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Obituary: Alfred Stracher, Ph.D.

Dr. Alfred Stracher, a pioneer in the role of contractile proteins in biological processes, died on May 8 at the age of 82. The cause was complications from leukemia. 


Over five decades, Dr. Stracher’s research on neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases shed new light on the structure of contractile proteins in muscle and platelets. Along with Dr. Paul Dreizen, he elucidated the two-chain structure of the molecule known as “myosin,” and defined the presence of the light chains in the molecule, which are now known to be an integral part of the structure. His investigation of the presence of contractile proteins in cells other than muscle, led to the coining of the phrase “non-muscle motility” which is in use today to describe the movement of all cell types using structural proteins similar to those present in muscle. 


Dr. Stracher received a B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1952, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University in 1956. From 1956-1958, he was a fellow at the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and a national research council fellow at the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. Stracher joined the faculty at SUNY Downstate on September 1, 1959. He was appointed chairman of biochemistry in 1972, a position he held until 2006, making him the longest serving chair of biochemistry in the nation. 


Dr. Stracher, along with the late Dr. Leo Kesner, developed a method for targeting drugs to specific tissues, as a means of lowering toxicity and the amount necessary for efficacy. In animal models, the method has been shown to be therapeutically effective in treating Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, TBI/Epilepsy, nerve injury, and acute Hearing Loss due to noise or drugs. The doctors formed the company, CepTor, which continues to research and investigate their patented method. 


Dr. Stracher is survived by his wife, Dr. Dorothy Stracher, sons Cameron and Adam, daughter Erica Fields, and three grandchildren, Simon and Veronica Stracher and Ari Fields. 


Howard Kroplick was just settling in to his new position as North Hempstead’s town historian in April of 2012 when a phone call from a resident who found an old headstone led him into a comprehensive study of all 28 cemeteries within

the town’s boundaries.


Kroplick, an East Hills resident for 29 years, serves in the unpaid role as an advisor to the North Hempstead board, out of his longtime love of history. His exhaustive study of the area’s cemeteries has helped him complete a history of

North Hempstead that will be published in January, which will coincide with the 400-year anniversary of the discovery of Long Island, by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. It was Block, according to Kroplick, who first identified Long Island as an actual island, not a peninsula as many believed back then. The 128-page book from Arcadia Publishing is the first ever written about North Hempstead.

For the time being, much of the Roslyn area is without representation on the Town of North Hempstead council. Recently, Thomas K. Dwyer, who has represented Roslyn on that body since 2002, announced that he would step down from the board while he is in negotiations with a Manhattan-based consulting firm.


Dwyer, who is the chief operating officer of Syosset-based American Land Services, would not identify the firm he is talking to, but he said that the new job would represent a conflict of interest with his work on the town board.


SUNY College at Old Westbury recently named Dr. Anthony DeLuca of Levittown as the College’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), beginning at the start of the 2014-15 academic year.  

DeLuca, now entering his third year at Old Westbury, also holds the position as director Old Westbury’s Honors College.


“We are thrilled that Dr. DeLuca will serve as Old Westbury’s Faculty Athletics Representative,” said director of athletics Lenore Walsh.  “He is a champion for intercollegiate athletics and has been involved with our program since his arrival at Old Westbury.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to work closely with Dr. DeLuca in support of our students’ academic and athletic pursuits at Old Westbury.”

Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 

The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.


Pete Hamill Lecture - December 5

Chazak Celebration - December 7

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