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Litster names Tannenbaum head of toxicology

Vice President and Dean of Research J. David Litster has named Professor Steven R. Tannenbaum to head the Toxicology Program in the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology, succeeding Professor Gerald N. Wogan, who has retired.

Professor Tannenbaum, a member of the MIT faculty since 1964, also has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, it was announced last week (see story starting on page 1).

"I am delighted that Professor Tannenbaum has agreed to head this program, which is of great importance to human health and whose origins at MIT go back more than 100 years to the food spoilage and safe canning discoveries of William Lyman Underwood and Samuel C. Prescott," said Dr. Litster. "Professor Tannenbaum is a long-time scientific collaborator with Professor Wogan, and it is fitting that he should succeed Dr. Wogan, who since 1979 has led this division and its departmental predecessors."

"The Toxicology Program today focuses broadly on the influence of environmental substances, including chemicals and infectious agents, on cancer development. Some of our faculty are also interested in areas of pharmacology and drug development," Dr. Tannenbaum said.

"I see the future development of the program leading into the growing areas of interest in environmental health and bioengineering at MIT. Although the Toxicology Program does not offer an undergraduate degree, we see ourselves contributing in the near future to an undergraduate minor in environmental health and in toxicology/pharmacology."

Dr. Tannenbaum, the author and editor of seven books and more than 300 publications, holds seven US patents in the field. He received the SB in food technology from MIT in 1958 and the PhD in food science and technology, with a minor in chemistry, from MIT in 1962. After a year as a research associate, he was appointed instructor in 1963, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science in 1964, associate professor in 1969, and professor of food chemistry in 1974.

In 1981, he became professor of toxicology and food chemistry, and registration and admissions officer in the succeeding Department of Applied Biological Sciences. Since 1988, he has been professor of toxicology in the Division of Toxicology, where he also has served as registration and admissions officer, as well as professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 23, 1996.

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