2003 › Arnold Eskin
25th Farfel Recipient
Department of Biology and Biochemisty
John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Biology and Biochemistry
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
It was his internationally renowned scholarship
in neuroscience, along with his continuing contributions as a teacher
and efforts in establishing and leading the Department of Biology
and Biochemistry, that have earned Arnold Eskin the Esther Farfel
Award, the University of Houston’s highest faculty honor.
The author or co-author of more than 150
publications, Eskin has received numerous other honors, including
being named the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Biology and
Biochemistry. He is the only faculty member to receive both the
Farfel Award and the Moores Professorship in the same year.
“It is unimaginable that I would
win these awards because of the high standards set by the 24 previous
winners of the Esther Farfel Award. Each of whom has truly outstanding
credentials, said Eskin.”
His principal research has been in the
fields of circadian rhythms—the “biological clock”—and
in learning and memory.
“We’re interested in explaining
the biochemical and molecular mechanisms through which the nervous
system controls behavior,” he summarized. “We’re
now investigating the impact of the biological clock on learning
and memory in marine snails and in rats.”
During his twenty-four-year career at
UH, Eskin guided the merger of two departments into what is now
the Department of Biology and Biochemistry. As department chair
(1994-2000), Eskin tripled research grants to approximately $6 million
per year and developed the department’s research foci of neuroscience,
the biological clocks, and infectious disease.
Eskin earned his bachelor’s degree
in physics from Vanderbilt University and his doctorate in zoology
from the University of Texas.
“The really important aspect to
this is the recognition it brings to the whole department, to our
research teams, and to the many students who’ve made contributions.
In some ways, this is like honoring a football coach—without
the players; he’d never win anything. That’s certainly
true in this case,” said Eskin.