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Memoir

Daniel Axelrod
Regents' Proceedings 358

Daniel Axelrod, Ph.D., professor of physics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and research scientist in the Biophysics Research Division, will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 2005.

Professor Axelrod received his B.S. degree from Brooklyn College in 1968 and his Ph.D. degree from the University of California-Berkeley in 1974. He was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University from 1974-77. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor and an assistant research scientist in 1977 and was promoted to associate professor and associate research scientist in 1981 and professor and research scientist in 1987.

An active researcher and mentor for graduate students, Professor Axelrod worked to develop novel optical microscopy techniques for studying the position, motion, orientation, conformation, and kinetics of biomolecules. He played a major role in the development of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and made contributions to the theory and practice of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence polarization microscopy, and surface fluorescence. In 2000, he was elected a fellow of the Biophysical Society for his pioneering research in developing the field of total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy.

Professor Axelrod was also very interested in interdisciplinary teaching, not only among the science disciplines but also between the sciences and humanities. This led him to create and teach popular courses on the physics of music, science and strategy in the nuclear arms race, biophysical principles of microscopy, dynamic processes in biophysics, and living with physics. In recognition of his many contributions to biophysics and to teaching, he received the Year of the Humanities and Arts Award in 1997 and the LSA Excellence in Education Award in 1999.

The Regents salute this distinguished scholar by naming Daniel Axelrod professor emeritus of physics and research scientist emeritus.