Story Based on News Release by UB NOW Staff
Published June 7, 2023
Two faculty members and one staff member of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have been named recipients of the 2023 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.
The Chancellor’s Awards acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and the ongoing pursuit of excellence.
Archana Mishra, MD, clinical professor of medicine, received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which honors those who consistently demonstrate superb teaching at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level.
Sarah X. Zhang, MD, professor of ophthalmology, received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, which recognizes the work of those who engage actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond their teaching responsibilities.
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service honors professional staff performance excellence “both within and beyond the position.” Mark Schneggenburger, lead programmer/analyst, Health Sciences Information Technology, received the honor.
An expert in critical care, pulmonary and sleep medicine, Mishra is recognized for developing new, experiential teaching methods, and for a practical and scholarly emphasis on wellness in health care workers.
Known for her innovative teaching style, Mishra has developed novel methods that have proven tremendously popular and instrumental in improving trainees’ retention of medical knowledge and decision-making skills in critical care scenarios. She employs simulation and gamification, where students are playfully engaged in active problem-solving in a psychologically safe space. She has created many medically themed escape rooms, where participants work as a team to solve clinical puzzles.
Internationally recognized for her work in this area, Mishra’s publications have been featured in major journals in the field and she has been invited to present at international conferences.
An attending physician at Veterans Affairs WNY Healthcare System, she cares for critically ill patients in the intensive care unit, as well as those requiring clinical care for pulmonary and sleep issues. She has published research in the critical care field, including on treatments for COVID-19.
She helps trainees develop strategies to thrive in medical training as director of the humanism pillar of the curriculum, clerkship director for advanced medicine, and program director for wellness and advocacy for the internal medicine residency program.
Mishra has received multiple Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Awards for Excellence in Teaching — the Jacobs School’s top teaching award. She is the recipient of the Women Leaders in Medicine award of the American Medical Student Association and the Leonard Tow Gold Humanism Award. Last year, she received the school’s Award of Excellence for Promoting Inclusion and Cultural Diversity.
An international leader in the field of diabetic retinopathy research, Zhang conducts innovative, impactful translational studies on the retina and retinal disease in diabetes.
Zhang has attracted more than $12 million in competitive research grants and has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2010. She is principal investigator on two NIH grants to continue her studies on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and diabetic retinopathy. Her work is also funded by the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
She is internationally renowned for exploring the contribution of the unfolded protein response in the disease pathology of diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and neurodegeneration in glaucoma. Her seminal work continues to have potential clinical applications, particularly in targeting ER stress to prevent and treat neuronal degeneration in the retina.
She and her colleagues are also studying the detrimental effects of smoking on retinal cells. They recently identified novel, neuroprotective factors for retinal neurons.
Zhang is associate editor for Frontiers In Genetics/Genetics of Aging and a guest editor for a special issue of Cells focused on inflammation in retinal diseases. She was named a Gold Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and has served as a standing member on study sections for the NIH National Eye Institute and the American Diabetes Association Grant Review Panel.
Zhang trains master’s degree and doctoral students in UB’s neuroscience, biochemistry and biological science programs. Her trainees have presented their research at national and international meetings, been awarded travel grants and won awards for poster presentations.
The dedication and talent shown by Schneggenburger as a lead programmer and analyst in the Office of Medical Computing reach beyond his role in the Jacobs School.
His extensive expertise in database development has contributed to several significant software projects across the university over the 23 years Schneggenburger has worked at UB.
In the early 2000s, he developed and launched the electronic CV — eCV — serving the Jacobs School, School of Dental Medicine and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He was able to use his experience with eCV to develop UBProfile, a newer, more modern system that is used to collect data for faculty’s public “face” sites, as well as other tools used by multiple schools on campus.
Schneggenburger is credited for his role in development of UBMobileMed, a custom-developed website currently used to maintain all of the Jacobs School web calendars. He also works with medical admissions to digitally communicate with the national online medical admissions evaluation and tracking program.
Schneggenburger began working in the Health Sciences IT group of the Jacobs School in 1999 and in the Office of Medical Computing in 2000.
He is acknowledged for his “history of leadership in creating innovative solutions” and for displaying “a quality of work that reflects his high professional standards.”