SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and Chair
Anesthesiology; Pain Management
Dr. Mark J. Lema is Professor of Anesthesiology and Oncology, and Chairman, Department of Anesthesiology, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (RPCCC, 1987- ). He is also a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, University at Buffalo (UB), State University of New York, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (1999- ). Dr. Lema served as Medical Director of RPCCC Surgical Services (2005- 2011) and as Medical Chief of the RPCCC Cancer Pain and Palliative Care Service (1988-1999). He was UB Anesthesiology Program Director from 1999-2018.
Dr. Lema is a member of the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), World Federation Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA), American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA), the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY), the Medical Society of the County of Erie (MSCE), and the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists (NYSSA). He has served as President of the following organizations: MSCE (2011), RPCI Medical Staff (2008), ASA (2007), ASRA (2004), and NYSSA (2001). He was an Executive Board member and Honorary Treasurer of the WFSA (2009-2016). Dr. Lema is a MSCE Past-President (2012) and serves on their Board of Directors. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (2007-11) and the US Health and Human Services Task Force for the Safe Surgery Checklist (2010). He was also a founding Co-Chair of the Pain Advisory Board for The Neuropathy Association (2010-2015). He is the founding chairman of the board for the International Council on Surgical Plume (ICSP, 2015-). Dr. Lema is an active member of the SUNY Distinguished Academy of Professors. Dr. Lema also serves on the Board of Trustees for Canisius College (2017-).
Dr. Lema is a Past President of the ASA. He also served as a past editor of the ASA NEWSLETTER and the NYSSA, SPHERE. He is also the past General Chair of the Post Graduate Assembly (PGA) for the NYSSA. He has served on the New York State Public Health Council’s Subcommittee on Pain Management Practice and the Health Commissioner’s Pre-Operative Protocol Panel. He was also a member of the AMA’s National Palliative Care Faculty. Dr. Lema had also served on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Pain and End-of-Life Care Panels, the American Pain Society’s Clinical Practice Panel, the NYS Partnership to Improve End-of-Life Care task force, and the NYS Partnership for Patients Surgical Site Infection Advisory Group. He served on MSSNY’s Subcommittee on Physician Shortages in New York State.
Dr. Lema received his medical training at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center (1982) followed by an internship at Staten Island Hospital (1983), and residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA (1983-1985). In addition, Dr. Lema holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University at Buffalo (1978). He is a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Anesthesiology with added qualifications in Pain Management. Dr. Lema's honors and awards include Clinical Cancer Education Grant, Werthamer Fellowship, Parker B. Francis Research Fellowship, UB Anesthesia Residents' Award for Excellence in the Art of Academic and Clinical Anesthesia, the Canisius College Distinguished Alumni Award, the Meritorious Service Award of the NYS Department of Health Office for Professional Medical Conduct, recipient of the Eliasberg Medal for Anesthesiology Accomplishments by Mt. Sinai Medical School and the Canisius College DiGamma Honor Society. Canisius College also named him the 11th Schreiner Distinguished Speaker in 2007. The NYSSA invited Dr. Lema to deliver the 38th E.A. Rovenstine Memorial Lecture in 2008 and served as a member of the Robertazzi Panel in 2018. The Australian Society of Anaesthesiologists invited him to deliver their plenary lecture in 2004. The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) invited him to deliver the GE Healthcare Lecture in 2010. Dr. Lema was recognized as a Tribute Honoree by SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s Residents and Fellows Alumni Committee in 2010. He received the ASA Distinguished Service Award in 2010, and in 2011 he received the NYSSA Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Lema received the 2012 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. In 2012, the Wood Library Museum interviewed him as part of their ‘Living History of Anesthesiology’ video series. Dr. Lema has recently been honored by Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School’s Department of Anaesthesia by being inducted into their Wall of Fame. He was promoted to SUNY Distinguished Service Professor in 2016. Dr. Lema received the 2019 ASRA Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Lema has lectured at more than 225 academic institutions and hospitals on six continents. He testified before the Sub-committee on Veteran’s Affairs, Health Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, on behalf of the Pain Care Coalition. He has authored or co-authored more than 175 articles in major international scientific and professional journals and has served on ten editorial boards in the past. His monographs include Seminars in Anesthesia: Anesthetic Considerations for Cancer Surgery (1993), Anesthetic Considerations for Malignancies in Problems in Anesthesia (1993), Journal of Pain and Symptom Management: Perspectives in Pain Management; the Role of Coxibs (2003) and Current Opinions in Anaesthesiology (2005, 2006), Section Editor, Wiley and Churchill-Davidson’s A Practice of Anesthesia 7th Ed(2003), Co-Editor, The American Society of Anesthesiologists: A Century of Challenges and Progress (2005) [David O. Little Book Award winner].