Lehman Biology Professor Elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

BRONX, NY — Dr. Eleanore Wurtzel of Lehman College’s Department of Biological Sciences, a pioneering researcher on provitamin A carotenoid biosynthesis in cereal crops, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is the second Lehman professor and the ninth within the City University of New York to receive this prestigious honor.

Election as a Fellow of AAAS, the world’s largest scientific society, is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. The tradition began at the society in 1874. Fellows are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Dr. Wurtzel is being honored for her research and for organizing the first Gordon Research Conference on Plant Metabolic Engineering.

“Dr. Wurtzel’s research plays a critical role in helping to address the problem of nutritional deficiencies on a global scale,” says Acting Provost William Tramontano. “The College’s new science facility, which will break ground in 2007, will foster even greater opportunities for Lehman science faculty to expand the important work they do in a number of areas.”

At Lehman, Dr. Wurtzel heads a team of researchers that includes undergraduates, graduate students in the CUNY Biology and Biochemistry Ph.D. programs, postdoctoral students and other visiting scientists. They work together to conduct research on corn grown on the Lehman campus to better understand the basis of the natural diversity found in this plant. Their research has great implications for improving nutrition in developing countries where vitamin A deficiency results in serious health problems such as blindness.

In 2002, Dr. Eric Delson of Lehman’s anthropology faculty, a leading scholar of human evolution, was elected an AAAS fellow.

The AAAS will present Dr. Wurtzel with a certificate and rosette at a formal ceremony in San Francisco in February.

Keisha-Gaye Anderson / 718-960-8013