Published May 15, 2017
Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion and SUNY Distinguished Professor of pharmacology and toxicology, has been awarded the UB President’s Medal, given in recognition of extraordinary service to the university.
“It is a distinct honor to receive the UB President’s Medal for our work on building diverse and inclusive communities of students, fellows and faculty engaged in research mentoring and professional development needed for career success,” Dubocovich said upon accepting the award.
“This award is a recognition to all who have joined my journey on inclusive excellence, whose leadership, commitment and vision will continue to synergize our work,” she said.
As the inaugural senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion, Dubocovich has worked tirelessly to build culturally diverse and academically inclusive communities of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty engaged in bioscience research.
She is director of the Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences (CLIMB) Program, founded at Northwestern University and instituted at UB in 2009; co-director of the UB Institute for the Strategic Enhancement of Educational Diversity (iSEED); and principal investigator of two institutional grants funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development for doctoral students, and the CTSA-linked KL2 Mentored Career Development Award for junior faculty.
The world’s foremost authority on melatonin research, Dubocovich established the pharmacology of functional melatonin receptors, which revolutionized the field. Her pioneering findings significantly broadened the scientific understanding of melatonin’s impact on circadian rhythms, sleep disorders and depression.
The owner or co-owner of three patents on agents developed for her research — as well as the author of 175 articles, reviews and chapters — she has received continuous funding since 1982.
“SUNY Distinguished Professor Margarita Dubocovich has significantly broadened the scientific understanding of melatonin’s impact on circadian rhythms, sleep disorders and depression, and she truly embodies the excellence of our faculty and our university,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi.
“Professor Dubocovich has also worked tirelessly at UB to build educational opportunities for talented underrepresented minority students to pursue careers and become leaders in the fields of medicine and biomedical sciences through her leadership and work with the iSEED and CLIMB programs.”
“Indeed, UB and our broader communities have been profoundly enriched by her contributions as an innovator, pioneering researcher and educator. I can’t think of a more fitting recipient of this honor, and it is my great pleasure to confer it,” Tripathi said.
Dubocovich has received numerous international honors for her seminal research and professional service, including the 2005 Award for Outstanding Scientific Contributions from the Latin-American Congress of Pharmacology, the 2011 Aaron B. Lerner Pioneer Award for Outstanding Melatonin Research and the 2012 PhRMA Foundation Award in Excellence in Pharmacology/Toxicology.
She retired from Northwestern University as professor emerita to serve as chair of the UB Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology from 2008 to 2016.
She received her doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.
The UB President’s Medal, first presented in 1990, 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.”
Dubocovich was awarded the medal at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ commencement ceremony on April 28 at the Center for the Arts.