Dr. Azam Noori named Demers Professor in Life Sciences

An associate professor in Merrimack College’s School of Arts and Sciences, Noori’s research uses plant science to protect human health and restore environmental health.
Photo of Dr. Azam Noori looking into a microscope.
Dr. Azam Noori previously received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support her research on the impact of silver and nanomaterials on tomatoes, and ultimately human health.

 For just the second time ever, a Merrimack College faculty member will hold the title of the Laurence M. Demers Professor in Life Sciences.

Dr. Azam Noori, associate professor of biology in the School of Arts and Sciences, will hold the endowed professorship starting in the 2024-25 academic year. A nationally renowned plant biologist and physiologist, Noori in 2023 received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support her research on the impact of silver and nanomaterials on tomatoes, and ultimately human health.

“I am excited and thrilled,” Noori said of receiving the professorship. “Endowed professorships offer support and opportunity for faculty to be even more productive and enhance their work.”

The Demers professorship, made possible thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Laurence M. Demers ’60, H’11 and Susan Demers ’62, recognizes outstanding faculty who have distinguished themselves through teaching, research, scholarship and creative works.

“Dr. Noori’s scholarship not only has the potential to employ plants to create healthier lived environments, but her work has also been critical to the growth of Merrimack’s research ecosystem as the College continues its efforts towards becoming a national research university,” said John “Sean” Condon, Merrimack’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “We are honored to name her as the next Demers Professor in Life Sciences and we look forward to witnessing the groundbreaking research this endowed professorship will support.”   

Endowed professorships can support a myriad of critical aspects of a faculty member’s academic and research work, from purchasing research equipment or materials to jumpstarting collaborations with external partners to providing support to recruit highly qualified scientists in the field. Noori said the Demers professorship will be used to supplement the funding needed to recruit a postdoctoral fellow to work on her NSF grant-supported research.

“This professorship not only acknowledges my research, but it also provides support for an early career scientist to build their professional endeavor,” Noori added. “It will help to build someone else’s career.”

Dr. Laurence Demers is a former chair of the Merrimack College Board of Trustees and currently serves on the School of Nursing and Health Sciences’ Board of Advisors. He is a distinguished professor emeritus of pathology and medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Dr. Charlotte Berkes, associate professor of biology, was named the inaugural Demers Professor in Life Sciences in 2017.


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