Published October 28, 2020
The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences celebrated scientific achievements and outstanding service and teaching contributions during the 2020 Faculty and Staff Recognition Awards event.
COVID-19 restrictions limited the number of participants attending this year’s event, which took place Sept. 23 at the M&T Auditorium at the Jacobs School. Others watched the event online.
In presenting the award, Suzanne G. Laychock, PhD, senior associate dean for faculty affairs, noted that Weinstock-Guttman’s “service to the profession, university, school and department has been exemplary.”
She has been honored with the UB Exceptional Scholars – Sustained Achievement Award in 2013 and by several awards from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, including the Impact Award for her research, patient care and advocacy.
Her research interests are aimed at better understanding the heterogeneity of multiple sclerosis (MS), identifying predictors of disease progression with a primary focus on genetic and environmental interactions and influences on MS disease phenotype.
“Bianca has developed a career at UB that demonstrates excellence in academic accomplishment, national and international recognition, and concern for and contributions to furthering the missions of the university and school,” Laychock said.
Weinstock-Guttman will deliver the Stockton Kimball Lecture in 2021.
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.
The four individuals were honored by Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School, for their work performed under trying conditions due to the novel coronavirus.
In his role as a senior associate dean, Gibbons oversees 18 clinical department chairs.
“When you think of medical school, many people think of it as what goes on in this building. But equally important is where our medical students and our residents train, and that is hospitals and ambulatory care settings,” Cain said. “Kevin and the department chairs have made sure that part of the medical education provides sufficient enrichment and sufficient numbers of patients to make our learning environment and our clinical research environment truly outstanding.”
Gibbons has also had to deal with the large impact COVID-19 has had on the UBMD Physicians’ Group, of which he is executive director.
“Kevin and the leadership of our clinical departments make sure that we have strong practice plans that so far have survived the economic impact and disruption of patient care that has accompanied this pandemic,” Cain said.
Gibbons is also chief of neurosurgery at Kaleida Health and physician director of surgical services at Buffalo General Medical Center.
Russo and Sellick have been important sources for local and national media about COVID-19.
“We are most fortunate to have Tom and John at our medical school. They have a truly remarkable and comprehensive font of knowledge of infectious diseases broadly and about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” Cain said.
The expertise that Russo and Sellick command has been utilized on a multitude of topics dealing with the novel coronavirus.
“They unselfishly give their time and energy to protect our public health. They bring evidenced-based medicine to all of their discussions to the media both locally and nationally,” Cain added.
Cain praised the work that Odojewski has done with all things large and small dealing with the Jacobs School building since starting his job less than two years ago.
“During the last 20 months, Michael has mastered the very complex operations of this facility,” Cain said.
In that time, Odojewski has established and streamlined policies and procedures that are designed to help faculty, staff and students operate and learn in this new environment as well as overseeing the rehabilitation and re-purposing of the facilities on the South Campus.
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.
“Dawn provides outstanding service to the Jacobs School and our other health science schools here at the university. She has taken ownership of the biochemistry stockroom by establishing working relationships and negotiating with vendors to get the best prices, with the cost savings being passed on to the investigators,” Cain said.
Rowland worked with Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD, senior associate dean for research and graduate education, and John E. Tomaszewski, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Peter A. Nickerson, PhD, Professor and Chair of pathology and anatomical sciences, to provide Kaleida Health with needed supplies of viral transport media throughout the pandemic. Cain indicated that Rowland also worked with New York State Department of Health officials when they showed up with little advance notice looking for reagents to use for testing.
“This community would not have been able to test as many people as it has, particularly during the initial days of the pandemic in March, April, May and June, had it not been for people like Dawn and others in our research lab,” Cain said.
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.
Nominators for Andres and Kuwik had high praise for both.
“He took the time to answer my questions, explained his reasoning for following procedures, and most importantly, gave me the independence and confidence to make decisions about patient care,” said one medical student, who worked with Andres at his family medicine practice in Niagara County.
“In every interaction Dr. Kuwik is involved in she is professional and prioritizes patient care above all else,” one nominator said of her. “She is always making a point to educate and views every interaction as a learning opportunity for the student and herself.”
Kuwik is also involved in doctHERs, an organization dedicated to mentorship of women in science and health care.