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[April 15,2010]

Two Downstate Students Receive SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

Downstate medical students Marc Justin Braunstein, PhD, and Lorraine Min-Shan Liang, MS, have been awarded the 2010 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. This award, conferred by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher at an awards ceremony on April 6, recognizes academic excellence, leadership, and community service and is the highest student commendation within the State University of New York. Two winners were chosen from Downstate, based on the size of its student enrollment.

Marc Justin Braunstein earned his doctorate from Downstate in 2009 and will complete the requirements for an MD in 2011; Lorraine Liang will receive her medical diploma this year. Both have impressive records of scholarly achievements combined with extensive community involvement.

Dr. Braunstein, whose cancer research focuses on endothelial progenitor cells in multiple myeloma, is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. The winner of Downstate’s Annual Research Day Award on several occasions—in 2008 for Best Platform Presentation and in 2007 and 2005 for Best Poster—he has twice received a travel award from the American Society of Hematology. He also is active in student affairs, having served as president of the Downstate Student Center Governing Board and as a volunteer for the Brooklyn Free Clinic, a student-run health service for uninsured adult residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant and surrounding communities.

Before coming to Downstate, Lorraine Liang earned a master’s in nutrition from Columbia University. Following graduation in May, she plans to return to Columbia for residency training in urology. In addition to numerous journal publications and presentations at professional conferences, Ms. Liang has been active in the American Medical Women’s Association. She served as chapter president in 2007-2008 and as New York-New Jersey regional representative last year. In 2008, she received the association’s Young Women in Science Award.  


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 School of Public Health, 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.