Princeton University: #1 (US)
Princeton University, which jumped to second place in 2008 after not making the list in 2007, took the top spot this year. The Graduate School at Princeton University, established in 1900, has a stellar reputation, boasting 18 National Medal of Science Winners and three recipients of the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Awards in 2007 and 2008.
Although it employs only 203 full-time life science researchers, being a small research university has its perks, says Coleen Murphy, a professor of molecular biology and genomics at Princeton who received a New Innovator Award in 2008. The close-knit environment at Princeton helps foster relationships across scientific disciplines. “I have colleagues in completely different departments, like computer science, chemistry, and ecology and evolutionary biology. It’s really nice,” says Murphy.
Its size leaves Princeton room to grow in the areas where its strengths lie. By June 2010, Princeton plans to start construction on a new neuroscience and psychology complex. The 18,600-square-meter building will house state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, offices, meeting rooms, and space for equipment, such as the University’s functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.