American Chemical Society Honors UAlbany Chemist
Contact: Lisa James Goldsberry (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (February 27, 2004) -- Eric Block,
a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the
University at Albany and one of the world's leading
authorities on organosulfur and organoselenium
chemistry, is the recipient of the American Chemical
Society's 2003 Kenneth A. Spencer Award, presented
by the Kansas City Section of the ACS. The honor
recognizes excellence in food and agricultural
chemistry. Block will travel to Kansas City, Missouri
on March 1 and 2 to accept the award.
Block is renowned for his work in Allium chemistry,
or the study of the chemistry of garlic, onions,
and related plants of the genus Allium. His research
is particularly relevant to medicine: epidemiological
and medical studies suggest that individuals who
regularly consume garlic and other Alliums experience
a lower incidence of stomach and prostate cancers;
longer blood-clotting times; and lower lipid levels,
indirectly translating into reduced risk of stroke
and cardiovascular disease.
A graduate of Queens College and Harvard University,
Block joined the UAlbany faculty in 1981 and served
as department of chemistry chair from 1985 to
1991. The State University Board of Trustees appointed
him Distinguished Professor, the highest rank
attainable by a SUNY faculty member, in 2002.
He has written three books and 200 refereed articles.
He also holds several U.S. and world patents.
Presented each year since 1955, the Kenneth
A. Spencer Award was established by the president
of the Spencer Chemical Company, who felt that
"the efforts by chemists who toil for better
living through better agriculture and better foods
should be rewarded." Previous recipients
include the late Conrad A. Elvehjem, a biochemist
who discovered the nutrient niacin and helped
to identify the Vitamin B complex; and the late
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health researcher
E. V. McCollum, who discovered vitamins A and
D. For more information on the award visit http://chem-phys.cmsu.edu/kcacs/spencer/spencer.html.