Leah Cohen, a doctoral student at CSI/The CUNY Graduate Center studying Biochemistry under distinguished Professor of Chemistry Dr. Fred Naider has been selected to participate in the 60th Interdisciplinary Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany from June 27 to July 2, 2010. She is one of 500 students selected from an initial pool of approximately 20,000 applicants, and the first-ever CUNY student to receive such an honor.

Speaking of the prestigious honor, Cohen says, “Being nominated by the Executive Officer of the Biochemistry Doctoral Program and then the Chancellor of The City University of New York was an honor. I am proud to be representing both the CUNY Graduate Center and the College of Staten Island at the 60th Annual Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates. This is a great opportunity for me and I hope to learn a lot from the Nobel Prize winners as well as from the other graduate students in attendance. I am sure the Lindau meeting will be an experience I will remember and treasure throughout my professional life.”

According the The Nobel Lauraute Meetings at Lindau Website, “More than 25,000 young scientists from 80 countries have attended the Nobel Laureate Meetings since 1951. They each belong to the budding scientific elite of their respective countries, and have passed a multi-stage international selection procedure…A comprehensive programme awaits the participants at Lindau. Lectures by the Nobel Laureates and intimate rounds of discussions offer science of the very highest standard. Thanks to the open conference concept, questions relating to basic research are equally at home here, as are application-oriented themes. The events of the social programme offer further opportunities for the exchange of experiences and opinions with Laureates and other young scientists. The entire conference concept is designed to not only make possible such encounters between the scientific elite of today and tomorrow, but positively to encourage and to inspire them for the benefit of their own future research. The Lindau Meetings contribute to the establishment of international networks of scientific excellence, irrespective of political, religious or other barriers. These networks extend into the future, sustained by an expanding alumni network.”

CSI Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. William Fritz sheds some light on Cohen’s accomplishments. “Leah S. Cohen has had a remarkable career at the College. She began as a research assistant to Dr. Richard Davis of the Biology Department and after Dr. Davis left joined the Macromolecular Assemblies Institute at CSI where she rotated through laboratories supervised by different faculty members. Finally she settled in Dr. Naider’s laboratory where she is finishing her PhD. Her progress has been spectacular, she is currently writing her dissertation and expects to graduate this summer. She has already received significant acclaim winning the First Horst Schulz Prize in Biochemistry at CUNY in 2008, was a winner of a Best Poster Award at the 21st American Peptide Symposium in Bloomington, IN in June 2009, and was the recipient of a CUNY Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for 2009-2010. Ms Cohen has published 14 papers in peer reviewed journals. Her skills span biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics, and while at CSI she has collaborated with three different professors in research that led to publications in fields as disparate as cell-cell communication, parasitology, and brain development. She has been a leader among the graduate students and an inspiration to many undergraduates.”

Commenting on Cohen’s achievement, Dr. Naider notes, “As her mentor, I’m very proud of her,” adding “she has won a lot of honors already, so this is just continuing a track record that’s getting stronger and stronger.”

Once Cohen receives her PhD, she hopes to continue her research in structural biology.