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George Langford receives alumni award from Illinois Institute of Technology

May 19, 2009

Rob Enslin
(315) 443-3403

Rob Enslin

George M. Langford, dean of Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences, has received the 2009 Professional Achievement Award from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The nationally recognized cell biologist and neuroscientist was one of 20 alumni recently feted at a special ceremony in Chicago.

"I am honored to be recognized by my alma mater," says Langford, who earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in cell biology at IIT in 1969 and 1971, respectively. "IIT's commitment to interprofessional, technology-focused curriculum greatly changed the way I saw the world. My experiences there prepared me for a life of professional achievement and service to society."

IIT lauded Langford for his personal success, outstanding contributions to science and continuing recognition by his colleagues.

Prior to joining SU last summer, Langford served as both dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and distinguished professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He previously held leadership positions at Dartmouth College, Dartmouth Medical Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Howard University, UMass-Boston and the National Science Foundation. His research encompasses cellular mechanisms of learning and memory and the manner by which they are impaired by Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. A proponent of diversity in the classroom, he has served as inaugural chair of the minorities affairs committee of the American Society for Cell Biology and was nominated by President Clinton to the National Science Board, for which he has chaired numerous committees.

Langford holds an honorary degree from Beloit College in Wisconsin and is featured in Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century (Oryx Press, 1996), where he credits IIT for his professional success. Langford completed postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.

At SU, Langford is identifying new priorities for The College of Arts and Sciences around the themes of innovative scholarship, interdisciplinary collaboration and enterprising research. "My goal is to make us the country's premier residential liberal arts college," he says. The College of Arts and Sciences is SU's oldest and largest college, accounting for more than a third of the entire faculty and undergraduate student body. More information is available at

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