WMU News

Stenesh pens new biochemistry text

June 2, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- A retired Western Michigan University faculty member has drawn upon his more than 30 years of teaching and research experience to produce a new textbook for undergraduates.

Dr. Jochanan Stenesh, professor emeritus of chemistry, is the author of "Biochemistry." The 568-page book was published in May by the Plenum Publishing Corp. of New York City and London, a well-known producer of books in science.

This is the second text Stenesh has written since he retired from WMU in 1990. Geared for a one-semester general biochemistry course, it is divided into four parts: foundation of biochemistry; biomolecules; metabolism; and transfer of genetic information.

"The book presents the complete body of essential biochemical knowledge, brought to life by a thorough exposition of fundamental biochemical concepts," Stenesh says. "Basic topics are well covered to give students a firm basis on which to build further. Secondary topics are covered to the extent required. The entire text has been extensively reviewed by colleagues at other institutions."

Stenesh says that the book has several notable features. These include: precise definitions of all key terms; comprehensive study sections for all chapters, consisting of both review questions and calculation problems; selected reading lists; concise chapter summaries; more than 500 illustrations; an extensive index; and four useful appendixes.

The book exemplifies a novel publishing concept in the field, he says. It is available in a traditional one-volume hardcover text as well as in a set of three, easy-to-carry, self-contained softcover volumes. The three softcover volumes contain the complete text of the hardcover edition.

"No other general biochemistry text has been published in this fashion," Stenesh says.

A complete "solutions manual," providing answers to the calculation problems, also is available. In addition, a set of 50 transparencies that reproduce key illustrations in the book is offered.

"Biochemistry" is Stenesh's fifth book. His first work, a "Dictionary of Biochemistry," was listed by Choice, a prestigious reviewing periodical, as an outstanding reference work in science after it was published in 1976. In addition to the books, Stenesh has published 17 scientific research papers and a book chapter, all dealing with research in molecular biology.

A faculty member at WMU from 1963 to 1990, he developed numerous courses in biochemistry and was instrumental in development of the biochemistry section of the department's Ph.D. program. He directed the research of eight undergraduates, 16 master's degree students and 10 doctoral degree students. His work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society and the WMU Faculty Research and Creative Activities Fund.

Stenesh earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Oregon and his doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. He had postdoctoral appointments at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and at Purdue University.

Media contact: Ruth Stevens; ruth.stevens@wmich.edu

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