Dr. Howard Rothstein

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Dr. Howard Rothstein, 74, a long-time biology professor at Fordham University, died Friday, July 23, 2010, at White Plains Hospital Center.

He was born Aug. 25, 1935, in Brooklyn, the son of Morris and Esther Rothstein. Growing up amidst the diversity of a neighborhood of immigrants created a life-long interest in languages. He learned to speak several, including Yiddish, Spanish and Italian.

Science was always of particular interest. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences. He earned a Ph.D. in general physiology from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He then participated in postdoctoral research in the ophthalmology department at Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City.

His career in cell physiology spanned more than 45 years. He began a career as a professor in 1962 in the zoology department at the University of Vermont in Burlington. By 1970, he was a tenured professor, remaining at UVM until 1977. Later he was a professor of ophthalmology at Wayne State School of Medicine in Detroit, Mich., and then chairman and later professor in the department of biological sciences at Fordham University in Bronx, N.Y. He retired as professor emeritus in 2005.

His research interests included insulin-like growth factors, regulation of growth in cornea and lens, wound healing, radiation cataracts and the study of infectious disease.

He published approximately 125 scientific papers, including a science text book titled "General Physiology: The Cellular and Molecular Basis." He served on many university committees and was a reviewer and editor for a number of different scientific journals.

His other intellectual interests included linguistics, history of science, and finance and investing.

As a young father in Shelburne, Vt., he raised ducks and geese, and enjoyed gardening and astronomy.

Survivors include his wife, Nurith of Hartsdale, N.Y.; two daughters, Arlene Gokee of Chittenden, Vt. and Caren Robinson of Fairfax, Va.; a son, Dr. Jeff Rothstein of Ann Arbor, Mich.; five grandchildren; a sister, Barbara Borer, and a brother Harvey Rothstein; nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held July 26, 2010, at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, N.Y.

Memorial contributions may be made to the United States Holocaust Museum by visiting https://web.ushmm.org.
Published in Rutland Herald on Aug. 22, 2010
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