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Institutional Advancement & Philanthropy

The Doctors Alan and Adele Josephson Memorial Fund

The Downstate Department of Medicine has, in memory of Dr. Alan Josephson, created The Doctors Alan and Adele Josephson Memorial Fund (formerly The Alan S. Josephson Memorial Lectureship and Scholarship). It was created with two goals in mind: to establish and maintain a yearly lectureship focused on immunology; and to provide scholarship funds to enable Downstate medical students to attend the yearly allergy and immunology society meetings.

photo of Drs. Josephson

Drs. Adele and Alan Josephson

Alan and Adele Josephson both left wonderful legacies at Downstate. Alan was not only a caring physician and ground-breaking clinical investigator, but to the multitude of students and physicians he trained he was a devoted teacher and mentor. Adele's career was equally esteemed. As the first hospital epidemiologist at Downstate she brought state of the art practices for monitoring nosocomial infections to the institution and defined the way that infection control has been practiced here ever since. As a teacher, mentor, and clinical investigator in her own right her influence has been felt well beyond the walls of Downstate. They each, in their own way, contributed to improve patient care as well as to educate and inspire future generations.

Your donation to The Drs. Alan and Adele Josephson Memorial Fund will help keep their work and their memories alive.


The Immune System—Our First Line Of Defense

The course of history has often been determined by epidemics and our bodies' responses to illness, a fact that attests to the importance of our immune system. Immunology, the study of how we interact with our environment, involves every organ system and the pathogens that affect them. Throughout his long career, as a clinical investigator, practicing physician, teacher and mentor, Dr. Alan Josephson exemplified the commitment, caring and love of learning that has left its mark on immunology at Downstate today.

Dr. Josephson's areas of clinical investigation centered on immunodeficiency, asthma, and mucosal immunity. His earlier studies included the characterization of penicillin antibodies, and the chemistry of certain air pollutants—notably the nitro-olefines—establishing immunologic approaches to the evaluation of their toxic effects. He provided the earliest description of the protein composition of normal and some abnormal tears, and identified a tear-protein that activates lysozyme, an enzyme with destructive effects on bacterial cell walls. Some of his work centered on the role of T-cells as a mediator in the treatment of cancer—an area that is now being further investigated with notable success.

Dr Alan S. Josephson

The Alan S. Josephson Memorial Lectureship and Scholarship is named in honor of one of SUNY Downstate Medical Center's longest-serving and most respected faculty members. He came to Downstate after serving as First Chief Resident under Lewis Thomas, the Chair of Medicine at NYU; and Surgeon and Chief of the Immunology Unit in the Division of Air Pollution at the Laboratory of Medical and Biological Sciences in Cincinnati, Ohio. When he died in 2004, he had been at Downstate for over four decades—having served as Professor of Medicine and Chief of Allergy and Immunology, as well as an attending physician at Downstate's University Hospital of Brooklyn and Kings County Hospital Center.

In addition to his clinical research, Dr. Josephson was the author of numerous articles and abstracts, a much respected and admired teacher, and a mentor of medical students and residents. He was active in the affairs of the University. He served as President of the Professional Staff of University Hospital of Brooklyn, as Assistant to the Dean for Grants at Downstate, and as a member of the Faculty Senate of the State University of New York.

Dr. Josephson was perhaps best known among his colleagues for his great willingness to share with them the fine points of his field of allergy and immunology and to impart his knowledge skillfully, successfully, and with grace. "By making the rapid changes in molecular biologic understanding of immune globulins comprehensible to people who had missed the boat in their training, Josephson afforded a bridge into the present and future," said Dr. Eli Friedman, Director of Renal Medicine at Downstate.

For more information about the Doctors Alan and Adele Josephson Memorial Fund contact either Dr. JoAnn Bradley at (718) 270-4418 / joann.bradley@downstate.edu, or Ingrid Dildy at (718) 270-6375 / ingrid.dildy@downstate.edu. You also may write to either at the Office of Institutional Advancement and Philanthropy, Mail Stop 93, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203.