Bernd Fritzsch

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) has named Professor of Biology Bernd Fritzsch as Collegiate Fellow, the college’s highest faculty honor, in recognition of his distinguished research, teaching, and service. Fritzsch will serve a renewable five-year appointment as CLAS Collegiate Fellow.

“Professor Fritzsch is a leading neuroscientist internationally,” CLAS Dean Chaden Djalali said, “and it is my great privilege to name him Collegiate Fellow. His influential research has been key to establishing the University of Iowa’s reputation as a vital center of neuroscience, and his teaching and leadership have inspired students at all levels as well as his faculty colleagues. I congratulate him on this latest distinguished achievement.”

Fritzsch, the director of the Center on Aging and the Aging Mind & Brain Initiative, joined the Department of Biology as professor and chair in 2008; he served as chair until 2016. He is a comparative molecular neuroembryologist, with a focus on ear neurosensory development and evolution. His main area of research focuses on the molecular evolution of inner ear neurosensory cells (hair cells and neurons) with the aim to elucidate crucial developmental steps that would allow hearing restoration. To this end, he also works on the molecular developmental evolution of the organ of Corti, the mammalian hearing organ, the spiral ganglion cells, and the brainstem auditory nuclei.

Fritzsch was elected to the Leopoldina—the German National Academy of Sciences—in 2015, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the author of more than 300 published articles, books, and chapters since 1979. According to his Google Scholar profile, his research has been cited more than 15,500 times, making him one of the most influential scientists at the University of Iowa. He earned his doctoral degree from the Technical University of Darmstadt in 1978.