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WILLIAM J. LENNARZ received his B.S. in Chemistry from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois. Subsequently he carried out postdoctoral work at Harvard with Konrad Bloch on fatty acid biosynthesis. In 1962 he was appointed Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins in the Department of Physiological Chemistry. After promotion to Associate Professor in 1967, and full Professor in 1971, he remained at Hopkins until 1983. At that time, he was appointed Robert A. Welch Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas Cancer Center, M.D. Anderson Hospital. In 1989 he became a Leading Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at SUNY at Stony Brook. In 1990 he founded and became Director of the Institute for Cell and Developmental Biology at Stony Brook.
Dr. Lennarz has served on many national and international committees. He has served as President of the Biochemistry Chairman's Organization, President of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and President of the Society for Glycobiology. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for almost a decade.
He has presented special lectures at the University of Notre Dame, the NIH, the University of West Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, Florida State University, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Arkansas, Indiana University and the Medical College of Virginia.
He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. The focus of his early work was on lipids and bacterial cell surfaces. More recent efforts have been in the structure, biosynthesis and function of cell surface glycoproteins. The biosynthesis studies initially were carried out in liver and oviduct, but these efforts now are focused in yeast. The functional studies have concentrated on the role o