Newsstand Menu

Second Watson School of Biological Sciences class graduates on April 17, 2005

Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Michelle Lynn Frances Cilia, Ahmet M. Denli, Elena S. Ezhkova, Zachary Bela Lippman, Masafumi Muratani, and Ji-Joon Song will become the second class of Watson School of Biological Sciences graduates, fulfilling the School’s mission of bestowing the Ph.D. in biological sciences in approximately four years. The ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, April 17, 2005 at 4 p.m. in Grace Auditorium.

“The Watson School of Biological Sciences is unlike any other; it is designed for students with exceptional abilities and a deep commitment to their graduate education,” remarked Lilian Clark Gann, Dean of the WSBS. “On April 17, we will celebrate the unique nature of this program and the special attributes of six extraordinary individuals, men and women well on their way to becoming leaders in science and society.”

At the ceremony, Honorary Degrees will be presented to Bruce Alberts, Ph.D., President of the National Academy of Sciences, and Daniel E. Koshland, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkley.

The Watson School of Biological Sciences Class of 2005: (first row, l-r) Elena Ezhkova, Zachary Bela Lippman, Michelle Lynn Frances Cilia; (second row, l-r) Masafumi Muratani, Ji-Joon Song and Ahmet M. Denli

2005 Watson School of Biological Sciences Degree Recipients

Michelle Lynn Frances Cilia
Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
William R. Miller Fellow
Beckman Graduate Student
Entering Class of 1999
Thesis: “Mechanisms of intercellular trafficking through plasmodesmata in Arabidopsis thaliana”

Ahmet M. Denli
Bilkent University, Turkey
David Koch Fellow
Entering Class of 1999
Thesis: “Mechanism of RNA interference across species”

Elena S. Ezhkova
Moscow State University, Russia
Engelhorn Scholar
Entering Class of 2000
Thesis: “Role of the proteasome in gene control”

Zachary Bela Lippman
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Beckman Graduate Student
Entering Class of 2000
Thesis: “Transposons, heterochromatin, and epigenetic landscapes in Arabidopsis”

Masafumi Muratani
University of Tsukuba, Japan
George A. and Marjorie H. Anderson Fellow
Entering Class of 2000
Thesis: “Regulation of gene expression by the ubiquitin-proteasome system”

Ji-Joon Song
Seoul National University, Korea
Kwangju Institute of Science and Technology
Bristol-Myers Squibb Predoctoral Fellow
Entering Class of 2001
Thesis: “Structural and biochemical studies of argonaute reveal the slicing mechanism of RISC-RNAi effector complex”

Watson School of Biological Sciences Honorary Degree Recipients

Bruce Alberts, Ph.D.
Known for his work in both biochemistry and molecular biology, Dr. Bruce Alberts has focused on the study of the protein machines that allow chromosomes to be replicated. He is one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, one of the leading advanced textbooks in this important field, which is now in its fourth edition. His most recent textbook, Essential Cell Biology, was printed in 2003 and presents this complex subject matter to a broad audience. Since 1993, Dr. Alberts has served as president of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C., a full-time position. He will be stepping down from this post later this year and will return to University of California, San Francisco, where he previously served as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

Daniel E. Koshland, Jr., Ph.D.
Author of the book Bacterial Chemotaxis as a Model Behavioral System, Dr. Koshland has contributed highly innovative research on the mechanisms of enzyme action, the biochemical roles of protein flexibility, the molecular basis of bacterial chemotaxis, and the regulation of metabolism. His work has been recognized with several awards and honors, including the Albert Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science, the National Medial of Science, and the Pauling Award of the American Chemical Society. Since 1965, Dr. Koshland has served as a professor of biochemistry and molecular and cell biology at University of California, Berkeley, during which time he has served as a chair of the biochemistry department, and chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Biology. A prolific author, Dr. Koshland served as the editor of Science from 1985 through 1995 and has served on the boards of many prestigious scientific journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry; the Journal of Molecular Biology; Biochemistry; and as chairman of the editorial board of PNAS.

Written by: Public Affairs | | 516-367-8455

Stay informed

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest discoveries, upcoming events, videos, podcasts, and a news roundup delivered straight to your inbox every month.

  Newsletter Signup

About the Watson School of Biological Sciences

The Watson School of Biological Sciences was founded in 1999 as a doctoral degree-granting educational program of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The curriculum guides the development of a small number of outstanding Ph.D. candidates into creative and independent scientists. Unlike traditional Ph.D. programs, in which candidates often spend six or more years to obtain a degree, the Watson School is structured to grant the Ph.D. degree after only four years of intensive study. For more information, visit

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit