The Eric Holtzman Memorial Lecture was established in 1995, and is funded by contributions from friends, colleagues, and students of Eric Holtzman. The Lecture seeks to bring scientists to the Columbia community to speak on broad issues in the stud y of science, science education, and the impact of science on society, all subjects that Eric Holtzman embraced in addition to his commitment to his research.
Eric Holtzman, 1939-1994
Eric Holtzman was a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University for 27 years. Prior to that he earned both his Bachelor’s and doctorate degrees at the school. Eric’s research focused on the dynamic of cell membrane s, and, in particular, on he intracellular systems – the lysosomes, Golgi apparatus endoplasmic reticulum , peroxisomes, and synaptic vesicles – involved in membrane origin, fate, and circulation. Most recently he studied vertebrate photoreceptors. He was a leader in cytochemistry and pioneered the use of the electron microscope to correlate synaptic vesicle circulation with neuronal activity. In addition to training and inspiring many graduate students, Eric was a champion of the undergraduate, a revered teacher of cell biology, and the author of a widely used cell biology textbook, "Cells and Organelles." Eric was deeply engaged with the impact of science on society and with politics, in general. He was a vigorous participant in the anti-war movement, i n student activism, and in forging scientific and educational ties to Cuba. He made a unique and multifaceted contribution to the life of the University. Eric was a respected leader and friend among his colleagues in the Department of Biological Sciences. He served as Chairman of the Department for 8 years, until his death in 1994.