71 Roanoke Street Born: May 24, 1941
Staten Island, NY 10314 New York (U.S. citizen)
Telephone: (914) 527-1054 Divorced (6 children)
Genetic Toxicology/ Distance Education/Digital Pathology
Development and utilization of microbial assay systems for the detection of environmental carcinogens and teratogens /Distance Education in the classroom and internationally, virtual laboratory/Digital Pathology in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and research.
Teaching and Administration
Associate Professor (1982-1985)
Microbiology and Pathology
Coordinator, Second Year Program (1982-1985)
Assistant Dean, Division of Basic Sciences (1985-1986)
Dean of Basic Sciences (1986-1999)
Chairman, Department of Microbiological Sciences (1992-Present)
Division of Basic Sciences
New York College of Podiatric Medicine
New York, New York 10035
Telephone: (212) 410-8084
Mutagenicity Testing (Ames Assay; PolA Assay)
Development and utilization of microbial assay systems for the detection of mutagens and carcinogens.
Evaluation of microbial assays for the detection of DNA-damaging chemicals in the environment (for EPA)
Research Assistant Professor (1976-1981)
Research Associate Professor (1981-1982)
Adjunct Research Associate Professor (1982-1987)
Adjunct Professor (1987-1990)
Medical Microbiology, Microbial Physiology
Course Coordinator, Medical Microbiology Laboratory
Department of Microbiology
New York Medical College
Valhalla, New York
Bacterial Genetics and Physiology (Post-Doctoral II)
Studied the mechanism of action of antimicrobial agents which inhibit the biosynthesis of phospholipids in E. coli. Isolation and characterization of mutants resistant to such agents. Active transport studies.
Mentor: Dr. Burton E. Tropp
Instructor, General Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
Queens College of the City University of New York
Flushing, New York
Biochemistry/ Bacterial Genetics and Physiology (Post Doctoral I)
Genetic and biochemical characterization of lysine decarboxylase.
Regulatory mechanisms controlling cadaverine formation in the absence of putrescine. Protein purification. Thin layer chromatography. Flourometry.
Mentor: Dr. Werner K. Maas
Department of Microbiology
New York University of Medicine, New York, New York
Above includes training in phage techniques and biochemistry of transcription (Jan-June, 1974)
Mentor Dr. P.R. Srinivasan
Department of Biochemistry
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons,
New York, New York
Instructor, Medical Microbiology Laboratory
New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York (1972)
Animal Cell Virology
The replication of Reovirus RNA in mouse fibroblast cells in tissue culture.
The Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research,
New York, New York
Thesis Title: Isolation and Characterization of Mutants of Escherichia coli. Conditionally Deficient in the Biosynthesis of Putrescine and Cadaverine.
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Werner K. Maas
Department of Microbiology
New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
Studied the biochemical mechanism of phagocytosis and pinocytosis in guinea pig polymorphonuclear leucocytes and amoebae.
Advisor: Dr. Manfred L. Karnovsky
Division of Medical Sciences, Department of Biochemistry
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
Field of Study: Chemistry/Biology
Honors: Baccalaureate degree, magna cum laude
Honorable Mention, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship
Yeshiva University, New York, New York
March of Dimes Foundation, 1983-1985
Development and Utilization of a Microbial Assay System for the detection of Environmental Teratogens that Act on Genetic Regulatory Mechanisms.
American Society of Microbiology
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Digital Pathology Association
WordStar, Dbase, (Programming and systems development), Windows, Microsoft Word,
Hyperchem, MOO building and programming
HTML and CSS programming (slight)
SUMMARY OF RESEARCH INTERESTS AND RELATED ACTIVITIES
1. Environmental Genetics
a. Early Work in Environmental Mutagenesis
b. Current work on new assay system
c. Future plans
2. Online Education
a. Teaching the internet as a tool on Microbiology Study and Research. Construction of a website.
b. Teaching online to an International Audience
c. Construction of a Virtual Microbiology Laboratory
d. Online Research Collaborations
e. Future Plans
3. Digital Pathology
a. Wiki in undergraduate medical education
b. Virtual Path Lab in postgraduate medical education
c. Paper 3D printing in teaching, research and patient education
d. Future plans
1. ENVIRONMENTAL GENETICS
Early Work in Environmental Mutagenesis
Before coming to NYCPM, I was on the faculty at New York Medical College. There, I was associated with the research team of Dr. Herbert Rosenkrantz (formerly of Columbia P&S). We studied the genetic effects of environmental chemicals using the Ames Assay and especially the Pol A Assay (Refs 12-19). I have utilized this Assay in the study of 42 carcinogens and non-carcinogens for the International Collaborative Program (17). I have worked with the Ames Assay as part of the National Cancer Institute’s four-laboratory collaborative study.
In addition, I was a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gene- Tox Program, serving on the Repair Deficient Bacterial Assay Work Group, to evaluate the results and methodologies of these tests. I was the senior author of the Gene- Tox report (16) and presented the findings of the Work Group at the Conference held at the National Academy of Sciences (15). I have done numerous evaluative studies for the International Commission for the Protection against Environmental Mutagens and Carcinogens (ICPEMC).
Current work on new assay system
At the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, I established the Laboratory of Environmental Genetics. I received a grant from the March of Dimes for the “Development and Utilization of a Microbial Assay System for the Detection of Environmental Teratogens that Act on Genetic Regulatory Mechanisms”. The new assay I developed has been has been my primary area of interest since then. This early work was presented at an ASM Meeting (21).
A grant was received from the College to expand this work to new methodologies (Development and Utilization of a Microtiter Assay System for the Detection of Environmental Carcinogens that Act on Genetic Regulatory Mechanisms”). I presented results of my studies at Meetings of the AAAS and ASM (34-36)
My plan is to continue these studies, In particular, I have observed that the addition of certain chemicals in combination can enhance or reverse the effect of the initial gene-affecting agent. This opens up the possibility of new approaches to the development of chemotherapeutic agents and, at the very least, new insights into the mechanisms of genetic regulation in bacterial cells, and, very likely, human cells, as well.
2. ONLINE EDUCATION
Teaching the Internet as a Tool in Microbiology Study and Research. Construction of a Website.
I have constructed a teaching module for my Freshman Microbiology Course designed to teach the use of the internet as a tool in Microbiology Education and Research. This work was presented at ASM Meetings, Division of Microbiology Education (30-33) and at the Virtual Conference on Computers in University Biology Education (32). This work resulted in the development of a website (http://www.nycpm.edu/leifer) (24, 29, 37, and 38).
Teaching Online to an International Audience
I have become part of an organization called Internet Biologists. One of their activities is to present courses (28) on the use of the internet for professional biology researchers. I gave lectures to an international audience of molecular biologists in real time via MOO technology (on organizing internet searches (25-26) and on a virtual Microbiology laboratory, see below). This work was presented at a meeting of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (40).
Construction of a Virtual Microbiology Laboratory
Using the virtual biology research center BioMOO, and having taught myself the MOO object-oriented programming language, I constructed a virtual microbiology laboratory, where distance learning can take place in a simulated environment, with the professor present and communicating (23,27).
Online Research Collaboration
Building on this experience, I have published on Research Collaboration via MOO (31, 39).
I plan to continue in developing these interests-to expand the course teaching and website development, online teaching and research collaboration.
3. DIGITAL PATHOLOGY
Design and Use of a Wiki in an Undergraduate Medical Pathology Laboratory Course.
I have been teaching the Pathology Laboratory course at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine since 1982. It is a seventeen-week course, covering Basic and Systemic Pathology. Initially, we worked with a set of glass slides. Since 2011, via Olympus, we converted to Virtual Microscopy/Digital Pathology.
As part of the classroom activities, I constructed a Wiki to aid the students in their studies (42,44,45,46).
Construction of a Virtual Path Lab website to enhance residency training
I put together a website, in line with the numerous Virtual Patient sites, containing clinical scenarios with alternate endings, to reach a diagnosis. In my site, the environment is a pathology diagnostic lab, featuring virtual slides (via web connections) so that the resident can try his hand at scanning the slide, finding the right area and making his diagnosis. Here, too, there is an engaging story-line to enhance the experience, along with links to the literature and other helpful features (47,48).
The use of 3D paper printing to enhance pathology education and research.
I developed a system of representing a tissue sample in multiple sections in a three-dimensional representation, to enhance visualization of the dimensions and localization of the pathology, using a unique 3D paper printing methodology (43).
I have an interest in the use of Telepathology in urinalysis. Another idea is the use of neural network analysis for slide study. Also, more work on 3D representation of tissue samples.
1. Hirschfield, I.N., H.J. Rosenfeld, Z, Leifer and W.K. Maas (1969) Growth inhibition of a mutant of Escherichia coli by arginine and its reversal by polyamines. Bact. Proc., pp. 144.
2. Hirschfield, I.N., H.J. Rosenfeld, Z. Leifer, and W.K. Maas (1970) Isolation and characterization of a mutant of Escherichia coli blocked in the synthesis of putrescine. J. Bacteriol. 101:725-730.
3. Maas, W.K., Z. Leifer and J. Poindexter (1970) Studies with mutants blocked in the synthesis of polyamines. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 171: 957-967.
4. Poindexter, J.S. and Z. Leifer (1971) Proposed role of putrescine (1, 4-diaminobutane) in amino acid metabolism. Bact. Proc., p. 132.
5. Leifer, Z. and W.K. Maas (1972) enzymatic synthesis of cadaverine by putrescine auxotroph of Escherichia coli. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, p. 180.
6. Leifer, Z. (1972) Isolation and Characterization of Mutants of Escherichia coli conditionally deficient in the biosynthesis of putrescine and cadaverine. Ph.D Thesis, New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Division of Medical Sciences, Department of Microbiology.
7. Leifer, Z. and W.K. Maas 91973) Studies on the regulation of lysine decarboxylase by polyamines. Fed. Proc. 32:659.
8. Leifer, Z. and W.K. Maas (1974) Biochemical and physiological characterization of lysine decarboxylase II and its relation to lysine decarboxylase I and to polyamines. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiologu, p. 191
9. Leifer, Z. (1974). Book review: “Function of Naturally Occurring Polyamines”, by Uriel Bachrach. Academic Press, New York, (1973) Published in American Society for Microbiology (ASM) News 40:222-224
10. Leifer, Z., C.-T. Tang, R. Engel and B.E. Tropp (1976) Studies on the transport of an inhibitor of phospholipids biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, p. 166
11. Leifer, Z., R. Engel and B.E. Tropp (1976). Transport of 3, 4- dihydroxybutyl-1-phosphonate, an analogue of snglycerol 3-phosphate. J. Bacteriol. 130:968-971
12. Leifer, Z. and H.S. Rosenkranz (1979) Modifications and improvements of the E. coli DNA repair assay. Environmental Mutagenesis 1:123.
13. Rosenkranz, H.S. and Z. Leifer (1980) Determining the DNA modifying activity of the chemicals using DNA polymerase deficient Escherichia coli, in Chemical Mutagens: Principles and Methods for their Detection, Vol. 6, (F.J. de Serrer and A. Hollaender, eds). Plenum Press, New York, pp. 109-147.
14. Hyman, J., Z. Leifer, and H.S. Rosenkranz (1980) The E. coli Pol A assay: A quantitative procedure for the diffusible and non- diffusible chemicals. Mutation Res. 74:107-111
15. Rosenkranz, H.S., T. Kada, Z. Leifer, M. Mandel, R.S. Stafford and E. Zeiger (1980) An evaluation of bacterial DNA repair tests for predicting genetoxity and carcinogenicity in Current Status of Bioassays in Genetic Toxicology Gene-Tox). Abstracts of a conference sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., December 3-5, pp. 38.
16. Leifer, Z. T. Kada, M. Mandel, E. Zeiger, R. Stafford and H.S. Rosenkranz (1981) an evaluation of tests using DNA repair-deficient bacteria for predicting genotoxicity and carcinogenicity: A report of the U.S. E.P.A.’s Gene-Tox Program. Mutation Res. 87:211-297.
17. Rosenkranz, H.S., J. Hyman, and Z. Leifer (1981) DNA polymerase deficient assay, in progress in the Mutation Research, Vol. 1, Evaluation of Short- Term Tests for Carcinogens: Report of the International Collaborative Program (F.J> de Serres and J. Ashby, eds.) Elsevier/North Holland, New York, pp. 210-218.
18. Leifer, Z., J. Hyman,and H.S. Rosenkranz (1981) Determination of genotoxic activity using DNA polymerase deficient and proficient E. coli, in Short-Term Tests for Chemical Carcinogens (H.F. Stitch and R.H.C. San, eds.) Springer-Verlang, New York, pp. 127-139.
19. McCoy, E.C., Z. Leifer, H.S. Rosenkranz, and R. Mermelstein (1981) Characterization of nitroreductase-deficient Salmonella tester strains useful in the detection of nitroarenes in environmental mixtures. Environmental Mutagenesis 3: 353.
20. Wertheimer, S.J. and Z. Leifer (1983) Putrescine and spermidine sensitivity of lysine decarboxylases in Escherichia coli: Evidence for constitutive enzyme and its mode of regulation. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 114:882-888.
21. Leifer, Z. (1986) Enviromental chemicals can alter lac operon regulatory properties. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, p. 160.
22. DeLauro, T.M., S.H. Kornhauser, Z. Leifer and G.A. Luster (1992) the Independent Studies Program in the Basic Sciences: A Curricular Innovation. J. Amer. Pod. Med. Assn. 82:311-319.
23. Leifer, Z. (1997) A Hands-On Microbiology Lab in Virtual Reality. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Microbiology, p. 589.
24. Leifer, Z. (19997) Communicating Pediatric and Podopediatric Information Using Internet Web Page. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, p. 185.
25. Leifer, Z. (1997) Order out of Chaos: Organizing Your Internet Searches. Online text for lecture in “BioScience Resources on the Internet” course.
26. Leifer, Z. (1997) Order Out Of Chaos: Organizing Your Internet Searches. Published in online journal HMS Beagle.
Issue 13, July 25, 1997
27. Leifer, Z. (1997) A Microbiology Office- Laboratory in Cyberspace. Presented and published online at the Virtual Conference of University Biology Education.
28. Lau, C.H., Leifer, Z. Kossida, S. and Schaffner, Jr., I.R. (1997) BioScience Resources on the Internet (BRI): A Model Solution for Remaining Current on Internet Resources and Technology. Presented and published online at the Virtual Conference on University Biology Education. Location:http://www.liv.ac.uk/ctibiol/vCUBE97/html/chin_hoon_lau.htm
29. Leifer, Z. (1998) Pediatric resources on the Internet. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 88(5): 232-235.
30. Leifer, Z. (1998) Teaching the Internet as a Tool in Microbiology Study and Research. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. P. 540.
31. Leifer, Z. (1998) Research Collaboration via MOO. Published in online journal HMS Beagle, Issue 24. January 30, 1998.
32. Leifer, Z. (1998) Internet Training Should Be Part of Microbiology Education. Presented online and published at the 1998 Virtual Conference on Computers in university Biology Education. Location: http://cube.bioc.liv.ac.uk.8080/upload/Leifer2.htm
33. Leifer, Z. (1999) Finding and Communicating Internet Microbiology Information. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. P.667
34. Leifer, Z. (2000) Lead an Environmental Carcinogen, Can Affect Genetic Regulation. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. P A-75
35. Leifer, Z. (2000) Nickel, an Environmental Carcinogen, Can Affect Genetic Regulation. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, p. 361
36. Leifer, Z. (2001) The Effect of Lead on Genetic regulation on a Microplate Assay. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, p. 604
37. Leifer, Z. (2002) Bioterrorism: An Internet Project and a Website. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, p. 499
38. Leifer, Z. (2003) Bioterrorism Website: A Global and a Local Resource. Abstracts of the American Society for Microbiology meeting- Future Directions for the Biodefense Research: Development of Countermeasures, p. 76
39. Kondu, P., Skrzypek, M, Leifer, Z. and Gore-Langton, R. (2003) A Paradigm for Online Medical Education. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Medical Science Educators. IT-4.
40. Lau, C.H., Atherton, D., Kondu, P., Gore-Langton, R., and Leifer,Z. (2004). Internet Collaboration, in “The Internet for Molecular Biologists: A Practical Approach”, edited by Claire Sansom and Robert Horton. Oxford University Press. Pp. 103-104.
41. Leifer, Z. (2010) Bioterrorism Education in the Medical School Curriculum: A proposal.
Abstracts of the American Society for Microbiology Meeting- Biodefense and Emerging
Diseases, p. 73
42. Leifer, Z. (2013) The Use of Virtual Microscopy, Slide Modification and a Wiki in
Pathology Education. Presented in poster format at the Annual Meeting of the Digital
Pathology Association (“Pathology Visions 2013”). San Antonio, TX. Written up in
“Digital Pathology”, a Springer monograph (2014), Section 5.2.1.
43. Leifer, Z. and S.A. McClain. (2014) “The Use of 3D Printing as an Adjunct to Digital
Pathology in Slide Analysis”. Presented in poster format at the Annual Meeting of the
Digital Pathology Association (“Pathology Visions 2014”). San Francisco, CA.
44. Leifer, Z. (2014). “The Use of Virtual Microscopy and a Wiki in Pathology Education:
Tracking Student Use, Involvement and Response”. Proceedings of the Second Congress
of the International Academy of Digital Pathology. Boston, MA. p. xxiv.
45. Leifer, Z. (2014). “The Use of Virtual Microscopy and a Wiki in Pathology Education:
Tracking Student Use, Involvement and Response”. Analytical Cellular Pathology, vol.
2014, Article ID 274134, 1 page, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/274134.
46. Leifer, Z. (2015). “The Use of Virtual Microscopy and a Wiki in Pathology Education:
Tracking Student Use, Involvement and Response”. J Pathol Inform 2015;6:30.
47. Leifer, Z. (2015). “Virtual Patients, Digital Pathology, Tumor Boards and Stories with
Alternative Endings”. Presented in Poster format at the Digital Pathology Congress USA
(San Diego, CA).
48. Leifer, Z. (2015). “Virtual Pathology Labs, Digital Pathology, Tumor Boards and Stories
with Alternative Endings”. Abstract of platform presentation published in Program Book
of the Annual Meeting of the Digital Pathology Association (“Pathology Visions 2015”).
(October 11-13, 2015, Boston, MA). p. 24.
49. Sucaet, Y., Van der Laak, J., Nap, M., Leifer, Z., Yagi, Y., Maree, R., Ameisen, D., and
Van Diest, P. (2016). “Workshop Report: Bioinformatics Meets Digital Pathology”.
Annual Meeting of the Digital Pathology Association (San Diego, CA, October 23-25,
2016). This presented a summary of the talks at the Computational Pathology Workshop,
held in conjunction with the European Conference on Computational Biology at The
50. Leifer, Z. (2016). ePoster: “An Unusual tRNA Synthetase Action Leading to Unusual
Amino Acid Incorporation Leading to Unusual Protein Folding Leading to Unusual
Neurological Disease: The Story of BMAA. A Review and Three Proposals” at the
LabRoots Online Conference on Genetics and Genomics (May 13-14, 2016).
51. Leifer, Z. (2016). “The Effect of Small Molecule Ligands on DNA Structure: A
Dictionary and a Wiki”. Poster Presented at the Cell Symposium: Transcription
Regulation in Development and Disease. June 26-28, 2016, Chicago, IL. Published in
Poster listings at the Symposium.
52. Leifer, Z. (2016) Zev Leifer’s Lab – Access to an International Collection of Digital
Pathology Images: Archiving and Retrieval in a Database Format. Presented as an e-
Poster at the 3rdInternational Congress on Big Data Analysis and Data Mining. London,
UK, September 26-27, 2016.
Link to Poster
Leifer, Z. (2016). Zev Leifer’s Lab – Access to an International Collection of Pathology
Images: Archiving and Retrieval in a Database Format. Journal of Computer
Engineering and Information Technology 2016, 5:4 (Suppl).
(Ref link via email).
53. Leifer, Z. (2017). “An Image Database Featuring Access to Decentralized Collections”. Journal of Pathology Informatics (J Pathol Inform 2017 8:26 14 July 2017, p. S. 26).
54. Leifer, Z. (2017). “Applications of Digital Pathology in Pathology Education at the Undergraduate and Graduate Level”. Platform presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Digital Pathology Association (“Pathology Visions 2017”). San Diego, CA October 1-3, 2017. Published in Program Booklet. Published in the Journal of Pathology Informatics: “The digital pathology association's annual conference october 1-3,manchester grand hyatt,San Diego, CA. J Pathol Inform [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Feb 1];8:46. Available from: http://www.jpathinformatics.org/text.asp?2017/8/1/46/219410
55. Leifer, Z. (2018). E-Poster: “The Role of G-Quadruplex Structures in DNA, Ligands That Affect Them and Their Effect on Human Health and Disease: A Review of Recent Literature and A Proposal” at the LabRoots Online Conference on Genetics and Genomics (May 9-10, 2018).
56. Calder, R., Stevens, D. and Leifer, Z. (2018). Preliminary Studies in the Use of the Foldscope Paper Microscope for Diagnostic Analysis of Crystals in Urine: Issues in the Analysis of Liquid Samples and Potential Applications in Low Budget/Low Tech Regions of the World”. Presented in poster format at the 4thDigital Pathology and Artificial Intelligence Congress. New York, NY. June 25-26, 2018.
Abstract published and Poster available at
Join, if need be, and search for Leifer, or Calder, or Stevens
Selected for presentation at Global Engage – Resources
57. Leifer, Z. (2018). Saving Money with the Foldscope in Digital Pathology. Published online in Global Engage – Blog (Digital Pathology)
58. Singh, V. and Leifer, Z. (2018). G-Quadruplex Structures in Microbial DNA - A Role in Basic Biology and a Possible Antimicrobial Target: A Review of Recent Literature and a Proposal. Presented in e-poster format at the Labroots Online Conference on Microbiology and Immunology
Adjunct Faculty at Touro College, Flatbush
Professor, Department of Biology since 1982 (17 years).
Have taught primarily Microbiology (Bio 228 to Men and Women).
Also – Biology 1, Biology 111, Biology 113.
Worked with students on Bio 493 Research papers.
Gave a full course in Microbiology, Lecture and Lab, one-on-one with a student who could not take it with a regular class.
Presented a talk at the invitation on the Touro Science Society on my work in Digital Pathology.
Conducted Bench Work Research in the Biology Laboratory Space in my area of expertise – the development of an assay to determine the effect of environmental chemicals on genetic regulatory mechanisms.
Produced and published online ( http://biologybusiness.wikifoundry.com) a wiki – “Why Biology Matters to Business Majors” - to motivate the business majors who were the required to take the core-curriculum course in Biology for Non-Science Majors.
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