A Daylong Celebration of a Lifelong Dedication to Science

Dr. Fred Naider with Leah Cohen, a doctoral student from his lab in 2010. Ms. Cohen was selected that year to participate in the 60th Interdisciplinary Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany, the first-ever CUNY student to receive such an honor. Ms. Cohen is a featured presenter at the “Celebrate the World of Peptide Chemistry and Biology and Dr. Naider’s Contributions to CUNY and CSI” symposium.

When Dr. Fred Naider attended the 2013 Weizmann Institute of Science’s gala at The Pierre hotel in New York City as a distinguished guest from the scientific community, his lifelong contributions to the field of scientific research came full circle.

While mingling with the many donors and supporters, Dr. Naider distinctly remembers a surprising reply when he mentioned his field of study to a fashionable woman seated at his table.

“Peptides? I love peptides!” she exclaimed.

The woman, who turned out to be a very generous donor to the Institute, was no stranger to the benefits of cosmetics that included peptides as a desirable ingredient believed to play a role in anti-aging properties, wound healing, and the treatment of atopic dermatitis and eczema. This was one of many moments when the far-reaching implications of his work was made clearly evident.

Fred Naider performing post-doctoral research at the Weizmann Institute, circa 1970.

The Weizmann Institute, named after Dr. Chaim Weizmann, First President of Israel, and First President of the Institute, is where Fred Naider, student, performed his two-year postdoctoral work early in his career. In 1973, Dr. Naider moved to the Willowbrook neighborhood of Staten Island when he joined the faculty of the Chemistry Department of Richmond College.

Today, Dr. Naider’s distinguished career at the College of Staten Island continues to flourish.  An active international researcher, his laboratory at CSI continues to be a vibrant research site with undergraduates, graduates, PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows working side by side.

A symposium in honor of the scientific contributions of Dr. Naider will be held at the College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts on Thursday, June 18, 2015.

Fred Naider as a PhD student at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, 1966.

Challenge and opportunity are a hallmark of Dr. Naider’s approach to teaching and learning, and remains a cornerstone of the College’s mission today.

Dr. Naider’s experiments have yielded fundamental insight into the transport of peptides through cell membranes and practical guidance in the design of antifungal drugs for human medicine. One of his collaborations have resulted in a patented class of molecules that was used to make an antiviral agent more effective.

A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Naider has received many grants in support of his research.  His grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been continually supported for more than 35 years, placing him in the top five percent of productive investigators nationwide.

Dr. Naider has held and currently holds many prominent posts. He currently serves as CSI Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, and holds the titles of CUNY Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Leonard and Esther Kurtz Term Professor at CSI. He is Professor of Chemistry at CSI and a member of the Doctoral Faculty at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Anita and Fred Naider at the 2015 Sixty-Sixth Commencement of the College of Staten Island. Photo by Robert King Kee.

Although born in Brooklyn, Dr. Naider has lived in the Willowbrook neighborhood of Staten Island since 1973.  He has been married to Anita Joy Serle for nearly 50 years, and together are the proud parents of four children and 19 grandchildren.

The scientific symposium, entitled “Celebrate the World of Peptide Chemistry and Biology and Dr. Naider’s Contributions to CUNY and CSI,” the symposium will pay tribute to the international career of Dr. Naider, and will focus on Dr. Naider’s scholarship in peptide chemistry and biology. The day long event will include tributes from colleagues and former students, and will be held at the College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts on Thursday, June 18, 2015 from 8:00am to 5:00pm.

Confirmed speakers include: Jeffrey Becker, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Jacob Anglister, Weizmann Institute of Science; Guy Caldwell, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Michael Chorev, Hebrew University, and Harvard Medical School; Leah Cohen, College of Staten Island, CUNY; Mark Dumont, University of Rochester; Ken Jacobson, NIH; Mark Lubkowitz, Saint Michael’s College, Burlington, VT; Ruth Stark, The City College of New York, CUNY, and CUNY Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies; and Oliver Zerbe, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

The symposium will be followed by a festive banquet at Young Israel of Staten Island at 7:00pm. Registration and information can be found at www.csi.cuny.edu/symposium .

Dr. Naider has published approximately 250 peer-reviewed articles in national and international journals. He has been invited to speak at universities and symposia on a national and international level and has given invited lectures throughout the United States and in Czechoslovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Israel, and Italy.