Published June 13, 2017
The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences celebrated scientific achievements, outstanding service and significant teaching contributions during its 2017 Faculty and Staff Recognition Awards event May 18.
Russo received the award for his “outstanding research, teaching and his extensive service to the profession, SUNY, university, school, department and community,” noted Suzanne G. Laychock, PhD, senior associate dean for faculty affairs and facilities, who presented the award.
He has been recognized at UB with the SUNY Inventor Award and has been honored as a Top 100 Principal Investigator and as a visionary inventor for his technology related to the use of microorganisms as controls for assay specificity and detection.
His research focus has been on pathogenesis and vaccine and drug development against extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii and a new variant of Klebsiella pneumoniae.
Russo will deliver the Stockton Kimball Lecture in 2018.
This award recognizes an individual who has provided extraordinary service to the school and has gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference.
Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and medical school dean, said Severin has done “an absolutely spectacular” job as admissions committee director and has made a huge difference in the way the medical school matriculates its students.
Cain noted that the annual number of applications to the medical school was around 2,500 when he first came to UB in 2006 and is now at more than 4,500 and climbing.
Noting the complexities of admitting and interviewing students who apply to medical school, Cain said: “I can’t think of a hotter seat to sit in than an individual who has to look through all those applications and have the joy of the great news of inviting students to join us but also have the difficult news of telling most they are not able to join us as medical students.”
“Chuck has come through year after year with a truly increasingly outstanding group of medical students that we all have the opportunity to train, to befriend and to benefit from,” he said.
“This year, the Naughton Award is being shared by two outstanding nominees who together have contributed 91 years of service to the school,” Cain said. “Anne Coe and Marsha Barber are among the ‘unsung heroes’ of the school’s evolution and forward movement, and they have contributed significantly to the advancement of the school and to the fulfillment of its mission.”
Barber joined the pulmonary medicine division in 1973 and has supported the teaching, research and patient care activities of faculty in pulmonary diseases and medicine throughout her career. In addition to her prior work as support staff in the pulmonary medicine division, she is also a former assistant to the chair of medicine.
In 2004, she joined the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and provides administrative support services for division faculty. She was an instrumental member of the team conducting the PAREPET trial (Prediction of Arrhythmic Events with Positron Emission Tomography). Barber served as a research coordinator for the study and was the point person responsible for interacting with all of the subjects that were enrolled throughout Western New York.
“Marsha is known for her warm sense of humor, a quiet highly competent approach to all we task her and the execution of all her duties with diligence and reliability,” said John M. Canty Jr., MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Albert and Elizabeth Rekate Professor and chief of cardiovascular medicine.
Coe joined the pulmonary medicine division in 1970 and quickly became recognized for her skills at grant management as well as her graphics ability in developing charts, slides and PowerPoint presentations.
In 1996, Coe went to work full time in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine where her primary responsibilities have largely focused on grants administration.
“Anne’s many responsibilities have always been taken on willingly with a spirit of advancing our research, and her tasks are always carried out without a flaw,” Canty said. “Anne is without a doubt one of those key individuals who makes a Pl’s research life enjoyable by taking care of the many increasingly burdensome administrative tasks of science.”
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 its mission.
These awards recognize that a diverse and inclusive campus community enhances excellence in research and academic medicine by broadening and strengthening teaching, learning and scholarship.
“Dr. Yu is a tireless promoter of diversity in the residency program he has directed since 2012,” said Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion.
She pointed out that Vanessa M. Barnabei, MD, PhD, professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology, noted in her letter of nomination that their department has the most diverse residency program at UB, which has strengthened and increased the quality and number of medical students applying for residency.
“Dr. Yu’s didactic presentations are carefully focused on the professional development of his residents so that they become competent physicians and surgeons showing compassion and empathy to the patients they serve,” Dubocovich said.
Angevin was described as “the face of the medical school’s highly successful and often unsung post-baccalaureate program, which the medical school has hosted for a quarter of a century, and whose mission is to promote diversity in the physician workforce.
“Jaafar works tirelessly with the students in the program, helping to ensure their success and making sure they stay on track. Not only does he organize the program, but he is a cheerleader, a shoulder to cry on sometimes and an all-around counselor to the students,” Dubocovich said. “He is a major contributor to the overall success of the program.”
In her roles as co-chair of the resident Well-Being Committee, faculty adviser to the UB Resident Committee and adviser for the Gold Humanism Honor Society, Orrange is a champion for a more diverse and inclusive team, Dubocovich said.
“In this regard, Dr. Orrange is an expert and regular presenter on factors that promote diversity or topics such as unconscious biases that negatively affect the development of a diverse GME workforce,” she said.
Fuchs is described as “a natural leader and organizer who enjoys mentoring and working with students from different backgrounds and who strives to ensure that everyone feels included by organizing team lunches and movie nights.”
Dubocovich said the Office of Inclusion and Cultural Enhancement specifically wanted to acknowledge and thank Fuchs for serving as emcee of the Music is Medicine program, encouraging students, faculty and staff to come together and share their music.
“He is dedicated, enthusiastic and exudes a welcoming energy that is second to none,” she said.
Originally from Nigeria, Asikhia faced several challenges in coming to the United States, Dubocovich said. Her nominator stated “Dr. Asikhia’s willingness to fight stigma and promote understanding of different cultures begins with her residency group, attending physicians, the WNY Psychiatric Society and national advocacy groups.”
“She works to include diversity topics in the UB psychiatry grand rounds lecture schedule, and she takes every opportunity to fully embrace people from a multitude of ethnic and cultural origins,” Dubocovich said.
Among his many responsibilities, he oversees admissions, multicultural affairs and cultural competency as well as student services.
“Dr. Milling is a great ally and advocate for his students, who rely on him for practical and career advice, and more importantly as a trusted, supportive adviser,” Dubocovich said.
He has been recognized for his involvement with UB HEALS, the program through which medical students, together with a UB faculty physician, talk to homeless people, inquire about their health, provide basic services and attempt to steer them to housing options and clinics.
“This not only improves the health of Buffalo’s homeless population but also provides invaluable hands-on training for our medical students,” Dubocovich said.
“Dr. Milling’s dedication to our medical students, particularly through the lens of inclusiveness and equity, and his outreach into the diverse communities of Western New York, make him an ideal candidate for the 2017 inaugural Community Service Award of Excellence.”
Also recognized were winners of the 2017 Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Awards for Excellence in Teaching.