Jonathan Daniels, MD, stands in the Jacobs School.

Continuing Dr. Jonathan Daniels’ Mission

Published July 12, 2022

Dear Jacobs School faculty, staff and students, 

These last few months, my heart has felt heavy … for many reasons.

Today, I mourn along with our Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo over the loss of Dr. Jonathan D. Daniels, who served as associate director of admissions and past president of the Medical Alumni Association. He, along with two of his adult daughters, Jordan and Jensen, perished in a horrific fire on July 4. 

Jonathan Daniels, MD, MBA.

Tragedies like this make us look deeper in our lives. They give us appreciation for the losses we have experienced and the gifts in our world. 

Dr. Daniels had an infectious smile and a huge heart. He was a man who kept giving to make the world a better place. There is no question that he has left an unfillable hole in our Jacobs School and the Buffalo area communities.

He was an excellent pediatrician, beloved by the families he served throughout Buffalo’s neighborhoods. He was also one of the few Black doctors who served generations of Black and Brown patients in the area.

Jonathan Daniels, MD, stands outdoors wearing a UB sweatshirt.

Dr. Daniels was dedicated to his craft and changing the future of health care. He made it his personal goal to actively recruit scholars from underrepresented communities and to support current students at the Jacobs School. 

All of us in the Jacobs School remain shocked over this blow to our community. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Daniels’ wife, Janessa Givens Daniels, who serves as UB’s senior associate director of financial aid, and their daughter Jillian, a 2021 UB graduate, and we wish Janessa a full and quick recovery from injuries suffered in the fire. Their family remains in our thoughts and will for a very long time. 

Jonathan Daniels, MD, speaks to a hall of students.

Dr. Daniels truly made an impact. A friend, a colleague, and a mentor … he will be greatly missed. We mustn’t let his legacy be lost. Honor him by advocating for change yourself. Help to knock down the barriers to health equity. Open your mind to ways to improve diversity and inclusion in the university. Be part of the mission that Dr. Daniels started.

Consider giving to the “Jonathan D. Daniels, MD ’98 & Family Memorial Fund” at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, c/o UB Foundation, P.O. Box 730, Buffalo, NY 14226-0730.  The fund will support students of color and others who have been historically underrepresented in medicine. Give online at

With a heavy heart,

Allison Brashear, MD, MBA
Vice President for Health Sciences
and Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences