Sanford Singer

Professor Emeritus
College of Arts and Sciences: Chemistry


Dr. Singer came to UD's chemistry department in 1972 after a year of post-doctoral work at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York City), followed by 4 years at Philadelphia's Temple University School of Medicine. He is a biochemist and has been academic advisor to many chemistry, biochemistry, premedical, predental, and chemical engineering majors. Many of his research advisees have been coauthors of his 77 research publications. He is known for his unique and humorous poetry compositions created to laud each student who works with him and "awarded" at the department's end-of-the-year banquet.

Besides his biochemistry duties, including that of coordinator of the B.S. biochemistry program, Dr. Singer as served as the director of the UD Vivarium, and as an adjunct professor at both the biology department and Wright State University Medical School's Department of Medicine. He also sits on the Internal Review Board at Dayton's Miami Valley Hospital. In his "spare time," Dr. Singer has written 289 essays on topics ranging from subcellular fractionation of tissues to the important contributions of rotary telephones that are published in Magill's Science Series, printed by Salem Press. However, on campus, his office is always open to students and he maintains and easy rapport with them.

Faculty Perspective

I have loved chemistry since I nearly burned down my parent's apartment, playing with a "chemistry set," at age 12. I took a biochemistry course in my senior year at New York's Brooklyn College, and it was love at first sight. I knew right off that I wanted to be a biochemist and have never regretted my choice. I believe that many other chemists I know, who work in other areas, feel just as strongly about their specialties. I remind all who wish to be chemists that it is a rigorous field to enter, but well worth it. When you graduate with a bachelor's degree you have completed an apprenticeship worth doing.

To complete qualification for full membership to "the guild" one does a Ph.D. and postdocs. I did my Ph.D. at the Department of Biological Chemistry, U. of Michigan Medical School (1962-1967). There, I took courses, worked in the lab 6 days a week (voluntarily), and enjoyed every minute of my thesis research in biochemical endocrinology. Then, I did 2 postdocs (in New York and Philadelphia) to learn newly emerging molecular biology and, next, to concentrate on biochemical endocrinology.

My 10 years of advanced training were made up of equal parts of hard work, excitement, and great fun. I was exceptionally lucky in having mentors who worked me hard but also like and respected students as "young cousins." These fine folks impressed me so much that I have always sought to follow their example by: keeping my door open to all students; being rigorous but kind; treating everyone with common human decency until knowing enough about them to give them earned respect.

To my mind there is nothing finer than being a chemist. We spend our lives learning new things, mostly science, some sociology and some psychology. We get paid to talk, and talk...and talk. We have lots of bright shiny toys (scientific instruments) to play with, doing research. We can stay sort of young, due to our interactions with the bright young people we train in the lab. I, for example, am 36 Singer Years old [(chronological age 62.5 + mental age 9.5))2]. Of course, being serious, we each get to add our small grains of information to the mountain of scientific endeavor that helps people to live longer and better. In my case 76 research publications plus 289 published general interest articles on topics including a biochemist's perspective on: aeronautics, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, philosophy, psychology, and religion. This biochemist agrees with Noel Coward "work is fun and fun is work."


  • Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Michigan, 1967
  • M.S., Biochemistry, University of Michigan, 1964
  • B.S., Chemistry, Brooklyn College, 1962

Research Interests

Biochemistry endocrinology: Receptors; Enzymology/basis for sulfation of glucocorticoids, gonadal & pineal hormones, androgens, phenols, catecholamines, hypertension drugs, 6-hydroxymelatonin as well as relevance of sulfation to control processes, cardiovascular, endocrine, neurologic, and liver disease. Lipidology of fatty acid binding protein (FABP): Fatty acid binding-growth hormone interaction, cardiovascular/liver diseases, sulfation processes and exploration of canine FABP model.

Selected Publications

"Hepatic Dopamine Sulfotransferases in Untreated Rats & Rats Subjected to Endocrine or Hypertension-Related Treatment", S. S. Singer, M. R. Palmert, et al, Hepatol 8:1511-1521(1988). S. S. Singer, M. E. Anderson, ME George, "Perfluorodecanoate Effects on Enzymes of Fatty Acid Metabolism", Toxicol Lett 549 39-46(1990).

S. S. Singer, M. Lunderman E Hinchcliffe, Enzymatic Basis for Rat Liver Minoxidil Sulfotransferase", FASEB J 5:A823(1991).

D. V. Trulzsch, S. S. Singer, "Unterschungen zum Einfluss von Wach-stuhmhormonen und Hydrokortison auf Z-Protein in Leber", Z.Gastrotent 29:509(1991).

S. S. Singer, D. Dravis, D. V. Trulzsch, K. Henkels, "FABP Inhibits Glycolithocholate Sulfation", Bchem Internat 27:373-383(1992).

S. S. Singer, "Comparison of Enzymatic Sulfation of Catecholamines & Hypertension Drugs", Chem Biolog Interact 92:33-45(1994).

S. S. Singer, J. E. Hagedorn, D.M . Smith, J. L. Williams, "Enzymatic basis for rat liver 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfotransferase activity", J Pineal Res 18: 49-55 (1995).

S. S. Singer, K. Henkels, et al, "Growth Hormone & Aging Change Hepatic Fatty Acid Binding Protein Levels In Male Rats", J Amer Coll Nutr 15:169-174 (1996).

S. S. Singer, K. Kohrs, J. Papp, et al, "1-Step Isolation Shows FABP Levels of Rat Liver, Beagle Liver, and Beagle Small Intestine Differ Greatly", Abst 1533, FASEB 96 & ms submitted to Amer J Veterin Res (1996).