Fleur L. Strand
December 28, 2011
Fleur L. Strand, a physiologist who was a pioneer of the “neuropeptide” concept, died of cancer on Dec. 23, 2011 in her home in Snowmass Village, Colo. She was 83. A memorial celebration of Fleur’s life will be held at a later date.Dr. Strand had the title of Carroll and Milton Petrie professor of biology and professor of neural science, emerita at New York University, where she retired in 1997. Since her retirement, she was appointed by Gov. Pataki to the NYS Spinal Injury Research Board, 2001, and served as a consultant for several pharmaceutical companies until 2010.Dr. Strand began and completed her academic career at New York University, where she received a B.A. and M.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in physiology in 1952. Dr. Strand received a NIH fellowship to study at the Physiological Institute of the Free University (Berlin, Germany), where she first showed that stress-evoked hormones, ACTH, could have a direct effect on the peripheral nervous system, independent of the classical role of the adrenal gland.Dr. Strand was appointed to a faculty position in the Biology Department at NYU (1961) and became the first female chair of the department (1980). She remained an active researcher and beloved teacher at NYU for 36 years. During this time, Dr. Strand sponsored more than 80 Ph.D. dissertations, authored numerous research articles and maintained a very active research program in her lab.Dr. Strand became a Fellow of the NY Academy of Sciences in 1976, and was elected president of the academy in 1987. She served as president of the board of trustees of the American Institute of Science and Technology and received numerous honors and awards throughout her career, including the American Medical Writers Award (1984) for her physiology textbook, NYC Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Science & Technology (2001), Outstanding Women Scientist of the Year (1987), NYU Distinguished Teaching Award, and was nominated for the Mike Salpeter Women in Neuroscience Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Strand co-founded professional societies (WNPC, SNPC and the International Neuropeptide Society) and served on the executive board for Women’s Faculty Caucus (1986-1992) and held number of patents.Dr. Fleur L. Strand was born on Feb. 24, 1928, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Dr. Strand and Mr. Curt Strand met and were married in New York in 1946 and were happily married for 65 years. Curt is a retired CEO of Hilton International. They have been part-time residents of Snowmass Village since 1968 and full-time residents since 2004, actively participating in many affairs of the community they loved. They had one daughter, Karen, who died in 2006. Fleur is survived by her husband, Curt, her brother, Frank (New Jersey), and two nieces, Nicole (Kansas) and Gigi Emanuel (Florida).The Fleur L. Strand Award was initiated and established by her former graduate students to recognize the achievements of a physiologist, enabling the recipient to attend the Experimental Biology Conference. Donations may be made to the Fleur L. Strand Award online [ http://www.the-aps.org/awards ] or by mail to The Fleur L Strand Award, APS Business Office, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814.