The stories behind Hub RTP’s street names represent the creative collision embedded in the ideals Research Triangle Park was founded upon. Each street was named for a Nobel-awarded scientist whose collective discoveries paved the way for continued growth in the Park and the Triangle Region while offering advancements to the science and medical research community.
As you travel east through the campus, you’ll encounter Rodbell Way, serving as a gateway into Hub RTP at the traffic light. This road honors the pioneering scientist Martin Rodbell, whose groundbreaking profoundly advanced our understanding of cellular communication. His research focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying signal transduction – the vital process which cells communicate to carry out a wide range of biological functions. Rodbell received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1994, which he shared with Alfred G. Gilman.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1925, Rodbell earned his undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University before obtaining his Ph.D. from The University of Washington. Throughout his career, he made momentous discoveries at The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, located here in the Research Triangle Park.
Among Rodbell’s most significant discoveries was the identification of G proteins and their crucial role in transmitting signals from the cell’s surface to its interior, eliciting a wide range of cellular responses. Today, G proteins are recognized as one of the most important families of signaling molecules in biology, and their study continues to be a major area of research in the field of molecular biology. Rodbell’s work on G proteins has significantly influenced our understanding of cellular signaling and has paved the way for the development of novel treatments for diseases like cancer and diabetes.
In addition to his scientific achievements, Rodbell was also known for his commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the scientific community.