We note the passing of Bernard F.Â Erlanger, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Microbiology & Immunology at Columbia University Medical Center. Bernie, asÂ he was known to his colleagues, joined our department in 1952 afterÂ earning his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Columbia University in 1951, andÂ remained a member of the department until he passed away on SeptemberÂ 8, 2011. Dr. Erlanger served as directorÂ of the department’s graduate program for many years, then as ActingÂ and Deputy Chair of the department, and was also the Chair of theÂ Science & Technology Policy Committee at Columbia.
Dr. Erlanger had a distinguished career as a biochemist andÂ immunologist, and his research interests were very broad. TheyÂ included developing receptor specific antibodies using an auto-anti-idiotypic strategy, studying nucleic acid structure and conformation,Â investigating microtubule assembly, and developing antibodies toÂ carbon nanotubules and fullerenes. He was an active inventor withÂ over a dozen scientific patents, including patents for the creationÂ and delivery of specific antibodies, detection of HIV, and treatmentÂ of HIV and sickle cell disease. Dr. Erlanger was the recipient of manyÂ scientific awards and honors throughout his career, including aÂ Fulbright Scholarship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the TownsendÂ Harris Medal.