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Professional Testimonials

In 1994, the new Department of Biochemistry Chair, Dr. Jim D. Karam, appointed a committee of three Department members to conduct a review of Bernofsky's recent publications and research funding that would later be used to justify his termination.  Contrary to University rules, Bernofsky was not asked to name alternative reviewers or to invite outside expert opinion.

Below, in response to the identical materials that Bernofsky submitted to Karam's committee, are the opinions of internationally-recognized experts in the field in which Bernofsky was then working.  Following these, are appraisals by the former Department Chairman, the Dean of Tulane University School of Medicine, and a panel of expert reviewers for the Louisiana State Board of Regents.

What the Experts Said about Bernofsky

"He is a productive scientist and publishes his results in well-respected journals."

"His work ... is an important contribution to the field of free radical biology..."

"[H]is work is respected by other leaders in the field."

Willem H. Koppenol, Ph.D.
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich
Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry and Chairman, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry
"I have always been impressed with the quality of his work. ... His current work ... is clearly addressing important issues in toxicological chemistry."

"I am most impressed that Dr. Bernofsky was successful in spearheading a coordinated effort to bring the newest generation of electron spin resonance spectrometer to Tulane University."

"[S]uccess in the field of Free Radical Chemistry and Biology ... needs to have a person with interest, expertise, and enthusiasm for this area of research.  Dr. Bernofsky was poised to bring this about."

Garry R. Buettner, Ph.D.
The University of Iowa College of Medicine
Research Scientist
Head, Free Radical Research Institute and Director, Electron Spin Resonance Facility
"Professor Bernofsky's accomplishments in research and their publication are of the outstanding quality that we at the University of California associate with our preeminent faculty."

"His recent and current grants can be considered paramount accomplishments in these difficult times of grant support."

"Tulane University is to be congratulated for having Professor Bernofsky as one of its researchers."

Al L. Tappel, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis
Professor Emeritus,
Department of Food Science and Technology

What the Former Chairman Said about Bernofsky
[View PDF]

April 14, 1989

Blackwell Evans, M.D.
Acting Dean
Tulane Medical School
Dear Dr. Evans: 

It is with great pleasure that I recommend Carl Bernofsky, Ph.D. for a tenured position in the Department of Biochemistry. Dr. Bernofsky has been at Tulane since 1975 doing outstanding research in the area of pyridine nucleotide chemistry, free radical modification of proteins and nucleic acids, and lately in the field of spin-trapping of free radicals. During the last five years he has been awarded more than $500,000 of research grants which generated $175,000 of indirect cost to the school. His latest grant, which ends in June of 1991, comes from the Air Force of Scientific Research dealing with mechanisms of free radical tissue damage.

Dr. Bernofsky regularly teaches in our Advanced Biochemistry course on Energy Transduction (20 lectures). When Dr. Steele retires in June of 1990, the Department will be short on instructors teaching graduate courses and Dr. Bernofsky will be asked to increase his teaching activities.

Dr. Bernofsky is an intensely dedicated researcher and a superb lecturer who deserves to be on the tenured track.

Sincerely yours,
s/  Rune L. Stjernholm
Rune L. Stjernholm, Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman

What the Former Dean Said about Bernofsky

The following letters were submitted by the Dean in support of Bernofsky's grant application to the NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant Program for an EPR spectrometer. Although this particular proposal was not funded, the grant was subsequently awarded by another agency (see below).

March 22, 1990

Biomedical Research Support Program
Division of Research Resources
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland
Dear Madam or Sir:

It is my pleasure to endorse and support the proposal of Dr. Carl Bernofsky to the Shared Instrumentation Grant Program. The addition of an electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer (EPR) will do an enormous amount to advance the work of our small but highly productive group of investigators, who are focusing on the effects of free-radicals in disease.

Dr. Bernofsky has brought together some of the School of Medicine's most ingenious researchers. Drawn from the Departments of Pathology, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology, their fields of inquiry are diverse: kidney disease, hematopoiesis, differentiation in erythroleukemia cells, and tissue injury during inflammation. However, each investigator will benefit directly and immediately through the use of EPR spectrometry.

The School of Medicine is committed to the support of this instrument when it is acquired. This commitment includes providing space as necessary, ensuring maintenance, and overseeing other technical requirements. I am eager to provide the encouragement needed to ensure the success of this application and the projects it will enhance.

Dr. Bernofsky's application to the NIH Shared Instrumentation Program has my most enthusiastic endorsement. I appreciate your consideration and assistance in this matter. If there is any additional information I can provide, please do not hesitate to contact me.

s/  Vincent A. Fulginiti
Vincent A. Fulginiti, M.D.

March 23, 1990

Application Receipt Office
Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building - Room 240
5333 Westbard Avenue
Bethesda, Maryland  20892
Dear Sir / Madam:

This letter is to confirm Tulane School of Medicine's commitment to support of the Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectrometer. If this award is made, we intend to provide the necessary service contract to ensure that it will remain functional. In addition, we will provide housing for the EPRS and the technical support staff necessary to manage the instrument. At the present time, we believe that a trained spectroscopist will be necessary for the next five years, at a minimum. The spectroscopist would be responsible to the EPR Advisory Committee, which would oversee the use and operation of the facility.

I believe that this instrument will be of great assistance to a large number of our faculty who will use its capacity to study the activity of free radicals in a variety of important biologic processes. I urge you to give this request consideration for funding. Tulane has made a strong commitment in its recently developed Strategic Plan to basic science, and particularly to molecular and cellular biology. It will take the combined resources of our own institution and of grant-derived equipment, such as the EPR requested in this grant, to succeed in our plans. Thank you for considering our request.

Sincerely yours,
s/  Vincent A. Fulginiti
Vincent A. Fulginiti, M.D.

What the Board of Regents' Reviewers Said about Bernofsky

In February of 1992, five expert out-of-state reviewers recommended to the Louisiana State Board of Regents that Bernofsky's grant proposal for an EPR spectrometer be funded, and an award of $250,000 was subsequently made.  The reviewers added the following recommendation to the funding stipulations.  Bernofsky was principal investigator and chairman of the cited EPR Advisory Committee (bold emphasis added).

“This excellent proposal will help several departments maintain and/or build upon existing fine reputations.  The principal investigator shows clearly the plan and mechanism (advisory committee) that will ensure productive interdisciplinary use of the proposed equipment.  Other researchers identified as potential users of the proposed unit have been productive grantsmen in the past.  The quality of this proposal is such that the requesting institution should consider increasing its matching support.

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Web site created November, 1998     This section last modified February, 2001
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