James E. Cottrell, M.D., FRCA is Senior Vice-President and Dean for Clinical Practice, Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Regional Chairman of Anesthesiology at Long Island College Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, Downstate at Bay Ridge and past Chair of Anesthesiology at Kings County Hospital Center. Dr. Cottrell also serves as a Regent on the New York State Education Department Board of Regents, which in addition to overseeing all NYS educational activities also oversees all of the state’s licensed professions. In addition, Dr. Cottrell is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Academic Health Insurance Association, a reciprocal medical liability company.
Dr. Cottrell has served as President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), President of the Society of Academic Anesthesiology Chairs, President of the Society of Neurosurgical Anesthesia and Critical Care (SNACC), and for many years as a Board Examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiologists. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology (the only scientific journal on neuroanesthesia) and the 2004 recipient of the SNACC Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Cottrell was honored by his selection as the Rovenstine Lecturer at both the Annual Meeting of the ASA in 2008, and at the Annual Meeting of the New York State Society of Anesthesiology (NYSSA) Post Graduate Assembly in 2004. NYSSA also honored him as the recipient of their Distinguished Service Award in 1966, as did the ASA in 2010 - the most prestigious honor that can be bestowed upon a member.
Dr. Cottrell has delivered more than 250 presentations worldwide, authored over 140 publications in peer-reviewed journals and co-edited three major textbooks. He is also the author of Under the Mask, a book designed to increase patient safety by increasing public understanding of anesthesiology. He has also published anesthesia-related pieces in The New York Times, New York Newsday, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and The New York Post. He has appeared on segments of 20/20 and ABC, NBC and Fox News.
On the international front, Dr. Cottrell is a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, an Honorary Member of the European Academy of Anesthesiology, an Honorary Member of the Belgium Society of Anesthesia and Reanimation and a Corresponding Member of the German Society of Anesthesia and Intensive Care and a Consultant in Anaesthetics at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia, as well as an Advisory Group Member of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists.
Always active in community service, Dr. Cottrell has been Chairman, and is a Founding Member, of the AIDS Action Foundation. He has served on the Board of Directors of God’s Love We Deliver and was Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Doctors of the World. In addition, he served as a Health Policy Advisor to the late Senator Edward Kennedy. Dr. Cottrell serves on the Director’s Council of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and has served on the Prix Marcel Duchamp and Guerlain Drawing Prize Selection Committee for the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
As an educator, Dr. Cottrell has expanded a small, local, residency training, program into one of the largest in the country. Under his guidance, over 750 anesthesia residents and fellows have graduated and many have gone on to anesthesia leadership positions. As a former member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER), Dr. Cottrell has stressed the importance of research in education. Over the years, his research on topics such as the effects of various anesthetic agents on neurological outcome, have changed the clinical practice of neuroanesthesia. His current work, in conjunction with Dr. Todd Sacktor, shows great promise in the area of anesthesia’s effect on memory and possible role in Alzheimer’s Disease.