Published July 27, 2022
The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences celebrated scientific achievements and outstanding service and teaching contributions during the 2022 Faculty and Staff Recognition Awards event.
This year’s event took place June 7 at the M&T Auditorium at the Jacobs School.
John J. Leddy, MD ’85, clinical professor of orthopaedics and one of the foremost world leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of concussion, is this year’s Stockton Kimball Award winner for outstanding scientific achievement and service.
In presenting the award, Allison Brashear, MD, MBA, UB’s vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School, noted Leddy “has over many years contributed significant service to his profession and to the academic mission of the university and Jacobs School.”
“Dr. Leddy fulfills the criteria for the Stockton Kimball Award with a professional career of consistent academic accomplishment and recognition, identification with Buffalo of his accomplishments, concern for and contributions to the progress of UB and the Jacobs School, and a career that exemplifies excellence in its broadest sense,” she said.
Leddy is also a clinical professor of rehabilitation sciences in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions.
As a primary care sports medicine physician, Leddy provides the best evidence-based evaluation and treatment practices to patients with concussion and post-concussion syndrome. As a scholar, he conducts clinical and physiological research on these conditions.
His primary research interest is the investigation of the basic mechanisms of the disturbance of whole-body physiology in concussion and how to help to restore the physiology to normal to help patients recover and safely return to activity and sport.
Leddy is also medical director of the UB Concussion Management Clinic, and director of outcomes research in the Department of Orthopaedics. He also serves as concussion consultant to the Buffalo Bills football team and Buffalo Sabres hockey team.
Leddy will deliver the Stockton Kimball Lecture in 2023.
The award recognizes individuals who have provided extraordinary service to the school and who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference.
“Dr. Nielsen is no stranger at UB, and trust me once you meet her, she is hard to forget. Her name and face are well known in the Buffalo community for her vaccine advocacy, commentary on the opioid epidemic, and extensive experience in public policy,” Brashear said.
“She has represented the university while playing leadership roles in the most important recent challenges facing our community. That has included acting as a key adviser in the MATTERS addiction treatment program, serving in leadership roles at UB and within the American Medical Association, and acting as interim director of UB’s Anatomical Gift Program,” Brashear added.
She also took on the critically important role of informing the public about the pandemic by making herself available to the media with her engaging and authoritative interview style.
She is former head of the school’s Offices of Medical Education and past president of the American Medical Association, a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and one of the nation’s leading experts on health care policy and health care reform.
She completed a two-year appointment as a senior adviser at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Named for a former medical school dean, this award recognizes outstanding staff members or volunteers who contribute significantly to the advancement of the medical school and to the fulfillment of its mission.
The committee received three nomination letters for Schneggenburger, noting his dedication, talent and positivity.
“Mark is an innovative leader who can see upcoming projects and take off with them,” said one nominator. “His enthusiasm for problem solving, calm and patient demeanor — coupled with years of experience — reassures the diverse user groups that their project will be accomplished successfully.”
Others noted his work with various departments not only in the Jacobs School, but in the UBMD practice plan and other UB schools.
This award recognizes volunteer faculty members for their patient care and teaching abilities. It is named for a Buffalo internist and medical school alumnus who was actively involved in teaching medical students and residents.
“Dr. Battaglia has been called a true gem, very personable and easy to work with, incredibly patient and kind. Students speak highly of her, calling her a ‘wonderful teacher, mentor and role model,’ noting the value of constant feedback and excellent educational learning,” Brashear said. “Many stated how she made them feel like part of the team, making them feel useful and providing encouragement.”
A group of three medical students were awarded the second annual Joseph Robert Love Scholastic Leadership Award, which recognizes inspirational leadership for groundbreaking service and dedication to advancing the Jacobs School’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and social justice.
Joseph Robert Love, MD, was the first African-American graduate with a medical degree from the University at Buffalo, and was a teacher, a physician, a clergyman, a politician and an activist.
“The award is presented as a way to inspire our students and to honor Dr. Love’s lifelong commitment to promoting core values that advance social justice, equality and excellence in health care,” Brashear said.
The students are:
Gibson is a mentor for the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) and has earned a position on the Diversity, Inclusion and Learning Environment Committee.
“Shawn’s peers recognize him as a natural leader, turning to him for guidance on all matters concerning advocacy, equity and social justice,” Brashear said. “His commitment to the Buffalo community and his work during his clinical clerkships demonstrated a high level of care, empathy, clinical acumen and active listening.”
The recently-graduated Lioi is a recipient of the Social Justice and Equity Administration and Leadership Fellowship, which investigates ways to improve the learning environment for queer and gender-diverse individuals. The project looks to develop personal, professional and systematic changes to provide optimal health care for queer and gender-diverse individuals.
“Dr. Lioi is the epitome of leadership, foresight, intellectual vigor, joy and moral courage,” Brashear said.
Lioi’s work has focused on improving the conditions of oppressed communities not only in Buffalo, but also globally, particularly in Thailand and Nepal.
Meurer created the “Destigmatizing the Struggle” event focused on normalizing the struggle of going through medical school, as well as educating students on the policies and the resources available for them at the Jacobs School.
At the Lighthouse Clinic, she is known for helping underserved populations in Buffalo with more than just their labs and follow-ups, but also with any additional needs that arise.
“Janine is a strong promoter of events, fundraisers and volunteer opportunities supporting diversity and social justice, helping align with our mission at the Jacobs School,” Brashear said.
Awards of Excellence for Promoting Inclusion and Cultural Diversity recognize individuals who work to create a welcoming climate of respect and inclusiveness for all at the medical school, at UB and in the Western New York communities.
“Dr. Marshall is a passionate advocate for and leader of the holistic admissions policies. She has established a special bond with every medical student at the Jacobs School,” Brashear said. “Medical students — throughout the four years of study — continue to go to Dr. Marshall for help and advice, considering her an important pillar in their medical school life.”
“Dr. Marshall is known for recognizing all voices, and gently reminding admissions committee members of those well-rounded qualities we are looking for to bring diverse voices into our medical school,” Brashear added.
“Dr. Mishra is a talented and incredibly enthusiastic physician who has
accrued numerous accolades — both within and outside her
department — for her compassionate care and for teaching effectiveness,” Brashear said.
“Dr. Mishra has promoted an inclusive community through initiatives like the Virtual Talent Show that brings together the entire Jacobs School community in a joyous show of unity where all participants can be appreciated for their many talents,” Brashear added.
Mishra was also an organizer and participant in the workshop titled "When Providers Face Bias: The Impact and How to Help,” which was co-sponsored by the Jacobs School and the VA Western New York Healthcare System.
“Tanya has worked tirelessly to facilitate inclusivity in the Jacobs School. She has been the driver of many initiatives and programs that we implemented in response to the 2020 Students Resolution to promote diversity, inclusion and social justice,” Brashear noted. “Her desire for change and improvement is inspiring. The ones close to her strive to be better in large part because of her commitment to excellence.”
“Although new to UB, Maria has placed her mark in the Jacobs
School supporting not only the efforts of the Office of Inclusion, but
also advocating for all the medical student groups and the initiatives for groups such as SNMA, LMSA, Polity, Outpatient, LGBTQ, the Anti-
Racism Curriculum Thread, and others,” Brashear said.
The dean indicated that Wilson has been a passionate promoter of the Diversity Strategic Plan through the creation of the tracking tool to quantitate accountability. She also worked tirelessly in the design and implementation of the Safe Learning Environments Training Program aimed to decrease incidences of misbehavior, and its associated annual climate survey for all the Health Science Schools, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.
“Maria has become the heart of the Office of Inclusion, supporting us all with her positive attitude and her own ways to make you feel you
belong,” Brashear added.
Ventre is the associate program director of advocacy for the
pediatric residency program. This year the program organized the first
“Community Health & Advocacy Conference,” hosted by Oishei Children’s Hospital.
The goal of this event is to engage residents in promoting advocacy and collaboration among health care providers, hospital systems and community members.
“Dr. Ventre’s work has been highlighted nationally through her presentations on anti-racism training, programs to advocate for food justice, clean school buses and work with refugees,” Brashear said.
Meurer participated in establishing the Medical Spanish Curriculum to help expose a greater number of medical students to Spanish.
She has served on the executive boards of the Student National Medical Association and the Latino National Medical Association, helping lead and promote initiatives for groups underrepresented in medicine, and also serves as a peer mentor for junior medical students.
“Dr. Ali spreads optimism and shows passion on all his interactions despite all the challenges that come with the residency and the internship,” one nominator wrote. “He is passionate about increasing diversity, inclusion and cultural competency at the medical school level and across residency programs.”
He also volunteers his time in the community working with refugees. He has been a member of his residency program health equity committee and will take a leadership position on the committee next year.
Ghannam is the first Muslim woman to train as a resident at UB Neurosurgery.
“Dr. Ghannam is not only a phenomenal physician, but she is an inspirational role model and a positive force in everything she does,” one nominator said.
“She is constantly advocating for women in medicine and neurosurgery, as well as promoting cultural competency,” the nominator added.
Also recognized were: