Chancellor James B. Milliken

Chancellor James B. Milliken

Appointed to start on June 1, 2014, James B. Milliken serves as Chancellor of The City University of New York. ยป

Putting Faces on the Decade of Science

March 23, 2007 | CUNY Matters Columns

Last month I traveled to Albany to testify on the State Executive Budget at a joint hearing of the New York State Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees.

There I spoke about many CUNY initiatives and programs currently underway, and emphasized how much we rely on the State’s continued investment in order to recruit additional full-time faculty and provide the student services required to maximize their effectiveness.

Part of my testimony (available in its entirety at focused on our “Decade of Science” at CUNY. It’s no secret that our country’s strength, security, and advancement depend on scientific literacy. An acknowledged decline in student participation and proficiency in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields imperils our competitive advantage in science and technology. The need for our multi-faceted Decade of Science initiative, launched in 2005 and profiled previously in CUNY Matters, could hardly be more pressing.

I spoke at length about this work in Albany. But words only go so far. The vitality of our Decade of Science effort was driven home for the Albany legislators by the presence of 15 faculty scientists drawn from the extraordinary talent we are privileged to have recruited to CUNY:

  • Professor Daniel Akins, Director of the CUNY Center for Analysis of Structures and Interfaces, studies the synthesis of semiconductor and magnetic oxide nanoparticles, as well as the fabrication of carbon nanotubes within various matrices. He is a professor at City College and received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.
  • Professor Hiroshi Matsui, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College, was recently elected as a Frontier Member of the National Academy of Engineering and is recognized for his work on non-lithographic fabrications of devices such as sensors, by fabricating peptide-based nanotubes (antibody) and functionalizing them with various recognition components (antigen).
  • Distinguished Professor Ruth Stark, Director of the CUNY Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies at the College of Staten Island, uses NMR techniques to study the molecular structure and organization of fatty acid binding proteins as well as plant biopolymers.
  • Professor Derrick Brazill received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2005 for his work on cell sensing and control of cell growth during development. He is Associate Professor of Biology at Hunter College and received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.
  • Professor Lynn Francesconi, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College, studies the chemistry of elements such as technetium, with a goal of developing the chemistry as it relates to the medicinal uses of their radioisotopes.
  • Professor Steve Greenbaum, Professor of Physics at Hunter College, performs spectroscopic investigations of solids by magnetic resonance and synchrotron x-ray absorption, applied mostly to materials for electrochemical energy storage and conversion. Professor Greenbaum received a 2002 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
  • Professor Christine Li is a developmental neurobiologist studying how communication is established between cells in the nervous system. She is Professor of Biology at City College and earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University.
  • Professor Elli Wurtzel, a researcher on provitamin A carotenoid biosynthesis in cereal crops, was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2006. She is Professor of Biology at Lehman College.
  • Professor Alex Couzis is the Herbert G. Kayser Professor of Chemical Engineering at City College. His research on the adsorption of organic material from solution onto solid surfaces impacts critical areas such as food science and packaging, microelectronics, optics and delayed drug release.
  • Professor Cathy Savage-Dunn studies the roles and mechanisms of cell signaling during animal development. Dr. Savage-Dunn is Associate Professor of Biology at Queens College and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University.
  • Professor Harry Gafney has recently assumed the Directorship of the CUNY Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in Photonic Applications. Professor Gafney works closely with New York-based companies such as Corning Inc., and is also a guest scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He is Professor of Chemistry at Queens College.
  • Professor Richard Magliozzo has consistently received funding from the National Institutes of Health for research studying the structure and function of a bacterial heme enzyme responsible for activation of an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis, and another bacterial enzyme that catalyzes radical reactions. He is Professor of Chemistry at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center.
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    These scientists represent a small sampling of the individuals at CUNY–faculty, staff, students, and alumni–who are dedicated to making our Decade of Science as productive as possible. I thank you all for your support.