Distinguished Medical and Biomedical Alumnus/a Award

Each year we present a Distinguished Medical and Biomedical Alumnus/a Award to an MD, PhD, Resident and Volunteer of our school who is recognized nationally or internationally for his or her outstanding contributions to medicine and the biomedical sciences, the arts or the humanities.  This event takes place annually during Reunion Weekend.

We are proud to recognize our 2019 Distinguished Medical and Biomedical Alumnus/a for their outstanding accomplishments and the distinction they bring to our school.

2019 Recipients

Distinguished Medical Alumnus

John Ulatowski, MD '84.

John Ulatowski, MD ’84, PhD ’80  

John A. Ulatowski, MD ’84, PhD ’80, MBA, is an internationally recognized leader in anesthesiology/critical care medicine, neurology and neurosurgery. He has been on faculty at Johns Hopkins University since 1991. In 2004, Dr. Ulatowski became the Mark C. Rogers Professor and director of the department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (ACCM), as well as anesthesiologist-in-chief for The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Under his oversight, ACCM emerged as an institutional leader in patient safety, culminating in the department’s founding leadership of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety. Dr. Ulatowski's research interests focus on the regulatory mechanisms of cerebral blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain, pain management and sedation, and patient safety and performance improvement in the OR and ICU environments.

From 2011 to 2018 Dr. Ulatowski served as vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI). In this role, he oversaw delivery of medical care to international patients coming to The Johns Hopkins Health System in the U.S. He also led efforts to increase medical care and medical program development at institutions affiliated with JHI around the world.

At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Ulatowski is credited with creating a new educational platform for residencies and fellowships in all specialties in anesthesia; expanding research programs; introducing new care models to clinical practice that were later adopted by outside institutions; implementing electronic medical records for perioperative environments; and facilitating telemedicine initiatives in the adult and pediatric ICUs to improve patient care.

Dr. Ulatowski received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Niagara University. He then attended the University at Buffalo, where he earned a doctorate in physiology and a medical degree. After completing his internship and residency in neurology at the University of Maryland Hospital, he began a second residency in anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins in 1988. He followed this with combined fellowships in neuroanesthesia and neurocritical care. In 2000, he earned an MBA degree from Loyola College of Maryland.

Distinguished Biomedical Alumna

ELizabeth Repasky, PhD '81.

Elizabeth Repasky, PhD ’81

Elizabeth Repasky, PhD ’81, is Distinguished Member, Professor of Oncology, the William Huebsch Professor of Immunology, and Leader of the Cell Stress and Biophysical Therapies Program at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A leading expert in the fields of thermal medicine and tumor immunology, Dr. Repasky focuses her research on the tumor microenvironment and physiological changes in response to cancer with the goal of making new discoveries that could improve the efficacy of cancer therapies, including radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. In recent years, her team has discovered new links between certain forms of thermal stress and other types of stressors on the anti-tumor immune system, information which has led to new Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials at Roswell Park.

A native of western Pennsylvania, Dr. Repasky earned a bachelor of arts in biology from Seton Hill University and a PhD in Anatomical Sciences from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology.

Dr. Repasky is the recipient of the 2015 J. Eugene Robinson Award and the 2018 William C Dewey Award for mentorship, both from the Society for Thermal Medicine. She has also been awarded Seton Hill University’s Distinguished Alumna Leadership Award, the Thomas B. Tomasi Hope Award for her research discoveries, as well as several mentorship and teaching awards, including the 2018 Graduate Student Association Award for Faculty Excellence in Mentoring and Teaching.

The author or co-author of 190 research publications, Dr. Repasky has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and she is currently the principal investigator on four NIH grants. She also has obtained several patents associated with her work, served as thesis advisor to 23 PhD students, and trained 15 postdoctoral fellows.


Distinguished Resident

Ranjit Singh, MD.

Ranjit Singh, MB BChir Medicine, MBA ’04

Ranjit Singh, MB BChir, MBA ’04, is a recognized leader in the field of patient safety in primary care. He has served on numerous patient safety committees, nationally and internationally, including those at the Centers for Disease Control, National Quality Forum, and World Health Organization. His work has been funded through federal grants, with partners across diverse disciplines.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Singh has worked to make patient safety an integral part of medical education and practice. His research applies systems engineering and information technology to prevent errors and improve safety. He is especially dedicated to preventing avoidable harm from medications among older adults. His current research focuses on deprescribing—identifying and discontinuing medications that pose significant risk without commensurate benefit.

Currently, Dr. Singh is co-director of a National Institute of Health’s Research Career Development Program (K12) in Implementation Science, training the next generation of clinician-researchers in scientific methods that help translate research findings into real-world settings. This includes implementing patient-care guidelines as well as de-implementing unsafe or ineffective treatments that are still being used.

Dr. Singh earned both a master’s degree in management sciences and a medical degree from the University of Cambridge, England, after which he came to UB for residency training in family medicine. In 2004, he earned an MBA from UB. Dr. Singh has served on faculty in the UB Department of Family Medicine since 2000 and holds secondary faculty appointments in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and in the School of Management’s Department of Management Science and Systems.

Distinguished Volunteer of the Year

Kim Griswold, MD '94.

Kim Griswold MD ’94, MPH, RN, FAAFP

Kim Griswold MD, MPH, RN, FAAFP, is professor of family medicine, psychiatry, and public health and health professions.

For 25 years, she has dedicated her clinical practice to working with mentally ill adults and with immigrant and refugee populations seeking asylum. Dr. Griswold also serves as a role model to UB medical students and residents by providing care to underserved communities overseas. As faculty advisor to the student-led Human Rights Initiative in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, she has been instrumental in establishing and sustaining this unique learning experience for UB medical students.

Dr. Griswold conducts research related to psychiatry, cultural care and public health. She is a co-investigator on a project to increase the primary care workforce size, leadership potential, diversity and commitment to patient-centered medical home models of practice in underserved areas throughout the region, state and nation.

A highly regarded teacher, Dr. Griswold is devoted to educating pre-med and medical students and training family medicine residents to provide complete inpatient management of adult patients, with a special focus on care for vulnerable populations.

Dr. Griswold earned a bachelor of arts degree in drama and English from Bard College; a nursing degree from Upstate Medical Center; a master’s degree in public health from Yale University; and a medical degree from UB.  She is a graduate of the Royal College of Physicians Educator Program. Over the course of her career, she has received multiple teaching and humanism awards from students and residents and has been inducted into the Richard Sarkin Memorial Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Thomas Guttuso, MD '60.

Thomas J. Guttuso Sr., MD ’60

Presented posthumously to Dr. Guttuso

Founding Program Director, UB Department of Ophthalmology
Former Director of Medical Student Admissions and
Assistant Dean for Admissions, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

A 1960 graduate of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Guttuso was dedicated to his alma mater, serving it in numerous capacities over a span of decades. A respected ophthalmologist and school administrator, Dr. Guttuso was chair of ophthalmology at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) in the late 1970s and early ’80s and led a successful effort to form a single, unified UB-sponsored ophthalmology program. This was accomplished by incorporating what were then three strong clinical sites—at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, the Buffalo VA Medical Center and ECMC. Dr. Guttuso then served as program director for the new Department of Ophthalmology from 1985 to 1988.

Dr. Guttuso also served the Jacobs School as director of medical student admissions for 20 years and assistant dean for admissions.

In 2014, he served as president of the Medical Alumni Association (MAA). In this capacity, he worked to further strengthen the relationship the MAA has with the Jacobs School administration and with the Office of Medical Advancement and Alumni Engagement. During his tenure, the MAA saw a significant increase in the Alumni Scholarship Fund as well as enhanced relationships with alumni and students.

Dr. Guttuso received numerous honors for his contributions to the medical school, including the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award in 1995 and the Dean’s Award in 2001.