Published May 14, 2018
Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has been awarded the UB President’s Medal, which is given in recognition of extraordinary service to the university.
“Under his leadership as dean, Dr. Cain has made tremendous strides, transforming and enhancing the Jacobs School to create an innovative learning and teaching environment in which students and faculty are immersed in a culture of best clinical practices, scientific curiosity and discovery,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi, as he listed Cain’s accomplishments in presenting the award.
Cain, who was appointed dean of the Jacobs School in 2006 and vice president for health sciences in 2011, has seen many highlights in his dozen years at UB. Throughout his tenure, he has sought to rebuild and modernize the Jacobs School in an effort to improve the educational experience for students.
“I accept this medal on behalf of the truly hundreds of university, school and community colleagues who made what Dr. Tripathi just detailed possible,” Cain said. “Our community is fortunate to have so many people from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise who work together for the common goal of enhancing medical education, expanding what we discover in biomedical science and all of this to have a favorable impact on the public health of Western New York and the world.”
Cain spearheaded construction of the spectacular new home of the Jacobs School. The $375 million, 640,000-square-foot building is located on the thriving Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
“The Jacobs School is now in close proximity to key health care and research partners and facilities, several of which were realized in no small part as the result of Dr. Cain’s concerted efforts. These include UB's Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Conventus building,” Tripathi said. “Along with the new home of the Jacobs School, these facilities are helping UB further build research, innovation and education while improving health care for people throughout Western New York and beyond.”
With 178 percent more space devoted to education, the new home of the Jacobs School includes active learning centers; expanded, novel medical and surgical simulation centers; a structural sciences learning center; interactive auditoriums; and group learning and study venues — all promoting enhanced, collaborative and integrated learning and clinical experiences.
“By promoting integrated and clinical learning experiences through increased classroom space, active learning centers and novel simulation centers, Dr. Cain’s strategic plan for medical education is to transform the educational experience for students at the Jacobs School,” Tripathi said.
Laura Hubbard, a fellow President’s Medal recipient, worked closely with Cain in her role as UB’s vice president of finance and administration as the Jacobs School building took shape and she was impressed with Cain’s vision.
“In all the presentations we did about that building, Dr. Cain liked to talk about a medical symphony that he wanted to create in an academic health sciences center,” Hubbard said.
In his health sciences role, Cain leads the university’s five health sciences schools, which, in addition to medicine and biomedical sciences, include dental medicine, nursing, pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, and public health and health professions.
“Our university and our community have been deeply enriched by Dr. Cain’s leadership of the Jacobs School and all of UB’s health science schools,” Tripathi said.
First presented in 1990, the UB President’s Medal recognizes “outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements, humanitarian acts, contributions of time or treasure, exemplary leadership or any other major contribution to the development of the University at Buffalo and the quality of life in the UB community.”
Cain was awarded the medal at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences commencement ceremony May 4 at the Center for the Arts on UB’s North Campus.