Andrew S. Abler '78
Established by Andrew S. Abler ’78 in gratitude for the education he received at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and in honor of his friend, Dr. Anthony J. Nieuwkoop, retired professor of Biomedical Sciences at GVSU. Andrew graduated from GVSU with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1978. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Michigan in1985. He did basic life science and biomedical research for 15 years. His research was conducted at the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, respectively. During that time, he co-authored 13 papers in fields of cell signaling, gene regulation, and apoptosis (programmed cell death). He was awarded an N.I.H postdoctoral fellowship while at the University of Pennsylvania. He left academic research in 1995 to join Upstate Biotechnology, Inc. (Upstate) in Lake Placid, NY, a leading manufacturer of specialized nucleic acid and protein reagents used in life science and biomedical research. He became a member of Upstate’s senior management team when he was promoted to Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs. As head of Quality Assurance, he led a group responsible for performance and regulatory compliance of 3000 products. After Upstate was sold he worked as a consultant and retired in 2018.
Andrew loved his time at Grand Valley. He made life-long friends and received an excellent education which laid the foundation for his work as a scientist. His most influential professors were Dr. Howard Stein (Biology), Dr. Richard Atkinson (Chemistry), and Dr. John Shontz (Biology). He still remembers the excitement he felt reading the chapter on chemical bonding in Dyson’s Cell Biology: A Molecular Approach. Although he was a Biology major, his most challenging course was Introductory Philosophy: Conflict of Man and Nature, which was taught by Dr. Ted Young. That course opened his mind to new ways of thinking about causality in nature. During his education, a scholarship and financial aid helped Andrew attend Grand Valley; he was a work-study student and recipient of a four-year scholarship. Hence, the purpose of establishing this scholarship is to help others have a similar opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive