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Department of Urology

Faculty Members




Photo of Jeffrey Weiss


Jeffrey P. Weiss, MD, FACS is Professor and Chair, SUNY Downstate Department of Urology as well as ACGME Urology Residency Program Director. His clinical practice is at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn and St. Albans Campuses. Dr. Weiss received an AB in Biochemistry from Cornell University and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Alpha Omega Alpha) in 1978. After a general surgery internship and residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania during which time he served as housestaff president, he completed his urology residency at the same institution in 1984. Thereafter, he did a fellowship in Neurology and Urodynamics.

Dr. Weiss is the primary author of over 300 peer reviewed scientific articles, abstracts and book chapters as well as co-author of 4 urological textbooks including the world’s first textbook dealing with the subject of Nocturia. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Urological Association (currently board member, New York Section), the International Continence Society, the Society for Urodynamics and Female Urology and the Society of University Urologists, and is Secretary/Treasurer of the Brooklyn/Long Island chapter of the American College of Surgeons; he is a member of the ACS Board of Governors. Dr. Weiss is currently engaged in research regarding the cause and treatment of nocturia and overactive bladder.

Dr. Weiss has refereed over 100 manuscript submissions for, among other, the Journal of Urology, Urology, British Journal of Urology International, and European Urology and has written numerous journal editorials. He received “Editorial Reviewer of the Year” honors from the Journal of Urology for Urodynamics and Female Urology in 2008 and again in 2010. He directs the Instructional Course on Nocturia at the AUA annual meeting and has been a plenary speaker on multiple occasions at the annual AUA meetings and well as panelist in multiple symposia at the AUA, ICS and EAU meetings.


Brian K. McNeil M.D. is appointed   Vice Chairman and Chief of Service in Urology at the University Hospital Brooklyn (UHB), Assistant Professor of Urology at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and assistant urology residency program director. Dr. McNeil has completed a clinical fellowship in urologic-oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center following research fellowships in urologic-oncology at both the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute and the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at John Hopkins.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. McNeil attended Julia R. Masterman School and Morehouse College before pursuing his medical studies at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating in 2001.  Dr. McNeil completed his post-graduate training in surgery and urology at the Loyola University Medical Center where he was elected to Alpha and Omega Alpha. During the course of his residency, he completed a urologic oncology research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute.  He furthered his interest in urologic oncology at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital where he participated in translational research studies to evaluate novel markers of bladder cancer, collaborating with scientists at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana.  Dr. McNeil then completed a clinical urologic oncology fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center focusing on open and minimally invasive (DaVinci robot assisted, laparoscopic) surgical approaches to urologic malignancies.

Dr McNeil is very excited about joining the Downstate community and increasing awareness regarding the various treatment modalities for urologic cancers in the Brooklyn community.  His experience as the son of a proud father who passed away from prostate cancer has given him a unique perspective and motivation as a Urologic Oncologist. He strives to provide patients and their families with the necessary information to make well informed decisions about their care. His extensive experiences as a mentor, scientist and surgeon provide him with the medical knowledge and skill to help address the needs of the Brooklyn community.  Dr. McNeil  will be responsible for care of Urological diseases with focus upon urinary tract cancer.


Photo of Llewellyn Marc Hyacinthe

Llewellyn Marc Hyacinthe M.D. FACS, is currently Director of Urology at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology at SUNY Downstate Medical School. He is certified by the American Board of Urology, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Hyacinthe is one of only a few Urologist in Brooklyn who have the expertise to perform the da Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy. He has experience in laparoscopic kidney surgery, minimally invasive therapies for kidney stone disease, medical and surgical treatment for urinary incontinence, surgical management of bladder cancer, and comprehensive treatments for various prostate diseases including prostate cancer. He has developed extraordinary skills in both performing and teaching the art and science of radical robotic prostatectomy. He hopes to expand the use of the Robotic platform to renal surgery as well.

Dr Hyacinthe has been the recipient of the "Teacher of the Year Award" several times. He is a member of the department's Academic Executive Committee.

He has maintained his private practice in Brooklyn, New York since 1996. He received his Undergraduate Degree from Yale University, and his Medical Degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He completed his specialty training in Urology at Lenox Hill Hospital.



Photo of Nicholas Karanikolas

Nicholas Karanikolas, MD. Following his graduation from the SUNY Downstate Medical School in 1998, Dr. Karanikolas completed his urology residency here as well in 2004. He was awarded a fellowship in urological oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and will complete that fellowship on December 31, 2006.

Dr. Karanikolas is assistant professor in the Department of Urology and he commenced his clinical activities in our department on 1/1/07.  He has been the recipient of the "Teacher of the Year Award". He is director of Urologic Oncology Research and Education and moderator of the monthly multi-disciplinary uro-oncology conference.



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            Dhanan Etwaru, MD was appointed Assistant Clinical Professor of Urology at SUNY Downstate Medical School and is a member of the AEC.  He obtained his general surgical training and urological training at the SUNY-Downstate Medical Center and joined Brooklyn Hospital in 1995.  Currently he is the acting chairman of the Urology Department at The Brooklyn Hospital Center and chief of urology at the Woodhull Medical Center. He is a graduate of Hunter College and went to medical school at SUNY-Stonybrook Medical Center. Prior to his Urological training he completed an internal medicine residency program at Winthrop University Hospital. He is currently board certified in both Internal Medicine and Urology. Dr. Etwaru has a particular interest in treatment of female voiding dysfunction, incontinence and minimally invasive treatments of kidney stones.



             Courtney Lee, MD was appointed Assistant Professor of Urology at SUNY Downstate Medical School and is  a member of the AEC.  After graduating from Cornell Medical School, she completed her Urology Residency at SUNY Downstate Medical School.  She completed a prestigious fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive urology at the Glickman Center at Cleveland Clinic in 2010 and joined our faculty here at SUNY Downstate in upon fellowship completion.

Dr. Lee is currently the head of Female Urology and Voiding Dysfunction at Kings County Hosptial and an assistant professor in the Department of Urology at SUNY Downstate Medical School.

Dr. Lee’s interests include female voiding dysfunction, urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, female urinary tract reconstruction, and painful bladder syndrome. She is a member of the American Urological Association, the Society of Women in Urology and the American Urogynecologic Society.           .


Photo of Wellman W. Cheung

Wellman W. Cheung, MD is Clinical Associate Professor of Urology. He also holds a dual appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Dr. Cheung joined Downstate Urology in 2003 and has remained as one of our clinical faculty since then. He is currently the chief of Female Urology and Voiding Dysfunction at Long Island College Hospital. Dr. Cheung is also licensed in Medical Acupuncture and provides alternative medical treatment to his patients. 

Dr. Cheung graduated from CUNY Queens College in 1990 where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry. He then graduated from SUNY Downstate Medical School in 1994 with Distinction in Research. After he finished his general surgery and urology residency at SUNY Stony Brook in 2000, he completed a fellowship in Female Urology, Voiding Dysfunction and Reconstruction at Cleveland Clinic Florida, in 2001. Afterwards, he worked at New Haven Connecticut from 2001 to 2003 where he held hospital privileges at St. Raphael Hospital and Yale New Haven Hospital.

Throughout his career, Dr. Cheung has received numerous awards as well as academic achievements. In 1993, Dr. Cheung was the first prize winner of the SUNY Downstate Medical School Alpha Omega Alpha research symposium. He graduated with Doctor of Medicine with Distinction in research in 1994. In 1998, he received the Pfizer Scholars in Urology Awards. And in 2006, he was the recipient of the Astellas Young Investigator award and research grant for his basic science research in voiding dysfunction.

In additional to his expertise in voiding dysfunction and pelvic reconstructive surgery, Dr. Cheung has strong interests in basic science as well as translational research in voiding dysfunction. He has published in many peer review journals and hold 3 patents from his work related to gene expression and voiding dysfunction. He has an active collaboration with researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Dr Cheung is active in many national and international organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Chinese American Medical Society and is a member of the public relations committee of the International Urogynecology Association. Dr Cheung is a journal reviewer of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine as well as a regular contributor of eMedicine from WebMD where he has authored several chapters.



Photo of Richard J. Macchia

Richard J. Macchia, MD FACS - In January, 2010 he retired as chairman and ACGME Program Director and from clinical practice at SUNY Downstate. He remains as SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor. He continues to practice urology part-time at the Cleveland Clinic Florida , where his former student and resident, Dr. Lawrence Hakim, is Chief of Service-urology. He continues to be available as a consultative resource to our Academic Executive Committee, residents, and students. In May, 2011 he was appointed professor on the faculty of the Florida Atlantic University Medical School

Dr. Macchia was appointed professor and chairman, and ACGME Program Director of the Department of Urology at the State University of NY Downstate Medical School (SUNY Downstate) in 1982 and served in those capacities until 2010. During that period he was also Chief of Urology at University Hospital Brooklyn and Kings County Hospital Center. The Chancellor of State University of New York appointed him to the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor in 1997. In December, 2003 he was appointed Consultant, Department of Urology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

Following his graduation from New York Medical College in 1969, he underwent general surgical training at St. Vincent’s Hospital Center in New York City . From 1971-74 he completed his urology residency under Keith Waterhouse at SUNY Downstate and then joined the urology faculty. He was subsequently awarded the F.C. Valentine Fellowship of the New York Academy of Medicine. That fellowship was served under Dr. Willet F. Whitmore, Jr. at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City during 1975-76. He then re-joined the SUNY Downstate faculty.

Dr. Macchia served as the chairperson of the Section on Urology of the New York Academy of Medicine and a member of its Advisory Council for 6 years. He also served for 6 years on the selection committee for the NYAM FC Valentine award for career achievement in urology and chaired the committee for 1 year. He is a past chairman of the Academy’s Edwin Beer Fund Committee. He was President of the New York Section of the American Urological Association in 1995-1996 and the Brooklyn-Queens-Long Island Urology Society. His memberships include the Society for Urologic Oncology, the Society of University Urologists, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and many others. Dr. Macchia is a former associate editor of Urology, currently manuscript reviewer for 6 major urology journals, a member and team leader of the AUA Program Abstract Review Committee, and a frequent moderator at scientific sessions for the annual meeting of the AUA. He has been a study section member for the California Cancer Research Program and the NIH. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Urology Chairpersons and Program Directors.

Under his leadership the department was under constant revision and included 7 integrated hospitals and 17 core faculty members. Throughout his tenure the department held a full ACGME accreditation. While he was chair approximately 130 students from SUNY Downstate have entered urology training since the inception of the AUA Residency Matching Program 1985 - one of the highest numbers for any chair in the country. He appointed the first African-American to the faculty and the first to the chief of urology at an integrated institution. He also appointed the first Puerto Rican American to the faculty and the first as Vice-Chair of the department. He also appointed the first woman to the department.

He and his colleagues were awarded second prize for research at the annual meeting of the AUA in 1980 and 1982 for their early NIH funded work on the relationship of androgen receptors and prostate cancer. An early proponent of alternatives to radical cystectomy, he was guest editor of a special issue of Urology (Vol. 31, 1988) devoted to this subject. He has been a member of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and was a member of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG). He has a special interest in urologic legal and ethical issues. A number of years ago the AUA passed a Code of Ethics which, in part because of his long time efforts, includes a section on academic integrity.

Dr. Macchia has lectured at numerous academic institutions and meetings in the US , Europe and Japan . He has also co-authored over 120 scientific articles and abstracts including 26 textbook chapters and proceedings. He has also been co-investigator on many collaborative projects and held an NCI grant as local principal investigator for the SELECT clinical trial. That trial enrolled the 4th largest number of Africa-American men into the trial out of 425 institutions in North America. He has served on the external advisory boards of several internationally renowned institutions.

He has been listed more than 60 times in various “best doctor” publications. New York Magazine listed him as one of “The Best Doctors in New York City ” in its inaugural issue. He is also routinely listed in Castle-Connolly’s “Best Doctors in America ”, the “Guide to America ’s Top Urologists” by the Consumer’s Research Council of America and “New York Super Doctors”. In 1994, he was named an honorary alumnus of SUNY Downstate Medical School , received the New York Medical College Alumni Association Medal of Honor, the "Gender Equity Award" from the SUNY Downstate chapter of the American Medical Women's Association, and the SUNY Downstate University Hospital Community Advisory Board Service Award. He is a lifetime member of the SUNY Downstate COM Alumni Association. In 1995, he was elected as a faculty member of the AOA medical honor society. In 1997, he received a recognition award from the Daniel Hale Williams Society, an organization of Afro-American and Latino medical students. In 1998, the NY-AUA awarded him the Russell Lavengood Service Award. In that same year, he accompanied Dr. Robert Furchgott to Stockholm when Dr. Furchgott received the Nobel Prize. In 1998, he was designated Master Teacher in Urology by the SUNY Downstate COM Alumni Association. In May, 2003 the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health presented him with its Leadership in Urban Medicine Award. In June, 2005 Dr. Macchia was presented with the very first SUNY Downstate College of Nursing Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award. In 2005, Maimonides Medical Center named him the 19th annual Immergut Lecturer. He was named as the physician honoree at the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the founding of Kings County Hospital Center in 2006. In 2007, he became the first ever president of the Robert F. Furchgott Society. In March 2007 he received the first ever Golden Apple Teaching Award from the SUNY Downstate Medical School chapter of the AOA honor society. In 2008 he was named the first President of the MSKCC Whitmore Alumni Society, the first person to hold that title. In May, 2011 Dr. Macchia received the Clark-Curran Award in Medical Administration from the SUNY Downstate COM Alumni Association.   In May, 2013 at its annual meeting in San Diego the American Urological Association presented him with its Distinguished Contribution Award for his efforts on behalf of the education of residents and students. He was nominated for that award by the AUA- New York Section.

Dr. Macchia is most proud of his students and residents. Former residents are now internationally recognized leaders in urology at such institutions as Weill Cornell, UCSF, UCLA, NYU, Mt Sinai-NYC, University of Georgia, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Duke, SUNY Downstate, SUNY Stony Brook, Harvard, University of Indiana, Beth Israel Medical Center-NYC, University of Illinois, Brown University, and University of Florida. Many others are in successful private practices throughout the country. Similarly, many of his former students are on the faculties of medical schools across the US.



Canadian Journal of Urology, 8/4/13

Richard J. Macchia, MD, professor and chair emeritus of urology, who served at Downstate from 1976 until 2010, was featured as one of the “Legends in Urology.”

Richard J. Macchia, MD, FACS
Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute
Cleveland Clinic Florida;
SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor,
Chairman Emeritus Department of Urology,
SUNY Downstate College of Medicine;
Affiliate Professor of Biomedical Science,
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine,
Florida Atlantic University

Given those who have been honored in the CJU Legends series I consider my contributions, which were mainly in the field of education, to be modest in comparison. However, I gratefully accept this recognition as a urology educator. After graduating with a BS in Physics I decided to go to medical school. My dad, a gastroenterologist, was thrilled, but my mom, a “hospital widow,” was less enthusiastic. Dr. George Nagamatsu, chair at New York Medical College, (NYMC), sparked my interest in urology. After graduation in 1969, I completed pre- urology general surgery training at St. Vincent’s Hospital (SVH). Andrew McGowan, chief of urology at SVH, recommended me to Keith Waterhouse at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate for residency. In 1975, Dr. Willet Whitmore accepted me as a New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) Ferdinand C. Valentine fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Brian McCaffery, my former chief resident and predecessor fellow at MSKCC, paved the way for me. I had much less surgical experience than my co-fellows Harry Herr,1 Skip Holden, and Rich Egan, each of whom helped me make it through the fellowship. Pram Sogani and Winston Barzell, both superb surgeons, taught me how to do a radical cystectomy. It was the most wonderful year of my medical career.
In 1976, I joined the faculty of SUNY Downstate Medical School. In 1982, I was appointed professor, chairman, and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) program director. I served in those capacities until 2010. I was greatly honored when Peter Scardino appointed me Consultant, Department of Urology, MSKCC, in 2003. I also worked closely with other chiefs of urology at MSKCC—Pram Sogani, Bill Fair and now James Eastham and Joel Sheinfeld, the fellowship director. MSKCC contributed greatly to the education of our residents and our ability to attract excellent medical students.
I chaired the Section on Urology of the NYAM and was a member of its Advisory Council for 6 years. I also served on the NYAM selection committee for the Ferdinand C. Valentine Medal for career achievement in urology for 6 years and chaired the committee for 1 year. I was also a chairman of the Edwin Beer Fund Committee. The NYAM was the scene of one of my first (of many!) academic disputes. Several members of the selection committee did not want to award a fellowship to one of my residents who wished to take his fellowship outside of AUA-NY Section region. I presented the case for this resident and he was granted this fellowship. That resident was Tom Lue.2 This experience led me to become somewhat obsessed with the concept of providing a level playing field. I fought for blinded submission of manuscripts and abstracts. I also lobbied for the inclusion of an academic integrity clause in the AUA urologist’s oath (which was subsequently adopted).
When I became chair at SUNY Downstate, three giants were chairs in Manhattan: Mike Droller, Darracott Vaughan,3 and Carl Olson. They were role models and treated me as an equal, an undeserved courtesy I will never forget. I think collegiality is one of the hallmarks of urology. I have greatly enjoyed my interactions with and learned from colleagues throughout the world. Recently, Leonard Gomella called me one of his mentors, but I suggested it was perhaps the other way around. Ken Glassberg, Gobind Laungani, and I were all Keith Waterhouse’s residents. I was very fortunate that they agreed to stay when I became chair. After our fellowships, the three of us worked together for about 25 years. Ken has had an outstanding career with very significant contributions to pediatric urology. Gobind, a superb surgeon, took on many of the clinical tasks to free me up to work with students and residents. I restructured our residency program into a multisite, 4-year program, in which our residents were chief residents for 2 full years. Our faculty members included Mark Horowitz, Vic Nitti, Jack Mydlo, Andy Combs, B. Mayer Grob, Nick Karanikolas, Ivan Colon, Aizid Hashmat, Ciril Godec, Ivan Grunberger, Llew Hyacinthe, Jeff Weiss and many others. At Kings County Hospital Center (KCHC) Lynette Boissiere was our dedicated cystoscopy suite head nurse. Except for my time at MSKCC, I spent July 1971 through May 2009—38 years—at SUNY Downstate and KCHC.
As chair of SUNY Downstate, I appointed the first women, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans to our residency programs and faculty. I also appointed the first Hispanic urologist as vice-chair and the first African- American urologist as a chief of service. It was a special coup to recruit Erich Lang to Downstate as part-time, vice- chair for uroradiology in 2005. A shortage of funds was a constant, enormous, and overriding challenge in running our department. I only had control over the finances of our small group at University Hospital-Brooklyn. Voluntary contributions from faculty allowed me to fund basic resident educational activities.
Many years ago, Adley Raboy, a former student, resident, and then faculty member at one of our hospitals, walked into my office and casually informed me that he and his colleagues had performed the world’s first antegrade extraperitoneal laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.4 I was astounded and excited.
One of my great pleasures occurred after Marc Goldstein—who had graduated from SUNY Downstate Medical School and our urology program—was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Biological Science, not clinical science, by SUNY Downstate in 2008. I nominated Tom Lue for the same award the next year, and he won it. One of my great disappointments occurred when Irwin Goldstein, who was leaving Boston University presented a compelling case to me to initiate the first fully independent Department of Sexual Medicine in an American medical school. I fully supported the concept, but it was ultimately rejected by the university.
The story of Chuan-Guo Xiao, a former member of my faculty, is one of enormous highs and lows. As a result of his experience with catastrophic trauma in China he embarked on a decades-long search to find a cure for the urologic effects of spinal cord injury and meningomyelocele. The result is the “somatic-autonomic reflex pathway” procedure, also known as the “lower urinary tract refunctionalization by somatic/autonomic nerve root transposition” procedure, or simply the Xiao procedure. Xiao did much of his pre-clinical work and won all his NIH grants, in excess of $3 million dollars, while working in a hospital in my department. I tried to obtain funding for him from my institution, but despite his winning huge grants, my requests were denied. I believe Xiao’s concept will be proven to be correct. If so, he deserves enormous credit for his dogged persistence. For full disclosure, please note that several years ago, after leaving my faculty, he invited me to come to China as a visiting professor. I observed him performing the procedure several times and talked via an interpreter to patients’ parents who had tears of joy as they described their experiences. Medicine is replete with cases of eventual vindication. I hope this occurs for the Xiao procedure.
I have been a career-long member of the NY Section AUA and it was an honor to be its president 1995-96. My colleagues granted me the Russell Lavengood Award (an award that I originated and Darracott Vaughan named), nominated me for the AUA Robert F. Flanigan Education Award (I didn’t win!), and nominated me for an AUA Distinguished Contribution Award (I did win!). The AUA and the SE Section have allowed me to remain a member of the NY Section after I left New York in 2010. I was the first representative of the New York Section to the Society of Urology Chairpersons and Program Directors.
In 2003, Andy Novick offered me a position at Cleveland Clinic, where I was to work with Steve Jones, who remains a good friend, colleague, and supporter to this day. To decline that offer was very difficult, but I decided that I didn’t want to move from Manhattan to Cleveland. Andy understood and, thereafter, we had dinner together many times in NYC. We lost a great leader when he died in 2008. Before he died, Andy had appointed Larry Hakim, my former student and resident, as chief of urology at Cleveland Clinic Florida (CCFL) in Weston, Florida. He and Andy invited me to take a look. I started what was intended to be a 6 month sabbatical in June 2009, but I loved it so much I have been there ever since, serving in a part-time, outpatient-only, non-leadership position. My former student and resident is now my boss! We are an integral part of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute with Eric Klein as our director.
I was privileged to have Bob Furchgott, professor and physiology chair emeritus at Downstate, as a friend. Bob won the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1998 for his co-discovery of the role of nitric oxide. He took me with him when he went to accept his award. Being in Stockholm during Nobel Prize week with a laureate was the thrill of a medical lifetime! Ray Damadian, another colleague at Downstate, should have been awarded the Nobel Prize for his co-development of the MRI. In my opinion, he was unjustly denied.5

I have disagreed with several policy decisions made by the ACGME. Then editor of the CJU, Gabriel Haas, allowed me to vent my displeasure at the ACGME’s imposition of the Outcomes Project.6

My contribution to medical literature has been modest. I co-authored about 135 papers, published abstracts, and textbook chapters, with a student or resident as co-author on most of these publications. I am the senior author on Tom Lue’s first paper! My colleagues and I did win second prize at the AUA in 1980 and 1982 for our early work on androgen receptors. More recently, our paper on fluoroquinolone-resistant post transrectal prostate biopsy infection was, I believe, the first to document this increasingly important phenomenon. Joe Feliciano, an outstanding resident, was first author.7 I have greatly enjoyed serving as an abstract reviewer and frequent moderator for the annual AUA meeting and as a manuscript reviewer for many journals.

Many years ago, I was in line to become the president of the NY State Urological Society. I declined, realizing that I did not possess the even temperament that is needed to be effective in influencing politicians. I appreciate the efforts made by urologists who toil on behalf of the rest of us in the political, social, economic, and legal arenas, whose work frequently goes unrecognized.

The focus of my career has always been education. I am most proud of my students and residents. I estimate that about 130 of my students have pursued urology residencies during my tenure at SUNY Downstate.8 I was a strong, early, and persistent proponent of fellowship training. Former residents are or have been core faculty at Weill-Cornell, UCSF, UCLA, NYU, Mt Sinai-NYC, University of Georgia, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Duke, SUNY Downstate, SUNY Stony Brook, Harvard, University of Indiana, Beth Israel Medical Center-NYC, University of Illinois, Brown University, and University of Florida. Former students are on the urology faculties of medical schools across the USA.

Sadly, my career-long friend, mentor, and role model, Bob Wickham, a former president of the NY Section, died in February 2013 at the age of 90. He was the recipient of 2 Bronze Stars and an inductee into the French Legion of Honor for his bravery in WWII. He was the finest gentleman I have ever known. My brief tribute to him appears in the April
2013 issue of AUA News.9

In 1994, I was named an honorary alumnus of SUNY Downstate Medical School and was awarded the Medal of Honor by the NYMC Alumni Association. In 1995, I was elected a faculty member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society (AOA). In 1997, I received the Gender Equity Award from the SUNY Downstate chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association, and I was an honoree of the Daniel Hale Williams Society, an organization of African American and Latino medical students. In 1998, I was designated Master Teacher in Urology by the SUNY Downstate Alumni Association. In May 2003, the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health presented me with its Leadership in Urban Medicine Award. In June 2005, I was presented with the first SUNY Downstate College of Nursing Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award. In 2006, I was named as the physician honoree at the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the founding of KCHC. In 2007, I received the first Golden Apple Teaching Award from the SUNY Downstate Medical School chapter of the AOA. I was very honored to be the first physician from Downstate to be named Physician of the Year by Bikur Cholim of Boro Park. Early on, I received a physician award from the ECHO-National Jewish Institute for Health. Since I am an Italian-American, many of these awards have special meaning to me.

In summary, I have been very fortunate in my career as a urologist. I owe an incredibly large and unpayable debt to my patients, mentors, colleagues, residents, students, friends, family, parents, and country.

Richard J. Macchia, MD, FACS


1. Herr HW. Legends in Urology. Can J Urol 2010;17(1):4972-4974.

2. Lue TF. Legends in Urology. Can J Urol 2012;19(1):6070-6073.

3. Vaughan Jr DV. Legends in Urology. Can J Urol 2009;16(2):4533-4535.

4. Raboy A, Ferzli G, Albert P. Initial experience with extraperitoneal endoscopic radical retropubic prostatectomy. Urology 1997;50(6):849-853.

5. Macchia RJ, Termine JE, Buchen CD. Raymond V. Damadian, M.D.: Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Controversy of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. J Urol 2007;178(3):783-785.

6 Macchia RJ. A urology program director ’s view of the ACGME outcome project. Can J Urol 2008;15(4):4139.

7. Feliciano J, Teper E, Ferrandino M et al. The incidence of fluoroquinolone resistant infections after prostate biopsy—are fluoroquinolones still effective prophylaxis? J Urol 2008;179(3):952-955.

8. Kutikov A, Bonslaver J, Casey JT. The gatekeeper disparity--why do some medical schools send more medical students into urology? J Urol 2011;185(2):647-652.

9. Macchia RJ. In Memoriam: Robert D. Wickham, 1923-2013. AUA News 2013;18(4):36.

© The Canadian Journal of Urology™; 20(4); August 2013 6819




Photo of Erich Lang

Erich Lang, MD joined the SUNY Downstate Medical School Faculty in October, 2005. He was appointed Professor in the Department of Radiology and received a dual appointment to the Department of Urology, where he functions as Vice Chairman for Uroradiology. Dr. Lang completed his radiology residency at the Johns Hopkins University. Following residency he served on the faculties at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Indiana prior to moving to the Louisiana State School of Medicine. He served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiology at LSU in New Orleans from 1976 to 1992. In 1993 he served as visiting Professor of Radiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and at the University of Vienna. From 1999 until joining SUNY Downstate he served as Professor in the Departments of Radiology and Urology at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

Dr. Lang serves on the editorial boards of many journals including the Journal of Urology. He has coauthored over 200 articles in peer reviewed publications. He has authored over 70 chapters in various textbooks and presented countless numbers of papers at national and international meetings. He has been invited speaker at national and international society meetings and refresher courses around the world.

         On behalf of the faculty and residents of our program, we express our sincere gratitude for your years of dedication to our program.  



Photo of William Blank

William Blank, MD was born and raised in Brooklyn. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. His surgical internship was completed at the University of Virginia and further surgical training was done at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center. He went on to complete his urology training at Brookdale as well. After urology residency Dr. Blank completed his two year fellowship in male fertility and andrology at Cornell University Medical Center. The director of his fellowship training was alumnist Marc Goldstein, MD.

For the past 15 years Dr. Blank has specialized in male fertility and sexual dysfunction. His specialty includes diagnosing and treating male fertility problems, microsurgical vasectomy reversal and the performance of all known sperm retrieval techniques for assisted reproductive treatments. In addition he has been doing the "no-scalpel" vasectomy for over 10 years. Dr. Blank has special interest in diagnosing and treating sexual dysfunction. He stresses non-surgical approaches and has a special interest in the roles that hormones play in men and women.

Dr. Blank was appointed clinical assistant professor in the Department of Urology on February 1, 2001. He was most recently a member of the clinical faculty at SUNY Syracuse.


Photo of Jerry G. Blaivas

Jerry G. Blaivas, MD was appointed Adjunct Professor, Department of Urology at SUNY Downstate Medical School in November 1, 2008. His principal role in the Department of Urology is to involve our residents and medical students in his research. This provides our residents with an outstanding opportunity to develop their research skills and inprove their knowledge of voiding disfunction. Dr. Blaivas has been working with our residents and medical students in numerous productive clinical research projects which resulted in presentations at national meetings such as the American Urological Association and International Continence Society as well as publication in the Journal of Urology. He is also Clinical Professor of Urology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Medical Director of Urocenter of New York. He is an Attending Surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital. He is former Professor of Urology and Vice Chairman of the Department of Urology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Chief of Urology at Helen Hayes Hospital and director of Urogynecology at Lenox Hill Hospital.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Urodynamics and Female Urology, the F. Brantley Scott M.D. Award from the American Foundation for Urologic Disease and the Paul Zimskind Award from the Urodynamic Society. He was recently honored by the establishment of the Jerry G. Blaivas Honorary Lectureship, Society of Urodynamics and Female Urology. In addition, he has been listed in Top Doctors in America and Top Doctors in New York since the publications' inception in 1992.

Dr. Blaivas is the Founder of the major scientific journal Neurourology and Urodynamics and was Editor-in-Chief from 1981 - 2006. He is on the editorial board of many other journals and is the primary author of over 300 peer review scientific articles, book chapters and reviews. In addition, has edited and/or authored seven books.

Dr. Blaivas is a world expert in the field of female urology, reconstructive surgery, male and female voiding dysfunction, incontinence, neurogenic bladder and urodynamics. He is a thoughtful and innovative researcher who has pioneered surgical procedures to correct stress incontinence and urinary fistulas.

Dr. Blaivas is Founder of the not-for-profit organization, The Institute for Bladder and Prostate Research, which is dedicated to research relating to the lower urinary tract in men and women. Dr. Blaivas was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at SUNY Downstate Medical School on November 1, 2008. His role in the department is education and research.



Dr. Rajveer Purohit was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor at Downstate in May 2011. He specializes in complex voiding dysfunction, definitive repair of urethral stricture disease and treatment of radiation induced urinary problems.He also holds an appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Urology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and is an Assistant Attending in Urology at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital, and a Consultant at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr. Purohit graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, from Williams College in Massachusetts and received his medical degree (MD) and masters in public health (MPH) degree from Columbia University in New York. Following this, he completed his residency in general surgery and urology at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF), one of the world's premier training programs in Urology and spent a year in fellowship training in reconstructive urology and complex voiding dysfunction with Dr. Jerry Blaivas. He has authored multiple peer reviewed articles and book chapters on diverse topics as diverse as urethral strictures, prostate cancer, kidney stones and sexual dysfunction and has received awards for his cancer research at national and international scientific conferences. Dr. Purohit is the recipient of numerous other grants and awards, including the Pfizer Scholars in Urology Award, AUA/Praecis Gerald P. Murphy Scholar, and the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology traveling scholar award as well as the California Urologic Foundation grant for research on prostate cancer. He is a member of American Urological Association and is board certified by the American Board of Urology.



Photo of Joel Sheinfeld

Joel Sheinfeld, MD was appointed Adjunct Professor, Department of Urology, at SUNY Downstate Medical School in June, 2005. He is an internationally recognized urologic surgeon with special expertise in retroperitoneal surgery and the care of patients with testicular cancer. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela and received a B.A from Cornell University and his M.D from the University of Florida in 1981. He completed his urology residency at the University of Rochester Medical School in 1986 and was a fellow in urologic oncology as a AUA Scholar at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) until 1989 when he joined the staff. He is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Urology at MSKCC and Professor of Urology, Weill College of Medicine, Cornell University. His clinical practice and research initiatives are focused on innovative treatment methods and refining surgical approaches for the management of testicular cancer.

In addition to numerous visiting professorships and editorials boards, Dr. Sheinfeld has been the recipient of grants and awards including the American Urologic Association First Prize in Clinical Research, the American Cancer Society Development Award and a Faculty Recognition Award. He has authored 190 papers, editorials, book chapters and abstracts in the medical literature. Dr. Sheinfeld is the 3rd recipient of the Orchid of Life Award from the Craig Tifford Foundation.


Photo of Peter T. Scardino

Peter T. Scardino, MD, Department of Urology, SUNY Downstate, was appointed Professor on March 1, 2000. He and his staff educate our residents when they are on rotation through Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for 4 months during the U-2 year.

Peter T. Scardino, MD is Chairman, Department of Urology, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center since 1999. Additionally, he is Professor of Urology, the Department of Urology in the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College at Cornell University. He served as Chief of the Urology Service in the Department of Surgery and the Murray F. Brennan Chair of Surgery as his initial appointment at MSKCC, which began in June of 1998.

Dr. Scardino is the former Russell and Mary Hugh Scott Professor and Chair of the Scott Department of Urology at the Baylor College of Medicine and Chief of the Urology Service at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. He was a member of the Baylor faculty beginning in 1979 and appointed Distinguished Service Professor in 1995. Under Dr. Scardino’s leadership, the Baylor urology department became one of the distinguished research and teaching centers in urology. Dr. Scardino, as principal investigator, received over $15 million in research grants from private foundations and from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), including the award of the first of three Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) in prostate cancer with funding of $2.2 million per year. Additionally, the department houses the Matsunaga-Conte Prostate Cancer Research Center, a special designation created by Congress and awarded to Baylor by the Director of the NCI.

Dr. Scardino has gained international recognition for his work on urologic cancers, especially the early detection, natural history, and treatment of clinically localized prostate cancer. He has treated dignitaries from around the world, including two former presidents of Turkey. His major areas of expertise are the surgical treatment of prostate cancer, particularly radical prostatectomy, and the early detection of these cancers and assessment of their prognosis. However, he also lectures widely on the natural history of prostate cancer, including watchful waiting. His research focuses on finding new markers to predict the behavior and response to treatment of prostate cancer and investigating the role of gene therapy for prostate cancer. Results of Dr. Scardino’s research have been published in over 200 articles and book chapters, more than 100 of which have appeared in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Scardino served as an editor of the book Comprehensive Textbook of Genitourinary Oncology, the second edition of which will be published in 2000. He also wrote and presented "Straight Talk on Prostate Health", an educational video shown nationally on the Public Broadcasting System.

Dr. Scardino has received many honors for his teaching and research. In 1989, he was presented the American Urological Association’s Gold Cystoscope Award which is presented to the individual who has contributed the most to urology within ten years of residency. In 1996, Dr. Scardino received the Eugene Fuller Triennial Prostate Award of the American Urological Association and was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1997 he was presented with the American Foundation for Urologic Disease Presidential Award. Additionally, Dr. Scardino has been named as one of the best doctors in America by Good Housekeeping (1991), Town & Country (1995), and American Health (1996) magazines.

A graduate of Yale University and Duke University School of Medicine, which recognized him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in November 1999, Dr. Scardino completed residency training in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, followed by a laboratory and clinical fellowship in surgery and urologic oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda. He then completed his urological residency at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine before going to Baylor in 1979.


Photo of James A. Eastham

James A. Eastham, MD, MD was appointed Adjunct Professor, Department of Urology, at SUNY Downstate Medical School in May 2009. He is also is Professor and Chief of the Urology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Eastham received his medical degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He completed an internship in general surgery and a residency in urology at Los Angeles County - University of Southern California Medical Center. He went on to complete a fellowship in urologic oncology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Prior to his appointment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Eastham was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Urology at Louisiana State University in Shreveport and Chief of Urology at Overton-Brooks Veterans Administration Medical Center in Louisiana.

Dr. Eastham's research has focused on the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, with a particular interest in improving oncologic and quality-of-life outcomes after radical prostatectomy. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles which have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Urology, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Urology, and Transplantation. In addition, he has authored numerous book chapters, reviews, monographs, and abstracts. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of several professional societies including the American Urologic Association, the Society of Urologic Oncology, and Societé Internationale D'Urologie.


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Department of Urology Faculty

Group photo of MSKCC Urology faculty

Back row: Dr. Laudone, Dr. Donat, Dr. Mulhall, Dr. Dalbagni, Dr. Sandhu, Dr. Bochner, Dr. Touijer, Dr. Parra, Dr. Coleman, Dr. Carver, Dr. Rabbani.
Front row: Dr. Guillonneau, Dr. Sogani, Dr. Scardino, Dr. Eastham, Dr. Sheinfeld, Dr. Russo, Dr. Herr.


Photo of Lynette Boissiere

Lynette Boissiere, BS, RN was appointed in 1985 to the position of Nursing Care Coordinator for the cystoscopy unit at KCHC in 1985. Her current activities involves managing the surgical and medical activities of our cystoscopy unit, develop plans, administration of medication to patients with advanced prostate cancer and assisting our physicians and residents in providing direct medical care to our patients. She is also the department's principal associate for participation in out reach programs and the Annual Hospital Health Fair. She also conducts annual workshop for the association of certified surgical technologists and other social/civic organizations. Throughout her career she has developed extensive hands-on and managerial nursing skills for both medical/surgical units and behavior modification units. She is a member of International Urology Services, Inc., the Society of Urological Nurses Association, the New York State Nurses Association and the Association of Operating Room Nurses.


Photo of Lorraine Thomas, RN

Lorraine Thomas, BS, was appointed in April, 2008 to the position of Coordinator of the Clinical Trial and BioMarkers Trial Program for the SUNY Downstate Department of Urology. She is certified by The National Institute of Health in the Protection of Human Subjects in Research. She has 22 years experience in Pharmaceuticals and NIH Clinical trials. She was the original Coordinator for the Renal Clinical Trial, entitled Evaluation of Cinacalcet Therapy to Lower Cardiovascular Events (EVOLVE). She has co-authored 24 research publications.



Jeffrey Schiff, MD, 2011
Courtney Lee, MD, 2011
Alexander Lipyanski, MD, 2010
Arnold Teo, MD, 2010
Alexander Sokol, MD, 2009
Nicholas Karanikolas, MD, 2004
Rosalia Misseri, MD, 2004
Michael Volpe, MD, 2001
Joel Sherman, MD, 1998
Marc Plawker, MD, 1997
Dhanan Etwaru, MD, 1995
Mark Horowitz, MD, 1992
Adley Raboy, MD, 1990
Mark Irwin, MD, 1988
Samanthi Raju, MD, 1988
Alex Latyshevsky, MD, 1987
Richard Reiser, MD, 1984
Aizid Hashmat, MD, 1980
Gobind B. Laungani, MD, 1977
Kenneth I. Glassberg, MD, 1975
Richard J. Macchia, MD, 1974
Peter Caponegro, MD, 1973