Dr. Alfred Stracher received his BS degree in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in chemistry from Columbia University in 1956. From 1956-1959 he was a postdoctoral Fellow of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The first two years were spent in the laboratory of Dr. Lyman C. Craig at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and the final year at the Carlsberg laboratory in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1959 he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY and rose through the ranks to become Professor and Chairman of the Department in 1972. In 1997, to the present, he was appointed Distinguished University Professor, only the third such appointment in the history of this institution. He stepped down as Chairman in 2006 after 34 years in the position.
Dr. Stracher is recognized for his research in three areas, the chemistry of muscle proteins, identification and characterization of contractile and cytoskeletal proteins in non-muscle systems and most recently in the potential of protease inhibitors as therapeutic agents in neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases. In each of these areas he has made major contributions which have been described as pioneering in the letters submitted on his behalf for his appointment as Distinguished Professor. He has been awarded prestigious fellowships from the Commonwealth Fund (1967), Guggenheim Fellowship (1974) and was appointed as a Career Scientist of the Health Research Council of the City of New York (1962-1972). He has had honorary appointments as Visiting Professor at Kings college, University of London and at Oxford university where he was appointed as Fellow of Merton College. He has been a member of the Drug Task Force of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and has twice served for a total of 8 years as member of the Neurological Disorders Study Section (NSP-B) of NIH from 1981-1989. He was appointed by the Director of NINDS to serve on the prestigious Jacob Javits Neuroscience Awards Committee (1984-1985). He has been elected to honorary membership in AOA and awarded an MD from the Downstate Medical Center (1998).