Four UB Faculty Members Honored by SUNY

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: October 28, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Four University at Buffalo faculty members recently were honored by the State University of New York for significant accomplishments in their respective academic fields.

The UB honorees are Anthony L. Auerbach of Buffalo, professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Susan Howe of New York City, SUNY Distinguished Professor on the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences; Eli Ruckenstein of Amherst, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Frederick Sachs of Eden, UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

They were among 58 SUNY scholars honored at a recognition dinner held on Oct. 20 in Albany.

"These award-winning faculty members have contributed to the dramatic growth in the importance and volume of research being conducted on SUNY campuses -- research leading to scientific breakthroughs that will prevent or heal medical disorders and ailments, protect the environment, create new pharmaceuticals and help us understand the origins of the universe," said SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King.

Auerbach has conducted highly regarded research on cell signaling for more than a dozen years. His laboratory combines approaches of pharmacology, enzymology, structural and molecular biology, electrophysiology and mathematical modeling. He is the recipient of a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award totaling $2.7 million over seven years, holds two other National Institutes of Health grants and has been the co-recipient of awards from the Keck Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

He also serves as director of the Center for Single Molecule Biophysics in the UB medical school.

Howe is an internationally renowned poet whose work has etched an indelible mark on American literature and scholarship.

She has 15 volumes of her poetry in print and has received numerous honors and tributes, including a Guggenheim fellowship and designation as Distinguished Fellow at Stanford's Humanities Center. In 1999, she was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2000 to the American Academy of Poets' Board of Chancellors.

Howe, who first came to UB as a Butler Fellow in 1988 and joined the faculty the following year, holds an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland (Dublin) -- a first for an American poet.

A UB faculty member since 1973, Ruckenstein, is the first UB professor to receive the coveted National Medal of Science -- considered the U.S. equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

His research interests have covered nearly every aspect of chemical engineering, a breadth rarely seen in the work of a single scientist.

He conducts both theoretical and experimental research that not only has changed scientists' understanding of the fundamental phenomena of chemical processes, but also has led to the development of enhanced research methods and new materials.

Ruckenstein is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional distinction an engineer can achieve in the United States, and has been honored with numerous major awards from the American Chemical Society and American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

A UB faculty member since 1975, Sachs is an authority on cell mechanics. His research, which focuses on the electrical processes in cells, has lead to the discovery of mechanosensitive ion channels, which show potential clinical applications to heart failure, muscular dystrophy and brain tumors.

He research has resulted in more than 35 invention disclosures, and last year he was honored by King as being among the outstanding inventors within SUNY.

Sachs is director of the Keck Center for Computational Biology, and also is a member of the Center for Advanced Molecular Biology and Immunology (CAMBI), as well as the Center for Neurobiology and Vision.