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2003 › Arnold Eskin
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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.

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