Find A PhysicianHome  |  Library  |  myDownstate  |  Newsroom  |  A-Z Guide  |  E-mail  |  Contact Us  |  Directions
curve gif

[November 30, 2012]

Two Downstate Faculty Members Named SUNY Distinguished Professors:

Six Faculty and Staff Receive Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

The State University of New York Board of Trustees has appointed two Downstate faculty members to distinguished ranks, the highest system-wide honor conferred upon SUNY professors. Six other faculty and staff members have been honored with Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence.

“We are all proud of those being honored by the University,” said Downstate President John F. Williams, MD, EdD, MPH, FCCM. “They represent the highest level of professionalism and dedication and are role models for us all."

Faculty and staff who were honored were recognized at a formal ceremony on November 28, 2012. They included:

Judith H. LaRosa, PhD, RN,
has been named distinguished service professor for her contributions to community health and her key role in establishing the School of Public Health at Downstate—the first at a public university in New York City, the first in Brooklyn, and the first new school at Downstate since 1966. Her vision and dedication have helped create a unique student learning experience and a curriculum focused on the public health issues facing urban and immigrant communities.

George A. Vas, MD
, has been named distinguished teaching professor. A superb educator who has been on the faculty at Downstate for 37 years, Dr. Vas has made significant contributions to the field of neurophysiology. He is nationally known for his expertise in interpreting electroencephalograms and evoked potentials, and has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the top one percent of neurologists in the nation.

Three faculty and professional staff members have received Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence for their contributions to Downstate and the State University:

Nicholas W. Galeota, MS, RPh,
is director of pharmacy at University Hospital of Brooklyn. In his 36 years at Downstate, he has been a leader in using new technologies to expand and improve pharmacy services, including an automated medication ordering system. Mr. Galeota has also developed effective medication safety training programs for staff, students, and residents.

Douglas R. Lazzaro, MD
, the Richard C. Troutman Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Microsurgery, is an expert in corneal transplantation and laser refractive surgery. In addition to directing one of the busiest residency training programs in the nation, Dr. Lazzaro has played a major role in establishing the SUNY Eye Institute, a partnership between five SUNY campuses, and has significantly increased grant funding for vision research.

Scott T. Miller, MD
, professor of clinical pediatrics, is one of the nation’s leading researchers in the study of sickle cell anemia, an inherited blood disorder that primarily affects African Americans. Thanks to his work in numerous NIH clinical trials, treatments are becoming available to improve the lives of people with sickle cell disease.

In recognition of outstanding performance, three additional Downstate staff members in the classified service have been honored with Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence:

Adanim Luboa, RN,
a nurse-educator at the Center for Dialysis at Parkside, has improved the lives of patients with renal disease by helping them self-manage their illness. She has a well-earned reputation for nursing excellence and dedication to patient care.

Officer Jacqueline Murray
of the University Police Department is an invaluable resource to Downstate and the community. She is certified as an emergency medical technician, as a domestic violence and crime prevention officer, and as a field training officer.

Maureen Walsh, RN
, is a child-life specialist in the Pediatric Department’s Child Life Program, where she advocates for children with serious health conditions. By means of therapeutic play, she helps young patients through the healing process and also provides much needed support for their families.


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 eighth 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.