On October 30, 2019 Dr. Marlene Belfort, Senior Advisor to the RNA Institute, was honored as the 2019 Academic Laureate at the University at Albany Foundation’s Citizen Laureate Awards ceremony. For 39 years, The University at Albany Foundation’s Citizen Laureate Awards have honored outstanding leaders in business and industry, government and academia for their extraordinary accomplishments. Long considered a signature event of the University at Albany, this award was instituted to strengthen the ties between the academic and business communities.
In addition to her role as the Senior Advisor to the RNA Institute, Dr. Belfort is a Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Director of the Life Sciences Initiative at the University at Albany. Dr. Belfort is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Belfort has held a research appointment at the Wadsworth Center at the New York State Department of Health where she also served as the Director of the Genetics Division. She has also served on the board of directors of the RNA Society and on the Board of Advisors of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Evolutionary Biology Program, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Research Center and the Bay Paul Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory.
Dr. Belfort has trained many dozens of Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows and has been, and continues to be, an outstanding mentor to many junior faculty. She is a strong advocate for promoting the careers of women in science and has been recognized by the American Society for Microbiology with the Alice Evans Award for her contributions toward fostering the advancement of women.
In addition to being continuously funded by the NIH for over 30 years, including a 10-year MERIT award, she has served on many study sections. She chaired the NIH Microbial Genetics study section, as well as the prestigious Pioneer Award and Early Independence Award study sections. She currently serves on the NIH Council of Councils.
We at the RNA Institute join the entire University at Albany community in congratulating Dr. Belfort on this well-deserved honor.