Josh Lederberg, Edward Tatum discovered bacterial recombination, which was then harnessed as a technique to explore biochemical genetics. This in turn became one of the cornerstones of molecular biology and led to a Nobel Prize in 1958.
Frank Ruddie constructed the first transgenic mammal (which is now universally used technology for genetic analyses)
Sid Altman’s discovery of RNA acting as an enzyme (Now being translated into approaches for disease. Many new RNA functions now being elucidated, such as small, inhibitory RNAs, when before the Altman/Cech demonstration of RNA enzymes, RNA was understood only to be an information-carrying molecule)
John Fenn for the development of electrospray ionization (ESI) to produce charged droplets of protein solutions mass spectrometry to identify chemicals by weighing individual atoms and molecules.
Paul Greengard for work on signal transduction in the nervous system (started at Yale, but much performed at Rockefeller)
Bill Prusoff creator of both the first antiviral compound and a landmark AIDS drug (with Tai Shin Lin)
Yung Chi (?Tommy?) Cheng for contributions to the development of 3TC, FTC and L-FMAU for the treatment of HIV and Hepatitis B.
Dave Ward for tools and techniques useful for the mapping of the genome including fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH)
Charles Janeway for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of the innate immune system
Sherman Weissman for development of improved methods of studying gene expression particularly related to the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC)
Tso Ping Ma for his research in the area of semiconductor materials particularly development of CMOS gate dielectric technology
Mark Reed for the creation of molecule-sized circuits
Ronald Coifman for pioneering work in the field of “wavelet packets,” a system of patterns and structures that allows for the accurate compression and restoration of immense quantities of information
Tom Steitz and others for producing the first high-resolution crystal structure of the ribosome
Joan Steitz for fundamental investigation of how small RNA and protein-containing particles contribute to basic life processes
Allan Bromley for pioneering studies on both the structure and dynamics of nuclei and is considered the father of modern heavy ion science