Thomas Michael Jessell
August 2, 1951
|Residence||New York City|
|Alma mater||Cambridge University|
|Awards||Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience (2016) |
Gruber Prize in Neuroscience (2014)
Gairdner Foundation International Award (2012)
Kavli Prize (2008)
March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology (2001)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
|Academic advisors||Gerald Fischbach|
Thomas Michael Jessell (born 2 August 1951 in London) was the Claire Tow Professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Columbia University in New York. In 2018, Columbia University announced his termination from his administrative positions along with plans to dissolve his lab after an internal investigation uncovered violations of university policies, including sexual harassment.
Training and career
Jessell received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Cambridge and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School with Gerald Fischbach. In 1981 he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. In 1985 he joined the Columbia University faculty and rose to the ranks to become Claire Tow Professor of Motor Neuron Disorders (in neuroscience).
Sexual misconduct and firing
On March 7, 2018, Jessell was removed from his post at Columbia University following an investigation that, "...revealed serious violations of university policies and values governing the behavior of faculty members in an academic environment".
He was formerly found guilty of sexual misconduct by the university. The American Association for the Advancement of Science removed his fellowship status because of his actions.
Jessell is known for his work on chemical signals that play a role when nerve cells assemble during development to form neuronal circuits. In 1994, he showed that netrin guides commissural axons in the vertebrate spinal cord.
In 1994 Jessell was awarded the NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing from the National Academy of Sciences. He was a co-recipient, with Pasko Rakic and Sten Grillner, of the inaugural Kavli Prize for Neuroscience in 2008. In 2014, he was awarded the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1996. He won the Ralph W. Gerard Prize from the Society for Neuroscience in 2016
- Benedict Carey (March 7, 2018). "Columbia Removes Thomas Jessell, Renowned Neuroscientist, from his Posts". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- "Thomas M. Jessell, PhD - HHMI.org". Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
- "Before removal, MBBI director Thomas Jessell engaged in years-long relationship that violated Columbia policy". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
- "Under the Veil: The Silence Surrounding Sexual Harassment in Labs At Columbia". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
- Wadman, Meredith (2018-09-21). "AAAS adopts new policy for ejecting harassers". Science. 361 (6408): 1175–1175. doi:10.1126/science.361.6408.1175. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 30237333.
- "NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- "Columbia Professors to Receive Kavli Prizes". Columbia News: Office of Communication and Public Affairs. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- "Vilcek Foundation Honors Professor Thomas Jessell for Biomedical Research". Columbia News. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
- "Fellowship of the Royal Society : Current Fellows" (PDF). Royal Society. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "Ben Barres and Thomas Jessell Receive the Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience" (Press release). Society for Neuroscience. November 8, 2016.