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[March 23,2009]

Leaders in Science, Sports and Entertainment Celebrate Downstate:
Gala Fundraiser to Benefit Medical Research

Some of the most exciting names in sports and entertainment will be on hand for the second annual Celebrate Downstate gala, to be held Saturday, May 2nd at the Plaza Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Spencer Ross, sportscaster for the Knicks, Rangers, Jets, and Giants will MC the event, which celebrates SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s proud history of achievement.

NBA sports great Earl Monroe, hip-hop superstar LL Cool J, and actor Steven Schirripa, known for his role on “The Sopranos,” have joined the growing list of celebrities attending the event.

Celebrate Downstate brings together top scientists, health professionals, and business and community leaders for an evening of recognition of Downstate’s role in advancing medical education, scientific research, and patient care. It also pays tribute to those who have made extraordinary contributions to health and science.

This year’s honorees include Carl Zimmer, whose award-winning books and essays have enriched our understanding of the natural world; Anthony S. Fauci, MD, internationally acclaimed for his pioneering research on HIV/AIDS and its treatments; and leading cardiologist Jeffrey Borer, MD, head of the Howard Gilman Institute for Heart Valve Disease and chief of cardiovascular medicine at SUNY Downstate.

Proceeds from the event will help advance basic and clinical research at Downstate, birthplace of some of the major breakthroughs in modern medicine. It was here that the first human images were made using MRI and Dr. Robert Furchgott performed his Nobel Prize-winning research. Downstate is also recognized for neuroscientific research and as a center for the development of biomedical technology.  

Douglas Lazzaro, MD, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and event chairman, is confident that this year’s fundraiser will equal and even exceed last year’s successful event. “Additional research funding may help us to unravel the causes of Alzheimer’s and epilepsy and find new treatments for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, and other serious diseases that are on the rise in our communities.”

Please call 718-270-4403 for details.


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a Graduate Public Health Program, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.