William H. Hersh Is the GC's Latest AAAS Lifetime Fellow

logo of the American Association for the Advancement of ScienceProfessor William H. Hersh (GC/Queens College, Chemistry) was honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as a lifetime fellow. He is one of 416 people honored this year in recognition of “extraordinary achievements in advancing science.”

Hersh came to The Graduate Center and Queens College in 1989. His group currently studies non-viral delivery of DNA for gene therapy using the tools of organic synthesis and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), X-ray, and computational chemistry for structure determination.

He describes the long-range goal of his research as “delivery of a functional gene to cells to produce a functional protein that is not produced by a defective gene.”

He explains that, “as a chemist, I am not looking at the cure for any particular disease, but rather a general chemical method for delivery of the gene that avoids some of the problems of the current viral delivery of genes. ... Diseases that are the current focus of gene therapy are those that have no cures or poor treatments, for instance, hemophilia, cancer, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.”

Hersh says he was, “surprised and delighted” by the AAAS honor. He joins other Graduate Center colleagues and AAAS fellows, including professors Ruth Stark (GC/CCNY; Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry/Chemistry and Biochemistry), Illona Kretzchmar (GC/CCNY; Chemistry/Chemical Engineering), and Eleanore Wurtzel (GC/Lehman; Biochemistry, Biology/Biological Sciences).

The AAAS began its tradition of recognizing leading scientists as fellows in 1874. This year’s fellows represent disciplines from agriculture, food, and renewable resources to statistics. The fellows will be honored at the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Submitted on: DEC 6, 2018

Category: Chemistry | Faculty | General GC News