March 10, 1999

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani tonight announced the winners of the 1998 Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology at a reception at Gracie Mansion. The awards recognize the important role that members of the scientific and engineering communities play in contributing to the success of the City.

Joining the Mayor for the presentation of the awards were Schuyler Chapin, Commissioner of New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Rodney Nichols, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; and Dr. Herb Pardes, Dean of the Columbia University Faculty of Medicine and Chair of New York City Biomedical and Biotechnology Task Force.

“It is my pleasure to congratulate the recipients of the 1998 Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology,” Mayor Giuliani said. “Thanks to talented people like you, who have embraced science and technology, our country and City have risen to new heights in the 20th Century.

“The scientific and technological research applications that are discovered and perfected in New York City constitute not only some of our greatest commercial exports but some of our greatest contributions to the world,” the Mayor continued. “That’s why I announced the formation of a new Biomedical and Biotechnology Task Force in December of last year. Our goal is to help strengthen collaborative research developments throughout our City, recruit more world-class researchers to New York and focus our efforts to promote and expand biotechnology business development in the Capital of the World.” This year’s winners of the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology are:

Professor Acrivos and some of his guests (From left to right: Mahesh Tirumkudulu, Ph.D. candidate; Mary Wright, Office Manager of the Levich Institute; Andreas Acrivos; Demetrios Papageorgiou, NJIT)

Dr. Andreas Acrivos – Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences Award Dr. Acrivos’ Levich Institute for Physicochemical Hydrodynamics brings together the disciplines of science and engineering to explore the dynamics and transport properties of fluids, including chemically and electrically complicated fluids found in biological systems. This important research forms the foundation for modeling, analyzing, and engineering processes based upon fluid mechanics and chemistry. This knowledge has impacted on applications in many diverse industries, such as petroleum recovery, the processing of cell suspensions, and membrane separation devices used in microelectronics. Dr. Acrivos is the Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Engineering at City College of New York/CUNY.

Dr. Paul Greengard – Biological/Medical Sciences Award Dr. Paul Greengard, is an outstanding neuroscientist who helped lay the foundation for our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which nerve cells communicate with each other. He has investigated the principle of signal transduction, which allows neurons to respond to neurotransmitters with appropriate physiological responses. This particular research and other discoveries have influenced the development of therapies for Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Dr. Greengard is the Vincent

Dr.Harry Levitt – Technology Award An electrical engineer by training, Dr. Levitt is considered one of the world’s leading experts in the development of computer applications and other technologies to help the hearing-impaired around the world. His research pioneered the creation of computerized sensory aids including the first digital hearing aids, computer-based speech training systems for deaf children and automatic speech to Braille conversion for deaf-blind people. His work has also influenced new methods for voice systems in computer-based learning. Dr. Levitt is a Distinguished Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences, City University of New York Graduate Center.

Dr. John F. Niblack – Technology Award An outstanding industry research executive at New York City-based Pfizer Corporation, Dr. Niblack heads up the entire research and development arm of this important Fortune 50 company. After his own long career in biomedical research with an emphasis on modulation of the immune function, Dr. Niblack now directs scientific operations. In this capacity, he oversees the development of new drugs and clinical trials, the regulatory approval process, several international laboratories and a budget of $2 billion. His major management innovations include the use of research common denominators called approaches, the development of unified concepts of the relation between investment and R&D output, and the use of interdivisional teams. Some of the widely known products evolving from this research include Zoloft, Viagra, Trovan, Cardura and Norvasc. Dr. John F. Niblack is the Executive Vice President of Pfizer, Inc.

Under the leadership of President Rodney Nichols, The New York Academy of Sciences administered the nomination, evaluation and review process for the awards in close partnership with Commissioner Schuyler G. Chapin and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Dr. Fleur Strand, Dr. Cathleen Morawetz and Dr. George Bugliarello directed the Academy’s Review Panels.

Each year, nominations are received through a comprehensive nominating process that includes outreach to all sectors in the City’s scientific communities. Individuals may be nominated for either a special achievement or a lifetime body of work in the three awards categories: technology, biological/medical sciences and mathematical, physical and engineering sciences. Candidates must live or work in New York City. The Mayor chooses winners from a list of finalists submitted by NYAS.

This year’s awards event at Gracie Mansion was underwritten by The New York Information Technology Center at 55 Broad Street and the Rudin Family.

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