Published July 7, 2017
Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD ’84, has received a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities and has been inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Microbiology.
Campagnari, senior associate dean for research and graduate education and professor of microbiology and immunology and medicine, has been recognized with a Chancellor’s Award for engaging actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond his teaching responsibilities.
“The many faculty and staff honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence are the best of our best,” says SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.
They have “ensured student success as they educate and mentor students with innovative approaches to academic instruction, infuse curricula with applied learning opportunities, adapt best practices from throughout the State University of New York and much more,” she says.
Campagnari was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology through a highly selective peer-review process; he was chosen based on his long record of scientific achievements, which have advanced understanding of microbial pathogenesis.
He was one of only 73 people worldwide to be elected for fellowship in 2017. This year’s inductees include fellows from countries including Germany, Australia, Canada, India, China and the United Kingdom.
Campagnari was inducted into the academy in June in New Orleans during a reception at ASM Microbe, the largest gathering of microbiologists in the world and the only meeting in the field that explores the full scope of microbiology.
The American Academy of Microbiology is an honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology.
The academy recognizes scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provides microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public.
Campagnari is nationally and internationally recognized for his research on the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of gram negative bacterial infections, in particular the human respiratory tract pathogen, Moraxella catarrhalis and the nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii. He focuses his research on bacterial virulence factors, biofilm-associated components and putative vaccine antigens for these pathogens.
Through new collaborative projects, he is working to identify novel antimicrobial treatments. For instance, he is exploring the novel use of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy as a noninvasive treatment for otitis media, or middle ear infections.
Additionally, his lab is working to develop a new model that provides a novel view of secondary bacterial pneumonia.
Other research highlights include:
His was the first group to demonstrate that antimicrobial photodynamic therapy elicits significant bactericidal activity versus Moraxella catarrhalis biofilms.
Additionally, Campagnari’s lab was the first to identify a specific cell surface protein directly involved in biofilm formation by A. baumannii, a gram-negative nosocomial pathogen known for longevity in the hospital environment and resistance to many antimicrobials.
“Dr. Campagnari has distinguished himself as a gifted teacher and mentor,” emphasizes Timothy F. Murphy, MD, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research and SUNY Distinguished Professor of medicine.
Campagnari routinely involves graduate students in collaborative research. “He has trained 12 doctoral students in his laboratory, all of whom have influential positions in academic institutions, industry and government agencies,” says Murphy.
Campagnari oversees the University at Buffalo’s PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences. All doctoral students in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences spend their first year of study in this comprehensive gateway program.
He received an Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award from the University at Buffalo Graduate School. He was one of three faculty members across UB to receive the honor for 2014–2015.
Campagnari’s mentees have spoken enthusiastically about his mentorship, saying: “His character, warmth and guidance completely changed my mind and made me choose UB,” and “he treated graduate students as colleagues with valued opinions and contributions,” and “I hope to emulate the type of mentorship Dr. Campagnari always provided me when I work with my own students.”
As senior associate dean for research and graduate education, Campagnari works to advance biomedical research at UB, especially interdisciplinary and translational research collaborations.
A UB alumnus himself, Campagnari earned both his master’s degree in biochemistry and his doctorate in tumor immunology from the university.
In 2016, Campagnari received the Stockton Kimball Award for outstanding scientific achievement and service.
At the time that she presented the award, Suzanne G. Laychock, PhD, senior associate dean for faculty affairs and facilities and a professor of pharmacology and toxicology, noted that Campagnari is “a faculty member and researcher of the highest order — a world-class scientist and an extraordinary mentor and educator.”
Campagnari has received continous funding for more than 25 years from sources including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, industry and private foundations, and his research has led to 77 peer-reviewed publications, eight book chapters and five U.S. patents. He is currently the principal investigator on two National Institutes of Health R01 grants.
He has delivered more than 30 invited national, regional and local presentations.
In recognition of his many achievements, Campagnari was honored with the UB Inventor and Entrepreneur Award in 2009, and the UB Visionary Innovator Award in 2008. He received the UB Sustained Achievement Award in the Exceptional Scholar Program in 2002.
Campagnari was appointed at UB in 1987, joined the faculty as a tenured associate professor in 1996 and was promoted to professor in 2001.