Monday, September 15, 2008

Top Expert on the Science of Human Skin to Deliver Ritter Lecture on University of Georgia Campus Sept. 23

Elaine Fuchs, one of the top experts in the world on the science of human skin, will be the featured speaker in the Ritter Lecture Series at the University of Georgia on Sept. 23.

Fuchs will speak at 4 p.m. in room 404E of the biological sciences building. The event is open free to the public.

Fuchs is the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller University. Her research on skin demonstrates how the focus on a single tissue can provide insight into general problems in cell and developmental biology and ranges from identifying and working out the mechanisms of action of transcription factors to learning the causes of tumors and other diseases of the skin.

She is the winner of numerous awards for her work. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has served as president of the American Society of Cell Biology. She also has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 1988.

The Ritter Lecture Series was established in 1999 in honor of Hope T.M. Ritter Jr., for many years a UGA professor and later a professor emeritus of cellular biology. The series focuses on bringing a distinguished lecturer to UGA. The series is supported by the Ritter Lecture Series Fund created with contributions from family and friends of Ritter on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Professor Ritter died in 2007.

A graduate of Cornell University (A.B.) and Lehigh University (M.S., Ph.D.), Ritter served as an assistant professor at Lehigh University (1948-55), Harvard University (1957-61) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (1961-66) before arriving at UGA in 1966.

His research interests in cell biology concentrated on mitosis and morphogenesis, particularly in the anaerobic protists found in the intestinal tract of the wood-digesting cockroach Cryptocercus. His lifelong devotion to biology and his commitment to share this enthusiasm with students made him one of the best-known UGA professors for many years.

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