graduate students. He was an avid proponent of the strong inference approach that characterized the young field of molecular genetics and a relentless opponent of fuzzy thinking. His outspokenness endeared him to some and alienated him from others. He was a free spirit who loved to needle his professors by coming to class barefoot or playing frisbee in the Wilson Lab hallways with ice bucket lids. Barry died in a tragic accident on a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 1965 when, characteristically, he had stopped by the lab to check on his experiment. In 1966, he was awarded the Ph.D. degree posthumously by Brown University.

Past Recipients

  • Alexander Conicella, 2018
  • Allison Taggart, 2018
  • John M. Urban, 2017
  • Kathryn Grive, 2016
  • Alexander Leydon, 2015
  • S. Zachary Swartz, 2015
  • Kristin Beale, 2014
  • Marcela Soruco, 2014
  • Susanne DiSalvo, 2012
  • Michael Ragusa, 2011
  • Celina Juliano, 2010
  • Erdem Bangi, 2005
  • Jennifer Sanders, 2005               
  • Tracey Kress, 2004
  • Brenda O'Connell, 2004
  • Marta Radman-Livaja, 2003
  • Anton Vila, 2001
  • Maria Matayek, 2001
  • Sean Conner, 1999
  • Kyungiae Myung, 1999
  • J. Stephen Lodmell, 1997
  • Jungchan Park, 1996
  • Fyodor D. Urnov, 1996
  • Jian Chen, 1994
  • Chun Liang, 1993
  • Michael Newstein, 1992
  • Ursula Snyder, 1991
  • Jen-kuei Liu, 1991
  • Sunghoon Kim, 1991
  • Michael DiPersio, 1991
  • Anne W. Kerrebrock, 1989
  • Susan M. DiBartolomeis, 1989
  • Steven Hanes, 1988
  • John Leong, 1985
  • Danny Sackett, 1983
  • Wilma Ross, 1982
  • Richard Gourse, 1980
  • Mary Jane Potash, 197
  • April Robbins, Ph.D., 1974
  • John Pawelek, 1967

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