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Pioneering University Of Rochester Prof. Esther Conwell Has Died

Courtesy of Ryan K. Morris Photography/National Science & Technology Medals Foundation

A pioneering Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rochester has died.  92 year old Esther Conwell, who was hit by a car while walking on her street in Brighton on Sunday afternoon, has died of her injuries.

Police say she was walking along Pelham Road when she was struck by a vehicle pulling out of a driveway. 

Conwell was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Obama in 2010. She was a pioneer in the field of semiconductor research which university officials say ultimately revolutionized modern computers.

“Esther Conwell’s death is a tragic loss for the world of science, as well as for the University community,” said University President Joel Seligman. “Professor Conwell’s many scientific contributions and her pioneering role as a leading woman in science made her a source of pride for our entire University of Rochester community.  She was a deeply inspiring scientist for young women pursuing careers in science. Our thoughts are with her family and colleagues during this very difficult time.”

Conwell was married to the novelist, Abraham Rothberg. She is survived by her son and fellow scientist, Lewis J. Rothberg, professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester, and two grandchildren.

The University flag will be lowered Thursday, November 20th in memory of Esther Conwell.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.