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Distinguished Professor Marlene Belfort Named to Key NIH Advisory Panel

Marlene Belfort of The RNA Institute and Department of Biological Sciences.

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 30, 2014) — Distinguished Professor Marlene Belfort, renowned for her groundbreaking research in the field of genetics and biochemistry as well as her passionate guidance of young scientists, has been appointed to a major advisory panel of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Belfort is one of nine individuals from prestigious research institutions nationwide to be added to the NIH Council of Councils, whose 27 members advise and make recommendations to NIH’s director on important areas of emerging scientific opportunities, rising public health challenges, and knowledge gaps which deserve special emphasis, strategic planning or coordination.

Belfort, who joined UAlbany’s Department of Biological Sciences in 1985 and became an affiliated faculty member with The RNA Institute in 2011, has received a host of prestigious honors, most notably her election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999. She was appointed a Distinguished Professor, the highest academic rank in the State University of New York system, in 2003.

Of particular significance to Belfort, however, is the award she received in 2002 for dedicated mentoring from the American Society for Microbiology. The prize recognized her passionate guidance and fostering of young scientists.

Her major discoveries in the field of genetics involve the study of organisms' hereditary information encoded in DNA and RNA. Belfort’s work provided new insights into genome organization and the role of introns, mobile elements, and RNA biology in the evolution of life.

She has served on and chaired prestigious committees for such organizations as the NIH and the National Academy of Sciences. Her term on the Council of Councils runs through Oct. 31, 2016.

Read here the full NIH announcement on its new Council of Councils appointments.

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