NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/CSR/
Center for Scientific Review: Biographical Sketch of CSR Director
Ellie Ehrenfeld, Ph.D.
In January 1997, Dr. Ehrenfeld, former professor of molecular biology and biochemistry
and dean of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, was
sworn in as the ninth CSR director. She earned a B.A. degree, cum laude, in chemistry from
Brandeis University, and a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of Florida.
She conducted postdoctoral research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the
department of cell biology and subsequently served on the faculty there. In 1974 she
became associate professor in the microbiology and biochemistry departments at the
University of Utah College of Medicine, rising to the position of professor of
biochemistry and cellular, viral and molecular biology. In 1992 she became dean of the
School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, where she served
until assuming her current post.
Dr. Ehrenfelds studies of poliovirus elucidated the mechanism of virus-induced
inhibition of host cell protein synthesis and the role of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.
This work and her studies of hepatitis A virus have direct impact on creation of new
antiviral drugs and vaccines. Her research has been supported continuously by NIH for 23
years and she was an NIH Merit awardee.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Bill Joklik Lectureship Award,
American Society of Virology; Outstanding Professor Award, University of Utah School of
Medicine; Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award; USPHS Career Development Award; honorary member,
Association of Microbiology of Chile; and Merck Faculty Development Award.
Dr. Ehrenfeld has served as member or chair of many peer review committees: Genetic
Basis of Disease Review Committee, NIH (chair); FDA Vaccines and Related Biological
Products Advisory Committee; National Multiple Sclerosis Society Advisory Committee on
Fundamental Research; Research Advisory Panel, U.S. Army Medical Research, WRAIR;
experimental virology study section, NIH; and Microbiology Training Committee, NIGMS, NIH.
She has also served on the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council; on the
Board of Scientific Counselors, NIAID; as a consultant to the Immunopathology Laboratory,
Scripps Institute for Medical Research; and on the editorial boards of virology and
biological chemistry journals. She has authored or coauthored numerous books and
Directors of CSR